Rio Grande has a wealth of new releases this month, and strong variety at that. These releases cover the spectrum of new family-weight entries to classic heavy strategy titles. Personally I’m always fond of showers of releases like this because it’s fun to try to find a gem among them, and for this month I don’t think that’ll be difficult – not one bit. All of these titles are set to hit retail before the end of this October, just in time for Essen 2019.
To start us off is a new family game, Butterfly, designed by Stephen Glenn for 2-to-5 players ages 8 and up. Players each take turns moving Hudson the Hedgehog around the field collecting stuff: colorful butterflies, dragonflies, lightning bugs, crickets and flowers, but trying to avoid bees and wasps. The goal is to maneuver the plucky hedgehog to get you things you want while denying your opponents access to better stuff. The player with the best collection of things is the winner!
The next stop on this board game train sees us stopping in the Middle East and South Africa in the newest expansion to the Friedemann Friese’s Power Grid. This new pair of maps will give fans of the energy empire-building game new geographies and resource restrictions to deal with. The Middle East map, appropriately, is abundant in oil from the get-go, but this abundance will dry up and it’s imperative to build back-up energy plans to compensate by the time it leaves. The South Africa map is massive, and thus features 6 international power connections and a huge amount of coal-based power executed by a single trust. Players will need to adapt and capitalize quickly to succeed on either game board.
Following that is a new collaboration between one of my favorite designers, Bruno Cathalla, and Johannes Goupy known as Queenz. 2-to-4 players will be beekeepers trying to attract bees via orchids and collecting valuable honey. Each turn players will either collect flowers to fill their warehouse, or they’ll start up a new field filled with flowers from their collection and collect honey, getting points at the end of the game for having the most valuable hives on the board. It’s a very cool set collection / pattern building game with a grid element that rewards careful planning, but don’t take my word for it – feel free to watch Zee’s excellent review of the game to learn more.
Last, but definitely not least, is the English version of an area majority and set collection game designed by Frank Crittin, Grégoire Largey, and Sébastien Pauchon known as The Way of the Bear. Originally released in many other languages as Wangdo, this game sees 2-to-4 players control clans of bears trying to wrestle control of northeast Asia. To do this, players must place bear statues which allow them to collect tokens, but as the board fills up with these statues it becomes more difficult, and costly, to place them. The first player to collect their full set of tokens wins.
And with that, everyone, concludes this round-up – Have a great October everyone and Happy Gaming!
IDW Games is publishing a family update to their 2017 release Seikatsu. Seikatsu: A Pet’s Life features adorable artwork by Neytirix and reunites the design duo of Matt Loomis and Isaac Shalev for the same core tile-laying as the original.
In Seikatsu, players place tiles containing a bird of a certain color and a flower of a certain color in a shared garden. Players score groups of birds when tiles are placed, and score rows of matching flowers at the end of the game. Similarly, in Seikatsu: A Pet’s Life, players place tiles containing a type of animal and a color of pillow upon which the animal is sitting in a shared living room. Upon placing tiles, players will score for groups of the same type of animal. Then, at the end of the game, players score rows with pillows of the same color.
Seikatsu: A Pet’s Life has a player count of 1-4, and releases on August 30, 2019.
Kolossal Games and designer A J Lambeth have brought their asymmetrical area control / pattern matching game Kami-sama to Kickstarter. Kami-sama plays 2-4, each of whom picks from 8 Kami, including the Kami of the River, of Fear, of the Moon, of the Wind, and the Kami of Death.
Play involves action selection cubes, management of villagers via card play and a beautiful round player board, all with art from Gong Studios (Aeon’s End, Charterstone, Kitchen Rush). Kami place shrines in villages according to their specific pattern, thus earning the favor of the villagers. But beware, for successful players will strike a balance between nature and the village, as focusing on either comes with harsh penalties.
A new publisher has entered the boardgame arena with the arrival of Luma Games.
Luma Games is a Canadian company based in Quebec with a team of people who have many years of experience in the boardgaming field. They have a lot of knowledge of Canadian distribution and French localization for the Quebec market, as well as some publishing expertise.
Now they have decided to branch out into publishing original titles as well as localized games.
They’ve also announced their first original game release, Museum.
Museum is designed by Oliver Melison and Eric Dubus. In this set collection and bartering game, players are museum curators trying to build the “biggest and most coherent” collection for their museum.
It’s scheduled to be released at Gencon 2018.
Let’s all welcome this new addition to the boardgame field.
Junk Orbit is a new game designed by Daniel Solis where players are scavengers literally turning one planet’s junk into another planet’s gold. It’s a combination of set collection, pick up and deliver, and a unique movement mechanism using planetary orbits and some of the junk you’ve collected.
