There is always an uneasy balance between trying something new and just refining what has come before. Try something that’s too different from what has come before or bring too many small innovations and you might find yourself with no one interested by your game. Keep it too close to what has come before and the same will happen. After all, why would I play your game instead of what I already have/know?
So it’s always tricky to innovate, be it mechanics or theme. By creating a line of games that are in a new, shared universe which is not an already existing IP, Alderac Entertainment Group, or AEG, does just that. The Tempest universe is a new one, which while it might feel a little like some of the more familiar fantasy/old timey universes, nonetheless brings something new to the table. And by having each game be a new chapter of an evolving storyline, they bring a novel concept to boardgames. Most gamers will be familiar with the second game of the series, Love Letter, but less so with the game that opens up the storyline, Courtier.
The idea of having boardgames being connected together by a storyline is new, but what of Courtier itself? Does it bring something new to the table and if it does, is it interesting?