If it’s Friday, it must be Little Metal Dog News Time!
This week sees the return of one of America’s biggest gaming expos – The 35th Origins event takes place in Columbus, Ohio and has got a huge amount of stuff happening. Aside from first views of many new games and representation by most of the big gaming companies, the occasional curiosity springs up. For example, Microsoft have announce that their new computer interface – Surface – will be there, running a fully working version of the classic Settlers of Catan. Here’s a video if you fancy a look.
I love how the whole thing looks and runs. I think the best part is how they cope with the whole keeping your cards secret aspect – such a simple way to deal with it: you just push a button to flip them! While this isn’t the finished version, it certainly impressed me. So much so, I want one, right now. The gaming possibilities are endless! Vectorform (who are responsible for the conversion) are doing a great job. I’ll be doing a full report on Origins after the event has finished, so keep an eye out on the blog for updates.
It’s a time for reprints, it seems. Days of Wonder have announced that their originally Scandinavian-only version of Ticket to Ride – Nordic Countries – is to be rereleased so the rest of the world can have a go. When it originally came outin 2008, more hardcore TtR fans did manage to get their hands on the limited English copies (it was also printed in limited stocks in French and German) but ended up paying something of a premium. Specifically designed for 2-3 players, it will now be available in more sensible numbers from September. Fantasy Flight have also announced a reversion of the Reiner Knizia co-op Lord Of The Rings, this time seeing it added to their Silver Line. The new box will be smaller but will still be exactly the same game, even retaining the artwork – the drawback though is that it will not be compatible with previously released expansions… another way for FFG to wring a few more dollars out of the cash cow, it seems!
(Also, after last week’s story about the Ticket To Ride World Championships, a winner has been crowned! Click here for the full story, and well done to all involved.)
Finally, the new Spielbox has hit the shelves, the third one since they started to publish the magazine in English as well as German. One of the guys I play with at my games club has his hands on it already and has posted about it here on his blog, but the thing that really caught my interest was the announcement of a Dominion competition. Rather than something simple such as designing a brand new card of two (I’m sure Donald X Vaccarino still has plenty in his mind!) entrants are required to submit a set of rules for a campaign version of the game. Curiously they’re not bound just to using the cards – dice, counters, meeples or whatever you can lay your hands on can be used. Results from previous rounds must also have an effect on forthcoming ones, which could make for some very interesting ideas…
In show news, Episode 5 is nearly ready to roll. There’s nearly 3300 subscribers now, which (to me) is reaching scary levels. To celebrate this massive amount, I’ll be running a little competition when the new show is officially out. Not sure what to give away yet, but it’ll certainly be game related! Cheers for all your emails and messages, they’re all appreciated. Also, if you’re waiting for the new episode but want to listen to something good in the meantime, please check out the wonderful Robert Ashley’s A Life Well Wasted – while it concentrates on video game culture, it is so beautifully constructed and well researched, it always sounds great. One of those podcasts that you can listen to even if you’re not entirely into the subject matter.