Spiel 2011 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nuremberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2011, which takes place October 20-23. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. For some smaller publishers, I've included titles released since Spiel 2010.

Details about the Spiel 2011 Preview: While this Preview might appear to be a standard Geeklist, BGG admin and superhero Daniel Karp has modified it to present games in a manner useful for Spiel attendees and for anyone researching information about games that will debut at the show. Specifically:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading.

-----• If a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being in different languages, then each version will appear under its own publisher. I will endeavor to note such things in the "Other information" section below a game's description.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this Geeklist will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• Not all of the information on a game's page is included. We want to provide enough details to let you decide whether to investigate further.

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you will receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• As with a regular Geeklist, if you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Please choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special nature. (Publishers are added automatically as game versions are added, so there's no item connected to those publisher listings that you can hide.)

-----• As more details emerge, I will add publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and much more.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, many in languages that aren't my native tongue, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2011 release – please send me Geekmail or email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: Cocktail Games
76. Board Game: Casse-toi Pov'con! [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:8860]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

This title of this game refers to the infamous incident in 2008 when French President Nicolas Sarkozy, while wading through a sea of citizens, was caught on camera saying, "Casse-toi, pauvre con!" (more or less "Get lost, idiot") to a man who refused to shake his hand.

In Casse-toi Pov'con! you take on the role of either a right or left-wing politician (with names like Nicolas or Ségolène). There are certain types of people you like to meet, and others whom you would rather avoid. Ever present journalists can also be an irritating nuisance.

A stack of cards, representing a large crowd of people, is spread on the table. All players simultaneously race to find the types of cards that agree with their chosen politician. Some cards, however, cause your character stress. When you pass a certain threshold beyond which you cannot keep your cool (8 stress points), you stop searching through cards to yell "Casse-toi pauvre con!" and then the round ends. You track your popularity points on the score track. Whoever is the most popular at the end of the game will win the election!

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77. Board Game: Foutrak [Average Rating:6.34 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

Foutrak is a speedy pattern-recognition game from Cocktail Games in which players duel to claim cards.

On a turn, the active player challenges one of the other players. They then turn over the top card of the deck. Each card has 1-4 numbered illustrations on it, and each illustration is either yellow, blue or green. If an illustration is yellow, the players must make an action appropriate for the image; if blue, the player must make an appropriate sound; and if green (i.e., blue + yellow), the player must make both sound and action.

Whichever player first makes the appropriate combination of sounds and actions in the right order claims the card. (The other players can serve as judge to determine the winner.) Whoever claims the most cards wins the game.

• Texte de Cocktail games pour présenter le jeu.

"Alors, quand ma carte a un fond jaune, je dois faire des gestes… et quand j’ai une carte bleue, je paye l’addition, c’est ça ?". Pas de panique, reprenons au début ! Foutrak est un jeu d’observation et de rapidité complètement farfelu qui vous propose de faire des bruitages et des mimes. À chaque tour a lieu un duel entre 2 joueurs. Le joueur actif choisit un adversaire puis retourne une carte. Il s’agit alors de réaliser ce qui est indiqué sur les illustrations de la carte avant son camarade. C’est là que les choses se compliquent. Toute illustration sur fond jaune invite les joueurs à mimer ce qui y est représenté (un lapin, un accordéon, etc.). Si un dessin sur fond bleu apparaît, vous devrez faire le bruit correspondant (miauler si c’est un chat, par exemple). Enfin, le fond vert invite à mimer et bruiter l’image (ah, le singe…). Les cartes de jeu contiennent de une à quatre illustrations numérotées. Les joueurs sont ainsi informés de l’ordre dans lequel ils doivent effectuer les actions de chaque carte. Mais attention : une image comprenant un élément rose doit être ignorée, et il faut crier "Foutrak" si le bonhomme zinzin est présent sur la carte retournée ! Vous remportez une carte à chaque bonne réponse, plus un bonus avec les cartes Foutrak. Pour l’emporter, soyez le joueur ayant glané le plus de cartes !

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78. Board Game: Manga Party [Average Rating:5.32 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Manga Party comes with two copies of 26 cards (one with red back, one with beige) that each feature a scene drawn manga-style; it's up to the players to bring the party!

To set up the game, the 26 beige cards are laid face-up on the table. Three red-backed "mime" cards are shuffled with the 26 red-backed scene cards to form a deck.

On a turn, the active player draws the top card from the deck, then acts out a scene, complete with whatever thoughts, cries, declarations, etc. best fit the word bubble or thought bubble on the card. The other players race to identify which beige card matches the scene being acted out. Each player can choose only one card, and no card can be chosen more than once. If the correct card is chosen, the guesser scores the beige card and the actor keeps the red card; otherwise both scene cards are removed from the game and the actor takes the "Malus" card (whether from the table or another player).

