Meople News: Smashing the Chocolate Box

Fantasy Flight Games

If you know Star Wars only from the movies, then it’s all about those big conflicts. Rebels versus Empire. Jedi versus Sith. But there is a lot more going on, and some of the most interesting things are happening in the galaxy’s outer rim. That’s where the people looking for opportunities at any cost gather. Bounty hunters, criminals, unscrupulous entrepreneurs. You can finally be one of them in Star Wars: Outer Rim. The latest Star Wars game from Fantasy Flight Games has players competing for fame or infamy with shady deals, bounty hunting, smuggling, and other fun activities. With a crew of loyal henchmen and a small fleet of ships everything is possible, as long as you stay away from the big fish like the Hutts and the Empire.


After years of coming up with the wackiest new decks for Smash Up! it must be hard to go even more over the top. Maybe that’s why Smash Up World Tour goes a bit more down to Earth and assembles famous fighting forces from around the world. In International Incident they will be Luchadores, Mounties, Musketeers and Sumo Wrestlers. If I’m being entirely honest then Smash Up! has had enough expansions for my taste. But then again, the Mounties’ Battle Moose sounds even better than the Bear Cavalry, so maybe just this one more…


WizKids continue the Dungeons & Dragons dungeon crawl boardgame adaptation series (officially: the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System) with Dungeon of the Mad Mage. This adapts the recent D&D 5th Edition module of the same name, and just like it takes you into Undermountain, the many-leveled dungeon below the city of Waterdeep. Just like other games from the series, you’ll take a group of prepared characters to explore a randomly assembled dungeon, fight monsters, steal their loot, level up, and hopefully survive to the end.

This game is at the intersection of two of my special interests: Japanese boardgames and Japanese horror. Hako Onna is a asymmetric Japanese horror game with dexterity elements. One player is Hako Onna, the Box Woman, a ghost inhabiting the house the other players are trapped in. Hako Onna is going to make them all her servants if she can collect her power, tied to various objects in the house. The other players must try to escape, and they must do so silently. Before every move they have to stack a disc on a tower, and if the tower falls Hako Onna has a turn immediately. The more quietly the escapees move the fewer turns the ghost has. Quirky, quick, and fun, exactly what I love about Japanese games.


Image association games like Mysterium or Detective Club are trendy, and looking at the time we spend playing those games I’m not going to argue with that. Libellud will release a new game in that category with One Key. As in many such games, one player knows something – which card is the key – and gives clues for the other players to decipher and figure out. The clues comes in the form of clue cards. The player in the know places each of those cards in the red area if it has nothing to do with the key, the yellow area for a so-so relationship, or the green area if the two things belong together. As usual in this kind of game, deciphering the clues will be tough because of the many layers of meaning in an image. And that’s the fun of it. (via Asmodee Germany)

Alley Cat Games

Chocolate Factory (Alley Cat Games)

Feel free to contradict me, but boardgames and chocolate go together incredibly well. Unless the weather is hot and you smear melted chocolate all over my games, then they don’t. But in general they do. A game about making chocolate? All the good bits, no sticky fingers! Let’s say I’m excited for Chocolate Factory, a game where you run chocolate on a very fancy conveyor belt through your factory. You draft machines and employees for your factory, run the machines with coal every round, use the machines to enhance your chocolate and finally complete chocolate orders from the corners stores around you. Drafting, engine building, a conveyor belt in the game, and it’s about chocolate. Why are we even still talking?

Quined Games

The 25th game in Quined Games’ Masterprint Series makes you chief of a bronze age village in Italy’sTerramara region. As the clan chief, you decide which path your clan takes. Scout remote regions to find sacred places, increase your strength in battle, develop technologies to create impressive artifacts. More about how you do those things will probably follow soon.

Gamelyn Games

It’s tiny! It’s epic! It’s another Tiny Epic game from Gamelyn Games. Tiny Epic Tactics is like a TARDIS: bigger on the inside. The fantasy skirmish game comes with way more terrain than you’d expect in a tiny box by stacking smaller terrain boxes inside and using the game box itself as a terrain piece. In competitive mode each player controls a party of Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, and Beast and tries to score points knocking out opposing heroes and keeping control of designated areas. In cooperative mode you control the same party, but you work together against monsters invading the realm. Cooperative Tiny Epic Tactics is even bigger, because you can explore caves printed on the inside of the terrain boxes.

This week’s featured photo was taken in Kinabalu Park on Borneo, Malaysia. It was taken and kindly shared by Bernard DUPONT. Thanks a lot for sharing, Bernard! (Kinabalu Forest, Bernard DUPONT, CC-BY-SA)

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