Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9’s column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. This week, we’ve got a creepy Disney game where players can’t talk to each other, a Mariposas promo pack to honor a young girl, and the arrival of the Enclave to Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. Check it out!
News and Releases
Disney Shadowed Kingdom Now Available
Mondo Games has ventured into the Disney darkness with Disney Shadowed Kingdom, a two-player card game that (surprisingly) isn’t connected to the Kingdom Hearts series. Players work together to search for magic in a land called the Kingdom even as it’s being overtaken by creeping shadows, but they aren’t allowed to speak to each other and must rely on non-verbal communication—something Mondo Games said in a press release should help kids get into the silent gaming subgenre. Disney Shadowed Kingdom costs $20 and is available on Mondo’s website and Target.
Mariposas’ Purple Butterflies
Wingspan designer Elizabeth Hargrave’s new board game about migrating butterflies, Mariposas, has a new promo pack that was created for a very special purpose. As reported by Dicebreaker, the “Purple Butterfly Effect” promo pack was created in honor of Lexi Berry, a 2-year-old girl who passed away in 2018. One of her parents had contacted the board game publisher AEG before Mariposas’ release to ask if purple butterflies were being included, as Lexi loved them. AEG owner John Zinser later reached out to Lexi’s parents to let her know that not only would they would be added the butterflies as a promo pack and donating to a charity in her memory—but that purple butterflies would become the symbol of AEG’s ongoing charitable works. The Purple Butterfly Effect promo pack is available on AEG’s website for $10, and a portion of the proceeds will be added to AEG’s monthly charity contribution.
Alice Is Missing Update
Renegade Game Studios’ highly anticipated new roleplaying game, Alice Is Missing, is now available for pre-order and has a release month. Alice Is Missing is a non-verbal RPG where players work together to solve the disappearance of a teenager named Alice Briarwood. However, all of the communication takes place through text messages, with players texting each other using their phones. Alice Is Missing is set to come out in December.
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare Enclave
Modiphius has brought the Enclave to Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. This new core set features five new miniatures from the Enclave, the last remnants of America’s pre-war system of government. They might see themselves as the country’s last chance to get back to the pre-apocalypse days, but eventually their isolation and superiority complex leads them down a dark path where all wastelanders are seen as a threat. Fallout: Wasteland Warfare Enclave Core Set is currently available for pre-order on Modiphius’ website. It costs about $58 and it’s set to come out in November.
We’re All Mad Here
Monte Cook Games has released a new Cypher roleplaying system setting book all about diving into the wild and wonderful world of fairy tales. As reported by the Gaming Gang, We’re All Mad Here is designed to help players adapt traditional fairy tales for the tabletop, or create their own. There’s also a complete fairytale setting called the Heartwood, and three adventures that can be used in the Heartwood or incorporated into another setting. A digital copy of We’re All Mad Here is available on Monte Cook Games’ website or DriveThruRPG for $19. There’s also a hardcover edition for $50.
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.
Monsters on Board
Monsters on Board is a spooktacular 1-to-4 player miniatures dice-drafting board game where players take the role of monsters trying to score some Spook Juice, “a powerful spirit distilled from human fear,” for their upcoming mixer. The monsters jump into their car and head to the next town over, hoping to score some juice while appeasing the monster lords…and the most terrifying creature of all, Spider Jack. Monsters on Board will be on Kickstarter through September 30. The minimum pledge for a copy is $54 and it’s set to come out in June 2021.
Parselings is a deck-building roleplaying game where players take on the role of of humans who’ve been taken over by symbiotic beings called Parsecytes. These hybrid people, called Parse, can use the power of words to literally shape the world around them. Players use regular playing cards to build their decks, making it accessible for newcomers. Parselings will be on Kickstarter through October 7. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $20 and it’s set to come out in December, while a print copy is $45 and it’s set to come out in September 2021. There’s also a free teaser PDF for anyone curious to try it before pledging to support the campaign.
Heckna! Carnival Horror Campaign Setting for 5E D&D
Welcome to the circus. Heckna! is a 5E adventure story and setting that takes place in a dark, terrifying carnival from which there is (presumably) no escape. Travelers find themselves in the middle of the Revelia, a horrifying carnival run by a powerful foe named Heckna. It’s designed to take players through levels 1-10, and its mature subject material means it’s better suited for players 14 and older (though it can be modified for younger players if needed). Heckna! will be on Kickstarter through October 8. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $20 and it’s set to come out in January 2021, while a print copy is $40 and is set to come out in June 2021.
The BOLT RPG Engine
Game designer Ajey Pandey has created a new roleplaying game system, BOLT, that’s designed to be “a bit Cyberpunk 2020…[and] Genesys.” Most actions are determined by the role of single d10, which determines the success or failure of any particular action. However, what makes this unique is that players are also required to roll a d4 that “adds chaos, independent of whether you succeed.” Which means things will always be a little bit fun and unpredictable. BOLT will be on Kickstarter through October 4. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $35 and it’s set to come out in September 2021, although there is a $10 tier for folks facing financial hardships.
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