Best new board games for April: Bardsung, Avatar the Last Airbender, more

Spring is here, and that means it’s time to clean out your shelf for a fresh batch of tabletop games. We’ve rounded up the best new board games on sale right now and focused on some of the most exciting new crowdfunding campaigns launching in April.

Taking our top spot this month is Bardsung: Legend of the Ancient Forge, a massive dungeon crawler with plenty of buzz. The game gives you and up to four friends the chance to become legends by battling monsters, solving puzzles, and collecting treasure as your party descends into the depths of the dungeon. Choose your own paths to glory to inspire the songs of the bard and become a legendary hero.

What sets this fantasy fighter apart is the freedom to create dynamic characters. You are not bound by classes like paladin or rogue; follow the set hero paths or add traits and attacks from other paths to create your own unique hero type. Another cool feature of the game is random board generation. This ensures that no two games have the same dungeon, enemies, or items. Finally, you determine the duration of the campaign. Play a single game or chain together for a story that evolves with your choices. With excellent replay value and excellent character building, Bardsung is a must-have title.

Currently in stock on the manufacturer’s website, Steamforged tells Polygon that copies are also available at many retail stores.

Decorum

Ready for the ultimate challenge? In Decorum, you and a partner have to decorate a house that you both love. They can never tell you what they need – only respond with “love it”, “hate it”, or “ok” (really a relatable scenario). Both of you will have to compromise and rework your pieces until you solve your unique decorating scenario.

Decorum may seem like a simple logic puzzle, but it’s really a game of communication and compromise. Your partner can ruin your bedroom decorating strategy, and you could ruin theirs. Unless you can both let go of your own strategies and work together, conflict will lead to failure. Overall, the gameplay offers a fun and refreshing take on communication deduction and limit mechanics. Get a copy to challenge your roommate or loved one now.


Decorum

Pricing taken at time of publication.

• 2 to 4 players, from 13 years old

• Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes

• Type of game: Board

• Category: Communication limits, deduction, coop

• If you want: Decrypto, spy drop

Cryptid: Urban Legends

Will you be the Moth Man or the brave human who will lead him to the flame? Face off in a tense battle of abstract deduction. Challenges ? An entire city. Avoid capturing and causing mayhem as a cryptid, or capture and expose them as a scientist in Cryptid: Urban Legends.

Gameplay is at stake, with deduction, foresight and ingenuity as the only tools. These key mechanics keep every game fresh as players develop new strategies with limited time and resources. Plus, who doesn’t love a good cryptid hunt? Take your copy of Cryptid: Urban Legends from Osprey Games starting April 28.

Avatar the Last Airbender: Fire Nation Rising

Calling all Avatar fans: The Fire Nation is attacking soon! Take command and fight back to restore balance to the world in Avatar The Last Airbender: Fire Nation Rising. Recruit heroes, fight villains and prepare for the final battle to end the Hundred Years War. If you fail to fend off the Fire Nation attack, all will be lost.

Besides the novelty of playing with your favorite characters (Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph or Zuko), the game offers a large scale of challenge. Gameplay can be adjusted based on experience and to increase difficulty. This feature increases the replay value and makes the game accessible to all fans. Take a copy of The Fire Nation Rises when it goes on sale to introduce any ATLA enthusiast to tabletop gaming.

The dark neighborhood

Uncover the ultimate murder mystery in The dark neighborhood. Work together as Beaumont agents to solve the worst crimes in a dark and fantastical New Orleans of the 1980s. See how your story unfolds in a narrative that changes with every decision.

Not only is the rich and dynamic story and characters great additions to the narrative genre, but the setting is also a fresh take. Elements like crime and bustling nightlife ground the story in reality. In contrast, the widespread use of voodoo and magic adds a fantastical tone. Together they create a mix of fantasy and reality, drawing on the culture of a real city to create the plot. No doubt the range of enemies and the chaos around every corner will make the campaign a quick favorite. Return this Starter before May 5 to see The dark neighborhood come to life. Delivery is estimated for October 2023.

Paradox Initiative

Everything is at your fingertips with Paradox Initiative. This title reinvents the game of 2016 Paradox in an easy-to-learn (but hard-to-master) template builder. You play as a mad scientist trying to claim strands of space-time. Create matches in your Paradox Engine to jump into alternate worlds, then collect sets of their timelines for your research. The scientist with the most worlds earns the fame and respect of the galaxy.

A mix of mechanics keeps the gameplay fresh and interesting. Some are familiar, like drafting maps and managing resources. Others, like the Bejeweled-style pattern matching, are unique to the Paradox series. The game may seem simple at first glance, but there is plenty of room to develop and refine strategies. Flip this puzzle game over Starter before April 29 to discover the riddle for yourself. Delivery is estimated for February 2023.

iconoclash

Platformers, rejoice! iconoclash puts you in the middle of intense tabletop platforming combat action. Choose your character and map for the showdown, then start fighting. On each turn, you will be able to attack, move around the stage, dodge hazards, collect items, and dodge attacks. Spend power tokens to deal extra damage and timed attacks just to have a chance of knocking your opponent off the map. The first player with zero life points loses.

The lineup of characters, each with over 500 unique attack combos, makes for explosive gameplay. Another nod to classic platformers (and a fun feature) are the multiplayer modes. These support up to four players and include a classic, battle royale, and 2v2 mode. With such a variety of gameplay, the replay value is at its highest with this creative title. Platform lovers must support crowdfunding campaign before May 6. Delivery is estimated for June 2023.

Escape from Stalingrad Z

Combine tactical combat, zombies and World War II: you have discovered Escape from Stalingrad Z. Fight as surviving veteran soldiers to ward off the hordes of zombies and escape the city. Play solo or cooperatively to find the best way forward in linked scenarios; each will give you options on which path to follow, and only your choices will determine your fate.

The ongoing story elements help this campaign feel cohesive story after story. If you like war strategy and tactics with an undead twist, this game is for you. Return on Starter before May 2 to bring the post-war apocalypse to your table. Delivery is estimated for November 2022.

We hope you enjoyed our latest curated list. We’ll continue to scour crowdfunding forums and game developer pages to keep you up to date with the latest and greatest tabletop games. Check back soon for another batch of fresh new finds.

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