I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but after the typhoon of great games that struck earlier this year, my usual high level of anticipation for future releases was completely nullified. Between Morrowind, Freedom Force, Age of Wonders II, and Neverwinter Nights, I’ve been pretty well sated, and not too interested in any upcoming games (with the exception of NOLF2).
But I just came across something that piques the old future release jones. The folks who did Desperados – IMO, a beautiful little gem of a game that took the gameplay of Commandos and improved on it tenfold – are nearing completion on a similar game with a Robin Hood theme. There’s a preview of it here:
Most interesting to me is the integration of a non-linear mission structure. Using Sherwood Forest as a base of operations, you’ll be able to choose from different missions at any given time. Some will be plot-related (like stopping the wedding of Maid Marian to Guy de Gisbourne), but others are “side missions,” like robbing the tax collector. There are a number of main characters like in Commandos or Desperados, but the more money you give away to the poor, the more Merry Men will join your cause; they can be taken on missions or help you in various other ways.
These more dynamic game elements seem pretty promising to me, especially since they mirror my own long-standing notions of what would be cool design elements in a Robin Hood game. It’s slated for November 2002 from Strategy First.
After poking around a little bit on some German game sites I’ve discovered that their next game using this approach will be about vampire hunters in 1890s London. And I’m not absolutely certain, but it seems to allow for some sort of pseudo-rpg style character development. If that is the case, those of us with a longstanding desire to see more non-fantasy rpgs may actually have our wishes answered from an unexpected source.
That’s great! I’ve always thought Dracula would make a good strategy game. Particularly if his hideout changes with each replay and you’ve got to race against time to save poor Lucy (the Bloofer Lady) and, eventually, dear Mina.
Also The Fury of Dracula, a Games Workshop game from the mid-80s. It was quite excellent, actually–very similar in execution to Scotland Yard (one person plays Drcula, the others play vampire hunters). I think it’s out of print, but you might be able to find one on eBay.
I used to have Undead. It had that great little map of London, didn’t it? I remember something about the two player version where if the vampire or a minion went out to hunt it might generate news stories (broadsheet stories?) and rumors. Wow. We’re old.
This Robin Hood game does sound promising. A little X-Com in the Middle Ages?
I am looking at a copy of Vampyre: Game of the Hunt for Dracula from TSR circa 1980. One of those little plastic box (Minigame) games a la Steve Jackson. I cannot believe it was sitting on a bookshelf in my house at the end of a hallway. I was 10 when it was released!!!
I too have seen snippets for said Robin Hood title. Hooray!
Strategy First has started to make me nervous, however. After their recent publishing of a few tepid look-a-like games. (Celtic Kings, Prince of Qin) I hope this isn’t just a warmed over version of 20 other games we have seen. Gosh it does look cool though.
No need to mention SF’s other …ahem… missteps which have their own little thread devoted to them.
I am a game hording freak. They kept this lonely nerd company when I was a wee one. I grew out of nerddom*, but all my important crap (read:game related crap) has travelled with me through six apartment moves and my first house in the last 12 or so years.
You cannot have my classic Games Workshop solitaire only board game Chainsaw Warrior either!!!
*[size=2]My wife will completely disagree on this point[/size]
No prob, Tyjenks! You got me reminiscing about some great old games, too. Undead and the others mentioned were among many great products that came out of the explosion of creativity in American tabletop games in the late 70s and early 80s. I would love to see more developers taking inspiration from those games in the way that Spellbound may have been inspired by Undead or its ilk.
Among the games I 'd like to see reincarnated:
The Steve Jackson based on the classic slasher movie, set at night in a summer camp, where one player is the psycho-killer and the other player(s) are the teen campers trying to survive.
The Creature That Ate Sheboygan! This had to be the inspiration for Crush, Crumble, and Chomp, and I want a remake!
The crazy boardgame published in SPI’s magazine wherein one player is the evil force that controls a haunted house and the others are trying to exorcise it while trying to keep from getting killed, complete with strategic movement on the astral plane.
Clearly those old tabletop game designers were drawing inspiration from movies they loved, and obviously that goes on in the computer game industry as well, but there was something really interesting and engaging about taking those movies and turning them into strategy games. If any of those same themes were used today, it would most likely be as FPS, which is fine, but not what I’d really like to see.
Lately I’ve really been craving strategy games that have a turn-based structure but don’t have war or direct conflict as the main focus. I’ve been playing a lot of Covert Action, and imagining other possibilites along those lines – like a Law & Order style game where you have to investigate randomly generated crimes, arrest suspects, and then prosecute them.
Let me get it out of the way up front: I love Magic Realm. Yeah, I know–it’s way too complicated, the Advanced Squad Leader of fantasy games. But once you get over that curve, it’s a fantastic game. If this guy ever gets his computer version polished up, it could take away much of the complexity.
He also has a PDF of the Third Edition rules, an unofficial ruleset created by fans of the game that is a much easier read (relatively speaking) than the official rules that came with my 2nd edition set.
No! Nothing like that! Curse you, tyjenks! Ugh, what a piece of crap that thing looks to be. Did you actually get some kind of game description off that site? I couldn’t find it.
Funny that they’re making it, though. Shoulda known.
And Mr. Sones, I knew you were hardcore, but now I see that you are WICKED HARDCORE. I remember trying to understand the Magic Realm rules at age thirteen, and feeling like somebody was operating on my brain. It was as if William Burroughs had written a boardgame.
I don’t know if anyone is interested by I ran across an 20th Anniversary Edition of the old TSR boardgame ‘Divine Right’. Along with Chaosium’s White Bear, Red Moon and SPI’s Sorceror the original was a classic in my fantasy grog circle in high school. I actually copied articles out of the Dragon and we used all the expanded rules. This edition includes all those expansions we painstakingly integrated.
No! Nothing like that! Curse you, tyjenks! Ugh, what a piece of crap that thing looks to be. Did you actually get some kind of game description off that site? I couldn’t find it.[/quote]
I had actually passed by it just the day before in the EB coming releases list. It was funny that you brought it up. There was a small decription there and the publishers name who may have a little more info at it’s site. I am sure it is some kind of lame adventure/crime/mystery garbage.
I think it is only $19.99. How’s about you buy it and let us know how it is Jason? :wink: