Tokaido (2012) is one of the most artistically beautiful games that has come out in the past many years, and now Funforge has announcedAntione Bauza’s sequel to this masterpiece, Namiji. Like Tokaido, Namiji has players taking a trip, beautifully illustrated again by Xavier Gueniffey Durin, around the board, but this time players are taking a boat through islands, fishing and admiring the sights. Namiji uses the same movement mechanic as its predecessor, wherein the player in last moves as far as they like to an action space. Whale panorama cards replace the paintings from the original, but the rest of the spaces are unique. Shrimping spaces use a push your luck bag draw to gain points. Fishing locations have players flip fish tokens, one for themselves, then one for public draw, looking to build rows or columns of identically shaped or colored fish. A special fishing spot will allow drawing a double tile with two identical fish. Rock spaces give endgame scoring cards, and whirlpools allow players to remove their negative point origami boats, sacrificing them to the gods. Resting dock spaces exist, like in tokaido, but players can take any of the spaces instead of just the first. In addition, cards earned at the dock give a bonus to specific actions taken later. Look for Namiji in stores later in the year, and for more information, check out the press release for Namiji here.
Following in the steps of Asmodee, Passport Games along with GTS Distribution have announced an exclusive deal to only distribute Passport Games product through GTS. This means that anything released by Passport Games Studio, Funforge, Splotter, Granna, Rule & Make, and ThunderGryph will now exclusively be supplied by GTS. The step was taken in an effort to better control the value of the product from publisher to retailer and to better support retailers, and hopefully it will be able to do just that. But since GTS is one of the largest distribution companies in the US, I don’t think anyone will have to worry about games disappearing from shelves. You can read more about the deal in the press release below.
After studying several changes in the North American marketplace in recent months, we are pleased to announce that Passport Game Studio products will be sold exclusively by GTS Distribution. We are confident that through tighter management of the distribution model, we can preserve the value of our products at the retail level for years to come. This arrangement is the best strategy for long term success for us and our retail partners as it ensures the highest possible value of products we represent in the marketplace, while delivering the best level of support throughout the entire inventory, marketing, and sales process.
Key changes for core hobby retail:
Passport Game Studios will remain as a GTS brand, focused on bringing their partner studios’ games to the North American market.
The GTS Distribution sales and marketing teams will handle all communications and services to hobby retailers for Passport-branded products moving forward.
Passport titles in the U.S. are now exclusive to GTS Distribution, and will continue its international partnerships moving forward.
Passport’s partners and their titles include:
Funforge: (Tokaido, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time)
Passport Games Studios and Funforge have announced an all new cooperative adventure: Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time. Designed by Brett J. Gilbert and Matthew Dunstan, with artwork by Christoper Fossard (Biboun), Professor Evil challenges players to “infiltrate the citadel & it’s labyrinth of rooms to recover stolen goods before time runs out.”
“Professor Evil”, eh? Surely a less sinister name must have been an option when ascending the ranks of academia… Alas, for a man who has stolen a multitude of rare, priceless artifacts such as Da Vinci’s Notebook, the Magna Carta, and the Turin Shroud, no other name would be more appropriate. Rumor has it he keeps his “trophies” locked up all over his enormous castle…
Are YOU brave enough to face Professor Evil?
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time is for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up and is expected to come out in 2017.
Have you ever wondered how to get to the top of the sky? In a Funforge and Passport Games September release Hop! players are striving to be the first to get there. It’s not simply a race though. Any player reaching level seven triggers the end of the game, but the player with the most points claims the victory. To earn points, you must help others overcome challenges and climb high with you. The hardest choices will be who you help, and how you can limit the points they earn helping you.
Interesting choices in a family game isn’t the only reason to want to know more. The game comes with high quality pre-painted miniatures and the art is done by Marie Cardouat, the same artist from Dixit. Keep an eye out for Hop! later this month.
In Pocket Madness you will be playing cards meant to evoke the powers of the slumbering Ancient Ones, in hopes to drive your cultist friends insane while securing your own victory in the process! Pocket Madness is for 2 – 4 players, fast paced and easy to learn.
Do you have the Willpower to drive your fellow cultists mad before you slip into insanity? Put Cthulhu into your pocket…if you dare!
Bruno Faidutti has released some of the art on his blog that will appear in two of his new games due out soon. Both Queens Necklace and Warehouse 51 have some of their artwork debuted on his blog and they look fantastic.
Queens Necklace will be illustrated by Denis Zilber, who is known in cartoon and animated characters and has done an fantastic job on this new version. He had tough shoes to follow from the beautiful Days of Wonder version shown here that was illustrated by Humbert Chabuel & Pierre-Alain Chartier. Queens Necklace will be released by Cool Mini or Not in collaboration with Spaghetti Western as reported previously here. It looks like limited copies will be available at GenCon.
Warehouse 51 is a new game and the art will be done by Brazilian artist Rafael Zanchetin. This will be the first game he has illustrated. Everything thus far looks wonderful and I look forward to this artist to illustrating more games in the future. Warehouse 51 will debut at GenCon and will be published by Funforge so stop by their booth to check it out.
