BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, contact us at news@boardgamegeek.com.

Archive for W. Eric Martin

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [280]

Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Links: Distinguishing Between Red and Anthrocite, and Choosing Games for a Pandemic

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
• Following the May 18 announcement of the 2020 Spiel des Jahres nominees, jury member Udo Bartsch has written an article that explains why certain games are nominated for the Spiel des Jahres award, which is aimed at families, while other titles are nominated for the Kennerspiel des Jahres, which is aimed at enthusiasts or connaisseurs. Here are two translated excerpts:
Quote:
Which game is a game for everyone and which is not cannot be determined by generally applicable and precisely measurable characteristics, but only by playing with as many different people as possible — and even then, the results are not always crystal clear.
Quote:
In the current year we see The Crew and The Cartographers as connoisseur games. Why? The Crew is a trick-taking game. Many people play trick games; Skat, Schafkopf, Doppelkopf, and also more modern representatives like Wizard are quite popular.

But in contrast to the usual competitive trick games, the co-operative The Crew demands more: If you want to play sensibly, you have to develop a notion for the whole story beyond your own hand and without seeing the cards of the other participants, you need to anticipate processes such as "stinging" or throwing off. The Crew requires an unusual thinking process to make it run smoothly. It's like a logic puzzle with cards. Several times I sat at the table with people who knew Wizard or Doppelkopf, but still had no idea what The Crew was now asking of them.
Board Game: SpyNet
• In mid-March 2020, Matt Jarvis at Dicebreaker profiled designer Richard Garfield, with the interview highlighting which game of his has been overlooked (SpyNet, a 2017 release from Z-Man Games) and what he values about KeyForge compared to Magic: The Gathering: "A game like KeyForge makes it tough for a 'one size fits all' strategy guide to emerge; every deck has its strengths, weaknesses and peculiarities. Weirdly, there is noticeably more variety in decks even though in a TCG technically a larger variety of decks could be played — because in practice they aren't played."

I also appreciate these comments from Garfield given how they mirror my own thoughts:
Quote:
"One of my current concerns in board game culture is how fast players draw conclusions about games," he says. "My favorite thing about games has always been that the best ones get better with time and go to unexpected places."

"Skim the comments and reviews on [BoardGameGeek] and they are littered with people talking about imbalances after far too little time. It often seems players pick a strategy the first time they play and if something unforeseen happens the game has a problem that should have been designed around."

Garfield says that games with a large amount of gameplay variety such as 1970s classic Cosmic Encounter, often cited as one of the best board games ever made and a key influence on Magic: The Gathering, have become "dangerous to make" as a result.

"Recently I have begun to suspect that this culture may excessively narrow the sort of games that are made," he says. "Designers are encouraged by this to create games that are tightly constrained so that players get what they expect and are not surprised except perhaps in the minimal amount required to make it feel like a new game."
Board Game: Jaipur
• Thanks to folks looking for things to do while at home, mainstream media outlets continue to introduce new board games to their readers, as in this April 30, 2020 article by Alexis Soloski in The New York Times that leads with this introduction:
Quote:
If you, like me, grew up with a battered box of Sorry and a Battleship missing at least two of its boats, you should know that board games have improved. With a large number released each year, the variety of games and the mechanics that govern them are almost infinite.

My library books remain unread, a stack of untouched New Yorker issues has become a household obstacle, and I can't make it through a movie, or even a 23-minute sitcom, without reaching for my phone. So why can I spend a focused hour-and-a-half bartering for camels in an Indian marketplace playing Jaipur or simulating quilt-making in Patchwork?
Board Game: Sanssouci
• On Ars Technica, Nate Anderson does something similar in an article titled "6 board games I’m playing during the pandemic", with this assortment of titles ranging from the "oh, of course" to the "wait, really?" Here's an excerpt that highlights the out-of-print title shown at left, although a new edition is coming in 2020 from Chilean publisher Fractal Juegos:
Quote:
A terrific tile-layer, this Michael Kiesling design has been criminally overlooked. No dungeon crawls here, D&D lovers—this is a game about building a European formal garden while moving your nobles down the garden path so they can smell the roses (and earn you points). It's fast, it's fun, and it's extremely relaxing. The rules are simple to teach, turns are fast, and everything looks great. The game even includes a small expansion module in the box for slightly more complex play. The biggest downside? It might be hard to find new right now.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Today 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
89 
 Thumb up
0.30
 tip
 Hide

