W. Eric Martin
• Collapsible D: The Final Minutes of the Titanic, designed by Gianluca Santopietro and published by Sir Chester Cobblepot – which despite the name is an Italian publisher – is not entirely new, as copies started being delivered in late April 2012, but I thought it new enough for a call-out here. Plus, many new images have been uploaded on the game page in the past few days, so there's more to see if you'd looked at it previously. As for the game play, here's a short description:
The idea for Collapsible D: The Last Minutes of Titanic comes from the mind of the Italian author Gianluca Santopietro. In this game the players are on board the Titanic during the night of April 14, 1912, starting at 11:40 p.m. when the ship collides with an iceberg; each turn represents ten minutes in real time. Each player controls a passenger of each Class and a member of the Crew. Each character has a different starting point, an attempt to recreate the exact location where they were on the ship, thanks to historical research lead by the author in cooperation with history experts on the Titanic, such as Claudio Bossi. Thanks to an intuitive movement system, players will move their passengers through the ship, trying to reach the lifeboats on the dock.
Meanwhile, the water floods in quickly and the risk of drowning is very high. Each saved passenger grants victory points, and the player with the highest score wins.
The first several times I saw this game's name, the only thing I could picture was Jack Black and Kyle Gass continuing to rock out while everyone else fled for the lifeboats...
• SchilMil Games is a new publisher located in New Zealand that's debuting with two titles: Komodo and Raid the Pantry. Raid the Pantry is another take on the "collect ingredients to complete dishes" school of card games, while Komodo tasks players with building new habitats for Australasian animals imperilled by an incoming asteroid. Yikes! Here's a description of game play:
Each player holds two animal cards stating the type and amount of terrain needed, five multi-terrain tiles, and wild cards. On a turn, she may lay up to three tiles, place one or both of her animals in free-form contiguous blocks of appropriate terrain, and use all or some of her wild cards. The starter tile has two blocks of each of the four terrain types: forest, grassland, desert and water. The number of blocks of terrain needed by an animal is equivalent to the number of points you can score by placing it. When the tile supply is exhausted, each player takes a final turn, then loses points for an unplaced animals still in hand. The player with the highest score wins.
Komodo can be played competitively in both basic or strategic mode. In the former, wild cards are obtained randomly; in the latter, players can choose their wild cards. Actions permitted by a wild card include: releasing animals to free up their terrain; bartering or stealing terrain tiles; remodeling tiles already placed; and forcing an exchange of animals.
In the cooperative version of Komodo, all 32 animals must be housed and each player must place at least one animal during her turn. The game is played open-handed, and the wild cards hinder the players.
• Steve Jackson Games wants feedback on its rules for Beau Beckett's Castellan by the end of Monday, May 28, 2012. What's in it for you? Um, better rules? An early look at the game? (And if that's what you want, I'll be posting a detailed preview of Castellan in the near future after a few more games.)
• At my request, Uwe Eickert at Academy Games has passed along updated release dates for several upcoming titles. Eickert notes that everything has been delayed due to a mishap with a new computer – "a real barn burner graphics rig" – in which he had to acquire a replacement computer a month after the new one, only to discover that all of the files and the back-ups made during that time would not open. Says Eickert, "Needless to say, this pushed our schedule back quite a bit." The new release dates for the next four releases from Academy are:
-----– Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! (second edition) - September 2012
-----– 1775: Rebellion, game #2 in Academy's "Birth of America" series - November 2012
-----– Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal - December 2012
-----– Gettysburg: The Bloody Crossroads - March 2013
Also, Eickert notes that as of May 19, 2012, all orders for Academy Games titles will be processed and fulfilled by PSI (Publisher Services, Inc.) instead of FRED Distribution.
• In the crowd-sourcing category this time, we have Piotr Burzykowski, founder of the Polish publisher LocWorks, who is trying to raise funds in order to publish a new version of Tory Niemann's Alien Frontiers with materials in eight languages – Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish – and the Latin-based name Alien Frontiers: Aurora. Sounds crazy, right?
Since LocWorks is not a U.S. company, Burzykowski has turned to Ulule.com for its fund-raising efforts, which has the not-so-incidental benefit of being able to present the same page in multiple languages – just the thing for when you're trying to attract potential buyers from all over the world. For those who already own Alien Frontiers, Burzykowski offers you the option of adding pink or grey bits to your game – or even 25 metal dice in the four basic colors. For background on the project, you can check out Burzykowski's BGG blog. (Ulule.com link)