Posts Tagged ‘Game Hype’


Game Hype August

July 28, 2021

A few days early, I didn’t think I’d have one for this month, but, turns out I found some time between all the work life imbalance to look at game stuff outside of my ongoing games.


A Forged in the Dark mecha game still in the early Alpha Stages. This looks like it might hit some of my itch for mil sim giant robot combat. (Can I say how happy I am about the number of mech games in the last few years?) You have options for both pilot and non-pilot characters, some simple but solid mecha building rules and so on. I think it’d be a good game to try and then compare to Michael Prescott’s Too Good to Be True. I feel like we’re seeing sort of a parallel to how a lot of indie games sought to capture the spirit of the D&D family of games while ditching the simulationist chasing mechanics, except in this case, it’s branching from Battletech.

Balatro’s Phased Battle Maps

Balatro draws classic grid battlemaps… except each map is “phased” – it’s designed for you to change the map over the course of battle – whether that’s a building that’s collapsing each round, producing a new, more precarious version of the map as it goes, or a collossi smashing it’s way through the city with each map showing it’s progress. For $3 per map, you also get access to the past maps, which include stuff like a boat going downstream or a very busy street full of carriages.

(Also, much older but still worth hyping, if you are into battlemaps, Two Minute Tabletop has GREAT hand drawn maps, also worth checking out.)

The Shape of Shadows

I talked about this before, but now after the first week of play, I can say it feels partway between a journaling game, an ARG, a Telltale Game, and interactive fiction? When the live game ends in a month, the PDF will be available for people to purchase.

In this game, you are the assistant of magician – who teaches you the art of stage magic… and real magic. Until they go missing. And you will unravel what happened along the way. It’s giving me a lot of Mage the Awakening, Unknown Armies, and Gaiman vibes. I’m really curious to see how it turns out.

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June 2021 Game Hype

June 1, 2021

Wrapped up my Uncharted Worlds game, and will be done with my Perilous game by the end of the month, so I get a break from GMing for awhile. I’ve been so tied up with stress and work that I haven’t even had a chance to look close at the last several months of game hype stuff. But… more keeps coming.

Into the Motherlands

Afro Futurist sci-fi! I’ve seen some of the streamed episodes and it looks really interesting! Cyborgs, symbiotic modded humans, and more. So far on the game stream they’ve used a variant of Cortex, but they might change systems for the full game. One benefit to having a strong creative team and play under their belt is they can decide which parts of play were highlights vs. bumpy parts and refine their system around that.

Apocalypse World

An oldie but goodie. My UW game wraps up and another friend will be GMing Apocalypse World, which I haven’t gotten to play in, in years. I highly recommend people who want to play or make Powered by the Apocalypse games to try a short campaign (8-12 sessions) at some point. A lot of what people miss is the strength in specificity of Moves and the secondary systems that push conflict together consistently (Barter, Threats, etc.).

Eyes and Hands

Eyes and Hands is a mecha RPG that mixes a bit of Powered by the Apocalypse with a bit of Burning Wheel’s “pre-pick a move” system and really plays up the Pacific Rim “partners syncing” idea. I’m intrigued because it’s such a different mechanical take, and opens up the question about stuff like party-game style mechanics getting ported into more classic tabletop game ideas.

Glitter Hearts

Another Powered by the Apocalypse game, this one does a Magical Girls and strongly shifts the character creation idea to something that looks very interesting – you get “Identities” that are basically personality/attitude choices that bump your stats and give us a good idea of who your character is. The rules cover a good overlap with sentai/superhero stories as well. I think I’ll probably run this next time for my Sunday group.


May 2021 Game Hype

May 1, 2021

This last month has been really hard on my RPG fun – both my games missed 2 weeks of sessions and work has been crushingly stressful. We’re still playing Perilous and Uncharted Worlds, and there’s not much new to report there. I did manage to do some game design somewhere in that, and have to playtest some things later down the line. My hype is pretty low right now because all I can think about is wanting to take a break when these arcs hit their end point.

The Shape of Shadows

I backed this Kickstarter, because, even though I haven’t gotten deep into solo/journaling RPGs, it sounds along the lines of weird mystical journey stuff, which was what I wanted more from old WW’s Mage series but they kept moving away from it. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how this is set up and how it works, especially with the “everyone is playing alone, but together” – which seems to be a sort of common thing for a subset of videogames these days as well.