Ride Whales, Collect Artifacts, and Sail Northwest with Reiner Knizia

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
Board Game Publisher: Grail Games
Australian publisher Grail Games has had a steady partnership with designer Reiner Knizia for years, starting with a new version of Circus Flohcati in 2015 followed by a new version of Medici in 2016.

Artist Vincent Dutrait was responsible for the look of that second title, and at this point the Knizia/Dutrait/Grail team has also worked on King's Road, Medici: The Card Game, Yellow & Yangtze, and the still-to-be-released Medici: The Dice Game.

Now they're coming together again for two new titles, the larger of which is the 2-6 player game Whale Riders, which bears a 30-45 minute playing time and this description:
Quote:
You are a whale rider. For generations, your people have known and lived with the ice whales and together you've bought and traded at the busy ports along the fabled Ice Coast. You are honored to be the latest in your family to sail with the whales — but the ice is thickening and the glaciers are moving. A deep winter is coming, the fiercest for centuries. You decide to ride your mount one final time before the snows come to buy and sell as much as you can...and maybe even collect some precious pearls along the way.

Whale Riders is a new design with a classic feel, with players racing to the end of the Ice Coast and back, buying and selling as many resources as possible to make the money needed to acquire the richest prizes. Will you skip opportunities to gain the greatest treasure, or will you make your money slowly along the way?

Board Game: Whale Riders

Each player has two actions per turn, but a lot they want to accomplish. Sail? Buy? Sell? Draw more order cards? All the while, your opponents might be sailing past and beating you to what's on offer down the coast! Once all the precious pearls have been purchased, the game ends and the player with the most pearls wins!
Grail Games plans to Kickstart Whale Riders in July 2020, along with a standalone companion game from the same team. In Whale Riders: The Card Game, which is for 2-5 players, you ride alongside others to buy goods along the Ice Coast, sometimes working together with others only to become competitors again when a better proposition comes along.

Board Game: Tutankhamen
Board Game: Tutankhamen
• In other Knizia news, U.S. publisher 25th Century Games plans to release a new edition of Tutankhamen — first released in 1993 by AMIGO, then republished in 2004 by Out of the Box Publishing — under the slightly different name Tutankhamun. The game will accommodate 2-6 players, and here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:
Quote:
The Great King Tutankhamun has passed, and arrangements are being made to fill his tomb with artifacts that will travel with him to the afterlife.

You are one of the priests and priestesses gathering artifacts for King Tut's tomb from all over Egypt. Once all the parts of each artifact have been located, that artifact is placed in the tomb, and the priests who took the most credit for acquiring it donate the funds needed for its procurement. Along the way, enchanted idols from the Gods may assist you in your journey. By acquiring artifacts, you rid yourself of your own wealth in order to pay the highest tribute to the late King Tut. If you can be the first player to completely disperse your wealth, you will so impress the new Pharaoh that he'll appoint you to the highest priestly office.

Prepare your offerings and invoke the aid of the mighty Egyptian Gods while you wind your way down the Nile toward the tomb of the great King Tut. Will you earn the favor of the new Pharaoh and be declared the next High Priest of Egypt?

Board Game: Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun features gameplay familiar from earlier versions of this game design, while adding new Egyptian god powers and implementing a modified scoring system.

