“Assemble a crew and outfit a longboat to raid settlements for gold and fame!”
Raiders of the North Sea, by Garphill Games and designer Shem Phillips, is a unique worker placement game wherein players collect resources to raid and pillage as Vikings. The game was deservedly nominated for the Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel award in 2017, and has accrued two excellent expansions over the years. In Raiders players use a twist on standard worker placement: a single worker is held in hand, which is placed on the board to select a first action. A second action is selected by picking a new worker up off of a previously used space. Workers come in three colors, restricting which actions can be done by which workers.
And now, Dire Wolf Digital has taken this modern classic and created an excellent digital version for Steam, mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch. Raiders of the North Sea is part of an ongoing partnership between Renegade Games and Dire Wolf to produce digital versions of their board games, including Lanterns: the Harvest Festival, Lotus, and the Renegade Companion App. The game truly shines in the digital forum, retaining the excellent artwork created by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (The Mico). Additionally, all versions of Raiders of the North Sea include cross-platform play, so you can compete against friends regardless of which system they use. For more information, check out the press release from Dire Wolf Digital here.
Back in May we announced the nominees for the renowned Spiel (Game of Year), Kennerspiel (Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year), and Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year) awards. The winners have been announced. This year Azul, designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Plan B/Next Move games won the Spiel des Jahres.
Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, from designer Wolfgang Warsch and published by Schmidt Spiele, won the Kennerspiel des Jahres Schmidt Spiele.
And, finally, Funkelschatz won the Kinderspiel des Jahres. Also known as Dragon’s Breath and published in the USA by HABA, Funkelschatz is designed by Lena and Günter Burkhardt.
The Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced for 2018 across their three categories; Spiel desh Jahres (Game of the Year), Kinnerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year), and Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year). The nominees are:
Acram Digital has announced they are looking for beta testers for the digital port of the board game Istanbul. Acram has teased that the game is coming in Q2 2018 and is seeking beta testers now. Those interested can find more information on how to join the playtest here.
The game is currently in development for PC/Mac/Linux, Android and iOS systems. Digital features of the game will include:
official, digital version of Istanbul board game
optimized for PC, smartphones and tablets
play with AI, with friends or both
pass and play mode
online multiplayer with asynchronous mode option
official rules plus extra additions
When the app is released players will no longer have to gather around the same table to enjoy the merchant life, but instead will be thrust into the usual day in this city market via their favorite digital device.
Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.
In the game players will take on the role of merchants with their four assistants roaming through the 16 bazaar locations. Each location allows players to leave an assistant behind to take a specific action, returning later to pick up the assistant. When a merchant has finally collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow all players will complete the round to end the game. If the player who ended the game has completed their goal they will be declared the winner, otherwise ties will be broken by money still in hand.
The original board game, released in 2014, was the winner of numerous awards including the coveted Kennerspiel des Jahres. Awards included:
Acram Digital studio is a independent developer based in Poland. They are the developer of the digital ports of Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight Minute Empire. Acram Digital was established in 2014 by two board game enthusiasts enthusiasts focused on porting board games to digital platforms including tablets, smartphones, PCs using iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Asmodee is celebrating the 7th anniversary of 7 Wonders, originally released in 2010, with two new mini expansion packs.
The first expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Leaders Anniversary Pack Expansion is an expansion to 7 Wonders: Cities, which was released in 2010 as the first 7 Wonders expansion. This anniversary pack will include at least fifteen new leaders to include in games of 7 Wonders. Characters from history will include Gorgo, Cornelia, Enheduanna, Roxana, and more. 7 Wonders Leaders added Leader cards to the base game. At the start of every game, each player drafts a hand of four leaders and can pay money to play one leader at the start of each of the three Ages.
The second expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Cities Anniversary Pack Expansion, is an expansion to the 7 Wonders: Cities expansion, which was released in 2012. The expansion pack will include at least fifteen new cities. City cards will include a memorial, customs, counterfeiter’s office, smuggler’s cache, and more. 7 Wonders: Cities was the second expansion for 7 Wonders. City cards were a new type if card in the game and aggressively increased the interaction between players in games.
