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New Game Round-up: Leaving Terra Mystica for Space, and Welcoming Sentinels to Earth-Prime

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Terra Mystica
• If all goes well for Feuerland Spiele, at SPIEL 2017 we'll see the ludic debut of PIGS...IN...SPACE!!!!! Okay, perhaps the game won't actually contain extraterrestrial porkers, but Jens Drögemüllerand Helge Ostertag's Terra Mystica: Gaia Project will feature fourteen different factions, as in its predecessor Terra Mystica, with some mix of those factions competing each game to terraform planets into new homelands they can occupy. In more detail:

Gaia Project is a new game in the line of Terra Mystica. Fourteen different factions live on seven different kinds of planets, and each faction is bound to their own home planets, so to develop and grow, they must terraform neighboring planets into their home environments in competition with the other groups. In addition, Gaia planets can be used by all factions for colonization, and Transdimensional planets can be changed into Gaia planets.

All factions can improve their skills in six different areas of development — Terraforming, Navigation, Artificial Intelligence, Gaiaforming, Economy, Research — leading to advanced technology and special bonuses. To do all of that, each group has special skills and abilities.

The playing area is made of ten sectors, allowing a variable set-up and thus an even bigger replay value than its predecessor Terra Mystica. A two-player game is hosted on seven sectors.
Board Game: Gaia Project

Board Game Publisher: Greater Than Games, LLC
Board Game Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing
Green Ronin Publishing, publisher of the comic-based Mutants & Masterminds RPG, and Greater Than Games, publisher of the Sentinels of the Multiverse line of comic-based card games, are joining forces on Sentinels of Earth-Prime, a card game set in the Earth-Prime location of Mutants & Masterminds. SotM's Christopher Badell is designing Sentinels of Earth-Prime, which will be both a standalone game and something that can be played with the decks and characters from Sentinels of the Multiverse, will hit Kickstarter in April 2017 for a planned release in 2018.

• Another "green" company with a title headed to Kickstarter is Green Couch Games, which will crowdfund Ladder 29 from Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle in March 2017 ahead of a planned Q4 2017 release. Here's an overview of this trick-taker:

Ladder 29 is a hot game of ladder-climbing firefighters. As experts in the time-honored business of firefighting, players attempt to extinguish their hand of cards while facing difficult challenges that hinder their abilities and choices. Players must decide when to play it safe and when to put it all on the line in this easy-to-learn game that is sure to turn up the heat around the gaming table!

Ladder 29 is played over several rounds in which players are dealt 13 cards each, pass three cards to the player on the left, then in reverse scoring order select a Hot Spot Card; this card details the number of points awarded depending on the position the player goes out and a challenge that applies only to that player for the round. A player may choose to only lead singles, end runs in even numbers, or even limit the types of suits played in sets. The bigger the risk taken, the bigger the potential reward.

The first player to extinguish their hand by playing all thirteen cards wins the round and earns the most points possible on their Hot Spot Card. Play continues until additional players go out, with all except the one who goes out last earning points for their finishing position.
• At SPIEL 2017 in October, Osprey Games will release a new edition of Martin Wallace's London. As for what might be updated in this version of the game, Christian Waters from Osprey Games tells me, "We are indeed giving London the 'Osprey treatment', a là Odin's Ravens, Escape from Colditz, and Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space. It will have freshened artwork and tweaked up rules, although I'm not at liberty to say just how much."

Board Game: London (Second Edition)
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