To set up, shuffle the artifact and god idol tiles, then arrange them in a snake-like pattern that emulates the winding of the river Nile. Players start at one end of the line, taking turns choosing any tile from in front of them along the Nile while never being able to claim a tile they have already passed. Multiple sets of scoring tiles (three sets each of 8, 6, 4, and 2 points), along with ten 1-point scarab ring tiles, can be claimed, and when the last tile of any set has been claimed, the player holding the most tiles from that set scores the number of points listed, while the player holding the secondmost tiles scores half that amount. Whoever has the most scarab tiles when the last one is collected scores 5 bonus points.

Tutankhamun includes two copies each of five different Egyptian god idol tiles. When you collect one of these, you immediately trigger its ability to manipulate tiles on the path, tiles in player's collections, tiles in the Underworld (i.e., the collection of bypassed tiles), or scarab ring tiles in your collection.

When a player reaches zero on the score track at the end of their turn, the game ends and that player will be proclaimed the new High Priest of Egypt!
Board Game Publisher: SimplyFun
• When Knizia tweeted about the release of his game Phantom Seas in May 2020, I was surprised to discover not a design of his unfamiliar to me (since few people can keep up with all that he releases), but rather that the publisher of the game — SimplyFun — still existed.

For those not familiar with the company, SimplyFun started publishing educational games in the late 2000s, with its distribution of these titles being handled by sales agents who would host Tupperware-style parties during which they would show guests the games and take orders for them. I wrote about several SimplyFun releases in the late 2000s on Boardgame News, the site I ran prior to joining BoardGameGeek, but then I lost contact with the company and forgot about it — which is perhaps to be expected given that I never saw their games in stores or at conventions, much less at private home parties.

In any case, in April 2020 SimplyFun released the 2-4 player game Phantom Seas, which plays like this:
Quote:
In Phantom Seas, you want to claim as much treasure as possible without having it stripped away from you by the phantom ship that patrols the waters.

To set up, place the 22 treasure tiles face down at random on the designated spaces on the game board. These tiles are worth 1-3 points as indicated by the number of locks on them. Place the included compass on the game board, and orient the board so that the compass points north. Place your ship on one of the starting locations and the phantom ship in the center of the 13x13 game board.

Board Game: Phantom Seas

At the start of each round, reveal seven direction cards from the top of the deck. Players then take turns choosing a card and moving their ship in the indicated direction and distance, with most cards giving you choices for one or both of these values. If you finish your movement on a treasure tile, flip it over to see whether the phantom ship moves; if it does, the phantom ship moves directly toward you, and if it reaches you before ending its movement, then you throw that treasure away instead of keeping it.

Some tiles have you rotate the game board (and the compass), which means that the direction cards will now have you moving in different ways.

After all the cards have been played, reveal seven new cards from the deck. After seven rounds or after all treasures have been claimed, players count their scores to see who wins.
Board Game: Phantom Seas
Twitter Facebook
22 Comments
Tue May 26, 2020 1:41 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
52 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Scooby-Doo and Jack Torrance Hit the Game Table — Again

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
Board Game: Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion
• In February 2020, U.S. publisher The Op announced Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion from Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim that was labelled as the company's first "Coded Chronicles" game.

The second such title has now been revealed: The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel is by the same designers, and it's for one or more players, ages 17 and up, with a playing time of at least two hours and a release date of Q4 2020. Here's an overview of what you're doing in the game:
Quote:
The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel puts one or more players in the roles of unhinged writer Jack Torrance's wife and son, Wendy and Danny, who must work together and find a way out of the mysterious resort!

Driven by the "Coded Chronicles" mechanism, which requires you to unlock clues and solve puzzles for unique storytelling codes, the game allows you to use psychic abilities like "the shining" to get through more than two challenging hours of escaping the threat of homicidal Jack and the paranormal hotel itself! Since every Coded Chronicles game is enriched with thematic details and objectives, escaping captivity makes this edition's difficulty level as hard as a dizzying hedge maze (minus the time limit)!

