Splotter Spellen is a publishing house known for some of the most deep, strategic board games loved by the community, such as Roads and Boats, Food Chain Magnate and Indonesia. Unfortunately, the company is also known for small print runs, and several of their older games have become very difficult to obtain. Well one of those classics is coming back, as Capstone Games has just announced that they will be reprinting a 20th anniversary edition of Bus (1999) by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga, one of Splotter‘s earliest games. In Bus, 3-5 players build routes with buses, trying to deliver as many people as possible to their destinations. Players can achieve this goal by expanding their routes, buying more buses, or even expanding the city to include more destinations. No official date was given, but keep an eye out for this classic.
Following in the steps of Asmodee, Passport Games along with GTS Distribution have announced an exclusive deal to only distribute Passport Games product through GTS. This means that anything released by Passport Games Studio, Funforge, Splotter, Granna, Rule & Make, and ThunderGryph will now exclusively be supplied by GTS. The step was taken in an effort to better control the value of the product from publisher to retailer and to better support retailers, and hopefully it will be able to do just that. But since GTS is one of the largest distribution companies in the US, I don’t think anyone will have to worry about games disappearing from shelves. You can read more about the deal in the press release below.
After studying several changes in the North American marketplace in recent months, we are pleased to announce that Passport Game Studio products will be sold exclusively by GTS Distribution. We are confident that through tighter management of the distribution model, we can preserve the value of our products at the retail level for years to come. This arrangement is the best strategy for long term success for us and our retail partners as it ensures the highest possible value of products we represent in the marketplace, while delivering the best level of support throughout the entire inventory, marketing, and sales process.
Key changes for core hobby retail:
- Passport Game Studios will remain as a GTS brand, focused on bringing their partner studios’ games to the North American market.
- The GTS Distribution sales and marketing teams will handle all communications and services to hobby retailers for Passport-branded products moving forward.
- Passport titles in the U.S. are now exclusive to GTS Distribution, and will continue its international partnerships moving forward.
Passport’s partners and their titles include:
Funforge: (Tokaido, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time)
Splotter: (Food Chain Magnate, Antiquity)
Granna: (CV Line of Games)
Rule & Make: (Hand of Fate Ordeals, T2029: Terminator 2 Board Game)
ThunderGryph: (Tao Long, Dead Man’s Doubloons)
Z-Man Games has announced details about the latest iteration of the award-winning Pandemic series of games, Pandemic: Rising Tide. In this new cooperative game by pan-legend Matt Leacock and Splotter Spellen great Jeroen Doumen (Food Chain Magnate, Roads and Boats), players must battle the incoming seas instead of disease, to prevent flooding in the Netherlands. Blue cubes represent water coming inland, and players construct hydraulic engines in connected regions of water to pump the cubes out to sea. Take control of hydraulic engineers, sanitation workers or builders, building and repairing dikes to control the movement of water. Construction of massive hydraulic structures can earn great reward, as you make one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Read more about Pandemic: Rising Tide on Z-Man’s press release here. The game is due to hit game stores in late 2017. It should be noted that for each pre-order of Pandemic: Rising Tide, Z-Man will be donating to hurricane relief efforts.
Splotter Spellen is known for their crunchy euro games like Food Chain Magnate and Roads & Boats, so fans of those types of games will be happy to see two of their popular titles getting reprinted. The first game being reprinted is The Great Zimbabwe, a euro game where you are building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. In this game you want to build monuments to the gods you choose in order to win, but each god is different to build for and offers different benefits. So in order to build your monuments you have to build a trade network to be able to get the supplies you need for the construction. Build the most extravagant monuments and you will be the winner. Look for this game to be back on shelves in October.
Second is the economic game Indonesia, one all about controlling both the production of goods and their shipment. It is all a balancing game to make the most money as you acquire the production of goods, then transport those goods to cities that want them. But be careful, you still have to pay the ships that carried your goods, even if that results in a net loss in profits. So do your best and make the most money and you will be the winner of this game. Look for this game to be on store shelves in November.
Each year the International Gamers Awards are given out to the multiplayer and 2 player games that are deemed the best for that year. Some notable previous winners are games like Twilight Struggle, Agricola, and Terra Mystica. All highly rated and well respected games, so the nominees for this year are the cream of the gaming crop. One note is that while this is the 2016 award, the games eligible are those that have been released between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. And the nominees are;
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category
Blood Rage – Eric M. Lang, Guillotine Games / Cool Mini or Not
Codenames – Vlaada Chvatil, Czech Games Edition
Food Chain Magnate – Jeroen Doumen, Splotter Spellen
Grand Austria Hotel – Virginio Gigli & Simone Luciani, Lookout Games
Isle of Skye – Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Lookout Games
Mombasa – Alexander Pfister, Eggertspiele
Nippon – Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro & Paulo Soledade, What’s Your Game?
Pandemic Legacy – Rob Daviau & Matt Leacock, Z-Man Games
Quadropolis – Francois Gandon, Days of Wonder
T.I.M.E. Stories – Peggy Chassenet & Manuel Rozoy, Space Cowboys
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category
7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza & Bruno Cathala, Repos Productions
Patchwork – Uwe Rosenberg, Lookout Games
Raptor – Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti, Matagot
Star Wars: Rebellion – Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games
Trambahn – Helmut Ohley, Lookout Games
Interesting fact, 9 out of the 15 titles being nominated are in the top 100 of games in the entire BGG database. To see the list as well as previous year’s winners you can head on over to the International Gamers Awards website.
The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category. And the nominees are:
BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS
BEST CO-OP GAMES
BEST FAMILY GAMES
BEST GAME ARTWORK
BEST GAME EXPANSIONS
BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER
BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
BEST GAME REPRINT
BEST GAME THEMING
BEST PARTY GAME
BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME
BEST STRATEGY GAME
BEST TWO PLAYER GAME
MOST INNOVATIVE GAME