Why would anyone fight for crystals? Maybe because they are shiny. Maybe because of their powerful magic. Or maybe you just can’t stand the thought of another clan getting them. One reason is as good as the other. Crystal Clans hints at a rich setting with its clans’ personalities expressed through special abilities and the units each clan fields, but the setting doesn’t go beyond those hints, not even to tell us why those crystals are so important.Read more
So, you build engines from shiny, new metal parts? That would make you a mechanic or an engineer. You build them from bits of old engine? A game show candidate, maybe? Engines from bamboo and coconuts, you say? Why, hello there, Gilligan. You build engines from birds? Then… um… I don’t know… I guess you’re about to receive an angry visit from PETA, if not the police. You’re also a peerless genius of a mad scientist. Or you might just be playing Wingspan, an engine building game by Elizabeth Hargrave and this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres winner.Read more
Year2018PublisheraleaAuthorStefan FeldPlayers2 – 4Age10 – 199Time45-75StrategyLuckInteractionComponents & DesignComplexityScoreCarpe Diem. The fish of the day, as they say in Latin. It’s an[…]Read more
One amazing thing games let us do is explore worlds of imagination. Space ships traveling to distant stars are just as possible as dragons or old gods walking the Earth. I can’t think of any game that stretches the borders of imagination as far as Tsukuyumi.
On the surface, the world of Tsukuyumi used to be just like ours. Like Earth, that is. One difference, though – or at least I hope it’s a difference. Thousands of years ago, the white dragon god Tsukuyumi was trapped in the center of the moon by his brothers and sisters. There he lay, plotting, planning, until one day he broke free of his lunar prison by crashing into the Earth. The devastation was absolute. Continents shattered. Mountains crumbled. Oceans fell try. Animals, plants, and especially humanity paid a heavy toll. And amidst all this destruction Tsukuyumi and his army of Oni warriors stand to recapture what was once theirs.
After three games around the North Sea – Explorers, Raiders, and Shipwrights of the North Sea – designer Shem Phillips wanted a change of direction. Literally. So him and co-designer S J Macdonald went to the West Kingdom. The first game in this new trilogy is Architects of the West Kingdom, the sequel Paladins of the West Kingdom was just funded on Kickstarter, we don’t know the title of the third game yet.
The West Kingdom is the 9th century Carolingian Empire, and in the first game the players are architects – don’t act surprised now – construct landmarks and cathedrals for the king.Read more
Way too many religions in the world threaten their believers with going to a bad place if they misbehave. Let’s call it Hell. Or maybe Purgatory, if there’s a chance you might leave and go to a good place at some point. Think about that what you will. But in the Middle Ages, one religion went a step further than usual with this belief: the Catholic church offered their believers a way to buy themselves free from eternal punishment. With the purchase of a papal Indulgence, they advertised, your soul will go straight to heaven, all your sins forgiven. And as a side effect, the money will pay for a shiny new basilica in Rome. This practice was not universally popular. It was so unpopular, in fact, that a German priest and theologian rallied against it and caused a schism in the church that was never mended. And that’s why we get Mea Culpa, a game about indulgences, this year, exactly 500 years, after Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg.Read more
The World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago has mostly fallen from general awareness. In its day, however, there was a consensus that this event had a transformational power in America exceeding anything since the American Civil War. Calling the game World’s Fair 1893 transformational might be going a bit far, but it’s in one league with many of the novelties presented at the 1893 World’s Fair.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
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
Once they get into gaming, most people discover their go-to designers at some point, the handful of designers who’s name is enough to make them buy a game. Vital Lacerda is one of my go-to designers, and so it was only with a slight hesitation that I took the big chunk of cash from my wallet to pay for the huge box that is The Gallerist. And I haven’t regretted the decision since, The Gallerist has exactly what I love Vital’s designs for: finely interwoven game mechanics that seem complex at first, maybe even convoluted, but reveal an elegant design underneath and meaningful, multi-dimensional decisions on every turn.Read more