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BoLS Visits Greater than Games

6 Minute Read
Aug 30 2017
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BoLS wanders around the demo room with Greater Than Games’ Mara, and learns all about their upcoming games.

We love Greater than Games’ games here at BoLS. You might have seen us playing their games on our Twitch Stream from time to time. We’ve played Fate of the Elder Gods, Laser Ryders, and the fast-paced, friendship-destroying The Wizard Always Wins. On a more personal note, they also make Sentinels of the Multiverse, which is one of my favorite card games of all time, so it was pretty exciting to get to see them in action.

Speaking of Sentinels of the Multiverse–not only do they have the villainous expansion, but they also soon be putting out a Sentinels Roleplaying game, where all of the characters have their own “comic book” character sheet. It looks fantastic, and we’ll have a full update on that for you shortly, but it’s some pretty exciting news for you superhero fans. It’s a chance to dive into another super-system, only this one looks like it might not require an advanced degree to build a character in.

But Greater Than Games had a ton of stuff on display at Gen Con this year. Stepping away from the bustling, soon-to-be-destroyed metropolises of the Sentinels-verse and into the vast expanse of the cosmic ocean. There we find planets waiting to be inhabited–there, amid the stardust and cosmic radiation, we find Exoplanets, the Great Expanse.

Space is vast, its ever-increasing breadth mind boggling. You never realized just how vast it could be until you and your kind set out among the stars to terraform new worlds and bring life to desolate worlds. You found the perfect system to create and evolve, but just beyond its reaches lies a Great Expanse, with mysteries and riches untold.

The Great Expanse is an expansion for Exoplanets that brings the wonders and mystery of Gravity, strange Stars, Deep Space – with 16 new Space Tiles – and even bits to add a 5th explorer to your games. Feel free to add any or all of these modules to your travels and expand your horizons!

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I love games like this. Space is a secret weak point of mine, theme-wise, but games that are about exploration and finding resources while encountering strange events and crises in an unknown region are incredibly fun. They’re a chance to tap into that drive in humanity that made us push the frontier across our world until there was nowhere left to go but up and out.

And talking of things that are out of this world, let’s talk about VivaJava, the game that’s about making the perfect cup of coffee. Well, actually it’s more like getting the right kind of bean. If you’re the kind of person who sits back and thinks about what it would be like to open your own craft brewery or coffeehouse, this game is sure to appeal to you, and your name is probably Trent or Chad or Clifton, but all of your friends just call you “Other Trent.”

That said, this game is cutthroat. Sort of. You and your fellow players are all playing people trying to get the best coffee, and you can only do that by sending researchers out into the field–but there’s only so much you can do by yourself. Eventually you’ll have to cooperate with the other players, Hunter.

Lazer Ryderz

A high-speed, high-energy, trackless racing game with light push your luck, area denial, and strategy elements. Ride the LAZER!

In the deepest pockets of space, there exist Power Prizms, leftover artifacts from intergalactic beings of a bygone era. Activating three prizms allows Ryderz to charge up and pass through to new destinations in the galaxy. The portal only allows one Ryder to pass through before moving on to a new location, so speed is essential to meet your goal lest you be left in the space dust. But the faster you go, the harder it is to turn, and if you run into another player’s lazer, you’ll crash! Who will continue their quest, and who will be left behind?

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In Lazer Ryderz, take on the role of one of four Ryderz (the Galactic Waveryder, Lazer Shark, Super Sheriff, or Phantom Cosmonaut) as you race to capture three prizms. Unlike most games, Lazer Ryderz does not use a set board; instead, your table is the board! The size and shape of the table you play on can change the game dramatically as you use individual straight and curved lazer pieces to create your path to victory. Lazer Ryderz features simple and intuitive yet fast-paced gameplay that is easy to grasp. It’s all the best parts of press-your-luck, racing, and tabletop strategy mechanics without a set track or high learning curve.

This game is seriously a blast. We played it only yesterday on our Twitch Stream and can confirm, there’s a lot of frenetic action that happens as you cross the streams and race against each other in a Tron like battle for supremacy. The game also comes with an official Soundtrack that is absolutely fitting.

And of course there are all the other big hits that they featured.

The upcoming Legends of Sleepy Hollow had a demo on display–and the game is set to capture all of that ambiance of dread that comes with investigating a “story.” Players will be set to solve the disappearance of Ichabod Crane.

Unfold the tale of the mysterious disappearance of Ichabod Crane through the eyes of four Tarrytown residents who have strange ties to the supernatural in an ever-darkening Sleepy Hollow.

In Legends of Sleepy Hollow players take on the roles of four residents – undertaker Jeremiah Pincke, minister Elijah Kappel, Revolutionary War veteran Matthias Geroux, and tanner Emily Van Winkle – in a cooperative, miniatures-based, campaign game full of secrets and twists. During the game, players will use an action pool to move about, investigate, interact with their environment, or unleash powerful attacks and abilities that are unique to each character. Once selected, however, these abilities will be unavailable until that character’s action pool has emptied – a process that becomes more complex as that character gains fear.

Players will have to work closely together to overcome their fear, unravel the mysteries of the glen, and become true Legends of Sleepy Hollow.

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The game is soon to be on Kickstarter, so stay tuned for more information about how you can get in on all this atmospheric action.

We also had a chance to see Fate of the Elder Gods in action, here’s what we thought:

This game is a ton of fun. It features a unique turn order mechanic–players draw cards with Eldritch Symbols on the back, and these determine where you’re able to take actions. Each move you make adds to the column of Eldritch power that you’ll be using to cast spells. Which you’ll need to do in order to summon your god before the investigators close in and seal your power away with Elder Signs.

Of course your fellow cultists are trying to do the same thing. There are some strategic decisions to make when planning your turn. Taking actions carries a cumulative cost and consumes your limited resources. So you’ll have to choose carefully–do you recruit cultists? Carry out your ceremony? Risk a raid to grab artifacts?

The game plays quickly once you get the hang of it. And it offers considerable depth upon your return. There’s a layer of strategy that reveals itself–your primary resource is your cultists. And, as you might expect from a game about Lovecraftian deities, they’re going to be dying a lot. Each turn you pick a location and send a cultist from your lodge (sort of a ready pool) there. But an investigator follows them–and if there are enough investigators in a single location on your turn, they infiltrate your headquarters (also your lodge). Ordinarily this won’t do anything until there’s a big raid, at which point you start getting into trouble.

Well that’s it for Greater than Games (for now). They have produced some amazing games, and we’ll soon be seeing more from them.

In the meantime, the office itself seems to be whispering Ia…Ia… so I’m just going to… go.

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