W. Eric Martin
• Among its other releases in early 2012 – Kairo, Edo, a new version of Wallenstein – German publisher Queen Games is releasing Kingdom Builder: Nomads, which includes four new game boards and consequently four new powers associated with their respective game boards, such as the ability to place an additional settlement adjacent to a mountain space or the power to remove stone from a quarry. Additional Kingdom Builder scoring cards are also included.
Queen Games is also releasing a trio of older card games in one package, suitably titled 3 in 1: Mückenstich, Danger, Zwickern.
• Steve Jackson Games notes that it it reprinting Illuminati: Deluxe Edition, Illuminati: Y2K, and Illuminati: Bavarian Fire Drill in 2012, with all of them expected to reach stores in Q3.
• German publisher Kosmos released Die Siedler von Catan: Junior in 2007 and many other publishers followed suit shortly with versions in their own languages, but U.S. publisher Mayfair Games likes to do things differently with its line of Catan games, employing its own artists and graphic designers to recreate a game to match its perception of what's needed in the U.S. marketplace. Thus, Mayfair has just now announced its version of Catan: Junior, with that game due out in April 2012.
The theme of Catan: Junior remains the same as in the German version, with players now being pirates who need to build additional pirate warehouses in order to win the game. Existing warehouses provide resources (wood, wool, rum, sabers, gold) based on the roll of a die, and players need to construct ships in order to reach new locations in which to build warehouses. (I'm baffled as to why pirates remain universally appealing as a theme given the persistent news reports of what pirates do in the real world – but kids are always shooting each other with lasers and hand pistols anyway, so maybe I should stop being an old fart and worry about other things.)
• Designer Christophe Boelinger has posted an update on the status of expansions for Dungeon Twister, with a look at one of the two game boards in the first blister pack of Dungeon Twister: Traps:
In DT Newsletter #3 (PDF) Boeligner notes that while expansions have been delayed somewhat given that DT: Prison appeared in 2009, once they start to appear, one new blister pack should be released every 3-4 months as all of them will be produced at the same time. Each blister pack includes two new game boards, four characters (two for each side), new items, and the various tokens required to make the new stuff work – and collectively all four blister packs comprise Dungeon Twister: Traps. (Hmm, how to enter this in the BGG database effectively?)
As for what this board does, Boelinger says, "New elements stand out quite clearly... You will have to imagine the effects." Boeligner doesn't have a release date yet for DT: Traps as the art is still in progress and the miniatures can't be made until the character design is complete.
• Looney Labs has announced its ninth version of the ever-changing, ever-propagating card game Fluxx for release on March 23, 2012: Oz Fluxx. Yes, now players will walk to the Emerald City, fighting off flying monkeys, experiencing the poppies, and otherwise doing all things Ozzy in a Fluxxian way.
Hmm, Ozzy Fluxx, the ever-changing heavy metal card game. Yes, I can see that being released in a few years...
• Wakefield Carter at Cambridge Games Factory says that the new game Pala, along with a reprint of Barons, is on its way to the U.S. and should be available in stores in February 2012. News about the sweet black box edition of Glory to Rome and other CGF releases should be coming soon.