W. Eric Martin
• The U.S. branch of Ravensburger will release two games already available in Europe: Reiner Knizia's Indigo ($35) and Günter Buckhardt's Casa Grande ($40). Both games are expected to be available in the U.S. at the beginning of September 2012.
• Steve Jackson Games has delayed release of Beau Beckett's Castellan to Q1 2013 to achieve a head-splitting amount of focus on the immense Ogre project in the works. Perhaps you've heard about that?
• Dutch publisher White Goblin Games is unveiling eight (!) new titles for Spiel 2012 starting Monday, July 30 on its Facebook page, with one new title revealed each day and a "major announcement" regarding Rattus on Monday, August 6.
• French publisher Funforge has posted French rules (PDF) for Antoine Bauza's Tokaido and the English rules should be available in the near future. (Disclosure: Funforge hired me to edit the English rules.)
• Jonathan H. Liu on Wired's Geekdad posted a long preview of Randall N. Bills' Leviathans, which Catalyst Game Labs will have available in limited numbers at the Gen Con game convention in mid-August 2012, ahead of an expected late August/early September release date.
• Also available at Gen Con 2012 – at least for demo games – will be Dragon's Bard from designer Richard Borg and publisher Albino Dragon. Here's an overview of the game:
Dragon's Bard is a family card game that explores the rich and vibrant world created by Tracy and Laura Hickman in their popular Dragon's Bard book series. Journey throughout Eventide and Blackshore as you collect stories to bring back to the dragon while creating a name for yourself as a master storyteller.
Up to four players take turns playing suited cards as they attempt to collect the most story tokens by traveling to various locations in the Dragon's Bard universe on the game board. Some cards allow you to amass Rumor or Mandolin tokens to cash in at the end of the game for additional points. Other cards have game-changing effects like changing the turn order or even canceling an entire round of play with the powerful Dragon Rage card.
• IELLO has added another title to its list of October 2012 releases: Antoine Riot's Whizz Bing Bang. A somewhat puzzling description, one that seemingly still needs to define what game play actually is, follows:
In Whizz Bing Bang, a quick card game for 3 to 6 players, players take turns reading the top card of the deck, which will dictate their action:
-----• Whizz: Game play continues in the same direction.
-----• Bing: Game play changes direction.
-----• Bang: Game play continues in the same direction, but skips the next player.
-----• Boom: Everyone must slap and leave their hand on the Boom while saying "BOOM!".
Penalties for not complying with the top card of the deck are distributed in the form of tokens, with one token of each sound per player – Whizz, Bing, Bang, Boom – in this order. The game ends when one player gives his Boom token away.
Admittedly, this description is probably sufficient for you to know whether the game might appeal to you or not. Like playing games? Like slapping things? You're in!