Now that it’s 2018, it’s time to look towards the future. And we’ll start this look towards the future by looking back to the past. In last year’s anticipation post, I highlighted eight games I was looking forward to that were coming out – Charterstone, Dice Forge, Flatline, Fugitive, Keyper, Near and Far, Sagrada, and Yamataï. They all came out and got pretty good reviews, but I unfortunately was not able to play any of them. I have played Sagrada (Gen Con 2016), but in its pre-published form.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the stuff coming down the pipe in 2018 that I might want to check out if the opportunity presents itself.
Brass was originally published in 2007 by Warfrog Games and designer Martin Wallace. It’s been pretty highly regarded, sitting currently at number 30 on the BGG rankings. Last year, Roxley Kickstarted a new version of the game with updated art and a new title – Brass: Lancashire. Why the addition of Lancashire? Because they’re also publishing a sequel called Brass: Birmingham. Both games look incredibly gorgeous, and are scheduled to be released later this month. I have never played Brass, mostly because I’ve never had the opportunity. Now that these editions are coming out, maybe I’ll get that chance.
Century: Eastern Wonders is the second game in the Century trilogy from designer Emerson Matsuuchi and published by Plan B Games (following Century: Spice Road from last year). In this one, players are taking spice trading to the seas. Rather than having a card market, the market is a series of islands on tiles. You’re moving your boat between them, so it doesn’t have the deck-building element of the original. But there’s still trading and upgrading going on, and discarding goods for VP cards. It can apparently be combined with Spice Road to make a new game called From Sand to Sea, which makes sense because they (and the unknown third game) were all initially part of the same design. I enjoyed Spice Road, so I’m eager to know where the series is going from there. This one should be coming out in June.
Edge of Darkness is the third card-crafting game from designer John D. Clair and publisher AEG, following Mystic Vale and Custom Heroes. If you don’t know card-crafting, it’s similar to deck-building but instead of just getting new cards, you’re customizing cards by sliding transparent cards into sleeves. This game features card-crafting, as well as worker placement, group deck-building, and a variable set of locations. I liked to card-crafting concept behind Mystic Vale, if not the game itself – my demo felt kind of redundant and not terribly engaging – so I’m interested to hear about this one. Especially interesting to me is that AEG will be sending it to Kickstarter, not a normal avenue for them.
Endeavor: Age of Sail is a second edition of the 2009 game Endeavor by Carl de Visser and Jarratt Gray. Endeavor was originally published by Z-Man Games, but the reprint is coming from Burnt Island Games and Grand Gamers Guild. You’re establishing shipping routes, constructing buildings, and increasing culture, finance, and industry. The new edition has made the game playable with two players, added new buildings, and has a new Exploits component that adds some historical connections between regions. Endeavor was a good game that needed a reprint, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they did with it.
Founders of Gloomhaven is nothing like its namesake (the new #1 game on BGG), but it’s the next game from designer Isaac Childres and publisher Cephalofair, so it’s bound to get some attention. It’s a city-building game with worker placement, route building, action selection, and tile placement. You’ll be combining resources and working with other players to build the city of Gloomhaven, but it’s a competitive game. All the buzz I’ve been hearing is quite positive. The game was originally supposed to come out this month, but it’s just been sent to the printers, so expect it later this year.
Now Boarding is the latest game from designer Tim Fowers and his company Fowers Games. As with Wok Star, Fowers’ first game, this is a real-time cooperative game. The real-time elements are broken up into short segments where you’re flying your planes around to pick up passengers and drop them off, but a plan can be made before these segments to try to figure out what you’re doing. It looks quite challenging, and quite fun. I’m a Fowers fan, so I’m definitely looking forward to this one. It should be out in the next few months.
The Rise of Queensdale is not the type of game I’d expect from alea. Designers Inka and Markus Brand, however, have a tendency to really take a genre and make it their own (as with escape room games in the Exit series and worker placement games in Village). That genre in this case is the legacy game. There’s not really much information about the game right now, other than it features dice management. But Brands + alea + legacy, and color me intrigued. It should be out in Germany in March, and at Gen Con for the US release.
SteamRollers is a roll-and-write game from designer Mark Gerrits (designer of Mini Rails) and coming out in a new edition from Flatlined Games (the original came out in 2015). This one is about trains (clearly). You’re rolling dice and drafting them to try to build networks connecting different cities, deliver cubes, upgrade your engine, or even take powerful cards. I’ve been enjoying roll-and-writes lately, but I’m interested in this primarily because Mini Rails looked so good. It’s supposed to be delivered to Kickstarter backers in May, but it’s got a one-year Kickstarter exclusive to it, meaning it won’t be available anywhere except through Flatlined or retailers who backed the campaign.
Stuffed Fables is a new game from Plaid Hat Games and Jerry Hawthorne, the team behind 2012’s Mice and Mystics. This one is a completely new game in a completely new universe. The premise is that a child’s toys are fighting to stop an evil mastermind from getting his clutches on the kid. It is an AdventureBook game, which means you are playing through a book with the action taking place right on the pages. It’s a cool concept, and the fact that it comes from the Mice and Mystics team means that I’m very interested. It should be out this month.
I also wanted to take a moment here to look forward on the direction of this blog. I’m in my eighth year right now, and I’m feeling the pull to evolve a little bit. For example, the Eleven. I started that series five years ago as a way to make some lists and have a little bit of fun. I’m feeling the weight of it lately in that I’m frankly running out of ideas. Those posts seem to be among my most popular, so I don’t want to get rid of them entirely. I just think I might want to go in a new direction with them, and this year will see a bit of a change in the format. You’ll see next week.
I like doing my Kickstarter Blitzes, but I’m staggering under the weight of them a bit. There’s just a bunch of projects every month, and even though I do cull down to ones that really pique my interest, it’s still a lot of work. So what I’m going to start doing is pick up to five that I want to talk about, then just mention others. We’ll see how that goes.
I really want to start doing some more videos. I’ve done a few during my tenure here, but I want to do more. The videos may or may not be related to anything on the blog, but I feel like I want to expand in that direction a bit. I’ve got a few ideas of videos I want to do, so look for those to hopefully start rolling out soon.
Apart from that, I’m planning to continue doing reviews and game previews, as well as my random convention previews. Here’s to another great year, and as always, thanks for reading!