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New games for May 8, 2020 - Mechanical Mars Agents

Jason Tagmire

It's New Game Friday! And David Wiley (Cardboard Clash) is here to tell us about the new games.

Here’s what is new this week:

  • Agents of S.M.U.S.H
  • Four Against Darkness: Room Cards
  • Four Against Mars
  • Mechanical Beast

This week's new games are all available at https://www.pnparcade.com/collections/new-games

Agents of S.M.U.S.H.

“Harmony Grace, pay attention. Dr. Baron Von Death has stolen three chunks of Moon crystal, and will unleash his death ray on the Earth in a mere six months if you cannot stop him. Your mission will be dangerous; you will have to take risks. But recover those Moon crystals, or all hope for liberty and freedom is lost.”


Agents of SMUSH is an asymmetric card game, meaning each player has different goals. The player controlling Harmony Grace (AKA ‘the spy’) must make three successful incursions into Dr. Baron Von Death’s lairs to steal three Moon crystals. The SMUSH player wins if either Harmony leaves three clues in in unsuccessful incursions, or at the end of the sixth round by default. At this point the death ray is completed and the world is yours.


This game makes me think of the first Captain America movie (which I just rewatched a few weeks ago) with Hydra attempting to make superweapons from the Tesseract. Please note, this is definitely not a bad thing! The gameplay involves the spy setting up her board, choosing which half of her card to use for the round, and eventually making a run against the SMUSH defenses. If you have played Android: Netrunner, this game feels like a much shorter game with a similar concept of making runs through walls of Ice to try and snag Agendas. A:N is a fantastic 2-player asymmetric game, which gives me high hopes for this one!

Four Against Darkness: Room Cards

 

Simple and straight forward here, folks. These are cards you can use as a way of randomizing the rooms in a dungeon. You could set them out and roll a die to select, or shuffle them up and draw a card off the top to determine. Heck, you could draw two and choose one if so inclined. After all, it is your game experience.

Four Against Mars

 

You control a team of four heroes fighting off an alien invasion in a small town, hopefully trying to discover the aliens’ weaknesses. Aliens have been conducting all manner of experiments on terrestrial life forms, thus creating countless dangers, from space zombies to radioactive giant spiders, for your heroes to fight. The game is set in your hometown, or -- if you live in a big city -- in the closest small town with which you are familiar. You may use its landmarks, businesses, and notable persons to add details and color to your own game. The theme of the game is small town people vs. aliens from outer space and their sinister creations.

 

Four Against Darkness, meet modern world Sci-Fi adventure. Form a team of extraordinary folks, such as Medics, Survivalists, Espers, and more to take on the increasing Martian threat. By far the coolest thing here is the encouragement to use your own familiar hometown setting for the game, making my experience different than yours but allowing the story to be colored with people you know and places you frequent. So many of us have a soft spot for those B-level Sci-Fi films, and this allows you to create your own in essence! If the fantasy setting of Four Against Darkness has never appealed to you, this might be the system to draw you in with a tractor beam.

 

Mechanical Beast

 

The creature was all humanity hoped for: a sentient robot, with the capacity to self-improve by building itself new modules to solve the needs of the population, big and small. It was an endless source of admiration and improvement of people’s lives.

 

That is, until it started to go out of control. At this point no human had a detailed plan on how to fix it, or even shut it off. Due to the organic growth it had had, the original blueprints were useless, and nobody had thought of keeping logs outside of the machine’s system. There was no guide whatsoever on how it was structured now.

 

Your team, as designers of the core system, must dive into the bowels of the beast, find its control room, activate the off switch, and then escape before it collapses entirely around you while self-disassembling.

 

To aid in your quest, you can send your reliable robot to tinker with the gears and rooms, should you get stuck, or you can activate the gears yourself to find a path amongst the chaos.

 

When I read about this game, it takes me back to childhood memories of playing Final Fantasy IV on my SNES and going inside the Giant of Babel (looking for a great RPG to play? FF4 is definitely one I recommend!). I’m pretty sure this isn’t the same experience, but I will definitely be cranking the OST track as I explore the beast and shut it down. You need to juggle explorers and go deeper into the beast, activating gears to move and shift rooms. All of this sounds really cool, actually, but you also need to be able to have everyone escape or else you lose, which could definitely provide a challenge in this puzzle game of exploration!

Check out the new games here: https://www.pnparcade.com/collections/new-games

Game of the Week: Food Truck Champion


Food Truck Champion is a game in which each person plays the owner of a new food truck out to make a name for itself. You will hire staff, cook food and please customers to earn awards and popularity. At the end of the day the food truck with the most popularity wins!  


This game for 2-5 players has you running a food truck in competition with the other players. With five different role actions to choose from, you are working hard to fill orders properly. The really cool part of this game isn’t just the theme, or the fridge you’ll be storing food inside, but rather the way your space expands as you fulfil orders. This provides incentive to target easier tasks early in order to open yourself up for bigger gains in the future - think of it like prioritizing those bottom row cards in the market in Splendor. You aren’t likely to win with just those cards, but getting a healthy focus on them early can make future cards much easier to obtain. Oh, you get bonuses for sets of awards completed, too. So fire up the burners and get cooking to be the Food Truck Champion!


Check out Game of the Week here: https://www.pnparcade.com/collections/game-of-the-week

See you next week with more information on our newest print and play games!

 


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