Board Game: The Shining: Escape from the Overlook Hotel

Players can anticipate being engaged with every unpredictable turn, thanks to Wendy and Danny's heightened abilities, which allow their characters to investigate with double the intuition as characters from the previous Coded Chronicles game, Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion. Use Wendy's skill of looking and using surrounding objects to get a better hold of helpful items or tap Danny's supernatural "Shining" to reveal hidden clues.
The year 2020 is the fortieth anniversary of the film The Shining, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised to find a second game being released this year to mark the occasion, with Prospero Hall and Mixlore's The Shining having been released in March 2020.

Board Game: The Shining
• Or maybe given the current growth of the board game market, we just have to anticipate that many licensed properties will have associated games released by multiple publishers. In March 2020, for example, I wrote about Back to the Future: Dice Through Time and Back to the Future: Back in Time, with each being a co-operative dice-based game due out in mid-2020, the former from Ravensburger and the latter from Funko Games.

And just as The Op is following Mixlore onto the market with its own game about The Shining, CMON Limited is following The Op with its own take on Scooby-Doo, with Scooby-Doo: The Board Game — due out "soon" — being a co-operative design for 1-5 players from Guilherme Goulart and Fred Perret. Here's an overview of the game from CMON:
Quote:
Ruh-roh, Shaggy! There's a monster on the loose, and it's scaring everyone out of town! It's up to the Mystery Inc. gang to stop them! Scooby-Doo: The Board Game is a co-operative family game for 1-5 players that brings the beloved cartoon series to life with amazing miniatures of the whole gang.

Players take on the role of Scooby-Doo, Fred, Velma, Daphne or Shaggy, and ride the Mystery Machine around town, building traps to catch the villains before they frighten all the citizens away — but just like in our favorite episodes, even the best plans can go awry as the monster, which is controlled by the game itself, may make a move the players never expected!

Board Game: Scooby-Doo: The Board Game

Each member of Mystery, Inc. has their own unique, special ability to help them during the game, and they'll need all the help they can get because the villains all operate differently as well! The gang can succeed only if they coordinate together as a group.

Scooby-Doo: The Board Game has three levels of difficulty (easy/medium/hard) and special rules for playing as a two-player game or a solo game.
Twitter Facebook
17 Comments
Mon May 25, 2020 4:42 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
68 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

BGG.CONline Goes Live Today, May 20, 2020; Check Out the Guest List

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Gen Con and SPIEL have cancelled their events for 2020, with both organizations promising to hold online conventions during the days when their shows would have taken place. BGG is doing something similar, but we got a jump on them since we cancelled our BGG.Spring show in early April, giving us several weeks to organize BGG.CONline — which debuts today, Wednesday, May 20!

You can visit the landing page for BGG.CONline — with this being our landing page in the future for all live events — to see the list of guests scheduled for airtime on May 20-21, as well as the games they will feature. (The listed time on the schedule matches your own time zone, so you don't need to adjust anything.)

From gallery of W Eric Martin
We're starting with two of the Spiel des Jahres jury members, who are joining us from Germany to talk about the recently announced nominees for the Spiel, Kennerspiel, and Kinderspiel des Jahres awards, then we'll be joined by publishers who will give an overview of recently released games.

You can watch the Twitch broadcast from the BGG.CONline landing page, and if you're already logged into Twitch, you can comment on that page.

Hope you'll join us for the first of what will likely be many such online events!
Twitter Facebook
15 Comments
Wed May 20, 2020 4:57 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
147 
 Thumb up
2.31
 tip
 Hide

Gen Con 2020 Cancelled

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
From gallery of W Eric Martin
One day after the cancellation of SPIEL '20, Gen Con has announced that it, too, will not take place in 2020.

Convention co-owner Peter Adkison writes about the decision on the Gen Con blog and announces Gen Con Online on the same dates — July 30 - August 2, 2020 — as the original show. An excerpt:
Quote:
This will be the first time in the 50+ year history of Gen Con that we will miss the chance to see each other in person, and it hurts, but nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our attendees and the communities they hail from.

