Gaming

Ascension Tactics and all new board games to buy, support in March

Ascension Tactics and all new board games to buy, support in March

The end of winter is good for one thing: spending time indoors, warm and dry, playing new board games. We’ve rounded up the best new titles on sale right now and focused on some of the most exciting new crowdfunding campaigns launching in March.

Top of our list is a new treat for deck-building fans: Stoneblade Entertainment is back with a version of Ascent that we have never seen before. Climbing Tactics builds on the characters and maps created over the decade’s evolution of the game, adding detailed miniatures to modernize the look and give fans something to tinker with.

Building on concepts like strategic deck building and deck management, Tactical brings more combat elements to the board. Players can explore competitive, single-player, cooperative, and campaign game modes for a new mix of strategy and combat tactics. The epic battles waged truly come to life in miniature. The range of game modes and added strategic elements make this the most replayable title yet. To buy Climbing Tactics now for a new version of this beloved series.

Remember as always that you can find many of these titles on sale or for pre-order in your friendly local game store.


Climbing Tactics

Pricing taken at time of publication.

• 1 to 4 players, from 14 years old

• Playing time: 60 minutes

• Type of game: Board with figurines

• Category: Bridge builder

• Similar games: dark haven, Nemesis

vivid memories

A sideboard in Vivid Memories, where players connect diamond-shaped tokens to connect essential memories.

Image: Valve sets

Looking for a more abstract strategy game? To try vivid memories. This heartfelt approach to tile placement and route building is a new hit from Floodgate Games. Players collect fragments and form connections in their brain, which takes the form of a personal buffet, in order to unlock basic memories. Over time, new abilities and scoring opportunities will unlock. Early reviews point to its well-paced gameplay.

The real magic for me, however, is how it illustrates the hope and imagination of young minds. It takes players back to a time when they could be anything they wanted. I think we could all use some of that inspiration this year. Pick up one copy now to make your own fond memories.


vivid memories

Pricing taken at time of publication.

• 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up

• Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes

• Type of game: Board

• Category: Abstract Strategy

• Similar games: Azul, Calico

Familiar Tales

A complete setup for Familiar Tales perched on a stump.

Photo: Plaid Hat Games

Running with this childhood splendor theme, check out Familiar Tales. This cooperative deck builder takes players on a fantastical adventure. As familiars of wizards, players must rescue and raise a wayward princess as she sets off to reclaim her inheritance. The world is huge and every choice made and every monster fought has an impact.

The most unique gameplay element is the companion app, which serves as a storyteller. Polygon co-founder Justin McElroy, SungWon “ProZD” Cho, and Christopher Sabat are just a few of the voice actors helping bring these characters to life through the app. The quality of the voice acting, the breadth of the story and the range of mechanisms make this adventure a must. Grab your copy of Plaid Hat Games to get started.


Familiar Tales

Pricing taken at time of publication.

• 1 to 4 players

• Type of game: Adventure game

• Category: cooperative game, family game, hand management, campaign game

• Similar games: Mice and mystics, stuffed fables

Tales From the Loop – The Board Game

Tales From The Loop - The board game is ready to play.  Bright primary colors go well with the island map and robot miniatures.

Image: Free League

It’s missing stranger things delight? No need to wait for May. Gather a group of friends to Tales From the Loop – The Board Game. Play as local kids trying to investigate and stop unknown horrors. Explore epic landscapes in eight story-driven campaigns that respond to player choices. The game introduces a whole new world, based on the retro-futuristic sci-fi work of Simon Stålenhag.

If you experience co-op fatigue, this title is a great choice. Built-in player actions help keep turns dynamic for all players – no more dreaded downtime. These mechanisms also enable real-time responses to threats and challenges. Ready to dive? Order one copy now to unravel the mysteries.

Libertalia: The Winds of Galecrest

A player places a token on the Libertalia board.

Image: Stonemaier Games

Haven’t seen anything on sale this year that floats your boat? Make a pledge for Libertalia: The Winds of Galecrest. The new version expands and revises the original base game released ten years ago. Stonemaier Games has gone above and beyond with brand new graphics, characters, reputation systems and more.

This new edition makes us fall in love with our cheeky pirate animal crews all over again. Revisions address issues in the original game while adding depth and replay value to the new edition. For fans of set collection and hand management, we highly recommend Pre-order a copy. Copies are expected to ship later this month.

Earth

Looking for a natural winner? Earth allows you to take charge of the balance of ecosystems and habitats. Manage resources to earn victory points and create a natural, self-sustaining engine.

Over the past four years, the tabletop community has seen a wave of nature-centric gaming. Earth continues this trend by mapping traditional concepts of resource management to real-world ecological problems. The game keeps players engaged by offering advantages based on their opponent’s tricks. Additionally, the wide variety of maps (over 360) adds great replay value and also makes the title ideal for support.

Support the game Starter before March 8 to pre-order your copy.

iron forest

If you are looking for a genre defining game, you have to check it out iron forest. This title of dexterity (physical skill) from Brain Games follows its Very cold from 2016. Along with utilizing their advanced flicker mechanic, the developers have taken the boards and movement to a whole new level.

iron forest features a two-level 3D board and a catapult to launch mechanical figures across the map. The game also uses more tactical strategy and in-game variability than previous titles. All in all, this fantasy battle for control of the forest is worth supporting. Check Starter before March 5 to support this next-level experience.

Jurassic World: Legacy of Isla Nublar

The time has finally come: the long awaited Jurassic World: Legacy of Isla Nublar hits Kickstarter on March 22. Fans are abuzz for Prospero Hall’s adaptation of the sci-fi franchise. What we know of the gameplay seems to recreate the story of the ill-fated island through its multiple theatrical incarnations. You can learn more in Polygon’s exclusive preview. Even better, this one should ship before the end of the year.

Each of the 12 different missions is sealed in its own envelope, making each session more mysterious than the last. Choices made along the way have lasting effects on the characters and on the island itself. And there is also a replayable endgame.