The artwork for both games looks amazing and I can’t wait to see the rest of it. Some folks say we are in the golden age of board games and that may be true but I would definitely say we are in the golden age of art for board games with all the amazing illustrations showing up in our games these days. Abyss may have raised the bar last year for artwork but this years releases are certainly rising up the challenge.
Who wouldn’t pass up a crack at owning the original Hammer of Thor, Mjölnir? Unfortunately, there’s an awful lot of convincing replicas out there.
You’ll find the same dilemma in Bruno Fadutti‘s new Warehouse 51. In this small-box auction game, players are trying to grab as many genuine mystical relics as they can from the U.S. Goverment’s long-predicted bankruptcy sale. Once acquired, these relics give the bidders valuable magical powers for use in future auctions. But the catch is that like any bankruptcy sale some of the merchandise is dubious at best and ability to prove authenticity is somewhat ethereal (like many of the artifacts themselves). Some players will know some merchandise is counterfeit but no one knows the whole story, making the feints and bluffs of a typical auction game even more exciting.
As always Fadutti offers up an incredibly in-depth report on the development of the game, on which he collaborated with up-and-coming Brazillian designers André Zatz and Sergio Halaban. The trio is previously responsible for the atypical elephant racing game Formula E.
The diary is notable for showing a publisher meddling with the theme of a game in a positive way. I think the secret here was allowing Fadutti to take the new theme (which Fadutti insists has nothing to do with the similar television show) and run with it, instead of a publisher just changing the names and art after the finished prototype is handed over.
The game will be jointly published by FunForge and Passport Studios. The game will be widely available in 2015. And Fadutti will be on-hand in person to demo the game at GEN CON 2015. For more info, check out Fadutti’s blog, just remember to scroll all the way to the bottom unless you are fluent in French. For francophones, Tout va bien.
Funforge, known for games like Tokaido, Quantum, and Phantom Society, are bringing a new game to Kickstarter – ZNA. This is a survival cooperative game based in near-future Boston. In ZNA, players work together to escape the ever-encroaching Fog while fending off the mutants it creates. From the Kickstarter page:
The city has been struck by a storm of dark smoke that the inhabitants will later call “the Fog”. This fog destroys everything in its path, leaving behind it a world plunged into chaos. Nobody knows the exact extent of the damage. The Fog concentrates as it settles over the areas it hits, making them dangerous, almost impassable, and infested with threatening mutants.
Together, you will progress across the modular game board, searching for equipment, swapping objects with one another, looting chemical storage facilities in order to mix up concoctions for various uses, and most of all, fight the Fog and the mutants it created.
ZNA is designed to offer players a large variety of choices and configurations, with first class-material. Find out the origins of the Fog, what happens to the survivors, and much, much more in 12 original scenarios.
ZNA is chock full of miniatures, double-sided modular terrain tiles, items, scenarios, events, and more. The game supports multiple modes including adventure, siege, and escape. The project is already funded but offers stretch goals galore including additional heroes, additional monster sculpts, and a companion app that includes a map editor, game guide (to help with setup), narration of story elements, and augmented reality allowing you to scan unexplored tiles for hidden threats. Check out the campaign page here to see if this game is right for you.
Funforge (publisher of games such as Tokaido, Quantum, and Samurai Spirit) has announced that its newest game, ZNA, will be coming to Kickstarter on December 17, 2014. Designed by Florian Desforges, ZNA is a cooperative game set in post-apocalyptic Boston in 2025, where the city has been infected by a fog leaving destruction in it’s path.
According the website, the game boasts the following:
An epic campaign composed of 12 individual scenarios, playable with modular boards.
A smooth learning curve to make it as easy as possible to get into the game.
Several difficulty levels and game modes so it can be played again and again.
The ability to create your own scenarios, thanks to the 40 board tiles.
A plethora of first-class material:
40 illustrated and reversible board tiles
80 very detailed, high-quality figurines (from 35 to 80mm)
hundreds of objects, events, objective cards, etc.
The use of an innovative technology in the gameplay, to be unveiled during the Kickstarter campaign!
For more information on ZNA, including pictures of the miniatures and modular boards, visit Funforge news.
Funforge posted a picture of the final version of Samurai Spirit. This upcoming co-operative fighting game designed by Antoine Bauza is expected to release sometime around Fall of this year.
The challenge of the game consists of balancing your choices: Should you fight each enemy to quickly reach your beast capacities, while also coming closer to the death and risking further loss by not defending the village sufficiently? Should you mainly defend or help the other samurai, taking the risk of remaining human too long and therefore weaker, when you know that weakness will be a major problem when facing the lieutenant and the villain bosses? Each enemy presents a tough choice to you, your team, and ultimately the whole village! Each turn ends with farms and fences being destroyed, and since those aren’t unlimited, you must do what’s necessary to end the game with at least one undamaged farm and enough farmers to tend it.