Aug 152011
 

And by “special” this week translates as “late”.

What isn’t late, but, in fact, early is the freshly returned from Gen Con roleplaying game set in the universe of The Hobbit, The One Ring.  From Cubicle Seven, this new hardcover slipcase contains the first set of core rulebooks in what will become an expansive Tolkien-based roleplaying system.  Taking place five years after the events of The Hobbit, the Adventurer’s Book and Loremaster’s Book (both contained within) grant players and GMs the ability to create and explore the world of Wilderland.  The system received a hefty amount of buzz at Gen Con this year for being a rare Tolkien universe RPG that actually works.  And possibly the best part, if you enjoy the game there are plans to release future expansions that will push the timeline forward, eventually leading to the events of Lord of the Rings.  Oh, and one last thing, if you pre-order with Pulp or purchase one of the copies we currently have in the store (hurry or they’ll be gone!), you gain the option to pick up a promo world map for ten bucks!

When Cthulhu comes calling you can expect it to be a gloomy occasion.  That might be why Atlas Games decided to add a new version of the popular Gloom series to the shelves called Cthulhu Gloom.  As with the regular game, players attempt to maim, massacre, and murder their helpless human cards with whatever tools they have at their disposal.  Here those tools become the madness and insanity of the creepy crawlies that oozed from Lovecraft’s brain.  Opponents can also stall opponents murder spree by keeping their human cards alive with “happiness” and “joy”.  If your sense of humor errs toward the darker and demented, Cthulhu Gloom with have you cackling all night.

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, laddies.  Set in the ancient countryside of merry ole Ireland, in Hibernia players battle to occupy specifically colored regions of the country.  Around the perimeter of the board is a colored track that leads to victory if you follow the order carefully.  Put those two elements together and you realize the strategy of the game is occupying colored regions in a coordinated manner so that you can make it around the track before anyone else.

Coming from the same game designers is Cambria.  Still focusing on the concept of occupation, Cambria has players swatting the Roman legions out of Britannia by surrounding and destroying their forts.  Each fort is given a number between 1 and 6, which coordinates with a D6 that players will roll.  Depending on the numbers, they will then place colored wooden markers on roads leading up to a fort with the same markings.  Once a fort has been surrounded, points are distributed to the player who did the most, uh, surrounding.

The deck building trend of the last couple of years receives an infusion of freshness with Wizkids hit game from Gen Con, Quarriors!.  That freshness comes in the form of dice and, boy howdy, are there are ton of them.  130 of them, to be exact, are contained within the stylish tin box the base game comes in.  Much like Dominion or Ascension, a set of cards is laid out in the center of the table.  What differs here is that players will not purchase the cards, but dice that are sitting next to them.  All a player’s dice are kept in one of the four silk dice bags that come with the game and used (depending on which one of the six sides/abilities was rolled) to either purchase more dice, reroll dice, or attack opponent’s creatures.  A beautifully designed, highly replayable game, Quarriors! is the love child of Dominion, Magic the Gathering, and Zombie Dice.  Also, for those who love free stuff, Pulp has a limited number of promo card sets that you get when you purchase a copy of the game.

Jul 162011
 

If you were off riding giraffes in Kenya earlier this week (I don’t know what you people do in your free time), then you may have missed the New Game Stuff Special post.  A slew of interesting games were mentioned, so you might want to check this link out.  Sorry, though, it’s not giraffe compatible.

Echo…echo…echo!  There an echo in here?  Why, yes, there is!  Innovation:  Echoes from the Past.  This new expansion to the hit game of last year adds new mechanics, cards, and the ability to bump up the amount of players by one.  Echoes is a traditional expansion, requiring the main game to play, but don’t let that scare you folks because Innovation is a great game.  The game revolves around ten stacks of cards which represent various ages.  Players draw the cards and use them to “construct” drawing abilities.  What Echoes enhances is the types of cards in these piles, how many each pile contains (now based on the amount of players), and, most importantly, the ability hide up to one card for future use.  So, don’t hesitate, innovate!  Word to your mother!

Okay, this next one is a restock from a couple weeks back, but it’s a really fantastic game so it gets a mention.  Ren Faire is the name and brilliant play mechanics is the game.  As Ren Faire is from the same company as Gloom (also great) it uses the creative idea of stacking translucent cards.  To elaborate further, let me fill you in on the story of the game.  Players are out of place patrons of a Renaissance festival who need to throw together a costume to fit in.  Apparently, the way to do this is earning money by performing.  So, the goal of the game is to earn the most money and develop the best costume, stacking transparent clothing cards on top of your character card to slowly build the costume as you go.  Good fun for 2-4.

Sadly, I do not have HBO, but I know the people that do have been screaming from the rooftops about the new Game of Thrones show.  Obviously, this is also based off the famous series of novels from George R. R. Martin as is Fantasy Flight‘s A Game of Thrones living card game.  Like the show and the books, the LCG focuses on story by basing the deck building style of play around chapter “booster packs” that hold around 40 to 60 cards that expand the game.  Players build decks that consist of these cards and play against one to three opponents.  And if any of this is sounding interesting to you, you’ll be glad to hear that Pulp just received (and will continue to receive) a shipment of restock on many of the chapter packs.  Oh, and we also have the base game.

This next game is so incredibly awesome…okay, uh, we just sold out of it while I was typing that.

