One Last Job is up on Kickstarter

One Last Job Feature

Don’t we all want that One Last Job to set us up for life?

I have spoken a few times about my love of Android: Netrunner, and some of the problems of jumping into such a large game blind.

The asymmetrical gameplay and hidden information is a fun combination I really enjoy.  Outplaying your opponent by putting the right card out at the right time, is a major rush while playing.  It’s one of the reasons such games work so well overall, and why I am sad at Android: Netrunners end.

But last night, I found hope.  A game that has been overshadowed by E3 and Origins for me on Kickstarter is One Last Job.  This has nothing to do with the cyberpunk vibe and inherent competition of Android: Netrunner, but it shares a very similar feel – and it’s only one deck!

So in One Last Job, you don’t exactly do the standard ‘good guys vs bad guys’ in picking a side.  One side plays The Crew, an assortment of operatives bought together for the single task at hand.  The other player represents The Powers That Be, whose main goal is to increase their own influence by doing the job first or simply stopping The Crew.

But just as Android: Netrunner has the Corp and the Runner, One Last Job allows players freedom of playstyles with varying factions.  There are six factions in total (three per side), so lots of narrative scenarios are possible.

One Last Job Components
How crazy can you make your friends with a few tokens and a deck of cards?

For The Crew, you have choices of:

  • The Professionals – The crew of veteran professionals who have seen and done it all, and are the ones looking for that One Last Score to get them out of the life once and for all.
  • The Gangs – These are groups only together in looks and as a matter of convenience.  Winging it is too much planning for this group, who will react on the fly and not always in smart responses.
  • The Phreaks – While they might not be able to charm their way past socialites and feel a combination lock under their fingertips, these technical wizards can change your social security number from just having your twitter handle.

The Powers That Be on the other hand have their own factions as well:

  • The Mob – The Family.  The legitimate business owners with final negotiating tactics.
  • The Mastermind – Operating from the shadows, The Mastermind is the one that controls it all.  Think your old school Bond villain.
  • The Society – The Elite.  The ones that everyone wants to be like, even if they don’t know why ‘they’ actually are.  Everything is done to elevate the goals of The Society.

Want to see how The Gangs fair against the always in control Mastermind?  See how the Professionals are brought down by The Society?  While the game in itself doesn’t spell out a story, one aspect of Android: Netrunner I always enjoy is playing the story through my actions, and it looks like One Last Job will allow this style of play to continue.

The game itself is fairly simple but has some complex interactions.  At the end of the day, The Crew uses their skills to try and get to an objective in one location, and The Powers That Be use their abilities to try and stop them.

One Last Job Game in Progress
A game in progress

I could go into more detail on how the game itself plays, but honestly, if you have played Android: Netrunner, you already know how a game feels.

What I would rather talk about are some of the negatives of the Kickstarter upfront.  With less than a week to go, One Last Job is at less than a quarter of its funding level, and I can see a few reasons why this might be.

This is a first-time tabletop publisher.  There have been a lot of highly publicised ‘problems’ in the past, and the price could be seen as a little high by some people.  Particularly as the components on show look ‘meh’ at best.

To this, I can only say the concept art shown in its comic style looks great, and Android Netrunner comes with punchboard components.  The game is in prototype form at the moment, so to me, you can’t judge the quality of what you are getting yet.

But what they do have on their page is the rules and a free print and play version.  If you like any form of asymmetrical and/or hidden information card game, do yourself a favour and print the free preview version and give One Last Job a try.

You can see how much effort has gone into gameplay and balancing.  There is no feeling of a runaway victory here, and the alternate scoring conditions are as well balanced as the player powers.

Don’t let anything I say sway you into backing this project.  The designers have put the game up to be judged on its own merits, and it deserves to be played.  I only wish it could have been done at a different time or with more fanfare to bring attention to it, because I feel after reading through everything this is a game with great ongoing potential.

Check out the Kickstarter page for One Last Job here.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Watching the Blood on the Clocktower

Blood on the Clocktower Box Art

**QUICK UPDATE: Blood on the Clocktower’s Kickstarter is now live – go check it out!

I’m just a villager.  Wait wrong game!

Social Deduction and Hidden Role games are great to play with a wide range of different people.  Get a dozen or so people together, and watch the shenanigans commence!

The most common examples are Ultimate Werewolf (or the Werewolves of Millers Hollow!) and Mafia, and while they are great to play they share some fundamental problems.

