pattern recognition

WizKids has a new family weight game now available at a store near you. In Bumúntú, 2-to-5 players act as African tribal leaders, seeking wisdom from the animals of the wilderness. Players will move carefully across a grid seeded with various animal tiles, each one with different movement abilities (a la Hive). Collecting these animal will gain their favor, a value determined on a leaderboard that all players affect. Strategy and planning are thus key in this game and what could be a gentle stroll through the wilds will end up being a tense skirmish for supremacy.

“A common theme in African folklore is that animals are wise creatures who teach humans to do good and moral things. In Bumúntú, based on the Bakongo culture of central Africa, you are a tribal leader seeking to befriend the animals. Trek through the jungle, follow the animals’ guidance, and earn their favor. Successfully earn the most favor and the animals will help bring your people to prosperity.”

The comparison to Hive is the most apt I can make, although this is much more a family weight game with set collection rather than a head-to-head competition to trap the opponent. Bumúntú has a wider variety of animals and variable scoring that can swing each round, making this a good game for teaching pattern recognition, long-term planning, and spatial movement to children and new gamers alike. If you are interested in learning more about Bumúntú, check out WizKids’ product page for more pictures, full rules, and a full list of local and online retailers.

At the GAMA Trade Show Iello has announced a slew of new games, some reprints and some expansions so lets get to the announcements.  First on the list is a game called Big Book of Madness, it’s a fantasy cooperative deck building game where the players are magic students who must act as a team to turn all the pages of the book, and then shut the book by defeating all the monsters they just freed.  Plays 2-5 in 60-90 minutes.

Next is a pattern recognition game called Maitre Renard (french for Master Fox) where players are flipping over cards to see what they need to collect, then putting on their fox blindfold they feel around in the box for the pieces they need to collect.  Is this the first step towards the making Lice Shower?  Only time will tell.  Plays 2-4 in around 30 minutes.

In Sapiens you are the leader of a tribe trying to guide your clan through the valley, making sure everyone is fed and has enough shelter to keep them safe.  This is done through tile placement with domino like tiles.  Plays 2-4 in around 45 minutes.

Next is the game Sabordage, which looks to be a ship building type pirate game where players will be assembling their ships and then attempt to blow each other up.

The next is a reprint from Iello and that is the game Mexica.  Mexica is an area control type game which has you dividing up the land, placing buildings, and constructing canals.  Points are earned through having area majorities and the most points in the end wins.  Plays 2-4 in around 90 minutes.

A very interesting action game that was announced is called Pingo Pingo, which will appeal to people with a fondness for Nerf as it comes with a gun that shoots suction cup darts and several targets to be set up around the room.  It also includes a soundtrack that gives you 15 minutes to get as much loot as you can.  Plays 2-5 in a guaranteed 15 minutes.

  

They even showed off a diagram of how the game is oriented for gameplay.

Announced also were three expansions for Heroes of Normandie which promises to bring more units, vehicles, accessories, terrain, and templates based on more historic battles.  Expected release is in the summer of 2015.

Another reprint getting the Iello treatment is Dungeon Fighter with an expected release of April 9th.  This will be the third edition of the game which has players cooperatively exploring a three-tier dungeon and fighting anything that might get in your way.  But it’s not as easy as it seems when you are having to roll dice from under your leg or with your eyes closed.  Plays 1-6 in about 45 minutes.