If a player draws a Mime card, he discards it, draws the next card, and acts out the scene but without any dialogue or sounds.

The game ends when either two beige cards remain on the table or after the third Mime card has been resolved. Players scores one point per card collected, with the holder of the Malus card losing one point. The player with the most points wins.

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79. Board Game: Ouga Bouga [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:3005]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

We return to ancient days, when man lived in caves and woman lived in adjoining caves and their language consisted of little more than grunts and gestures. Primitive though we may have been, we still dreamed of ruling over everyone else as leader of the clan!

In Ouga Bouga players need to repeat a series of guttural noises, then add to the chain. At the start of each round, players are dealt three cards face-down and those cards remain hidden; each card shows a "word" and associated illustration – "Miti" for woolly mammoth and "Atrrr" for fire. The first player of the round lays a card in the center of the table, makes the noise, then points at another player, saying "Ha!" That player must add a card, repeat both sounds in order, then choose someone other than the player who chose him. Some cards have actions and add a gesture such as sticking out your tongue or pounding the table.

A round ends one of two ways: (1) A player is accused of messing up, with accusers pointing at him and saying "Ho!" If the accusation is correct, the player "scores" all cards in the center, plus one card from each accuser; if not, then the accusers split the cards among themselves. (2) A player adds his third card to the pile and correctly repeats all the sounds, ending with "Ouga Bouga!" As a reward, he distributes the cards in the center, as well as any penalty cards previously collected, among all the players.

After a round ends, every player refills his hand to three cards and another round begins. If not enough cards remain, the game ends and the player with the fewest cards wins.

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Copag has not booth at Spiel 2011, and neither does its distributor Galápagos Jogos. Instead Galápagos' Renato Silva Sasdelli will be at the convention with copies of Recicle: Tempos de Crise (€33), Robin Hood (€18) and Convocados for sale and copies of O Último Grande Campeão and O Vale dos Monstros for demonstration.

Says Silva Sasdelli, "The public can contact me by geekmail or on e-mail: vendas@galapagosjogos.com.br" to arrange meeting times for sales or demonstrations. He notes that English rules for all games will be available on the Galápagos Jogos website prior to the opening of Spiel 2011. His BGG username is:

Renato Sasdelli
Brazil
São Paulo
SP
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80. Board Game: Convocados [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:8002]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Portuguese
Spanish
Description:

In CONVOCADOS (Drafted), players (coaches) compete to form the best football line up and win the duel.
Each coach have in front of him 3 main sections of the field: DEFENCE, MIDFIELD and ATTACK
The coach who win 2 sections is consider the winner, and to do so, he will have to draft and put on the field the best players.

You can choose between 2 formations you recieve in the beginning of the duel (4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3). That means that if you choose 4-4-2, you'll be able to line up 4 Defenders, 4 Midfielders and 2 Forwarders.

Each player have three points assigneds, depending where (sector) you line him up, he will contribute with different points.
The game comes with 8 great national teams: Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, France and Uruguay, and the players have points accordingly to his country historical ways of playing.

In this easy-to-learn card game, decisions happen all the time, tactical cards such as the "Richard the octopus" or "injury" can change the game strategy in just a second!!!

Who will you draft for yout team?

Other Information: • Price €4; see the publisher heading for ordering information.
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Board Game Publisher: Cranio Creations
• Booths 9-57 and 9-60

• Cranio Creations has preorder information for pick-up at Spiel 2011 on its website, with discounts for most titles on sale at the show and a ten-card bonus expansion for Dungeon Fighter.
81. Board Game: Dungeon Fighter [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:631]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
Italian
Description:

Explore spooky dungeons, find glorious treasure, buy powerful magic items, and challenge the most horrible creatures. Will your party be able to defeat the final boss?

In Dungeon Fighter, a fully cooperative board game, players take on the roles of heroes venturing deep into a three-tier dungeon. Along the way, they explore the dungeon, search its many rooms, and face endless hordes of vicious monsters. Best of all, your skill determines the ability of your character. Can you kill Medusa without looking into her eyes, defeat the Minotaur in the labyrinth, or resist the breath of the dragon? Will you be able to hit a target by throwing the dice under your leg with your eyes closed?

You will feel truly part of a centuries-old battle between good and evil...with a touch of foolish stupidity.

Other Information:
• Price €35

• Italian-language edition, not English as previously listed. Cranio Creations has said that it will probably have English rules for the game at Spiel 2011, and it's currently investigating licensing for a standalone English-language version.

