Princess Jing, the coming game by Roberto Fraga and Editions Matagot, is a two player game in the family game weight class, the rules are definitely simple enough to play with your kids. That never stopped us from being excited about a game with interesting game mechanism. Princess Jing uses hidden game pieces and mirrors to great effect. Both players want to bring their princess to the other side of the game board where her secret lover waits. She must move stealthily, so she moves from one cabinet to the next, where the opponent cannot see her. If he were to see her, he could send her back to the start, giving his own princess more time. So be stealthy, but be on the lookout for the opposing princess. The fun part is how you might find her: besides your princess you have a mirror holder with who’s help you can look into the other side of a cabinet and find the hidden princess there. It sounds more complicated than it is, trust me. For a bit more complexity you also get an expert variant where you have to find out which of the three captains really is the princess’s lover.
Z-Man Games / Feuerland Spiele
Semi-cooperative games have a special place in my gamer heart. You want to win, of course, but if you don’t contribute enough to some sort of shared project bad things happen to all the players, including you. That is he idea in Lowlands by Z-Man Games (German: Das tiefe Land, Feuerland Spiele), a game so rooted in the north of Germany that I’m surprised it’s not by Uwe Rosenberg. To win you must make the most profit from your farm. That means raising sheep and adding buildings to your farm for extra points and more efficient sheep raising. But as anyone in Frisia can tell you, all that is for nothing if the dyke breaks. That’s the shared project, all players together must build the dyke high enough to protect everyone’s land.
Garphill Games are finally tired of the North. After they sent us raiding, exploring, and shipwrighting in the North Sea their next Kickstarter will soon make us Architects of the West Kingdom. As architects it’ll be our job to construct a number of impressive landmarks to please the king. So we’ll do all the things we tend to do in games like this: gather materials, hire workers and so on. We’ll also do a number of things we don’t usually do in this kind of game: steal, sabotage, deal in the black market… . But Architects of the West Kingdom is a game of morals. Before a winner is decided everyone’s virtue is judged, and your bad deeds may be punished now.
Galakta’s This War of Mine: The Board Game is a hard-hitting game about war. The people you play do not make strategic decisions. They do not drive around in tanks. They are not generals or soldiers. They are the civilian victims of this war, trying to survive in a ruined city. The expansion Tales from the Ruined City will likely increase the difficulty of survival as well as the emotional impact. More information about the expansion content to come soon.
Do you get easily annoyed by bad card draws ruining your game? Alderac’s Edge of Darkness has a way to keep down your blood pressure: Instead of playing a card from your hand and then drawing a new one from the Street, you can discard two cards and use the abilities of one card in the street without drawing it. Sure, two cards instead of one is expensive. But it’s still better than a wasted turn because the card you played didn’t do anything useful for you. It’s only a few more days until Edge of Darkness comes to Kickstarter, by the way!
Osprey Games and Martin Wallace have a fantasy skirmish game in the making. The Wildlands lie where once a great kingdom stood. Now rival factions struggle over the ruins. Those factions will have different strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities. A double-sided board and randomized setup will do the rest to create a highly variable game experience. Wildlands will just be the entrance to this new fantasy world. The announcement already states that additional factions, maps, and mechanics are in the making.
The Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, as seen in this week’s featured photo, is one of the last remnants of West African tropical forest. Thanks to Alexey Yakovlev for taking this great photo of it! (Taï National Park, Alexey Yakovlev, CC-BY-SA, resized and cropped)