So common problems with these types of games:

  1. Player Elimination – these games can go for over an hour, so if you are the first one out you are going to be really bored for a while.
  2. Little initial information – the first round is normally along the lines of “Hey, you’re wearing a red shirt.  We vote to eliminate you!”.  It takes a few rounds to start getting some real information, so the first few people eliminated are out for no real reason.  This can put people off playing.
  3. It’s a commitment to play – These types of games tend to not allow people to join later or leave if required as it can harm ‘the balance’.  Even if you do just throw someone in, they tend to be the next victim just because they can be which isn’t fun.

So all this in mind, why play these games?  Because once you are in the game, they really are a lot of fun.  But you have to be into the game.  If you are in a group that knows the negatives, having people prepared to sit or play filler games like Love Letter means no one is really put out.  Also, if you do play as an end of the night game, eliminated players can leave without guilt if they so choose.

Newer games like WitchHunt and Two Rooms and a Boom have come a long way in trying to address such issues.  But today I am interested in Blood on the Clocktower, a game by Steven Medway and his Sydney Australian Based team currently being demoed at Origins!

So what makes me so excited about Blood on the Clocktower?

  1. No player elimination – even when you ‘die’, you are still in the game.  And the dead break ties!
  2. Drop in mechanics cooked in – someone gets stuck in traffic, or a random sees you playing and asks what you are doing?  No problem!  Each new player is a Traveller with fixed powers, but if they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is to be determined.
  3. No role reveal – experience werewolf players, for example, have an idea of how many werewolves are in a game based on player numbers.  When someone is eliminated and confirms their role, the card counter players get more and more of an advantage while playing.  Not anymore!
  4. Almost all players can bluff that they are someone else – everyone has a ‘cheat sheet’ of all roles, so you can refer to the rules at any time instead of having to try and memorise a bunch of roles immediately.
  5. Drunk and Poison mechanics – I already play this way a little bit when moderating Werewolf, but it’s great to see it actually in the ruleset.  Basically, if you are drunk or poisoned, the moderator can lie to you.  This allows the group to have fun poisoning their teammates (or giving them drinks to get them drunk), and the moderator then has the power to lie to those players.  Personally, I know a few players I will be buying drinks for, just to add to the realism of course 😀
Blood on the Clocktower Contents
The game definitely does a great job of setting the mood. And simple components!
Blood on the Clocktower Townsfolk
Some of the 'good' townsfolk
Blood on the Clocktower Demons
Some Demons from Blood on the Clocktower, or the 'evil' team

So if you have played Werewolf or Mafia type games, you basically already know the basics of how to play the first game Trouble Brewing.  But here is a video of the game being played and their reactions, which really sells the game more than my words ever could.

Wait you said first game?  What are you talking about John?

There will be multiple editions or essentially expansions for the game, with Trouble Brewing as seen in the video being the first or three planned editions.  The expansion titles are ‘Sex and Violence’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’, so they have my pun vote at the very least!

Altogether, the three titles will give players around 90 characters to play, so changing up games will not be an issue.  And all three editions will be available when the game is released on Kickstarter!  The downside is the Kickstarter looks like it won’t be running until December, so patience will be required.

Or will it?

If you check out the Blood on the Clocktower website, there are regular game sessions in Sydney that you can play now!  These sessions are in Surrey Hills and run on the first and third Thursday of the month.  Check out their Facebook page for more information if you would like to attend.

I may see a Thursday night flight down to Sydney one long weekend in the near future…

Be sure that I will be posting more about Blood on the Clocktower over the next few months, including when the Kickstarter is available.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

What is this? It tastes… That’s Not Lemonade!

That's Not Lemonade Box

Small and simple doesn’t exclude a bunch of fun

I have been enjoying the efforts of Tuesday Knight Games for some time now.  Two Rooms and a Boom and its expansion Necroboomicon are great games for new groups of people.  World Championship Russian Roulette is a game I have already reviewed.

And today I can’t wait to tell you about the next Tuesday Knight Game I will be playing – That’s Not Lemonade!

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because I bought it up briefly in the last Blatherings.  You may have heard about this game over the last couple of years as a convention test game under the previous title U Mad Bro? where people have had a ton of fun playing it – and now it’s finally on Kickstarter.

Mechanically That’s Not Lemonade! is very similar U Mad Bro mechanically from what I understand, it’s just been rethemed away from the normally dark Cthulhu theme to a more lighthearted one to match the tone.