“‘Junk Orbit is a fantastic and very accessible space delivery game that I’m excited for both families and gamers to play!” says Dan Bojanowski, Senior Producer at Renegade Game Studios. “Daniel Solis has done a great job of creating a game with interesting movement and decision-making with plenty of fun nods to sci-fi pop culture. Junk Orbit has tons of replayability with advanced sides for all boards and extra ship powers to try out.’“
The game contains 128 junk tiles, five ships with their respective cards and five double-sided boards. It plays 2-5 players and will take approximately 30-40 minutes to play.
Junk Orbit is available for pre-order now.
Keep an eye on the Renegade Game Studios web site for more information as June approaches.
After an excellent Dice Tower Con, it’s time to get back into the swing of things with another Wallet Kickers post.
First is a nice addition to any gamer’s wall, and that is Scott King’s Gaming Calendar for 2018. On this calendar you will be able to choose a standard calendar with pre-selected pictures, or a custom calendar where you get to pick your own pictures and add your own holidays. In the standard calendar you will get twelve stunning pictures taken by the talented Scott King to look at throughout the year of games like Sagrada, Tiny Epic Quest, and Junk Art. Selecting the custom calendar allows you to pick from nearly 200 photos he has taken over the years of many poular games and gaming components. Personally I already have the 2017 edition hanging on my wall and I am looking forward to one being there in 2018 as well. Check out the Kickstarter today.
Next is a game ending in the next week and that is Wendake. In Wendake you are the chief of a native american tribe, trying to build up your tribe to be the best in all aspects. Actions are taken by a unique 3×3 grid of tiles where you activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line. After you take actions you will flip the tiles over, giving a different action as well as showing what tiles have been used. This grid will be constantly cycling, and over the course of the game you will get new actions to slot into the grid allowing you to do more. Some of the actions include movement, harvesting, fishing, hunting, placing out new workers and canoes, and even mask ceremony cards which act as a set collecting aspect to the game. At the end you score for the lowest position on the two pairs of “wampum” tracks, and whoever has the highest combined score wins. To check out this great looking game, head on over to the Kickstarter page.
After that is Legendary Creatures, a deck building type game, with no relation to the Legendary system, where you are competing for renown in four different realms. In this game you will be drawing and playing creature cards to perform different actions. The order you play cards and which cards you play and which you send out on expeditions makes a difference and makes for lots of great choices. You will also get the chance to add new cards into your deck, in typical deck building style, giving you more options and combinations to toy with. Then there are spells, amulets, gifts, and landmarks which give you extra bonuses and you have too many combinations to count. At the end your score will be your position on the four realm tracks as well as any points you earned throughout the game, most points is the winner. You can head over to the Kickstarter page to find out more and pledge for a copy.
Following that we have TMG’s latest deluxified game, Crusaders, Thy Will be Done, a roundel action type game about crusaders in the middle ages trying to get the most influence. In the game you have a roundel of 6 actions and actions tokens on each one. When you pick an action, you get as many action points of that action based on the number of tokens on that wedge. Once you finish the action you will distribute the tokens in a mancala like fashion around the circle. Different actions let you building buildings, muster troops, fight the enemies on the board, travel around the board, or just gain influence. Plus, as you build more buildings you uncover spots on your player board, you will gain the bonuses depicted on the board, giving you some extra motivation to build them. There are also individual player powers and ways to upgrade you roundel to make things more interesting. So if this crusade themed game sounds interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter today.
Next is the latest in the tactical card combat category of games, similar to Summoner Wars, called Stonebound Saga. This game features absolutely stunning artwork, and the player cards seem to be designed to show off as much of it as possible while giving you needed info. In the game you will be controlling different characters, each with their own specific set of moves and abilities powered by speaking stones. You will be moving your character around on the board, and launching attacks in the hope of eliminating the other team. There are also 7 different classes you can chose from which have different ways of playing, from healers, to bards, to powerful warriors and even rangers. Needless to say, if you enjoy games like Summoner Wars, this game deserves a second look for sure, check out their Kickstarter page.
Next to last we have the latest game from Isaac Childres on Kickstarter, and that is Founders of Gloomhaven. Isaac’s previous game, Gloomhaven, has positively exploded and is an adventure game that has legacy elements as well as being just a great game. So you might be surprised to find that he has gone a different direction with this game and has created a tile laying euro game about building the city of Gloomhaven. In this game you will be working to build up your prestige so that when the city is finished, you are the most prestigious race of them all. But, lest you think this is a purely competitive game, there are actually elements of the game that require cooperation to achieve. Each race has a certain element they produce, but in order to create the more advanced resources, you have to combine with other races, meaning you won’t be able to go it alone. Add in a myriad of different action cards to choose from and a voting system to determine which point scoring buildings get added, and you have a euro style game with a Gloomhaven theme and feel. Check out the Kickstarter today to pledge for you copy.
