Sit Down! Games has five new games and an expansion to be released at Internationale Spieltage SPIEL 2019. All products are available for pre-order now for pick-up at Essen.

Hidden Roles is a small expansion for Magic Maze that increases interaction and makes the games a semi-cooperative. Each player receives a secret role, possibly becoming a traitor, or getting a secret mission, or following their own special rules. Like Magic Maze, this expansion is divided into five difficulty levels so you can learn the game gradually. Unlike Magic Maze, a minimum of three players is needed to play this expansion. Hidden Roles comes with 53 Role Cards, 1 “I’ve got my eye on you” card, and 2 Warning Cards.

Magic Maze on Mars is a stand-alone game that takes the Magic Maze gameplay to Mars. Like Magic Maze, Magic Maze on Mars is a real-time, cooperative game where each player is in charge of a specific action, and may be the only player who can perform that action, so communication, which only occurs in very specific and short periods of the game, is key to coordinate efforts.  In a race against time, players gather the resources necessary to build the station complex, including locations for domes to house Mars colonists.  Building good routes from the landing pad to the domes and keeping pathways clear is important.  Resources can be spent to extend the time to build the station, but once colonists arrive, time can no longer be extended.  The players win when one of the colonists moves into a dome before the time expires.

House Flippers is a simultaneous action selection game where income is managed by a collection of sand timers that represent the time to generate income.  When the sand timer runs out, players collect their income.  With the income, they can renovate property which they can resell at a higher cost.  Or players can buy a rental property which will give them another sand timer that also generates income. Or player can hire an interior decorator to double the income from a sand timer.  Players continue to flip properties (and sand timers) until the have enough income to reach a golden retirement, which provides an objective condition to end the game.  The first one to accomplish their retirement objective wins. House Flippers is a fast pace game for 2-4 players, ages 7+, and plays in 10 minutes.

Palm Reader is a cooperative game in which one player, who has chosen a symbol from a card, must get everyone else to guess it. By using your index finger, you draw this symbol in your left neighbor’s palm, who draws it in their neighbor’s palm, and so on… but no one ever sees what is drawn.  After the final player has received the tracing, reveal the card, then have all players vote on what they believe the starting symbol was. You receive as many victory points as the number of players in a row who successfully guess the symbol. Palm Reader comes with 108 double-sided cards, each with five choices of symbols for the active player.

Space Bowl is a pattern recognition game where players are looking for a habitable constellation in the galaxy based on the report from the computer.  The galaxy is made up a 5×5 grid of constellation cards, each with a selection of planets.  The Ships Computer board reveals a 3×3 sector of space with specific planets in each sector.  Players race to identify which sector of space meets the computer specification. Points are scored and lost based on how successful players are in finding a matching constellation.  The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. The 56 constellation cards in the deck will ensure that space will always look different. Space Bowl plays 2-8 players, ages 8+ in 30 minutes.

Lastly, Wormlord is fast paced simultaneous action game where players command an army of worms to conquer objectives on the battlefield.  Worms are represented by strings, and they are deployed on the battlefield by tying them in a lose knot and placed in a square.  Worms are conquered by picking up an adjacent enemy worm, untying it and returning it to the owner’s pile.  Only one string can be in a player’s hands at a time.  The first player to conquer three objectives on the battlefield wins. The game include 60 earthworm strings (15 in four different colors). Wormlord plays 2-4 players (or up to 8 in teams), ages 6+ (as long as they can tie a knot), in 5-10 minutes.

Visit Sit Down! Games to learn more or see them at their Essen booth 3-0120.

Lucky Duck Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their next game set in the Time of Legends: Joan of Arc universe. Time of Legends: Destinies promises to build upon the app integration of Chronicles of Crime. One to three players each take on the role of an adventurer trying to fulfill their destiny. Players can interact with locations, app-controlled characters, and objects through QR codes, like in Chronicles of Crime. The purpose of the app integration is to allow the narrative story to drive the game and be experienced by all players. The app-integrated adventure and exploration game is something we have seen before, but Destinies sets itself apart by providing a competitive play experience, instead of cooperative. The game will provide campaign as well as one-and-done scenario play.

Time of Legends: Destinies is designed by Michał Gołębiowski and Filip Miłuński. The game’s art is by Karolina Jędrzejak and Magdalena Leszczyńska. The Kickstarter campaign has already funded, and will close at 5:59 pm EDT on October 16th.

