Welcome to Cartographers, a roll-and-write game – draw-and-draw game, to be entirely accurate – that puts you in the unenviable position of the kingdom’s master mapmaker. Queen Gimnax has sent you to the northern lands to map them, and with authority untempered by knowledge, has given you clear instructions what she expects you to find.Read more
How many different faces are there, really? You get men or women, young or old, blond or brunette, dark-skinned or light, wearing a hat or not – if you want to get really exotic you might consider cat faces, wolf faces, green faces, blue faces. So let’s say there are like, thirty different faces in the world. That seems a lot already. And then let’s say there are that many again, because there are two sets of Similo cards: History and Fables.
How are you supposed to find one specific face out of all of those, when the one person who knows who you’re looking for can only give cryptic clues? Why, by deduction, of course!
The moon has a lot of influence over things down here. It controls the tides. It affects people’s feelings. It grows people’s teeth and body hair – at least that’s what Ted Alspach would tell you. Now that floating piece of rock will even decide which tiles we’re about to pick in a game.
Okay, not really. Even the Nova Luna rulebook doesn’t go to much effort to explain the game’s lunar theme. Nova Luna is an abstract tile placement game, the moon is just there for the graphic design. Which is fine, I like abstract games and I like pretty games, so the combination is a win for me.
The King’s Dilemma
How far can you get with only yes/no decisions? Pretty damn far, if you ask anyone working with computers. But how about in terms of game design? How far does a game of yes/no decisions get you? That’s a question to ask Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva, the designers of The King’s Dilemma. While there is a bit more around it, the core of the game is a series of yes/no decisions.Read more
Silver Amulet / Silver Bullet
I’m starting to wonder if Ted Alspach had some bad (or maybe very good?) lycaontrophic experiences in his youth. He created Ultimate Werewolf, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Ultimate Werewolf Legacy, and a bunch more, what are the odds the neighbors’ dog didn’t whisper dark secrets to him?
Ted’s newest take on the lupine exposure genre is the Silver series, so far containing Silver Amulet and Silver Bullet and soon to be joined by Silver Coin. The furry beasts in these games are much more insidious than usual, though. In the Silver games, people are not simply werewolves or not werewolves. Werewolves exist on a gradient from “not a werewolf” all the way to “holy crap, that is absolutely a werewolf”. Finding the most werewolf group of people will be a challenge under those circumstances.Read more
Take some words. Pulp them thoroughly into component letters. Mix with sugar and possibly pectin, boil in a jar. Realize that you misunderstood what Letter Jam is, throw out that mixture of boiled sweetened dictionary, and play the game by Ondra Skoupý.Read more
Lama is the German word for llama. No big conceptual leap there. L.a.m.a. is, at least in Reiner Knizia’s vocabulary, an abbreviation for “lege alle Minuspunkte ab”. Discard all minus points. You could translate the title by its abbreviation, but then an eventual English edition would be called D.a.m.p., and whatever depiction you pick for that would be much less adorable than the crazy llama L.a.m.a. has. And so the international publishers have stuck with the adorable tylopod.
Linguistics lesson aside, L.a.m.a. is a small box card game that is nominated for the Spiel des Jahres this year. Not at all bad for a relatively simple shedding game and worth a look what makes it special.