Nürnberg 2012 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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The 62nd Spielwarenmesse – the International Toy Fair in Nürnberg, Germany – takes place Feb. 1-6, 2012, and this list is intended to catalog titles on display at that show.

Note that, unlike at Spiel in October, many games previewed at Nürnberg won't be available for purchase immediately, instead appearing in stores over the following months. Think of this list as a preview of what you might see appear in waves throughout the first half of 2012.

Lists from earlier years, mostly created by BaSL:
Nürnberg 2011 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2009 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2008 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2007 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2006 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2005 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2004 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2003 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2002 Canonical List

I'm still adding items to this list and will likely be doing so through the end of January 2012. Feel free to suggest other games to add in the comments or via Geekmail!
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Board Game Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
101. Board Game: Hello Kitty Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1241]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Labyrinth (formerly The aMAZEing Labyrinth) has spawned a whole line of Labyrinth games. The game board has a set of tiles fixed solidly onto it; the remaining tiles that make up the labyrinth slide in and out of the rows created by the tiles that are locked in place. One tile always remains outside the labyrinth, and players take turns taking this extra tile and sliding it into a row of the labyrinth, moving all those tiles and pushing one out the other side of the board; this newly removed tile becomes the piece for the next player to add to the maze.

Players move around the shifting paths of the labyrinth in a race to collect various treasures. Whoever collects all of his treasures first and returns to his home space wins!

Labyrinth is simple at first glance and an excellent puzzle-solving game for children; it can also be played by adults using more strategy and more of a cutthroat approach.

Other Information: Price: €25

Okay, despite my glib listing of this as the "Dick Bruna celebration edition", this is undoubtedly not a celebration of Dick Bruna, but don't tell him that. In 1996, while living in Utrecht, I visited the Nijntje memorial statue to pay tribute and have the holy blessed rabbit anoint me with its fuzzy paws. Sweet, mysterious Nijntje...
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102. Board Game: Indigo [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:933]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Indigo is a tile-laying game along the lines of Metro, Tsuro, and Linie 1 in which players build paths bit by bit, with no player owning the individual paths and everyone trying to exploit the paths already present. Unlike those earlier games, however, your goal is to move gemstones from their starting locations on the board to your designated goals, with the player who scores the most points winning the game.

To set up the game board, place the central hex tile, then add five green gems and one indigo gem to it. Place six "U-turn" tiles at their designated locations on the outer edge of the game board, then place a yellow gem on each such tile. Each player places goal markers on goals between these U-turn tiles on the edge of the game board: in a two-player game, the players alternate goals; in a three-player game, each player has one goal to herself, while sharing two others; and in a four-player game, each player shares a goal with every other player.

On a turn, a player places a tile on any space on the game board, with the only restriction being that a player cannot create a route directly from one goal to another. Each tile has three route segments on it, connecting one pair of edges. If a player places a tile next to a gemstone, that gemstone "moves" as far as possible along the route so that all players can see where to place tiles to next move that gemstone. (Thus players avoid the mental gymnastics required in Metro and Linie 1 in which nothing moves until a route is complete.) When connecting to the central tile, the green gems move off first, with the indigo gem moving only with the sixth connection.

If a player places a tile so that one gem would run into another, both gems are removed from the game!

When a gem is moved to a goal owned by only one player, that player keeps the gem. If two players own the goal, then both players collect a gem of that color, taking the extra gem needed from the reserve. Once all the gems have been claimed, the game ends, with players earning 3 points for an indigo gem, 2 for green, and 1 for yellow. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: Price: €25
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103. Board Game: Jolly Octopus [Average Rating:4.39 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Jolly Octopus likes to hang out with his colorful crab friends. While they may not be the same species as him, they come from a common background, from a shared point-of-view as to how they exist and survive in the ocean - and over the years Jolly Octopus ("Jolly O" to his friends) has come to be quite protective of his little crab buddies, so much so that he causes trouble for anyone who aims to harvest crabs from the ocean like so much wheat and reduce them to nothing more than meaty butter-slathered claws on the dinner plate of some would-be "gourmand".

