Time for another deep dive into games that are releasing at some nebulous time this summer, rather than at Gen Con (which has its online event running this weekend). As always, entries here are randomly pulled from the summer preview list over at BGG, which at the time of selection was up to 233 titles.
Cloud Control (Eugene Bryant, 25th Century Games) is a party game where you’re building pictures out of clouds. It works like you’d expect it to – you draw a word card, then use the cloud cards to try to represent that word. So it seems to fit in that category of games that includes Pictionary, Barbarossa, and the most recent SdJ winner Pictures. It’s not a genre that appeals to me, but maybe you’d like it.
None of a Kind (Günter Burkhardt, AMIGO) is a game that kind of emulates the Stroop test. There are 80 color cards that are shuffled and spread face down. Each player has a starting card, and when the game starts, you begin flipping cards. You’re looking for a card that doesn’t match the color of the words or the color named by the word itself OR the number of occurrences of that word. You’re basically just trying to build out a line of cards that follow those rules. I’d be interested in checking it out to see how it compares with the Grand Gamers Guild title Stroop.
Back to the Future: Back in Time (Prospero Hall, Funko Games) is a cooperative dice rolling game where you are trying to fix the Delorean in 1955 Hill Valley, as well as beat Biff and unite the future McFlys. Prospero Hall is a design team that has had a lot of success bringing IPs to the market, and they make some generally well received stuff – relatively light usually, but still engaging for gamers and head and shoulders above most licensed mass market stuff. Big recent hits include Jaws, Horrified, and Villainous, so I’m interested in this one.
Alone (Andrea Crespi/Lorenzo Silva, Horrible Guild) is a campaign game where one player is a hero and the others are evil masterminds trying to stop them. The evil players can see everything, whereas the hero can only see where he/she is. The game unfolds over a number of scenarios, and winning makes things easier for you in the next scenario. Seems interesting, though I’m not totally on board with the horror theme.
Aqualin (Marcello Bertocchi, KOSMOS) is a two-player abstract puzzle game with a loose oceanic theme. One player is trying to form schools of the same color, while the other is trying to form schools of the same animal type. This is accomplished by placing animal tiles on the 6×6 grid. Points are assigned based on the size of the schools. Looks like a nice game.
Monster Mansion (Yann Dupont, Ludonova) is a game where you’re putting together a house of horrors attraction for a traveling fair. You’re hiring real monsters, and trying to sell the most tickets. At least, that’s what I think is happening – there’s no information about this one other than the brief description on BGG. There’s not even any pictures, other than the cover. So, it remains to be seen whether this will be any good.
Undo: 600 Seconds (Michael Palm/Lukas Zach, Pegasus Spiele) is part of a new series of time traveling games, where you are trying to undo sudden deaths from murder or suicide. In this one, you’re trying to undo the death of a guy who failed to deactivate a bomb before it exploded in the middle of LA on New Year’s Eve. It appears that the game is a one-time use game since there’s a very specific story you’re following. I’m interested to hear how people think it compares to things like EXIT or other escape room games.
Hocus Pocus: The Game (Prospero Hall, Ravensburger) is another Prospero Hall game, this one based on the popular 1993 movie about 17th century witches in our modern world. In this game, you have to ruin the potion of the Sanderson witches three times before dawn. This is done by trying to match ingredients from your hand with those in the cauldron. I didn’t really like Hocus Pocus myself when I saw it (which was 20+ years ago), but my wife is a big fan, so she might be interested in this.
Big Monster (Dmitri Perrier, Skellig Games) is a drafting and tile laying game where you’re exploring an alien planet. The drafting method in this game is called “smart” drafting – you choose a tile from your hand, then pass it to the player of your choice who has not already been passed tiles. You’re trying to fulfill various objectives to win medals, and trying to score the most points. The game can be played in teams or individually. I hadn’t heard of this one before making this list, and I think it’s on my list of things I want to check out now. (It should be noted that this game has been out since 2018, it’s the German edition being released this summer)
Aliens: Bug Hunt (Ryan Miller, Upper Deck Entertainment) is a cooperative dice game about trying to survive in the face of a xenomorph invasion. It’s based on the movie Aliens, and I know I’m in the minority when I say that I’m not really a fan of that movie. Or of the franchise, honestly. I really liked Legendary Encounters: Alien, but that’s been about the only thing Alien related I have enjoyed. I do hope there’s a rule in this game about saying “Game over, man, game over” when you lose.
Meeple Towers (Aaron Holland, WizKids) is a dexterity game of building towers. On your turn, you play a card that allows you to place meeples, supports, or even new floors to score points. This makes me think a little of Rampage/Terror in Meeple City. It’s not the same game, but maybe this is the prequel – you’re building up Meeple City before the monsters come and destroy it. Anyway, looks cool.
That’s it. Hope you’re enjoying your Gen Con Online / GenCant festivities this weekend. Thanks for reading!