Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday Night Board Games: Alien Dice Drop, Fool's Gold, Raising The Chocolate Bar, ZombieZone

I'm pretty sure you are thinking "why haven't I ever heard of any of those games?" It's because instead of playing new games on Saturday, I went to a fellow game designers house and we spent Saturday evening play testing new games.

Three of the games were mine, and one of them belonged to Alex Strang. Alex is a good friend and creator of the awesome game Super Giant Monster Showdown, and the Tome of Levity (a book of fake RPG spells) for Z-Man games.

Alex  goes beyond just making games. He runs a live show called Puppet Karaoke, which is how we first met. After that we both collaborated on the NJPA Boardgame Alliance, and recently he's been making some crazy team building games. Check out for his entire world of fun projects.

Onto the games!

Alien Dice Drop
I've been obsessing over making this game for a few months now. It started as just a name and idea for a dice cup that looked like a UFO. I'm hoping to finish up play testing in the next few weeks and figure out the next step. It's evolved quite a bit since the beginning, but it finally feels like it's getting there.

The basic concept is that a UFO flies by and drops a bunch of items in a field. Each player scrambles to loot the items that were dropped. They may find ship parts, abductees, or peaceful aliens. But they could also come across hostile aliens, which they will need to fight before they can loot. The game would come with custom dice and a custom dice cup, which I'm working on right now. Hopefully this game will be ready to go within the next few weeks.

The prototype is super rough, but I have big plans for it!

Fool's Gold
FP Contributor (can we start calling this place FP yet?) George Tagmire and I came up with this game. It's a simple flicking game, except you don't flick, you pinch. I know this makes no sense, but pinching these little pawns is seriously addictive.

This one should be 100% finished within the next week or so, and we're considering a small kickstarter campaign for the first run. It's going to be packaged in a custom dice bag, which fits the theme really well. It should be super cheap too.

Raising The Chocolate Bar
This was Alex's game and the main feature of the night. I don't want to spoil too much because it's not my game, but I'll give you a basic idea. Each player is trying to buy and sell chocolate. The goal isn't to sell the most chocolate, or make the most money.. it's to sell the highest quality chocolate. And the way that you have to do it is really interesting. There are some euro bits, resource management, and even a social/bluffing side to the game. Even in it's current state, it was really enjoyable and really involved.

We closed the night with 3 rounds of ZombieZone. I wanted to test out the balancing and it's definitely more balanced than ever. It can really come down to the die rolls. Bob (identity hidden) rolled 1's for two games straight and could never defeat the humans. Then Brian (identity also hidden) destroyed the humans in just a few turns. And I was those humans. I never felt so cornered in my life.

Next week we should be back to the regular games. Hoping to play something brutal.

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