• Anyone who preorders Dungeon Fighter for pick-up at Spiel 2011 – details in the publisher listing above – will receive a ten-card bonus expansion.
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82. Board Game: Horse Fever [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:877]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Horse Fever transports players to a setting based on the noir novels of the 1930s, where each player is called on to impersonate rich bettors that will use any means necessary to cause the bets they place to pay off. They will fix races, bribe bookmakers, make horses fall asleep, buy stables and borrow money from the Mob in order to gain victory for their bets.

Horse Fever has three different game modes: Board Game, Family Game and Party Game. These three different modes enable each kind of player to have a good time. The Board Game will enable expert players to discover a game based on an endless number of strategies; the Family Game will enable little players and families to get to know the basic game dynamics while playing a simpler but yet just as fun game; the Party Game will transform Horse Fever into a platform for a potentially endless number of players and turn any boring party into the most entertaining event of the century.

Other Information: • Price €35

• This is the second edition of Horse Fever with new horse tokens, revised and rewritten rules, rules for six players and new cards.
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Board Game Publisher: Cwali
• Booth 12-24

• Individual game prices are listed under each title. Designer/publisher Corné van Moorsel also has the following discount bundles for Spiel 2011:

—Any two 2011 releases for €49 or €37 (15% discount)
—Any three 2011 releases for €65 or €54 (25% discount)
—All four 2011 releases for €70
83. Board Game: Ab in die Tonne [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5151]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

In Ab in die Tonne, players are throwing away their garbage—but in a contest of sorts. Each player has the same items to throw away and they'll throw them away in the same order; whoever packs their trash best wins, but you want to keep your hands clean, so no rearranging is allowed once something drops below the rim!

Each player has the same fifteen pieces of garbage: a coat hanger, an old cooking pan, a slice of pizza, and so on. Each player also has a cardboard garbage can that consists of a flat playing area with a raised border that is tilted to create a slide of sorts. The top of the garbage can has a vertical series of numbered lines used to calculate a player's score.

The start player chooses one item, then each player takes that item, places it above the green line on their garbage can playing board, then "drops" the item into the can. The next player then chooses one of the remaining items, and everyone drops this item, too. Players cannot touch trash in the can.

Once all the items are in the bin, a player's score is the largest numbered line covered by some portion of the trash. After two more rounds, now with special chewing gum rules(!), the player with the lowest cumulative score wins.

Other Information: • Price €29 (discounts for multiple purchases detailed in the publisher listing)

• Van Moorsel mentions that he has only 300 copies of Ab in die Tonne, and he's not sure yet whether the borders for the trashcans can be glued in time, but he offers the following words of comfort, "Glue available in the Essen-booth. "
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84. Board Game: Champions 2020 [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:4310]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 40 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 11 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Champions 2020 has the same main mechanisms as StreetSoccer, which was published in 2002. Both games were developed in parallel over a thirty-year period. Why is the game set in 2020? A few soccer rules changed by that year, making the game more fluid.

While StreetSoccer simulates soccer with five players on a side on a small square, Champions 2020 simulates stadium soccer, so the field is bigger. As coach you select 11 players as a starting line-up (goalie, defenders, midfielders, forwards), while the rest of your team starts in the dug-out for possible substitutes (after warming up).

Your professional soccer players are more skilled than street soccer players, which leads to spectacular stadium matches. Players can try to hit passing balls, which can lead to throw-ins, corner-kicks and goalie-kicks. As skilled team players, your players can anticipate on passes. Your goalie is skilled, too. With good positioning he has the best save chances, which depends on the speed of the shot and the distance to the ball. A rebound is possible, but a better save is catching the ball in his hands.

Unfortunately, the players are "skilled" in causing fouls (or "schwalbes"), too. As soccer coach, you can't always control your players – and that leads to free kicks, penalty kicks, yellow/red cards and injuries.

For tournaments the yellow/red cards, injuries, extra time, penalty kicks and stats make the soccer simulation complete.

Other Information: • Price €29 (discounts for multiple purchases detailed in the publisher listing)
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85. Board Game: Meltdown 2020 [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:4880]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

It's 2020, and a disaster has occurred, damaging nuclear reactors around the country. There's no time to lose; your help is required, and you must lead an evacuation operation to get your people to safety. Rescue them in time!

The game board in Meltdown 2020 is composed of twelve tiles, each consisting of seven hexes. Seven nuclear reactors and two airfields are scattered amongst the landscape hexes that make up the remainder of the country. At the start of the game, your color-coded twenty people and three vehicles (car, bus, helicopter) are placed on their designated hexes. You need to get them to the airfields to save them, preferably before they absorb too much radiation. You can airlift a vehicle out of an airfield, too, to save the driver, but then you have fewer opportunities to save more people.