So what is That’s Not Lemonade?  Well, there really isn’t much to tell.  Each play is trying to make a living selling lemonade, but it’s hard to stand out in a crowd like this.  So everyone has decided to settle marketing rights in the only sensible manner – by seeing who can drink the most lemonade!

But of course, it can’t just be that simple.  ‘Little Johnny’ has decided to get up to some hijinks and make his own lemonade, so be careful what’s put in front of you!

That's Not Lemonade Characters
For such a small amount of cards, the art style manages to be fun and unique. Just check out the video on the Kickstarter page to see for yourself!
That's Not Lemonade Lemons and Ice
Lemons! The one time you want to draw lemons 🙂 Double lemons are rare, but give you a score boost. Ice is used for ties.

Gameplay is ridiculously simple.  There is a deck of cards that show either lemons, double lemons, ice, or That’s Not Lemonade!  On your turn, you decide to drink (take a card) or pass.  If you drink, take a card – but if it’s not lemonade, you’re out of the round!

Play continues until all players have passed, there are no cards left or there is only one player left.  All players not eliminated then count the number of lemons on their cards, and the highest count wins!  In the event of a tie, count the Ice cards to break them.  If you win, you get to pick one of your cards and place it face down in front of you as a mark of winning a round.

The deck is then reshuffled, and the next round begins with all players back in the game.  The first player to win three rounds wins the game!

I can hear you asking “But you keep one of your cards in front of you.  Doesn’t that change the number of cards in the deck?”  And the simple answer to that is yes.  Yes, it does.  It’s one of the small touches that makes That’s Not Lemonade! so fun for me.

So you not only get a point for winning, but the card you keep becomes very important as you then get to mess with the count of the cards.  Every card that a player gets to score means the chances of drawing the That’s Not Lemonade! card.  But it also reduces the chances of drawing lemons, making it harder for everyone to score as highly as the game continues.

And that’s it!  Small and easy to transport, it’s just a deck of cards and some shot glass sized red plastic cups.  It’s also been designed to be a ‘drop in, drop out’ style game so people can come and go as they please during a game.

Plus it’s a super easy Kickstarter – pledge USD$10 for the game, done and dusted.

Word of warning though for non-US backers – shipping is more than the game.  To Australia and apparently the UK, it’s USD$15 to ship, which frankly hurts.  But if you order additional copies, it’s only USD$11 for the extra copy and shipping, so I suggest doubling or even tripling up with some friends to save on the shipping that way.

That’s Not Lemonade! is not a game meant to be taken seriously.  It’s a game that is supposed to be fun to play and teach and suck in those people around you into giving it a go.  As such, I think it will be a great filler and icebreaker game, and one I think should be in many gamers collections.

Check out That’s Not Lemonade on Kickstarter here.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

More Monikers! And a Big Box!

Monikers Box

So instead of 3-4 little boxes, I can carry 1 huge Monikers box!

Monikers is a game that really doesn’t like to be explained.  Based on the game Celebrities, you try and get your team to say the word on your card.  Simple, yes?

Well, you play Monikers over three rounds, and each round the rules change.  In the first round, you can say anything but the keyword on the card.  Then, you can only say one word.  Finally, it’s charades.

And that’s it!  That’s the game!  Still don’t get it?  I was going to explain the rules with card examples, but this is where I tend to lose people.  So instead, I am going to point you to the free print and play version and show the guys from Polygon playing a game of Monikers themselves!

One advantage to Monikers for me over most of these types of party games is simply the explanation of the keyword or phrase on every card.

It sounds so simple, but the amount of ‘Celebrities’ my friends talk about that I have no idea about (and vice versa) is frustrating.  This way, there is no pulling someone that now can’t play while they explain who the person is, or redrawing until I find someone I know/want to do – it’s all there for you.

Monikers Sample Heisenberg
"Say my name! No, really, we need the points, say my name!"

Now, you can just play Monikers in first round mode, and see which team can get the higher score.  I have played this way a few times, and it works.

But this round being the seed for later rounds is great.  Monikers for me starts on the second round, where you can only say one word.  And the ‘fourth round‘ rules are all hilarious 🙂

Monikers is a game you can tailor to almost any situation, and works fine with drop in and drop out play.  This makes Monikers an automatic pack for any party game night I may be going to.

