magic maze

Sit Down! has three new products in the pipeline this first month of the new year, all having been shown off at the previous Essen show. All three are slated for initial release in European Markets, with future distribution unannounced. Their newest title is Gravity Superstars, a competitive game for 2 to 6 adventurers that emulates platforming games of old as each player jumps and runs along platforms to capture stardust . It’s a very cool and innovative design where each player deals with a different puzzle because their piece sits facing them in one of the four cardinal orientations of the board, a different perspective giving a different set of challenges.

     “What is really original about Gravity Superstar is the manner in which the players’ pawns move: Each turn, they move one or two spaces, then they are affected by gravity, which makes them fall until they are stopped by a platform. This effect is made possible by the fact that the pawns are used lying down on the board. Thus, they move up (above their head), down (below their feet), left, or right. During its movement, a pawn can collect stars (to score points at the end of the game) or replay tokens (to take a second consecutive turn), and eject opponents’ pawns from the board.”

The next two products are for the Magic Maze line, starting with Magic Maze Kids XXL. It’s pretty much exactly what it reads on the tin, it’s a giant board (70 x 70 cm) compatible with Magic Maze Kids that also adds a few new rules, and that sounds like a lovely addition to an already excellent children’s game. Last is a much awaited expansion for the original Magic Maze hinted at during the Dice Tower Awards ceremony last July, Hidden RolesThis appropriately-named expansion (one that I have been very hyped for) can be added to any game of 3 or more players to allow for a potential traitor who doesn’t want the team to succeed, but if they’re called out they are removed from play and must give up their action to someone else. All of these sound amazingly fun in all their own ways, and if you are as excited as I am to see more from Sit Down!, be sure to check out their website for future announcements!

The German Game Prizes, awarded to top games by Essen Spiel since the late 1970s, have been announced for 2017, and well deserved congratulations go to Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius. Runners up in order include: A Feast for Odin, Scythe, First Class, Kingdomino, Robber [Raiders] of the North Sea, Fabulous [Fabled Fruit], Captain Sonar, Magic Maze, and Competition [Quest] to El Dorado.

The winner of the German Children’s Prize is Ice Cool by Brian Gomez. Click here for the press release from Spiel.

The International Gamers Awards have been going on since the year 2000, celebrating and recognizing gaming a truly global scale by having a committee of judges from all around the world. Each year they vote for the best game within the General Strategy category, which is split into two sub-categories: Multiplayer and 2-Player. 2017’s finalists have been announced and it’s immediately noticeable that this year’s competition is fierce. So without further ado, the nominees are:

General Strategy Games – Multiplayer nominees

A Feast for Odin
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Feuerland Spiele

Century: Spice Road
Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher: Plan B Games

First Class
Designers: Helmut Ohley
Publisher: Hans im Glück

Gloomhaven
Designer: Isaac Childress
Publisher: Cephalofair Games

Great Western Trail
Designer: Alexander Pfister
Publishers: eggertspiele

Key to the City: London
Designers: Sebastian Bleasdale and Richard Breese
Publisher: R&D Games

Lorenzo il Magnifico
Designers: Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli and Simone Luciani
Publisher: Cranio Creations

Magic Maze
Designer: Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down!

Scythe
Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Publisher: Stonemaier Games

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars
Designer: Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Fryx Games / Stonemaier Games

The Colonists
Designer Tim Puls
Publisher: Lookout Games

Ulm
Designer: Günter Burkhardt
Publisher: HUCH!

Yokohama
Designer: Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher: OZAKU Brand

General Strategy Games – 2-Player nominees

 

Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Designers: Nate French and Matthew Newman
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Caverna: Cave vs. Cave
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Lookout Games

 

Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft
Designer: Diego Ibanez
Publisher: Devir

Santorini
Designer: Gordon Hamilton
Publisher: Roxley

Star Wars: Destiny
Designers: Corey Konieczka and Lukas Litzsinger
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

The 2017 Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. The “Game of the Year 2017” will be selected on July 17, 2017 in Berlin. There were several other games that made it to the jury’s “recommendation” list and they can be viewed on the official announcement here.

Game of the Year 2017 (Spiel des Jahres)

Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Prestigious tile laying for 2 to 4 crowned terrain planners
Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down !, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele
Cooperative shopping house break for 1 to 8 hectic heroes
Race to El Dorado of Reiner Knizia
Publisher: Ravensburger
Deck building in the jungle for 2 to 4 fast treasure hunters
Children’s Game of the Year 2017 (Kinderspiel des Jahres)
Captain Silver  by Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl
Publisher: Queen Games
Fast-paced treasure hunting for 2 to 4 sensitive pirates from 6 years
ICECOOL  by Brian Gomez
Publishing house: Amigo Interlaced snips for 2 to 4 ice-cold schoolchildren from 6 years
The Mysterious Forest  of Carlo A. Rossi
Publisher: Iello, Vertrieb. Yikes! & Friends
Adventurous journey for 2 to 4 clever scouts from 6 years
Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year 2017 (Kennerspiel des Jahres)
Exit – The Game * by Inka Brand and Markus Brand
Publisher: Kosmos
Congenial Knobeleien for 1 to 6 (our recommendation: 1 to 4) creative cryptologists
* “The Abandoned Hut”, “The Secret Laboratory”, “The Grave Chamber of Pharaoh”
Raider of the North Sea by Shem Phillips
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Plentiful plundering for 2 to 4 walkers-worshiping Vikings

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Planetary project development for 1 to 5 climate changing corporate boards

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Sit Down Games, publishers of Goths Save the Queenhave announced an upcoming February release of their next game, Magic Maze. Magic Maze is a real-time cooperative game for 1-8 players. The game states it to be for people aged 8 and above and will play in 3-15 minutes thus making the recipe for what appears to be a fun family game.

It turns upside down players’ habits by its unique mechanics : there are no “game turns”, everyone can play with any pawn at any time… but can only carry out specific actions, that other players can’t take. Everyone needs everyone as the actions are split between the players, so they need to find out what other players want to do and agree on a common strategy… without communicating; they must also understand by themselves when they are expected to play.

With only needing a 3 minute sand-timer, players can visit Sit Down Games’ web site here to download everything you need to play the initial scenario of the game to familiarize yourself with the mechanics prior to it’s upcoming release.