In Kanagawa, all players are disciples of Master Painter Hokusai, trying to learn in his studio of art how to produce visual effects on canvas, capturing the mood of the different seasons as well as specific objects like trees, buildings, characters and animals. And while his wisdom is available to everyone, not every disciple can take away the same learning from the Master.Read more
Age of Thieves is not a game about collecting victory points or anything mundane like that. It is about nothing less but fleeing a city under a full-fledged state of alarm – with guards roaming the streets and alleys – while casually carrying the most valuable jewels you can out of the city.Read more
Marie Cardouat’s game illustrations have always been in a style fitting for beautiful children’s books, and that is still just as true in HOP!. Beyond the illustrations, the game’s story is equally made for kids. After finding a book describing a magical kingdom in the sky, the child heroes of HOP! decide that they have to see the realm of magical creatures living in the clouds for themselves. And once that decision is made, it is a matter of moments before they are floating into the sky, each carried by a handful of balloons. And just like that you’re in the middle of a dexterity game for the whole family, and prettier than pretty much any other game out there.Read more
From haggis to caber toss, Scotland is full of traditions that seem odd to an outsider. But the oddest tradition has recently been discovered by Günter Burkhardt: when the Scots build a castle for their clan, it’s not a collaborative effort like you would expect. Every builder wants floors in his or her own color to top of all the tower. The resulting castle is neither very hospitable to live in nor does it have great defensive value, but it is a home for your clan, and someone made a lot of money building it.Read more
The final frontier… Space. The last remaining adventure, vast and (mostly) unexplored. We could go on about rogues, treks and storm troopers, towels, the Force and Lord Helmet – but today we would rather focus on a less mainstream but without a doubt worthy item: Milan Tasevski’s short and easy-to-learn, but still very replay-worthy Small Star Empires.Read more
Jacques Cousteau awakened the fascination for the submarine world in many of us. His film productions present the wonders hidden under the surface of the ocean, and yet they awaken curiosity for more. I think Monsieur Cousteau would approve of the way fellow Frenchman Antoine Bauza presents the underwater world in his game Oceanos: not as a place for warfare, like many games have done before, but as the object of curious discovery.Read more
The 1960s are upon us. Beatlemania. Marilyn Monroe. Breakfast at Tiffanys.
In Berlin, however, a wall not only divides two cities – it separates worlds. Nowhere on the planet are the two superpowers closer, their differences more visible. Beneath the surface, however, it is the similarities which are equally striking. Checkpoint Charlie was one of the few checkpoints between West and East Berlin, heavily guarded and watched. It was also the central checkpoint through which Spies passed from one sector to the other. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sniff around for the Chief of Spies trying to make it through Checkpoint Charlie undetected. And you can take the sniffing quite literally, as each player assumes the role of a dog, representing the K-9 division.
The life of a secret agent is tough. We know from James Bond’s biographical movies about the large number of people who to kill you while megalomaniac villains try to either kill everyone, enslave everyone or just take everyone’s money. But those movies gloss over the hardest part of the job: keeping track of who is who, and who they are working for. You think it’s easy, working with a bunch of double agents who all look the same because they wear stupid hats and trench coats and only meet in dark corners, anyway? Well, think again after you accidentally pass that briefcase to the wrong guy. He looked just like the right guy, but when he said “Thank you” you realized he was talking with the wrong stereotypical villain accent. But no more! With Undercover Doris and Daniel Danzer will help you understand just how hard the secret agent life is on your memory.Read more
German cities tend to have a long and eventful history. Germany is also one of the origins of modern boardgames. It comes as little surprise that many German cities have already been used as setting for boardgames. Cologne has Colonia, Hamburg Hamburgum, Trier Porta Nigra, and the list goes on. One city not so blessed so far is Ulm. Until now, that is, because now there is Ulm, a medium heavy strategy game Günter Burkhardt designed around the city.Read more
Naples, the birthplace of pizza, is being invaded. Local businesses selling pizza are under attack by a foreign product: French Fries. Papà Paolo, the master pizzaiolo, is obviously offended by foreign food trying to take over his city. Up to four up-and-coming pizza bakers compete to become the great baker’s successor in Papà Paolo. They don’t actually beat back invading fried potatoes, but they will build their own, little pizza empire. And in the end, that’s what really counts, right?Read more