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New Game Round-up: Fight to Tell Weird Stories on Rival Networks

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Bandai has a pair of new interrelated games due out in June 2019 from Ryan Miller collectively titled Naruto Boruto Card Game — a name that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but if you're a fan of the Naruto manga or anime, you're probably not worried about that. (My son's a fan, and he practically jumped through the phone when I first told him about these designs.)

The two-player game uses what it calls the "Chrono Clash System", which seems similar to Plaid Hat Games' Crystal Clans, with one player playing as many cards as they wish until the time cost of the cards played pushes a marker onto the opponent's side of the track, at which point the opponent plays cards. The two players fight one another until someone runs out of cards in their deck (and loses), doesn't have a guardian in play to defend themselves (and loses), or completes five quests (and wins).

The game consists of two standalone sets that can be mixed together — the Naruto & Naruto Shippuden Set and the Naruto Shippuden & Boruto Set — with each set having two decks of cards and other material.

Embrace the iconography!

Gil Hova at Formal Ferret Games has announced a couple of projects in the works, one of them being The Rival Networks, a scaled-down, two-player-only version of The Networks that he's designing with JR Honeycutt.

Says Hova, "What excites me about The Rival Networks is its potential to introduce the family of Networks games to people who may be intimidated by the base game's complexity. For a hobbyist board gamer, The Networks is an approachable middleweight game. But The Rival Networks is much easier to teach and play, and will have a lower price. This will make it attractive to folks outside the board game hobby, and hopefully get them more into board games in general!" Seems like a smart call. Now if only Gil can manage to get a few existing networks to sponsor the game, he'll be all set.

• The other Formal Ferret title is a role-playing game, something I don't normally cover in this space, but here's a paragraph about it anyway: "Weird Stories is a light storytelling RPG for 2-4 players, with a depth and complexity similar to Fiasco and Microscope, two games I adore. The game will let players tell stories similar to the books of Haruki Murkami or Jeff [Jeff VanderMeer], the films of David Lynch, or the TV series Lost. In other words, you'll be going through a mysterious story without ever fully understanding what's fully going on. By the end of the story, your characters will meet their destinies, but you still won't have a full explanation of — or even words to describe — what happened." Hova goes into more detail about Weird Stories here.

• On Facebook, Egils Grasmanis from Brain Games has posted the following promotional image for the as-yet-unannounced game Iron Forest, noting that it "might be the biggest game (literally) we have ever worked on". For now, we can only speculate on what might be promised by this image:

Update, June 5, 2019: BGG game link added for Iron Forest.
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