We’ve seen no end to big game announcements this week, with Twilight Imperium, Clank!, Civilization, Stuffed Fables and many more from developers showing off the very best board games at Gen Con.
In the first of two news round-ups this week, we take a look back at a busy week of announcements which led nicely into the Gen Con weekend. Lucky attendees were able to pick up some fantastic exclusives and play some exciting demos over the weekend.
Let's take a look back at the stories which made the news before Gen Con weekend.
Clank! in! Space!
Renegade Games have revealed their newest game from Dire Wolf Digital: Clank! in! Space! From the creators of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, Lotus and Eternal, comes the latest release from the deck-building adventure game Clank! series.
Unlike the game's previous expansion: Sunken Treasures, Clank! in! Space! will be a standalone game which launches players into a sci-fi adventure. This time burglars will infiltrate their way into the flagship of the cyborg Lord Eradikus as he wages war across the galaxy, sneaking, stealing and hacking your way to untold artifacts and dangerous secrets.
The new alien addition to the Clank! series looks to build on the original game systems, with a considerable list of contents from playing cards to markets, meeples, tokens and cubes making the box worth your buck. It's going to be interesting to see where Dire Wolf have taken the much-loved formula of Clank's suspense-filled game of nerve and luck, and what the new setting will bring to the table.
Clank! in Space will launch this Autumn, so if you haven't already take a look at the original: Clank! or its expansion Sunken Treasures, while we wait for the space ships to land.
Sid Meier’s Civilization 6
Fantasy Flight Games have continued their run of big game announcements with the reveal of a new Sid Meier's Civilization Board Game: A New Dawn, to be released in Q4 of 2017. Based on the popular video game, the Civilization board games have always held true to their digital cousins, as immersive strategy games for 2-4 players.
Civilization: A New Dawn will be based on Civilization 6, with the new art style and assets taken straight from Firaxis - it seems the only thing missing will be Sean Bean’s gravelly tones. We’ve yet to see how Fantasy Flight will build on the mechanics of the original Civilization board game, so would-be Emperors may want to wait and see what more information will be released on changes to rules and systems.
We’re hoping to see some improvements for a game that is renowned for its complexity, as a fresh take would be more than welcome for a game with a premise as appealing as conquering the world through force, science, and civilization.
Twilight Imperium 4th Edition
Meanwhile Fantasy Flight also confirmed that the long-awaited Twilight Imperium 4th edition will be released by the end of the year. With legendary play times of up to twelve hours, the 4th edition makes promises of refinement to its monumental rules, with more matches in the 4-8 hour range and only 354 plastic units, 450 cards, and 700 tokens to get to grips with.
Twilight Imperium is a strategy game of galactic conquest to be reckoned with, where 3-6 players vie to outdo one another in the arenas of warfare, politics, and economic might. So if the prospect of Civilization: A New Dawn is not intensive enough for you, then turn your face towards the stars and prepare your logbooks for an astronomical return to the world of Twilight Imperium.
Fairy Tale Adventures
Plaid Hat Games also announced a new game this week. Stuffed Fables has players come to life as adorable and fearsome 'stuffies': plush toys and teddy bears sworn to defend the child they love from the evil forces that lurk in nightmares.
A co-operative storyboard game where the narrative is driven by player choices, Stuffed Fables seems to fall somewhere between Toy Story and Among the Sleep. You play through the chapters of the Stuffed Fables storybook: the board, rule book, story and map all in one, which follows the life of the child as they grow up.
The game promises branching stories, hidden surprises and immersive gameplay as stuffies battle the creatures that lurk in the Fall: a realm of nightmares and fantasy, and work together to stop the forces of evil. Stuffed Fables looks set to be a charming adventure game for families and friends, from the creator of Mice and Mystics, we'll be delighted if the game succeeds on delivering a tale of whimsy and bravery that's worth coming back to.
Finally, we have seen an update from the Wizards of the Coast who back in March announced an official companion app for Dungeons and Dragons: D&D Beyond, which finally launched this Tuesday on browsers everywhere. D&D: Beyond offers a massive range of tools to players running games in 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, with digital versions of D&D source books and compendiums, interactive character sheets, and even room to add your own homebrew spells, magic items, and monsters.
But much more than simply a new resource for games, this launch signals a positive change from the Wizards of the Coast, with a move towards an acceptance of the need for digital editions of rule books, and recognition of the ways players want to run D&D in the modern day. It's a big jump for the Wizards, fierce defenders of their now gargantuan IP, and it will be fascinating to see how players use the app and whether it will outlive its competition in much longer running fan-made apps.
Of course it could be used in conjunction with ever-popular digital platforms like Roll20, or even games like Divinity: Original Sin 2 as it branches ever closer to the D&D universe with its own sandbox DM mode. Wizards of the Coast's focus on 5th edition tools may prove limiting to old and new players alike, with so many fresh Tabletop RPGs to choose from, but it's exciting to see a new lease of life for digital D&D, and more tools being put at players disposal.
Come back for Gen Con News
There’s been no end to exciting announcements and games to choose from for players this week, so we look forward to giving you the best coverage and follow-ups fresh from the booths of GenCon. Keep an eye out!
Helen Jones is a writer and games journalist, you can read more of her stuff @Barnacledrive on Twitter.