If you’ve ever liked low-budget films, have you also every wondered how fun it would be to make them? There’s a carefree joy to them that’s infectious. Movie Empire, designed by Karsten Schulmann and featuring art by Allan Ohr, reminds me a lot of that, and it’s now on Kickstarter. If you’ve every actually wanted to try your hand at making B-movies, or if you just like classic movies tropes and worker placement games, this project will be worth the look.
“Movie Empire is a mix of worker placement and set collection for 1-4 players. And as Hollywood is a shark tank, you have 2 styles of play with the (completely optional!) black dossier variant, that adds a take that mechanic to the gameplay. Let the clubbing and stabbing commence!”
Mechanically speaking, it’s built on solid tried-and-true mechanisms and proudly lacks an auction mechanic, so that alone is attractive to particular tastes. However, it’s not just all that wrapped up in a fun theme – It’s got a solo mode and optional variants too! The illustrations are fun and spoofy, so there’s a lot here to like. Seeing that this game has already reached it’s funding goal, there’s more than enough people who agree with me! If you would like to learn more about Movie empire, check out it’s Kickstarter page for more information, rules, FAQs, community feedback, and updates.
Green Couch Games is teaming with Chris Bryan and illustrator Vincent Dutrait for Darwinauts.
In this 45-minute play time Euro game of tile-laying, worker placement, set collection and action selection, 2-4 players ages 13 and up will explore another dimension – taking 2 actions per turn of either placing an explorer, placing a tile, replenishing tiles and removing explorers, discover a species or record a species – which also allows them to take one of 5 possible bonus actions. When the Rift tile is revealed, players add an additional phase to their turns – dismantling the landscape, as they must race to finish their tasks and get home.Players receive points for their recorded species for specializing in specific species. Whoever has the most points wins the game.
The game is set for a Kickstarter campaign in the spring, with a fall release.
You can find out more on Green Couch Games’ website here.
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.
Next Move Games is not laying off the gas just yet. They have one more new release joining Tukiat this year’s Origins Game Fair, and this one is the start of a new line of small box games. 5211 is a re-implementation of a game known as 5 Colors, a design from 2017 that seems to have had a limited distribution. What Next Move has done is brought on the excellent Chris Quilliams for all new art and adjusted the components to allow for up to 8 players. This is great news, because 5211 will be leapfrogging off an already established rule-set that was already conducive to a party game audience, while receiving the components to appeal to that wider audience and with distribution and art to back it up.
“5211 is a fast playing, type-matching card game with unique scoring methods that reward clever plays! Designed by Tsuyoshi Hashiguchi and illustrated by Chris Quilliams, 5211 is an addictive game that begs to be played over and over! […] While players could get lost forever in the simple elegance of the game’s design, an average game of 5211 should only take about 20 to 30 minutes to play.”
The game is played over multiple rounds until the deck of cards has been depleted. Each round, players will simultaneously choose and reveal 2 cards, then two more one at a time. The color most represented by played cards scores, unless it’s too many which causes it to bust and the second most color scores. If there’s a tie for most, they both bust, and the next highest color scores. It gives the game this sort of trick-taking feel within a set collection game, where every card played is a gambit of trying to figure out what colors your opponents will be inclined to play. If you’re interested in learning more about 5211, check out Next Move’s websiteand it’s BGG description, and be on the lookout for the game breaking into retail shortly after Origins.
This updated version of The Ancient World, features new cover art, updated components new and revised titans and even expanded gameplay.
The following design features take the game to a gorgeous new deluxe level:
Numbered, limited-edition boxes
“Ryan Laukat’s “signature” printed in metallic ink
Larger, double-sided player boards
Updated game board, district and empire cards
“In an ancient world forgotten by time, enormous titans terrorize the land. Five tribes have been fleeing from the titans for centuries, but things are about to change. Growing city-states pledge to end the reign of terror, determined to take on the titans and make the world a safer place for all. Each city-state competes to attract the tribes, eager for the strength of the combined peoples, with the hope that the titans can be defeated once and for all.”
The Ancient World mixes card drafting, set collection and worker placement mechanism as players compete to grow the largest and most influential city-states, measured by owned tribe banners. Players take turns sending citizens to take special actions or using military cards to attack titans. Banners are collected via empire cards as well as by defeating titans. Victory points are gained for sets of tribe banners and after six rounds, the player with the most VPs wins.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until September 8th. The game is expected to ship in June 2019. Backers can choose between two pledge levels. If you own the original game, you can make due with just an upgrade pack (and perhaps some sweet metal coins). Players new to the game can go all in for the entire 2nd edition pledge.
Firenze, designed by Andreas Steding, is 8 years old now and still remains a fan-favorite euro set-collection game. Easy to teach, but be careful biting into it because it’s so crunchy it could hurt with all of it’s agonizing decisions. Players are constantly torn by the need to draft particular colors of tower pieces from a conveyor belt while also trying to avoid cards with negative effects that pieces could be sitting on. It’s this constant crunch and tension over colored wooden bricks that has kept the game relevant and unique and people have been clamoring for it since it’s been hard-to-find for a long while, so-much-so that there have been requests on BGG for a reprint for well over two years now. Quined Games has responded to this request by announcing that they’ll be Kickstarting the 2nd edition of Firenze on August 15th. As announced via a press release:
“We hereby introduce our third new release for Spiel 2018: Firenze (2nd edition). This game probably needs less of an introduction, since it was already released back in 2010, was well rated but never became widely available. We are delighted to announce that Firenze finally gets its long-awaited reprint, fully language-independent through the use of simple yet elegant iconography on the games’ cards! Just like our other Masterprint releases, rulebooks in English, German, French and Dutch are included.”
