It seems like this might be turning into a somewhat consistent thing here at Critical Gamers. We are getting so much awesome news that if we don't post multiple times a day, we would never get it all out there. Why not just grab a bunch of the best articles and toss them together into a massive news update?
Yesterday, Fantasy Flight Games announced Black Crusade, the latest standalone RPG in the Warhammer 40,000 line. Black Crusade will offer players a unique experience in the conflict between the forces of Chaos and the Imperium of Man. Players will be able to play as a Disciple of the Dark Gods, as a either a Chaos Space Marine or a human Servant of Chaos. This latest edition gives us the ability to examine Chaos from a different angle. We will be able to learn out about their characters and what steered them into the path of corruption. Head over to the official Black Crusade website and get ready to surround yourself in Chaos this summer!
Feast & Famine: Joseph in Egypt is the first unplugged game produced by Good Knight Games in early November of '10. It was designed by Jason Conforto and illustrated by Ryan Braman and after opening the box, you can tell immediately that these two gentlemen cared about producing a quality game. This game is meant for 2-4 players and, depending on if you play feast, famine, or both, game time could range from 10-60 minutes.
If you are like myself, then you haven't taken the time to master the Rubik's Cube pattern, making for a tough and tedious time of figuring out exactly which moves to make. This makes for a fun and rewarding challenge. If you have mastered the 3x3 cube and have moved on to more difficult pastures, well does Jason Freeny over at Moist Productions have the ultimate challenge for you, line up the brain folds. Jason has managed to take the intricacies of the human brain, add it to the puzzle of the Rubik's Cube, and create a work of art that will challenge even the hardest Rubik veteran. Check out his work over at Moist Production.
One of the most highly played games since its release in 2008, Dominion, from Rio Grande Games, is still a go-to game three years later. With four expansions, Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy, and Prosperity, Rio Grande has added over 1200 cards, significant new strategies, and even new mechanics. Dominion is for 2-4 players (up to 8 if used in conjunction with Intrigue or Seaside) and takes about 30 minutes to play. Dominion is considered a tactical card game and not a collectible card game as there is no reason to build a deck outside of the game itself.
First thing, the Lich King looks badass. However, we expect nothing less from Blizzard. Secondly, it appears that there will be 93 cards in the raid. While not called out explicitly in the article, the writing is on the wall, so to speak, well on the card at least. We will have to see how that plays out. Third, if you check out the article, it appears that the Lich King will be the only Boss Hero in this raid. Those familiar with the MMO will be quick to point out that this is not the case in the 10 and 25 man versions of the raid. However, Drew Walker, Creative Content Lead for WoW TCG and Lead Designer for Assault on Icecrown Citadel, has pointed out that Lord Marrowgar, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, Lady Deathwhisper, and the other raid bosses will still exist in this raid. Just their purpose will change a bit. Instead of taking them on individually, the Lich King, will be able to summon them throughout the battle.
Fans of the Grand Alliance have not been left out of this raid either, you will be able to play Lady Jaina Proudmoore, Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, and Highlord Tirion Fordring. Each of the three iconic heroes also have their own weapons, Staff of Antonidas, Deathwhisper, and Ashbringer, respectively. Also, each hero comes with their own 61-card tournament legal deck. So if you have friends that don't have their own full decks, this raid will provide them for you. You can also replace Tirion, Jaina, or Sylvanas with a tournament legal hero of your own and those same friends can use the decks in a tournament. Pretty sweet.
Fans of the comic books, AMC series, and zombie fans in general, will be excited to know that Robert Kirkman, creator of the Walking Dead, has announced a partnership with Telltale Games (Sam & Max, Back to the Future) to create a "multi-year, multi-platform, multi-title" video game series based off of the franchise. Specifics weren't announced but it appears to be heading to most of the major gaming platforms such as PC/Mac, consoles, handhelds, mobile, and social media outlets. No official release date has been announced but Telltale Games is expecting a Q4 2011 release.
Head over to IGN for the breaking news and an interview with creator Robert Kirkman.
With the 2011 Toy Fair in New York nearing its end, news abounds among the analog gaming and toy industries. Instead of devoting an individual entry per news article, we are just going to give it to you lottery style, one lump sum (minus the ridiculous taxes). Please feel free to comment about the articles in the comments fields below. We are looking for input on the types of articles you are interested in so we can keep the content relative and fresh. Any input would be greatly appreciated and we at Critical Gamers thank you for your patronage.
In preparation for their 10 year anniversary, Days of Wonder (DoW) has announced a $10,000 design contest. Contestants must design their own Ticket to Ride map and DoW will select the best fan-made map to win. The winner will receive $10,000 and the map will be added as part of a Ticket to Ride Map Collection to be revealed at Essen Spiel 2011, alongside new maps designed by Ticket to Ride creator Alan R. Moon. For official rules and entry form, visit the Days of Wonder design contest page.
It's pretty cool to own Settlers of Catan, one of the games that began the Eurogame craze in the United States but it's pretty amazing to own a version with laser cut tiles. Thanks to jmne over at Thingiverse, you can make your own set. You supply the material (wood, acrylic, aluminum, etc.) and the laser cutter, they supply the printer files. Check out the red acrylic version, pretty sweet.
