As the nerd world prepares for San Diego Comic Con, gaming communities are getting ready for Gen Con, the early August gaming convention in Indianapolis that serves as the yearly hub for creators and fans. Over here on io9, we’re looking forward to all the great reveals that will happen, but until then, here are some incredible games from conspiracies to pulp romance, and even a game inspired by The Umbrella Academy.
I’ve been excited for The Slow Knife ever since the Kickstarter went live earlier this year, and now that the full game has been released on itch.io I’m delighted to be able to scream about it in public. Players take on multiple roles as they seek to avenge their main character, who had been grievously slighted in their younger years.
Think Count of Monte Cristo; a long drawn-out revenge fantasy that takes decades to come to fruition. Players re-enact the pursuit of justice by creating a physical pin board of actors, events, and setbacks, developing a massive conspiracy with a guide of playing cards. It this sounds cool, it’s because there’s nothing cooler than pinning an article to a wall and making notes in red marker. Undeniably cool.
Mousehole Press is also well known for their sci-fi games, Orbital and Bucket of Bolts, both of which are available in print. Orbital is a token-based game on the Belonging Outside Belonging game engine, about a ragtag group of space station dwellers who have to fix their home before disaster strikes. Bucket of Bolts is a single player journaling game detailing the storied history of a ship and her (in)famous captain.
New Releases: The Breach, Molotov College, The Bureau & The Mall
“The Breach is a game set in a dystopian retro-future. Inspired by the great science fiction novels of the 70s, The Breach will catapult you through time and space, to discover infinite parallel worlds, called Paradoxes. As a watcher, you will be called to collect data and information to discover the secrets hidden in the endless universes.”
“Molotov College is a TTRPG about super-powered drama. Inspired by superhero media like Umbrella Academy, X-Men and Titans, you play as the alumni of a superhero school. The heroes have to deal with villains, ghosts, the authorities and the impending apocalypse, while having to confront their past trauma and overcome their differences. This game uses the Belonging Outside Belonging system, which is GMless. It uses a token economy instead of dice, and characters don’t have numerical stats.”
“Both The Bureau and The Mall are dungeon crawls for Liminal Horror. In The Bureau, journey into the bowels of the Monolith, the labyrinthine headquarters of a government organization charged with controlling the paranatural. A corrupting Shadow has made its way into the halls of the Bureau, compromising the organization and threatening the existence of life on Earth.
The Mall is a wet, gooey, practical effects filled TTRPG adventure set in a 199x mall pulled out of time and space. The mall’s denizens are trapped inside with a creature not bound by any one form. It slithers among them now, preparing to assimilate and imitate its victims until no one is left and it can open a rift between its home dimension…AND EARTH!”
Crowdfunding: Broken, Hieronymus, Moonlight on Roseville Beach
“Broken is a two-player, tragic romance, tabletop roleplaying game and memoir by Ben Wallis. Broken is a ritual-focused game about a slowly breaking relationship, and the search for meaning, hope and healing in the midst of heartbreak. Broken uses unique, creative rules to recreate the experience and feeling of going through a break-up. At the heart of this game is a ritual breaking of ten objects over ten scenes.”
“In Hieronymus, you play a group of refugees fleeing an astral terror known only as the Follower. As it pursues you, you rip your way through reality into strange worldscapes inspired by the paintings of the mediaeval artist Hieronymus Bosch, the Follower only a few steps behind.”
“In Moonlight on Roseville Beach, you play the amateur sleuths protecting this 1979 queer beach town from cosmic horrors, vindictive necromancers, fantastical beasts, and conservative politicians.”
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