Mar 082013
 

Buckle in, folks, because after a week off because of snow trouble, New Game Stuff is back!  And tonight there is a long, long list of newness to discuss, so it’s just the facts.

FoxMind games delivers one of the most inventive train games in a long while with String Railway.  Using bendable pieces of plastic rope, players both build the board and connect train depots.  Two to five players take turns drawing depot tokens, placing them, and attempting to link them with the pieces of string at their disposal.  Easy to learn and very tactile, String Railway is perfect for families or friends.

A tile laying game of the most serene nature, Zen Garden will put your soul at ease.

Mayfair Games, makers of fine family games, adds some enticing dimensions to the standard tile laying scenario.  Up to four players compete against each other by constructing their zen gardens using tiles of trees, mountains, and streams.  Each player, however, has a special pattern they must try and complete by moving their tiles around the board with special lantern tokens.  The game also comes with various levels of play to increase the difficult the more you play.

The front says Gentlemen Thieves, but the back says Arsene Lupin.  And, no, that is not an indication that this game has anything to do with mullets.  Borrowing the world’s most famous thief, Lupin, Gentlemen Thieves has players taking on the role of a thief and joining forces with other thieves (as long as it serves them) to heist valuable items (represented by tokens) from famous locations across Paris.  Just remember to put on your black gloves.

In Ground Floor the building is already built, now you’ve just got to populate it, employee it, advertise your product, cut down on costs, challenge your rivals, and grow your business.  Then, maybe, you get to rest.  Detailed in its level of strategy, Ground Floor involves bartering, resource management, organization, and any number of other mechanics.  If you’re an Agricola or Puerto Rico fan, get in on the Ground Floor.

The game is a foot, Watson!

Lady Alice is a recently released Sherlock Holmes themed board game allowing players to take on the rolls of kids studying under the tutelage of Holmes himself.  During the game players make deductions about evidence, placing their guesses in a folder.  When the round is over, each guess is revealed to either be true or false, with every player marking down the results in order to solve the mystery.  If you picked up the recently released Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, this game is a perfect companion piece.

The reprint steamroller continues to roll from Dungeons & Dragons with the brand new hardcover edition of Dungeons of Dread.  This classic AD&D tome collects the original “S” series of adventure models, three of which were written by Gary Gygax himself.  For those out there who know the history, these are some of the most well known dungeons in D&D history, perfect for players learning the system by playing these reprint copies.  As usual all the original material is reprinted in its original format.

It’s going to be Easter soon and that means bunnies.  And bunnies mean violent murder of bunnies.

Wait, what?!!  Steve Jackson changes the meaning of Easter with the newest Munchkin booster pack, Easter Eggs.  Evil rabbits are running around all over the place and its your duty to smack’em down while wearing a Sundae Dress and Bunny Slippers.  But watch out for Peter Cottonmouth and Little Bunny ‘Thulhu.

There are four doors, but no exits.

That’s the premise of Room-25.  One to six players are locked in rooms, running from room to room, trying to find the one and only door which leads to rumored exit that is Room-25.  In gaming formats ranging from solo to group cooperative, players attempt to coordinate actions in order to find the mythic room and escape.  But beware, because some students may turn out to be undercover guards, ready to stop the players at the most inopportune moment.

Me matey, there be Pirate Dice off the coast of Pulp Fiction Isle!

By rolling and strategically placing customized D6′s, players sail the seven seas, doing battle with their rivals and searching for sunken and lost treasure.  Each die controls attacks and movement as players sail across the provided map.  Control the direction and speed of your ship carefully, though, as you don’t want to overshoot or undershoot that last hooray!

The recently released Archipelago pirate game receives a rare Solo Player Expansion this week.  Unlike any other expansion, this one allows players to convert the game into a one-player mode.  The pack contains 27 scenarios, each with a different time limit and win condition.  You are also allowed to choose whatever character you wish in order to play.

A game of ancient Egypt, Kemet has players competing over a succession of rounds, divided into categories of night and day.  Within the day phase, players enact their magical abilities in order to defeat your opponent, while at night your regroup and build up your mystical energies.  Wizards can even spend special Prayer Points to bring additional creatures into their armies.

Feb 022013
 

Andy Diggle and Jock, the superstar creative team behind Green Arrow Year One and The Losers (which is a thousand times better than the film, by the way), lend their talents to a new creator owned series from Image Comics this Wednesday.  Blending political thrillers, Clerks, and gritty noir storytelling, Snapshot is a four issue miniseries bound to thrill you more than once.  When an lifelong nerd employee of a comic store (this is sounding familiar…) finds a cellphone full of grisly images of someone’s murder, he has no other option than to run as fast and as far as he can.  But it’s never that easy is it?  If you’ve been enjoying the sketchy, moody artwork of Jock in the Batman back-up stories or in Scott Snyder’s previous Detective Comics run, The Black Mirror, then Snapshot is your cup of tea.

Sorcery receives a modern update in Top Cow‘s Son of Merlin miniseries.

Building off of the classic Arthurian figures of myth, Son of Merlin picks up when a respected professor of science finds out he’s actually the descendant of the famous wizard, Merlin.  And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but science and magic don’t exactly see eye-to-eye.  However, before the good doctor can think through his new predicament, he’s being hounded by the immortal Morgan le Fay.  But there’s a whole secret underground society of ancient magic users that might just be willing to come to his aid.  Drawn in the gorgeous, expressive tradition of the famous Top Cow books to come before it like Fathom, Charismagic, and Witchblade, Son of Merlin will cast its spell over you.

I say, my dear Watson, the zombie is a foot!

Though not strictly a Sherlock Holmes versus zombies story, The New Deadwardians is about the closest to it you’ll ever get.  Written by cult favorite author and comic legend Dan Abnett, this post-Victorian England horror/mystery yarn takes places in an alternate reality where, after a zombie infection spread throughout the population, the majority of the remaining English citizens had to submit to becoming vampires in order to fight them off.  Now, it’s the vampires who’ve becoming the upper-class aristocracy while the zombie population are cordoned off on the outskirts of town.  Chief Inspector Suttle, a forever young himself, is tasked with solving a grisly crime, the first in nearly a decade, during a growing zombie uprising.  It’s all elementary from there.

Love is in air for the DC Universe this Wednesday.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early, DC releases its most romantic anthology yet, the Young Romance DC New 52 Special.  Containing six unique stories of famous DC couples like Aquaman and Mera, Midnighter and Apollo, and Catwoman and Batman spending their special day together in the only way superpowered crime fighters can, as well as stories of Wonder Woman, Dick Grayson, and others coming to terms with the relationships they’ve entered into.  Each of the stories is written and drawn by a talented creator, like Andy Diggle, Gene Ha, Ann Nocenti, Kyle Higgins, Becky Cloonan, and Peter Milligan.  And for those old school romantics, the issue comes with usable Valentine’s Day cards.  Oh, amore!