Mild-mannered copywriter by day. Rampaging Gloomhaven resident, dungeon delver, Cthulhu cultist, by night. No really, I'm just a gaming mom. Originally from California, I have lived in Denmark for far too long. Find me on BGG via the username LuluChia.
In Bosk, players control a species of tree and compete to
control areas of the park by letting their trees’ leaves blow and land in
different spaces. The game is played over four rounds – spring, summer, autumn
In spring, you plant your trees and in Summer, visitors
travel the trails where you planted trees and reward players based on tree
placement. However, keep in mind that where you plant your trees in the spring
also affects your long-term plans. In autumn, the game picks up the pace. By manipulating
the wind direction and deciding how many leaves fall from each tree, players
try to maximize their control of the board. In winter, the leaves are used to
score points based on the area controlled.
Each player also controls one cute-as-heck squirrel meeple.
No one can mess with your squirrel!
Bosk is designed by Daryl Andrews & Erica Bouyouris. Illustrations
are by Kwanchai Moriya. The game is for 2-4 players aged 13+ and plays in 30-45
Pre-orders of Bosk commence April 22 and retail release is
in July 2019.
Renegade Game Studios is currently working on The Aquicorn Cove Board Game, designed by Steve Ellis, Tyler Tinsley, Ben Eisner and Tim Eisner. This game is adapted from the Oni Press original graphic novel by Katie O’Neill, who is also the Eisner Award-winning author of The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess Ever After.
“As a graphic novel, I
wanted Aquicorn Cove to encourage kids to engage with concepts of marine
conservation and make grown-up choices to protect the environment they’re going
to inherit,” said Katie O’Neill,
author of the Oni Press graphic novel. “I’m thrilled that the game will
provide another dimension to this and bring to life how wonderful and important
our oceans and reefs are.”
In Aquicorn Cove players take on the roles of members of a
small fishing village struggling to survive while maintaining a balance with
the natural world. The players must work together and they win if they can can
feed and grow their village while at the same time restoring the health of the
reef and aquatic ecosystem. Fortunately, the waters of their cove are home to
the beautiful and benevolent Aquicorns and the wondrous reef guardian Aure, who
can help them both to understand the impact humans are having on the
environment and to save the village.
The Aquicorn Cove Board Game is for 2-4 player and planned
for release in late 2019.
This modular expansion provides you with even more options to
enrich and expand the game experience. Now players gain asymmetrical powers,
which provide a unique benefit. Another module introduces a prestigious fourth
temple that allows players to unlock powerful permanent abilities. There are
also variable effects that impact each season and eclipse as well as new
engineering techniques and renewed plans. All modules are compatible with one
another and can be enjoyed together or individually.
The expansion has been developed by Daniele Tascini, Rainer Åhlfors, Andrei Novac and the solo adaptation by Dávid Turczi, Rainer Åhlfors. The expansion is set for release in August, 2019.
If you like 3D puzzles, Mental Blocks by Pandasaurus Games is just for you. Designed by newcomer Micah Sawyer and Jonathan Gilmour (Dead of Winter, Dinosaur Island), Mental Blocks allows players to stack oversized foam blocks to complete a 3D puzzle. The challenge is that each player can only see one perspective of the design – and there’s a time limit.
Mental Blocks is fast, frantic fun, with 60 puzzles in the box. The challenges include 30 Family mode and 30 Challenge mode puzzles that all ramp in difficulty. During some games, players will also need to deal with extra challenging rules, like no talking or not touching certain color blocks. If you’re really into total chaos, you can even add a traitor to the mix!
You can try out Mental Blocks and Pandasaurus Games’ other upcoming titles at GAMA, booth #235
The three companies originally met through digital game development but all three had a passion for board games and realized that there was much more to be gained by working together than working apart. Between the three companies, there is a wealth of design experience, artistic talent and production skills – however, each time one of them encountered a challenge, they had to deal with it on their own. Together they plan to share best practices to solve the inevitable challenges more efficiently.
This cooperation is also an attempt to buck the current trend in the games industry of larger companies gobbling up indie developers while the remaining indies compete for an ever smaller part of the revenue. Instead of competition, these three companies choose to cooperate based on shared values and ways to run a business.
Auroch Digital is currently running a Kickstarter campaign titled Mars Horizon: Blast Off in which each player leads a major space agency from the dawn of the space age through humanity’s journey to Mars.
Bos Taurus Diceworks is new to the industry and is currently working on an as-yet unannounced major IP title.
Underground Games is located in Germany, while Auroch Digital & Bos Taurus Diceworks are both in the UK. The three companies also have called on other independent developers to join their cooperation and push the envelope on how games can be created and brought to players.
Blackrock Games and Igames are parterning to distribute Detective Club internationally with local partners. In addition, Igames will join Blackrock Games’ team of publishers-export partners.
Detective Club is an easy-to-learn party game full of intrigue, bluffing and sneaky conspirators. Four to eight players work together to try to figure out who is the hidden Conspirator lurking among them.