Thus your job as a crab hunter extraordinaire in Jolly Octopus will require you to carefully extricate your target crabs from Jolly O's protection without brushing his legs and tickling him, for if you do, you can expect to get away with no crabs at the least and a menacing faceful of suckers at the worst. Two speed settings on Jolly O – fast and really, really fast – give you two ways to challenge your crab-plucking skills.

The first player to retrieve all of her crabs from the safety of Jolly O's squishy bosom wins!

Other Information: Price: €23
 
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104. Board Game: Kreuz & Quer [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:6185]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Kreuz & Quer is a Take it Easy-like puzzle game with players laying down tiles on a individual player grid to connect everything as well as they can.

Each player starts the game with 24 tiles showing various combinations of thick and thin pipe and a 5x5 player board that has a "plus" connection of pipes in the center square and numbered "exit" pipes on most of the edges. One player shuffles her tiles face down and will be the caller for the game.

The caller draws a tile, names the object on it (so that other players may locate the same tile), then each player places the tile on her own player board. A tile must be placed next to the midfield or to other tiles, and pipes must connect only to pipes of the appropriate width; exit pipes are considered to be both widths. Pipes can't connect to empty edges, and if you can't lay a tile (or don't want to), you can place it on the board face-down with the spiral back showing.

After all 24 tiles have been placed, players score points: 1 point for each spiral tile showing, and 1-3 points for each exit pipe not connected to the grid. The player with the fewest points wins!

Other Information: Price: €14
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105. Board Game: Mäuse verstecken [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Mäuse verstecken ("Hiding Mice"), the players take turns hiding two (foam) mice somewhere on their body: in their fist, their knee, elbow, armpit or between their head and shoulder.

The other players have to guess where the mice are hidden. Each player may make two guesses. After all guesses have been made, the active player reveals where the mice are located, and points are scored. A player earns one point for each correct guess. If the location of a mouse has not been guessed by anyone, the player who hid the mouse scores one point. These points are recorded on the scoring track.

After each player has taken a turn hiding the mice, the player who is furthest ahead on the scoring track wins.

Other Information: Price: €6
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106. Board Game: Streck dich, Mieze! [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Streck dich, Mieze!, the players play cats who are fishing in the river.

At the start of the game, the river is created by marking the riverbanks with two cords. Cards depicting fish worth 1-3 points are scattered in this river.

Now the players take turn fishing. At the start of a player's turn, a cat card is drawn, which shows the position the player must take at the riverbank, and what body part(s) he may use to get a fish (left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot, nose).

When he has taken up position, the player tries to move one of the fish cards to the riverbank. If he succeeds in doing so, he gets to keep the card. If he falls over or uses the wrong body part for fishing, his turn ends without gaining a fish.

After each player has made five fishing attempts, the game ends, and the player with the highest total value of fishes caught wins the game.

Other Information: Price: €6
 
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107. Board Game: Tempo, kleine Fische! [Average Rating:5.63 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

A river flows into the big sea in Avanti mare!. At one end of the river, a fishing boat starts moving downstream toward the sea that awaits at the end. Halfway to the sea, four fish are playing in the water – but once that boat starts to move, the fish will flee to the safety of the open water. Will they get away, or end up in a net?

Players can decide to back either the fish or the fishermen, but the winners will be determined by the die rolls. On a turn, the player rolls the colored die. If the player rolls one of the two colors assigned to the boat, he removes one of the river segments, thereby moving the boat closer to the fish; if one of the fish colors is rolled, that fish moves one space closer to the sea. If the boat moves onto a fish, it catches that fish; if a fish reaches the sea, it escapes and can't be captured. The game ends when all the fish escape or are caught. Which side will come out on top?

Other Information: Price: €6
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108. Board Game: Tims Tüftel-Team [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The gift machine has broken down and has to be repaired! This is done by connecting the machine parts with a line of dominoes (standing up, so that they can be toppled, not lying down).