7 Wonders & Many Awards
When released in 2010 7 Wonders was an instant hit, finding both popular and critical success. A sample of awards includes:
This was on Kickstarter last year and had initial fulfillment to backer this year in the weeks leading up to Gen Con.
“We are continuing to expand our games business with on-trend and relevant games, and Escape Room in A Box is the latest addition to the growing Mattel Games portfolio,” said Ray Adler, Senior Director, Global Games at Mattel. “We know that in a digitally focused world, consumers are gravitating toward social game play. This new introduction brings friends and families together to re-create the thrill captured in the entertainment experience.”
The Werewolf with give a group of players one hour to solve a series of puzzles, crack some codes and find some hidden clues in time to stop the plot of a mad scientist. As soon as the box has been opened players will have been exposed to a virus that will turn them into werewolves. Players will then have one hours to complete 19 puzzles and find the codes to open the three locks and escape the virus.
Players will be able to connect to the Amazon Alexa to track time, ask questions for clues and play a soundtrack for the game.
Mattel’s escape room in a box will be released in retail in the fall of 2017.
Legacy of Escape Games
Escape Room style games have become extremely popular in recent years. Mattel noted in their press release that 13.4 million people in the US alone participated in escape rooms. Kosmos Exit series of games adaptation of escape rooms for board game players was the winner of the 2017 Kennerspiel des Jahres.
Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.
The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.
Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.
Creating New Galaxies and Federations
Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.
Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.
Starting on the Cutting Edge
You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.
Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.
Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.
A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.
A Legacy of Success
Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:
Z-Man games has begun releasing details of what has happened following the pandemic that broke out in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.
The world is on the brink of total collapse. Already devastated by a terrible plague, much of the globe has gone dark. Small groups of survivors struggle to keep the world alive, but their efforts are no longer enough. The world needs leaders to rise up and find the way back from the brink of extinction. That task has fallen to you. You must find a way or nobody will. You are humanity’s last chance.
Following the format of the many Pandemic games that preceded it, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 again brings two to four players into a high stakes legacy format co-op situation.
Taking place 71 years after the final events of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, humanities very existence continues to be in peril. Only a few known cities still exist at all, and are now being supplied by floating stations in the ocean known as “havens.” For three generations survivors have lived on these havens, but with haven supplies dwindling it’s your job to set foot on land and save whatever cities you can to stop the end of civilization as you know it.
Over a year you and your team search for answers to questions that still surround the plague, while at the same time trying to maintain a supply network. Like in Season 1 and other legacy games, actions in each game will carry over and impact future games, forever altering the world of Pandemic Legacy.
Cities will rise, cities will fall. Characters will learn new skills and gain scars from the horrors they experience. Through the game new rules will come into play and each new development will affect your group’s journey.
Journey from the Havens to Distribute Supplies
Your team has grown up in the havens your knowledge of the mainland is very limited. The plague has devastated the world you great grandparents knew, and cities have no hope of developing a cure. The few cities that remain need your supplies.
Instead of removing disease cubes, you now must add supply cubes to ward off future plague outbreaks. Balance your time and focus between balancing more cubes with distributing them to the cities that need them most. Drawing infection cards results in cities using supply cubes. You will need to constantly deliver new supplies in order to avoid the city becoming infected. Cities that become infected are a critical threat to you and to your team.
Characters entering a city infected with a plague run the risk of being exposed to it. There’s no guarantee that exposure will lead to any detrimental effects, but it will always be a threat. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when to risk exposure and when to play it safe, letting the infected city fend for itself.
The World Has Changed
The world players find at the beginning of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 has altered drastically. At the beginning of your first game only a small portion of the earth is visible, with access to only the few surviving cities still on the grid. On top of supplying cities you’ll need to explore a world lost to darkness. Make discoveries, encounter new dangers and face new challenges on your search for answers.
With so much infrastructure lost, you’ll have very limited communication, diminished medical technology and a loss of air travel. Sail from port to port, but once on land travel will be slow.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a stand alone game that does not require having played Season 1. Prepare time this fall to save the world with a sneak peek at Gen Con 2017.
A Legacy of Awards
The original Pandemic Legacy has won many awards on the way to the top of the BGG rankings, currently ranked the highest rated game on Boardgamegeek. Selected awards include: