I apologize for being late to the party on this one, I spent the last week on vacation with little and unreliable internet access, but I feel this is an important piece of news that must be shared. Late last week we received word that Z-Man Games, publisher of many hit titles and imports like Pandemic and Agricola, was purchased by the Canadian publisher Filosophia. From what we have heard, Zev Schlasinger (the 'Z' in Z-Man) will remain at the helm and the new entity will be a publishing conglomerate that will cover both Canada and the U.S. for shipping and help facilitate English/French translations. In addition, having a larger publishing region will allow for greater licensing rights so there is a good chance we will see more from the duo.
Back in April, we gave our readers a first look at Conquest Tactics, the strategy CCG from Zeitgeyser LLC which can be read here - An Early Look at Conquest Tactics Collectible Card Game. We have received word that the game is now available for pre-order and will be available online and in stores on July 20th. Conquest Tactics looks to blend the depth of miniature based strategies with a CCG card game that uses a grid based movement system. They have also created an instructional video to help us become familiarized with the game concepts which is embedded below. We are looking forward to the opportunity to get our hands on Conquest Tactics and will try to get a review up in the near future.
Editor's Note - I just got word from Zeitgeyser that once normal sales begin the starter sets will contain 2 of 4 randomly selected promo cards; however, if you pre-order before July 20th, the starter sets will contain all 4 cards.
Kickstarter is becoming so popular as a crowd-funding solution that even some of the smaller publishers are starting to use it to as a tool. Granted this is their third Kickstarter project, the fact that Gryphon Games continues to use it for their ideas speaks volumes about the success they have been seeing, it's a self-created P500 list for individual titles. Mirror, Mirror is their latest addition to their Kickstarter funding efforts and attempts to turn chess upside down, or should I say reversed. Players must intercept and find your opponents letter to the Princess so yours may reach her and win her heart and hand. There are three different courtiers: Knights, Ladies, and Masters. Knights move just like Knights in chess, Masters move like the King, and Ladies more like a checkers piece by jumping over an existing piece. Each of their pieces has a mirror on the back and players must maneuver accordingly to identify and intercept the letter.
Fantasy Flight has released it's first expansion for Mansions of Madness called Seasons of the Witch. Seasons is not your typical expansion in that it uses FFG's Print on Demand system, not to be confused with Print and Play, where players purchase the expansion and then the order for print is entered. This helps FFG's overhead of having to produce a significant amount and hope they can sell through. The quality received is not going to be compromised and players should still see the quality we expect from FFG. The expansion contains the following:
Three double-sided reference sheets
Two Keeper Action cards
Five Event cards
Three Objective cards
37 Clue and Exploration cards
11 Lock and Obstacle cards
Here is the teaser text from the official product page -
A bright young Miskatonic University student has disappeared, having checked in to an infamous Arkham boarding house to study its reported supernatural properties. Now, as the celebration Walpurgis Eve approaches, you and your fellow investigators are tasked with venturing into the decaying Witch House and solving a mystery that has plagued Arkham for generations. But are you prepared to face the horrors that await you?
In the wake of the Conquest of Nerath release, details about the next Dungeons & Dragons are beginning to leak out. First we know it is going to be called The Legend of Drizzt and will be based around the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden from R.A. Salvatore's best selling Forgotten Realms series. We also know that LoD will be compatible with both the Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon titles and should be available this October. What we don't know is what other heroes will be available beside the legendary drow ranger, but we have speculation based off hints -
Wulfgar - A human barbarian
Catti-Brie - A human who has been known as both being proficient with archery and spell casting in different books
Regis - A halfling rogue
Even without the hints of such prominent supporting heroes, having such a strong story behind the game will undoubtedly increase anticipation for release. If Wizards of the Coast can find ways to incorporate and engross players into the story while playing and keep with the solid mechanics that has made Ravenloft and Ashardalon successful, then I expect a runaway hit that will stand out from their existing lineup. We will just have to wait until October to find out.
Can't say I am very surprised about this announcement considering the success of Nightfall and the reception to Martial Law, the first expansion. Alderac Entertainment Group is not stopping this train any time soon and I can't say I blame them. Here is the official announcement -
Cities have fallen, cities have stood, but outside of those protections, humans must face the creatures of darkness on their own terms. In the lawless countryside of Nightfall, the beast within can wreak havoc like never before.
Nightfall: Blood Country is a stand-alone expansion to the competitive deck building game Nightfall. Blood Country brings you a complete all-new set of cards with special powers, and features new vampires, werewolves, hunters and ghouls. Blood Country also introduces innovative uses for your wounds, creating new effects beyond those just on the card!
All new cards for Nightfall
Innovative new card effects change the game like never before
There is no question about it, the deck building genre is very hot right now, so it comes to no surprise that even Victory Point Games is trying to get in on the action. However, it should also come as no surprise that they are immediately trying to break the mold as VPG is known for taking risks and thinking outside the box. For the Crown is their third installment of the Casual Cards line, but the first in the deck building category. The difference is that they have mixed it with Chess-like gameplay. Victory will require planning, strategy, militaristic maneuvers, and tactics. Not only is it their most recent release, it's also $5 USD off right now.
Jack the Ripper. Everyone knows the name, everyone knows about what occurred during those tense nights in 1888 in the district of Whitechapel. Not everyone knows about the cat and mouse game that occurred between the Ripper and the police of Scotland Yard. This meta game is what At Letters From Whitechapel from Nexus Games is all about. One player plays Jack and secretly tries to move about Whitechapel while the other players control the police trying to trace Jack's movement, pinpoint his hideout and make an arrest before he makes it back. This game has a fairly mature theme so please take consideration when playing with a younger audience but it is listed as 14+ by Nexus Games. This 2-6 player title takes about 90 minutes to setup and play. Stay tuned to Critical Gamers for a full review on Letters From Whitechapel in near future.
Gary Games will be attending Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, this week and they will be bringing with them the next offering. Titled Ascension: Return of the Fallen, the game will be the first expansion in their highly successful Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer line. RotF is designed to be a 2 player standalone game or to expand the base game for up to 6 players. The game will be available at the convention on June 24th or on their website on the 29th for 29.99 USD which will include 120 cards (65 all new center cards), 30 deluxe honor tokens, a storage tray, and instruction booklet. Also according to the release announcement from Gary Games, the expansion release should follow the release of the iOS versions (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), so expect those to be available in the next few days as well. Return of the Fallen should also find it's way onto the Apple platform sometime later this year.