Each turn proceeds as follows:

  • Radiation outburst – Roll the eight-sided die and place a radiation counter on the numbered reactor (or nowhere if an 8 is rolled).
  • Move buses – In player order, move a bus up to two spaces, with a maximum of four passengers at any one time. You can pick up and drop your color-coded passengers as you wish. Vehicles can't enter a reactor hex and can't end the turn in the same space as another player's vehicle (except the airfield, which holds any number of vehicles).
  • Radiation outburst – Same as above.
  • Move cars – Same movement rules, but cars can move up to three spaces while holding at most three passengers.
  • Radiation reparation – Roll the eight-sided die, then remove a radiation counter (if present) from the numbered reactor.
  • Move helicopters – Same movement rules, but helicopters can move up to four spaces while holding at most two passengers.
  • Radiation sickness – People next to a reactor absorb 1 Sievert radiation (1 Sv) for each counter on a reactor. People one space away absorb that many Sv minus one; people two spaces away absorb that many minus two; and so on. A person can absorb radiation from more than one reactor.

When a person's token absorbs 1 Sv, lay it on its side to show that it's ill; when it absorbs 2 Sv, lay it on its back (very ill); a person absorbing 3 Sv or more dies and is removed. Radiation sickness is cumulative. People stay in their positions even after being evacuated. Vehicle drivers die only if they absorb 3 Sv or more from a single reactor in a single turn.

The start player position rotates each round. The game ends immediately when one reactor receives a fifth counter or a 16th counter is to be placed on the game board. The player who has rescued the most people wins. In case of a tie, the player with more healthy people wins, with subsequent ties being broken by the number of ill vs. very ill people.

Other Information: • Price €29 (discounts for multiple purchases detailed in the publisher listing)
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86. Board Game: Mondriaan 2020 [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:5683]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Mondriaan 2020 is a tile-placement game in which players create abstract images over the course of the game that resemble the work of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian (whose last name was originally spelled "Mondriaan"). But the players aren't working collaboratively – no, they want to make strong color connections for their own glory.

One player starts with a yellow tile, the other with a red tile. Twenty-one other tiles have some combination of red, blue and yellow on them, with each corner being a solid color. One tile is placed randomly on the table as a starting tile, and the other tiles are randomly distributed between the two players.

On a turn, a player adds one tile to the layout. The tile must be adjacent to at least one tile already on the board, and the colors of the just-placed tile must match all adjacent tiles, even if they touch only at a corner. The player scores points by adding to colored areas already on the board; he scores one point for each tile in a colored area that he adds to, while scoring no points for the tile just placed. (The starting player begins with five points.)

A player must add a tile to the layout on his turn, discarding a tile instead if one can't be placed. After all tiles have been placed or discarded, the player with the most points wins.

  • Re-implemented as: TRIFUSION, allowing up to 4 players.
Other Information: • Price €15 (discounts for multiple purchases detailed in the publisher listing)
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Board Game Publisher: Czech Board Games
• Booth 9-21 (occupied by Altar s.r.o., Czech Board Games, Jira's Games, Liglass Trading/Tony Games, and Rebel)
87. Board Game: Infarkt [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2348]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
Czech
English
German
Slovak
Description:

Your day job fiercely competes for every bit of free time and patience with the demands of family life and the lure of hobbies. The consequences of wild nightlife, sloth and other sins are barely balanced by the occasional burst of sport activity and more-or-less random jabs at a healthy lifestyle.

Sound familiar? No, we are not talking about your life, but about what you are up against in Infarkt ("Heart Attack"), a party game in which you want to be the last one left at the party – literally.

Each player has an individual player board on which she'll track her blood pressure, depression, lung health, weight and so on. Everyone starts out as healthy as possible, with some money ($1) in the pocket, too. Each round, a number of event cards equal to one more than the number of players is revealed. In turn, each player will choose an event card and suffer the effects of that card, moving her health indicators as needed. Did you run out of gas? Or have a bout of diarrhea? Man, life sucks.

Players then simultaneously deploy three action markers to indicate where they plan to go that day: the supermarket, the office, a pharmacy, a flea market, the gym, and so on. In turn order, players then execute all three of their actions in whatever order they desire. Maybe you'll hit the office to earn money, but at the cost of having your depression grow more intense. A trip to the supermarket will let you buy food, which you can then eat later at home or give to your neighbors who come to the party you throw. Force them to eat cake and get fat! If you have extra money on hand, you might want to visit the pharmacy to buy drugs; you never know what the pharmacist will give you, but if you don't like it (or the food you've acquired), you can hit the flea market to swap food and drugs – and maybe pick up some change in the bargain.

