Most Anticipated Games - November Edition November 03 2016

Each month at For The Win Board Game Cafe, we're going to be taking 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.

Great Western Trail

I won't lie, I'm starting to feel a real Western fatigue going on in gaming right now. Between games like Colt Express, Bang! The Dice Game and Flick 'Em Up a lot of my favourite releases lately have been leaning heavily on the wild, wild, west. On top of that, I've been watching a lot of Westworld on HBO. So it's going to take something special to convince me don the ten gallon hat and hit the road again.

Alexander Pfister has been on quite the roll with his last two releases, Broom Service and Isle of Sky. Both were given Spiel nominations in their respetive years. So if anyone can raise and deliver on hype, Pfister is that guy. Great Western Trail mixes quite a few mechanics together like deck-building and racing, but all impressions seem to indicate it's not as convulted as it would appear. 

Great Western Trail is arriving before the end of this calendar year. 

 

Not Alone

Not Alone is a one-vs-all social deduction game, where one player plays as the Creature chasing after the rest of the players as the Hunted. Thematically, it's reminiscent of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space, but the gameplay falls a bit more in the realm of Coup with a greater emphasis on strategy on top of all the bluffing.  

There are up to ten locations that the Hunted can visit each turn (only five initially), each with an effect that can help bring the players closer to victory. Each round the Hunted will openly discuss their plans and then secretly choose one location to visit. The Creature then selects on of the locations in attempts to catch their prey and negate any effects at the location. The two sides are racing to reach the end space on the board. 

Not Alone will be on shelves December 2016

 

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden is Uwe Rosenberg's spiritual successor to the smash-hit Patchwork. Similar in its puzzle-based gameplay, Cottage Garden extends the player count to support up to 4 players. We've had quite a few people ask for recommendations on games like Patchwork but for more players, so this should hopefully fill that void. 

The initial reception has been a little disappointing, but it seems like a lot of it has been due to reviewers comparing the game to Patchwork. It's entirely likely that the game doesn't hit all the same notes as its predecessor, but perhaps that's the point? It's a different game, that just happens to look similar. I'm still excited to give it a run. 

Cottage Garden is rolling out slowly, and will hopefully come to North America in early 2017. 

 

Inis

We move from one spiritual successor to the another. Inis is the next game in the Cyclades and Kemet series. I do love Kemet, and it's among one of the many games I regret not playing more often. By most accounts, Inis appears to surpass both games in its lineage and the guys over at Shut Up & Sit Down can't stop raving about it. While I'm not crazy about the art on the box, the components and designs inside the box are nothing short of incredible. 

With multiple avenues to victory, unique and impactful drafted action cards and careful bluffing, mixed with planning, Inis offer a lot of intrigue in so many ways. For a game with little figures on randomized board tiles, conquest and violence is not always the most practical method of success. There's a lot here, without having to learn a lot initially. Instead the learning appears to happen as you go. 

Inis arrives in the first half of November. 

 

Bears Vs. Babies 

The Oatmeal guys are back with another Kickstarter sure to reach numbers as ridiculous as the theme of their own games. Now if you've been living under a rock for the past year, these are the guys responsible for the record-shattering, Exploding Kittens. It's highly unlikely they'll be able to replicate the same viral success, but with 13 days left and just over $2 million funded, I'd say they're doing OK. 

As for the game itself, it's quite similar to Exploding Kittens in simplicity. Players construct monsters to fight off armies of babies. I guess they decided to go for a more realistic and grounded approach in their sophmore go. 

Bears Vs. Babies is on Kickstarter until November 17, and will ship to all backers by June 2017. Click here to visit their Kickstarter page.

 

Earl