in , ,

4 New Card Games Proving Cards Are King

Ask a gamer about card games and names like Magic, Flesh & Blood, and Pokemon are likely to be on the forefront of people’s minds. But let’s not forget that, long before people were fighting each other for booster boxes, card games reigned supreme for other reasons. They’re smaller, more portable, and often times a person can jump into one without much in the way of rules explanation. Designers today are still making magic with this medium, and here are four new games to prove it.

Bad Baby Lich Lords – Kickstarter (Oct. 4)

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

As a kid, one of the things I hated hearing the most from my parents was “We’re going to take a nap.” Those six words meant at least an hour of boredom since any sort of noise on my part meant facing cranky, parental wrath. Clearly the folks over at publisher Heart of the Deernicorn had similar experiences. Because in Bad Baby Lich Lords, you play as a Baby Lich whose father, the Immeasurable Lich King, has killed everything on the planet just so he can have some peace and quiet for a nap. But to a Baby Lich, all of this deathly tranquility is boring.  

So what do you do? Raise a bunch of playmates from the grave, of course! Bad Baby Lich Lords is all about waking your Dad-ite from his restful slumber so that you can play again. To do that, each of the 2 – 4 players try to make as much noise as possible with the first player to 5 waking dad and getting his attention. No comment on negative attention seeking. 

The Heartifact – Also known as “Item #472 Dad Says We’re Not Allowed to Touch”.  
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

But you can only make so much noise on your own, so you’re going to need help in the form of minions. Each turn, players can dig up skeletons and raise them into Minion card, placing them in one of the available Realms where you go to play and make Noise. Each Realm requires minions with specific skills in order to score it. But while you’re trying to get your minions into prime cacophony formation, other players can use Spell cards to interfere with your party plans. There’s also a solo mode in which an automated deck of minions vies for your lich daddy’s attention. 

Don’t get me wrong, the mechanics of this game look great: simple, deep, quick. But the heart of Bad Baby Lich Lords is its style. Artist Taylor Dow creates hilariously whimsical characters and scenes, making looking at the cards just as much fun as playing. Oh, and this game has its own kick-ass theme song which is even more of an ear worm than the Crossfire jingle. As evidence, I present Exhibit A: I’m listening to it right now. Again.  

Pretty Princess Pomelo – Kickstarter (Coming Soon) 

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

“In the name of vitamin C, I’ll punish you!”  

I’ll admit, it’s maybe not the most ferocious battle cry, but fans of the Magical Girl genre will recognize it as a sign of something big coming. In this case, it’s the encore campaign of Pretty Princess Pomelo, the Magical Girl themed combat card game from Team Pomelo Games. 

In Pretty Princess Pomelo, 2 – 4 players will battle for dominance as either heroic, citrus-themed Princesses; villainous, wolfish Pirates; or more likely, a combination of the two. The goal of the game is to be the first to have five characters all of the same type, Princesses or Pirates, and be in control of the powerful Citrine Hearts. 

Witness the power of citrus! 
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

When it comes to gaining control of the Citrine Hearts, players have options. The first is through combat which will feel familiar to most TCG players. Unlike many other PvP card games though, players don’t have to worry about resources to play cards. Instead, players can draw 2 cards each turn from 1 of 3 shared decks: pink Character cards, green Gear and Event cards, or orange Spell and Upgrade cards. Once cards are drawn, players can then play 1 character and as many other cards as they want in preparation for battle. Choose an opposing character to attack, and if your Star Power exceeds their Hearts, you win. The first character to defeat an opposing character gains the Citrine Hearts, giving them a +4 Heart boost and putting a target squarely on their back as other players come after them to try and regain the Hearts.  

Which flavor of card will you choose? 
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Players have other options to get their hands on the Citrine Hearts at their disposal. If you start your turn with 3 characters who share the same alignment, you can claim the Hearts and place them on one of your characters. Of course, other players will be aware of this and do everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen before your next turn. Then there are some characters who are a little more underhanded and don’t need a squad for this, instead having a special ability that lets them steal the Hearts outright. These characters are also known as “public enemy #1”. With so many options and relatively simple rules, this is a solid pick for both beginners and experienced PvP card gamers.  

Geeknson Board Game Table | QUESTOWER Ads System

Kitsunedo – Kickstarter (Live until Nov. 10)  

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

Like Pretty Princess Pomelo, this next game is also a PvP battling card game but with a very different idea of what combat can look like. That’s probably because Ukiyo, the Australian publisher behind Kitsunedo, is a design studio primarily focused on creating immersive escape rooms instead of card games. This background in interactive experiences shows through loud and clear in this, their first published card game, by integrating bluffing and deduction to the PvP genre.  

Based loosely on their Studio Ghibli-inspired Crumbling Prince escape series, Kitsunedo sees 2 – 5 players take on the role of a Fox Lord seeking to gain dominance over the others. At the start of the game, each player will choose a Fox Lord with their own unique abilities like swapping cards with other players, marking enemies for death, or drawing from the discard pile rather than the deck. You’ll also be assigned a random Lantern which comes with its own special ability, like “Draw 2 cards instead of 1”, or “Steal a card from another player.”

Very deep thinker. Has the best podcast recommendations.  
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

This is where things get interesting though. That’s because your lantern is kept secret, and you can claim to have the power of any lantern. If another player thinks you’re bluffing, they can call your bluff. If they’re right, you must discard your hand, putting you at a serious disadvantage. If they’re wrong, they have to discard their hand instead. You also have “Block” cards which can block an opponent who just called you out from seeing your lantern. And here’s where the mind games kick in. Did I block you because you were right, or because I want you to think you were right? After all, everyone knows a Fox Lord can’t be trusted.  

Use your lanterns to confuse your enemies.
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

Ultimately though, the game is about eliminating your rivals. Players use “Scroll” cards to attack their opponents, Diminishing them on a hit or knocking them out if they’re already Diminished. However, even vanquished players still draw cards, and if you draw a “Sake” card, you can re-enter the game in a Diminished state to punish your attacker. Remember when I said Fox Lords were devious? Well, turns out they’re also spiteful to boot.  

Talking Hearts – Kickstarter (Live Until Oct. 20) 

Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

If The Pandemic did one thing well, it was to force families and couples together during those months of lockdown. But just being in close proximity to a person doesn’t mean really getting to know that person on a meaningful level. Take Mike for example. You know Mike, you’ve worked with him for years. But you don’t know Mike. You think he likes…ballroom dancing? Or maybe it was just some sport that uses a ball? You get what I mean.  

Sit down. Grab a drink. This’ll take a minute. 
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners. 

Talking Hearts was born out this desire to really get to know the person you’re locked down with, either literally or just in a relationship sense. It’s an incredibly simple game in which you and a partner, family members, etc. sit down and just…talk. Which for some people might make this an incredibly challenging game. At least it would if the game didn’t consist of 100 double-sided cards that prompted meaningful conversation. The two sides are divided up between Thoughtful and Playful questions like, “What’s a big risk you’ve taken in the past” or “If you could go through one celebrity’s phone for an hour, whose would it be?” For couples, there is also an After Dark expansion. While no spiciness has been revealed, designer Audrey Fischer has promised that “we’ve received very positive feedback.” Playful indeed! 

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let these cards get shuffled into the wrong deck. 
Trademarks and visuals belong to their rightful owners.

by Zane Messina

Geeknson Board Game Table | QUESTOWER Ads System

Bristol Plus Board Game Table | Now on Gamefound>>>

Bedeville Carnival | LATE PLEDGE >>>

Headed To Essen? Get Started with our Essen Spiel Primer

Halloween Is Near: 4 Terrifying Tabletop Games