Well, not really.  But (and I’m sure everyone doesn’t believe me when I say things like this, but it’s true) we have been selling these as if they were snow cones on a 100° day.  Have I built it up enough yet?  One more.  This game plays like a faster, more efficient Fluxx.  And it’s called…wait for it…We Didn’t Playtest This At All.  Yup, that’s the name.  Basically, players receive two cards at the beginning and play them in an attempt to win.  The cards say things like, “Count to 3 then throw rock, paper, or scissors”.  What they also say, but the person who played the card doesn’t tell the others, is that if you throw paper you’re out.  Or something like that.  Super, crazy fun quick card game.  And it has expansions:  We Didn’t Playtest This Either and a smaller pack of cards called a Chaos Pack.  We have all three.  Come get them before they are g…oops, too late.

A slightly longer, but equally funny game from the same company, Asmadi Games, that we also just received a restock on is Whack a Catgirl.  Hopefully, you’ve noticed that these guys know how to title a game.  One, because they’re chuckle-inducing and, two, because they’re on the nose.  So, as you might guess, this game is about throwing crap at catgirls.  Oh, and there’s an expansion to this, too.  It’s called Crazy Characters and contains six character cards to be incorporated into the game.  See what I mean about the titles?

Jun 182011
 

I know Atlas held the world on his shoulders, but there’s no way he could have lifted all the Atlas Games restock we received this week.

I’m talking games like Pieces of Eight, Gloom (and its expansions), Mad Scientist University (and its expansions), Lunch Money, Beer Money, Once Upon a Time (and its expansions), Let’s Kill! (and its expansions), Recess, Letter Head, Grand Tribunal, and Spammers.  A good portion of these games are card based and pocket-sized, much like a number of popular Z-Man games.

To hand choose a couple of the finest options, here’s a brief rundown on Letter Head, Recess, Let’s Kill!, and Once Upon a Time.

Letter Head is a blend of word and bluffing games.  A good fit for anyone who’s played and loved Quiddler, players gain cards that contain letters and point values as they attempt to create words.  The difference here is that you can barter and lie to your opponents to gain cards you don’t have.  But it doesn’t stop there, Letter Head also contains rules for 14other letter-based gaming scenarios.  Good bang for your

buck.

Recess transports you back to the school playground as players race their boy and girl tokens across the playground attempting to have them meet (and kiss *Gross*) within a time limit.  If you land on a space with another player’s token, though, some bullying ensues with only the winner walking away with lunch money.  And beware the nuns roaming around the playground who will whip your butt into detention so fast you won’t even see theruler coming at you.  A perfect kids/family game.

This next one is a rosy little ball of sunshine called, Let’s Kill!.  Man, with games like this and Gloom (equally dark, equally hilarious) Atlas might not be a gaming company you want to run into in a dark alley.  Anyway, the title pretty much says it all as the game revolves around players drawing victim cards from one deck and weapons from another in an attempt to murder as many people as you can in the most gruesome ways possible.  And if that isn’t enough bloody mayhem for you, there’s always the Crime

Scene Instigation and A Pretty Corpse expansion decks to add more victims, weapons, and other interesting cards to the mix.

Once upon a time there was a great game called Once Upon a Time.  I know, cheap.  Sue me.  Once Upon a Time uses elements of storytelling and roleplaying to create a game where players via for control of a fairy tale-esque by playing cards that shape the direction of the tale.  However, if another player interrupts you, they can gain control of the story’s flow.  Certainly a game where having a sharp imagination comes in handy.  Plus, you can always add the Dark Tales expansion (with a grimmer set of cards with trolls, goblins, and darker elements) or get really creative with the Create-Your-Own Storytelling Cards (blank cards that allow you to draw in the story elements).

As a period to this tale of Atlas, you should also know that we received the entire line-up of Dungeoneer card games.

Going boldly where no Heroclix game has ever gone before is the new Star Trek Expeditions cooperative boardgame.  Updated with the likenesses of the most recent J.J. Abrams film, the storyline of this game has players juggling three objectives, working together to solve all of them in a thirty day (one day=one turn) time limit.  Classic Heroclix-style dials are utilized, but in a different fashion that before; characters’ dials rotate, not from damage but, from choices and successes they make.  As far as using the license to its fullest, most enjoyable extent, this game knocks it out of the park.  Come play test it on any of our Sunday game nights, if you feel inclined.

Camelot Legends helps you get your knight on!  Players build up their own round tables in an effort to complete tasks and missions in the lands of Camelot, Cornwall, and the Perilous Forest.  The game contains 100 different cards, giving players a ton of options from which to build their cavalry

of knights.  Whichever team of knights completes the most tasks by the end of the game wins.

Another expansion in the ever expanding Warhammer Invasion card game, Legends, introduces new legend card types to be used with each race.  What are legend cards, though?  Representing one of the more powerful characters in your army, these cards can be placed in the center of your play field, allowing for cards in all your other three zones to utilize their powers.  Basically, Legends adds another layer of play in the already diverse two-player battleground that is Warhammer Invasion.

Last, but most creative, is the card expansion for Dixit.  Called Dixit 2 (okay, that’s not too creative), this hefty little expansion box adds eighty four new, full art cards to the existing game.  If you haven’t played Dixit, shame.  But, past the reprimanding, here’s how it works:  much like a Pictionary version of Apples to Apples, Dixit has players laying down cards decorated with gorgeous artwork in the center of the table and having one player guess who laid down what based on a prompt.  If nothing else (and there’s plenty else), the game is beautiful!