But now on Kickstarter, the newest expansion is coming!  440 new words, and a box to put everything in.  The original box was great for transporting because it was the exact size it needed to be for the cards, but with the expansions, transport is getting trickier.

If you haven’t played Monikers before, give it a whirl with the print and play above.  The expansions, especially the fourth round expansions for the more adventurous players, add longevity to the game as it takes longer to recycle cards, but none of these are required.

If you want to get Monikers from scratch, the $50 tier of the base game + More Monikers would be the go, or even grab the base game from Amazon and order expansions as a part of the Kickstarter.

The huge number of tiers is purely for the number of choices available – you really can’t make a wrong choice at any tier.

Check out the Kickstarter page here, and the Board Game Geek page for the original game here.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Space Goat Productions Update – from a Lynnvander perspective

Space Goat Productions Logo

A unique insight into a (hopefully) unique situation

Lynnvander Productions is a company in my personal universe that I am aware of and will be watching for many games to come.

The first game I saw of those was Sherwood’s Legacy, and while there are some issues I love the concept and the potential of the series.

Recently I mentioned them on the site because of Terminator: Genisys Board Game.  Here I mentioned the relationship with Space Goat Productions and how some alarm bells were going off in my mind, but I was happy to wait and see where it went.

Well, Lynnvander founder and game designer Tommy Gofton recently restarted the Lynnvander Designer Diaries and the eighth episode has some amazing insight into many aspects of Kickstarter, Space Goat, and business in game design and publishing in general.

I myself raised an eyebrow at Terminator Genisys: Rise of the Resistance.  There is an upcoming Army of Darkness (Evil Dead 3) Kickstarter game with their name attached.

The video isn’t short at 20 minutes, but it is a great listen.  This is very much Tommy’s side of the story, but the information is presented simply and as his side of the story and how things ‘work’ in designing and publishing in general, making it a diary I think anyone interested in gaming may be interested in listening to.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Escape the Dark Castle is expanding on Kickstarter

Escape the Dark Castle Adventure Packs

New challenges await in the Dark Castle

So, I love Escape the Dark Castle.  That’s not a secret.  You can read my review here, or even better listen to myself and Alpal have a game on the Blatherings.

This amazingly fun and simple deck adventure does suffer what all deck adventures eventually suffer from – seeing all the cards.  Because of the random nature of Escape the Dark Castle, I never really thought of this as a huge negative, but you can’t deny it’s a factor.

So my eyes turned towards Themeborne’s website, specifically at Adventure Pack 1: Cult of the Death Knight.

Only one new boss, the Death Knight, so a little more variety in the mix.  But also new characters, new chapters, and new items.

The last especially had my interest, as Curses have been added to the mix.  Essentially ‘bad items’, it adds an extra layer to the gameplay.  Also in the mix is a new Cultist die, so another possibly mechanic is being added again.

Escape The Dark Castle Cult of the Death Knight Contents
New characters, a new boss, new 'bad' items - what could possibly go wrong?

All of this was opening the door to new gameplay possibilities, but to be honest I still haven’t really finished with the original box.  Yes, I have fought all three bosses now, and I am pretty sure I have seen all the chapter cards, but each game still feels fresh and fun.

So, I was wavering a bit on buying the expansion set now.  Exchange rates with the British Pound and Australian Dollars isn’t great, and I feel I still had more than a few games left in the original box.

Then I saw a new Kickstarter pop up.

Two new Adventure Packs are up now on Kickstarter, as well as the original games and a collectors box to keep everything in!

Scourge of the Undead Queen and Blight of the Plague Lord are the two packs, and add things in a similar vein to the original Adventure Pack.

Each has new characters, chapters, items and a boss card.  Each also has a unique special die for adventuring.  The Undead Queen adds an Item die used with relics, and the Plague Lord has a Plague die.  I think we can all imagine what that does.

Escape the Dark Castle Adventure Packs
Two new Adventure Packs are now being Kickstarted, and you have the chance to get the whole set including the base game or pick and mix!
Escape The Dark Castle Collectors Box
The semi secret expansion - The Collectors Box *Not final design

There is also a third sneaky expansion though – the Collectors Box itself.  This box not only keeps all of your game contents organised and sorted but contains fan made materials as well!

These include SIX new bosses, special abilities, two new starting locations, health trackers, an icon chart, and a ‘first player’ or ‘You’ card.  Also included are two ‘Epilogue’ cards, so the story will always have a narrative close.

