Spiel des Jahres

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.

Asmodee is celebrating the 7th anniversary of 7 Wonders, originally released in 2010, with two new mini expansion packs.

The first expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Leaders Anniversary Pack Expansion is an expansion to 7 Wonders: Cities, which was released in 2010 as the first 7 Wonders expansion. This anniversary pack will include at least fifteen new leaders to include in games of 7 Wonders. Characters from history will include Gorgo, Cornelia, Enheduanna, Roxana, and more. 7 Wonders Leaders added Leader cards to the base game. At the start of every game, each player drafts a hand of four leaders and can pay money to play one leader at the start of each of the three Ages.

The second expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Cities Anniversary Pack Expansion, is an expansion to the 7 Wonders: Cities expansion, which was released in 2012. The expansion pack will include at least fifteen new cities. City cards will include a memorial, customs, counterfeiter’s office, smuggler’s cache, and more. 7 Wonders: Cities was the second expansion for 7 Wonders. City cards were a new type if card in the game and aggressively increased the interaction between players in games.

7 Wonders & Many Awards

When released in 2010 7 Wonders was an instant hit, finding both popular and critical success. A sample of awards includes:

The game continues to make regular appearances on Dice Tower Top 10 lists, especially those focussed on higher player counts. Dice Tower Top 10 appearances include:

Games for Five Players – The People’s #1 game
6 Player Games – The People’s #1 game
7+ Player Games – The People’s #1 game

 

 

Ticket to Ride Designer Alan Moon appeared at the Dice Tower Live Show at GenCon 2017 to announce that the next Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 6 will explore France and the Old West.

Dive into thriving French culture during impressionism and the Industrial Revolution; street cafes, “Starry Night”, Paris Boulevards, and Notre-Dame. The French railroad system is a blank canvas just waiting for your masterful strokes. However, before you can start claiming routes, you’ll need to lay the track! Watch for your opponents, though, because they might claim the route you just spent so much time building… 

France

Ticket to Ride France takes players back to the era of impressionism and the Industrial Revolution. On this map no path is certain, as before claiming a route you first need to built the tracks and choose the colors that will be needed to actually claim the route with your trains. This mechanic is completely new to the Ticket to Ride franchise.

Ticket to Ride France follows the traditional choice of draw train cards, draw route cards or claim a route. In this expansion when a player draws train cards they also choose a route of track bed to add to the board. The board includes endless options for routes, but placing track bed for future routes will cut off many other route options other players may have wanted to lay beds for and the laid piece will also determine the color of the train cards that will be required for the route.

 

Old West

The flip-side of the map crosses the ocean to take players to the Old West for a map that holds up to 6 players. Each player will claim a home city their network will start from. The first route you claim must extend out from your starting city. All subsequent routes must also connect back to your home city or cities you have already built connections to. There will be no more reverse route building — you can never claim routes that aren’t already connected to your network.

Once a route card is completed a player can take one of the three city tokens they start with players can play two additional cards to claim the city.

After a player claims a route, they may place one of their city markers in either of the cities in the just completed route by playing a pair of cards of the same color (Locomotives can be used to replace one or both of these cards). Each city can only have one City Marker so two players cannot both con- trol the same city. Players will need to choose routes carefully, as every time a route is claimed that leads to a city controlled by one of their opponents the opponent will be the one to score the points.

What’s in the Box?

Volume 6 box contents include:

  • Maps of France and the Old West
  • 64 Track Pieces
  • A new set of trains
  • 18 Cities
  • Alvin the Alien Marker
  • Tickets & Rules for each Map

Rules are available now for both the France and Old West maps. The expansion will be available at Essen in late October and in early November in North America.

The Ticket to Ride Legacy
Released in 2004, Ticket to Ride is one of the biggest selling modern board game, and one with a rich legacy as an award winner. A select list of awards includes:

Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.

The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.

Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.

Creating New Galaxies and Federations

Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.

Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.

Starting on the Cutting Edge

You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.

Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.

Gaia Projects

Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.

A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.

A Legacy of Success

Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:

The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:

  • The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
  • The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
  • Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.

Stronghold Games has announced details on the Fast Forward™ Series which uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced by Friedemann Friese in Fabled Fruit.

Fabled Fruit was the first in the series, and Stronghold has announced that Fortress will be the second game using the Fable system.

A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress! FORTRESS is a game about risk taking, out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom, and second in our Fast Forward™ Series .

No rulebook reading is necessary in the second game in the series. Put 2-4 gamers around a table and discover constantly changing rules while playing the game. Similar to Fabled Fruit a pre-sorted deck of cards slowly introduces new rules to the games. Through 12 games of Fortress gamers can explore the entire set of rules. Each game takes approximately 15 minutes. Once complete it can be reset to be played once again by the same group or a new set of gamers.