At the end of the round, you check your health levels to see whether your body is deteriorating without you even knowing. Get too depressed, for example, and the depression only gets worse; high blood pressure can affect your blood cholesterol level, and vice versa. If a health indicator rises to the tombstone at the top of the column, you've partied your last and are now out of the game. (Everyone else has to chip in for the funeral, suffering depression if they can't afford to pony up for a decent burial for a good friend like you.) The last player alive in the game wins and dances on the graves of everyone else!

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88. Board Game: Speedway Champion [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Croatian
Czech
English
German
Show More »
Description:

Start up your engine, find the ideal track and leave your opponents behind. Follow the Golden Line to victory. This game simulates real speedway races and lets you and your fellow players to take part in nerve-wracking races in the comfort of home. Experience not only the ride, but also what it is to set up a bike for a race. Faithful models of motorcycles move around the track without frames and the help of an ingenious distance gauge. Bikes perform the classic speedway skid when going around corners. The speed of motorbikes depends on their position on the oval as well as the tuning of the motorcycle and chance, as decided on the throw of a dice. Chance alone, however, is not enough to win; you have to be able to tell when luck will help a bit and some healthy risk-taking is required, and when it is better to step on the gas. The game can be enjoyed with children and friends

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Board Game Publisher: Czech Games Edition
• Booth 4-310

• Petr Murmak at CGE says, "We will have some small bonuses for these games for gamers who buy these games from us." He adds, "We want to start with voting for which pet from Dungeon Petz people like most and based on popularity we will make buttons with these pets for Essen."

• As for preorders, the CGE website advises interested parties to relax and saunter over to the booth whenever you're ready to spill some cash: "For this year's Essen we have provided enough copies of our games, that we can be sure they won't run out on Thursday or Friday. That's why you don't have to reserve our games in advance."
89. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:86]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Description:

Become the leader of an imp family that has just started a new business – breeding and selling petz. Sound simple and safe? Well, we forgot to mention that those petz are for Dungeon Lords. This means magical, playful, sometimes angry monsters that constantly desire attention and at the very moment you want them to demonstrate their qualities to buyers they are sick or they poop. Sometimes you are even glad that you got rid of them – but the profit is unbelievable.

Dungeon Petz is a standalone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. The game consists of several rounds in which players use unusual worker placement mechanisms (players simultaneously prepare different sized groups of imps in order to play sooner than others) to prepare themselves for the uneasy task of raising creature cubs and pleasing their different needs (represented by cards) in order to sell them as grown and scary creatures to Dungeon Lords. In the meantime, they also attend various contests in which they show off their pets, scoring additional points.

Other Information: • Price €35

• Z-Man Games will distribute Dungeon Petz after Spiel 2011.

• Available only in English at Spiel 2011, then appearing later in Czech, German and French editions. I'm not sure of the co-publishers at this time and will split the version as needed once I know more.

• As announced on its website, CGE will give away Dungeon Petz button badges as a Spiel 2011 bonus.
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90. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion is just as big as the Big one: New tiles, new support team to be hired to enhance your shipbuilding experience, new ship classes, including huge IVB ships.

Yes, you may also fly round IV, and you can be sure the cards are extra nasty there – especially the intruders that board your ship, wander around, and eat or blow up your stuff, unless your heroic crew beats them. Wait... that's a different game, right? Aren't we speaking rather about Space Alert now? Well...it seems this "let's board a ship and eat its crew" mode spreads pretty fast in the known universe these days, as with this expansion, it can happen also in Galaxy Trucker.

Other Information: • As noted in the comments below, Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion will not be on sale at Spiel 2011 but instead available from CGE's publishing partners shortly after the convention. That said, CGE's Petr Murmak says, "We will have a prototype with final graphics with us and we would love to show it to anyone who is interested."
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91. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:235] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In his last will, your rich uncle stated that all of his millions will go to the nephew who can enjoy money the most. How to find out which nephew should be rich? You will each be given a large amount of money and whoever can spend it first will be the rightful heir. Visit the most exclusive theatres or eat in the most expensive restaurants. Buy old properties for the price of new ones and sell them as ruins. Host a huge party in your mansion or on your private boat. Spend like your life would depend on it. Spend to become rich! If you're the first to run through the money on hand, you'll receive the rest of his inheritance – oh, and win the game.

In Last Will, each player starts with a certain amount of money, an individual player board, two errand boys and two cards in some combination of properties and helpers. At the start of each round, lay out cards from the appropriate decks on the offering boards; the four regular decks are properties, companions, events, helpers and expenses, with special cards forming a deck of their own. The particular mix of cards varies by round and by the number of players.

