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September has been a fairly quiet month as many developers have been holding their breath for news on iOS 5 and the revealed iPhone 4S. So now that it’s here, October is either going to be a fun filled month of numerous reviews, or it’s going to be full of disappointments as prospective releases get reshuffled. Now would be a great time to take a look at the upcoming games we have confirmed release dates for, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s an exciting time to be a board game fan.
Tigris & Euphrates (end of October 2011)
Originally scheduled for release in March this year, and since we have learned about Codito’s publishing schedule being tenuous at best. However, their revised schedule promises us that Tigris and Euphrates will be released by the end of this month. Let’s see if all goes well, and we might have one of the more interesting strategy games up for offer.
Summoner Wars (end October 2011)
In July, we learned that Incinerator Studios had partnered up with Plaid Hat Studios to bring to us Summoner Wars, and it’s apparently nearly here. With Incinerator Studios having been behind the conversion of Ascension Wars, we can probably expect an excellent result.
For those not in the know, Summoner Wars is a card game for 2-4 players. It uses a combination of collectible card games, and table-top strategies. These decks are expandable with various decks, for factions and reinforcements.
Cyclades (end October 2011)
In October the print version of the expansion for Cyclades (Hades) will be released, and we have news that the iPad version of Cyclades will be released thereafter. Matagot, the developers of the iPad version have promised us that we will play Cyclades on the iPad by this month.
Caylus (November 2011)
This is something I am really excited to see and keen to wait for. It is the winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious Spiel des Jahres “Complex Game” Winner in 2006. It is a game that has long sat on my “acquire list” but never quite got there. Now I will be able to explore the game in earnest before perhaps getting the physical version.
The game of Caylus is set in 1289 France around the eponymous village. The players play as master builders and work to develop the city around it. The object of the game revolves around the earning of prestige points and currying the favour of the good King.
Caylus was announced as part of the roadmap from Big Daddy, and announced for next month!
Agricola (Winter 2011)
In August, the publishers of Agricola announced a partnership with Lookout Games to bring their games to iOS and mobile platforms. Playdek was noted to be responsible for bringing Agricola to iOS first. I’ve already mentioned Agricola on the horizon, but now we can reconfirm that we are looking at a Winter 2011 release (I presume that means December-February because Winter has already passed here in Australia – and the Starks are relieved).
Cities and Knights Expansion (by the end of 2011)
Previously I reported hints that the Cities and Knights expansion might be on the horizon for the popular city-building game Catan, and of course since then we have confirmation that a Cities & Knights expansion for iOS is in being developed. Cities and Knights is particularly exciting because it builds on one of the existing gateway games that enables people into more complex strategy games. Add Cities and Knights and you suddenly have a much more in depth strategy. In Cities and Knights, players have to also watch out for outside barbarian invasions, soldiers (now knights) are much more versatile and strategic, and the cities are more involved (creating walls and building metropoli) – all of these create new and interesting uses for your resources. More, there is now a ‘tech tree’ that comes from the commodities that can be traded for.
Dominion (by the end of 2011)
There are few games that have captured the public imagination like Dominion. It effectively introduced (or at least popularised) a variant of a card drafting mechanic. It helped change the face of collectable card games, with a number of imitators. Ever since the release of board games on the iPad it has been one of the more popular games having a demand for an iOS port.
For those not in the know, Dominion works around a common set of cards that both players can draw from through the drafting mechanic. Players can use this to expand their deck and slowly increase its value and ability until a trigger point is met for end game. Thematically, the game describes the contenders as being in something of an arms race across different kingdoms through building construction, minion hiring, and making your castle just fabulous.
Rio Grande Games announced in late September that both Dominion and Race for the Galaxy (see below) in digital form early 2012.
Race for the Galaxy (early 2012)
When it first came out, Race for the Galaxy was billed as the game with the steepest learning curve. What they actually meant was the game in common use with the steepest curve, but even then that claim is spurious and subjective. In any case, the subtle implication is that Race for the Galaxy does have a steep learning curve (probably on par with or easier than Ghost Stories).
Race for the Galaxy is a race to build the pre-eminent galactic civilisations by through different worlds with various different goods and development that represent technical and social advancements. The balance is one of resource management and role placement across a bunch of different phases, very similar to Puerto Rico.
Eclipse was one of a few games announced for next year part of the Big Daddy Creation’s roadmap, from their news blurb:
“Eclipse places you in control of vast interstellar civilizations, competing for success. You will explore new star systems, research technologies and build spaceships to wage war with. You may design your own starships: each player has four ship types that they can build and design as they will. Eclipse has seven different species for you to choose from (with different characteristics and abilities). Customized star systems and the dynamic technology tree ensure that each session of Eclipse is unique! Based on the board game from Touko Tahkokallio and Lautapelit.fi.”
Also part of the Big Daddy Creation’s roadmap, from their news blurb:
“Stronghold is a strategy game telling the story of a siege. Players take opposite sides, one has to defend the stronghold, the other has to break into the castle as soon as possible. The defender has a small amount of soldiers manning the walls, while the invader has an infinite legion of them! The invaders build war machines, equip their soldiers, train them and use black magic rituals to achieve victory. Meanwhile, defenders repair walls, build cannons, train soldiers and do everything they can to hold the castle as long as possible. Based on the board game from Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Publishing.”
Also part of the Big Daddy Creation’s roadmap:
“Zombiaki is a 2-players game. It lets you feel emotions of desperate fight between zombies and humans. Objective of the zombies is to eat the people, but people want to save their own lives, which is possible if they survive until the sunrise. Game with humor and strategy. Based on the card game from Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Publishing.”
Personally, I can’t wait – here’s looking forward to a fun filled next few months and even more exciting 2012. Enjoy~