I have a conviction about the power of people being together in the same space. Things will have to change as we learn how to adapt to this crisis, but one day we'll join together in rolling real dice onto the same tabletop.

Until then, we adapt and we keep going. For us, that means working on Gen Con Online and planning for our triumphant return to Indianapolis for Gen Con 2021. If you've already bought your badge for Gen Con 2020 and you're willing to roll it forward to next year, it would be a huge help in keeping us operational as we work towards the future.
Twitter Facebook
65 Comments
Tue May 19, 2020 5:37 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
68 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Game Overview: Nova Luna, or Taking Tasks to Tiles

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
Normally I present a written overview of a game along with my video overview in order to talk about that design from another perspective or to craft my thoughts in a more organized manner than the free-form nature of my video presentations, but with BGG.CONline starting tomorrow, May 20, and much still to prepare, I'm choosing to post only the video for now.

If you're curious about 2020 Spiel des Jahres nominee Nova Luna, this overview covers how to play and what the game feels like, in addition to including a full solitaire game that can watch or skip through as you like.

Conveniently, I've already posted overviews of the other two 2020 Spiel des Jahres nominees: My City (written and video overview here) and Pictures (written and video overview here), so now I just need to write something about Nova Luna...

Twitter Facebook
9 Comments
Tue May 19, 2020 2:33 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
209 
 Thumb up
6.05
 tip
 Hide

Spiel des Jahres Nominations for 2020: My City, Nova Luna, and Pictures; Cartographers, The Crew, and The King's Dilemma Are Kennerspiel Nominees

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
From gallery of W Eric Martin
The nominees for the 2020 Spiel des Jahres — Germany's "game of the year" award — have been announced, along with nominees for two accompanying awards: the Kinderspiel des Jahres (KidJ) for children's game of the year, and the Kennerspiel des Jahres (KedJ) for enthusiast's game of the year, that is, for those already comfortable with learning and playing new games.

Jury chairman Harald Schrapers and Kinderspiel des Jahres chairman Christoph Schlewinski announced the nominees and other recommended titles during a live broadcast on Facebook, with these three titles being nominated for Spiel des Jahres 2020:

• My City, by Reiner Knizia from KOSMOS (video overview)
• Nova Luna, by Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel from Edition Spielwiese (video overview)
• Pictures, by Daniela and Christian Stöhr from PD-Verlag (video overview)

Aside from these nominations, the SdJ jury recommended the following six titles: Color Brain, Draftosaurus, The Fox in the Forest, Kitchen Rush, Little Town, and Spicy.

Note that the Spiel des Jahres award is primarily aimed at family gamers, i.e., those who play games but aren't heavily into the gaming scene.

Board Game: My City
Board Game: Nova Luna
Board Game: Pictures

Nominations for the Kennerspiel des Jahres went to:

Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale, by Jordy Adan from Thunderworks Games (and in Germany from Pegasus Spiele) (video overview)
The Crew, by Thomas Sing and KOSMOS (video overview)
The King's Dilemma, by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva from Horrible Guild (and in Germany from HeidelBÄR Games) (video overview)

The SdJ jury recommended three other titles at the Kennerspiel level: Paladins of the West Kingdom, Res Arcana, and Underwater Cities. The winners of the Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres will be announced in Berlin, Germany on July 20, 2020.

Board Game: Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale
Board Game: The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine
Board Game: The King's Dilemma

The titles nominated for Kinderspiel des Jahres 2020 are:

Hedgehog Roll, a.k.a. Speedy Roll, by Urtis Šulinskas and Lifestyle Boardgames (and in Germany from Piatnik) (video overview)
Foto Fish, by Michael Kallauch and LOGIS (video overview)
Wir sind die Roboter, by Reinhard Staupe and Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag

The Kinderspiel des Jahres jury, which differs from the SdJ/KedJ jury, also recommended seven other titles: Go Slow!, Hans im Glück, Magic School, Puzzle-Memo, Slide Quest, Zombie Kidz Evolution, and Zoo Run.