Fabled Fruit was the first of the Fable games, now referred to as the Fast Forward Series. In the series a game starts in an initial and very simple set of cards and rules but as you play through the game system both the mechanisms and gameplay evolve.

Playing through the game multiple times each play changes the game slightly. Unlike Legacy games the game is never permanently altered. At any point you may easily reset a Fable game from the beginning either after playing through the entire set of cards or at any point partway through the game.

Awards

Fabled Fruit, the first in the series, was shortlisted on for a variety of awards:

  • 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended List
  • 2016 Golden Geek Most Innovative Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Family Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee

It’s official folks, the winners of the Spiel des Jahres awards have all been announced.  The winner for the Spiel des Jahres, game of the year, is the tile laying game, Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala.  This game beat out the two other games, Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp and Race to El Dorado by Reiner Knizia, to win the title.  Kingdomino is an easy to learn and easy to play game, but comes with some nice decision making, and fits well into the family friendly atmosphere of previous Spiel des Jahres winners.  The game is available now so check out your FLGS to get this now award winning family game.

Also announced today was the winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres, connoisseur/expert game of the year, which is EXIT the Game, a room escape series from Kosmos.  This beat out the first Kickstarter game to be nominated, Raiders of the North Sea, and the fan favorite in other awards, Terraforming Mars.  As of right now there are three EXIT games released with more having been announced, so check out your FLGS to grab a copy today.

As for the Kinderspieal des Jahres, kids game of the year, that was announced as Ice Cool last month, so you can see our previous article to find out more about that game.

The winners of the Spiel des Jahres and the Kinnerspiel des Jahres have yet to be picked, but they have chosen the Kinderspiel des Jahres winner.  And the winner is Ice Cool.

Ice Cool is definitely worthy of this title as it is a very fun dexterity game that works for adults and kids alike.  In the game you have one person being the hall monitor, trying to keep everyone in class, and everyone else are students trying to sneak away for a snack.  You will be flicking your weeble-wooble like penguin around the board trying to go through the doors with your color fish on them.  The more fish you collect the more points you get, and for the hall monitor, the more students you catch and take their ID from, the more points you get.  After everyone either gets their fish or the hall monitor catches everyone, the player being the hall monitor switches and you play another round.  Once everyone has been the hall monitor once you count up points, and the most points is the winner.

 

Days of Wonder has just released the award winning game Jaipur as an adaptation for mobile devices.

Now players can pick up mobile devices and tables to adopt a role as one of the most powerful merchants in Rajasthan in this two player game. Buy, trade and sell commodities for profit while using camels to cash in on end game bonuses. Win two out of three rounds to claim the title of the greatest merchant in the capital of Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The game is now available for mobile devices and tablets both in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store:

Asmodee and Days of Wonder have released a trailer for the app: YouTube Trailer.

Designed by Sébastien Cauchon and originally released as a small box card game by GameWorks SàRL Jaipur received much early critical success, including making it to the prestigious 2010 Spiel des Jahres recommended list. The game has also made the Dice Tower’s People’s Choice list for Best Games of 2009 and Eric placed it on his list of Top 10 Asmodee Games.

The 2017 Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. The “Game of the Year 2017” will be selected on July 17, 2017 in Berlin. There were several other games that made it to the jury’s “recommendation” list and they can be viewed on the official announcement here.

Game of the Year 2017 (Spiel des Jahres)

Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Prestigious tile laying for 2 to 4 crowned terrain planners
Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down !, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele
Cooperative shopping house break for 1 to 8 hectic heroes
Race to El Dorado of Reiner Knizia
Publisher: Ravensburger
Deck building in the jungle for 2 to 4 fast treasure hunters
Children’s Game of the Year 2017 (Kinderspiel des Jahres)
Captain Silver  by Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl
Publisher: Queen Games
Fast-paced treasure hunting for 2 to 4 sensitive pirates from 6 years
ICECOOL  by Brian Gomez
Publishing house: Amigo Interlaced snips for 2 to 4 ice-cold schoolchildren from 6 years
The Mysterious Forest  of Carlo A. Rossi
Publisher: Iello, Vertrieb. Yikes! & Friends
Adventurous journey for 2 to 4 clever scouts from 6 years
Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year 2017 (Kennerspiel des Jahres)
Exit – The Game * by Inka Brand and Markus Brand
Publisher: Kosmos
Congenial Knobeleien for 1 to 6 (our recommendation: 1 to 4) creative cryptologists
* “The Abandoned Hut”, “The Secret Laboratory”, “The Grave Chamber of Pharaoh”
Raider of the North Sea by Shem Phillips
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Plentiful plundering for 2 to 4 walkers-worshiping Vikings

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Planetary project development for 1 to 5 climate changing corporate boards