Spiel des Jahres

Azul has become a beloved boardgame the world over selling more than 320,000 games worldwide! Azul has been translated into 25 different languages and has become and international sensation since its release in 2017. Azul has been nominated for the Spiel des Jahres Award, Origins and our very own Dice Tower Award, is the 2018 As d’Or Game Of The Year and is a Mensa Select winner!

Next Move Games is honored by Azul’s warm reception – “Thank you to all of our fans for allowing us the privilege in sharing this wonderful game with you.”

The Spiel des Jahres nominees for 2018 have just recently been announced (see Dice Tower News article here), and for the first time since 2010 the judges have awarded the “Sonderpreis“, literally a special award. The recipient is the innovative Pandemic Legacy Season 2 by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, published by Z-Man Games. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 uses amazing new mechanics and devices, and blends them with an engrossing story taking place 71 years after the original Season 1, creating a game “all future legacy games will have to be measured” against. Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy Season 1 were both nominated for Spiel des Jahres awards in 2009 and 2016 respectively.

For more information, check out Z-Man Games press release on their website here.

Days of Wonder has announced plans to release Ticket to Ride: New York. The new release is a stand alone Ticket to Ride game and features a shortened version of the game using taxis instead of trains.

Welcome to the Big Apple! Enjoy the sights from Times Square to Brooklyn, and all over NYC. Admire the stunning view from the Empire State Building or take a walk through scenic Central Park!

Designed for 2 to 4 players, Ticket to Ride: New York features a much smaller map then previous Ticket to Ride games, and with fewer starting pieces the game will play in just 10 to 15 minutes.

The game features Alan Moon‘s familiar Ticket to Ride rules including scoring points for completed tickets and for connecting cities, with bonus points given for connecting popular tourist destinations. The game ends when one player has two or fewer taxis left in their supply. Starting with only 15 taxis at the beginning of the game, players will find themselves down to two and ending the game much sooner than in a traditional game of Ticket to Ride.

For players eager to prepare for their first game Days of Wonder has already released the rules. Players can also take a look and hear Tom’s thoughts on the game by checking out his video here.

The game will include:

  • One board map of New York City
  • 60 plastic taxis
  • 44 Transportation cards
  • 18 Destination Ticket cards
  • 1 rule leaflet
  • 1 score pad
  • One pencil

Ticket to Ride: New York will be released July 2018 in the U.S. exclusively through Target stores.

Ticket to Ride
Designed by Alan Moon, the original Ticket to Ride game was released in 2004 and is considered a staple entry point into the board gaming hobby. The game won the coveted Spiel des Jahres, along with many other awards including:

 

The Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced for 2018 across their three categories; Spiel desh Jahres (Game of the Year), Kinnerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year), and Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year). The nominees are:

Spiel des Jahres

Azul

The Mind

Luxor

Kennerspiel des Jahres

Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg

Ganz schön clever

Heaven & Ale

Kinderspiel des Jahres

Emojito!

Funkelschatz (Dragon’s Breath)

Panic Mansion

Acram Digital has announced they are looking for beta testers for the digital port of the board game Istanbul. Acram has teased that the game is coming in Q2 2018 and is seeking beta testers now. Those interested can find more information on how to join the playtest here.

The game is currently in development for PC/Mac/Linux, Android and iOS systems. Digital features of the game will include:

  • official, digital version of Istanbul board game
  • optimized for PC, smartphones and tablets
  • play with AI, with friends or both
  • pass and play mode
  • online multiplayer with asynchronous mode option
  • modular board
  • official rules plus extra additions
When the app is released players will no longer have to gather around the same table to enjoy the merchant life, but instead will be thrust into the usual day in this city market via their favorite digital device.
Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.

In the game players will take on the role of merchants with their four assistants roaming through the 16 bazaar locations. Each location allows players to leave an assistant behind to take a specific action, returning later to pick up the assistant. When a merchant has finally collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow all players will complete the round to end the game. If the player who ended the game has completed their goal they will be declared the winner, otherwise ties will be broken by money still in hand.

The original board game, released in 2014, was the winner of numerous awards including the coveted Kennerspiel des Jahres. Awards included:
Acram Digital studio is a independent developer based in Poland. They are the developer of the digital ports of Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight Minute Empire. Acram Digital was established in 2014 by two board game enthusiasts enthusiasts focused on porting board games to digital platforms including  tablets, smartphones, PCs using iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to reprint Taj Mahal by Dr. Reiner Knizia. Originally released by Rio Grande in 2000 as #3 in the Alea box box series, the game had a 2006 reprint but has been out of print now for over a decade.