Each player then chooses a plan for the round, with each plan indicating the number of cards the player draws (drawn immediately from the four regular decks in any combination), how many errand boys he can use later (one or two), the number of actions available to him that round, and his spot in the playing order that round. In the playing order for that round, players then take turns choosing an action with their errand boy(s), with those actions being:

  • Take a card on display and add it to your hand.
  • Draw a card from any regular deck – This can be chosen only once by each player.
  • Visit the opera and spend $2.
  • Adjust the value modifiers in the property market.
  • Take a player board extension, thereby giving you room to play more cards.

Players then take actions in the playing order for that round, with each player having as many actions as indicated on his plan. Actions let you play one-time events (which have a cost, possibly variable); helpers and recurring expenses (which are placed on your individual player board); and properties (which cost money and may depreciate over time). You can often play companions with events or recurring expenses – of course you should bring a date to the opera or a horse on your yacht! – to increase their cost. You can also use actions to activate cards on your player board, possibly with one or more companions and always with the goal of spending money. Helpers and special cards can provide you with unique powers to further boost your profligacy.

At the end of each round, you must discard down to two cards in hand, and properties that can depreciate do so; this is good as a player cannot go bankrupt if he owns properties, and the only way to get rid of properties is to sell them, which regretably puts money back in your hands unless the depreciation was intense or you manipulate the market.

If a player has no money and no properties, he declares bankruptcy and the game ends at the conclusion of that round; otherwise the game ends after seven rounds. The player who has the least money (or even who is most in debt) wins.

Other Information: • Price €30

• Rio Grande Games will distribute Last Will after Spiel 2011.

Last Will will also be available in German at Spiel 2011, presumably from Heidelberger Spieleverlag, although possibly also at the CGE booth. An edition in Czech will follow as well.

• CGE has noted on its website that anyone who purchases Last Will from them at Spiel 2011 will receive a Last Will: Play Order Board. From the announcement: "[S]ome hardcore gamers felt that the starting player for each round was not distributed fairly enough in the game, with only some players being the starting player more than once. We prepared this bonus especially for them."
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92. Board Game: Pictomania [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:590]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Pictomania is a drawing game in which everyone is both drawing and guessing at the same time, giving a chance for those who excel only at one or the other skill to crush the dreams of other players.

Pictomania lasts five rounds, and at the start of each round, you set up six randomly drawn cards on card racks visible to all players. Cards are double-sided, come in four levels of difficulty, and include seven related words on a single side. In addition to a set of guessing cards, scoring tokens, marker and drawing board, each player receives one symbol card and one number card, which together indicate which word or phrase on the revealed cards that player must draw. Bonus tokens equal to one less than the number of players are placed in the center of the table.

Players simultaneously look at their cards and start to draw. While drawing, they can also watch what others are doing and place a guess card on that player's stack. Only one guess per player is allowed, and once you make a guess, you can't change your mind. Other players will ideally be playing guess cards on your stack, too. Once you have finished drawing and guessing – and you're not required to do either – take the highest-valued bonus token from the center of the table and take no other actions. Once the final bonus token is claimed, the round ends.

One by one, players reveal what they were drawing and the guesses that others made. Those who guess your word earn one of your scoring tokens, with early guessers earning more points, while those who guess incorrectly have their card placed in the center of the table. Once all the guesses are resolved, you determine the black sheep – the player who made the worst guesses. If a single player has more cards in the center of the table then anyone else, then his bonus token (if any) counts as negative points. What's more, if no one guessed your word, then you throw away your bonus token, scoring nothing for it. You sum positive points for the round (a bonus token scored, and scoring tokens from the words you guessed correctly), then subtract points for the black sheep "bonus" and all the scoring tokens you didn't give away to determine your final score for the round, which could be negative.

Reset the bonus and scoring tokens, set up six new cards, hand out the symbol and number cards and start another round. The player with the highest score after five rounds wins.

Other Information: • Price €25

Pictomania will also be available in German at Spiel 2011, presumably at the Pegasus Spiele booth, although possibly also (or only) at the CGE booth.

• CGE has announced that its Spiel 2011 goodie for Pictomania will be an extra pack of geek-related words. Helpful advice from CGE: "You may want to remove these cards when playing with 'normal' people."
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Board Game Publisher: Days of Wonder
• Booth 12-68
93. Board Game: Small World: Tunnels [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 80 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
French
German
Spanish
Description:

Small World: Tunnels, a free mini-expansion that debuted at Spiel 2011 in October, allows players to use both Small World and Small World Underground at the same time, using a dozen cavern markers as tunnel entrances to move from one game board to the other. Six tunnel entrances, numbered 1-6, point down from Small World to Underground, while the other six point up to mark the corresponding tunnel exits.

Small World: Tunnels allows for up to six players to compete at the same time, and the rulebook details how to set up the two game boards to accommodate different player numbers, which terrain types are equivalent, and so on. This expansion will subsequently be available at game stores in Europe and the U.S.

