With all the excitement last week we didn't have time to write up our Kickstarter Weekly piece. Well rest assured we haven't abandoned our weekly look at some of the hottest, coolest, and mildly dubious Kickstarter Campaigns. So with that, let's jump in!Read More
Hot on the heels of recent hits such as Suburbia, Inc. and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Bezier Games has announced two upcoming games to add to their lineup.
First up is Subdivision, a standalone game that's in the Suburbia "family." According to the description on the Bezier Games site:Read More
Well another week has completely sped by here at TOG--and what a week it's been! Podcasts...reviews...all kinds of stuff. Today as we finish up the week we once again bring you our old faithful Kickstarter Weekly piece, to help you navigate through the countless campaigns competing for your gaming dollar. Let's dive in!
Well, we just published our review of Draco Magi yesterday, and since then they've unlocked their first stretch goal... Coincidence? Probably. Regardless this campaign is already a juggernaut, with lots of stretch goals that everyone will get to enjoy, but if you back the campaign you'll get to enjoy them for $10 less than folks who wait until it hits retailers.
The campaign ends on Feb. 21 and it's a mere $15 to get Draco Magi shipped to your door! The full campaign, stretch goals and details can be found right here!
Four Tribes is a light strategic card game of influence and area control. It's driven mostly by cards, with some extra wooden bits thrown in. The buzz around this game is pretty positive and they've already funded and unlocked some stretch goals.
There's just a few days left to get in on this one--it ends on Feb. 6. A pledge of $30 will get you a copy of the game, and there are also some deals to be had with other titles as add-ons. You can find all the details of the campaign right here!
Well, wouldn't you know it, another Pirate Game made it to Kickstarter Weekly. Queen Games, who brought us the Spiel Des Jahres winner Kingdom Builder in 2012, is Kickstarting Tortuga, a transport-and-plunder dice-roller for both young and old gamers. Or so they say. The images on the campaign page show a great, bright and colorful game with lots of custom bits & dice, player screens & boards. They've funded and unlocked all but one stretch goal already, so if you want to grab a copy, it's time to jump on board!
Ends Feb. 13 a few $41 level pledges left for the full game and stretch goals; then it goes up to $50. Find out all the details right here!
The internet has--inexplicably--generated an obsession with kittens doing things. I (Jeremiah) seriously don't get it. (Firestone doesn't get it either!) Nor am I very often entertained by this phenomena. But for those of you out there who find no end to the amusement afforded you by... cats. This one is for you. Kombat Kittens: The Card Game, is... a card game. Featuring artwork that is half kitten half drawn in battle gear. And then you make them battle and stuff. The Campaign video epitomizes the underbelly of the internet's cat "thing".
The campaign ends Feb. 20. And you'll cough up $25 for a copy. Find all of the "adorable" details right here.
Don't Miss Out!
Just a few quick reminders of some campaign we think you'll be sorry if you missed out on!
Another spin on Werewolf that touts gameplay for up to 75--that's seven-five--players! This campaign is making its final push and ends Monday Feb. 3. $25 Click here for the details!
Come on! This is a great game that you can pick up inexpensively. We're not sure why Zeppeldrome isn't getting the love on Kickstarter we think it so deserveredly deserves! Click the link for all the details on this fun game that is great for players of any age and skill level!
This campaign ends Feb. 16. $29 for a copy of the game! HERE is where the details are!
Thanks for reading TOG, let us know what you're backing or if there's something awesome out there we missed this week!
In the meantime our contest for a free copy of Relic Expedition is still going!
Thanks for reading, and play some games this weekend!
By Firestone With less than a week to go, Ted Alspach's Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition is crushing it on Kickstarter. For fans of deduction games, Werewolf games, and things with the words ultimate and deluxe in the SAME TITLE, you should check it out before it's gone.
Yes, it's another Werewolf game. But this one supports 75 people! That sounds like the most insane thing in the history of time to me, but you know someone will get a 75-player game going at GenCon, or something...
Anyway, the game comes with 75 base cards, and thanks to stretch goals, they've unlocked a Classic Movie Monsters expansion, Night Terrors expansion, Urban Legends expansion, and the Wolfpack expansion. And some others are close to getting unlocked too.