Ironsworn – Starforged

I haven’t yet looked at the original Ironsworn, but given that this game is supposed to support both solo and co-op play, I think that’s pretty interesting and worth checking out. I guess part of the game is lots of inspirational charts, and we’ll see how well those are set up – I find people either do a good job of building great material for those things or they build mostly empty and not non-functional entries that cause more work in trying to figure out how to use it. Given the fact that this is the sci-fi version of Ironsworn and it’s doing so well, I’m going to guess it’s doing something right? It’s 3-4 games deep on my sci-fi backlog of things to play so it’ll be awhile before I get to it and can say more.

Hardwired Island

Cyberpunk that actually focuses on the punk part. I’ve just picked this up and barely skimmed the mechanics, nevermind the setting. I really like how flexible the character creation is – there’s plenty of defining roles to pick up, but a lot of things are customizable in interesting ways. The last few times I tried to come up with a cyberpunk setting it got really depressing really fast, and this game looks like it has enough balance of the real problems vs. hopeful possibilities that I think I could play or run this without it being “10 years from now, how fucked are we?” the RPG.

Hearthside Woodworks Dice Tray

I don’t think we’ll be gaming in person until next year, but I got sucked into looking at fancy dice trays. Most turned out to either be too gimmicky or too expensive for what I wanted, but the Hearthside one was small, affordable, but high quality. I like that there’s enough depth in the tray that I can add an additional layer of felt or cloth if I want to muffle the dice roll more and the forward cut out is a small ergonomic choice that makes it easier to grab the dice after you’ve rolled them.


April 2021 Game Hype

March 30, 2021

Eh. March disappeared in an instant, and while April is 2 days away, might as well do the write up now.

Uncharted Worlds

We’re a few sessions in, and, my idea of using a hex map for the issues of space travel and war is working out well. We just had a full session of strategizing and planning – the map naturally sets up the players in situations where there is, on average, 3 places they might want to go, but which one is the best choice given the enemy’s intentions and their limited capacity as a single ship?

The issue I was afraid of, that the generalized Move system would cut out the support you get from Apocalypse World’s clear stakes in most Moves is actually true, and it’s a bit sad because it is one of the key points I think a lot of PbtA designs miss out on.


We’re also a couple of sessions into Perilous. It is very light and easy to work with in terms of mechanics, but it is also very swingy in terms of outcomes. Much like Uncharted Worlds, without better stakes guidance, though the math is easy, the creative lifting is a bit harder.

That said, I’m not totally sure this would be my go to for dungeoncrawls specifically – I’d like to try some of the dungeon specific games like 5 Torches Deep as a comparison. Perilous might just work better for the more general adventure set up instead.

Amour Astir Advent

I saw someone recommend this on Twitter and I’m glad I picked it up. It’s a magical mecha game, with influences from Gundam, Escaflowne, Voltron, and more. You are rebels fighting an oppressive power, with the setting pretty much open for you to design specifics.

The mechanics are pretty much – emo drama = powering up. Relationships have their equivalent to Countdown Clocks from Apocalypse World – when they’re full, the relationship has to change (grow, shift, fall apart) and you get your advancement primarily through that. The game splits play between Sorties and Downtime. I’d love to play this and compare it to Bliss Stage, as Bliss Stage delivers unparalleled heart breaking scenes between characters, this might be a good option for a little less intensity and a little more mechanical heft.

Witch Quest

I had forgotten about Witch Quest! One of my friends reminded me a month ago and I’ve been thinking about it since. It’s basically the Kiki’s Delivery Service RPG, with the bonus that players can play either a witch or a cat familiar. I think this will probably be the next thing I run for my group. (Golden Sky Stories is also on that list, but given I have enough players who love witches, Witch Quest will probably be an easier draw.)

Since it’s been years since I had looked at the rules I only vaguely remember bits, but I do remember it’s got it’s own tarot cards, and I’d probably want to research into whether I want to print and cut up a set or make them virtually on a shared table system.

There’s about a dozen other games I ended up snagging on sale I need to look through and see what they’re doing mechanically as well.

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