Ah Goblins. They got their big break in the Lord of the Rings movies, really. They’ve always been lurking in fantasy, but when Peter Jackson brought the epic books to life suddenly Goblins were all the rage, with everybody wanting to have them in their games and their books and their movies. And now look at them, the stars of their very own card game that is due to hit Kickstarter on May 6th. But is this a game worth backing? Should you be ponying up some cash?
If you’ve ever played a table-top RPG with a talented gamemaster who has spent many laborious hours crafting an adventure for the whole group to enjoy then you’ll know just how absorbing it can be. Who can count the time you spent forging your character? And all those cool moments where you do something awesome, or some silly plan works out? A good RPG session can be fantastic. It is, however, also a hard thing to get people into. Many of the systems have complex rules, it takes a lot of time to play through, you need the right group of people and so much more.
Games usually get a second print run if they’ve done something right, so this second edition of Kingsburg seems to indicate that when it first came out people must have quite liked it. Me? Well, I’m still a relative noob, so I never played it when it first came out or in the intervening time Now its gotten a bit of a royal makeover with all-new artwork, some rather sexy dice and the entirety of the To Forge a Kingdom expansion rammed into the box for good measure. But thousands of people are wrong all the damn time, so is this dice-placement game actually any good? Have I really been missing out?
I’ve had the misfortune to be involved in a few fires in my times, most of them started by me because of reasons, and during all of them I never once considered grabbing a handful of dice and hurling them at the flames to put them out. Not once. And yet here’s Hotshots clearly showing me that true firefighters use dice to combat the spreading flames. Man, firefighters are freaking hardcore, aren’t they?
Yup, you and up to three other folk (though the game lists a 2-player minimum you can easily play solo) take on the roles of firefighters attempting to combat a raging forest fire that is threatening to consume huge swaths of the land. It’s a theme I’ve never seen before, so Fireside Games have to be commended for coming up with something unique. Now just watch as someone in the comments proves me wrong.
Noria is a deceptive game, its lovely artwork which features a massive floating mountain hanging high in the sky producing a myriad of thoughts about what its theme could be, but a wheel-building game of politics wasn’t quite what sprung to mind when I first saw it, I have to admit. But that’s what we’ve got.
So, the game’s big selling point is the sizable, plastic three-tiered wheel on which three cardboard rings sit and can be rotated. Into these rings, you’ll be inserting little cardboard discs that control the various actions you can take throughout the game, with each ring being spun around to the next segment at the end of your turn and thus changing what you’ll be able to do on the next turn.
Ah, the detective, a classic figure from books and movies alike, the man or woman capable of solving the greatest of mysteries via a series of incredible deductions and, in the case of Benedict Cumberwhatshisnname’s Sherlock Holmes, plentiful insults because everyone else is stupid. Small Detective looks to take the basic premise of something like Cluedo and shoves it into a tiny box. Good things really do come in small packages
As a movie fan, I can’t how many times I’ve seen a man or woman wronged by the villain before setting out to gain vengeance against the perpetrator, their friends, their family, their dog and anyone within a several mile radius. It’s a simple plot device that has been the driving motivation behind some of the best action movies ever, with a prime recent example being the mighty John Wick who had a pure, direct reason to go on a rampage; some jerks killed the dog his dead wife gave to him, and also stole his beloved car. As reasons to go on a rampage go, it’s a pretty good one.