MIKE’S TOP TEN ANTICIPATED BOARDGAMES OF 2017

MIKE’S TOP TEN ANTICIPATED BOARDGAMES OF 2017 Hot

http://fortressat.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x300s/64/36/a8/mike-s-top-ten-anticipated-boardgames-of-2017-66-1486321028.jpg
Egg ShenEgg Shen   February 19, 2017  
3465  
Comments (0)

So I’ve taken a cursory glance at all of the announced titles that are expected to come out in 2017 and whipped up a Top Ten.  These are the games that make me lose sleep at night because I’m obsessing about them like some love struck teenager.  That gentle cooing and deep sighing you hear is me looking lovingly at a Polaroid of the game in the number one spot.  You creeped out?  Wanna turn back?  Too late, OFF WE GO!

10.  Big Trouble in Little China: The Boardgame (Everthing Epic Games)

Has it been noted anywhere on the Wolfman’s Lounge that Big Trouble in Little China is my favorite movie of all time?  It hasn’t?  Well it is.  Make a mental note for when you have to buy me gifts.  In regards to the game, I haven’t a clue if it’s going to suck or make me feel like I just chugged one of Egg Shen’s magic potions.  All I know is that I’m excited that it’s coming out.  What more could I guy ask for?

9.  Alien Artifacts (Portal Games)

This is another one I don’t know much about.  However, does the phrase “4x CARD GAME” both confuse and excite you?  I thought so.  Typically, 4x games are huge ass, 6+ hour monsters like Twilight Imperium III, so a card game version of that immediately piques my interest.  It defies all logic.  Spock himself has told me so.  The concept alone is what put it on the list, but Portal Games is a very smart and capable publisher.   Fingers crossed this turns out OK.

8.  Justice League: The Board Game (abba Games)

So we’re still all waiting for the definitive superhero boardgame.  There are almost zero worthwhile contenders.  The few that are good seem to be shunned by the masses for one reason or another.  Still, I can’t help but get lost in frothy anticipation for this game.  It promises to be an “Us vs Them” team style adventure game that will cull popular stories from the DC archives.  However, the real selling point is that each superhero is played using a unique gameplay mechanic.  This means that the person playing Batman is literally playing the game differently than Superman or The Flash.  The designers are a complete unknown, but here’s to hoping that this is finally THE SUPERHERO game that I’ve been waiting for.

7.  Heroes of Land, Air & Sea (Gamelyn Games)

This is a giant 4x style game from the guy know for his “Tiny Epic” series of games.  That’s not why I’ve sniffed it out though.  Nope, it’s on this list because it looks like the inspiration for the game is Warcraft II and Warcraft III.  Yes, the old PC games.  I LOVE those games and if this comes close to being a proper analog version then I’m all in.  Zug Zug mother fuckers!

6.  Escape from 100 Million BC (IDW)

With a name like that, how could I NOT get psyched?  Also, look at that box art!  Tell me it’s not the most ridiculously, awesome thing your eyes have witnessed today!  It looks like some lost piece of cinematic trash from New World Pictures circa 1987-1991 starring either Jean Claude Van Damme or Dolph Lundgren.  I literally know nothing about this game, but I’m “all in” thanks to the silly/dumb/amazing theme.  Sometimes you can’t overthink this shit.

5.  Shark Island (Upper Deck)

Just look at that fucking picture!  Drink it in!  How could you walk past this on a store shelf and NOT buy it?  In case you’re wondering, let me assuage your fears…yes one person gets to be a man-eating, great white shark.  I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in.  I don’t think I need to say anything else do I?

4.  First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet (Portal Games)

This is the sci-fi follow up to the smash hit (and brutally unforgiving) Robinson Crusoe.  The big changes being that it’s now set on Mars and the game is completely App driven.  I for one am completely sold on Apps integrating with boardgames and I can’t wait to try this.  Plus, this game will let me break out my “Get your ass to MAAAHS!” Arnold impression.  That’s worth at least a top five spot.

3.  Rising Sun (CMON)

Eric Lang is arguably the best designer in the “Dudes on a Map” genre.  His last attempt, Blood Rage, was nothing short of fantastic and this spiritual successor will hopefully be even better.  It’s a tall task, but I think the man is up to the challenge.  I dig the samurai mixed with Japanese folklore setting and I hear this game will feature plenty of negotiating which always makes me happy.

2.  Assault of the Giants (Wiz Kids)

Ever since Cthulhu Wars stomped onto the scene a few years ago, companies have been looking to capitalize on the oxymoronic HUGE miniatures phenomenon.  Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons’ attempt at a game with big fucking minis.  Giant minis, if you will.  The recent glut of D&D boardgames have ALL been completely on point, so I have stratospheric expectations for this.

