City of Gears now on Kickstarter

Grey Fox Games, publisher of many fan-favourite games such as Champions of Midgard and Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, has just come to Kickstarter with another game  that looks really cool.

City of Gears  (Designers: Daryl Andrews and Chris Leder; Artists: Anthony Cournoyer and Chris Leder) is an area management game that sort of reverses the whole steampunk concept. Up to four players compete to uncover an abandoned steampunk city (though you are using automatons, so maybe it’s not exactly reversing). Players are trying to earn the most prestige over three rounds until Opening Day happens and all of the treasures are put on the display for the world to see.

City of Gears
Provided by Grey Fox Games

Each city is formed by a grid of 9 random city tiles placed face down (there are 18 tiles in the game, so there is a lot of variation). Players will roll resource dice and then use those resources to send their automaton to various parts of the city, gaining control of the area or just exposing it. Automatons can be used to destroy opponents’ gear links and send their workers back to their home factor (aka: the supply).

Once the city is revealed, Opening Day approaches steadily and players race for control and prestige points.

Grey Fox Games has two support tiers: Standard that gets you the game, and the Founders Edition that provides upgraded pieces and all the razzle dazzle that deluxe versions of these games usually get.

They’ve already almost tripled their goal, which is nice to see. It looks like an amazing game.

This was originally going to become part of the Dice Tower Essentials line, but I think Grey Fox Games will do a great job with it as well.

Check out their Kickstarter page for all of the stretch goals (they’ve already unlocked additional map tiles and close to even more map tiles).

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Q & A – Ted Alspach

Ted Alspach is one of my favourite game designers out there. His first design that I fell in love with was Suburbia, with it’s interesting tile-laying mechanic where you have to attention to what others are building in their suburb as well.

Little did I know at the time that Ted has an extensive game design history that dates back to 2005. Ted has designed a large number of Age of Steam expansions plus many original games such as Ultimate Werewolf, Start Player, Colony and too many others to list.

With yesterday’s announcement of Werewords Deluxe coming to Kickstarter in March, I thought it would be nice to hear Ted talk about the campaign as well as some of his older games as well.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

 

The new Deluxe Edition of Werewords sounds really exciting. One of the items in the announcement mentions the fact that the Deluxe Edition “addresses issues gamers had with the original production.” What were some of these issues and how does the Deluxe Edition address them?

The one thing we heard consistently from players was that they didn’t like the artwork. We had gone with a more casual, freeform cartoon drawing style, and while artwork is always subjective, more people didn’t like it than did. So that was one of the first things we worked on; finding an art style that was more appealing, yet still stayed true to the more whimsical, light feel that represents the gameplay in Werewords. The resulting artwork from up-and-coming artist Roland MacDonald (Stop Thief!, Kaiju Crush, Escape Room: The Game) really hits the mark there:

Werewords Deluxe artwork

Of course, it includes the new “disco wolf” which really is a werewolf raising his paw with an extended finger to ask a question of the Mayor, but still…he does look like he has some great moves, too!

Continue reading “Q & A – Ted Alspach”

Bezier Games Announces Werewords Deluxe

Have you had enough Werewords in your life? You know, that hit hidden-role word game where players are trying to guess a word but not get eaten by the werewolf?

Bezier Games doesn’t think it’s possible to have had enough.

They have just announced the new Deluxe version of Werewords, still designed by Ted Alspach, launching on Kickstarter on March 5, 2018.

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Review – Hanamikoji

(Editor’s Note: Apparently there is conflicting information about whether Hanamikoji was a capital at any point. I took my description below directly from the BGG site for the game, but other information seems to contradict that.)

Like any honest businessperson, we would all want to attract as many customers as we could to our shop.

In Japan in the olden days, in the old capital of Hanamikoji (why do I keep forgetting the “j” in that name?), there was a Geisha street where geisha plied their trade. They were graceful women who had mastered the art of dance, art, music, and various performances. It was very prestigious to attract the most talented geisha to your establishment to entertain your clients.

Thus, of course, competition for their favours was born.

So hey, let’s make a game out of that!

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In Hanamikoji, two players vie for the favour of seven Geisha Masters.

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New to Me – January 2018

It was actually a pretty light month for new to me games. Between being sick and missing two game days/nights and then actually playing a few games multiple times, the new experiences were few and far between.

In fact, I only have two new games, though I finished the month on Sunday with a new expansion for an awesome game.

Because I was so “Cult of the New” last month, this month I went old (and one of them was really old!). My only 2017 experience was actually the expansion.

So, without further adieu, here we go!

The Pursuit of Happiness (2015 – Stronghold Games/Artipia Games) – 2 plays

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Designers: Adrian Abela, David Chircop

Artist: Panayiotis Lyris

Continue reading “New to Me – January 2018”

Acram Digital reveals Istanbul app

Earlier in January, Acram Digital tweeted this.

With the hashtag #screenshotsaturday, I expected something posted the next Saturday.

Then nothing showed up on the next Saturday and I kind of forgot about it.

Dave at Stately Play displayed none of my laziness and was evidently keeping an eye on them, because when they started their contest, I completely missed it.

They were slowly revealing the picture for the game over a series of days, and Dave figured it out before I even knew it was a thing (did I mention the “lazy” thing?).

Istanbul app

Yes, Istanbul is apparently coming this year from Acram in app form.

Continue reading “Acram Digital reveals Istanbul app”

Is a Catch-Up Mechanism Required?

On Sunday, I was playing a game of Terraforming Mars (which I won!) and the scores were a bit spread out.

I won with 73 points, and the last place player had 53 points. That player had been lagging behind most of the game, and I was wondering if that was any fun for them.

Especially in a 3.5 hours game like this was.

Terraforming Mars
This was during end-game scoring but not at the end of it

The player in question was black, and you can see above that they had 26 points while I had 55, prior to all of the final scoring (the pic was taken after Milestones and Awards, I believe).

The response to my question was that yes it was, that you have to play to get better and the process of playing is fun in and of itself.

But it made me think about this because I’ve seen it in other games, too (namely a review of Porta Nigra) where somebody mentions that you can be out of a game early.

Is a catch-up mechanism required in a game for it to be fun?

Continue reading “Is a Catch-Up Mechanism Required?”