Lastly we have a lightning quick campaign, and that is Steve Jackson Games’ Munchkin Special Delivery. This box is another in the ever growing line of curated boxes that you blindly buy, and find out the contents on arrival. One difference from the others is that this is just for one box, not a subscription, and you at least know it will contain the Munchkin base game. Other things contained in the box include several different expansions and/or boosters, Munchkin accessories, a special rule printed in the box, and even Steve Jackson’s signature (while supplies last). So if you want to gift Munchkin, or want to jump into the game with some hand picked extras, give this Kickstarter a look before it ends on the 16th of July.
Gen Con is fast approaching and so new game announcements are going to be ramping up, and here we have three games coming from dV Giochi. The first is BANG! Armed and Dangerous, an expansion to the card game that will bring some fresh new mechanics into the game to make it even more interesting. In this expansion you will get the usual extra characters, but also now there are Dangerous cards with special abilities on them. These Dangerous cards have to be loaded ahead of time before being used so you will know it’s coming, but the question will be can you stop it? Find out at Gen Con.
Next up is another set being added to the Dark Tales line, this time adding on the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid. Dark Tales: The Little Mermaid will add more cards to the game, giving you more opportunities to combo them together and score big points. But in addition to that, they are also adding a Sea Pact deck that contains 20 cards giving you new ways to score points. So if you want to add even more variety to you Dark Tales games, look for this expansion at Gen Con.
Finally dV Giochi will be debuting two games in their pocket room escape series, Deckscape, with Deckscape: Test Time and Deckscape: The Fate of London. Both will feature you solving riddles and puzzles in a deck of cards as you try to solve the final riddle and escape. In Test Time you have been selected by Dr. Thyme to help him with his inventions, but only if you can pass the test by escaping from his laboratory. The Fate of London has you working as an investigator, trying to find all the bombs hidden in London before they go off and cause all sorts of chaos. Give both of these games a try at Gen Con, and you can read below the press release from dV Giochi on all these games.
New releases at Gen Con 2017
dV Giochi will once again exhibit at this year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis—the biggest U.S. boardgame fair! The dV Giochi booth is number 2843, in the Exhibit Hall.
During the show, dV Giochi will premiere two games from the Deckscape series, the deduction card game 3 Secrets, a new expansion for the world-famous card game BANG!—Armed and Dangerous—and an expansion for the Dark Tales card game—The Little Mermaid.
BANG! Armed & Dangerous
This upcoming new expansion for the BANG! card game holds many surprises, deadly weapons, powerful gear, and lethal ammo: the new Dangerous cards. It also features 8 new skillful Gunslingers.
During the game, you can add Load tokens to your Dangerous cards and your character, which you can use to activate your Dangerous cards, use the abilities of some characters, or to upgrade the effects of some brown-bordered cards! To reload a Dangerous card, you have to play a blue-bordered card or discard a card from your hand at the end of your turn. Then it will be ready to unleash on your rivals!
Game idea: Emiliano Sciarra
No. of players: 4-7
Artwork: Stefano Landini
Language: Italian and English
DARK TALES – The Little Mermaid
The Dark Tales card game series keeps growing! This time, players will be immersed in the ocean depths, experiencing the adventures of TheLittle Mermaid.
From the old Sea King to the graceful Prince, from the loving sisters to the perfidious Sea Witch: in the world of Dark Tales, new characters appear to create new and unexpected combinations!
This expansion includes a deck of 20 Sea Witch Pacts. Pact cards offer a new way to score Victory Points, draw cards, or gain other benefits, but each one comes at a price!
You will also find two new setting cards which can be used with any Dark Tales game to make each play different and engaging.
Game idea: Pierluca Zizzi
No. of players: 2-4
Artwork: Dany Orizio
DECKSCAPE Test Time
DECKSCAPE The Fate of London
Deckscape is a series of cooperative games inspired by real Escape Rooms, where a group of people are “trapped” inside a room full of puzzles and odd items.
The first title in the game series is Deckscape: Test Time: You have been selected by Doctor Thyme. If you are able to pass his exam and exit his Laboratory, you’ll get a unique chance to help him on his newest and greatest invention!
This game will be available in the U.S. for the first time at Gen Con.
The brand-new title in this “pocket escape room” series is Deckscape: The fate of London: A terrible threat hangs over London, and the Crown of England needs your help! Your mission is to find four devices hidden in secret locations and defuse them before midnight. A single mistake and the situation could degenerate quickly…
Deckscape: The Fate of London will make its international debut at Gen Con.
