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Game Announcements at PAX Unplugged 2018: Metal Gear Solid, Medium, Clank! Legacy, and TMNT: Change Is Constant and City Fall

W. Eric Martin
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
• PAX Unplugged took place in Philadelphia from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and several publishers quietly announced games at the show or through one or more social media outlets, with IDW Games' announcement of Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game from Emerson Matsuuchi being the buzziest reveal:

I saw only this banner when I visited the IDW booth, neither Matsuuchi nor anything about the game, but he has confirmed via email that Metal Gear Solid is "not a retheme of Specter Ops", so you'll have to speculate along new lines as to what this new game might be.

Update, Dec. 5, 2018: Matsuuchi has passed along a few more details about the game: "Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game is a co-operative 'tactical espionage action' game for 1-4 players that's scenario based, with each scenario having its own playing time, but with most of them in the 60-90 minute range. The game will includes miniatures, but I wouldn't classify it as a miniatures game."

• IDW Games also announced a new pair of titles in its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle game universe that started in 2016 with Kevin Wilson's TMNT: Shadows of the Past. TMNT: Change Is Constant and TMNT: City Fall are both standalone games containing five unique heroes and more than forty miniatures in total, while also being compatible with one another. Change Is Constant follows the first two story arcs of IDW's TMNT comic universe series, while City Fall focuses on the story of one turtle's unexpected recruitment into the Foot Clan. Wilson is overseeing development of these titles, with the design being led by Daniel Lansdown and Pete Walsh.

IDW Games plans to Kickstart this pair of games in January 2019, the same month that fifty thousand other games will also hit the crowdfunding site.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Board Game: Medium
• At the 2018 Origins Game Fair, I played a single round of Medium from designers Danielle Deley, Lindsey Sherwood, and Nathan Thornton. Playing only one round is kind of lame seeing as it took at most two minutes to learn the rules and play, but it was late — and as it turns out, sometimes the smallest bites are the best ones, that nibble of something delectable that outshines everything else you gorged on during the day.

Medium is a quick-playing party game for 2-8 players that challenges you to think like your teammate. Each player has a hand of six cards, and on a turn one player lays down a card, then their teammate lays down a card. On the count of three, these two people need to call out a word or phrase that connects the words revealed on those two cards.

In my sample round, the words were "football" and "moon" (on cards revealed at random, mind you), so I called out "waterboys". (The football link should be obvious, and the moon link comes via this 1985 song from the band The Waterboys.) If my teammate Dan had also said "waterboys", we would have scored points. He didn't, though, so we then had to take what we had just said — let's go with "waterboys" and "half" since "half" works for both of the previous words — and on the count of three call out a word or phrase that connected those words. If teammates match on the second round, they score fewer points, and if they match on round three, they score even less. If you don't match after three rounds or if you freeze and don't call out anything at all, then your team scores nothing and refills its hands before the next team goes. Whichever team scores the most points wins.

Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games had showed me Medium at Origins, and now Greater Than Games (Dice Hate Me's parent company) has picked up Medium for release, most likely going straight to retail in 2019. If you want to try out the game for yourself before it hits the shelves, you can download the rules and sample card packs from the BGG game page.

Board Game: Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure
• Finally, we have this brief video announcement from Dire Wolf Digital, co-publisher of Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure with Renegade Game Studios:

For those not interested in a video, you can cut to the chase via this image:

Board Game: Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated

Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, due out in Q4 2019, appears to be a co-publication between Dire Wolf and Penny Arcade, and the game bears this brief description for now:

Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated extends the deck-building fun of Clank! with legacy-style gameplay! Found your own franchise of the legendary adventuring company Acquisitions Incorporated, and shepherd your fledgling treasure-hunters to immortal corporate glory over the course of multiple games. Your game board, your deck, and your world change as you play to create a unique campaign tailored to your adventuring party. Be cunning, be bold, and most importantly be ready...
I have no history with Penny Arcade, so I didn't realize that "Acquisitions Incorporated" was anything other than an in-joke until I saw this press release on the Dire Wolf website that provided background info:

Acquisitions Incorporated is the show that kicked off an entire genre based on a simple premise: "Friends having fun playing Dungeons & Dragons". Starting as a simple podcast in 2008, "Acq Inc." has grown into a beloved franchise encompassing sell-out live shows, video game appearances, and weekly streamed spin-off show, Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team.
So many geek things that I haven't a clue about...
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