Time for another random Gen Con preview. This is my attempt to cover games that will be at the show without having to do the work of sifting through the entire BGG preview list (which at selection time had 317 items) by randomly picking some stuff to talk about. As always, I’ve left out expansions and games that aren’t actually for sale. Here we go!
The Rise of Queensdale (Inka Brand/Markus Brand, alea) is a title I didn’t think I’d see coming from the same company that gave us Puerto Rico and a whole bunch of other classic Euros – a legacy game. I don’t really want to look to deeply into the mechanisms – part of the fun of legacy games is that surprise. Basically, the king wants a city worthy of his queen, and so you’re building it. I’m interested to see how this game approaches the legacy concept from a Euro perspective (and hearing how it compares to Charterstone), and I’m always interested in seeing what’s coming out from the Brands.
Fortune City (Chih-Fan Chen, Big Fun Games) is a Taiwanese game based on the smartphone app of the same name. I had never heard of this app, and what it does is have you record your real life spending, and turn that into a city. It’s basically using a game to encourage people to track their finances. Seems like a good idea, though I wouldn’t want to give them too much information. There’s not a lot of information about the board game, except that you’re buying stuff, developing your city, and earning more money to buy more stuff. Not one I’m particularly interested in.
The Island of Doctor Lucky (James Ernest, Cheapass Games) is a new version of the popular 1996 game Kill Doctor Lucky. This version apparently takes you out of the Clue mansion and deposits you on a tropical island. The smug Doctor Lucky is wandering around to different places, and you’re trying to kill him without anyone else seeing you. Here, you can also use hazards to get him, and even throw them at your opponents. I enjoyed Kill Doctor Lucky as the anti-Clue, so I don’t know had I’d feel about moving it to an island. We’ll have to see how this one does.
Black Hole Council (Don Eskridge, Orange Machine Games) is a game from the designer of The Resistance that is also a deduction game. In this one, everyone is trying to decide the fates of 32 different planets. Each player has their own shady agenda, and players are deciding whether to mine, settle, tax, conquer, or black hole the different planets. You’re also trying to figure out other player’s agendas. I’ve cooled on social deduction games over the years, but this one seems like it’s taking the genre in a slightly different direction. I’d give it a try.
Fleecing Olympus (Eric Hyland/Cecilia Hyland, Passport Game Studios) is a game about trying to win control of Olympus. In this version of the mythology, Zeus won Olympus from Hades in a dice game, and now Hades is trying to get it back. But so are all the other deities. I don’t have a lot of information, but according to BGG, you’re rolling dice, using card abilities, and leveraging your deity’s powers to try to come out with the most gems. I don’t know, without any further information, this is not one I think I’d be champing at the bit to try.
Gamer Over! (Stephan Kessler, Pegasus Spiele) is a game set at Spiel in Essen. A famous video blogger is dead, and you have to figure out whodunnit. It’s a murder mystery, and consequently they’re not revealing anything specific about it ahead of time. From the publisher’s interview at Nürmberg, it sounds like the game might be set AT Gen Con for the English release, but who knows. The game might be most similar to an escape room game in terms of deployability, but I have no idea for now. I am interested, however.
Gearworks (Kirk Dennison, PieceKeeper Games) is a steampunk-themed game where players are trying to complete different contraptions. Players are putting gears out into a grid, making sure to have every card as a different color in a column and every card in either ascending or descending order in the row. You’ll also be gaining sparks that can be used to replace a gear card, re-enter the game after passing, draw a gear card, or draw a contraption card. At the end of each round, the player who controls each column and row gets a part, which are used to build contraptions. After the third round, the high score wins. This seems like a very interesting puzzle-type game with area control elements. I think I’d want to seek this out.
Sabordage (Roméo Hennion, Renegade Game Studios) came out in French only in 2016, but is now getting an English edition. It’s a race to get to Blackbeard’s treasure before anyone else does (since he told everyone from his deathbed). It’s a drafting game where you’re adding tiles to your ship. After three building phases, cannons will fire, removing tiles from the ships. After three rounds, the player with the longest ship wins. This game has drafting and programming elements, both of which appeal to me. Plus, it looks like chaotic fun, so this is definitely one I’d go check out.
The Stonebound Saga (Eric Bitterman, Sky Kingdom Games) is a fantasy game where players are training against each other before fighting a force of darkness known as the Tenebris. Players are on a team of three Stonebound, which are apparently characters who have responded to some kind of speaking stone. These are preconstructed or drafted. The game is skirmish style, and I’m not that interested in delving deeper. Nothing has really appealed to me about it yet, though the art looks really nice.
My Little Scythe (Hoby Chou/Vienna Chou, Stonemaier Games) sounds like a joke. It is not. It started life as a fanmade print-and-play game based on the very popular 2016 game Scythe. Stonemaier liked it and picked it up for distribution. The mechanics are based on Scythe, but it’s not the same game. At least, I don’t think so – I haven’t played Scythe myself. The object is to get trophies, and there are a number of ways to do this – completing quests, getting enough pies, etc. It seems like a pretty cute game that’s getting some very good buzz. I’d check it out.
Deadpool vs. The World (Casey Sershon, USAopoly) is a “mature” party game based on the popular Deadpool franchise (though whenever you see the word “mature”, you know it will be anything but). The premise is simple – Deadpool is in a situation, you caption it, the best description wins. I have zero interest in this game.
And on that bummer of a note, this random preview is finished. Thanks for reading!