Top 10 Anticipated Games of 2018 – Part 2

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Dark Frontier: Farrenroc

Last week we looked at numbers 10 through 6 of my Top 10 Anticipated Games of 2018.  Today, we finish the list and look at the Top 5.  You might wonder where people hear about these games though, so I thought I’d chat about that briefly before resuming the list.

People hear about upcoming games from different places.  Kickstarter is a big one, as games that people backed in 2017 will gradually be delivered in 2018 (in fact I received one this week!).  Backers potentially know quite a lot about these games if they’ve been following the updates and took the time to vet the project properly when they first backed.

The other main source is publisher announcements of course.  These are a little trickier to gauge, as you often know very little about them apart from the designers, the theme and a smattering of artwork.  Nevertheless, some designers have a very good track record and seem able to consistently deliver the goods.

Finally, I should mention that there is a helpful geeklist on BoardGameGeek that allows people to vote on their most anticipated games.  There seem to be far too many categories (Grognard?!), with the same game appearing in multiple categories (7th Continent, I’m looking at you!) and publishers have been getting all their followers to vote for their games, which distorts the accuracy rather, but it’s still an interesting read.

Alright, let’s get to the Top 5…

Myth: Dark Frontier5. Myth: Dark Frontier

I’m a huge fan of Myth: the co-op dungeon crawl where you control your heroes through hand management and clever card play.  It has some great miniatures and I really like the slightly cartoon-style artwork.  So is Myth: Dark Frontier an expansion for Myth?  No it’s not, despite the name.  It’s a stand-alone game set in the Myth universe, and it really is a completely different game – it’s not even a dungeon crawl.

So what is it?  Essentially, it’s a tower-defense game.  A pile of monsters are attacking the city in the middle of the board and you have to run around the countryside fighting off the monsters and establishing strongholds in an effort to protect the city.  The thing that drew me in though was the action selection mechanism…

Each player selects three action cards each round and places them in three spots on the board: Morning, Day and Night.  The monsters also put an action card in each spot.  You then shuffle each of the Morning cards and resolve them one at a time.  So you can decide what action to take, but you can’t predict exactly when in the turn order you will get to act.  You repeat this process for the Day and Night cards each round.  It’s an interesting twist for the co-op genre.

If you already have Myth, you can use all the hero and monster miniatures in Myth: Dark Frontier as well, so that’s big plus for me.  I like it when games have some crossover and allow you to reuse minis for example.

Thunderstone Quest4. Thunderstone Quest

I really like Thunderstone, which was one the first deck-builders that really tried to inject some theme.  In many deck-builders (eg. Dominion), you’re just trying to get points, but in Thunderstone, you trying to recruit heroes, weapons and other equipment into your deck in order to fight monsters in a dungeon.  Much more satisfying!

One issue with Thunderstone (or Thunderstone Advance, which is the version I have) is that the actual combat was rather abstract and random: you just flipped a few monster cards from a deck and picked one of them to fight.  The idea with the new Thunderstone Quest is that the game gives you, well, quests to go on.

Supposedly, it provides some story, dungeon tiles and a campaign system of sorts to progress through the scenarios.  I don’t know much than that unfortunately as it’s not a Kickstarter, but AEG have whet my appetite enough for it to be an insta-buy for me when it’s released.

Exit: Orient Express3. Exit / Unlock

I love all the escape room games that have been coming out over the past year.  I’m cheating a bit here as there will no doubt be several more Exit games and Unlock games (the best two series, in my opinion) being released this year.  I’m not looking forward to any one of them more than any other, but I will happily devour any of them as soon as they are released.

So far, there have been six Exit games and six Unlock games, all released in 2017.  Each scenario (which you can only play once) provides a series of puzzles within some kind of thematic story for you to solve.  There’s usually some kind of time pressure and if you manage to solve all the puzzles in time, you ‘escape’ and win the game.

They’re not going to be for everyone, but I love them and can’t wait for more to be released!  Here’s hoping they release at least another six of each this year.


Detective: City of Angels2. Detective: City of Angels

Back to Kickstarter!  One of my favourite genres is that of the gumshoe detective.  I think it was probably Star Trek: The Next Generation that got me into the genre bizarrely enough.  Captain Picard used to spend his free time on the holodeck re-enacting these crime dramas.  Well, Detective: City of Angels is attempting to provide you with all the mobsters, shakedowns and snitches you can handle in a boardgame.

Most of the players are detectives attempting to solve a crime and they spend their time moving around the city, visiting locations, interrogating suspects and trying to sift the fact from the fiction.  However, one player is the “chisel”, who knows the solution and is trying to prevent the players from solving the crime in time.

When a detective interrogates a suspect for example, the chisel can choose from a number of responses to show the detective, which may or may not be true.  If the detective thinks the suspect is lying, they can challenge them and if they’re right, they get the correct information from the suspect, but if the suspect really was telling the truth, the chisel gets a kind of collateral token, which they’ll be able to cash in later to slow the detectives down.

It’s a clever system and I can’t wait to try it out!

Legends Untold1. Legends Untold

Legends Untold is a light, fairly-quick RPG of sorts, in the form of a card game.  I was able to chat to one of the designers (Kevin Young) at the UK Games Expo last year, and in his words, he loves RPGs, but doesn’t often have time to play them properly.  What they endeavoured to do with Legends Untold was provide a dungeon-crawling RPG experience in a card game that provides depth, but only takes an hour to play.

Can such a thing be done?  Well, they’re certainly giving it their best shot.  I’ve watched the development of this one with great interest.  There are quests with choose-your-own-adventure style choices to be made, an upgrade system for heroes, an expanding map to explore and, of course, monsters to fight.

The thing I love more than anything else in a game is a sense of adventure, and if Legends Untold can provide an immersive adventure that you can pull out and play quickly, I’m sold.  I could see this getting a lot of play when it arrives.  The guys at Inspiring Games have been hard at work fine-tuning this one before it goes to the printers, which is why it has been delayed a little, but I’d much rather a publisher took their time to make a top-quality product rather than rushing to get it out of the door.

Of all the games coming out this year, Legends Untold is the one I want to play more than any other!

What do you think?  Do any of these appeal to you as much as they do to me?

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Jonathan Hicks

Jonathan is the director of Maven Games. He blogs and records podcast episodes several times a week. Whenever he isn't doing anything else, he designs games.

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