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New Game Round-up: Flicking Plastic, Building Spires, and Outlasting the Competition

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• As noted in Feb. 2016, Z-Man Games plans to release a mass market version of Gaëtan Beaujannot and Jean Yves Monpertuis' Flick 'em Up! with plastic components instead of the wooden ones, and now the publisher has placed both a release date (July 2016) and price ($35) on this version, while also announcing that this "wider audience" version will be available in a total of fourteen languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

Corné van Moorsel of Cwali has teased his next release: a tile-laying game in which players build a wildlife park without cages or fences. Van Moorsel's short description: "Each animal has its own requirements for its surrounding landscape (grass/bush/rock/water). Further you can improve the value of your park by flora, watchtowers, trek tours, ziplines and extra entrance roads."

Prototype artwork

• To continue with the theme of shooting things, we have Dead Last from Matthew Grosso, Andy Patton and Smirk & Dagger Games, with this title due out in June 2016. An overview:

Dead Last — originally known as Tontine — is a "social collusion" game of shifting alliances, betrayals, and murder for profit in which players must conspire and vote upon whom to kill each round. Any means of overt or covert communication is allowed — a glance, a nod, pointing under the table, flashing a card, anything – but make sure you don't tip off the target or they could ambush you instead! In the end, one or two players will remain, either claiming all the gold or squaring off in a final showdown before starting the next round of play. The first player to score 24 points of gold wins.

• Who doesn't love cards with numbers on them? I sure do, so I'm curious to fund out more about Nevermore Games' Spires from T.C. Petty, which will hit Kickstarter in Q3 2016 for an anticipated 2017 release. Here's an overview of the game:

A king with a penchant for spires is asking his favorite builders – the players – to perk up his kingdom's skyline. Players compete to build the tallest spires to receive the king's favor, but his majesty has warned that the towers must not be taller than those on his royal palace.

Spires combines hand management, set collection, and trick-taking into a 25-minute game. Players compete for cards in different markets to try to build out their tableaus.

Every player aims to fill their tableau with spires of each type but must be careful not to add more than three of any one type of card. Once the spire exceeds three cards, all cards of that type become a penalty to their final score.

Competing for cards can be tricky as rival builders can force you to take cards that push you over the three-card limit, but not to worry! You can also win cards that allow you to discard or swap cards.

The builder with the most points, including spires and bonuses (special cards, icon majorities, etc.), wins!
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