“At this year’s Beach-a-Palooza, Steven has a surefire way to win: Recruit more Stevens from the timeline and have them all front their own bands!”

Steven Universe is an incredibly popular animated series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network in 2013. In the show, Steven discovers the world of the Crystal Gems, magical beings with a fascinating backstory of escape, betrayal and freedom. Steven Universe has created an amazingly lush world of characters, and now Cryptozooic Entertainment has announced the boardgame  Steven Universe: Beach-a-Palooza from designers Erica Bouyouris (Bosk) and Andrew Wolf (Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle).

In Beach-a-Palooza, 3-6 players take on the role of Steven. Well, alternate versions of Steven from different timelines, to be exact. Each player’s Steven is battling in the Beach-a-Palooza to put together the best band and win the whole show. But beware, because both corrupted and homeworld gems are crashing the party and want to ruin the show. Players draft cards to recruit both their band and their audience, and to generate energy and other effects. Use your fusion powers! Attack and bubble the corrupted gems! Play your cards right, and your band might be the big winner!

Look for Steven Universe: Beach-a-Palooza at your FLGS during the second quarter of 2020.

“Your hands are dirty, the back is aching and the clothes are sweaty, but your work for today is finished! The new mill looms proudly in front of you and the soft groaning and fluttering of the blades sounds like a choir of angels in your ears. Soon the golden wheat of your fields will be ground to valuable flour which will earn you a fortune. “

Lookout Spiele has announced a new title from master designer Alexander Pfister, Expedition to Newdale. Expedition takes place in the same world as the popular game Oh My Goods, a mere 5 years after the events of the Escape to Canyon Brook expansion, but does not require playing the previous card games. Expedition is a campaign story game spanning eight chapters, encompassing 15 hours of gameplay.

In Expedition to Newdale, 1-4 players each take control of a starting coal mine, a player board, and have a hand of 5 cards.  Each turn starts by revealing an event, which not only alters the play for the round, but also dictates how many workers minimum a player has for the round. Workers come in 4 colors, making planning for actions tricky. Players then place action tiles on action spaces, both on the main board and on their personal board. These tokens are numbered from 1-4, and set the order of actions their workers will execute. After planning the turn, more workers are drawn from the bag, which could make previously impossible actions completely doable, adding a push your luck element to the game. Finally, players execute their planned action tokens in order from 1 to 4, spending workers if they have them. However, if not enough workers became available during the random draw, some actions may go uncompleted.

Players will need to plan ahead, push their luck, and set up for a plan B to be successful in Expedition to Newdale. The game itself comes with 3 double sided boards, 4 player boards, one communal action board, over 220 cards, and tons of tokens. Look for Expedition to Newdale to debut at Essen Spiel in October, with full release to follow at the end of the year. For more details, check out Lookout Spiele’s webpage here.

For all those wanting to give back, and happen to be in Germany, publisher Board and Dice is sponsoring a special charity event for those attending Essen Spiel. Called Walk the Halls, the event is a simple one, taking advantage of the single thing most attendees are doing too much of anyway – walking. Anyone interested should first purchase the 10 Euro Charity product from the company here. Then, while at Essen Spiel (October 24-27) use any app or product to count steps, something a lot of you are already doing. Finally, during the last day at Essen, visit Board & Dice at booth C112, Hall2, to pick up a special medal.

All proceeds for the Walk will be going to the charity EFC – The Roman Czernecki’s Educational Foundation. An education focused charity, EFC is best summed up by Igor Czernecki, the Chairman of the Board:

“At the EFC Foundation, we deal with education. Our aim is threefold: we strive to create equal access to education, to promote creative, innovative ways of thinking about education in the light of the challenges of the XXI century, and to broaden its definition to include social responsibility and civic engagement.

We believe that non-governmental and nonprofit organizations have a specific obligation to constantly question the means chosen to achieve their statutory ends. It is hard to come by constructive criticism in philanthropy – there is no market verification or disenchanted voters. A grateful recipient is always at hand. Yet it is precisely the financial and political independence of NGOs that should oblige them to incessantly question how they spend their money. In any subcategory of human interaction with one-another or the environment there is a scale of the good, which can be achieved for one dollar. Yes, it is a subjective scale and yes, its extremities are an ideal, but this does not mean we should not work with this scale always on our minds. Constantly striving for the most good is what makes philanthropy the true ‘love of man’. “

Anyone wishing to spread word about Walk the Halls through social media is encouraged to do so, using the hashtag #WalkTheHallsForCharity. For more information on the event and the EFC, please visit Board & Dice’s webpage or their Facebook announcement.

