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New Game Round-up: Feld Goes Deep, Lang Goes Ooky & Alspach Goes Express

W. Eric Martin
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• In case you didn't get enough of Stefan Feld in 2013, Pegasus Spiele (which released Feld's Rialto that year) and developer Ralph Bruhn of Hall Games have a Feld design in the works that's due out before the end of 2014. Here's an overview of AquaSphere:

Quote:
News from the depths! The AquaSphere is a research facility stationed deep below the ocean's surface, and your skilled team — consisting of an engineer, a scientist, reprogrammable bots and exploratory submarines — is trying to gather as much data as possible.

The game board in AquaSphere has two main areas: A research station comprised of six sectors in which your scientist conducts experiments and a headquarters where your engineer supervises preparation of the bots. During each of the four game rounds, you take several turns, and on each turn you either:

• Use your engineer in the headquarters to program a bot; each round you can choose from three of the seven actions.
• Have your scientist bring a bot to a sector to perform an action.

Through actions such as improving your lab, sending out submarines, collecting crystals, and examining octopuses, you expand the abilities of your team or gather knowledge points, which are necessary to win. Additional challenges result from the limited size of your lab, which is your personal stock; you can increase the size of your lab, which makes life easier, but this costs valuable time.

AquaSphere is a challenging game of strategy and tactics with different paths to victory that requires planning in advance as well as skillful use of short-term opportunities.
And here's a pic of the Aquasphere prototype from the Facebook page of German gaming group Spieletreff-Duelken:



Ted Alspach at Bézier Games has decided that in this fast-paced world we no longer have time to bother with the laborious effort that comes with shuffling cards in Start Player — his "game" that determines who starts the real game that you're about to play — but rather than lament the situation, he's trying to profit from it by offering as a solution Start Player Express, a new "game" due out Q4 2014 in which you roll four custom dice to determine near instantaneously who should start the next game.

Alspach notes that Start Player Express will be available only via a Kickstarter project that launches in June 2014 and not in stores.


Sample dice for Start Player Express


• In its run-up to Q3 2014 releases of two games that orginally debuted in Japan, Alderac Entertainment Group has posted designer diaries for Say Bye to the Villains from Seiji Kanai (diary link) and Seventh Hero from Kuro (diary link).

Eric M. Lang has a new title coming from Guillotine Games and Studio McVey: The Others, which Lang describes as "a heroic horror game about corruption and temptation, with ridiculously good miniatures". Aside from a Facebook page, the only info available is this teaser video:

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