animals

WizKids has a new family weight game now available at a store near you. In Bumúntú, 2-to-5 players act as African tribal leaders, seeking wisdom from the animals of the wilderness. Players will move carefully across a grid seeded with various animal tiles, each one with different movement abilities (a la Hive). Collecting these animal will gain their favor, a value determined on a leaderboard that all players affect. Strategy and planning are thus key in this game and what could be a gentle stroll through the wilds will end up being a tense skirmish for supremacy.

“A common theme in African folklore is that animals are wise creatures who teach humans to do good and moral things. In Bumúntú, based on the Bakongo culture of central Africa, you are a tribal leader seeking to befriend the animals. Trek through the jungle, follow the animals’ guidance, and earn their favor. Successfully earn the most favor and the animals will help bring your people to prosperity.”

The comparison to Hive is the most apt I can make, although this is much more a family weight game with set collection rather than a head-to-head competition to trap the opponent. Bumúntú has a wider variety of animals and variable scoring that can swing each round, making this a good game for teaching pattern recognition, long-term planning, and spatial movement to children and new gamers alike. If you are interested in learning more about Bumúntú, check out WizKids’ product page for more pictures, full rules, and a full list of local and online retailers.

Concept is a popular party where players try to guess a word or phrase using a series of icons to represent icons.  Now Repos Production has developed a new version especially designed for children who do not know how to read yet. Concept Kids: Animals is a cooperative game for children ages 4 and up where players attempt to guess the name of an animal being described by the icons on the board. The child friendly board groups the icons in recognizable characteristics of animals:  where it lives, what color it is, how it travels, physical features, what it eats, and if it is a day or night time creature.  It is an excellent way for young children to learn how to describe various animals.  The game contains 110 colorful illustrations of animals to be guessed. Players will attempt to guess 12 animals each game, attempting to earn the highest score possible as a group: Legendary Lions!  Go to Repos Production website to learn more about Concept Kids: Animals.

Agricola, one of the great classics of the Eurogame genre, was originally released in 2007. It was reprinted as a revised edition with new rules, art, and cute little ‘animeeples’ in 2016.  But  Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, one of the more popular expansions, was not given the same treatment at that time. Lookout Games has now released the expansion with the matching updated art and pieces.

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor steps up the misery on your farm a notch from the base game by requiring that you keep your family warm in addition to feeding them.  But it’s not all starvation and pain, you have the opportunity to expand your farm by converting forests and peat bogs to arable land, and even better, you get some cute little horse meeples to add to your paddock. If you have the 5-6 player expansion for the base set, the expansion has everything you need to add the expansion in for all six players.

If you didn’t get quite enough medieval farming with the base set you bought in 2016, Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is available now. See the Lookout Games page (German) for more details.

If you love the smell of burning cottages in the morning, you’ve finally got the chance to burninate the universe with your favorite one-armed dragon in in Trogdor!! The Board Game. Fans of the web comic series Homestar Runner will get their fix of mayhem and destruction in a new game designed by James Earnest of Cheapass Games and the creators of Homestar Runner.

Starring Trogdor, the game is for 2 to 6 players who will cooperate to use the Wingaling dragon and cultist helpers to destroy the kingdom of Pleasantry by burning the cottages… and villagers. The playing field is a set of tiles laid out randomly each game. The players assume the role of the cultists who want to help Trogdor achieve this destruction.  Each of the cultist ‘creepos’ has a different player power, such as moving in a different directly or taking a unique action.

Does this sound too easy?  Well, there are also knights that are there to protect the villagers and make it much more difficult to torch things freely.  Burninating the universe  takes 30 to 45 minutes, making burninating much faster than most other methods of destruction.

The Kickstarter includes multiple backer levels that provide upgrades from wooden meeples to plastic minis and several options for deluxe (very deluxe!) storage boxes.

See the Kickstarter page and the BGG entry for more information.

Railroad and resource barons are not strange themes for board gaming, but making an elegant and clean introductory economic engine dominated by anthropomorphic animal businesspersons is one way to make it all more appealing. Raccoon Tycoon, from Forbidden Games, is just that and it’s up for funding right now on Kickstarter. Anywhere from 2 to 5 players try to speculate the value of commodities and luxury goods, auction off railroad shares, and purchase buildings in an effort to be Top Dog.  The game has adequate depth for seasoned gamers while being streamlined enough to be a good introductory title to the genre, and it plays in about 90 minutes.

“In Raccoon Tycoon, players try to produce the most valuable commodities in an ever changing marketplace. They then use those commodities to build towns, or sell them at the best price to secure great profits that can be used to win auctions for the all-important railroads. The profits may also be used to buy powerful buildings that give the players power-ups or bonuses in production. Owning the best towns and railroads determines victory.”

Beyond being a game from veteran designer Glenn Drover, the artwork by Annie Stegg Gerard is downright adorable and hallmarks a solid and satisfying package. The campaign also includes some wonderful stretch-goals to shoot for, including premium currency-quality bills and bigger, better everything. The Dice Tower’s own Mark Streed recorded a Paid Preview of the game for those that want a quick view of how it plays. If you are interested in learning more about Raccoon Tycoon, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for a draft of the rules, more preview videos, play-throughs, community feedback, and updates.

