Aug 172012
 

Scholars have studied the necronomicon for years, scouring its contents for the deepest, darkest secrets of the Eldar Gods. They then went insane. Then they created Cthulhu Fluxx. After years of happy, bright versions of the game, Looney Labs has delved into the horror of Lovecraft for this inevitable version of the game. Like each of the other Fluxx versions, the rules alter as you play, with the the draw a card, play a card instruction as the base. And if you act before the Eldar ones devour them, Pulp has a special promo card for anyone who purchases a copy.

I hope everyone out there is a jazz fan, because the other promo card Pulp received this week comes with the new 7 Wonders Cities expansion and that is the Louis Armstrong card. Oh, and there’s also 7 Wonders Cities. This new expansion for the massively popular drafting game adds a team mechanic that pushes the maximum number of players to eight. The titled city cards are another addition which offer a plethora of effects and advantages for single or team play. And, as I mentioned at the start, anyone who purchases a copy will receive the Louis Armstrong promo.

Queen Games continues its sequence of games based in various countries and time periods (including Samarkand, Fresco, Edo, and Kairo) with Maharani: Mosaic Palace. As with other Queen Games, Maharani incorporates intelligent game mechanics with beautiful design and inventive board construction. With this game, players are constructing the Taj Mahal tile by tile. In the middle of the board sits a Lazy Susan-esque device which rotates four tiles around the board for players to choose from. But pick and place carefully, because each piece must line up with the perimeter and pillars of the temple. If you’ve been looking for a solid family game with a medium amount of complexity, try Maharani. Or come up to board game night on Sunday or Thursday (both starting at 6pm) and try out our demo copy.

Jun 082012
 

We’ve practically had to fight off the descending hoards of rabid Quarriors fans this week in anticipation the new expansion.

Well, we’re still alive and Quarmageddon is here. This new add-on expansion for the base game offers not only 40 original dice which power 6 new creatures, a new immunity ability, and 2 new spells, but an entirely new set of rules to be applied to the game. And if Quarriors is an insane made up word to you, because, one, it is, and, two, you’ve never played the game, it’s deck building with dice combined with a fair amount of snark.

Bandai takes the skills it acquired developing their hit Resident Evil Deck Building Game and apply them to another popular gaming franchise, Uncharted. In the Uncharted card/board game players take on the role of characters from throughout the three existing Uncharted games. While collecting and battling against various action, treasure, and enemy cards, players acquire victory points, eventually leading to a winner. Borrowing elements from the Resident Evil games, Uncharted spins them in a fresh way, recreating the feel of the video games.

It’s that time again, the time when Dungeons & Dragons adds a new edition to their vast mansion of tiled dungeons. This time around Wizards presents them in a stunning Urban Underdark hue, coming with six sheets of flooring material for to add a layer of cozy, dank creepiness to your next campaign.

What game through yonder RPG breaks? Or something like that.

The works of The Bard (that’s Shakespeare to you uncouth individuals) have been applied to a witty, brilliant new Indy storytelling game called The Play’s the Thing. Similar to Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple and Fiasco, The Play’s the Thing revolves around a playwright/actor structure where one gamer takes on the role of the playwright, assigning roles and constructing the story. Each actor (Hams, Leads, Villains, and Ingenues) suggest and act out alterations to the story as they play through, often altering classic tales for the wackier.

Queen Games keeps their streak of inventive strategy games going with Edo. Set in the Japan landscape of 1603 to 1868. Each player takes on the role of a Daimyo, building houses and castles, trading goods, and increasing their reputation to the Shogun. Beautifully laid out and designed, Edo should find a good home next to your copies of Samarkand and Fresco.

Bad guys have all the fun. Luckily, you can get in on all the Hobbit murdering shenanigans of Sauron’s Nazgul in the new Lord of the Rings: Nazgul Heroclix game. Taking on the role of the hooded riders, players build allegiances, strategize, and, ultimately, keep the One Ring from falling into the pits of Mount Doom. And, if you own the previously released LotR Heroclix, you can incorporate them into the game.

May 182012
 

Hive Pocket, it’s just like having a pocket full of bugs!

…actually, no, that’s a horrible comparison, it’s not like that at all. No, instead it’s like having an extremely addictive game at the ready to play any time you wish. And why is Hive such a great game? It’s easy to learn. It’s challenging. Both expansions for the game are included. And you can play it anywhere! A fresh take on the chess format, Hive Pocket has become a classic game in a short number of years.

A grand framework for classic roleplaying action, the Adventurer Conqueror King System hardcover will transport you back to the original days of dungeon crawling. No matter what you want to do, the ACKS has the tools to build it. With 12 classes, a unique proficiency system, tons of monster options, and much more, ACKS makes for the ultimate sandbox RPG system.

