Age of Thieves

Age of Thieves

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.

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Ulm

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.

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The Gallerist

The Gallerist

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.

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7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Mighty empires are fighting for supremacy over the ancient world. But where once up to seven empires where in contest, now there are only two. 7 Wonders: Duel condenses the action of 7 Wonders into a two player game, playing in two being the one weak spot 7 Wonders always had. To make that happen, many things had to change, but the game remains the same.

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Orleans

Orleans

Thing-building games are still going strong. Deck-building games are the most popular of the bunch, but dice-building games and bag-building games have lots of fans, too. With Orleans one bag-building game has made the Kennerspiel des Jahres nominations this year and it really represents the cream of the genre. To become the most successful leader in medieval France, you need tight management of the followers in your bag.

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Five Tribes

Five Tribes

Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder take us to Naqala, a magical kingdom straight out of Arabian Nights if Arabian Nights had included meeples. Which it should have. Five Tribes is one of the most talked about games of the last year, and after testing it extensively we understand why.

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The Staufer Dynasty

The Staufer Dynasty

A huge Empire without a permanent capital is something that is hard to imagine today. But in medieval Europe, the Staufer emperors had their itinerant court, they would travel around their empire and rule from wherever they just happened to be. That way, everywhere in the empire could have the glory of hosting the emperor, and he would get first hand knowledge of what was going on everywhere. In The Staufer Dynasty, you are a member of the court of Henry VI, working hard to get members of your family into influential offices all over the empire.

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Greenland

Greenland is a pretty hostile environment for human beings, and survival is at stake there every day. Not so much nowadays, but people have been living there since long before packaged food and electric heating. The game Greenland gives you some idea just how dangerous the place is: careful planning and good tactics will go a long way, but a bit of bad luck can still wipe out your people.

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AquaSphere

AquaSphere

Stefan Feld is back, and he’s taking us on a trip under the sea this time. Because it’s better down where it’s wetter. But you won’t have time to watch the singing and dancing crustaceans, there’s science to be done. You only have two people working for you, an Engineer and a Scientist, but together with their swarm of robots they will do science, collect crystals and catch invading octopodes.

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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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