Japan: the land of the rising sun, a nation of proud and industrious people, and the main focus of the game We Must Tell the Emperor, published by Victory Point Games (VPG) in the later half of 2010. In this 7th installment of the States of Siege solitaire series, players must control Japan during the Pacific Theater of World War II, from 1941 to 1945, and protect it on multiple fronts from advancing Allied forces, all while balancing resource consumption.
Funagain games is currently offering a fantastic promotion on Queen Games - Robber Nights, Airships, and Thebes. You can purchase them in a bundle of all three for $49.99 which is 62% off the list value. Already own Airships and don't need the whole bundle? Not a problem. They are also on sale individually; you can buy Robber Knights for $10, Airships for $20, and Thebes for $30!. Head over to Funagain games and find out why Thebes won the 2008 BoardGameGeek Golden Geek Best Family Game.
Cargo Noir, the latest highly anticipated release from Days of Wonder, is now available for pre-order. Designed by Serge Laget, Cargo Noir is a game of trading smuggled goods where each player represents a "family" in a 1950s noir setting. Each turn, the player will head to a different port city - Hong Kong, New York, Rotterdam, Rio and more - and bid on goods that were "lost". If there are other "families" present in the same port city, prepare for a bidding war, but find yourself alone, you can make off with the goods cheap. The goods are used to purchase more ships for your fleet, scout for wares in more locations, purchase Victory Spoils, or perform actions. The player who accumulates the most spoils wins!
Check out the Official Game Teaser from Days of Wonder -
Most board gamers in this world have heard of Scrabble, and most of those have played. And if you are like us at Critical Gamers, then there is nothing more frustrating than having an amazing 6-letter word and triple word score space lined up only to get it stolen by Uncle John and his 3-letter, 12 point word which took 20 minutes to play! Well, if you love the creativity of producing your own words and anagrams but don't want to worry about bonus point spaces or waiting a long time for your turn, then check out Bananagrams.
Bananagrams has all the fun of Scrabble but less of Uncle John's bad plays and a game can be as quick as 5 minutes. It comes in a fun banana pouch that is great for travel. No pencil, paper, or board is required to play; all you need is a table. It is recommended for 2 or more players ages 7 and up. It features 144 letter tiles that are face down in the middle, from which players choose their tiles. The first person to use all their tiles wins, pretty simple.
Coming off the great success of 2010 such as Forbidden Island, Rory's Story Cubes, Hansa Teutonica, Washington's War, and Dominion: Prosperity, 2011 is also off to a great start for the analog gaming industry. With New York Toy Fair, Game Summit '11, and PAX East just around the corner, us fans of the gaming space can be sure to catch plenty of release announcements, prototype demonstrations, and product releases in the next coming months. To help get the ball rolling on all the awesomeness that is bound to hit us, here is a sample of what to expect in 2011.
Conquer the Wild West in Nexus Games Internationals' latest release of Dakota. Created by author Piero Cioni, Dakota is meant for 3-5 players, aged 10 and up, and will take approximately 60-90 minutes to colonize the west. Dakota is now available in Europe and will be available mid to late February in the states.
Here is the official press release:
Take part in the epic history of the Wild West colonization, leading a group of settlers or a tribe of natives: NG International announces the release of Dakota, an "euro-style" board game for 3 to 5 players with linear mechanics inspired to the conquest of the West, created by Piero Cioni and published by NG International in Italian and English languages, with partners for the German (Heidelberger) and Japanese (Hobby Japan) editions. Dakota is now available in Europe and will arrive in America by the end of February.
In Dakota, each player belongs to one of the two factions, settler or native, and tries to achieve his objectives by making alliances from time to time with the others, independent of their parties, thanks to a game mechanic that allows to play in a balanced way even with a different number of settler and native players. The settlers try to exploit the territory in order to make it productive for industry and agriculture, while the natives must make all efforts to keep the territory virgin as long as possible, while at the same time using its resources for the prosperity of their own tribe.
Nexus Games International is most known for their Wings of War series which ran from 2004-2007 and their award winning War of the Ring game, based off the J.R.R. Tolkien novel, where you could play as the Free Peoples or the Shadow Armies.
Pandemic is a two to four player cooperative game designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man games in 2008. Pandemic is a truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose. With many strategic options there is tons of replay value and only takes 45-60 minutes to play. The game pits a team of specialists from different fields together to cure 4 different deadly diseases and stop a pandemic outbreak before they wipe out mankind. Players must work together to build a strategy of eradication before they become overwhelmed and the diseases overcome the world.
Pandemic: On the Brink expansion adds a fifth player and tons of additional challenges. While the expansion requires the base Pandemic game in order to use, it adds depth and complexity, six new roles (plus 1 revised OpEx and a Bio-Terrorist), 8 new special events, and several optional challenge kits to increase the difficulty of the game. Two of the challenges are the Virulent Strain challenge which makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways and the Mutation Challenge which adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.