“It was an ambush. That’s the only way to describe it. The mother ship appeared out of nowhere, creating a massive shadow over the city. Within seconds, wave after wave of fighters poured out of it, filling the sky.”
“We’re launching the ships we have ready, but they aren’t much. Our pilots must fight bravely to defend the planet while we ready the rest of the fleet. Explosions fill the sky, and we’ve taken some hits, but we won’t give up. Will you?”
Flip Ships is a cooperative dexterity game in which players take on the roles of brave pilots defending their planet from an onslaught of firepower. Flip your ships to take out the encroaching enemies and to take down the powerful mother ship before it’s too late.
In the cooperative, press-your-luck game Hotshots, crews of 1 to 4 players take on the roles of wildfire fighters — crew boss, spotter, swamper, and sawyer — with special abilities, then roll dice on burning terrain tiles to match the combinations shown on those tiles. The more faces they roll, the better they fight the fire. Players can choose to cut firebreaks, which protect tiles from embers blown by wind gusts, or push their luck to reduce flames and possibly even generate reward tokens. If players bust and fail to match at least three of the six symbols on the tile, the fire grows. Another option is to maneuver vehicles — air tanker, helicopter, and brush rig — to save the forest.
Flame tokens are added at the end of each player’s turn by the draw of a fire card, which can bring about light or strong wind gusts, increase the strength of the flames on certain tiles, and start fires. Too many flame tokens will cause a tile to scorch and be lost. Losing a terrain tile could also affect the game play. Some tiles are tied to crewmembers’ special abilities, while others help the firefighters, and still others cause the fire to spread in unique ways. If eight tiles scorch or the fire camp scorches, the game is over and the forest is lost — but if the intrepid crew can extinguish the fire, the team wins together.
The press-your-luck mechanism with ratcheting rewards creates tension, and the variety of ways to fight the fire makes for interesting choices. The modular tile layout and fire cards bring high replayability to the game, and the acrylic flame tokens provide an enticing table presence.
Get to your rig – this is gonna be one helluva shift. Be quick to sustain and stabilize patients and rush them to the hospital. Manage your resources and upgrade your ambulance to save as many lives as possible. You only have seconds to act and the clock is against you. Try not to lose anyone today, rookie. “Rescue squad – confirm and depart.”
This is a pulse-pounding, high-tension, timed game of saving lives – and you probably won’t be able to save them all. The FREE companion app timer limits player turns to 60 seconds and later dwindles to just 45 or 30 seconds as players race to triage new patients, purchase medical supplies, treat their medical needs and transport them to the hospital for victory points. Critical patients add to the drama, as they must be treated and sent to the hospital immediately or they head to the morgue instead… counting against your score.
Paramedics: CLEAR! is an intense, competitive game for 1-4 players and will appeal to gamers who enjoy fast-paced, timed games. While not strictly the backstabby game Smirk & Dagger is known for, experienced players will find opportunities to turn up the heat on their opponents as they manage the clock more expertly.
FATE OF THE ELDER GODS
In Fate of the Elder Gods, players take on the ever-maddening role of cults trying to summon ancient evil and herald the fall of mankind! Each cult is in competition to be first to summon their god, but they all must also repel intrepid investigators working to seal off the gate to beyond with Elder signs. Gather arcane artifacts, cast powerful spells, embrace the Dark Gift of your Elder God, and be first to hasten doom…before it’s too late!
During the game, players use a variable hand of spell cards to do one of two things to aid their cult in their mission: Use the spell’s Astral Symbol to navigate the areas around Arkham on the unique Fate Clock board, or use the symbols in a location’s Astral Column to ready a spell. Readied spells can be cast at any time, but while in a cult’s Spell Reserve their primary Astral Symbol can aid in readying future spells, creating an engine for pumping out more potential power.
As cults travel to the six locations on the Fate Clock, they activate specific powerful abilities, such as gaining useful artifacts at The Museum or enabling their Elder God’s Dark Gift at The Ceremony. As cults send more and more cultists to a location, they may gain control there, adding even more powerful abilities. However, cults must be careful how they navigate Arkham as a location with lots of activity will attract pesky investigators. Tempt fate too many times and the investigators may raid your cult’s lodge, placing Elder Signs, and generally getting in the way of summoning your Elder God. Gain too many Elder Signs and it’s game over!
If any cult can manage to raise their Summon Track to 9 before the investigators save humanity, their Elder God awakens and they win! Of course, “win” is a relative term as it will certainly herald the end of the world — but that’s a small price to pay for eternal servitude to the Ancient Ones.
The next great technological revolution is here. Sentient robots for information, transportation, industry — all at our fingertips. Building them is now the easy part. Programming them has proven to be more complicated. A handful of companies have emerged claiming to pull it off, but only one will win out. Your mission is clear: Procure valuable bots and plug them into your network. They’ll have an effect on your systems. Anticipate it correctly, program your bots effectively, and attract the right investors to win and lead the sentient revolution.
In Sentient, players are tasked with choosing from available robots to program in their factory. Each robot that is added modifies your board and attracts the interest of investors for your company. Program your bots efficiently and collect the support of your patrons to build the most formidable operation.
Other new games include:
Munchkin: Rick and Morty
Smash Up: Big in Japan
Master of Orion
Star Wars Destiny: Empire at War