The winner will be announced on June 15, 2020, roughly one month prior to the winners of the other awards.

Board Game: Hedgehog Roll
Board Game: Foto Fish
Board Game: Wir sind die Roboter
Twitter Facebook
109 Comments
Mon May 18, 2020 10:48 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
162 
 Thumb up
5.05
 tip
 Hide

SPIEL '20 Cancelled

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
From gallery of W Eric Martin
The news that many people had been anticipating has now been made official: Convention organizer Friedhelm Merz Verlag has cancelled SPIEL '20, which was scheduled to take place October 22-25, 2020. Here's the full text of this announcement:
Quote:
Dear SPIELers,

With great regret we have to announce today that we have to postpone this year's SPIEL, which was planned for 22nd to 25th of October 2020, to the date 14th to 17th of October 2021.

The health of our exhibitors, visitors, guests and employees is very important to us.

We have been observing the very dynamic national and international development regarding Covid-19 very closely over the last weeks and months and have explored all possibilities for the implementation of SPIEL '20, also in coordination with the authorities. Unfortunately, this has led to the conclusion that due to force majeure, we will not be able to run SPIEL '20 on the intended date, either factually or technically. After a long time of consideration we have come to the painful conclusion that SPIEL will have to be postponed by one year.

However, we are already looking ahead to SPIEL '21 and can't wait to welcome you next year again.

Until then, please stay safe and healthy.

Your SPIEL-Team
Despite the vast size of the Messe in Essen where SPIEL takes place, the huge number of people in those halls would have made it possible for one sick person to infect a thousand or more attendees, with those attendees then spreading their illness all over the globe, so it's no surprise to me that this event has been removed from the calendar.

Publishers around the world will still release new games in Q4 2020, of course, but the launching pad for those titles won't be SPIEL '20. Time for everyone to adjust to "The Great Pause of 2020", to use terminology from Looney Labs, and figure out which games to announce when, whether to delay titles to 2021 when retail markets might be fully operational or whether to launch earlier when people are looking for more home-based activities, and how to create buzz and licensing deals for a title when the buzziest event of the game industry isn't taking place. We all have a lot of adjusting to do in the weeks and months ahead...

Update: After I went back to bed following the announcement of the 2020 SdJ nominations, Friedhelm Merz Verlag sent the following note to members of the press, a note that suggests more directly why the event was cancelled:
Quote:
Faced with an unchanged dynamic situation and the resulting lack of planning security, the world's largest and most-visited public fair for board games SPIEL, which last year welcomed more than 200,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors from all over the world, will not take place this year and will be postponed until next year.

"We have observed the very dynamic national and international development with regard to Covid-19 very closely over the past weeks and months and have evaluated all possibilities for holding SPIEL '20", explains Dominique Metzler, Managing Director of the organizing Friedhelm Merz Verlag. "Unfortunately, this has led to the conclusion that we will not be able to hold SPIEL '20 at the planned date due to a lack of planning security. A solid and responsible fair preparation is not possible under the given circumstances. For this reason and after a long period of consideration, we have come to the result, which is certainly very painful for everyone, that we will have to postpone SPIEL by one year."
Twitter Facebook
66 Comments
Mon May 18, 2020 9:45 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
57 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Seven Fruits + Seven7s = Quatorze from Eagle-Gryphon Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
Board Game: Mercado de Lisboa
Board Game: GYÜMI Géniusz
• U.S. publisher Eagle-Gryphon Games has announced a September 3, 2020 Kickstarter launch date for Mercado de Lisboa from Vital Lacerda and Julián Pombo, a title that Candice Harris previewed in detail on BGG News in early May 2020.

• Aside from that title, EGG announced an August 2020 preorder campaign for two other titles, with delivery of these games taking place before the end of 2020. The first title is Fruit Passion, a 1-4 player game from Hungarian designer Péter Szöllősi that he first released as GYÜMI Géniusz in 2015 through his own company Vagabund. Here's an overview of that original game:
Quote:
Try to remember all the fruit you've grabbed in GYÜMI Géniusz to maximize your score!

