In the fashion world, it is the year 2018. We observe the everyday human as they walk down the street: they wear jeans with waistlines starting at their belly buttons, backpacks with cartoon buttons, and glasses are the size of two very big grapefruits. We see floral patterns that match your mother's curtains, full body jumpsuits in singular colors, and dresses that fall just below the knee. No, it is not the year 1980. It is, as we said, the year is 2018. But the trends from this time appear to have resurfaced, you finally conclude. Interesting.
Similarly, it is also the year 2018 in the world of games. Our current observation is that video games and consoles such as Playstation and XBox have long since taken over classic games of the past. If you want to play Cribbage, perhaps Meema at the care home would be up for a round. But since the rise of Kickstarter.com, we've seen a fashion world-esque surge in trends of the past in that board games are the new "in" games like Exploding Kittens and Unstable Unicorns have thrived in this new era of gaming from their feeble starts on Kickstarter, and you will notice many others trying to do the same.
So in honor of Kickstarter and the revival of the great board game, here are some of their newest additions that you're going to want to add to your collection for the upcoming year!
Tiny Epic Zombies
An unthinkable crisis has struck the Echo Ridge Mall. A mysterious outbreak has claimed the lives of nearly everyone there... what's worse is they are crawling the stores and commons as zombies hungry for flesh. Only a few survivors remain. Are you among the survivors? Or are you one of the ravenous zombies? The choice is yours in Tiny Epic Zombies!
Players have the option of survivor or zombie in five different game modes involving different variations of zombie vs. survivor set ups. The survivors are always on the run, collecting weapons and killing zombies in their attempt to stay alive and complete their three objectives in order to win the game. Zombies win if they are able to kill all the survivors or gain control of the mall courtyard. Although the description states that the game will last all of 30 minutes, it also describes it as "a game that is re-playable over and over again."
And in case zombies aren't your thing (although I assure you, it is), Gamelyn Games hosts a variation of Tiny Epic themes including Tiny Epic Quest, Tiny Epic Western, and Tiny Epic Galaxies, all of which have had excellent reviews thus far. This is a great game for folks who don't want to think too much in terms of understanding how the game works, and just want to get into the game play quickly.
Deja Vu: Fragments of Memory
In Deja Vu: Fragments of Memory, players act as the Cosmic Spirits, or mysterious "quantum beings" that travel across the universe, collecting intangible, metaphysical "Fragments of Memory" that are scattered throughout the universe. The objective is to help a nameless girl retrieve her lost memories and bring them together into a coherent mental picture in her mind through deja vu revelations. On the way of rediscovering herself, the nameless girl will come across six amazing alien worlds and get the help from her adorable Cosmic Companions.
The game is described in two parts: as a tactical game, but also as a strategic game. In the tactical part, players use a developed version of the ancient "Mancala" mechanism. Players collect wooden tokens on the map with various combinations of color and shape to succeed. In the strategic part, players use the wooden tokens they gained to add cards to their tableau, building up their “card engine” which serves to generate Victory Points, reinforce resources collecting ability, and improve the engine itself. Should I increase my selection of cards first? Or create more space to save up my resources? Maybe I should plant more Cosmic Flowers? Balanced and efficient long-term planning is the key to victory.
As you can see, this game is a little bit more challenging to figure out for the first time, but the artwork is impeccable and the dreamlike quality of the game makes for an excellent jump start in the right direction that board games of today appear to be taking.
A silly game about losing your socks in the laundry and where they eventually end up.
The game is played in three phases. Players have a hand limit of seven cards, which are composed of socks and ghosts. In the first phase, players will simultaneously play three socks face down in front of them. When all players have placed socks down they will reveal them in turn order, applying all card effects and placing them in their relevant place on the board. In the second phase, players will be able to play up to two ghosts (some of which are offensive and others defensive against other players). In the third phase, all socks in the dryer move to that player's laundry basket where they score points and socks in the washer move to the dryer. Players draw back up to the hand limit of seven cards and then repeat the cycle.
A simple, cute game that taps into a great strategy component that definitely looks like a game I would have on my shelf! (Not to mention: how cute are these ghosts though?!)
Black Hole Council
Black Hole Council is a negotiation and deduction game about deciding the fates of 32 different planets. As a shady member of the Council, you have a secret agenda for each planet. Your goal is to negotiate for your agenda so that you can gain influence and become the new Senior Councilor. If you can deduce your rivals' goals, you've got an even better chance to block their plans and dominate the negotiations. So what if you have to toss a few planets into the black hole along the way? If the idea of negotiating the fate of planets, bluffing your goals and blocking others' plans sounds fun to you, then this is your space jam.
What is great about this game is that it is easy to learn, is table-sized interactive and they are currently opening the "black hole" to the public to help name the planets in the game! (You can find more info on their Kickstarter page linked below.) You will have to be quick on this one though, pledges close in five days!
Last Stand! is a simple board game for 2-4 players with three axes of strategy: how players arrange their cards on the board, how you attack other players with dice, and how and when to use cards. The novel mechanic of this game is that, by getting attacked, you get more cards to make you more powerful to come back.
A simple concept game that is much like "cheat" in that the more cards you hold, the better positioned you are to screw everyone else over! A great combination of game-maker and artist, this game is an easy one to like.