With Dokmus Lautapelit.fi have a very interesting area control game coming. The players explore the island of Dokmus, home of their tribe’s ancestral deity, by placing a line of tokens from the coast to the interior in search of temples and ruins that will score points. While you can only play tokens next to ones already on the board, you won’t be building a simple line of tokens, Dokmus is more dynamic than that. Each turn, you may call upon one of the island’s guardians and rearrange the island tiles, either turning one of the eight tiles by ninety degrees or by moving it into the empty spot on the 3×3 grid. That way you can rip your line of tokens apart and can explore more of the island, while also keeping interesting areas away from your opponents.
Abacusspiele / Fata Morgana Spiele
Not everyone is comfortable with making changes to game classic like Urs Hostettler’s Tichu, but for those willing to experiment Tichu Booster will make a fun way to celebrate Tichu‘s 25th anniversary. The Booster has 57 cards with special abilities, each lets you bend the rules in your favor once. That does add some randomness to the game, but not as much as you might think. Four of these booster cards are visible on the table, and when a player calls Tichu – announces he’s going to finish the round first – those four cards are drafted, starting with the Tichu caller. Tichu Booster is still likely to increase the effect of luck on Tichu, but not so much that you’ll be displeased with it.
Stronghold Games / ACD Blackfire
Many happy players of La Granja have been farming produce on Mallorca since 2014, and apparently one thing that’s popular about the game is the way dice are used. Popular enough to make a lighter game, let’s call it La Granja: No Siesta, that is stripped down to the dice mechanic. That’s exactly what Stronghold Games and ACD Blackfire are doing, and the resulting dice drafting game will be available in Essen.
Having little information about a game when it’s first announced is sort of standard, but “In HOP!, you will travel the sky and cross the path of the legendary hippopocorns.” is both shorter and more cryptic than usual, even as Boardgamegeek descriptions of coming games go. But here’s what we know about the new Funforge game: it will be available in Essen and was designed my Ludovic Maublanc (Cyclades, Mr. Jack,…) and the incomparable Marie Cardouat. Marie is already a well-known game artist, her work includes Dixit and Steam Park, but Hop! is the first game she’s listed on as a game designer. I’m very excited to see how this cooperation will work out. Unsurprisingly with Marie Cardouat and Funforge involved, what we can see of Hop! so far looks amazing already.
Fantasy Flight Games
Letters from Whitechapel already has ways to tweak your game, giving either Jack the Ripper or the police an edge if the other side seems to have a too easy time. With Dear Boss, an expansion coming soon from Fantasy Flight Games, you will get even more ways to spice up your game. If the police needs help, then they can now get special abilities for each policeman involved in the chase, or can cut back on Jack’s option with role cards that tell him where he can put his hideouts and in which districts he has to kill. On the other hand, if Jack needs help, there is an option where each victim he kills gives a bonus to him. Macabre, but it sounds fun.
Gryphon and Eagle Games
The newest Kickstarter project by Gryphon and Eagle Games is a game with a dexterity component by Scott Almes. To get paid in Island Hopper – being paid being the point of the game – players must deliver goods to a number of tropical islands. Easy enough, but they have to share a plane. So each round players bid hard-won money for their chance to be the pilot, then the other players bribe them to approach the islands they have contracts for. That’s where the dexterity component comes in, because the pilot has to drop goods tokens blindly in order to make the delivery. The other players only have very limited options to give him directions, but only when the pilot lands on the right island do they complete their contracts and does the pilot get paid. A light game, but a fun mix between dexterity and managing your money.
If you have run out of cases to investigate in Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, then fear not. There is always more crime in 19th century London, and this expansion/sequel has the darkest crime the city has to offer. In Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures, you go up against one of the most infamous serial killers in the world, a man – or woman? – so bad that one case doesn’t do him justice. That’s why the Jack the Ripper case is split into four cases that have to be solved in order, campaign style, before you uncover the rippers identity, if indeed you do. After all, the real one was never caught. A lot of the material here is based on original materials and testimonies, so this investigation might not be for the weak of stomach.
We seem to have missed this one when it was on Kickstarter, which is a shame because Archona Games’s Small Star Empires looks very cool. With four players expanding their empires in space, establishing colonies and trade posts in as many systems as they can, Small Star Empires is not a 4X space game but a clever area control game – just as fun, but in a different way. Players’ ships can move any distance across the hex board and take control of their destination system, except they cannot cross systems controlled by an opponent. You want to use that to keep them out of your part of the board, but at the same time you want to maximize your own score by taking possession of the most valuable systems. Even without the four X’s, that will give you some things to think about.
Mage Company’s Raid & Trade already had, besides the base game where you try to gain access to the Golden City before your opponents, more scenarios with special rules. Now I was pleasantly surprised that they released a new scenario on their website. Bloody Package is going to be more PvP-oriented than the base game. The objective is to deliver a package from the Outpost to the Black Market, and if someone else picked up the package before you then … well, let’s just say that to win you only need to deliver it, it doesn’t matter who picked it up. And even better news, more scenarios will show up every month from now on. That’s what I call good service to keep a game fresh.
Small German publisher Mücke Spiele have launched their first Kickstarter project. The title Area 51 doesn’t need too much explanation theme-wise, it’s a game about alien artifacts that the players have to hide from the public. When the game starts, all the players have to hide artifacts in are unused aircraft hangars, not very secure at all. To score points, they have to build bunkers and intern the alien stuff there. Each bunker can only hold one type of artifact, and it seems that the trick to winning is forcing opponents to entomb artifacts in your bunkers by putting artifacts in a region where you have the bunker to store them. Area 51 was developed from a design entered in the Mücke Spiele game author’s competition, an event that has produced a number of small but fun games in the past.
This week’s featured photo was taken by Flickr user Gilles. It shows the Madeleine of Vézelay, the basilica of Mary Magdalen in Vézelay, France. The photo was shared with a CC-BY license. Thanks for sharing!