India has progressed and prospered, but that wealth could collapse at any moment. Instability and unrest plague the courts with petty concerns tearing the people apart. The Grand Mogul desperately seeks new leaders to carry India into a new age. Play your cards right and seize the opportunity to win the Grand Mogul’s favor as he tours across the beautiful provinces of India.
The game places player in Northwest India at the beginning of the 18th century as the rule of the Grand Moguls is fading. Maharishis and princes will take this opportunity to attempt to seize control of the region. Cunning potential rulers will influence forces, build palaces and create a supply of commodities until one one has enough power to win the game.

The goal of the game is simply to gain the most influence points. Influence points can be gained by either building palaces or by acquiring commodities. To build a palace a player first must gain the support of the Vizier, the General, the Monk, the Princess, or the Grand Mogul. The different commodities are gained in the game by taking control of a region or by taking them off of a space where a palace has been built.

The game plays out over twelve rounds, each starting with an auction for region control and for the support of the Vizier, General, Monk, Princess, and Grand Mogul. Using cards in four colors, each player will choose a color to play on each turn and use cards of that color to bid for the most useful auction items. For each member of the court a player has managed to influence more than  their opponents, they will claim the corresponding tokens. By carefully spending their cards players will control more of the board, gain more commodities, build incredible palaces, and gain enough influence to win the game.

Awards
When released in 2000 the game was a critical success, earning a spot on the 2000 Spiel des Jahres Recommended list. Awards and honors included:

Dr. Reiner Knizia

Dr. Reiner Knizia is one of the most award winning board game designers in history. Dr. Knizia has won the coveted Spiel des Jahres multiple times, and is a full time game designer in England. With a PhD in mathematics fueling his game design, he has over 500 games and books published both with self-designed themes and with global licenses including Lord of the Rings, LEGO, Mensa, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Monopoly, Playmobil, Simpsons and Star Wars.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to release an updated version of the The Count, King and Robber expansion for Carcassonne. Originally released in 2007, the new edition of this expansion will feature artwork compatible with the artwork that was updated in the 2014 edition of Carcassonne. The 6th Carcassonne expansion is scheduled for a May 2018 release.

New characters and starting points provide a fresh start for the classic tile-laying game. Choose to begin your adventure with the grand city itself, Carcassonne. Or wander along the edges of a new, winding river. Combine the new river tiles with those from the base game for a more complex river design.

The Count, King and Robber expand the world of Carcassonne with three new characters manipulating the game and how points are scored. The king tile will grant bonus points to whoever holds control of the largest city. Players seeking to explore distant parts of the Carcassonne kingdom will be rewarded for clan,ing bonus points for controlling the longest road with the robber.

The Count controls a new city in Carcassonne which contains for districts: the castle, market, cathedral, and blacksmith. The count will start in the castle but by adding a follower to the city players can move the count to new districts. The count’s location can free trapped followers while also blocking other followers from moving.

Heretics introduce a new mechanic to the game. Players will be able to build shrines to disrupt a monetary. If a shrine is placed next to an occupied monastery a challenge will occur. Players will need to race to complete their feature to be the one scoring points.

The River II adds twelve tiles with river features on each tile. The river tiles are placed first to create a variable starting setup to the game, after which the game continues as normal.

Previous small expansions

Before being released in 2007 as a box set, the expansions included in this collection were only available as small stand alone expansions. Both the 2007 and 2018 versions of The King, Count, and Robber include the following small expansions:

About Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, in which players take turns drawing and placing tiles to build the French world of Carcassonne. Each basic tile can include features from a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and the tile needs to be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played. Once a tile has been placed, the player then decides whether or not to place one of their meeples on one of the areas represented on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area the meeple is on is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

Carcassonne won multiple awards in 2001, including the coveted 2001 Spiel des Jahres.

 

In 2016 Codenames won the Spiel des Jahres, popularizing word based spy games. In 2018 Iello will release Decrypto by designer Thomas Dagenais–Lesperance, and artists Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez. Decrypto places two teams pitting against each other to correctly interpret the coded messages their partner is trying to send them while at the same time cracking the code of the opposite team.

In Decrypto two teams face off against each other. Each player has a screen with places for four words, numbered 1-4. A single word card is placed by each number. Players on your team see your four starting words, while the opposing team does not see your words.