To set up the game, shuffle the fruit cards, then create three face-down decks of approximately equal size, then turn one card face up to start a discard pile. The deck contains fruit cards of seven types, with six types of fruit (coconut, papaya, fig, avocado, pineapple, and pomegranate) being numbered from 1-5 while passion fruit is numbered 1-7. The ratio of identical cards differs by fruit type.

On a turn, you take one of two actions: Draw the top card from one of the decks, or draw the top card from the discard pile. If you draw from a deck and don't want the card, place it on the discard pile. Otherwise, start a pile with that type of fruit or place that card on top of any other cards of that type that you already have. (Thus, you can have at most seven piles.) Splay the cards in each pile upward so that you (and everyone else) can see how many cards of each type you've collected, but with the number of only the topmost card of each pile being visible. If the discard pile is emptied because people keep taking the cards, flip over one card to start a new discard pile.

Board Game: Fruit Passion

When all three decks have run out, the game ends once the player holding the final card discards it or adds it to their collection. Players then score points for each type of fruit they've collected, but fruits score only from 1 up in consecutive order. If you have 1-2-3-4-5 of pineapple, for example, you score 11 points, whereas if you have 1-2-4-5 of fig, you score only 3 points since only the 1-2 count. If you fail to get a 1 in a fruit or you duplicate a number in a fruit sequence, then you score 0 points for that fruit!

Some cards have special colored numbers on them, and with these you can create a cross-fruit sequence as the coconut has the 1, the papaya the 2, and so on. As long as these "genius" numbers are in valid fruit sequences, then you'll score points for this genius sequence, too. Whoever scores the most points wins.
Board Game: Seven7s
• The second EGG title is Quatorze from U.S. designer Jason Tagmire, this being a sequel to his 2015 title Seven7s, which was also from EGG, while also containing the cards needed to play Seven7s. Here's a summary of the game:
Quote:
The magic number "7" conjures up meanings, powers, and coincidences dating back to the dawn of time. In Quatorze, you establish seven columns that utilize the powers of these powerful 7s. Players take turns adding cards to these columns, while trying to retain high-value cards in their hand. When the game ends, the highest combined value of cards in hand wins.

However, the powers of cards played to the columns during the game can drastically change the way cards are scored, and each player is trying to maneuver these powers to their advantage! Can you best harness and use these powerful 7s?

Quatorze is a sequel to Seven7s and includes the original game within it as well. Thus, instead of seven suits, the game now includes fourteen!
Okay, that description was somewhat nebulous, so let's turn to this more concrete one for Seven7s:
Quote:
The goal of Seven7s is to have the most points at the end of the game by having the highest total value of cards in your hard when endgame scoring is initiated. During the game, all players together build a community tableau with seven columns corresponding to the seven different types of cards in the game: 7 Ages of Man, 7 Colors of the Rainbow, 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Holy Virtues, 7 Lucky Gods, 7 Seas, and the 7 Wonders of the World.

Board Game: Quatorze

To begin, deal each player a starting hand of three cards, and place one card face up in the tableau to start the first column. On your turn, play a single card from your hand to the tableau to a column that matches that card. If no such column exists for that type of card, start a new column. Next, activate that card's ability, then draw back up to three cards in hand. Each of the seven different types of cards has a unique ability that offers lots of strategy and replayability.

The game ends when the seventh card of a column is played. This card is played sideways and counts towards the hand of whoever played it for endgame scoring. Whoever has the most points in hand wins.
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Sun May 17, 2020 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
77 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friedemann Friese Wants You to Fight Monsters at Home

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
Board Game Publisher: 2F-Spiele
In May 2020, designer Friedemann Friese of 2F-Spiele started a new blog on BoardGameGeek: "Game Designer Lockdown". As he notes in his first post, "To be a game designer without the regular game nights, meetings and without having different gaming partners is hard."

