Holiday List – The Epic Gamer
So this is for that person who loves their games, to be huge, awesome, epic. Fairly often story driven, fairly often taking up the whole table, and fairly off a campaign style of game. These are the people who like plastic minis on the table, probably will even paint them. Could also be referred to as Ameritrash or Amerithrash gamers as well. I will say that some of these games might be harder to find, because a lot of the more minis driven games have been Kickstartered so might only be available via a secondary resale of someone’s original purchase.
This was one of the first games by Awaken Realms that I took note of. I didn’t actually back it the first time around, so I’m waiting on my copy from the second Kickstarter for it. Plus, this one is available in retail now, still might be tricky to find. This is a semi-cooperative game where each person has their own secret objective. In the game you are trying to survive an alien incursion onto your space ship, kill them off, and pilot back to earth. But of course, the aliens are out to get you and the engines and navigation are off-line. Plus, you might not want to end up on Earth, but to go to another planet instead, or you might have a rivalry with another character, so you won’t kill them, but you won’t help them in an alien flight. This game looks beautiful on the table with all of it’s minis and the game play is good as well.
Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon
Another game by Awaken Realms, this one you’ll be able to find on the secondary market only, as I’m not 100% sure it’ll ever come to retail. But this is an epic campaign/adventure game in a wyrdness filled lands of Avalon, where the Menhir that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table lit in the time of legends are starting to go out. A group was sent out from your town to explore and try and find somewhere or someone who could help in the lands, but they’ve been gone a long time. Now you and you and a few others in your town are being sent out to find them as the wyrdness and the tainted creatures start to come closer to the town. Can you survive? This game has a great story and is extremely hard as you push through it, trying to figure out how to survive, when to fight the monsters, when to run away, when to push into exhaustion and when to stop and rest. Overall, an amazing game, but like I said, it’s going to be harder to find.
Folklore: The Affliction
Maybe you want something that is a bit more standard fantasy, this game of ghosts, werewolves, and vampires, is definitely that, and definitely more D&D like. Greenbrier Games has created a DM less RPG type game, with set piece battles, travel and exploration and story that you can unfold as you go. This one is for that person in your life who is a bit more of a crunchy gamer as this really does straddle that line of being Dungeons and Dragons like with the dice you roll for attacks and damage. This one definitely has some challenge and survival to it, but as compared to Tainted Grail the difficulty level is easier and the story while dark is less dark. This one also doesn’t have the minis, though you could get them, and same with Tainted Grail actually, not that many minis. This one is also available via Greenbrier’s site, so one that you can get, it also might be available in some retail locations. There are a lot of small add-ons you can get as well for it, or big ones, such as minis.
This one is kind of a campaign game, but not really. In this game you are going through different scenarios in time and a multiverse, almost like an escape room. You are trying to figure out puzzles, deal with threats that come up, and interact with characters. You’re doing this as you race against the clock. Granted, only your consciousness is being sent back in time, into another body, so you can always try again. I know that some of the scenarios (and there is theoretically a campaign throughout, but not really) aren’t as good, but the four that I’ve played thus far have been a ton of fun. The puzzles are engaging, and while it can be a bit slow playing through part of the game that you’ve played before, it gives you a chance to checkout new parts of the story and world and decide what direction you want to go. I know that I always loved to delve possibly further in that I should have to see what I could find. Overall, a really cool game that has a lot of interesting scenarios.
The 7th Continent
This one has two different versions, there is a Kickstarter version that might be fairly hard to find, though I’ve started to see more show up on the secondary market, and there is a retail version. Both are going to be good, the retail version is just going to have some less content. In this game you awaken on the 7th Continent, an interesting land, knowing that you’ve been cursed. You then have to utilize cards, push your luck and explore the lands. Basically no minis in this game, but what is really interesting, and Tainted Grail does a similar thing, is what you explore the map as you go, and each curse might drop you into a different part of the map, but you’ll know what might be off in one direction if you head that way in future plays of the game. The first curse, for that reason, is extremely expansive and takes you all over the map and can take a very long time while ones after that are a bit more focused, so I will say, if you get this one or give this one, if the first curse is taking forever and you’ve sunk what you feel like is enough time into it, move onto the next one.
Now, i could go on further. Pandemic Legacy (any of the seasons) and Gloomhaven are two that I’ve talked about before that would certainly be epic games. Clank! Legacy, Aeon’s End Legacy, Reichbusters, deep Madness, Apocrypha, Dragonfire, Blood Rage, Zombicide, Mansions of Madness, Marvel Champions, Sword & Sorcery. All of these games have an epic feel to them at times and in their own way. So if none of the ones I’ve mentioned sound that interesting, you can spend some time going through those to see as well what might work best for yourself or who you’re giving the gift to.