At the start of Tims Tüftel-Team, several cardboard tokens representing the machine parts are scattered along the table. The game is played in rounds; in each round, two tokens have to be connected. At the start of the first round, one token is selected as the starting token, and this also dictates which token will be the destination token. In later rounds, the destination token from the previous round becomes the starting token.

Now, the players take turns placing dominoes in the line from the start token to the destination token, building past any other tokens. Each turn, a player rolls a die, which allows him to add zero to three dominoes to the line. When the destination token is reached, the round ends. The player whose turn it is gets to topple the dominoes by pushing the first domino in the line. First, though, the other players have to predict whether or not the entire line of dominoes will fall.

After predictions have been made, the first domino is toppled. If the entire line falls, then the toppling player receives a gift token, as well as any player who made the right prediction; if some dominoes remain standing, the players who predicted that receive a gift token.

After six rounds, the game ends, and the player who has gained the most gift tokens wins.

In the expert version of the game, various contraptions for connecting two lines of dominoes are included, and in each round, one of these is included in the line of dominoes connecting the start and destination.

Other Information: Price: €18
 
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109. Board Game: Wer war's? Das 2. Abenteuer: Mitbringspiel [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Just as the Kinderspiel des Jahres-winning title Wer war's? was subsequently recreated as a portable non-electronic game, the Wer war's? follow-up Wer war's? Löst das Rätsel von Schräghausen! now has a portable version of its own: Wer war's? Das 2. Abenteuer - Mitbringspiel.

In this game, a goblin has cast a spell on all the children in town, locking them in their houses and – more importantly for the game – making them forget who owns the dog Bronco. Your goal is to find out which child owns Bronco so that the pooch can go home, get something to eat, and perhaps even wrangle a bit a ear-scritchin' from his young owner.

To set up the town, lay out ten houses in a four-row grid, with intersection tiles placed between the houses. Shuffle the children tokens, then set one aside and place one next to each house. Shuffle the ten keys face-down, and place one on each house.

On a turn, you first roll the die, which allows a peek at a key or a free move of Bronco to any house, or forces the clock to advance an hour or the intersections next to Bronco to rotate, possibly cutting off access to nearby houses. The player then moves Bronco to an adjacent house, if desired, then reveals any key on the board. If that key matches the house where Bronco is currently located, that child is freed and the number of suspects as to who owns Bronco drops by one; if the key doesn't match, return it face-down to its previous location and advance the clock by one hour.

The game ends one of two ways: Either the players free all of the children and therefore deduce which child remains as the owner of Bronco, or the clock hits 12; in this latter situation, the children can make one guess as to who owns Bronco, then reveal the hidden child. If correct, they win! If not, Bronco heads to the pound to live out the rest of his life filled with sorrow and self-loathing...

Reimplements:

Other Information: Price: €6
 
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110. Board Game: Yakari Wettlaufspiel [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Game play in Yakari Wettlaufspiel (aka, Der Maulwurf und sein Lieblingsspiel) is similar to Pachisi, albeit with a different die.

Each player receives four pawns, which he needs to move from his start field to his destination field. Each turn, a player rolls the die, which shows six different symbols. Each field on the board also shows one of these symbols. After rolling, the player may move one of his pawns to the next field bearing that symbol. If another pawn is already on that field, that pawn is removed from the board.

When a player rolls the Yakari (or blume in DMusL) symbol, he may move a pawn from off the board to his start field. After rolling a Yakari (blume) symbol, a player takes another turn.

A player whose pawns are all off-board or on the destination field may roll the die three times to try to obtain a Yakari symbol and get a pawn on the board.

The first player who manages to get all four of his pawns on his destination wins.

Other Information: Price: €18
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111. Board Game: Yakari: Geheime Botschaft [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Yakari wants to deliver a secret message in the form a feather to each of his friends. However, a wolf has spotted Yakari and is following him. Though Yakari isn't sure whether the wolf is dangerous, it'll be better if he manages to avoid him.

Yakari: Geheime Botschaft is played on a board with ten fields placed in a circle: eight of the fields show one of Yakari's friends, and the other two show a tipi. At the beginning of the game, a Yakari pawn is placed on one of the tipis, and a Wolf pawn on the other tipi. Each player receives his own set of feathers to deliver.

