Game Deliveries this week – It’s no Gen Con, but it’s still a haul!

20180806 Game Haul

Just when you are feeling down, the game deliveries start arriving!

Reading about players coming back from Gen Con (or any gaming con) is always a treat.  The stories of great times and game demos are always good for a read.  The pics always worth a look, both for the focus of the picture and the little hints inadvertently caught in the background sometimes.

And of course, there is only a tiny smidge of seething jealousy at pics of the Gen Con hauls coming home with lucky attendees.

Looking at some of the games, I was happy to know I already had Portal’s Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game.  Seeking a cheeky Forbidden Sky had me looking for player reactions.  Hail Hydra has me curious, and Legendary Encounters: X-Files has me reaching to pay for another ‘I don’t play Legendary’ game.

But then a mixture of deliveries all came in a flurry of notifications.

20180806 Game Haul
Big Trouble in Little China, The Big Score and Mint Delivery. It may be a little haul, but it's mine 🙂

First up is Van Ryder Games Kickstarter The Big Score.  I wrote a fair bit about it back in February when I backed it, and it has arrived!

The Big Score is one of those competitive cooperative games where you test the old saying ‘Honour Among Thieves’.

You work more or less as a team on a series of smaller jobs before moving into The Bank and tackling the titular ‘Big Score’.  Here is where a push your luck and try and maximise your score by pulling loot out of the player built Bank.  But be careful – you could call the cops down on top of you!

Any luck I will have played a game or two by the time you have read this, so my thoughts will be coming soon.

The Big Score Initial Components
The Big Score and the Crack the Safe Expansion. Unboxed, unpunched and in all it's glory!
Mint Delivery Components
Mint Delivery rivals the Pack-O-Game games for quick games easy to transport and teach

Next up is another Kickstarter game called Mint Delivery from Justin Blaske.

Nothing too complicated here – it’s a 15-20 minute pick up and deliver game for 1 to 5 players.  And it fits inside a mint tin.

That is one of the main reasons I grabbed Mint Delivery.  It’s a game that is just a little too big for pocket size, but easily fits in a laptop bag and weighs next to nothing.

This is one I can take to work and solo or pull out as a filler on game nights.  The rules are specifically designed to teach and play within minutes.  Sometimes when I travel, this is a game I can sit and wait for flights with solo, or possibly meet some new friends with.

A report should be coming in the next few weeks after some playtime.

And finally, the game that is all in the reflexes.  Between Big Trouble in Little China and Who Goes There, Kurt Russell is becoming a constant theme in my last couple of game deliveries!

Preordered last year from Everything Epic Games, the deluxe edition of Big Trouble in Little China is a campaign-style lets me play through the campaign story solo or with up to six players.

Just even the quick opening has me excited about playing!  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was expecting when I opened the box, but the neat packing and attention to small details (I won’t spoil them just yet) has me very happy that I got this game 🙂

As this is a much bigger game, I might not get to play it for a few weeks.  But again, once I have played I will let you know what I think!

Big Trouble in Little China Components
The Everything Epic is certainly not being taken lightly! And everything stacks nicely back in the box. It even has a map for where the minis go back!

So that’s it for this weeks haul.  Hopefully, this is the beginning of the floodgates opening and many more parcels are to come!

Until next time,


A new month, and the April Kickstarter queue is already forming

Lifeform Badge

Well, my credit card is starting to tap me on the shoulder. “Weren’t you going to take it easy?” A little voice asks. “CHECK THIS OUT!” another voice shouts excitedly.

And here we are – another month, and already a queue of things I want to buy or are on the horizon.

Lifeform by Hall or Nothing Productions

Straight up – Lifeform is Alien: The Board Game but without the license. It’s a survival horror game for up to four players, and you can play solo with the Dragon’s Domain expansion.

Lifeform is a dungeon crawler type gameplay with one player taking the role of the hostile alien lifeform, with other players frantically trying to gather resources and escape.

Just trying to sum up the game, this looks on the surface like a harsher cooperative game than one of my most anticipated games for 2018, Who Goes There?.  This is only on the surface though. Looking deeper into Lifeform there are some unique mechanics that I think will make it stand out on its own. Plus I could play this by myself with the expansion.

Lifeform The Crew
Lifeform The Ship

Check out the playthrough video with co-designer Mark Chaplin below, or jump straight to the Kickstarter page here.

Graphic Novel Adventures by Van Ryder Games

Choose your own adventure, Pick a Path, and Fighting Fantasy. As I was growing up, these series were my solo adventuring fun.

The order is important because while I could follow a story with the first two series, Fighting Fantasy books allowed me to roll dice and participate in the adventure. The pinnacle of these books to me is still the Sorcery! series, four books where you could carry your character and decisions from book to book.

Well, Van Ryder Games seems to remember these experiences and is bringing them back in the form of graphic novels. This is interesting to me because these books start to feel like a mix of old school pick your route adventures and games like Unlock! where details can be hidden in the image.

Graphic Adventure Novels Book 1
Graphic Adventure Novels Choices

There are five very different story types on offer, so you can pick the ones you want or grab the entire series.

Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

Fireball Island by Restoration Games

This Kickstarter doesn’t officially start for another 24 hours, but if you are on Restoration Games email list the preview is up, and what I am seeing looks like a lot of fun.

I’m not going to go into it here, I will leave that for maybe Thursday’s post. I will say the following bits though:

  1. There is a spot for the full rules, so I will be reading those straight away
  2. The amazing Rodney Smith of Watch it Played will be doing a rules video. Check out Watch it Played here.
  3. You will need to put aside USD$130 + shipping for an all in pledge. What does that include? That would be telling 😀

I will put down some thoughts later in the week, but check out the Kickstarter page tomorrow 🙂

Fireball Island New Box Cover

All Kickstarter projects hope to be The Big Score. Will this be one?

The Big Score Box Art

The Usual Suspects?

Van Ryder Games has a bit of a soft spot for me. Recently I posted about Hostage Negotiator, a great solo experience. Detective: City of Angels is one of my most anticipated games of 2018. And now The Big Score has hit Kickstarter, and it is growing on me very strongly.

The Big Score is a game that I would say about a quarter of my game group will not like. It’s a competitive cooperative game, where you don’t discuss your moves. A lot of players in my usual group don’t like this aspect, so The Big Score is a game I instantly put in the ‘not for everyone’ group.

That said, The Big Score is almost two games in one. The first stage involves deck drafting where each player gets to form their individual crews. The crew they are after depends on the locations that they want to hit. The catch is with the number of cards you have, your crew can maybe complete one or two places with guaranteed success, or spread yourself out and be a part of a lot of heists and get an equal share of those heists.
If another player adds one card that will contribute to the success of a location, all players involved will get an even cut of the job, so if a player always completes a mission themselves, a valid tactic will be to simply add one member to their crew for maximum profits.

It’s a unique spin on risk and reward, and not discussing your strategy adds an amount of tension to this. This stage only sets up an initial bank of money (points), so it’s not essential to excel but at the same time failing a job will cost you on the get-go, so it’s an interesting dilemma.

The second phase is the Big Score itself. Here, you reach into a physical bank shaped box and try to steal as much as you can before the police turn up. You can pretend to take a token and pull out of the heist, locking your amount for the end game. You can also pull out a Cops token, too many of these and it’s game over for everyone.

There is simultaneously a lot going on and an elegant simplicity to the game. A.J. Porfirio has also added a solo campaign to the game, and I am keen to give this a try as well.

The Big Score Box Art
Can you get away with the Big Score?
The Big Score Components
The Big Score Prototype Demo
The Big Score The Bank
The Big Score The Crew

If this sounds interesting, check out the Kickstarter page here for more information.

You can also check out the Board Game Geek page here.

Until next time!