In round one, each of the teams has one team member that takes a code card that shows a three digit code made up of a non-repeating set of the 1, 2, 3, 4 digits from the starting screen, e.g. 4-2-1. Only the one team member with the code card creates a three word code to get their team to try to guess the code. “For example, if the team’s four words are “pig”, “candy”, “tent”, and “son”, then you might say “child-mouth-tail” and hope that your teammates can correctly map those words to 4-2-1.” If your team does not guess correctly they get a black mark of failure. Two black marks and the team loses.

Following your team guess, the opposing team will note what the clues were for the opposite team and what numbers they corresponded to. In future rounds the opposing team will also have a chance to guess your numbered code without the advantage of seeing the original words under the screen numbers. If they guess correctly they receive an interception token. Two interceptions and a team wins.

The game continues until either a team has missed guessing their own clue correctly (losing the game) or intercepts twice (winning the game). The game plays with 3-8 players aged 12+ in around 30 minutes.

Box contents will include:

  • 2 super cool screens
  • 48 Code cards
  • 110 Keyword cards
  • 4 Interception tokens
  • 4 Miscommunication tokens
  • 50 Note sheets
  • 1 Sand Timer (30 seconds)
  • 1 rulebook

Decrypto will hit stores frequented by spies and game-players in the first quarter of 2018.

Sony Pictures is currently negotiating for the rights to adapt “Catan” into a movie. Apparently the studio is looking forward to turning Catan into a possible franchise, and is fast-tracking the film towards production. Could Knights and Seafarers follow in the future, or will the franchise pivot towards attracting 5-6 additional moviegoers?

If negotiations are successful, Gail Katz would produce the film. Katz has produced hit movies including Pawn Sacrifice, The Perfect Storm, In the Line of Fire, and Air Force One. Variety first reported in 2015 that she had acquired the rights.

“We’re excited to be working with Sony to bring the iconic world of Catan to life,” Katz said. “As huge fans of the game, we’re struck by the endless possibilities of stories that it could inspire. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to work in a world beloved by millions of people, and expand its story for the screen.”

Katz would be joined on the producing team by Dan Lin. Lin’s credits include The Departed, Terminator Salvation, Sherlock Holmes, The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie, and recent horror movie blockbuster remake It. Upcoming releases will including The Lego Movie Sequel, Aladdin, and Godzilla 2. Jonathan Eirich

Blaise Hemingway has been tapped to write the screenplay. Blaise has just one released film as writer, 2006 short film The Bracelet. Hemingway is credited as writer for two additional films in pre-production, Ugly Dolls and an untitled Playmobil Movie.

(Settlers of) Catan

Catan, designed by Klaus Teuber, has sold over 25 million copies worldwide and is available in 38 different language. It was often credited as launching a renaissance in board game design following its 1995 release. It spawned a seemingly endless stream of expansions, including the recently 2017 release Catan: Legends of the Sea Robbers.

In the original Catan 2-4 players try build settlements, cities, and roads in an effort to dominate the island of Catan. On each turn a pair of dice are rolled to determine what resources are produced on the island. Players whose cities and settlements are adjacent to resource producing hexes collect resource cards and spend them to build up their civilization in an attempt to get 10 victory points and win the game.

In 1995 Catan, then still referred to as Settlers of Catan, won the coveted Spiel des Jahres award and in 2001 was inducted in two the Originals Hall of Fame. A partial list of awards won includes:

In 2017 Kingdomino won the coveted 2017 Spiel des Jahres award. Designer Bruno Cathala and artist Cyril Bouquet have returned to the -domino world with Queendomino. Blue Orange Games is scheduled to release Queendomino in October at Spiel Essen 2017.

In the award winning Kingdomino players took on the role of  a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand their kingdoms. Players took dominoes with a combination of the games’ 4 terrain types and built out their kingdom, ensuring that at least one of its sides connected to a matching terrain type already in play. When taking the tile they will place, players also choose what tile they will place in the next round. More valuable tiles will provide a later spot in turn order in the next round.

The game ends when players have (ideally) completed a 5×5 grid. Some tiles contain crown symbols on them. At the end of the game players multiple each of their connected terrain types by the number of crowns in that connected terrain area.

Queendomino builds on these simple mechanics. Tiny knights earn your coins. Use the coins to buy pieces from the marketplace which you can place on the new red terrain to improve your kingdom… unless another player has already played the dragon and destroyed that piece from the market! Place tower pieces in your kingdom in an effort to earn the Queen’s favor.

While Queendomino is a stand alone sequel to Kingdomino, the two games can be combined to allow 4 players to play towards a 7×7 grid or for 6 players to play towards a 5×5 grid.