Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. This week, we’ve got news about Starfinder’s first standalone roleplaying adventure, a brand-new board game about The Boys, and a free advent calendar filled with festive-theme roleplaying games. Enjoy!
Renegade Game Studios’ Stranger Things-esque ode to childhood horrors, the Kids on Bikes roleplaying game, is getting its own board game version. The Snallygaster Situation pits 2-5 players against a series of monsters trying to destroy their hometown. And according to Dicebreaker, one of the players takes on the role of the Lost Kid, who’s been kidnapped by a monster and is tasked with dropping hints to the others about its location. No other information, including a potential release date, has been released yet.
A group of game designers has joined forces to create a monthlong tabletop roleplaying setting and campaign called the Adventure Calendar. The free program started on December 1, with daily articles that build the world, story, and mechanics of this festively themed adventure. Once the entire program has been unveiled by December 25, it will be bundled together into a pay-what-you-want PDF. Head here for more information, and you can follow the #AdventureCalendar hashtag on Twitter for updates.
Well, this feels like something that was tailor-made for me: ShopDisney’s Holiday 2020 catalog features a new look at the Disney Parks edition of The Game of Life. It turns the traditional Game of Life board into a version of a Disney theme park, with players earning “wishes” instead of traditional money. It was originally set to come out in November, but it’s been moved to mid-January 2021.
The Op has released its latest Coded Chronicles escape room-style card game, this time focusing on The Shining and its famous hotel of horrors. In The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel, players work together (taking on the shared roles of Wendy and Danny) to navigate their way around the haunted resort and try to get out before winding up in the clutches of its homicidal caretaker, Jack. The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel costs $30 and is available on The Op’s website.
The Starfinder Roleplaying Game is getting its first standalone adventure. As reported by The Gaming Gang, “Junker’s Delight” is a first-level adventure that will have players taking on the role of “junk tourists” who are searching for riches among crashed starships. There, players will discover a science ship that crashed under mysterious circumstances—leaving behind some invaluable, and quite possibly dangerous, research. “Junker’s Delight” is set to come out in July 2021 and will cost $23.
A Sherlock Holmes-esque whodunnit that stars a crime-solving kitty named... Detective Charlie Holmes. Yes, yes, and yes. Loki and Iello have announced Detective Charlie, a cooperative deduction game where players work to help Charlie Holmes interview witnesses, analyze evidence, and solve the crime of the day on Mysterville Island. It’s designed as a family game that’s good for kids, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out if the idea of a mystery-solving feline sounds like the best night ever. Detective Charlie comes out on January 21, 2021 and will cost $22.49.
Note: The covid-19 pandemic and Trump’s trade war with China have impacted board game production. We strongly advise you check with crowdfunding developers about possible delays, but don’t let that dissuade you from supporting these campaigns.
Twinkle is a competitive dice-drafting game where players build constellations using polyhedral dice. Players can receive bonuses for creating specialty paths and constellations, but also run the risk of being circumvented by others trying to do the same thing! What’s cool about this game is you can use the dice that are included with the game—or you can bring your own, giving players a chance to show off some of their dice sets in games outside of roleplaying games. Twinkle will be on Kickstarter through December 21. The minimum pledge for a copy is $37, and it’s set to come out in June 2021.
Cryptozoic Entertainment has brought the retro-inspired art of Steven Rhodes to the tabletop with three new games: Let’s Dig for Treasure, Don’t Talk to Strangers, and Let’s Summon Demons. Each game is for 2-6 players and they’re designed to be simple and streamlined, with very little set-up time. However, they’re not for the feint of heart. For example, in Let’s Summon Demons, players take on the role of children trying to conjure the best-worst otherworldly creature into our realm. Whoever brings the cruelest ones across the threshold is the “winner,” although humanity may suffer the consequences. All three Steven Rhodes games will be on Kickstarter through December 24—the minimum pledge for one game is $20 while all three games (in a specialty slipcase) is a $50 pledge, and they’re set to come out in June 2021.
1First Games has announced its debut board game with The Boys: This Is Going to Hurt, based on the antihero graphic novels that inspired Amazon Studios’ hit streaming series. In this competitive game, players take on the role of agents trying to take down the hero Homelander, who’s gone rogue. In order to do this, players have to recruit their own army of Supes, by any means necessary, and build an arsenal of weapons that can take down a superhuman. The Boys: This Is Going to Hurt will be Kickstarter through December 24. The minimum pledge for a copy is $60 and it’s set to come out in June 2021.
Just look at their little faces. The outfits. The little gentleman kitty with a feathered cap! Resin miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons or other tabletop roleplaying games about cats will always be a win in my book. Plus, their names are William Taillace, Furan The Destroyer, Sir Kittingham, Meowromant and Meowlord of Katzville. I’m combusting! Cat Knights will be on Kickstarter through January 3. The minimum pledge for a single figure is $26 while the complete set of five is $124, and they’re set to come out in May 2021.
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