SPIEL 2018: MACKEREL SKY GAMES
By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on November 20, 2018
If I had to describe what Spiel is all about, I'd say it's all about playing board games and meeting people from all over the world. At the booth of Mackerel Sky Games, I met Travis Wilkens, designer of Doxie Dash. I'd heard of Travis and follow him on Instagram. Only a few days before Spiel 2018, he posted two teasers for his upcoming game The Obelisk War on his account. In doing so, he managed to capture my attention, so I thought I'd better check this out for myself.
Let's start with Mackerel Sky Games' first game: Doxie Dash. This card game came together due to Mackerel Sky Games' love for Dachshunds and their close relationship with a Dachshund breeder, the Long Long Ranch, from where they got their beloved pets. The game quick and simple, and the background story makes the game even more adorable. Of course, Travis needed to show me his own dog on some photos on his telephone, so I could truly compare the original to the pixelated version on the cards. The decision to go with pixel art stems from Mackerel Sky Games' love for eighties computer games. And although I have to admit it was in no way necessary to use this particular style for this game, I do agree with their decision; hey, I too am just a sucker for pixel art!
Then we came to the game which pulled me to the Mackerel Sky Games booth in the first place: The Obelisk War. The board and the tokens of this game already look amazing. To complete the story, Travis told me that he'd bought a 3D printer just two weeks ago, figured out how it works, started printing with it, painted the obelisks and the tokens, stuffed them in his suitcase and took them with him on his long journey from Canada to Essen, in order to be able to show them to the board gaming world. Now, if that isn't a fine example of devotion and dedication, I don't know what is! Incidentally, hearing this story immediately explained the paint marks on his clothes.
Back to the game! The Obelisk War is going to be an abstract strategy game, set in a futuristic world. You will play against your opponent in order to control the Obelisks on the game board. When these mystical behemoths are under your control, you can unlock their mysterious powers. The plan is to make The Obelisk War a two-player game, but they are also looking into the possibility of making it a four player game. The world Travis described and the utterly cool things the Mackerel Sky Team is trying to create just scream for more storylines and with that, of course, more awesome board games. At least, that is what I thought, so I'm positively anxious to see what they have in store for us in the future!
The team is still in the early stages of playtesting The Obelisk War, so I cannot really tell when The Obelisk War is going to be ready to be played in the comforts of our own homes just yet. They are hoping for a 2019 release and I really hope they pull it off. If you'd like to follow the process and the headway they are making, just subscribe to their newsletter or follow their social media channels. In the meantime, I'm just going to play with some Dachshunds from the Long Long Ranch!
SPIEL 2018: MACKEREL SKY GAMES
Mackerel Sky Games website