“You have Died”

Dark Souls (2017) is a cooperative fantasy board game based on the popular computer and console game of the same name. In Dark Souls, players take on character roles, fight minions for souls, level up and collect new equipment, trying to get powerful enough to defeat a giant boss. The game was noteworthy for having beautifully large, detailed miniatures, a detailed and programmed boss A.I., and, like its namesake, for being hard. Characters will die, and if too many succumb, the players will lose.

Steamforged Games has announced 3 new expansions for Dark Souls, each expanding a specific area of the game. The Characters Expansion introduces 6 new character types to the game, each with new equipment, actions and stat progressions. The Characters Expansion comes with 16 new miniatures, cards and boards to support the new characters. Vordt of the Boreal Valley is a new boss, originally tasked with standing sentinel over the gates that lead from the Undead Settlement to the Castle of Lothric. Now a savage and mindless beast, the boss Vordt comes with two behavior decks, one for movement and one for battle. The Vordt expansion also comes with a new boss board, and new level 4 encounters, making it a difficult challenge for experienced players. Finally, The Darkroot Basin and Iron Keep expansions come with 9 new double sided tiles for use in any game.

All three new expansions to Dark Souls are expected to deliver to retail on November 22, 2019. For more details on Dark Souls the Board Game, and its previous expansions, check out the Steamforged website here.

Rome & Roll, a “roll and write eurogame” as it bills itself, is now available on Kickstarter. The game is designed by Dávid Turczi and Nick Shaw and being published by PSC Games.

The game supports 1-4 players and plays in 60-90 minutes. In Rome & Roll, the players use a dice drafting mechanism to perform a multitude of actions, including gathering resources, making conquests, and creating political alliances, just to name a few. The goal of the game is for the players to have the most influence by game’s end..

Rome & Roll has already funded, but about 3 weeks remain in the Kickstarter campaign. If you are interested in more information, check out the Kickstarter page here.

The War for Cybertron enters the second stage of its trilogy in the Transformers Trading Card Game by Wizards of the Coast.  While the Autobots may have an upper hand in the first wave, the Decepticons are pulling out all the stops to release their most dangerous weapon…the mighty Titan, Trypticon.

Each War for Cybertron: Siege II booster pack contains one large character card, 1 small character card, and six battle cards. The booster display comes with a single Trypticon pack, which contains one Titan-sized Trypticon Character Card and three large character cards as his minions: Brunt, Full-Tilt, and Wipe-Out!

If you haven’t played Transformers: TCG yet, check out your friendly local game store for the organized play to learn the game.  War for Cybertron: Siege II is available for pre-order now and will release on November 8.

One thing cats are known for is laying down in the middle of one’s projects.  While slumbering felines may be an impediment to craftwork, they are a good thing in Calico from Flatout Games.

In Calico, players compete to sew the coziest quilt. The gameplay is real simple: place a patch tile from your hand onto your quilt board, draw a new patch tile from the market, refill the market.  Patches come in different designs and colors but are all the same shape so you never have to worry about a patch fitting in the quilt.  Quilts score points by meeting design goals AND appealing to the cats in the quilt room.  Design goals can be met in two different way and more points are scored is both ways are met at the same time.  Each cat has its own design preference, and the more finicky the cat, the more points that can be scored.  Cats have preferred patch patterns, and some cats have preferred arrangements for those patterns. Once a pattern on a quilt meets the design preference of a cat, it comes and sits on the quilt, earning the player points for the cat. Bonus points can also be earn by sewing buttons on the quilt when three patches of the same color are placed together on the quilt.  Each quilt board has patches already formed on the border to give each player a head start on meeting design goals.

Beautiful artwork is provided by Beth Sobel (Wingspan, Viticulture, Arboretum, Between Two Cities, and many more).

Calico plays 1-4 players, ages 13+, in 30-45 minutes.  Contents include 4 double-layers quilt boards, 108 patch tiles, 52 button tokens, 60 cat tokens, 6 double-sided cat tiles, 24 goal tiles, and 6 colorless patch tiles. Kickstart backers will also receive a double-sided promo cat time plus four more cat tokens. The Kickstarter campaign runs through November 7 with an expected delivery in October 2020.  To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign.

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.