The players now take turns moving Yakari. They spin a spinner, which will show a number, an eagle or a wolf.

If the spinner shows a number, the player moves the Yakari pawn that many spaces, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. (Yakari cannot move onto the space with the wolf, so the player must choose the other direction for movement in this case.) If Yakari ends his move on a friend for which the player has not yet delivered a feather, he now delivers one. If Yakari ends his move on a tipi, the player may move the wolf pawn to any field.

If the spinner shows the eagle, the player may move Yakari to any unoccupied field. Likewise, if the spinner shows the wolf, the player does not move Yakari, but may move the wolf to any unoccupied field.

The first player to deliver all seven of his feathers wins.

Other Information: Price: €6
 
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Board Game Publisher: Schmidt Spiele
112. Board Game: Grimoria [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1490]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Grimoire is the French word for "spellbook", and smart use of your spellbook – more specifically, the spells within said book – will determine whether you succeed in this game.

Each turn in Grimoire starts by revealing several cards on the game board; each card has either a victory point (VP) value or is a character with a particular way to earn VPs at the end of the game. Once these cards are revealed, each player secretly chooses which spell to cast in his spellbook by placing a bookmark on the appropriate page. Everyone then reveals which spell they chose, with the spells going off in order from weakest (those with the lowest numbers) to strongest. Some weak spells nerf stronger ones, and the order in which players choose cards from the display can be flipped topsy-turvy depending on who plays which spells.

In the One Draw and Z-Man versions, the game ends as soon as one player has collected either ten character cards or ten treasure cards; in the Schmidt Spiele version, the game ends after a fixed number of rounds. All players then tally their points, and the player with the highest score wins.

Differences between the versions:

  • As noted above, the game ending conditions differ in the 2012 Schmidt Spiele version.
  • The Z-Man Games and Schmidt Spiele versions of Grimoire accommodate five players, while the original One Draw release allows only 2-4 players.
  • The Schmidt Spiele version contains four new character cards and two new treasure cards, includes hardcover books instead of softcover, changes two spells, and uses a more elaborate game board that depicts the spells and allows players to mark the spells chosen with small figures to track who has played what.
Other Information: Price: €20

Schmidt Spiele has released a promotional video for Grimoria. Click on the arrow next to the Grimoria listing to play it.
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113. Board Game: Das Ligretto Fußballspiel [Average Rating:5.77 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Das Ligretto Fußballspiel combines the quick card play of Ligretto with Europe's favorite sport. To win the game, a player or team must be the first to score five goals.

To set up each match, players shuffle their deck of sixty cards, their goal cards, and the communal set of 24 field cards. They lay out five fields cards in a row to create the playing surface; each field card has a number on it. Each player randomly chooses one of his goal cards and places it face-down at one end of the field. Each goal card has a 1 on it. Players then get their cards and wait for the whistle.

At the same time, players start going through their decks, one card at a time. If a card is unplayable, the player places it face-up in one of two reserve stacks in front of him. A card is playable or not based on this restriction: Moving from left to right, players first need to play a 1 to cover their own goal, then they must play one or more cards that sum to the value on the leftmost field card. Once that card is covered, they play one or more cards that sum to the value on that field card. And so on.

When a player reaches the opponent's goal, he flips over that goal card to reveal a picture of a goalie and a ball entering the net. He then needs to mix together all of his discards and played cards, flip them over, and start looking card-by-card for four cards that can be fit together puzzle-style to resemble the picture on the back of the goal card. The first player to do this scores a goal and keeps the opponent's goal card; if he made a mistake anywhere, he scored an own goal, so the opponent gets a goal card from him.

Players then shuffle the cards and go at it once again. The first player to score five goals wins!

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114. Board Game: Step by Step [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:8105]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Step by Step is a push-your-luck dice game in the spirit of Sid Sackson's classic Can't Stop as players try to push their pieces to the top of multiple columns on the game board – but players win by scoring points and that can be done two ways.