In addition, a bunch of board game artists signed on to create artwork for some of the game's cards, and you can add those artpacks onto your pledge.
You get the whole shebang for $25--which includes a shipped copy of the game--with the expansions--along with a Getting Started Guide, a Moderator Guide, a Team-Building Guide, scenarios, a Moderator scorecard, and one of the artpacks of your choice. You can, of course, up your pledge to get more stuff.
The campaign ends Monday night. And you might be too delirious from the Broncos' Super Bowl victory to remember to back it. So go check it out now!
Thanks for reading!
Well, it's 2014, and it's early enough in the year that you're still writing 2013 on things... That sounds like the perfect time to trot out our Top 10 Games of 2013! So what made the cut? Let's see...
Okay a few things first...
1) These are in no particular order—in fact, they aren't even numbered. These are our 10 favorite games of the last year, and trying to slot them into specific numbers seems like more trouble than it's worth. We did, however, each pick one game as our personal Game of the Year.
2) Some of these aren't strictly from 2013. But for each of them, they were widely available to play here in the States in 2013. That's where we live, and it's our list, so those are the rules we're playing by.
Let's start with a few honorable mentions...
Two Rooms and a Boom—There are two reasons this didn't make our main list. First, it's only available as a print-and-play right now, so it's hard to count that as coming out this year. Second, it really needs a larger group to work well. But if you have a large group, THEN YOU SHOULD PLAY THIS. I fully expect to see this game on next year's main list...
Space Cadets: Dice Duel—This one is conditional, too. If you're playing with the full complement of eight players—three players and a captain on each team—then this is an incredible gaming experience. Anything less than that full complement is just...less.
Lords Of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport—Neither of the two included expansions are "necessary," but they're both fun and interesting, and add some legs to this good worker-placement game.
Kemet—It's a highly confrontational game that encourages fighting over turtling. And everything on the map is the same distance from every other thing, so you're not fighting someone because they happen to be closer, but because they happen to be the person who most needs to be attacked. Plus it's got cool minis. Plus it's got tons of tiles with cool special powers. Wait, why isn't this on the main list...?
Walk The Plank—Two of my (Firestone) pals designed this take-that piratey madness. It's really fun, and just missed making the Big List.
And without further ado...
THE TOP 10 GAMES OF 2013
Coup is a small little card game that's just full of bluffing. There are roles, and you can bluff that you've got a role in your hand. If someone calls your bluff, though, you better hope you're telling the truth... Don't believe us? Well Wil Wheaton loves it, and
This little card game took me completely by surprise. You can't see your own hand of cards, but you can see every other player's. Your challenge, as a team, is to place down the numbers 1 through 5 in each of five suits, in order. It's challenging and thrilling and nerve-wracking. Those are all good things. You can read our review of the game
I (Firestone) wasn't sure anything could replace Ticket To Ride as my go-to game to bring out with nongamers. But then along comes La Boca and does just that. Part of the reason is that it works with gamers, nongamers, kids, youth groups, parties—EVERYONE! And there's a tricksy red piece you can add to up the challenge. Watch for a review of this one soon.
It's like SimCity, but not mind-numbingly boring. Okay, it's more than that. You're building a borough, and buying new areas based on what you have, and what your opponents have, and what you can afford. Some people don't think there's much interaction here, but I respectfully disagree.
If you've played Pandemic or Forbidden Island, you'll have no problem picking up Forbidden Desert. But this game adds completely new and clever mechanisms and ideas that make it more than just a retheme. This is a great cooperative family game that we'll be playing for years to come.
That mad genius Stefan Feld came out with four games in 2013, and I (Firestone) was able to play three of those four. While the others were "merely" good, Bora Bora was clearly the best of the bunch. It has a ridiculous number of ways to score VPs, but despite that, it all just...fit.
This is the first release from Stonemaier Games, and what we believe should be the measuring stick for all Kickstarter projects. A very in-depth worker-placement game, Viticulture exceeded all of our expectations—in gameplay, components, and everything. This game is great from top to bottom. If you're into worker-placement games at any level, snatch up a copy of Viticulture—well, as soon as the reprint is available! You can check out our Double-Take review here
If you've read Theology Of Games for any amount of time, you know that we don't often see eye-to-eye on games. We have two distinct gaming personalities, and though we do sometimes agree on games, it's rare for us to both love or hate one.