vivarium

In Vivarium it’s survival of the fittest as you play out the game with between 2-5 species (players) to see who can adapt the best and come out on top.  Vivarium is a deck building game with some of area control added in where everyone starts with the same deck of fear and instinct cards, and as you go through the game you will get better cards to up your fitness level to help you survive.  The cards can be population cards, (which relate to increasing the number of animals you have on the board) aggression cards, (which work to disrupt your opponents) ingenuity cards (which relate to destroying cards to thin out your deck) and territory cards (which deal with moving your animals).  As you acquire and use these cards to expand your influence on the board and control areas, like the all important oasis, you will be able to improve your fitness even more.  Event cards will change up the circumstances each round and battle cards help you to claim and defend your territories.  Whoever is the fittest species at the end of spring in the 4th year is the winner.

vivarium comp

By the sound of it you might think this game is trying to be like Evolution, but other than a similar theme of adapting your species, the two are very different games.  Vivarium sports some excellent art and with the board aspect in play there is more to do than just augment your species.  The combination of deck building and board worked well for Trains: Rising Sun and I think Vivarium will be able to do the same, head on over to the campaign page to check it out and pledge for your own copy.

circus flohcati

Australian publisher Grail Games is headed to Kickstarter to bring you the 5th game in their ongoing Mike Line collection – a series of small games that pack a big punch – and this time it is an oldie, but a goodie: Reiner Knizia’s Circus Flohcati. This popular filler card game – which plays 3-5 players in about 15 minutes – will be reprinted featuring all new artwork by artist Heiko Gunther as well as a bit of extra polish on the rules to bring the game closer to Knizia’s original vision.

circus flohcati cards

In this game, players must outdo one another by putting on the greatest Flea Circus show in the world. Circus Flohcati uses a combination push your luck set collection and card drafting mechanics in which players attempt to build up the best possible hand of cards – that will allow them to combine sets of three of a single suit and possibly even a game ending gala show (1 set of 1 card from each different suit) – by drafting cards from the center of the table. You can always draw more cards to give yourself more to choose from, but be careful: If you draw a card that matches a suit already on the table, you’ll get nothing at all!

Unfortunately, Grail Games only possesses the rights to distribute the game within specific countries, so the project is exclusively limited to backers from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand.

Check out the full campaign here.

asmodee

Asmodee Editions has four new upcoming games to announce, including three from Matagot.

Cardline: Dinosaurs

Compatible with the Cardline Animals series, Dinosaurs features a whole new set of 110 cards to test your knowledge of these behemoths as you attempt to rid your hand of cards.  As you play cards, you must correctly answer questions themed around dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

A copy of the game includes:

  • 110 Unique cards
  • 1 Rule book
  • 1 Tin

Cardline: Dinosaurs is for 2-8 players ages 7 and up and plays in 15 minutes.  For more information on this game, visit the game’s page here.

Barony

On the outskirts of the Empire, the tension is palatable: in the race for power, your struggles take on more and more challenging proportions.

Designed by Marc André (Splendor), and illustrated by Ismaël Pommaz (Archipelago), Barony is a game in which players assume the role of one of four barons who, with their armies of knights, must colonize the most rich and fertile lands and defend them against the opposing barons.  Each player strives to climb the stairs of power with the ultimate goal of becoming the new king.

The game is played by first randomly creating the board for varied play each time.  Each turn, players will only choose one action from six possible actions, allowing for fast game play.  These six actions are Train, Move, Rally, Build Village, New City, and Gain Title.  Players will train knights, capture territories, and build upon various types of terrain that affect the types of resources gained.  As players trade off different resources, they will gain titles, and the first player to attain the title of Duke triggers the end of the game.  The player with the most points at the end of the game become king and is crowned the winner.

The game contains:

  • 36 Territory tiles
  • 1 Scoreboard
  • 80 Resource tokens
  • 1 First Player token
  • 112 Wooden Pawns:
    • 28 knights
    • 20 cities
    • 8 strongholds
    • 56 villages
  • 1 Score counter
  • 1 Player Reference sheet and rules

Barony is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in 45 minutes.  The game is scheduled to be available to the public in May of 2015.  For more information, visit the Barony game page on Matagot’s website, or the game’s page on Board Game Geek.

Metal Adventures

Become a Space Pirate and attain Honor, Glory, and Wealth by exploring the Universe in a quest for victory.  Metal Adventures is a game of exploration, challenges, alliances, and epic battles in this sci-fi card and dice game.

The game box contains:

  • 1 Game board
  • 6 Astrolabes
  • 132 Cards
    • -6 Players ships
    • -34 Near space
    • -34 Deep space
    • -18 Trophies
    • -24 Improvement
    • -16 Help
  • 50 Galactic credits
  • 8 Dice
  • 1 Rule booklet

Metal Adventures is for 3-6 players ages 14 and up and has a play time of 45-60 minutes.  For more information, see the game’s page here.

Ultimate Warriorz

The Tribal Rumble is about to begin, and only the strongest warrior will be named chief of the legendary End of the World Island: the Ultimate Warrior!

Players will each select a unique warrior and then, either individually or in teams, will duke it out in an arena using a hand of action cards.  Using four characteristics of melee attack, ranged attack, speed, and initiative, players will select their action cards in secret and then reveal their moves based on initiative.  Dice affect the outcome of various attacks, and different attacks have different strengths and weaknesses.  Magical items also play a role in helping players achieve victory in the arena.

The game box includes:

  • 8 Ultimate Warriorz characters
  • 8 Warriorz sheets
  • 64 Action cards
  • 74 Life points/Popularity points tokens
  • 1 Skull token for Baobab
  • 2 Electroshock tokens for Burdock
  • 8 Lucky Charm tokens
  • 4 Wall pieces with columns
  • 1 Rounds trail
  • 1 Rounds counter
  • 6 Dice
  • 1 Rule book

Ultimate Warriorz is a for 2-8 players ages 8 and up and plays in 30 minutes.  For more information, visit the game’s page here.