Leaders of Euphoria

Do you remember Euphoria, the worker placement game about the absolutely happiest city of the future? We all knew things there were to good to be true and something would go horribly wrong sooner or later. Well, something has gone horribly wrong. The brain implants that guaranteed everyone’s continued happiness have failed. The city is in uproar. And behind the scenes people are scheming to take advantage of the situation and take control of the city. People like you.

Leaders of Euphoria: Choose a Better Oppressor is set in the same city as Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone’s Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, but it was created by a different designer team. Clayton Skancke and Brian Henk of Overworld Games liked the Euphoria setting so much they created a new edition of their own game Good Cop Bad Cop in it.

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Tempel des Schreckens

A mysterious temple in the jungle, untold treasures inside. But it is pretty darn dark inside here, impossible to see anything. We’ll just feel around for the doors and hope we find some treasure. But the sound is weird. I could swear there are more footsteps in here than we brought people in…

That’s the somewhat peculiar premise of Tempel des Schreckens (translated: Temple of Terror), a German version of Yusuke Sato’s social deduction game Don’t Mess with Cthulhu / Timebomb. (There appear to be some minor rules changes, so I’m not going to call it the same game.) A group of adventurers has found a temple in the middle of the jungle and enter it in search for treasure. Inside, unnoticed by all of them, they are joined by a number of temple guardians who want to lure the expedition into the temple’s fire traps. And because everyone is only looking at their smartphone nowadays, no one knows which group any of the others belong to. Guys, we’ve been walking through the jungle together for weeks, but I can’t tell you apart from the women guarding this temple.

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Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

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.

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P.I.

P.I.

A black-and-white scene. A gloomy office, a frosted glass door. Dusk is falling onto the metropolis outside the windows, police sirens and unidentifiable scents wavering through the reddening light of night falling. Behind the desk sits a man in shirts and trench coat, his hat on the wardrobe next to the door. A private eye by trade and complexion. Suddenly, a knock on the door, it opens and a stunning woman with a red dress and an air of titillation enters… that’s a typical day in the life of a classic film noir detective, and one that you can participate in when playing Martin Wallace’s P.I.

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Odyssey - Wrath of Poseidon

Odyssey -Wrath of Poseidon

Nothing is easy when the gods are against you. Especially not getting home across the sea when the god in question is Poseidon. And even less when Poseidon is a friend from whom you just stole the last piece of pizza. That’s the setup of Odyssey – Wrath of Poseidon: up four players are Greek navigators on their way home, one player is Poseidon who feels slighted by the Greek’s victory at Troy. Together, they play an asymmetric deduction game.

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Alchemists

Alchemists

Combining boardgames with mobile apps into a game that people actually want to play is the current Philosophers’ Stone and Holy Grail rolled into one for game designers and publishers. The Philosophers’ Grail, maybe. Previous attempts have had lukewarm success at best. But Alchemists is the first in a new wave of games with companion app, and it might just have found the magic formula how do it right.

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Sleuth

Sleuth

Unusually for a detective game, in Sid Sackson’s Sleuth you won’t care at all for the whodunnit. Your real focus is the whatismissing. And if you played any other of Sackson’s games before, you will already expect that figuring out even that is going to take some brain-sweat. And you’re perfectly right with that expectation, too.

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Incognito

This week, we’re going on another trip to the past, specifically to 1988. Also to Venice. Incognito won the award for most beautiful game at the Spiel des Jahres awards that year, and it’s well deserved: it’s one of the prettiest deduction games I’ve ever seen, with all custom components. And it’s a clever game as well.

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i9n

i9n, or "Information" is a deduction game that uses punch cards to give new, hidden information during the game. It also adds some strategy and a bit of luck to the mix, making it a very fun game that certainly won’t be the last one to employ this new mechanic.

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Tombouctou

Tombouctou from 1993 thematically sounds like a caravan trading game, but it turns out to be a deduction game where you protect your cargo from thieves by figuring out where they strike first.

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