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New Game Round-up: Race to Dig the Chunnel, and Try Not to Die in the Forest

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Yesterday's post featured a new title from AEG that folks will first see at SPIEL '19 in October, so let's continue along those lines with even more games that most people will first experience in Essen.

Spanish publisher Looping Games will continue its historical series of games that are named "[year] [event/place]" with two entries, with those games being funded on the Spanish crowdfunding site Verkami through May 24. Esteban Fernandez' 1942 USS Yorktown is a 1-4 player co-operative game that the designer first released inline in 2011 under the name Sink the Carrier. Victory Point Games flirted with its own version of the game for a few years, but never released it, and now Looping Games will bring it to print in this guise:

On the stage of the Pacific battle, there was a concrete confrontation that marked a milestone in history, that of the American aircraft carrier USS Yorktown against the Japanese aircraft carrier IJN Shōhō. It is said that it was the first naval battle where the ships never saw each other, and they faced each other launching airplanes to locate their enemy and bomb them.

In 1942 USS Yorktown, you take the role of American pilots who take off from the USS Yorktown to try to locate and sink the Shōhō while you fight against the planes it throws at you. Time will be your main enemy since the whole game will be against the clock and there will be no time to prepare great strategies or for the dreaded "leader effect".

• The other title from Looping Games is 1987 Channel Tunnel, a two-player competitive game from designers Israel Cendrero and Sheila Santos that digs into a fascinating topic not previously covered in games as far as I know:

For centuries, the relationship between Britain and France has been marked by wars and rivalries, but also by mutual alliances. Both societies have a markedly different conception of Europe, but an intense commercial relationship that allowed them to work together in a common interest: the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

In 1987 Channel Tunnel, you get to put yourself in command of a team of builders from Britain or France to unite the two countries under the sea! You need to lead your team of workers, develop technology, and seek funding to bring the tunnel boring machine to the meeting point at the heart of this epic engineering feat. When the center of the tunnel length is reached, players earn points based on how far have they developed their technology tracks, which cards they have, and whether they haven't deviated with their machines too much.

When taking an action during the game, players play part of their tower of colored discs to perform it. This action won't be available for the rest of the round unless someone plays a taller tower (with more discs) on it. As soon as both players pass, return the discs to the bag, then start a new round.

• Michel Baudoin, who designed and illustrated 2011's Space Maze from Wacky Works, is launching new publisher Cinnamon Games with the SPIEL '19 release of Oh, Fox!, a quick-playing game for 2-4 players from first-time designer Hurby Donkers. Baudoin plans to demo the game at the UK Games Expo, which is becoming a familiar statement from European publishers who have new releases for SPIEL. Here's what to expect:

Only a few steps and those sweetly delicious berries you craved so much are yours to eat. They're right there, just take them! But you hesitate as things may not be as they seem. That vague shadow you spotted earlier could be anything and anywhere. It could be one of your forest friends, looking for food, as usual — or it could be something more dangerous, watching your every move, planning its time to strike...

In Oh, Fox!, players secretly take on the roles of animals of the forest, each with their own unique ability. Prey animals are gathering food while being hunted by the predator. Over seven turns, players move across the board by simultaneously playing one face-up movement card each turn. However, their figurines don't actually move until the end of the game! Until then, players try to hide their own identity while attempting to figure out who the others are before it is too late.
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