Game idea: Martino Chiacchiera and Silvano Sorrentino
No. of players: 1-6
Artwork: Alberto Bontempi
3 Secrets is the new cooperative card game for aspiring detectives. The goal of the game is to unravel the three secrets of an unresolved case before time runs out.
One of the players takes on the role of an informant who knows the truth about the case: they know which secrets need to be discovered, and try their best to help the others guess them correctly. But the clock is ticking and clues are scarce. You must question the informant to gather useful information and find the solutions. If you grope around in the dark, the informant can reveal an important clue but this will cost you precious time! Use your best observing eye, lateral thinking, and deduction skills to unravel all the mysteries of the ambiguous characters that populate this game.
3 Secrets comes with a free app available for download at the Apple AppStore and on Google Play.
This game will be offered for the first time in the U.S. at Gen Con.
About dV Giochi
The Italian company, founded in 2001, is fully committed to publishing and distributing board games and card games worldwide. Its games, with the dV Giochi brand, have won great acclaim in Italy and abroad: the most famous dV Giochi card game, BANG! is considered an “evergreen” in the game market.
It is a sad fact of business that not all of them will succeed, and unfortunately the dark specter of failure is looming on Crash Games. For various reasons Crash Games is in a financial tight spot right now and so they are turning to the board game community to help them out. With this final Kickstarter they are hoping to raise the needed money to be able to pay their game designers and their manufacturer what they are owed. So if you are interested in either of the below games, or just want to help, I highly recommend you go to the campaign page and pledge your support. But enough of the doom and gloom, lets get to the games.
The first of the two games being offered is Backyard Builders Treehouse, a drafting game all about building the best treehouse possible. On your turn you have a hand of five cards, you will pick a card to add to you treehouse and then pass the cards. The next player will draw a card to bring the hand back up to five and do the same, continuing around until the end of the round. As for placing cards in your treehouse, whenever you want to place a new card you have to match the top value of the previous card to be able to add it. And that’s it, you go around until you reach a set height based on the number of players and then add up the point totals on the cards. One thing that makes it not a pick the highest card affair is that you get bonus points for having a run of the same color, thus giving you some options when picking cards. Also of note is that the art is done by Vincent Dutrait so you know it will look stunning.
The second game being offered is the set collecting, fishing game called Fish Frenzy. In the game you will be bidding on different boats in order to collect the fish cards below them to get majorities in the different fish types. However, if you want to get the fish from a boat that is already occupied, you will have to give up some fish tokens in order to bump the other player out. You will bid back and forth between the person already there until someone comes out on top, at which point the loser moves away, leaving their bid fish tokens behind. At the end of the round all bid fish tokens go away, so not too many bid wars are going to break out. Once everyone has placed you can either collect all the fish for end game scoring, or you can eat the fish getting you back some of those precious fish tokens. After adding two cards to each boat the next round begins again. At the end you will get 3 points for each fish type you have the most of, and 1 point for the ones you have the second most of, most points at the end is the winner.
Mayfair Games has just announced two new games and an unexpected expansion to a game. The games are Portal of Heroes and Saboteur; The Duel, the unexpected expansion is for Agricola, and that’s to raise the player count from 4 to 6. The Agricola 5-6 player expansion will be the first to be released and will be on store shelves this month, containing all the needed bits and pieces to play the game with up to six people. It will also include 48 new occupation cards, all which take into account the higher player count so that a 6 player game will still feel like Agricola. This is surprising in that it seemed Caverna was poised to make Agricola obsolete, but with the flurry of new expansions as of late it seems now to be the other way around.
Next is Portal of Heroes, a set collection and action point allowance game where you are trying to score at least 12 power points in order to end, and hopefully win, the game. On your turn you have three actions to take out of four possible options, take a pearl, clear and refill the display, place a character on your board, or activate a character on your board. To activate the character you will have to play the pearl combination they need, and it’s these characters that will grant you points and other special abilities to help you win the game. Once you reach the threshold of 12 points the end game will be triggered, and whoever has the most points at the end of the round is the winner. Look for this card game to hit shelves in January of 2017.
Lastly is another game in the Saboteur line and that is Saboteur; The Duel, a two player version of the “bigger” game. The goal remains the same of being the one to make it to the gold, but now as a two player game you are trying to sabotage your opponent instead of one person being a saboteur. You can break their tools, collapse their tunnels, or even play locked doors in their path to keep them from their goal. But remember, while messing with your opponent is good, you still need to make it to the gold first! Look for this two player card game on store shelves in January 2017 as well.