The Small World: Tunnels pieces can also be found in the Small World: Realms expansion.

Other Information: • Price €0!
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94. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
Danish
Dutch
English
Finnish
Show More »
Description:

Days of Wonder's Ticket to Ride Map Collection is a series of expansions for Alan R. Moon's Ticket to Ride, with each expansion including a double-sided game board and destination tickets and rules for those locations.

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 - Team Asia & Legendary Asia presents players with two set-ups on Earth's largest continent:

Team Asia from Alan R. Moon – Four or six players compete as two-player teams, with teammates sitting next to one another at the table. Each player has her own secret hand of cards and tickets, in addition to some cards and tickets being placed in a shared cardholder that either player on the team can access.

When a player draws cards, she must place one card in the cardholder and the other in her hand (unless she takes a face-up locomotive, in which case it must be shared); when a player draws tickets, the first ticket kept must be placed in the cardholder and any additional tickets kept added to her hand. A player can spend her turn to add two tickets from her hand to the cardholder. A team's points are tracked collectively, and the team with the highest score wins.

Legendary Asia from François Valentyne – The main change in this set-up is that some of the routes through Asia are labeled mountain routes, with one or more spaces on the route bearing an X. Whenever a player claims one of these routes, she must place a train from her reserve in the Mountain Crossing area of the game board, earning two points for each such train but losing access to them for the rest of the game. The player who connects to the most cities in a single network earns a ten point "Asian Explorer" bonus.

Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe is required to use the maps in this expansion.

Other Information: • Price $30/€28

• This expansion debuts at Spiel 2011 and is expected to be available at retailers in late October 2011.
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Board Game Publisher: DDD Verlag GmbH
• Booth 9-29

• Only a revised edition of 1655 - Habemus Papam for Spiel 2011, with a second edition of Uruk – featuring better rules, new artwork and some minor tweaks – due to appear Q1 2012.
95. Board Game: 1655: Habemus Papam [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2383]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Rome, 1655 Anno Domini. An announcement shocks the whole of Christendom: Pope Innocent X has died. With lightning speed, cardinals travel to Rome, the center of religious power and intrigue. The suspense is palpable when the players take on the roles of Preferiti—the most likely candidates to ascend to the Holy See—and try to gain as many votes as possible, using bribery, beguilement, and tactical calculation. In the end, only the cardinal with all the votes money can buy as well as proven mastery on the political stage will be elected pope.

One thing is for certain: once the white smoke rises, everybody will know: "Habemus papam! We have a pope!"

Contents: 120 playing cards, 52 gems, 4 view screens, 1 card base, 1 rules booklet, 1 information sheet.

In DDD Verlag blog:

In 1655 - Habemus Papam, players are at a papal election. The conclave of 1655 is the theme in this new card game from DDD Verlag. Here, players will try to have the most votes and see the rise off the white smoke. Whoever as the most votes wins and is proclaimed the new pope.

Other Information: • Revised rules in this second edition of the game.
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Board Game Publisher: Deinko Games
• Booth 4-102
96. Board Game: Cupeed [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Korean
Description:

In Cupeed, players want to be the first to build a 3x3x3 cube – dubbed a 333 cube by the publisher – from the parts available to them.

At the start of a round, the 27 wooden blocks – with each block being composed of 3-5 connected cubes – are laid on the game board. These blocks come in four colors, and all the blocks of a single color can be assembled into a 333 cube, although some are more difficult to construct than others. Each player receives a hand of five cards from the deck of 55 cards. Cards come in two types:

Block card – which shows a color and a number from 3 to 5. By playing this card, you choose a block that matches the specifications on the card and add it to your collection of blocks.

Function card – which allows you to take a special action on your turn: taking an opponent's block or forcing a swap with an opponent, choosing a block of your choice, forcing all players to return a block, and cancelling one of the aforementioned special actions.

At the start of the game, all players reveal the block cards in their hands, and the player with the lowest sum of numbers chooses blocks first, then the next player, and so on. Thus, each player will start with a different collection of blocks and possibly a different number of cards in hand. On a turn, a player first draws a card. If he has two or fewer cards in hand, he can play one card or end his turn. If he has 3-5 cards, he must either play a card, discard a card, or discard a block from his collection. If he has six cards, he must play a card.

The first player to assemble a 333 cube with no extra blocks and no protrustions or holes in the structure wins the round. The first player to win two rounds wins the game. If you assemble a 333 cube from nine blocks or in a single color, then you win the game instantly.

Other Information: • Price €44 / $60

• Note that DEINKO was present at Spiel 2010, and Cupeed debuted in Europe at that show, but the game hasn't appeared on any Geeklists and seems to have been overlooked by all, so I thought I'd plop it on this list since I love to highlight the unusual and obscure...
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97. Board Game: Help Me! [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:6290]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Korean
Description:

Polar bears, koalas, emperor penguins, cute little panda bears – they all need your help to survive, but alas only one species (and one player) can come out on top in Help Me!

