Handelabra (kind of) announces their next two projects: Aeon’s End and Spirit Island

iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •

Fresh off the success of One Deck Dungeon you’d think the folks at Handelabra would rest on their laurels and, perhaps, slow down and enjoy the, I’m sure, millions of dollars that come along with being a successful indie developer of niche board games. As you can probably guess from the headline, however, that’s not the case. Instead, Handelabra have announced two new ports that will be heading our way in 2019, Indie Boards & CardsAeon’s End and Greater Than GamesSpirit Island.

The first game we’ll see on our tablets is Aeon’s End, a cooperative deck-builder from designer Kevin Riley. Players will joins forces to defend their island from the Big Bad and, well, this sounds like it might just be in the Handelabra wheelhouse. Here’s a blurb:

Aeon’s End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that require careful planning with every discarded card. Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using unique abilities, powerful spells, and, most importantly of all, their collective wits.

The second of the announced games comes from Handelabra’s oldest collaborator, Greater Than Games. The game is Spirit Island and I’m very interested to see this one rendered via 1s and 0s. It’s another cooperative game, but this one looks to be a bit heavier than Handelabra’s usual fare. I don’t know much about the game, so let’s blurb it out:

Spirit Island is a cooperative, settler-destruction strategy game for 1 to 4 players designed by R. Eric Reuss and set in an alternate-history world around A.D. 1700. Players are different spirits of the land, each with their own unique elemental powers, forced to defend their island home from colonizing Invaders spreading blight and destruction. Work with your fellow spirits and the Dahan (local islanders) to increase your power and drive the invading colonists from your island in this deep and complex area-control game!

Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively. The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any Dahan present. (Who then retaliate.) The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.

Yep, I’m ready.

Handelabra’s not ready to give any other details at this point, as both are just starting development. Spirit Island, in fact, hasn’t even gotten that far. They’ve only just signed a licensing deal that says that can develop it, and they plan to do just that and release it by the end of 2019. Aeon’s End will be hitting the App Store first, but we’re still looking at a 2019 release.

We’ll keep on top of this one and let you know as any other details emerge.

Hat tip: Pixelated Cardboard

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Notable Replies

  1. Handelabra is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Their choice of games thus far hasn’t entirely been up my alley, I don’t do iPad-only, I really like asynchronous play, and they tend to be the pricier of board game apps.

    All that said, I recognize the quality of their products and very much look forward to any game they decide to make.

  2. As a general rule, I'm not a fan of playing cooperative boardgames online with other people. Sentinels of the Multiverse landed right in the center of this philosophy.

    However, I have played both of these games in table top form, and I think both will excel as online multiplayer games. So hopefully Handelabra will include online play in the launch version.

  3. I can’t say I’ve played many cooperative games online since almost moments of them are asynchronous. I can see how losing all the interaction could be a bummer, but at the same time, I’d imagine it eliminates the potential alpha gamer problems inherent in many co-op games.

    All I know is that if Pandemic had asynch with a chat log, I’d have logged hundreds of plays by now.

  4. Aeon's End is often considered a fantasy version of Sentinels of the Multiverse, so this seems like a reasonable fit for Handelabra. Looking forward to it.

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