Friese, like many designers, now has more time on his own to design games, but lacks the infrastructure to test them and the market partners to bring them to others:
Quote:
We just finished the new game and gave the printing files to the manufacturer. This is a game we wanted to show at BerlinCon. Whatever happens, we decided to make it in an English/German small print run to have it published. All partners we were publishing with have their own situations now, so we can look if this game is well accepted and have hopefully an international print run later this year. It is better for us all.

A big gamer's game is in the pipeline for Essen. We will work on that and try to finish it in time, but as nobody knows right now, if Essen will take place or how it will take place, we will see if we have to start this with a smaller print run, too.
[Disclosure: I edited the English rules for the first title mentioned. More details once the game is officially announced.]

Aside from these two titles, Friese has designed two smaller games, including one that involves simultaneous card play. Says Friese, "Impossible to test this by my own. I have a family with two kids and we played this already 20 times, but I need more and different opinions. In a few days I will post this as print-and-play game and hope to get feedback from you and you and you....." That game is The Fight: We gonna fight them all! Here's Friese's short description of this design:
Quote:
This game is in the tradition of The Game, The Mind and The Crew. It is cooperative, it has cards with numbers, it has short game rounds, it has 50 missions to fulfill, and it is difficult to be found in computer searches because of the stupid name. So we need an extra line to be found search engines: "The Fight: We gonna fight them all!" in german "The Fight: Wir werden euch alle kriegen!" Both of these lines are loosely connected to songs.
Board Game: The Fight: We gonna fight them all!
The Game, The Mind, and The Crew?! Man, that's catnip for my ears! In any case, Friese has now placed English and German files for the game — both rules and cards — on BGG, and he's inviting feedback from you about this design since he can't test it easily otherwise. Here's an summary of what's going on:
Quote:
Welcome to The Fight!

You and your fellow crew have heard of an abandoned dungeon with rumors of great treasures inside, yet nobody else but you has dared to check the truth about these rumors — and now you know why: A horde of monsters inside the dungeon got bored and now they crave a good fight.

There is no time for a long strategy session. Use the weapons at hand, making the right combined decisions of how to fight against the various monsters without revealing too much information to them as blind trust in your crew may be the best chance you have to coordinate your strengths.

The Fight is played in fifty levels. Each level takes only a few minutes, with you fighting against a certain number of monsters. Typically, one monster lies face up in the center of play, and your crew needs to beat its strength value in one attack to win the fight. For each attack, you all place one card from your hand face down in front of you. If your revealed fighting total matches or exceeds the value of a face-up monster, you beat it; otherwise, the monster remains face up and keeps fighting.

To win a level, you can discuss your strategy with your crew. You can never talk about your card values in hand, but can debate whether you want to "strike fast" or "take it slow". You can also use available special actions to gain the most benefits from them.
Board Game: 5x15
• The other new title Friese has released is 5x15, a solitaire patience game based on the patience game "Montana", with him describing the development of 5x15 in this blog post.

The game 5x15 consists of 75 number tiles, with five colors of tiles with 1-15 appearing in each color. You shuffle the tiles, lay them out face up in five rows of fifteen tiles, remove the 1s from the layout, shuffle the 1s, then lay them out in a 0th column to the left of the five rows. The playing area is the 5x15 space, and on a turn you can take one of two actions:

—Move a matching number tile into a gap. The tile you move must be one higher than the tile to the left of the gap or one lower than the tile to the right of the gap, and the tile must be the same color as its number neighbor.

—Shift to the right a group of three or more adjacent tiles that are all the same color with numbers in consecutive order and with a 15 at the right.

If you can use these two actions repeatedly to place all of the cards in order in the five rows, you win. If you get stuck in a loop repeating actions, then you don't. The rules and number tile files can be downloaded from the BGG page, and Friese is looking for feedback from players in this blog post.
Twitter Facebook
23 Comments
Sat May 16, 2020 4:59 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [280]