The game includes 30 animal tiles, with six different types of animals, each valued 1-5. To set up the game, randomly create a 5x6 grid of animal tiles. Each player secretly chooses one of the six animal character tiles to see which animal they want to save.

On a turn, a player chooses any tile or stack of tiles and moves the tile/stack orthogonally onto an adjacent tile/stack. You can't move a tile to an empty space. When no more tiles/stacks can be moved, the game ends. Each player then reveals his animal character and takes all stacks that have that type of animal on top. The player scores one point for each tile he collects; in addition, if any of the type of animal are within a stack (not on top), the player scores points equal to the value of that buried animal tile.

The rules include a team variant in which players combine their scores at the end of the game, but don't know which animals their teammates are trying to save. Watch for tears and other clues of sadness when particular animals disappear from the board...

Other Information: • Price €18 / $25
 
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98. Board Game: Illusion [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Korean
Description:

Have you seen that flower in the garden before? Are you sure? To become a master gardener, you must prove that you can identify all blooms you see and remember where they are located, and Illusion will test those memory and recognition skills.

The game lasts three rounds. To set up a round, each player takes 4-5 life points and someone shuffles the flower deck, then lays out the four flowerbeds around the deck. The deck consists of ten different types of flowers, with five cards of each type.

On a turn, the active player reveals the top card of the deck, then places it on top of one flowerbed of her choice. If any opponent thinks that this type of flower is already present in this flowerbed, he can yell "Stop!" If the accusation is true, the accuser takes as many life points from the active player as the number of flowers of this type buried under the top card; if the accusation isn't true, then the accuser loses one life point, placing it out of the game.

The round ends when one player has no life points remaining or the deck of cards has run out. Players tally their score for the round. The player with the most points after three rounds wins.

Kabuki features the same gameplay as Illusion, but players now try to track the different face paintings worn by kabuki artists.

Other Information: • Price €18 / $25
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99. Board Game: Jack and the Beanstalk [Average Rating:5.69 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Korean
Description:

We all know the story of Jack, who got hustled out of a cow for "magic beans" that indeed turned out to have more magic than Jack's surly parents suspected. The beans they tossed out the window grew a stalk that climbed to the sky, and Jack soon climbed that beanstalk to find out what might be found among the clouds (and to escape further punishment from his lame close-minded parents).

In the card game Jack and the Beanstalk, players collectively build three beanstalks that will reach for the sky. At the start of the game, three differently-colored root cards showing five potential stalks are placed on the table and each player receives three cards in hand. Each card has a value, with difficult-to-play cards having a higher value.

On a turn, a player must play one card to extend the beanstalk of the proper color, if possible; the stalks on the card being played must line up with at least one existing stalk. Whether the player can play a card or not, she ends her turn by drawing a card.

The card deck includes stalk cards with icons that give the player a special action – forcing the next player to skip his turn or use a particular color, taking an extra turn, swapping cards with opponents, and landing a golden hen on top of the stalk which prohibits its further growth. The deck also includes one axe card that can be used to cut a stalk back to its roots, removing all growth from the game.

The game ends either when all players pass in turn (being unable to play and the deck being empty) or when the 16th card is played on any stalk. In both cases, the player with the lowest sum of cards in hand wins the game.

Other Information: • Price €15 / $21
 
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100. Board Game: Master of Pizza [Average Rating:5.86 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Korean
Description:

You've just received three orders for pizza, so it's time to gather the required toppings and deliver the largest and most delicious pizzas possible. If you outperform the other would-be pizza chefs, you will be Master of Pizza!

The card deck in this trick-taking game consists of 40 topping cards (five types of toppings valued 0-7 in each type) and 15 order cards (five each of small, medium and large pizzas, which use three, four or five toppings, respectively). At the start of the game, each player receives one order card of each size.

Master of Pizza lasts 3-5 rounds. In a round, each player starts with 8-10 topping cards in hand; thus, each round consists of 8-10 tricks. The lead player in a trick plays one topping card to the table, then each player follows, with no requirement to follow suit. The highest card in the suit led wins the trick, and the person who played that card collects the topping cards one-by-one, placing those cards in separate stacks by topping type on the table in front of him, with the most recently played (and collected) cards on top.

At the end of the round, each player decides whether to score for one of his order cards in hand. For each topping shown on the order card, the player scores only the topmost topping card, scoring zero points if that topping is missing. The player then discards the order card.

The game ends after five rounds or at the end of a round in which at least one player has scored his third order card. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • Price €15/$21
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