1.  Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks (Gale Force Nine)

I love me some Doctor Who and Gale Force Nine makes the best damned licensed games in the ENTIRE universe.  They are a company that just flat out understands how to properly translate a property into a boardgame.  The design choices they make always feel richly thematic, and yet immediately accessible.  When you get done playing you have this sensation that you literally escaped to whatever TV Show, or license that the game was about.  Trust me when I say that this is not an easy task to accomplish.  These guys have proved again and again that they simply have no peer when it comes to licensed games.  They’re take on Doctor Who looks incredible, and I absolutely cannot wait to play it.  Allons y!

 

For more articles, reviews, and general absurdity please check out https://wolfmanslounge.com/ or like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wolfmanslounge/

Posted: 20 Feb 2017 02:26 by Bojack #244198
Bojack's Avatar
Thanks for the heads up on the DC game, I hope it will be something I can play with my 6 year old
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 07:58 by hotseatgames #244200
hotseatgames's Avatar
I'm intrigued by Escape from 100 Million BC... great cover, a neat premise, and it's Kevin Wilson.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 08:04 by Brewmiester #244201
Brewmiester's Avatar
A couple of books that came out for the 30th anniversary

Art

Making of

I'm working through the making of right now.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:46 by Grudunza #244206
Grudunza's Avatar
hotseatgames wrote:
I'm intrigued by Escape from 100 Million BC... great cover, a neat premise, and it's Kevin Wilson.

Right. The in-game art itself isn't great, though. Still, looks like it might be fun. Or dumb. Or dumb fun. One of those.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:55 by SuperflyTNT #244208
SuperflyTNT's Avatar
Eric Lang? Seriously? Mike Gray or Craig Van Ness holds that crown. I'd have figured you'd have said Chris Petersen for Twilight Imperium tho.

I'm only jazzed about a few games and one of these are them. I put all my chips in on Massive Darkness, which i'm sure I'll play four times, hate it, and make 150$ on later LOL
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:58 by Grudunza #244210
Grudunza's Avatar
I hadn't heard of that Big Trouble game. I assumed you meant the Legendary one. This one has some excellent art and minis, but not much at all is known about the gameplay. Interested, though.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 09:59 by Motorik #244211
Motorik's Avatar
Grudunza wrote:
hotseatgames wrote:
I'm intrigued by Escape from 100 Million BC... great cover, a neat premise, and it's Kevin Wilson.

Right. The in-game art itself isn't great, though. Still, looks like it might be fun. Or dumb. Or dumb fun. One of those.

I was about to post the same thing. That cover art is truly magnificient, but (and this is one of my board game aesthetic pet peeves) the interior art was clearly done by a different artist in a different style and is honestly pretty lousy looking. Cool premise though.

Hoping Shark Island won't have a similar problem, that game sounds fantastic!
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 10:49 by Colorcrayons #244218
Colorcrayons's Avatar
The shark island cover does indeed compel me to buy it immediately upon viewing it. But that upper deck logo on the corner is a wet blanket on my firey loins. I hope it is as fun as survive is.

Escape from Dinosaur Holocaust is a grand cover too.

I really need some good games that scream "Fun!" this year. A few decent games came out in 2016, but only gorechosen was good enough to be a compulsory buy. I really need a lot more of that.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 10:49 by Grudunza #244219
Grudunza's Avatar
Motorik wrote:
Grudunza wrote:
hotseatgames wrote:
I'm intrigued by Escape from 100 Million BC... great cover, a neat premise, and it's Kevin Wilson.

Right. The in-game art itself isn't great, though. Still, looks like it might be fun. Or dumb. Or dumb fun. One of those.

I was about to post the same thing. That cover art is truly magnificient, but (and this is one of my board game aesthetic pet peeves) the interior art was clearly done by a different artist in a different style and is honestly pretty lousy looking. Cool premise though.

On its own, I wouldn't necessarily call the interior game art "lousy." It's reasonably functional and fine, if a bit bland. It's definitely not comparable to the awful graphic design of something like the Defenders of the Realm/Last Stand games. And those games were fun enough to play despite their graphic/art issues. But with this one, what makes it seem so bad is the juxtaposition between that amazing cover and then what you see on the back for the actual components. I would almost wonder if I had the wrong box top for the game compared to what's inside.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 11:38 by Shellhead #244224
Shellhead's Avatar
Great list. Here are my random comments about each:

10. I find Big Trouble in Little China to be a frustrating movie. It looks cool but the pacing and dialogue often seems deliberately awkward, so it ends up falling short as either a comedy or an action movie or even a hybrid of the two. And yet a boardgame interpretation could potentially work well.