With the Bounty Head Bebop RPG (think Mike Miegel instead of Spike Spiegel) you take on the role of a jazzy, planet-jumping head hunter. Similar to some popular, ehhm, popular anime show people know about, Bounty Head Bebop comes equipped with all the essential details anyone will need to play. That’s ships, baddies, guns, missions, and a quick-to-learn rule system. And speaking of systems, this one runs of an inverted D20 structure where players use a D20 for everyone roll. So, call Fey…umm, I mean, May up, turn on some smooth tunes, and rocket out of the cosmos.

The market is fierce in Kairo!

Players battle to tempt prospective customers to their booth in order to sell their wares. Each player control different stalls, using cards to move customers around the board, trying to bring them by their storefront. Coming from Queen Games, makers of Alhambra, Kingdom Builder (which may come up again in a little bit), and, the entirely too underrated game, Samarkand, Kairo is guaranteed to learn quickly, play competitively, and impress the whole family.

As I hinted, tonight’s last new game is the first Kingdom Builder expansion, Nomads! And this thing is chock-full of game-altering goodness. First off, it adds enough settlements to bump the game up to five players! Along with that, though, the nomads are introduced, who replace the castle spaces from the original game. New terrain types and cards which allow gold acquistion during the game are also included. If you’ve had a chance to play Kingdom Builder, you’re well aware of it’s massive addictiveness and overall enjoyment factor, so why not add onto the fun?

Dec 162011
 

If you find yourself needing to sprinkle a little Munchkin cheer into the stocking of your special someone, then the new Fairy Dust Dice are your best option. Other than its general glitteriness, this special dice set is sprinkle-worthy for the four exclusive promo cards it contains alongside its two D6′s. And like most other Munchkin expansion stuff, you can combine these cards with the base set, the previous Fairy Deck, or any other Munchkin game you are so inclined to play with. Now that’s some holiday cheer!

If that sounds a bit too effeminate for your grizzled uncle (or aunt; no judgement here), then maybe the new Memoir ’44 Campaign Book Volume 2 will light all the right fires. Picking up where the previous volume left off, volume 2 continues to create scenarios (forty six, in fact) that build off of each other, effecting the game during your next play. Along with the new scenarios the collection also includes 50 punchboard tokens, advanced campaign rules, and new special events that contain information for battles across the Pacific all the way to the frontlines of Germany. So, if you’ve got that wargame loving relative in your clan, put a big smile on their face this season with a new Campaign Book.

Still not dark and grizzled enough for you? Okay, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to pull out the big guns.

That’s right, the new Mansions of Madness: Forbidden Alchemy expansion. Adding on to the Lovecraftian exploration game that’s half-RPG, half-board game, Forbidden Alchemy expands on the dark twisted adventure with loads of new gruesome swag. Included within that heading are not just cards and tokens and things, but all new monster and investigator miniatures. As with the base game, they are beautifully detailed. But don’t let them take away from the over 150 new cards and tokens. That’s new mythos, trauma, and combat cards, folks, along with map tiles, horror tokens, and puzzle pieces. If you’ve survived the slithery, slimy things of the first Mansions of Madness and are ready for round two, Forbidden Alchemy shouldn’t stay forbidden for long.

More of a restock than a new item, but, by golly, it just needs mentioning. From the creator of Dominion (if you don’t know what that is, for shame!), Kingdom Builder brings a similar satisfaction as games like Carcassonne, Samarkand, and Small World, in that it’s a middle skill level game that the whole family can learn and master. Players compete against each other through the strategic building of settlements across a large, hex-filled board. Building adjacent to certain locations (i.e. lakes) gains a player more points. But the rub comes in that building is controlled by sets of cards that players hold in their hands and place on their turn. Each game is different, though, as players select random board pieces and cards at the start of a session. If you’ve played Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne to the breaking point, give Kingdom Builder a try.

Mar 052011
 

GOJIRA! RUN, RUN!  Wait.  ALIENS!  RUN, RUN!

If you find yourself in a similar situation of being caught between a giant dinosaur and a hard space ship, you might be playing Ticket to Ride with the new Alvin & Dexter Expansion.  Being an alien and a dinosaur, respectively, what these two fellas add to the game are chances to mess with your opponents.  They are playable with any version of Ticket to Ride, also.  But what do they actually do?  Well, at the start of the game the last two players to go randomly place them on cities.  Whatever cities these monsters are destroying are not available to be built through; makes for a good way to block opposing players.  If you love the Ticket to Ride series, like we do, I’m sure, also like us, you’d think it rocks to have giant monsters stomping all over the board.

Last week we scoped out the zombie restaurant business by looking at Give Me the Brain.  This week, and another restock, brings us Lord of the Fries, Steve Jackson’s companion game to Give Me the Brain.  Same theme, different rules, though.  This time around,  players are zombie chefs attempting to complete disgusting cuisine at various undead eating establishments.  Attempting to beat the clock, players hustle to assemble items listed on menus with ingredients like “cow meat”, “sauce” and “drink”.  Think Wasabi with zombies.