Each player starts the game with their pieces in the start spaces of five columns on the game board – a space worth -5 points at game's end, mind you, so don't stick around too long! (The game board is double-sided, with one side for 2-3 players and the other for 4-5 players.)

On a turn, a player chooses a column, then rolls 2-6 dice depending on which column he chose. After rolling the dice, the player then makes a bid – either "higher/same" or "lower/same" – that lasts for the remainder of the turn. After making a bid, the player chooses one or more dice from among those he rolled previously and rerolls them. If the sum of all the dice matches his bid, then he advances a runner in the column he chose, skipping over opponents' pieces on the way.

The player then either ends his turn (moving his pieces to where the runner sits) or rerolls one or more dice to try to match his bid once again. If a player ever fails to match his bid, his turn ends without moving his pieces.

If a player ends his turn with his piece on one of 14 tokens that start on the game board, he claims this token.

Each column is divided into two zones, and a player cannot advance into an upper zone unless he has moved at least three pieces from the start spaces. The game ends as soon as one player piece is in each upper zone. Players score points based on the height they reached in each column (-5 to 12 points) and the number of tokens they collected (-3 to 5 points). The player with the highest total score wins.

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Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games
Normally you'd think of Z-Man Games being on the NY Toy Fair Preview and not the Nürnberg one, but Z-Man has showed at NY Toy Fair in a couple of years, and with Canadian publisher Filosofia now owning Z-Man, the company is headed to Nürnberg to look for license partners for these upcoming releases. Any takers?
115. Board Game: Atlantis Rising [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1678]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

In Atlantis Rising you are one of the citizens of the stricken island Atlantis. However, hope is not lost, a mystical portal of 10 components can be built and save the island and all its inhabitants, but fail to build it in time and the island will sink forever under the waves, lost to legend.

Atlantis Rising is a fully co-operative game in which the players must race to create a cosmic gate before all of the island tiles have been destroyed. The gate's components are variable and determine the difficulty level of the game - Easy, Normal, Hard, or Cosmic. The players must also contend with the continually escalating threat of their Athenian enemies, who may destroy one or more island tiles each turn if insufficient Atlanteans are allocated to the island's protection.

Each turn players can choose to place their Atlanteans in any of eight different areas - with placements closer to the sea being more rewarding, but subject to a higher risk of flooding (and the subsequent loss of the associated action).

After placement of meeple but before gaining resources 'misfortune' cards are drawn per player indicating which areas of the island sink, any meeple stood there have a long swim back to shore and do nothing for their turn.

Players have limited 'mystical energy' which they can use to predict or prevent certain misfortunes and cards are available from the libraries that offer powerful one time use effects.


From the back of the box:

Will you send your Atlanteans to mine the untapped veins of precious resources at the very tip of the island, hoping to reap great rewards before the oncoming waves smash into the shores? Or will you remain in the relative safety of the island’s center, where resources have grown scarce? Perhaps you will tap into the power of the mystic energy source - the lifeforce of Atlantis and key to its advanced technology. You may even seek refuge in the vast libraries of the Lost City, hoping to find some tome which will lead to salvation for the doomed isle. Beware though - even as the island sinks into the sea, the Athenians continue to assault Atlantis, hoping to plunder its riches before it disappears beneath the waves.

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116. Board Game: Battle Beyond Space [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2938]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Battle Beyond Space is a massive, multi-player free-for-all space battle with 60–80 ships slugging it out IN SPACE.

In 45-60 minutes. And 9 turns. In an asteroid field.

The combat system is diceless and extremely deadly. On a turn, you choose one of your three squadrons, move and fire with it, then get to move one of your two capital ships.

The big difference between the players is the super-secret alien power of technology which they can spring on another player at any time. Some are one-use, amazingly powerful items (aka Death Blossom), some are more subtle, long-term effects.

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117. Board Game: Equilibrion [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1405]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

For eons, Incubi (bad, negative dreams) and Sognae (happy, positive dreams) have dwelled in Equilibrion, opposed but complementary. As the king of this City, you must establish and maintain the delicate balance between those dreams: place them in the various districts, harness their power, and beware of the Chaos – fearsome entities that thrive on discord and hatred.

