Phil Walker-Harding

Pandasaurus Games has announced two new upcoming family-weight games to be released in fall 2019: Wayfinders by Thomas Dagenais-Lespérance (Decrypto), and Silver & Gold by Phil Walker-Harding (Sushi Go!, Imhotep & Barenpark).

Wayfinders is a route-building game in which 2-4 players will take the role of explorers racing to chart new paths through the skies, outfitting their planes with the right gear, and building hangers on islands to stock with parts. The game will feature 3D molded airplane and hanger tokens.

Silver & Gold is a roll & write game with no set turns in which 2-4 players will simultaneously (and frantically) attempt to complete and close out island cards and hit the right bonuses before they can jump to the next card. To do so, players will need to “rain down X’s, rapid fire.” The game will include 60 wipeable playing cards and 4 dry erase pens.

Your bear park is expanding … because the grizzlies are coming! That’s right, some of the biggest bears on earth will be making their new home in your park. Their habitats are going to be huge though, so do your best to ft them in any way you can! And with a bigger park, you’ll also need to give your guests a way to get around: that’s where your brand new monorail system comes in. [source]

If you’ve ever felt that your Bear Park needed more bears, and a better way of getting around the park to see them, then the Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears expansion is for you. Designer, Phil Walker-Harding, has added two new modules which can be added to the base game independently, or in combination with each other. Bärenpark is a tile-laying game, where players build their Bear Park in their open park areas by adding attractions and facilities to their parks while trying to accumulate the most points in doing so.

The first module adds a new challenge in the form of Grizzly bears, who need more space than the bears from the base game and make the puzzle of laying tiles more difficult. A new park area is also added, to bring the total available building space to five park areas. The second module adds a monorail that can be added to the park which enables customers to experience the natural behavior of the bears without disturbing them. Monorails add a 3rd dimension to the game board as they’re built by placing towers, in a “zig-zag” pattern, across green areas. Finally, new achievements are also added to create new challenges for expert players.

Expect Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears to feature art by Klemens Franz with its release in August of 2019. For more information, read the original announcement at the Lookout Spiele website where you can also get an advanced look at the rule book.

The all powerful hive mind that is American Mensa has once again assembled in their hollowed halls to rate the games of 2019. Every year, more than 300 members of Mensa spend a mad weekend of games and judgement to bestow upon a deserving few the title of Mensa Select Winner. So without further ado, the Mensa Select Winners for 2019 are:

Architects of the West Kingdom by designers Shem Phillips and S J Macdonald, Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios is a wonderful twist on the oft used worker placement mechanism. In Architects, players can improve their actions by adding more and more workers to a single location on the board, but other players can capture a group of opposing workers, to later sell the gang for cash.

Gizmos by designer Phil Walker-Harding and CMoN Games is an elegant engine building game expanding on the Splendor model, centering on a delightful marble dispenser. Players take turns collecting colored marbles, all the while purchasing cards to improve their collection ability, marble color conversions, storage abilities and card building power.

Gunkimono by designer Jeffrey D. Allers and Renegade Game Studios is a re-imagining of Heartland (2009), transforming the original farming motif to one of war-torn feudal Japan. In this quasi-abstract tile laying game, players choose between expansion for points, and building up for future strongholds.

Planet by designer Urtis Šulinskas and Blue Orange Games is a tile laying, city building game on a grand scale. In a move that would have Euclid roll in his grave, players place magnetic terrain tiles on a 3 dimensional “planet”, creating vast areas of desert, ocean, forest, etc. in order to meet specific goals.

Victorian Masterminds by master designers Antoine Bauza and Eric M. Lang with CMoN Games is a breathtakingly beautiful steampunk worker placement masterpiece. Players each take on the role of super villains in the recent wake of Sherlock Holmes’ disappearance, trying to take over the world with their unique doomsday plots.

Lookout Games have announced a new tile-laying game called Gingerbread House, by Phil Walker-Harding (designer of Barenpark, Gizmos, and Sushi Go Party) with art by Klemens Franz (known for Agricola, Le Havre, and Clans of Caledonia). Players take the role of witches who are building gingerbread houses and are having trouble with those pesky, fairy tale creatures eating bits of it.

“Once upon a time a witch lived alone in her house in the depths of the forest. Her favorite hobby was baking yummy gingerbread; in fact, she loved gingerbread so much that she built her entire house out of it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one who loved it! Rude fairy tale characters passing by were eating away her walls, windows, and doors! One day, the witch decided that she’d had enough of them all helping themselves and, paying attention to which types of gingerbread these greedy intruders liked the most, she came up with an idea on how to get rid of them once and for all…” [source]

Now its time for the witches to lure those creatures, capture them, then … get their opinion on which witch’s house is the best. The witches know that different fairy tale creatures like different types of gingerbread so they’re trying to get a diverse range of them lured into their houses as well as accomplishing other goals.

At the beginning of the game all players start with 15 domino-like, double tiles with two gingerbread symbols on each, as well as a house plan. Each player takes a turn placing a tile on their 3×3 house grid where placing the tile over a symbol provides gingerbread and special actions. There will also be “Joker” tiles and staircases which only occupy a single spot on the grid. Tiles may also be placed over existing tiles to form a 3D structure. Having the tallest structure, completing orders by discarding sets of gingerbread, and achieving other special conditions all grant Victory Points, which are required to win the game.

Gingerbread House is designed for 2-4 players, aged 10+, and plays in 30-45 mins. According to the announcement on the Lookout Games website its expected to release in September 2018.

Cacao is a tile placement and worker influence game for 2-4 players, aged 8+. Players are tribal chiefs in Mexico who must lead their people to prosperity through the trade and cultivation of cacao. Cacao: Diamante, also designed by Phil Walker-Harding, lets you expand the world of Cacao with four new modules: The Gem Mines, the Tree of Life, the Emporer, and the New Workers.

“Walking deeper into the mine it gets colder and darker. The rocks shift as you run your hand along the wall. Lifting your torch, the light reflects on something in the distance. You walk closer and see the edge of a gem embedded in the wall. With your tools and a bit of work to excavate it, a ruby falls from the rock into your hand. Just a few more gems to find before returning to the tribe.” [source]

The Gem Mines module lets you send workers to unearth valuable gems in the mines where players uncover colorful gem pieces from a three-dimensional mine cart. Once they’ve collected gems in all four colors they can be exchanged for gold and gem-encrusted masks which give you points.

“You push through the tangled vines, making your way through the thick jungle foliage. The leaves rustle above you, a flock of birds burst out and fly off into the distance. You see a giant tree root rising from the earth in front of you. You know you’re getting close. The Tree of Life is nearby.” [source]

The Tree of Life module lets you discover the mythical tree in the forest and reap it’s rewards. The New Workers module adds new workers to explore the different placement options and customize your set of worker tiles. The Emperor module provides a strategy to influence the Emperor and gain his favor.

Z-Man Games has the expansion available for pre-order on their website. The expected release date is still to be disclosed.

TerrorEyes is coming from Iello Games, where one player rolls eyeball dice as fast as possible, trying to put the correct eyes on a revealed monsters face. Other players are taking turns rolling the red hand dice, trying to take the eye dice so they can complete the face themselves. TerrorEyes should be in stores October 2017.

Yummy World: Party At Picnic Palace is coming soon from Wizkids and Sushi Go designer Phil Walker-Harding. Yummy World is a card game where 2-4 players flip over cards revealing characters from Yummy World. If you see a set of cards you like, grab it quickly before an opponent does. Collect sets of varying rarity for points. Yummy World is expected in November 2017.