All of these things sound great.  I already use an active player token and a health tracker board, but the extra start locations are a great idea!

There are also a number of different pledge levels and add-ons for all everybody that is interested in playing.  These include the all in top-level pledge of everything game related, down to the basic add-on manager access pledge.

Myself, I have the retail Escape the Dark Castle, so I am adding on the Kickstarter Exclusives and the first Adventure Pack, and backing the Level 5 Early Bird Giving me all the new stuff!

Speaking of Add-Ons, there are a lot.  Playmats, ambient music, sleeves, even stories – there is a heap to choose from!

So if you have ever been interested in anything Escape the Dark Castle related, head over to the Kickstarter page now and check it out.  Back before June 3rd for Early Bird Pledges!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Munchkin Christmas in July on Kickstarter is a Loot Box?

Munchkin Christmas in July

Well here is a confusing conundrum

Munchkin is a game I only just mentioned the other day, and now it’s caught my attention again.  The game appeals to a certain mindset of player, and has a loyal fanbase.  The world of Munchkin and puns I enjoy more than the base card game it is all based on.

In a neck breaking change of topic, Loot Crates.  Video Gamers widely hate them, or so the internet screams.  And yet microtransaction and Loot Crate income for publishers increases year after year.

The idea of a Loot Box is simple – pay a set amount of money, and get a box with you have no idea what is inside.  Oh, you know a certain theme or an idea of the contents, but you don’t know for sure.

I personally enjoy Loot Crates and have for a couple of years.  They have even branched out over the last few years with themed boxes, such as Marvel.  I am even thinking of getting a new one, the Loot Gaming crate.  It’s Video Game based, but I enjoy games.

If you would like to check out Loot Crate, you can get USD$5 off your first month here with my referral code.  **If you do sign up with this code, I also get $5 off one box, just to be clear 🙂

Loot Crate Loot Gaming Crate
A past Loot Gaming crate. The items are Video Game themed, but I have been thinking of this one for a while.

A loot box for Board Gamers, especially new gamers looking to increase their library, is Board Game Bento.  The exact same idea, but instead of some geeky memorabilia and the like, you get Board Games!  Full copy, sealed, just for you Board Games!

Now I don’t subscribe to Board Game Bento, but not because I think it’s a bad idea.  I already have a lot of games, so paying for mystery games each month is possibly a good way to double up.

With my Kickstarter habits starting to have to come under more reasonable spending, I am reconsidering this stance.  It’s a fixed cost so easy to budget for, and is a guaranteed three or so new games a month.

The thing that is really swaying me is that what I have seen of the last couple of boxes includes things that haven’t reached Australia at all.

It’s an older box, but YouTuber Claire Din has an unboxing video from 2017 to give you an idea of what comes in a box.

OK, So we know what a Loot Box is, what’s this got to do with Munchkin and Kickstarter?

Yep, it’s a long journey, but bottom line Steve Jackson is doing a Munchkin Loot Box, and it’s on Kickstarter for a short time.

It’s not being called a Loot Box, but rather ‘Christmas in July’.

For USD$60, that is going to have to be a lot of Munchkin.  Base Munchkin retails for about USD$25, so there should be a lot of swag involved!

And it looks like there is.

Munchkin Christmas in July Whats Inside
From the Kickstarter Project, everything you will and might get in the loot box

There is also a USD$11 tier (Well, $8+Shipping) just for the bookmark and some promo cards, which isn’t a bad deal at all.

However, if you aren’t in the US and would like this box, be prepared to use a service like ShopMate or MyUS.  Delivery is to the United States only, so there will be some shipping costs on top.

I am surprised that Steve Jackson Games has gone Kickstarter for what is essentially a Loot Box run, and that the campaign is so short (5 days!).  There is definitely going to be demand for it – Munchkin, as I said, has a loyal and large fanbase.  The 150 pledges with the signed bookmark by Steve Jackson himself went immediately.  But it’s not a bad thing, and shows that Kickstarter can be used for many things.

If you want to get into Munchkin, this may not be a bad idea, especially if you live outside of the US.  Getting base games are rarely difficult, but the extras are hit and miss in Australia and I am guessing other countries as well.

But remember it’s a loot box – you can’t guarantee the version you are going to get.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Quick update to the Space Goat Productions Kickstarters

Space Goat Productions Logo

And I used to like The Sound of Silence

As I posted a few weeks ago, Space Goat Productions was offering equity via a WeFunder campaign.