While this is only being conditionally brought back on success of it’s Kickstarter and not exactly a done-deal, I expect this campaign will do very well given the interest in it after so many years. This new version will doubtlessly look nicer and players new and old will have something fresher and still good to look forward to. Quined Games will also have two other titles on Kickstarter at the same time – Raiatea and Counterfeiters – and while these games will be done on separate campaigns, there is expected to be an attractive bundle for all three games together so be sure to be on the lookout for that. If you are interested in learning more about Firenze 2nd edition, or the other Kickstarter projectes from Quined Games, please be sure to check out their website as August 15th draws near.
First is Blue Lagoon designed by award winning game designer Reiner Knizia. Blue Lagoon is a set collection games with an area control mechanic. Players manage settlers to explore the islands, collect resources, and build villages. Points are awarded collecting resources and colonizing the islands.
Blue Lagoon plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in 30-45 minutes. Contents include game board, 24 wooden resources, 8 wooden statuettes, 20 wooden villages, 120 settler tokens, 1 linen bag, score pad, and rulebook.
Next, Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc have teamed up again to design Scarabya.Scarabya is an area enclosure game with a tile placement mechanic. Players are competing archeologist on their own dig site (player board) attempting to place tiles around the golden scarabs on their player board. Each gold scarab enclosed is worth the size of its enclosure, up to four points. The challenge is that the tiles to create an enclosure come in different shapes, is drawn at random, and is played in order. All the players draw and place their tiles concurrently and the game continues until the last tile is drawn and played or discarded. The player with the most points in golden scarabs at the end of the game is the winner.
Scarabya plays 1-4 players, ages 8+, in 15-20 minutes. Contents include 4 sets of 12 tiles, 4 sets of 4 boards, 4 sets of 8 rocks, 4 frames, 72 scarab tokens, 12 mission cards, and rulebook.
Mars is hot… literally. Most of the time, except for when it is really cold. But it is also hot as a theme in boardgaming right now, and Terraforming Mars is the leading the pack. Since its release in 2016, it launched straight to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings and has stayed there, currently sitting in the #4 position amongst all other games. With that popularity comes expansions, and a move out and away from the surface of Mars. Terraforming Mars: The Colonies will be the fourth explansion for the game and will expand out into the rest of the solar system to put space stations in the void and on the moons of other planets. It follows the other Terraforming Mars games and will play with 1-5 players in 2 hours. It is currently scheduled to release 2018-10-15 with no word on if or when pre-orders will be available.
The Networks is a set collection game for 1 to 5 players that plays in 60 – 90 minutes by Gil Hova with art by Heiko Günther and Travis Kinchy. Each player is trying to collect the Stars and Ads pneeded to get Shows. Ads produce the most money when placed in the proper time slot and Stars will give their best performance when they have the perfect conditions. As Shows age, they’ll lose viewers (points at end game) so the player will need to manage their line-up, canceling older shows and sending them to re-runs to make room for the newest shows. The player with the most points at the end of five seasons is the winner.
The Networks: Telly Time expansion features nine genres, three of which are new: Chat Shows, Quiz Shows, and Kids Shows. Chat Shows grant a special power upon Development that allows the player to rotate all of the Stars and Ads in one of their time slots to their good sides. The Quiz Shows grant a bonus at the end of each season, letting the player exchange up to 3 viewers for $1M each. Kids Shows have no special power but can get the player a lot of viewers for a low cost and can be stuffed with Ads. The expansion also introduces a new “noughts-and-crosses” way to get genre bonuses. All together, this expansion provides 59 cards and 35 plastic chips in a tuck box. This expansion does require the base game to play and is fully compatible with The Networks: Executives expansion but is only partially compatible with The Networks: On the Air expansion.
To see the preview of The Networks: Telly Time and The Networks: Executives, watch the video from GAMA here. You can see a review of the base game here.
In Exploriana, players are intrepid 19th century explorers traveling the world in search of undiscovered plants, animals, treasures, maps, and locations. Players win by having the most victory points, which are earned by making discoveries and gaining renown. Some discoveries are worth more in sets and cannot be completed without visiting the different continents. Players push their luck to explore deeper into the continent to make more discoveries, but they risk becoming lost and losing their discoveries.
In addition to push your luck and set collection, Exploriana also blends in worker placement and auction/bidding mechanics. Players will have to decide each round which continent to send their explorers: South America, Africa or The Far East. The auction round provides players an opportunity to buy equipment to ensure a better chance of a successful exploration. This unique blend of mechanics is seamless and smooth, resulting in a light strategy game that is easy to learn and plays in under an hour.
Exploriana plays 2-5 players, ages 12+, in 45-60 minutes. Contents include game board, 5 double-sided player mats, 13 explorers, 6 renown markers, a guide marker, 60 coins (40 silver, 20 gold), 16 lost explorer tokens, 2 grapples tokens, 1 med kit token, 81 cards (18 Far East cards, 21 Africa cards, 24 South America cards, and 18 item cards) and rulebook.
Learn more aboutExploriana on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter campaign runs through 24 May and is expected to deliver October 2018.