Oct 012011
 

Show of hands, who wants to be a zombie?  Okay, there’s one…uh, two…all right, just two.  What if I stipulated that you’re not becoming a zombie in real life, just a card game?  And there go the hands.

Yes, the Resident Evil Deck Building Game now comes with more zombifying power thanks to the new Outbreak expansion.  Unlike the last expansion, Alliance, Outbreak follows in Dominion‘s footsteps again by making this expansion a traditional one, i.e. you will need one of the base sets to use it.  As usual, this edition includes a cadre of new zombie fighters, including Kevin Ryman and Mark Wilkins, as well as new weapons, like the stun rod and samurai edge.  Primarily, though, what Outbreak adds is a new Infection play mode.  Basic rules apply, but above the mansion deck sits an infection deck that everyone plays out of in an effort to control their infection level.  If any player rises to 10 infection cards, they become an undead zombie and can attack other players.

How many hands now?

With deck building fresh in the brain pan, how about we look at a the release of the revised version of Arcana.  From Fantasy Flight, Arcana is a card based game where players manage and utilize guilds of thieves to gain control of the city of Cadwallon.  If you’ve played City of Thieves, this might sound like a similar premise and that’s because the two games are similar in many characters and options, but different in mechanics.  One thing that is different here is that the playable guilds are trying to rest power from the citizens of Cadwallon, not treasure.  Everyone vies for stake cards by scraping up and using, resourcefully, location cards, relic cards, and others.  If you’ve played the original version of the game and are curious what this one adds and updates, basically, the cards and materials are all redesigned along with a ton of rules alterations and added play modes.

Never before have I thought that I would receive the opportunity to type in vampire pirate speak.  Thankfully, Games Workshop has given me the chance with its publication of Dreadfleet.  Arrhhggg, matey, I want to suck ye blood.  That just feels right, doesn’t it?  The reason that I’m able to enact one of my dreams by typing that is because Dreadfleet is all about vampire pirates.  Two players command opposing fleets of ships facing off over a five foot by three and a half foot board, strategically maneuvering their vessels against each other.  Each ship has a coordinating card with all its stats and as well as an extremely detailed model to go along with it.  The game also comes with a number of obstacles models to place on the board.  If Dreadfleet turns out anything like the last stand-alone boardgame Games Workshop released, Space Hulk, it will disappear from shelves overnight and increase in value at the drop of a hat.

Can you guess this game’s title with this one clue:  the state I, generally, live my life in?  If you guessed Confusion, you would be correct.  Actually, the real title is Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War, but, come on, who would ever guess that?  Unlike your common Cold War game (is there really such a thing?) Confusion begins with both players having no idea how their pieces move.  Over the course of the game, through trial and error, they attempt to learn each piece’s abilities.  Concurrently, they are also attempting to acquire a special token in the center of the board and escape with it across your opponent’s border.  A classic game reprinted, Confusion is a blend of chess, Clue, and Code 777.

Last time I checked, this is America.  And in America we like our bowls super, our macs big, and our dice jumbo.  To that effect, Steve Jackson has released a line of Jumbo D6s for Munchkin.  Coming in a variety of colors (orange, red, green, blue, yellow, and purple), each package includes a Munchkin D6 and a Monster D6, both with different artwork next to each number.  America also likes to get stuff for buying other stuff.  That is why all of these dice come with two unique treasure cards, one for Munchkin and one for Munchkin Quest.  Now that’s ‘Merica for you!    

This town ain’t big enough for the both of us, pardner.  That one sentence perfectly describes the game Deadwood.  Welp, guess that does it for me, folks.  Okay, a little bit more.  Deadwood embodies that age-old adage by having players compete over various buildings that comprise the titled town.  Each player receives a group of three types of cowboys to do this with, each with their own powers.  Along with that, each building enacts certain game changing abilities, some times when they are initially played and, other times, after they have sat on the board awhile.  Get your Al Swearengen on and pick up Deadwood.

Let’s lower the temperature a bit so that Ice Dice from Looney Labs feels comfortable.  But wait, simply by bringing it into the conversation brings up the temperature in the room.  That’s ’cause it’s sexy.  The reason for that bold statement is that this is an easily portable, easily learned, easily played game using the same translucent pyramid pieces that Looney Labs used for Treetop.  Gamers roll a die to see which size and color pyramid they nab from the center bank in an effort to score three matching sets.  If that exact pyramid is gone, steal it from an opponent.  More sexiness?  How about the ability to play another, completely different game called Launchpad 23?  Did it!

May 132011
 

Welcome to Pulp’s plush corner.

Doesn’t that just sound wrong, in some way?  Whether it does or not, it’s still true.

Marvel unleashes their secret box of cute with four new superhero plush figures.  Can you guess what four heroes they’ve chosen?  Seriously, shout at the computer.

That’s just silly, don’t do that.  Okay, it’s Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor.  Hmm, coincidence that they all have movies coming out soon?  Not as coincidental, they are all super cuddly.

And if you’re sitting there, thinking to yourself, “Man, I wish my plush Marvel figures had some bad guy to fight”.  Well, think no more!  Actually, that’s probably not a good idea, keep thinking.  In fact, start thinking about this new uber darling, My First Cthulhu.  Look how pudgy his belly is!  An elder god has never looked so huggable.

Do you like zombies?  Do you like cowboys?  Do you like zombie cowboys?  Of course you do.  This week welcomes Zeke Deadwood, Zombie Lawman to the shelves; the primary zombie cowboy.  What do creators Thomas Boatwright and Ryan Rubio do with how undead hero?  It’s the classic western tale:  bad hombres are roughing up a town until Zeke rides into town, ready to lay down the law.  This one shot looks like it could have a twisted, humorous sensibility like Rango or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.

Okay, pay attention, ’cause this is important.  An omnibus version of Geoff Johns a chunk of his run on The Flash his arriving this week and you all need to buy it.  Why?  Because you might be out there doubting that the Flash can be an interesting character and this collection of Johns’ first twelve issues, the one-shots Iron Heights and Our Worlds at War, as well as Secret Files #3.  In these issues (and the ones that follow) Johns was able to infuse Wally West, the then Flash, with a well-rounded emotional core.  In short, he made you care about him.  He always went a step further and fleshed out the backstories on all of the Flash‘s rogues, making each of them way more compelling than they had ever been before.  And when you’ve got guys like Captain Cold and Weather Wizard, that can be a steep mountain to climb.  Fluid, detailed art by the likes of Scott Kolins and Ethan Van Sciver adds to the total package here.  Seriously, this is good comics.  Check it out.

If you think fezs, bowties, and stetsons are cool, then here’s something else you’re going to think is cool:  the 11th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver.  Want to know why you’ll think it’s cool?  Not only is this an exact, collectible replica of the Doctor’s famous deus ex machina tool (complete with green lights and “vir” sound effects), but it’s actually a screwdriver.  Yes, it comes with three tips for various size screws that can be fitted to the bottom of the screwdriver.  Usually, it’d be cool enough just to whip the thing around pretending to open doors and whatnot, but now you can actually screw something together!