Welcome to our new look website! You may have noticed that we haven’t been around for a few months – don’t worry; we’ve been keeping ourselves busy (and safe) at Dicebox HQ since the beginning of the year. While we’ve been gone, our web wizards have made some fantastic changes to our website, we’ve stockpiled enough coffee and biscuits to keep us going for months and, naturally, we’ve been testing out all the new games and products ready for our re-launch (for scientific purposes, obviously).
Despite our excitement at the prospect of being back in the fold, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the fact that in our absence; the world has gone through some very real and significant changes. We’ve all been affected in one way or another by global events – and we understand that for some of us, it can seem like we’re living in a very bleak time.
However, no matter where you are or what you do, if there’s one thing that we’ve learnt during our time in the gaming world, it’s that we’re all better off when we make the effort to reach out and connect to those we care about for a little quality time together.
We’ve always held the firm belief that one of the best ways to do that is through bringing people together around a table. The ways in which we connect may have changed, but the effects are still the same. Whenever we need a boost, sharing in the creativity, imagination, and joy of a game can provide us with the temporary escape that we all need from time to time. These may seem like small things in the grand scheme, but we should all appreciate the power of the small things to change our day, mood, or even perspective.
Change can be a good thing. Whether it’s updating an old classic or discovering a hitherto unknown (albeit imaginary) world, we should never underestimate the power of embracing the new. Side note: we can neither confirm nor deny that we’ve spent quite a bit of time recently trying out the re-mastered edition of Command & Conquer. If anyone asks, we were working the whole time…
But it’s back to business as usual so, for now, we’ve put our own games away (temporarily) in order to bring you the best of what the industry has to offer. To celebrate our return, we’ve compiled a list of games that we think best embody the spirit or theme of ‘change’.
For those looking for a good strategy based option, It’s A Wonderful World ($67.00) challenges players to take control of an expanding empire and increase production capacity in a bid to out-develop competitors. While the design and style is beautifully lavish, the relative simplicity of play makes it an excellent choice for introducing new players to drafting games. What we particularly love about it is, despite its vaguely war-time propaganda style game trailer, the specific type of the world in which the game is set is left massively open to interpretation. This allows players incredible scope when picturing the world within which they are working.
In the meantime, we’ve been deliberating our favourite moments from P1 to P3 (Captain America wielding Mjolnir in the middle of the End Game battlefield anyone?) over a few rounds of Marvel Champions: The Card Game Core Set ($93.00).
Giving you the opportunity to embody the identities of your favourite ‘classic’ Marvel heroes, this cooperative card game is another chance to stretch those cognitive muscles. Teaming up with your allies to defeat the villains, unleashing special powers, and working together to save the world? That sounds like our kind of way to spend an afternoon.
For something light-hearted, 2019 saw the release of Quirky Circuits ($76.00) by game designer, Nikki Valens, the exceptionally talented creator behind Legacy of Dragonholt.
Another cooperative game, Quirky Circuits challenges players to work as a team, with each player contributing towards the programming of a robot friend. This is a great choice to play with people of varying ages and experiences, with several possible scenarios of increasing intensity and complexity.
More importantly, Valens is one of a slew of creatives working at the forefront of the recent efforts to bring more inclusivity to the gaming industry and game design. As the community becomes increasingly more engaged with the discussion about implementing positive change on a wider scale, and the desire for further progression in character choice, storyline and objectives is amplified, designers like Valens are setting a new standard. Here at Dicebox, we certainly think that’s something worth celebrating.
Speaking of creators bringing forth positive changes to the industry, Monte Cooke’s Numenera Destiny ($51.00) is a far-future set RPG that works well for those seeking a more complex campaign in which the objective is to improve the world – as opposed to defeating an overarching villain or simply vanquishing monsters.
What we love even more than the game, however, is Monte Cooke’s efforts to make game play more comfortable and welcoming for all. Back in 2019, they released a free, downloadable PDF that looks at the subject of consent in RPG and sets out how, as a GM, you can adopt the strategies that will give everyone at your table the best possible experience and we’re all for that.
Because when the world seems like a dark and lonely place, what we really need more than anything is each other – to provide a little laughter, a little company, and a little reminder that while the world might now be different, we can always find a way to make it better.