Urbion is a solo/cooperative card game: You (and your partner) must work (together) against the game and claim all the cards from the City deck before the Dream deck runs out! Victory is achieved by balancing the twelve City cards: when the sum of all Dream cards played next to a City card is equal to zero, you may claim it. In order to prevail, you must play your Dream cards skillfully or discard them at the right moment to trigger helpful effects. And you will have to dodge the penalties of the Chaos cards...

Two expansions are included with the basic game:

  • "Arch-Squares and Metas" introduces more City cards, and a new type of Dream: the double-sided (positive and negative) Metas.
  • "The Books of Powers" gives more effects from which to choose when discarding a Dream card at the cost of starting the game with fewer Dream cards.

Other Information: Price: $15
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118. Board Game: Goa: A New Expedition [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:56]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Goa, a strategy game of auctions and resource management, is set at the start of the 16th century: beautiful beaches, a mild climate, and one of the most important trading centers in the world. Competing companies deal in spices, send ships and colonists into the world, and invest money. Are you on top or at the bottom? It depends on how you invest your profits. Will you make your ships more efficient? Enhance your plantations? Recruit more colonists? Only a steady hand in business will help.

Each turn begins with an auction phase, where each player gets to auction one item (and the starting player two items). The first item being auctioned gives the right to go first the next turn (along with a card that gives an extra action). If you buy your own item, you pay it to the bank. If someone else buys the item you sell, they pay you. Items include plantations complete with crops, income tiles (income in money, ships, plantation refills each turn etc.), ships, settlers, and later on tiles that score points for certain achievements.

After the auction, players get three actions to either improve their technologies or produce things such as spices on plantations, ships, money or build more plantations. Each player has a board showing their advancement for various things: getting ships, planting new spices, getting colonists, etc. The more a player advances along one track, the better one is doing that particular action. The further you get along a certain track, the more points that track is worth at the end, and there are also rewards to the first player who reaches the last two levels along each track. On the other hand, each player normally needs to perform the actions for all the tracks at some point, so it's not necessarily a good idea to concentrate on just a couple of them. Goa is a game that gives plenty of opportunity for tough decisions, since a player always has at least one action too few.

The game mixes an interactive element of the auction, which encourages you to nominate things that other players want so you receive cash with the solitaire management of your plantation, which then interacts later on as players race to be first in the top tech levels.

The 2012 edition of Goa includes four new tiles and a new play variant, as noted on the cover of the Z-Man Games edition.

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Board Game Publisher: Zoch Verlag
119. Board Game: Alles Kanone! [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:4718]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 15 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Alles Tomate! – and the subsequently rethemed spin-off games Alles Trolli! and Alles Kanone! – are memory games with identical game play while the theme changes from barnyards to travel to pirates from one edition to the next.

In Alles Tomate!, players are farmers who keep forgetting where they put their belongings. To set up the game, seven topic cards with different colored backgrounds are laid out. The yard card deck consists of 49 cards – seven each with one of the seven background colors, with each card showing a different image. One card of each background color is laid out below the appropriate topic card, which depicts the seven images in that color. Each player tries to memorize the cards, which are then turned face down.

On a turn, one player reveals a yard card and the first player to name the yard card of the same color currently face-down in the display claims that card, with the newly revealed card put in its place. If two players name the card at the same time, each player claims a card with extra drawn off the deck as needed; if no one names the card, the face-down card is placed back in the deck while the new card is put in its place. When the yard deck runs out, the player with the most cards wins.

 
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120. Board Game: Crossboule: Desert [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:3168]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

This take on bocce, aka lawn bowling, gives players soft, flexible balls that will be kind to materials within your house, allowing for indoor games on the stairs, at a bookcase, or wherever else you might think to throw the target ball. Throw the right way in Crossboule, and you can earn bonus points; whoever wins two sets of 13 points first wins the game.

Other Information: Mountain- and Space-themed versions of Crossboule are also on the 2012 calendar from Zoch Verlag.
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121. Board Game: Flossen hoch! [Average Rating:6.27 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Flossen hoch! is a kid's game about fishing with the players being penguins who waddle around looking for food. Heeeeeeeere, fishie, fishie fishie!

