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.
The party game that has garnered a lot of buzz and popularity is getting a sequel, that you could also use as an expansion, Spyfall 2. Spyfall 2 will feature the same gameplay you have come to know and love, but with a few additional twists and improvements that come with new versions like this. First is an up in player count with each deck of cards being 12 instead of 8, allowing for up to 12 people to play at once. Second is the addition of additional spy cards, so now when the party gets bigger or the spy hunters get better, you can add an extra spy to keep things interesting. Last, and what makes this edition like an expansion, is that there are 20 brand new locations in the box, so mix this set with the previous and you will have 50 different locations to choose from. So look for this new addition to hit stores in January of 2017.
Over on Alderac Entertainment Group‘s (AEG) blog designer Tom Cleaver discusses his design for the followup game to Valley of the Kings (Tom’s review here). In this he discusses what he envisioned when AEG came to him looking for another title in the line. Originally he had conceived an expansion but was asked by the publisher to put out a combinable standalone game more along the lines of something like what Dominion Intrigue did where you can add the expansion onto the base game but also play it as the stand alone game as well.
Of note within this game is that he had to figure out a way to correct some issues that were identified by game players with the initial game while still keeping its same feel. Additionally he encountered a conundrum of not repeating the same artifacts within the game. His solutions for both of these problems give some good insight into the decision making process of a designer.
Furthermore he talks about how he tried to address some of the common strategies taken by players in the original Valley of the Kings so that while they may remain a valid strategy they do not necessarily become the only strategies someone could choose if they wanted to win. He did so by adding cards into play which may favor other strategies.
Finally he talks about striving for historical accuracy while keeping the game playable. Focusing on keeping hte mechanics and actual game play the same so that someone who has played the game before can dive right in without redoing the initial learning curve.