Small, Japanese card games must be going well, Alderac announced another game in their Big in Japan series. In Say Bye the Villains the players cooperate to take revenge against the horrible villains that attacked their village. It’s a hidden information game, players have to discard valuable cards to even find out who they’re up against. Cards they’d likely rather use to train and increase their strength or to play for special effects. It’s also yet another Seiji Kanai design, and after reviewing his Love Letter last week, I can’t wait to try it.
And more Japanese game goodness, this one is another one by Hisashi Hayashi, designer of Trains. While the game is coming from Japan to the US, it’s a game about going from Europe to India. That’s globalization for you. In the 15th century, starting from Lisboa, the players trade their way through many coastal towns on their way to India. Everything in Sail to India is represented by the same wooden cubes: put them in the water next to a town card, they’re a ship. Take them out of the water and move them to the trade good field on the adjacent card. Move them to a science card, they’re now a scientist that grants you a technology bonus. Especially interesting: move them to your victory point or money track, and the cubes become historians or bankers respectively, marking your score or wealth. But each can only handle 5 points or moneys, respectively: as your wealth and score rises, you must employ more bankers and historians and will miss those cubes for other things.
There will be a small expansion for Richard Garfield’s King of Tokyo in October, October being the perfect time for it because it’s King of Tokyo: Halloween. You’ll get two new monsters fighting over Tokyo, Pumpkin Jack and Boogie Woogie, plus new Power Cards including Costume Powers. On top of this expansion, there will be a new stand-alone sequel to King of Tokyo next year. (via ICv2)
I admit I was a bit worries when I heard that SOS Titanic was a game based on Patiences, the solo card exercise that anyone who ever used Windows knows as Solitaire. But it’s a game by Ludovic Maublanc and Bruno Cathala, who are probably able to make a good game based on that idea. Your goal in this cooperative – or solo – game is to rescue as many passengers from the sinking Titanic as you can. To do so, you have to arrange the passenger cards in rows with descending values so you can move them around as one and finally move them to the lifeboats. So far, so Patience, but action cards and player powers spice things up a bit. The sinking Titanic is represented by a game board that is a spiral book: when certain events happen in the game, you turn the page and the Titanic sinks a little more, reducing the available space to move cards around. That never happened on Solitaire!
Dan Verssen Games
I can’t stay away from games that have Cthulhu in the box. The current Kickstarter campaign for The Cards of Cthulhu is no exception to that rule. Alone or with up to three other players, you once again set out to protect the world from the awakening of the Old Ones. In this case, fighting them back is card driven: each turn you draw new cards, some of which are helpful items and followers. Most, however, are not. The remaining cards are minions of various strengths that you have to defeat before there are enough of them to summon their master. Especially the minion cards are very nice on the eyes as well. I mean, looking at them will obviously drive you insane, but they do look good while they do it.
I don’t want to raise hopes here, but this picture that showed up in Portal Publishing’s Facebook Feed could mean that the coming Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island expansion Voyage of the Beagle – or maybe another expansion we don’t know about yet? – will include an additional player character. I hope so, because not having any choice in characters in a four-player game was one of my few, minor points of criticism on this excellent coop survival game. But even if the art ends up being something else, it still looks great and I’m still excited about the expansion.
Portal Games / Z-Man Games
Neuroshima Hex 3.0 is more than just a reprint of Michal Oracz’s game. 3.0 will still have the same tile-based post-apocalyptic battles, but it will also include a new army (The Doomsday), different rule sets for three players and a solo mode that looks a lot like Chess problems for Neuroshima. Z-Man Games has a preview. I’m sure that the other international publishers (Heidelberger, Stratelibri …) of Neuroshima Hex will also offer Neuroshima Hex 3.0, but I don’t know when. Right now I can only find the announcements from Portal and Z-Man Games.
Argentum’s Essen 2013 release will be Aaron Haag’s Yunnan, a game set in the Chinese province of the same name. The province is the origin of Pu’Er tea, popular in India and Tibet – on the other side of the Himalaya. Travelling the chamado (Tea Horse Road) was dangerous, but also profitable, and that’s exactly what you’ll do in Yunnan: cross the Himalaya on horseback to fetch the best price for your tea. The profits can be spent in auctions offering a wide range of upgraded, including more traders, buildings and increased travel range.
Fantasy Flight Games
To the great joy of many, there will soon be a new release of Reiner Knizia’s fantasy battle card game Blue Moon. In a surprising move Fantasy Flight Games, the company that expands everything, went the opposite route this time and packaged all expansions from the original release into Blue Moon Legends. The two player have nine people deck to choose from in their battle for the support of the elemental dragons.
It’s not easy to come up with a new idea for a word guessing game, but I haven’t heard of a game like Concept before. Picking an easy, hard or challenging word to explain – like in so many other games – you then place pawns on the game board with it’s many, many icons illustrating different concepts, and from that the other players must guess the word. Here’s an example from the rulebook: Man, Arts, Ear, Scissors. It’s Vincent van Gogh. Or a more complex one: Man, Job, Fighting – with different color pawns Country, White, Circle, Red – with a third colour Time, Before. A fighting man, from Japan, from the past: a Samurai! If you’re into word guessing but got really tired of Taboo, then Concept is worth a look.
Luchador! is a quick, easy dice game for you to take it out on your opponent lucha libre style – anything-goes-wrestling. First you roll your dice and try to hit the ring – I just realized I’ll never win at this game. Everything inside is then counted as a hit, block or counter and either you or your opponent take a beating. Like I said, quick and easy. We’ll be sure to give it a try in Essen and let you know more.
Remember how hard it was to get a copy of Terra Mystica in Essen last year? Do you have any hope that this year will go better for you, with the new release being Glass Road by Uwe Rosenberg? A quick reminder what he already know about the game:
…Uwe Rosenberg’s Glass Road, a game about the long tradition of glass production in Bavaria. The basic game mechanic to produce glass and bricks, build buildings to improve your production and cut down forests for firewood is action card selection, but there is a twist to that: each player has an identical set of 15 specialist cards, five of which they pick for their hand each round. When playing a card, you may always use one of its actions, but if no other player has the same card in his hand at the time, you also get the second action…
If you want to pick up the Glass Road in Essen, you might do well to preorder, which you now can through the Feuerland Spiele contact form. The English site doesn’t mention that option yet, but trust me when I say that the German one does.
Cyberpunk crime on Mars, that about sums up the setting of Infamy, Mercury Games’ newest Kickstarter project. The setting sounds like Total Recall, but you’re not just some guy with fake memories, you’re the next crime lord of Mars. At least, you will be after you collecting enough infamy points or enough of a reputation with the game’s three factions controlling Mars. On the way there, you need help from Contacts that will only work for the highest bidder to complete missions, earning infamy and reputation. As a slight downside if you’re not in the US, you can not get a single copy of Infamy, for shipping cost reasons you have to take two or four at once.