Winters in Canada are harsh, and obviously they were harsher before their was central heating. Each player in Manitoba is the leader of one clan of the Cree tribe of Native Americans, and it’s their job to bring his clan through the winter. This will involve managing and trading your resources and exploiting the hunting grounds. It will also involve taking care of your clan’s spiritual well-being. And then there’s the mysterious totem, a central game element build from differently colored disks that somehow controls everything.
Your ability to plan ahead and then abandon those plans when convenient will be essential in Valparaíso, the new game by Louis and Stefan Malz (Rococo, Edo,…). As an influential citizen of Valparaíso just around the time Chile declared independence you want to contribute to your city’s wealth. And your own, of course. You send people to the Chilean hinterlands to procure export goods, then ship them abroad for achievements. The core of the game is planning. You plan things well ahead of time, and if you want to change your plans later you’ll have to pay a penalty. But maybe that’s better than your plans not fitting with how the game is going. If that’s not enough pressure for you already, then you can play with the game strategist’s worst enemy: the sand timer.
Seven years ago Martin Wallace designed a game set in the greatest, no, strike that, the most infamous and most pungent city in the multiverse: Ankh-Morpork. The game of area control in Ankh-Morpork where all the goals are secret was fun, popular, and almost impossible to get for a while now. I have good news and bad news for you. Some good news: The game will be available again. Some bad news: It will no longer be set in Ankh-Morpork but Victorian London, a city almost as smelly but not invented by Sir Terry. Some good news again: Nanry Narking looks absolutely fantastic. It’s the same game and the same fun, even if the loss of the Discworld setting brings a tear to my eye.
Fantasy Flight Games
What do you do when you’re lost in a strange place? The preview for Discover: Lands Unknown gives you some advisable options. Explore. Find food. Gather resources. Make it back to your fire before dark. And you don’t even know what sort of terrain you’ll encounter. Discover is a Unique Game, the new concept by Fantasy Flight where every copy has its own set of components. That includes the four scenarios that will take you through a short campaign, at the end of which you escape back to civilization. Or not.
Renegade Game Studios
We’ve all been there. You’re an adventurer, rolling into town to save them from an invasion of sentient shopping baskets, first thing you need is gear. There are always helpful merchants around happy to supply. But who are those merchants, really? In Bargain Quest they are us. For a change we won’t be playing the heroes, we’ll just provide their equipment. First you draft your shop’s stock, then you make an attractive display, and then you get rich. The heroes will set out to have adventures with their fresh gear. They might succeed, or they might die. The important part is: you have their money.
How would you like a game about kids simply having fun? Snow Time by Frank Meyer and Lui-même is still a competitive game, but the competition is between kids from different villages about who can gather the most fruit from a miraculous tree carrying fruit in winter. You can only harvest the fruit when you’re alone on a branch and no one ambushes you with snowballs from above. Guessing where your opponents will be and not being where they think you’ll be are the two keys in this lighthearted bluffing game. (via asmodee.de)
This week’s featured photo was taken in the Wieliczka Royal Salt Mine in Poland. The mine was opened in the 13th century, by now there are hundreds of kilometers of galleries, with chapels and statues carved from the salt. The photo was taken by Alexander Johmann. Thanks, Alexander! (Salt Mine Wieliczka, Alexander Johmann, CC-BY-SA, resized and cropped)