Herewith, the mostly-comprehensible Spiel des Jahres 2006 shortlist. I dimly imagine having heard of a few of them, but the only slam dunk here for name recognition is Knizia’s Blue Moon City, upcoming in the states from FFG.
Archive for May, 2006
While my postings about their progress have been sporadic (sorry, everybody), Rio Grande Games has been steadily producing new games, as their latest newsletter shows. Among the featured titles are Mykerinos, a game of Egyptian archaeology; Thurn & Taxis, a 15th-century mail routing game; Robber Knights, a tile-laying game of looting; and Buccaneer, yet another in the seemingly endless wave of pirate-themed products. Looks like most board game fans should have at least one or two things to look forward to this summer!
In a release titled “The End of Hecatomb” (oddly subtitled on the Hecatomb page as being an announcement on the futureof Hecatomb), the game’s design lead and all-around nice guy Ryan Miller announces the end of the game’s commercial life. It would have been a great standalone game, probably… but WotC’s goal for the product was to announce to the world that they’re willing to be all scary and dark again. I’m not sure that a non-collectible product could have done that. But I’m also not sure the message sunk in. I guess it’s time to take a closer look at the level of the Dreamblade content.
This ep’s all about fondly remembering days gone past, whether they’re the days when we used to play that game we’ve been kind of thinking about playing again, or just the day and a half when we all felt really sorry for Palladium. And um, this ep is also about Hordes and Ticket to Ride Marklin and just a lot of good things. Go!
WizKids announces the Pirates of the Mysterious Islands expansion for PotSM, set for release in October. So what have we got here… new faction of submariney guys who hate everybody, new Mysterious Islands in every pack that have a bunch of game text to mess with you. And more monsters. I really am starting to worry about how many factions they’ve got going, but darned if they don’t keep making cool stuff. It’ll be interesting if they can make the transition from a collectible model to some other model eventually, once they run out of things to shoehorn into the game.
What was rumored is now confirmed: HorrorClix is licensing Alien vs. Predator. Since it was the lead choice in a WizKids consumer poll asking which licenses to go after, this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Now, do gamers dare hope for an Alien Queen figure to compliment the Great Cthulhu figure? In any case, a HorrorClix preview is scheduled for Origins this summer, and a limited presale is set for GenCon Indy, though with the Aliens Collector’s Set due in December, it’s not clear whether the sci-fi favorites will be set loose early or still trying to get through the bulkheads.
And it’s… a board game with simple, elegant mechanics and nice, pseudo-Asian components? Say it ain’t so! But hey, why mess with a winning formula – they’ve obviously found a recipe for something people really want; I just worry they might push it too hard, especially if they do more than one more after this one (which, for those who fear links, is a sort-of-Abalone-esque called Oshi and is due in late September). If anyone hears of any secret projects that fit the profile of “somewhat culturally-imperialist home decor, the CSG,” or maybe “Pottery Barn Clix,” sound the alarm, OK? [Edit: some days, I drink a lot of coffee and a joke gets a little overworked. I don't actually think there's anything wrong with this announcement at first blush. Also, it occurs to me that there isn't much in this market niche really - is Samurai even in print right now?]
I guess we should go ahead and post about this, as it’ll likely be one of the few recognizable bits of flotsam in the coming CMG flood. “[S]pace vehicles of all sizes, from star fighters to capital ships, all represented in relative scale.” How will they do that and still bring out a Star Destroyer eventually, without making the TIE fighters resemble no-see-ums? They won’t, that’s how, but who cares – it’s not as if starship-minis fans can be sticklers for historical accuracy. Wait… yes it is. Oh crap.
What happens when I play a roleplaying game – like, a normal one – and two other Audio Reporters are there to see it? Hear all about it in this show with frequent guest Brian Isikoff. Fans of Fudge, True20 and those interested in roleplaying’s general place in the industry are encouraged to apply.
It was only a matter of time, really: today’s WoW movie announcement follows the trend of other PC and console titles heading for the big screen. I’m more interested in today’s other E3 bombshell, though. No, not the PS3 release details (hint: you’ve only got six months, line up that second job now); I mean the Halo 3 trailer. Oh yeah, baby.
In the “Do Market Research or Die” sweepstakes, it would seem that someone’s finally chosen the former. Although really this survey is more about “[w]hat motivates continued game play and preferences for types of games,” that can’t help but be useful to the industry. For some reason the online survey is only up until the end of May. Hell, maybe they’re going to take this and somehow interpret out our votes for the Origins awards.