9. 4x always gets my attention, and hopefully this card-driven Alien Artifacts isn't just another deck builder.

8. You are completely right in saying that we need a definitive superhero boardgame. This one sounds promising, and is probably the most alluring game on this list for me.

7. I hate the cover art for Heroes of Land, Air and Sea. I know that I shouldn't judge a game by the cover, but I fear that this art will also be inside the box, and I wouldn't want to look at it for hours while playing a game.

6. Along with superheroes, we need a good game with dinosaurs. Hopefully this is it.

5. Shark Island has an awesome cover, and it sounds great that somebody plays the shark.

4. First Martians sounded potentially good until I got to the App-part. That's still a deal-breaker gimmick for me.

3. Rising Sun has an appealing pitch, but I find Lang very hit or miss.

2. Assault of the Giants as a D&D boardgame almost sounds like a boardgame version the old G-series modules. Huge minis sound expensive, though, so probably a pass for me.

1. I agree that Gale Force Nine is the all-time best at making licensed games, but Doctor Who is a franchise that I primarily associate with shouty exposition. Would need to try this one before buying.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 12:47 by Jackwraith #244229
Jackwraith's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
10. I find Big Trouble in Little China to be a frustrating movie. It looks cool but the pacing and dialogue often seems deliberately awkward, so it ends up falling short as either a comedy or an action movie or even a hybrid of the two. And yet a boardgame interpretation could potentially work well.

As a dramatic presentation, it's fucking awful. From Kim Cattrall shoutcasting the plot to Kurt Russell chewing scenery, it's just bad. If you accept it as a B-movie, then it's worth sitting in front of a time or two. As a boardgame, it holds the potential to be hilarious, however.
Shellhead wrote:
9. 4x always gets my attention, and hopefully this card-driven Alien Artifacts isn't just another deck builder.

Read the description of this on BGG and the label "4x" may be generous, since it sounds a lot like Race for the Galaxy (symbol system for the cards, etc.) I'm not enthused.
Shellhead wrote:
7. I hate the cover art for Heroes of Land, Air and Sea. I know that I shouldn't judge a game by the cover, but I fear that this art will also be inside the box, and I wouldn't want to look at it for hours while playing a game.

As much as I loved the Warcraft games, I keep thinking that playing a boardgame version of them would just lead to me wanting to play the video game and getting frustrated by the slower pace of what's in front of me.
Shellhead wrote:
3. Rising Sun has an appealing pitch, but I find Lang very hit or miss.

Loved Chaos in the Old World. Am really enjoying The Others. Haven't tried Blood Rage, but the mythology behind Rising Sun appeals to me, so will probably try it.
Shellhead wrote:
2. Assault of the Giants as a D&D boardgame almost sounds like a boardgame version the old G-series modules. Huge minis sound expensive, though, so probably a pass for me.

When I saw the thread here last week, I went and looked it over on BGG. It essentially does take elements of G-1-2-3 and reproduce them as a DoaM. There's six factions and each of them has a different goal to work toward, in addition to the main one of collecting VPs. You compete with each other directly (giant v giant combat) or by using the roving giantslayer mercs that move around the board. Supposedly each faction (storm, cloud, stone, hill, fire, frost) plays differently via their different decks and it has an interesting card play mechanic. It all sounds really good, but I'm really cagey about stuff that strikes me as "overproduction on nostalgia", especially at the price tag that they're asking ($80.) Maybe.
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 13:26 by engineer Al #244237
engineer Al's Avatar
Great list Mike. I am excited to play each and every one of these games!
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 13:27 by Black Barney #244238
Black Barney's Avatar
I'm only playing Shark Island if I get to be the shark. Looks like a blast
Posted: 20 Feb 2017 17:01 by Egg Shen #244255
Egg Shen's Avatar
Yeah, I was hoping to highlight stuff that most sites weren't really covering. I could have easily made a list filled with Massive Darkness, Gloomhaven, Swords and Sorcery, Near and Far etc...

I basically took a glance at stuff and judged them PURELY on potential fun factor. Like how can I NOT want that goddamn shark game??? Yeah the fact that it's Upper Deck has me worried, but it's being co-designed by Richard Launius and I tend to really like his stuff. I don't expect many of these games to land on any "best of 2017" lists, but that just fine with me. I'd rather track down some ridiculous or interesting designs at this point and then chase after the huge releases long after the hype has died down a little.