Each player plays cards that have to match a given topic… yet the Conspirator does not know this topic. He must observe the other players’ cards and try to blend in without being caught, while the detectives are looking for him!
Detective Club is designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and the illustrated by M81 Studio. It is recommended for ages 8+ and takes up to 45 minutes to play.
Osprey Gamesis publishing Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game, a two-player co-operative card game set during the events of Kingdom of Ash, the epic climax to Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling seven-book Throne of Glass series.
Two players must work together to delve into the memories of the young queen, Aelin Galathynius, as she faces one of the toughest challenges of her life. Imprisoned and tortured, Aelin must ignite the embers of her memory and face her inner demons before she is overwhelmed. With each victory the players achieve, the story unfolds and the difficulty increases.
Speaking about the project, author Sarah J. Maas said, “I am so excited to see the Throne of Glass series brought to life in an all-new medium! Coralie Jubénot’s art for the game is beyond incredible, and I can’t wait to sit down and play!”
The game design is by Kuro, a Japanese game designer, known for The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, The Terrifying Girl Disorder and Seventh Hero with stunning, newly-commissioned artwork from Coralie Jubénot.
Sarah J. Maas is a #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author.
Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game is planned to release in October.
United Soft Media (USM) has released a digital version of Legends of Andor (LoA) for both iOS Universal and Android. The mobile app – subtitled “The King’s Secret” – does not follow the exact same campaign as in the cardboard box, but fans of the game will find the characters, map and gameplay familiar.
Legends of Andor is a co-op epic fantasy adventure that takes you into a fantastic kingdom full of magical creatures and brave heroes. Players must defend the king’s castle, playing as a warrior, sorceress, dwarf and archer. These four characters must complete difficult trials, defeat evil opponents and protect the country from a dark secret.
During the mobile campaign, a player will guide the heroes through twelve exciting legends in which new, challenging opponents and familiar companions await. Players familiar with the board game will be able to delve deeper into the mystical past of the legendary kingdom of Andor and get to know a previously unknown story.
The LoA app is a single-player experience, with simple rules and an extensive tutorial that make it easy to get started. Although no LoA knowledge or experience is needed to play, both long-time fans and newbies alike should enjoy a challenging gaming experience.
The app was developed together with original Andor board game designer, Michael Menzel. It is available for the iPhone and iPad via the App Store and for Android via Google Play. It can be played in German, English, French and Spanish.
Ares Games is joining forces with Spaceballoon Gamesto distribute the Euro-style board game Brides & Bribes in the United States and non-European countries. Brides & Bribes is a worker placement and resource management board game for 2-5 players. The game is set in Genoa during the Renaissance period where each player assumes the role of one of five families struggling to increase their power and become the new Doge – Lord of the city.
Brides & Bribes uses an innovative hidden worker placement mechanic, which gives players the feeling of being part of a Renaissance Genoa full of intrigue and deception. Using a deck building system, players hire new employees, growing their power during the game.
In each round, players secretly plan to send a family member with the right skills into the Genoese boroughs to perform one of the five possible actions: hire new employees, collect money, get new workers, increase influence points or convince the local Lord that their family is worth a marriage with his beautiful daughter.
Brides & Bribes was created by Andrea Gallazzi, Elisa Lenardi, Pietro Navarotto, and published by Spaceballoon Games. It was originally funded on Kickstarter in late 2016 and shipped to Kickstarter backers in late 2017, but it was not distributed to retail in the USA.
The distribution of Brides & Bribes by Ares Games will start in April 2019.
The original Conspiracy, from 1973, was designed by Dr. Eric Solomon. It featured a unique mechanic: Players move secret agents around the board, trying to bring the mysterious briefcase to their HQ and win the game. However, the trick is that the agents don’t belong to any of the players. Instead, players secretly pay the agents. Other players can challenge a move by revealing how much they had paid off, to decide the outcome. This mingles blind bidding with shared piece control – an intriguing combo.
The Restoration Games design team, consisting of Rob Daviau, J.R. Honeycutt and Justin D. Jacobson, kept the core concept from the original intact but made changes to accommodate the tastes of the modern gamer. Some changes include:
The number of agents has been decreased from 8 to 6 to increase player interaction
Train stations were added for easier movement
Each agent has a special power that activates when they are moved
A significant endgame change
The subtitle of the game signals the appearance of Dr. Solomon in honor of the game’s original designer who appears if no one has won after a certain number of rounds. Dr. Solomon enters the scene and at the end of each subsequent round, a die is rolled, which could immediately trigger the end of the game. If this happens, the player who has paid off the most to Dr. Solomon wins. This creates an interesting choice for players: Do I pay off the agents that can help get the briefcase to my HQ or do I pay off Dr. Solomon and play a defensive strategy?
Rob Daviau, Chief Restoration Officer for Restoration Games says: “It’s thinkier than most of our other games. You are playing cat-and-mouse the whole time. The core conceit – you aren’t sure who you are in control of – is magical.”
The announcement from Restoration Games was made in front of a packed audience at the Dice Tower Live Show on the Dice Tower Cruise somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.