My response was public – it was the linked article.  The short version was that Space Goat had been following a pattern of silence, and questioned the validity of the ‘Key Facts’ listed on the WeFunder page.

Today, Shon C Bury finally posted on Kickstarter after weeks of silence.  No avenue of questioning seemed to be worthy of a response – Kickstarter, Social Media, or even the Better Business Bureau.

The update:

Terminator Quick Update
Quick Update from Shon C Bury on the Terminator page. The same update was posted to the Evil Dead 2 campaign page.

I would like to know what the new paths on offer are, but in business or indeed any long-term planning revealing information too early can be detrimental.  Space Goat isn’t my company, I don’t own shares (real shares, not the SAFE on offer), I can’t expect any more information.

Considering the almost deafening silence on all other outlets, this small update is the closest to transparency offered to date.  And like so many backers, I wish it was more.

I do hope Shon and Space Goat do find a way forward.  I really do.  Not just for my selfish wish of a game (that, to be honest, I will probably never play at this point even if it is delivered) but for all the people working at Space Goat.

If anything else happens, I will continue to update.

Until later,

JohnHQLD

Solo: A Remastered Yakuza 5 Minute Dungeon.

Solo A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens tomorrow!

I have grown up on the Star Wars movies.  I was only 2 when Episode IV came out, but I remember being taken to see Return of the Jedi at the drive in.

The latest ‘episode’ Star Wars movies haven’t been bad, but I haven’t enjoyed them as much as I probably could.  There is the chance for new stories to be told, but they keep sticking to the ‘original’ themes as an over homage.  Well, that’s my one line opinion anyway.  Like an onion or Shrek, there are many layers to all this, and I won’t skip any new ones.

But it is having a bit of an effect on me this week.  Solo: A Star Wars story opens tomorrow here in Australia (well midnight tonight if you really can’t wait) but I can’t get excited about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am going to watch this movie.  Rouge One was the best ‘new’ Star Wars film yet, and Han Solo and Chewbacca are my favourite partnered characters in the universe.  Well, in the old extended universe anyway.  Solo will let me know how much of that old backstory has changed, so I don’t know if the same elements I love (loved?) are still there.

I can’t even say it’s the prospect of the story changing that is stopping me from being excited.  When Disney announced the extended universe was null and void, yes I was initially upset because all the lore I had learned and enjoyed over the years just got snapped out of existence.  (Foreboding puns anyone?)  But just as I was initially upset, I was also excited.  I understood this was a move Disney simply had to take, or their creative options amounted to none at all.

So I will try and make sometime this weekend, maybe the next, to sit and watch Solo and try to avoid as many spoilers as possible.

Until then, I leave you with possibly my favourite Solo trailer and new craze that seems to be hitting YouTube lately – Solo: The Lego Version.

Well Yakuza is getting the remastered treatment now!

Yakuza (or Ryū ga Gotoku in Japan) is a series I know of but chose to let slip me by in the gaming world.  A lot of people I know we’re thinking the same thing and was probably a big reason why I didn’t jump in wholeheartedly.

With storytelling similar to the Yakuza films popular in Japan (think of Yakuza films as a genre, they are crazy popular in Japan) all the ingredients for things I like about video games are there.  Character development, straightforward story progression with the ability to just stop and explore many sub-branches, strange quirky jokes – Yakuza had it all on the PlayStation 2.  Except my full attention.

With the release of Yakuza 0 on PlayStation 4 last year, and Yakuza 6 this year, the series has gotten a lot of attention again over here.  Yakuza 0 was a great move for new audiences, as it is a prequel so no prior knowledge was required.  This allowed Yakuza 0 to act as an introduction to the world of Yakuza, and what an intro it is.

Well, that all proved so popular, Famitsu is reporting remasters of entries 3, 4 and 5 are coming and in pretty quick succession in Japan, with the Yakuza 3 remaster releasing August 8th, 2018!

Yakuza 3 Remaster
Yakuza 3 - out in Japan August 8th. No word on International yet though.

Yakuza 4 is set to release about three months later, and Yakuza 5 in 2019.  Well, released in Japan anyway – no word on international releases, but fingers crossed!

Some gameplay from Yakuza 6 can be seen below to give you idea on what to expect if you haven’t seen the games before.

