coloretto

Z-Man Games has announced plans to distribute Michael Schacht’s new game Smile. A card game for three to five players, Smile has players working in an environment where all sorts of critters have escaped their enclosures. Players will use lightening bugs as bait (critters love lightning bugs, obviously) to catch more lost critters than their opponents, while being careful to avoid capturing wild critters which will give players negative points.
The light is falling and time is growing short. There’s no telling what sorts of trouble your critters will get into if you don’t find them soon. Gather your lightning bugs and round up the best critters in Smile, arriving soon!
Game play unfolds over ten rounds. In each round players will unveil a number of critter cards equal to the number of players. Players then choose, in order, to stay in the round by placing a single firefly on the lowest value creature or to drop out of the round. When dropping out players take the least valuable critter still available, though gaining the many fireflies possibly now associated with that card. Deception and push your luck elements are in play as each firefly committed brings you closer to a valuable critter while at the same time depleting your store of lightning bugs. Drop out early and stock up on bugs for future rounds and make a dramatic comeback or take an early lead!
Additional rules add to the challenge. If you end up with two critters of the same color in the top-left corner you remove both from the game. This can come in handy for getting rid of negative point critters, or perhaps you can force an opponent to lose two valuable cards?
Michael Schacht is also the designer of Coloretto, Hansa, Aquaretto, Mondo, Mogul and many other games. His game Zooloretto won him the 2007 Spiel des Jahres award.

dixit

Having an office Christmas party and wondering what games you could bring that would be acceptable for the occasion? Across The Board Games offers some assistance with a list of five card games great for introducing your fellow office mates to the joys of gaming. The full list of suggested games were: Pairs, Coloretto, Fluxx, Dixit, and Chrononauts.

Dixit is really fun to play with lots of creative minds and artsy people. I enjoy Dixit because it is a creative game that doesn’t rely on our artistic abilities like physically drawing in Pictionary or sculpting in Cranium. As a Spiel de Jahres winner in 2010, I highly recommend Dixit.

For details on why each game is ideal for your office party (or to offer your own suggestions), you can read the full article here.