We both love The Duke.
It's a 2-player abstract where you're trying to move different pieces around the board in an effort to capture your opponent's Duke. It's like chess, except fun.
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar—Tribes and Prophecies—
This is the lone expansion on the list, but with good reason. It is EXACTLY what I want in an expansion. First, there are the Tribes, which basically give you a unique special power. When you first read one, you think, "That's crazy and overpowered!" Then you read the others and realize they're ALL crazy and overpowered! And it's awesome!! The Prophecies are events that make the game a little harder by causing some things to cost a little more to achieve—but then you get some VPs for achieving those things. Great, great expansion.
Great Heartland Hauling Co.—
Our pal Jason Kotarski designed this neat little pick-up-and-deliver game with a trucking theme. It doesn't break new ground, or change the landscape, but it's a fun and clever little game. Our families have had some great times playing this one. And
here's the review.
Firestone's Game of the Year—Hanabi!
I played this more than any other game that came out in 2013. It's portable. It's cheap (when it's in print). And it's soooooo fun. And if you use one of the print-and-play decks (after you've bought a legitimate copy first, of course), you can add in some variants, such as multicolored suits, that up the replay value.
Jeremiah's Game of
the Year - The Duke!
The last half of this year my time to game has been more and more at a premium. While I LOVE lengthy and in-depth games, there's something great about a game that is incredibly engaging, strategic, super-streamlined, and that plays pretty quickly. I've played a few of the expansions, and they add a lot to the game—we'll talk about these expansions very soon. I first played The Duke at Origins and fell in love with it, and after dozens of plays The Duke still excites me every time we bring it to the table!
Well, there's our list. What would your list look like? What did we forget? What should we have left off? Sound off in the comments. And thanks for reading!
Hey everyone! We're getting things back up and running in the new year, and we certainly hope that you and yours had a magnificent time during the holidays. We're back this week with this year's first Kickstarter Weekly! Should all acquaintance be forgot? NOPE! There are a lot of exciting things happening on Kickstarter with some perennial favorites launching campaigns this very day! So sweep up that confetti, put the lampshade back on the lamp, and stop writing 2013 on your checks... Seriously... Who uses checks anymore!? It's time for Kickstarter Weekly!
Tiny Epic Kingdoms - Gamelyn Games
This campaign comes from our good friends over at Gamelyn Games. This is the first title from Gamelyn that hasn't been designed by founder Michael Coe. Gamelyn has a successful history on Kickstarter with their charter campaign of Dungeon Heroes delivering what backers wanted and more! TEK is a mini 4x game that has been all the rage over social media as of late.
The Campaign ends on Feb. 8 and a pledge of $16 get's you the base game and $24 will score you a deluxe copy. Find all the info on the campaign, right here!
Hot on the heels of their ridiculously successful Pay-What-You-Want campaign for Coin Age, which is quite possibly the microest of micro games, Tasty Minstrel Games is at it again with Burgoo. A game about building stew. The rules seem simple enough: Manage to get all of your ingredients into the stew and win.
The recommended pledge is $5, but a $3 pledge will get you a copy of Burgoo, sent to anywhere in the world!! The campaign ends Jan. 25 and you can find out all the details: Right here!
Another take on the classic game. Ultimate Werewolf supports up to 75 players... Yes, seven-five. This campaign adds a ton of new features, updated art, lots of new variants, character roles and so on. If you're into Mafia and Werewolf and the like you should check this one out!
The campaign ends Feb. 3, and a pledge of $25 will get you a copy of the game. Click here, for all the details!
The third in the Spearpoint series, Eastern Front brings unit cards for the Russian forces and more German forces units as well. I (Jeremiah) got to play the original Spearpoint 1943 back when it released at Origins a few years ago. It's a fun lightweight card combat game for two players. It allows for customization of decks, but only within the constraints of what you get in the box—much like an LCG, there's no card-chasing here!
The campaign for Eastern Front ends on Jan. 20, and a pledge of $29 will score you a copy of the game. You can find out all the details, right here!