A second chance at a Kickstarter I missed

Way back in 2016, I was having a break from Kickstarter for a few different reasons.  One of those “Awww that looked fun” gems was 5-Minute Dungeon.  If I was to try and describe 5-Minute Dungeon, it would be ‘cooperative chaos.  Think of a mix between Galaxy Trucker and Magic Maze?  It’s not quite right but gives you an idea if you know those games.

I say those games aren’t quite right, because you are dealing with mostly randomised dungeon decks and matching cards to play rather than coordinating on a set known board.  What does hold true is the game is won or lost in five real-time minutes.  There is no sitting and debating for ages in this game – card comes out, react now or lose.  The how to play video from the creator may give you more of an idea.

Fair warning though – this game appeals to my sense of humour, so plenty of terrible dad type jokes await all that play 😀

Over on Kickstarter, there is a short (14 day) campaign for the sequel – Curses: Foiled Again!

I am loving this because a) it was popular enough for an expansion and b) I can buy the base game again!  Finding it at retail has been a bit of a joke over here.

Check out the campaign here.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

JohnHQLD

Posthuman Saga is live on Kickstarter

Posthuman Saga Box Art

An interesting idea just took off in leaps and bounds in my mind

Posthuman is a game I want to love.  I don’t mean that in a bad way – it is an amazing survival game with a lot of twists and great narrative potential.  It’s just if I describe it to my games group, I can see the enthusiasm for playing dropping with every attempt at a description.

So I have played it 2-3 times solo, and it’s up the top of the “come back to it” pile.  Right after 7th Continent and Gloomhaven.  It’s always bugged me that this is unfair to Posthuman – daying I will come back and play after about 300 hours of other games, with new ones coming in that will probably bump it again.

Working against Posthuman is that it’s a teaching mess and a statistician’s wet dream.  It’s not a game that you can teach while playing, and a lot of investment is required for people to learn how to play it.  But Posthuman is a game I think needs the extra players, and the satisfaction of finishing a game is completely worth it.  So until I can convince people to give it a fair go that just seems to be how it is.

In Posthuman, you play as part of a group of some of the last ‘human’ survivors trying to make it to safety.  This isn’t quite the standard post-apocalypse scenario we all expect.  In the Posthuman universe, instead of nuclear war, no fuel or artificial intelligence rising to save humanity from itself.  This time, it’s the mutants that are the problem.

No cataclysmic even though caused mutations – no, ‘we’ did.  Artificially improving people meant that ‘normal’ people became the minority, and it just got worse from there.

Posthuman Components
Posthuman. So much potential, but hard to sell as a fun experience.

So your group is trying to survive and reach ‘The Fortress’ intact.  Not just intact as a group, intact also as in fully human.  Mutation has essentially become communicable, so attacks on the way can cause you to become a mutant yourself.

This keeps not only a timer and end game as you can’t enter the fortress if you’re a mutant, but also essentially a character change mechanic.  If you become a mutant, you now actively work against the group and try to turn them as well.

Simplified, but this is Posthuman, and the possibilities are great!  But convincing people to invest 3-5 hours in a rules discussion and then a game (more likely 2) for everything to click is the hard ask.  Especially when all you are doing is getting to ‘The Fortress’ – story wise for some, this isn’t a satisfactory ending.

But now on Kickstarter, the story is continuing.  Posthuman Saga is live and takes place a year after Posthuman.  The story is you made it safely, and now you are essential members of the Fortress community.

Life has been relatively good for the last year, but now resources are stretching too thin, and people have to go over the wall and explore.  Can you guess which people that will be?

You don’t need Posthuman to play Posthuman Saga, it’s a completely stand-alone experience.  A lot of love is going into this world, and I am excited by the possibilities that it holds.

Posthuman Saga Contents
Posthuman Saga - it may look bleak and harsh, but that is the world it is set in

As an option, you can also back the Resistance Expansion, turning the base survival game into one of not only surviving but fighting back against mutant slavers.

Many, many stories can be told in this universe, and that is this worlds biggest draw for me.  On the Kickstarter page, there is supposed to be a sample of the stories, but as of writing, this link was down.  The rules were working, and while the rules seem slightly more streamlined, I do think this still be a lot of player investment to learn to play.

But with a continuing story unfolding, with any luck, I can convince some of my group that the investment is worth it for more than a single game.

Plus, I can’t wait to paint these guys!

Posthuman Saga Model Sample
I can also hear thebackstories just by looking at them

Check out Posthuman Saga on Kickstarter and Board Game Geek.

Until tomorrow!

JohnHQLD