London is calling.  Calling you to play London.  Yes, the game is called London (not the most original name, but apt) and it follows that particular city through an extended period of time as it recovers from the Great Fire of 1666.  Basically a resource game, London involves players balancing and controlling workers, money, businesses, and building materials as you work to restore the city.  But not only are you handling resources, you also have to balance workers and the poor to help assist the city in the rebuilding process.

Arriving from “ole reliable” Z-Man games is Hansa Teutonica.  A solid bidding/bartering/trading game, Hansa has gamers taking on the role of merchants in medieval Germany working to build prominence by improving their trading skills.  With improved skills come more actions, higher income, new privileges, and improved prestige which, in turn, improves your chances of besting the other players.  If you’re into games like Samarkand and Chinatown, this should tickle your fancy.

Battlore adds a new expansion this week with Code of Chivalry.  It’s raining humans with this set, as it combines all the previously released human units with foot and mounted versions of Knight Long Swordsmen.  Many and varied cards are also included, including the inclusion of summary, specialist, and deployment cards.  Four new adventures are also jammed into this box of glorious-ness.

Put your fedora on, ladies and gents, Cargo Noir has slinked into the room.  Created by the same dapper fella who laid some scribbles down on Mare Nostrum and Mystery Express, Cargo Noir hunkered down in the dark, smoke-filled corner of trading games.  Anywheres between two and five wiseguys can swindle and swap in ports of call from Rotterdam to Bombay, dealing in contraband and other hush-hush products.  Once you’ve sided with a family, players race against their opponents for a prime spot at various ports from around the globe and then commence bidding for the goods they desire.

Le Havre is a involved game.  If you’ve played Agricola (made by the same folks) you know how strategic and diverse the game play can be.  Le Havre, the town, only contains a finite amount of buildings and ships, so players race to control, alter, and purchase resources in the hopes of completing these buildings and ships.  Buildings, once finished, can be entered by any player (though non-owners must pay to do so) and the kilns, furnaces, and other equipment inside can be used to alter resources.  And so it goes, in the city of Le Havre.  Or is it?  Pick up the Le Grand Hameau booster pack we have in stock and you add 30 new buildings to the game.

The commies are no longer coming, they’ve arrived.  Tide of Iron: Fury of the Bear is an expansion to the base Tide of Iron boardgame, but what an expansion it is.  This hefty box (could be a dumbbell for how weighty it is) contains, deep breath, 90 plastic figures, armor, AT-guns, eight scenarios (including winter and summer), 55 new cards (including new sabotage cards), and new munitions specializations for vehicles.  Whew.

Weird coincidence on this next one, I just watched the original Dracula for the first time this week.  Crickets?  Okay, that was pointless.  Anyway, Van Helsing is a new co-op game where players team up to battle the Count in his own castle.  Each player controls a specific character, similar to Last Night on Earth.  Sounds like Fury of Dracula on a smaller scale.  Equipment and armor is hidden around the building, though, so grab it when you can because Dracula can show up out of nowhere.

Trollhalla, another dandy from Z-man, is the first true kid’s game we’ve had on here in a bit.  Colorful cartoony artwork adorns a game board displaying, wait for it, Trollhalla.  Each player (2-4) carefully chooses where to place their trolls, in boats or in the sea.  The sea trolls tell the boat trolls which islands to go to and pass out action cards while the boat trolls go to the islands an pillage their massive hearts out.  Simple, lively fun for families and friends.

You’ve wanted to be a superhero before, right?  Come on, admit it.  Well, you have two options.  Make a costume out of a bathrobe and patrol the city in your Ford Focus or purchase Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition.  In this beautiful book you will find all the stats, skills, powers, setting, and adventures that you need to run a D20 based game.  And thanks to the new upgrade, new players can learn faster than ever before.  Seriously, the bathrobe thing will turn out badly.  Go with the book.

Thunderstone:  Dragonspire lands with a powerful smash this weekend.  Within its fortified box sides are 500 new cards, new settings, new rules, and a whole new game to be played.  Yes, you can use this expansion for stand alone play or combine it with any of the previous Thunderstone releases.  Now is the time to crawl in the dungeon.

Right now, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “how long have I been reading this thing?  When will it end?”.  Well…NOW!

mansions of madness

Sort of.  Mansions of Madness is finally out this week and we have got to talk about it.  We’ve run demos of the game here at Pulp two Sundays in a row (Sunday game night, folks.  It’s the place to be) and players have walked away satisfied.  Combining elements of roleplaying, boardgaming, and Lovercraftian horror, Mansions delivers an experience similar to Arkham Horror or Betrayal at House on the Hill.  Players band together to explore the mansion in one of the pre-designed story settings.  Monsters and items involved are dependent on which story is chosen, so replay value is high.  To complete the adventure, players are tasked to battle creatures, solve puzzles, and locate items while rolling dice and keeping their health and sanity in check.  As the game is released from Fantasy Flight, the miniatures contained within (24 of’em) are highly detailed just as the board is beautifully designed.