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Japanese Game Round-up: Create Lenses, Write Poetry, and Use Four Pairs of Cards

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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I don't have a lot of detail about the games in this post, but better some detail than nothing at all. If nothing else, I have now closed many open tabs on my browser...

すべてがちょっとずつ優しい世界 (A World Where Everything Is a Little Gentle) is a press-your-luck card game from designer Taiki Shinzawa and publisher 双子のライオン堂 (Twins Lion Do), the pair responsible for the 2019 trick-taking game American Book Shop.

Board Game: すべてがちょっとずつ優しい世界 (A World Where Everything Is a Little Gentle)

In this game, which is based on a manga of the same name from 西島 大介 (Daisuke Nishijima) and which resembles Circus Flohcati, you win by either fulfilling the victory condition of a specific card you were dealt or collect one of each type of item cards. The deck consists of 46 item cards, which come in seven types, and 4 tree cards.

On a turn, you reveal cards from the top of the deck, one at a time. With each reveal, you can choose to stop and collect the cards revealed — but if the last revealed card matches one of the previously revealed cards, all of the revealed cards are discarded, and play moves to the next player.

Are you telling me this genius scientist can't get the first place? — a.k.a., この天才科学者が首席になれないとでもいうんですか? — is a 2-4 player game from designer BakaFire (Tragedy Looper, Sakura Arms) and publisher DELiGHTWORKS in which players are researching optics in order to graduate from an institution.

Board Game: Are you telling me this genius scientist can't get the first place?

During the game, they combine transparent cards to generate and activate lenses to discover new energies, convert one material to another, develop unique character abilities, and (of course) score points. The player who earns the most victory points from research wins.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

The transparent cards are reversible, so you can use them with either end up to control the input and output of the transformation, although I'm sure that the game has many more details to it — especially since it has a 60-120 minute playing time — that is not clear from this short description. Here's another image as a teaser:

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Dupli, from new publisher Game to Life, resembles the minimalism of Villannex, although it takes slightly longer to play. Here's an overview:
In the card game Dupli, each player starts with the nine cards in hand. On a turn, you each choose and reveal two cards, then carry out the effects of those cards, which have a rock/paper/scissors style of ranking, along with potential reversals of powers. More than one person can win a round, and the winners split the cards played, with the remainder carrying over to the next round.

After four rounds, whoever has won the most cards wins.

Board Game: Dupli

You can play Dupli with fixed hands of nine cards so that everyone has the same options available or by adjusting the card count in the deck based on the number of players, then shuffling and dealing nine cards to each player.
HYKE is a 2019 release from Drosselmeyer & Co. Ltd. that I ran across at some point, and now you're running across it here.

Board Game: HYKE

The game might not even be on the market any longer, but it does exist, so here's an overview of it:
HYKE is a poetic communication game in which you create senryū — poems with a 5-7-5 syllable structure, typically about human foibles — in which someone at the table can identify the theme of your creation, but ideally not too easily.

Board Game: HYKE

To set up, players submit themes to a central pool, then you draw one of those themes at random, create a senryū based on that theme, and invite others to identify the theme of your creation. Your score is the number of people who guess incorrectly before someone guesses correctly, so you want your poem to be both not too easy to understand and not too difficult to understand.
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