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#146: New Itch Games for April & May
I. Dear Reader,
It’s the itch.io round-up of new games! Now coming to you once every two months because that sounds easier. Usual disclaimer: This comes from be browsing itch.io and people self-submitting through the form. I haven’t played these games and mostly am just going by how interesting they sound to me. Okay, let’s go:
The Hollow Queen: This is a GM-less horror game from Venezuelan designer, Felix Rios, about a dark force haunting the streets and the people trying to uncover it. It uses the diceless Ten Coins system and is available in Spanish.
Contact: A game where you use a music playlist and tarot cards to play through a story about trying to make contact with aliens. I think the idea is that the songs contain encoded messages from the aliens, which is a neat reversal of the Voyager Golden Record. By j strautman.
Tangled Blessings: This is a solo dark fantasy game set in a magic school. It’s a solo/duet game, building on Anamnesis by Sam Leigh. You explore the secrets of this weird school while dealing with a rival who’s making your life difficult. Designed by Cassi Mothwin.
Strike Force Omega: This is LUMEN game about science-fantasy supersoldiers coming back for one last stand, defending their homes in a time of war. By Chris Longhurst, designer of See Issue X and Pigsmoke.
Thirty Foes (OR Once again, we are defeated): In a similar premise, but much more focused on the drama rather than tactics, this is Seven Samurai but cosmic cowboys. They sling cosmic power and defend against bandits. And they’re probably going to die. From Rat Wave Game House.
Thief and Druid: Two games from Stéphanie Dusablon. Both are solo games with an optional journaling element. Thief uses the Push system and Druid uses the Firelights system. I’m not sure if this is a series that will expand to all the D&D classes but it’s a neat idea.
Skyrealms: This is a fantasy bestiary, setting, and solo adventure game about three floating islands in the misty heights, full of secrets and strange creatures. It’s from Iko and Armanda Haller. You can also use the bestiary as a colouring book apparently!
In The Blind: This is a sci-fi horror game about working class people trying to do their job and instead facing the darkness of space. This is a free preview and showcases how good Riley Daniels, designer of As The Sun Forever Sets, is at visual design.
Queenless: This is another Firelights game from solo game blog, Croaker RPGs. You play as members of the hive, exploring the world and protecting your home from destruction.
When Prophecy Fails: Nick Wedig makes a game about cultists and what happens when their foreseen apocalypse doesn’t happen. I’ll give you a hint: they often get even more radical. Based on the For the Queen. (PWYW)
The Score: Tin Star Games GM-less storygame where you tell a heist movie in 18 minutes using 18 cards.
SDM: Eternal Return Key: Luka Rejec follows up Ultraviolet Grasslands with a full OSR-style rulset and more weird setting. It has the same much-loved psychadelic vibe from the original and there’s a free art-less version as well.
the city begins to exist: A citybuilding game with some solid prompts. I can always use more citybuilding games! Designed by kay w.
See you next week with more of our regular programming,
II. Media of the Week
Over on the Yes Indie’d Podcast, I talk to Paul Beakley of the Indie Game Reading Club about writing about games. It’s a really interesting conversation with lots of points that I’m still thinking about: Paul talks about knowing your audience (I don’t), how recognition is harder to get than money in indie RPGs, and how to be a generous critic.
On a related note, Dan Thurot of the Space Biff boardgame blog was on a podcast recently talking about the problems with “content creation”. Thurot is also a great interlocutor for an issue like this as he somehow always writes about boardgames with grace and flair.
As always, my gratefulness to everyone who supports me on patreon and helps keep this newsletter going! Thank you!
III. Links of the Week
Explorer’s Design has a beautiful layout template for folks who might be making classical fantasy RPGs, compatible with Indesign and Affinity Publisher. Very clean, beautiful use of fonts.
Cezar Capacle writes about grief and design as a way through it.
A drama teacher in NYC talks about her experience adding larp to the curriculum.
The Goatsong blog is doing a series on fundamental RPG mechanics. The first instalment takes a look at the idea of “rolling dice over a target number”.
The folks over at Fiction First network also have a new podcast called Dice Exploder that I think is attempting to do similar thing (analysing mechanics) so maybe check that out too.
IV. Small Ads
All links in the newsletter are completely based on my own interest. But to help support my work, this section contains sponsored links and advertisements. If you’d like your products to appear here, read the submission form.
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