Melissa Makak

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Melissa is a mental health counselor by day and a board game enthusiast by... well just all day and all night. She spends her free time diving deep into the board game hobby as well as dabbling in the arts, and whatever her new obsession of the week is. Melissa can be reached by e-mail at melissa.makak@gmail.com or on Board Game Geek via the username starbuck7660. She can also be found on Dice Tower's Board Game Breakfast-"Smashin' Buttons and Slammin' Cards"

Namiji from Funforge, designed by the esteemed Antoine Bauza and illustrated by Naïade, is a spiritual successor to Tokaido for 2-5 players. Though this is a sequel, it is a standalone game that does not need Tokaido to play it!

In Namiji, players will ride on painted boat miniatures as fishers across the seas of the Japanese coast! Players will compete to contemplate marine species, collect colorful fish, an bring in their traps filled with crustaceans. Along the way, players can stop to improve their equipment and send offerings afloat to the gods of the sea!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Inner Compass, designed by Asger Harding Granerud and Daniel Skjold Pedersen, is a game with a unique theme of the search for meaning in everyday life.

Players take on the role of 1 of 4 characters as they make life choices, experience emotions, and try to create meaningful memories. This is all in an effort for characters to find their own inner compass! Players will decide how to effectively communicate their emotions in an attempt to score more points. Ultimately, the most enlightened character will win the game!

For more information, check out AEG’s site here.

Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl by Rebel, designed by Maciej Drewing and Krzysztof Głośnicki, is a game for 1-4 players that emphasizes survival!

Players will take on the role of 1 scavenger from 10 included in the game in an attempt to reach the sarcophagus of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant before all other players. However, the clock is dwindling down and when the Final Emission strikes, there will be no winners. Players will be moving, exploring, and combating with limited access to functional supplies on this hazardous land!

For more information, check out their site here.

The Magnificent from Aporta Games, designed by Eilif Svensson and Kristian Amundsen Østby, is a game that’s got dice, unique player powers, and clowns!

Players will try to gather the biggest audience and put on the best show to win the game. It all revolves around choosing a die that determines how strong your actions will be. There are 3 actions the players can take: build, travel, or perform! Their ringmasters will determine how they score each given round.

The game is set to come out in 2020. For more information, check out their site here.

Offshore by Aporta Games, designed by Thor Egil Braadland, Eilif Svensson, and Kristian Amundsen Østby, is a game for 3-5 players that takes strategy gaming to the family table.

Players will be building oil platforms in North Sea, but it won’t be easy as it requires the right technology and cooperation amongst the people you are competing against! The game revolves around 3 actions: buying technology, exporting oil for money, and opening a new oil field as players press their luck drilling for oil!

For more information, check out their site here.

Clash of Vikings, designed by Anthony Rubbo, is a 2-4 player bluffing game filled with the best warriors!

It is the annual Viking brawl and players will bring forth their skills to the arena in an attempt to obtain the most treasure. Players will place their cards face-down and call which action they will be using, but may be lying! Actions will allow you to move around the arena, collect treasures, and attack other players to make them drop their treasure!

For more information, check out Queen Games’ webpage here.

Terramara, designed by Virginio Gigli, Flaminia Brasini, Stefano Luperto and Antonio Tinto, is based on the villages founded in Northern Italy in 1500 B.C.E. that were called Terramara! This 2-4 payer game showcases the main occupations of the people of Terramara, which were hunting, farming, and metallurgy.

Players will take on the role of chiefs of a clan that live in Terramara as they explore lands to trade with other villages, make their way towards sacred places, discover new technologies, and improve their battle strength. This is all in an effort to develop the greatest clan and become the leader of Terramara!

Terramara will be launched on Kickstarter later this year. For more information, check out Quined Games page here.

Skytopia: in the circle of time, designed by Ivan Lashin, is a game where time matters as players attempt to become the leader of the sky city and gain influence in the land of Skytopia! This 2-4 player game will have players build their engines and place their workers to obtain prestige for their sky city.

Of course, no great city can be built without the help of golems. Players
will send out golems to their construction site to help build their cities. The
game is about time management as players decide whether to use up more
resources for the sake of completing buildings quicker or risk moving
construction along too slowly. All of this comes together to create a worker
placement, engine building game that requires players to strategically develop plans for their city.

For more information, click here.

Zombicide: 2nd Edition takes the original Zombicide and gives it a fresh look as well as an updated rulebook and promises a faster set-up! Designed by Raphaël Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, and Nicolas Raoult, this 1-6 player cooperative game just got a whole new wardrobe.

For those who just want to upgrade their original copy of Zombicide, there is a pledge level for that, but those new to the game can jump right in with the Reboot pledge (comes with the core box). However, there is much more in this campaign. CMON has introduced a new expansion, Washington Z.C., which gives Zombicide a story-driven campaign where there will be surprises and choices to be made.

The campaign also introduces Zombicide: Chronicles- The Roleplaying Game that allows players to explore the world of Zombicide and create their own stories of surviving a zombie apocalypse!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Ni No Kuni II: The Board Game is a 1-4 player cooperative kingdom building game designed by Bryce Johnston and Steve Margetson. The Kingdom of Ding Dong Dell has fallen and it is up to the players to build a new kingdom in Evermore!

Players will work together to go on quests, gain resources, defeat monsters, and win the citizens round to build the kingdom of your dreams. Your kingdom must overcome the darkness and become a place where the people can live peacefully and in harmony.

For more information, click here.