Also, little shameless self plug, but this article was originally published over at The Wolfman's Lounge which is a silly little website that I started with Josh Look. We don't typically cover boardgames, but when we do we will try to post the articles over here. The Wolfman's Lounge is sort a tribute to all of the absurd and ridiculous things that Josh and I both seemingly love. Basically stuff that we talk about in the trash talk forums. We'll have articles on retro video games, comics, superhero films, b movies, boardgames, junk food, toys from 80s and 90s and more. It's a hell of a lot of fun and we'd love it if you checked it out or liked us over on facebook!

I'll still being doing exclusive articles here at the Fort. The Wolfman's Lounge stuff tends to be a little bit sillier in tone and more focused on entertaining rather than informing. Still based on what you guys like chatting about on the forums I'm sure you'll find stuff that amuses you over there as well!
Posted: 22 Feb 2017 19:04 by DukeofChutney #244375
DukeofChutney's Avatar
Books Games are best judged by their covers, FACT.
Posted: 22 Feb 2017 19:35 by hotseatgames #244378
hotseatgames's Avatar
DukeofChutney wrote:
Books Games are best judged by their covers, FACT.

I hope so, because the cover art for the game Pete and I made is fucking rad. But I can't show it to you yet.
Posted: 22 Feb 2017 19:46 by Michael Barnes #244379
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Leaked image:

Posted: 22 Feb 2017 20:48 by wadenels #244385
wadenels's Avatar
I was leaning towards no, but then I saw "hi-fi STEREO".
Posted: 22 Feb 2017 20:58 by Michael Barnes #244387
Michael Barnes's Avatar
What, Talia Shire and Ray Walston aren't enough for you?
Posted: 24 Feb 2017 09:29 by Egg Shen #244464
Egg Shen's Avatar
Not gonna lie...if I had known that this was coming out it most certainly would have made the list...and it would be pretty close to the top!



Totally pumped for this one. GF9 is saying early June as a release date, but there is almost no chance of that happening. I'd say it's a post gen-con, August/Sept release at the earliest.
Posted: 24 Feb 2017 09:39 by Motorik #244466
Motorik's Avatar
Rad is a great movie, guys. The little shitty rural Canadian town looks some kind of eternal purgatory. Of course these kids would be obsessed with BMX biking, what the hell else is there to do? There's even a Sparks song during the lame prom sequence featuring BICYCLE DANCING. Great movie.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 09:13 by Msample #249534
Msample's Avatar
Pre order for Big Trouble:

bigtroublegame.com/

I'm intrigued, but not to the point of $100 for the deluxe version.

Kind of surprised they didn't go Kickstarter.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:28 by san il defanso #249544
san il defanso's Avatar
The Doctor Who game has been something of an ongoing saga over on BGG. By all indications it's taken the shape of an elaborate dice game, not unlike Elder Sign. There was also a move away from the larger $75 production to a smaller $50 box, knocking out two players (and two versions of the Doctor) in the process. Those will come with expansions.

There's some handwringing over all of this on BGG. Several people seem disappointed in the dice-based game that appears to be what we're getting, and there's been some out loud wondering if it'll capture the theme at all. (Seems hard to know that if we haven't played, but whatever.) Some people are also bummed that two Doctors have been cut, but I think that's more a product of fear that there won't be any expansions and that it'll be dropped like the WWE game.

I think the overlap of board gamers and Doctor Who fans is probably too broad for this game to flop, but I have modified my expectations accordingly. I am still generally optimistic, but then I've got a bigger acceptance for "abstraction" when translating stuff like this. I'm not sure what a perfectly "thematic" experience would even be for Doctor Who. Mostly I'm looking for a game that allows me to find creative solutions to problems, and lets me grow attached to specific characters within the game, even if it's only for a little while. I suspect both of those will be much easier to accomplish once there is some expansion content out for the game.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:34 by stormseeker75 #249546
stormseeker75's Avatar
If we're talking about the WWE game from GF9, that game deserved to die. It was terrible. I'm a wrestling fan. I was ready to look the other way on a lot of crap.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:35 by san il defanso #249547
san il defanso's Avatar
stormseeker75 wrote:
If we're talking about the WWE game from GF9, that game deserved to die. It was terrible. I'm a wrestling fan. I was ready to look the other way on a lot of crap.

Huh, I thought it was pretty good. It was lean on content though, and it really needed a better way to handle multiplayer situations.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:44 by Shellhead #249549
Shellhead's Avatar
san il defanso wrote:
The Doctor Who game has been something of an ongoing saga over on BGG. By all indications it's taken the shape of an elaborate dice game, not unlike Elder Sign. There was also a move away from the larger $75 production to a smaller $50 box, knocking out two players (and two versions of the Doctor) in the process. Those will come with expansions.