By Firestone Confession time: I've never been a big fan of Civ games. Not board games. Not video games. Not any games. They're...boring. So Suburbia comes out, and lots of people call it a SimCity board game. This fills me with dread, and a desire to take a long nap... Could this be the first civ/city-building game I like? Or will I build a Landfill and then put this game into it? Let's find out!
You're going to be taking, paying for, and placing tiles into your city. Doing so will affect your income and population. When the game ends, whoever has the most population wins.
1 Population board
1 Stacks board
1 Supply board
1 Real Estate board
4 Burrough boards in the player colors (black, red, purple, yellow)
144 hexagonal City tiles
20 Goal tiles
4 Player aid cards
1 Start player marker
1 Giant pile of money tokens
4 Reputation markers
4 Population markers
4 Income markers
12 Investment markers
The City tiles are divided into four groups: Basic tiles, A, B, and C tiles. Separate the A, B, and C tiles (they have the letter on the back side), and then you'll place a number of them on the Stack board. (This number varies depending on the number of players.) In the C pile you'll also be mixing in the One More Round tile, which will trigger the end of the game.
Place money on the Supply board, and give each player $15 million. Place the basic City tiles (Suburbs, Community Park, and Heavy Factory) onto their spaces on the Real Estate Market board. Then place the top seven tiles from the A stack out onto the Real Estate Market. These spaces range in price from $10 on the top end, and free on the bottom.
Then shuffle the Goal tiles, and place a number of them out, faceup, depending on the number of players in the game. Then give each player two Goal tiles facedown, and each player chooses one to keep and places the other back in the box with out showing the other players.
Each player takes a Borough Board, places the Income marker on the 0, and the Reputation marker on the 1. Each board is flat across the top and has three "notches" for tiles to fit (see the picture). Each player takes one Suburb, one Community Park, and one Heavy Factory from the basic City tiles, and places them in that order, from top to bottom, in the middle notch of the Borough Board.
Finally, (whew!), each player grabs his or her set of three Investment markers, and places their Population square on the 2 space of the Population board. You're finally ready to play! It seems like a lot of prep, but it's intuitive, and goes fairly quickly.
Randomly choose a start player. You can do one of two things on your turn: take and place a tile into your Borough, or place an Investment marker.
If you choose a tile from the Real Estate Market, you pay the cost on the tile and the cost of the tile's "position" in the Market. So as tiles are in the Market longer, they become cheaper. But, of course, the tile might be gone by the time it rolls around to your turn. So do you pay more now, or wait and hope it's still there? That's one of the interesting decision-points in the game.
You can also choose to buy one of the basic City tiles, and you just pay the cost on the tile.
Once you have a tile, you place it into your Borough. The only real restriction on placement is that the new tile has to touch at least one side of an already placed tile. Then you'll often have some adjustments to make based on the tile. So it might increase or decrease Income, or Reputation, or just give you some quick cash. You placing a tile might also trigger someone else's tile already in play. So the Homeowner's Association tile, for instance, gives its owner $2 every time any player plays a green Residential tile.
One other option for placing a tile is to make a Lake. You have to pick a tile from the Real Estate Market, and you pay the position cost only. Then you place it in your Borough, and get $2 for each adjacent tile that's not another Lake. It's a way to get some quick cash—and swipe a tile from the Market that you know someone wants.
The other option is to place one of your three Investment Markers. Instead of taking and placing a tile, you pay the tile cost of your chosen tile again, and then place a Marker on it. Now the effects of the tile are doubled for the rest of the game.
At the end of your turn you'll now receive (or pay) money, based on the position of the Income Cylinder. If you can't pay when you need to, you have to move the Population Square down one spot for each dollar you can't pay.
Now you adjust the Population Square up or down based on the position of the Reputation Cube. As your Borough and Population grow, you'll have to pay more to maintain it. There are red lines on the population track, and whenever you cross one, you reduce your Income Cylinder and Reputation Cube down one spot. If you ever end up going back below a red line (due to negative Reputation, for instance), you'll put the Income and Reputation back up one spot.
If you bought a basic City tile, or placed an Investment Marker, you must remove any tile from the Real Estate Market—paying the position cost only. So one tile will be removed from the Market on each player's turn. Now you slide all of the remaining tiles down—making them cheaper—and place a new tile on the leftmost position.
