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New Game Round-up: Time-Travel Edition — Uncanny X-Men, Prescience & Robots That Bake

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• In the "gazoinks, does that really exist?" category, I present Ryan Oliver's Time-Travelling Robot Bakery, self-published via The Game Crafter. Here's the

In Time-Travelling Robot Bakery, you are a programmer who works with robots in a bakery, and it's your job to make sure the robots are working as quickly as possible. These robots are capable of time travel, mind you, so as you battle for ingredients and supplies, it's possible for your opponent to go back in time and get to them before you do. If you can bake a cake with your robots before your opponent can, you win!

In the game, players program four robots to move around a modular board and to try to gather ingredients for a cake. The robots are added to the board one by one, as they duplicate via time travel, creating a parallel algorithm of growing complexity. Coordinating the movements as you add more and more robots to the picture is key to solving this puzzle-y game fastest. The game board is created from double-sided cards, allowing for varying gameplay each session with different options on the different sides of the cards.
Time travel + cakes = sweet, sweet gaming...

• Oliver also has a second time-travel game on TGC: Prescience, a two-player action-based game in which players always control the most current version of themselves, but with the ability to use their knowledge of the past to interact with their former selves or the former versions of their opponent. A bit more description: "Through special abilities such as pushes, pulls, and stuns, they can change the course of the previous generations. However, each time they change the past, the effects of that change continue to ripple forward as the game progresses."

• To continue the time-travel theme for another item, I'll mention that Wok Star and Paperback designer Tim Fowers has a Pac-man-ish online game titled Recursion that you can play against one opponent or an AI, with you choosing rock, paper or scissors each round, then traveling through the maze to beat or avoid the opponent's piece. Quash an opponent's piece, and it's out of play — except that the opponent can use a later/earlier piece to go back in time and defeat your piece before you could beat his. You must anticipate this and block such moves, if possible. If all three of your pieces are dead during the same time, you lose.

• Still with time travel (via Cable? possibly?), WizKids Games has confirmed a September 2014 release date for Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men, the standalone sequel to the current king of the hotness on BGG: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men. (One retailer has scanned a rendered cover image for Uncanny X-Men and posted it, but this is non-final and looks like something found stapled to a telephone pole following a thunderstorm.) For the MDM: Uncanny X-Men gravity feed box, WizKids is switching to a HeroClix-sized box that will hold ninety MDM packs (as opposed to the current boxes that hold sixty). Says WizKids' president Justin Ziran: "This should allow for a little more space for the packs to lay flat. Also, we're going to change the insertion rate to target one or more Super Rares per gravity feed. As always, we do not guarantee collation; it is simply a target we strive for."

• Staying on the topic of Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men for a moment, Ziran says that WizKids Games is canceling all scheduled MDM events at the Origins Game Fair that require purchase of starter sets. Why? Because the company shipped all of the sealed product to distributors to try to alleviate shortages instead of holding back product for the events. Says Ziran, "I'm confident this is the right decision in the long term and for the good of the business."

• Speaking of AvX starters, the airshipped portion of its first reprint is nearing WizKids HQ and should start being shipped to distributors late in the week of May 19, 2014 and early the following week. The remainder of that reprint run is on a ship and thus weeks away from arrival and distribution. A reprint of AvX boosters is due out in July 2014, with the second reprint of starters not arriving until the end of August. Says Ziran, "Again, we're looking at options to expedite the delivery, but I won't have clarity on that topic for a few weeks", the problem being that airshipping a ton of product designed to sell at an aggressive price point swings your profit to the left of zero.

• And a last bit of Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men info, namely a look at the participation prizes for the first two months of WizKids Games' "MDM AvX Storyline Organized Play Series":

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