There's some handwringing over all of this on BGG. Several people seem disappointed in the dice-based game that appears to be what we're getting, and there's been some out loud wondering if it'll capture the theme at all. (Seems hard to know that if we haven't played, but whatever.) Some people are also bummed that two Doctors have been cut, but I think that's more a product of fear that there won't be any expansions and that it'll be dropped like the WWE game.

I think the overlap of board gamers and Doctor Who fans is probably too broad for this game to flop, but I have modified my expectations accordingly. I am still generally optimistic, but then I've got a bigger acceptance for "abstraction" when translating stuff like this. I'm not sure what a perfectly "thematic" experience would even be for Doctor Who. Mostly I'm looking for a game that allows me to find creative solutions to problems, and lets me grow attached to specific characters within the game, even if it's only for a little while. I suspect both of those will be much easier to accomplish once there is some expansion content out for the game.

Didn't the lead designer at GF9 die? Is it possible that Doctor Who was still in development at that point, and may have been finished by a different designer? I'm not surprised by the decision to shrink the base game and shift extra players and content to expansions, because that seems like a standard part of the GF9 business model. And it's fair to the players to offer a less expensive base game which they can enhance with expansions if they enjoyed the base.

Based on my limited exposure to Doctor Who, it seems like the perfectly thematic Doctor Who boardgame experience would require players to excitedly shout out a description of what they are doing while they roll the dice.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:48 by san il defanso #249551
san il defanso's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
san il defanso wrote:
The Doctor Who game has been something of an ongoing saga over on BGG. By all indications it's taken the shape of an elaborate dice game, not unlike Elder Sign. There was also a move away from the larger $75 production to a smaller $50 box, knocking out two players (and two versions of the Doctor) in the process. Those will come with expansions.

There's some handwringing over all of this on BGG. Several people seem disappointed in the dice-based game that appears to be what we're getting, and there's been some out loud wondering if it'll capture the theme at all. (Seems hard to know that if we haven't played, but whatever.) Some people are also bummed that two Doctors have been cut, but I think that's more a product of fear that there won't be any expansions and that it'll be dropped like the WWE game.

I think the overlap of board gamers and Doctor Who fans is probably too broad for this game to flop, but I have modified my expectations accordingly. I am still generally optimistic, but then I've got a bigger acceptance for "abstraction" when translating stuff like this. I'm not sure what a perfectly "thematic" experience would even be for Doctor Who. Mostly I'm looking for a game that allows me to find creative solutions to problems, and lets me grow attached to specific characters within the game, even if it's only for a little while. I suspect both of those will be much easier to accomplish once there is some expansion content out for the game.

Didn't the lead designer at GF9 die? Is it possible that Doctor Who was still in development at that point, and may have been finished by a different designer? I'm not surprised by the decision to shrink the base game and shift extra players and content to expansions, because that seems like a standard part of the GF9 business model. And it's fair to the players to offer a less expensive base game which they can enhance with expansions if they enjoyed the base.

Based on my limited exposure to Doctor Who, it seems like the perfectly thematic Doctor Who boardgame experience would require players to excitedly shout out a description of what they are doing while they roll the dice.

Good call on the lead designer's passing, I had forgotten about that.

I think a smaller scope of game is actually kind of welcome. Both Spartacus and Firefly are fun, but they are just a bit too long for regular play. The smaller package here is probably more in line with the sort of game it is. Fifty dollar games are about as cheap as they come anymore.

My most cynical interpretation of a Doctor Who game would be one where swap character locations for thirty minutes and then defeat the final baddie with the power of love.
Posted: 07 Jun 2017 11:56 by Colorcrayons #249553
Colorcrayons's Avatar
I'm far from a huge Dr.Who fan, but I do enjoy a lot of the series, especially pre 12th doctor.

The best bits about the show are most of the random bits that have little if anything to do with the series prior to that episode. It shines during those campy misadventures.

How this would translate in game, I dunno. But then again after trying over a dozen Dr who games I'm convinced games aren't the medium for that IP.

Torchwood might be a better fit to slap a game on to.
Posted: 14 Jun 2017 19:17 by Jauron #249897
Jauron's Avatar
I ran into this article a couple weeks back before I knew who you were and what this place was. Just wanted to say it was great (still is).
Posted: 14 Jun 2017 19:19 by Jauron #249898
Jauron's Avatar
Bojack wrote:
Thanks for the heads up on the DC game, I hope it will be something I can play with my 6 year old

Hoping the same for my 8 year old.

Discussion