When the "1 More Round" tile comes up, you finish the current round and then play...one more round. Now you look at Goals, and then turn money into Population—you ignore the red lines from this point forward.
First you check the faceup Goal tiles, and award the points to one player. If there's a tie, no one gets any points. Now each player reveals his or her secret Goal, and scores the points if they've achieved the goal themselves. Again, if you've tied, you don't get the points, and only the owner of the secret Goal gets a chance to get those points. Finally, you'll turn money into Population at the rate of 1 point for every $5, rounded down. (Keep any leftover money, as that's the third-level tiebreaker.)
Some of the Goals include "+10 for the most airports," or "+20 for the fewest Residential tiles," or "+20 for the lowest Reputation."
Whichever player has the most Population wins. If there's a tie, it's the person with the highest Reputation, and then the highest Income, and finally most leftover money.
There's also a Solo Version, where you're playing the 2-player version against a "bot" player.
I love this game. It hits all of the right buttons for me: It's thematic, full of interesting decisions, has an auction with more meaningful decisions, includes Goals you're working toward, and just...yeah!
Let's get this out of the way: There are a couple of things I don't like. First, with so many tile interactions going on each turn, it's easy to feel that someone at the table has missed a bonus somewhere—but that's a small complaint.
The larger issue is the Goal tiles. Those are a lot of points, and it's fairly easy for someone to unintentionally interfere with your Goal. For instance, in a recent 2-player game my opponent had a hidden Goal of "+20 for the most lakes." Unfortunately for him, I seemed to be constantly broke, so I kept buying lakes for some quick cash. So those were 20 points I "stole" from him, and I had no idea I was doing it. Even worse are tiles like "+15 for the fewest played Investor Markers." There is nothing you can do to control whether other players play their Investment Markers, so if even one person chooses not to play one, you're just out those points. It's kind of a big deal, but this is one of those games where the other parts are so good that I overlook this flaw.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, let's go back to the good stuff.
I've played this with every number of players, and it scales well. I especially like the 2-player game, because as you add players, you increase the chances of someone messing with your hidden Goals—although I do like having more people trying to win the public Goals. Okay, I like every number! I also like that it's on the lighter end of the spectrum, while still creating meaningful and interesting decisions. One reason I dislike Civ games is that there's just so much going on. This isn't a light game, but it also doesn't overwhelm you with minutia. I played with my 9-year-old, and he did just fine. It's a good next-level game for him. And though I have yet to test this, I think this would actually be a pretty good nongamer game.
The theme is really strong here, and it comes through in small touches. For instance, if you build a Landfill, you'll increase your Income, but for every building you build it next to, your Reputation will decrease. And every single tile has these thematic touches that make sense and make the game fun and interesting. And because you're not using every tile in every game—and there are different Goals in every game—no two games will feel the same.
I like laying tiles. This might be because one of my first Euros was Carcassonne, but I just like laying tiles, and deciding where the best place to put a tile is. But it's not just laying tiles, because there's also that wonderful Market. "That's a great tile, but it's expensive. Will it still be there when it gets to my turn again—and when it's cheaper?" "Should I turn that tile into a lake to keep it away from her?" Every turn has these sorts of decisions to make, and I enjoy doing that.
Another good thing? Combos!!
The game plays quickly, even with the full complement of players. And a 2-player game can be played in 30-45 minutes, so it's really a meaty filler. I love that.
The Final Verdict
I know I seem to be gushing over this, but I'm completely taken with it. I LIKE playing this game. There are a lot of great games that I wouldn't personally say are "fun" (Dominion springs to mind), but this one is fun for me. It's hasn't even come close to getting old, and I don't think I'd ever turn down a game. Bezier Games just came out with a expansion, and I can't wait to see what they do to expand this. It's one of my favorite games I played this year. Put this on the table!!
Theology Of Games would like to thank Bezier Games for providing a review copy of Suburbia. This in no way affected our opinion of the game.
Thanks for reading! Have you played Suburbia? Did you agree with my review, or do you think I should build a lake and then jump in it...? Let us know in the comments.