Each player has a penguin and a set of short to long fish. Before the game begins, players place the fish into slots in the ocean's surface, with only the heads being visible. Players roll a die and play simultaneously. When a color is rolled, players have to "catch" fish of the matching color as quickly as possible. If you pick empty fishbones instead, bad luck! When a fish is rolled, each player grabs his own fish; when a shark appears, each player must save all fish of her own color. Whenever you successfully grab a fish, the length of the fish determines how far your penguin moves forward on the race track.

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122. Board Game: Geistesblitz 2.0 [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1428] [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Ghost Blitz 2.0 – The new version of Ghost Blitz with different items – five wooden items sit on the table waiting to be caught: a white female ghost, a green frog, a grey bathtub, a blue hairbrush, and a red bath towel. Each card in the deck shows pictures of two objects, with one or both objects colored the wrong way. With all players playing at the same time, someone reveals a card, then players grab for the "right" object – but which object is right?

  • If one object is colored correctly – say, a green bathtub and a red rug – then players need to grab that correctly colored object.
  • If both objects are colored incorrectly – say, a green bathtub and a red ghost – then you look for the object and color not represented among the four details shown. In this case you see green, red, ghost and bathtub, so players need to grab the blue brush.

The new version of Ghost Blitz functions similarly to the original but includes the following new rules:
- If the frog appears, you have to call out the item.
- If the frog or the other item is in its original colour, you have to call out the correct item in a foreign language.
- If the towel appears on a card, the item of the towel`s colour is the one to grab for.

The first player to grab the correct object keeps the card, then reveals the next card from the deck. If a player grabs the wrong object, she must discard one card previously collected. Once the card deck runs out, the game ends and whoever has collected the most cards wins!

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123. Board Game: Hand aufs Herz [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 10
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Hand aufs Herz is an interactive party game using game play similar to Trigger!, aka Declic!

Before the game begins, each player designates one hand to mean "true" and the other to mean "false". One player reads off a question, then everyone races to place her hand on the plastic heart in the middle of the table. Which hand? Well, that depends on the question! Each card has four questions that are linked in some way, so one question might ask about the relative height of all players, the second might be a negative question about shoe size, the third about the players' weight, and so on.

Players score – or lose – points depending on whether they answered the question correctly and which hand they used. The closer someone is to the bottom of the hand stack, the more points they'll score – or lose!

 
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124. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:931]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Imagine a cardanic hinge – the axis is upright and after going through a wooden floor that turns out to be the body of a ship, that axis ends up being the mast of said ship. Three spreaders rotate around it to provide balancing space for sailors, mice, bottles, crates. The spreaders are numbered (left or right to the mast, from five to ten), and the upper deck is divided into four quarters numbered 1-4. That's the set-up for Riff Raff.

Each player has the same set of "stuff" and a hand of cards numbered 1-10. Choose one card, then reveal it simultaneously with the other players. Then place anything you want onto the numbered space you chose. If the players all go to one side, the whole ship will tumble in rather unforeseeable ways to and fro, with one or more items falling off the ship with players trying to catch them quickly. Whatever you catch, goes out of the game. What falls down counts to the things you try to put on the ship. The player getting rid first of all his things, is winning the game.

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125. Board Game: Streifen Toni [Average Rating:4.71 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Streifen Toni, a card game based on Carmen Kleinert's Kinderspiel des Jahres-winning Da ist der Wurm drin, gives players the same goal as that game: Make your worm longer than anyone else's.

Each player starts the game with a worm head on the table and three random cards from a deck of worm section cards; the worm sections are in many colors and are of different lengths. Six other cards are placed face down on the table. On a turn, a player chooses one card from her hand, places it face down next to the others, then chooses any other card, reveals it, and adds it to her worm. The first card is placed directly next to the worm head; each additional section is placed on the marking stick of the previously card.

Once the deck of cards runs out, each player makes three further plays, then they compare worms to see which one bests the rest!

 
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