FTW Staff Picks - Rhino Hero: Super Battle September 18 2018

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 

Rhino Hero: Super Battle

Genre: Dexterity

Designer: Scott Frisco & Steven Strumpf

Player Size: 2 to 4 Players

Game Length: 20 minutes

For fans of: Jenga, Rhino Hero, Jamaica

The original Rhino Hero has always been a favourite among balancing, dexterity games. It's not exactly a game that needed a sequel or expansion, but the creators decided to give it one anyway. Rhino Hero: Super Battle is kind of like a mixture between Jamaica and Rhino Hero, where players race to the top of the building. More is not always necessarily better, but in this case we're willing to give it love. 

In Rhino Hero: Super Battle, players don their capes as one of 4 superheroes who are battling their way to the top of the ever-growing complex. The game begins with 3 foundation tiles. Each player starts with 3 roof cards. The current player chooses one of their roof cards and then builds walls according to the chosen roof. They then roll the movement die to determine how many floors they may climb up. If any two players are sharing a floor, they roll their respective combat dice to see who must be forced down a floor. Players continue building and climbing until the structure collapses. The player who was the highest up before the collapse (excluding the current player) is declared the winner! If the current player was the highest, everyone else are declared the winners!

Where Rhino Hero feels similar to UnoRhino Hero: Super Battle has more in common with Jamaica. Players are racing to the top, and anytime they share a space they battle to determine territory. While the number of spaces you can climb is determined entirely randomly, the player's control comes from how they build the complex. In the original, the only thing to control was the types of walls used to support the building. Here there are far more options in terms of building. 

Rhino Hero is a bit of challenge to see just how high you can stack the cards. I've seen quite a few buildings that needed a 2nd game just to keep stacking. In Rhino Hero: Super Battle the fun comes in expanding outward in all directions. It is still a game that relies quite a bit on luck, but like most novelty games it bring a lot of laughs with it. The games last a little longer, making every next move feel like it could be the last. 


Most Anticipated Games - September 2018 Edition September 12 2018

Each month at For The Win Board Game Cafe, we take a look at a few future releases that we're really excited about. From new games, to expansions, to Kickstarters we'll be covering it all monthly. 

KeyForge: Call of the Archons

It feels like every time Richard Garfield comes along with a new project, it's immediately declared the next Magic: the Gathering. And while he's kept himself busy over the years, he continues to pump out exciting new card games. He's already the lead designer on Valve's Artifact (a digital card-game based off Dota 2), he has now teamed up with Fantasy Flight Games to hopefully fill the hole left by Netrunner.

KeyForge: Call of the Archons is a collectible card game where each deck is entirely unique. From the Archon art on the back, to the name of the deck, everything is one-of-a-kind. And the catch is you can't combine cards from different decks. Instead of buying booster packs to chase powerful cards, you have to work with what you're given. It's an intriguing idea, backed by some really great art and light humour. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one.

KeyForge: Call of the Archons arrives in Q4 2018.


Pandemic: Fall of Rome

We are officially reaching over-saturation status with the Pandemic franchise. And while the previous spin-offs didn't do much to excite me, I must admit I am a sucker for anything Ancient Rome or Greece. Pandemic: Fall of Rome still gives you that familiar Pandemic formula, but this one looks to be the biggest deviation from norm. 

In Pandemic: Fall of Rome players are working together to fight off the many enemies of Rome as they march forward to invade the Empire. And while dealing with the military conflict, the players must also work to build peace with neighbouring peoples. The game also comes with a unique single-player variant for anyone who is looking for solitaire play.

Pandemic: Fall of Rome will be available sometime in Q4 2018

Just One

Just One feels like the next party game to keep a close eye on. It's one of those premises that feels so obvious and yet no one has done it yet. With everyone chasing to become the next CodenamesJust One may just be The One. 

Just One is a cooperative party game where players must work together to correctly guess 13 words. Each round one player is the guesser and the other players must give one-word clues. Once all clues have been written down, any duplicate clues will be removed and only the unique ones will be shown to the guesser. Just One gives players creative freedom that offers the game lots of re-playability. Watch out for this one!

Just One will be available in October 2018.

Machi Koro Legacy

At this point I am expecting a Monopoly Legacy, which to be honest may not actually be horrible. It feels like every popular modern tabletop game is getting the Legacy treatment, and the next in line appears to be Machi Koro. With the official Legacy subtitle, this means the project will be led by Rob Daviau himself. 

Most Legacy games are huge, expansive experiences. My hope is that Machi Koro Legacy is a much lighter take on that same format. Sometimes you just wanna be able to pull a game out without too much revisiting and thinking. I can't help but feel that Machi Koro is the perfect game to compliment that. As much as I have fatigued on the original game itself, I am actually most excited for Machi Koro Legacy over all other Legacy games on the horizon.

Machi Koro Legacy will be on store shelves during Spring 2019.

Until Daylight

An attractive-looking Kickstarter campaign is all it takes to excite gamers looking for the next hit game. Sometimes it's well-designed miniatures and sometimes it's an abundance of cosmetic stretch goals. But with Until Daylight, it's definitely the stylistic theme that brings it altogether. While the game doesn't look to bring anything new and exciting to the table, it brings it altogether in a cohesive package. Hopefully the game is as good as it looks!

Click here to visit the Kickstarter page. Until Daylight ships to backers in May 2019.




FTW Staff Picks - Speechless September 11 2018

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 


Genre: Party

Designer: Mike Elliott

Player Size: 3 to 8 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: Guesstures, Charades, Time's Up

Charades is a timeless affair that has lived on since its inception. It doesn't take much more than paper and pen to even get started, and that makes it one of the best games you can pull out of thin air. Over the years many games such as Guesstures and Time's Up! have given their own spin on the classic. Today we take a look at another take on the formula, and why Speechless is one of our favourite new party games. 

In Speechless, players take turns acting out 6 different words of varying difficulties as the rest of the players attempt to guess each word. With just 90 seconds on the timer, the player acting out the clues will have to work efficiently. Guessing players write their answers silently on their boards. They may ask the active player to repeat the action of one of the words, otherwise they must stay completely silent. After 90 seconds have elapsed, the active player will reveal the 6 words. If any player guesses the correct word they are rewarded 2 points. If any players guess incorrectly, but guess the same word as each other they are all rewarded 1 point. The active player earns 2 points for each correct guess made by the player who guessed the most correct words. After 10 rounds, the player with the most points is declared the winner!

With just 90 seconds, there is little room for error. And with a scoring system that is designed to punish players who are bad at acting out clues, you have to really prepare to give clear and concise actions. Another thing to keep in mind is that since players have to write down their answers, they may not see you acting out the next clue. As the active player you also want to give yourself enough time to revisit clues that were not clearly understood. It's difficult to get a perfect score, which makes the time constraint feel like the perfect amount. 

Most Charades clones are team-based games. Due to the nature of acting out clues and having people guess, the same is true of games even outside of that niche such as PictionaryTaboo and Mad Gab. The unique thing about Speechless is you can play it as fully competitive, free-for-all party game. In the games we've played the final rounds became quite tense. Speechless is great for your competitive friends who don't want to sit and learn a complicated strategy game.