We’ve cut through the hype to bring you a look at the most promising games hitting store shelves this month. If you’re looking for a new game to bring to the table, try one of these on for size:
7 Wonders: One of the best games to come out of last month’s Essen Spiel board game convention in Germany, 7 Wonders ships this month. The game uses card drafting as its main mechanic, which has been seen elsewhere, but the buzz surrounding 7 Wonders has to do with the fact that it couples complex strategy with a brisk 30-minute play time. It also works very well with its full complement of 7 players, which is not something many games allow. Those that do will often take several hours to complete due to rules that don’t scale well, so if 7 Wonders lives up to its hype, it will find a home in many game collections. [Asmodée Games]
51st State: The post-apocalyptic future Earth setting of Neuroshima has already been used to create an RPG and a tactical board game, but this month it will expand into card games when 51st State ships. The twist to this game is that every card can be used in three different ways. Players can choose between quick and large short-term gain, a slow but steady long-term gain, or forgo collection of resources entirely to earn a rules-bending ability.
Civilization: While PC gamers have been chained to their keyboards and mice playing the recently released Civilization V, board gamers have a new edition of the Civilization board game to look forward to. In classic Civilization fashion, players will take on the role of a historical world leader and compete to build the ultimate society. The game supports varying play styles, as many different paths can be taken to achieve victory including military conquest, cultural advancement, and scientific research. Civilization the video game is pretty much a board game already, so this is one of those titles that beg to be made. [Fantasy Flight Games]
Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion: Deck-building card games have been the new breakout genre of the past year, and Thunderstone hopes to catch up with market leader Dominion by releasing its own set of expansions. Doomgate Legion brings mercenaries and treasures into the game, as well as new enemies in the form of cultists. Thunderstone is touted as the “deck building game with a purpose” since players work through dungeon crawling scenarios with use of their cards, and this expansion should be a welcome addition to players seeking a deeper experience. [Alderac Entertainment Group]
The Resistance: This game puts players in the shoes of resistance fighters who must oppose a futuristic oppressive government while avoiding the sabotage of spies in their midst. The Resistance is a social deduction game that at face value seems similar to Werewolf or Mafia, other games where the goal is to reveal the identity of a traitor. Where others have failed, this game attempts to add a more structured game around this mechanic, and early reviews indicate that it has succeeded, making it one of our most anticipated games this month. [Indie Boards & Cards]
Fall is definitely board & card game season as all of the new releases from Essen start to trickle into the market, so check back next month, and we’ll preview all of the most anticipated releases for December.