W. Eric Martin
• The 2019 Festival International des Jeux in Cannes, France ended two days ago, and I thought I'd summarize some of the upcoming games and expansions teased at that convention, many of which we discovered only in passing. I'll note that French designers and publishers seem far more open to public playtesting that people in other countries, with one publisher telling me that they tend to run such playtests for a year or more, both to promote the forthcoming releases and to test them with the widest range of players possible.
And for all that I saw, I'm sure that I missed even more. Only after FIJ closed, for example, did I see the following tweet:
Well, surprise, surprise! Turns out, though, that Le Scorpion Masqué's Christian Lemay had snuck on camera when I was out of the booth and presented an overview of Decrypto: Expansion #1 – Laserdrive on camera during our livestream (starting about 17 minutes in on our day 4 coverage). Here's an overview of what Laserdrive adds to the Decrypto base game, with this expansion due out around Gen Con 2019 in August:
Each round you draw a category card — movie titles, tourist attractions, words that begin with an A, etc. — and at least one of the clues that you give to your teammates must match this category. If all three of your clues match the category, then you receive a red laser token.
You can spend two red laser tokens to attempt to guess one of the team's hidden words. If you guess correctly, you receive a white token because you've intercepted their info — and collecting two white tokens wins you the game, so this expansion gives you a new way to work toward victory.
• Playtesting in public is one thing; showing off prototypes on camera is another. At FIJ 2019, Repos Production was running public playtests of a new version of Antoine Bauza's Ghost Stories — but the Belgian publisher didn't want to record an overview of this item (depicted below), stating that it was in an extremely rough and unfinished form.
Thankfully Bauza was not in an extremely rough and unfinished form, so he agreed to appear on camera in the BGG booth to talk a bit about Last Hope, which is the working title for this game. He appeared on camera about six hours into our day 3 coverage of FIJ 2019 to state that this game cuts away 3-4 pages of rules, exceptions and "fuzzy things". In short, Ghost Stories fans will find this design both familiar and new.
(We'll cut all of our FIJ coverage into individual videos in the weeks to come, and you'll be able to find those videos on individual designer, publisher, and game listings, as well as in our new BGG Express YouTube channel.)
• Similarly, French publisher Catch Up Games was demoing...something, but didn't want to appear on camera as they said it was too early to show off, so all you have for now is this image to interpret.
• We did present a video overview of the three expansions coming for Benoit Turpin's Welcome To... from Blue Cocker Games, with those expansions apparently being packaged in different ways from U.S. publisher Deep Water Games. Whatever the packaging, though, you can watch Turpin demo these items starting at 2:22:00 in our day 3 FIJ 2019 coverage.
• Finally for now, DTDA Games was demoing new release Efemeris, which we unfortunately failed to get a demo of on camera as I failed to see it until after we had packed up on Sunday, but I did spot this banner for the publisher's next project, Parhelion, which once again features the gorgeous watercolor work of Manon Potier.