Kilt Castle

Kilt Castle

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 G√ľnter 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.

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Oceanos

Oceanos

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.

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Undercover

Undercover

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.

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Sea of Clouds

Sea of Clouds

The right combination of two familiar game mechanics can create something new and fun. Sea of Clouds combines a drafting game with a press-your-luck mechanic. If you enjoy only one of those, then this game is definitely worth your time because it combines the best parts of them. And it does that while letting you loot the skies as a flying pirate, if you needed any more convincing.

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Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot

Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot

Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Games are usually known for heavy games, but with Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot they ventured into family game territory. Here you wage sea battles by throwing a metric ton of dice into the game box and then using more or less improbable ship upgrades to fight. For family-friendliness, players don’t fight against one another but compete who can capture or sink the most non-player ships.

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Tokaido – Collectors’ Edition

Usually, when a game is about traveling a road, you win by arriving first at the destination. Of course racing is fun, but it’s not the only way to travel. Sometimes, going slowly and enjoying the trip is what you should be doing. Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido rewards that type of travel, here the winner is the player who had the richest experience along the way. That makes Tokaido very different from a racing game, and in the best way, too.

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A Game of Gnomes

Every year Fragor Games releases one game, designed by the Lamont brothers and produced with ridiculously pretty ceramic miniatures. Last year, that game was A Game of Gnomes. It’s what it says on the box: a game, and about gnomes. Except the title and some puns in the rule book, it has nothing to do with that other A Game of …. Something that everyone is talking about, but it has a lot to do with mushrooms. And it has the largest single component in any game we have here at the Meeple Cave.

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Imhotep

Imhotep

The problems with building pyramids don’t start with stacking big stones on top of other big stones. Sure, that’s one problem, but when you get to that point you solved a couple of other things already. Like how to get big stones when all you see around is sand. That part of the operation is the focus of Phil Walker-Harding’s Imhotep: get stones from the quarries down the Nile and to the construction sites, on ships you have to share with other architects working on the same project.

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Sapiens

Sapiens

The year is god-knows-when BCE. The first people are spreading across the plains and forests looking for two things: food and shelter. Their most important tool in this dangerous voyage are Dominoes-like tiles they use to map out the surroundings. Okay, no, they didn’t really do that. You do that when playing Sapiens, map out the territory for your tribe to prosper.

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Potion Explosion

Potion Explosion

The Horribilorum Sorcery Academy for Witty Witches and Wizards, yet another institute of magical learning that not only ignores safety procedures, it’s probably using the handbook to start a fire. This time, students have to sit their Potions exam with ingredients from a rickety, old ingredient dispenser and a professor that actively encourages them to cause explosions in that thing and to drink their own potions they just created to see if they work. Realistically, this game is not about winning, it’s about surviving!

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