Nürnberg 2012 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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The 62nd Spielwarenmesse – the International Toy Fair in Nürnberg, Germany – takes place Feb. 1-6, 2012, and this list is intended to catalog titles on display at that show.

Note that, unlike at Spiel in October, many games previewed at Nürnberg won't be available for purchase immediately, instead appearing in stores over the following months. Think of this list as a preview of what you might see appear in waves throughout the first half of 2012.

Lists from earlier years, mostly created by BaSL:
Nürnberg 2011 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2009 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2008 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2007 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2006 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2005 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2004 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2003 Canonical List
Nürnberg 2002 Canonical List

I'm still adding items to this list and will likely be doing so through the end of January 2012. Feel free to suggest other games to add in the comments or via Geekmail!
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Board Game Publisher: FoxMind
26. Board Game: Chocoly [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:6699]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Chocoly (aka, Schokoly) is a tile-laying game in which players attempt to create the largest continuous area of their own color of chocolate. Players keep a hand of four tiles drawn from a common pool of 2x2 tiles. Each tile contains a mix of two or three types of chocolate squares: dark, milk, or white. Play continues with players placing tiles in turns onto the board. An extra element of game play comes from the wooden smarties which can block or enable tiles being laid in a second layer, blocking or creating connections between groups.

With three players, the third color is played normally, but with two or four players, the unused color has an additional play element, with surrounded groups of the neutral color scoring for the player or team who touches them most.

Chocoly is related to the earlier released Scho K.O. but includes a third color of chocolate, with the red smarties being divided equally among all players.

 
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27. Board Game: Four in a Square [Average Rating:5.94 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Just as the Four in a Square suggests, you want to be the first player to form a square with four balls of your color.

On a turn, you place a ball of your color in an empty spot, then slide a board tile to try to get four of your color in a square. That's it!

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28. Board Game: I Go! [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1756]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

In I Go!, players draw and discard iteratively, attempting to improve the quality of their hands. You can improve your hand by forming a run (using 1 or 2 colors), matching the top card of the 'display' stack, or simply keeping low values cards. After your turn, you can declare "I Go!" to claim that you have the best hand (fewest penalty points). Other players can then play off of your run, and the best hand scores a point. First to 4 points wins.

The deck contains 10 suits, each numbered 1-11, for a total of 110 cards. The game is abstract and has no theme.

From the box:
I Go! is a fast-paced game that gets the whole family thinking on their feet. Draw cards in turns and try to improve your hand. Think yours in the best? Declare "I Go!" Were you too hasty, or was it worth taking the risk? Be alert and astute and win at I Go!

Corsari is the original release of the game with a Pirate theme.

 
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29. Board Game: Map It! U.S. Edition [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Map It! U.S. Edition uses the same game play as the German-language 'Ausgerechnet!' series of games: Players deal three piles of 15 location cards from a deck of roughly 200 cards (naming cities and landmarks in the U.S. for this edition). They take one deck of 15 cards and put one location card on the direction board, pointing north, south, east and west.

On a turn, a player draws a location card – keeping the latitude and longitude on the back of the card secret from all players – then places the card next to the direction board, indicating how they think this location relates to the starting one. Is Honolulu west of San Francisco? Why sure, so place it by the west arrow. Location cards can be placed between cards already on the board.

After each location card is placed, any player can challenge the positioning of that card. That player reveals the back of the most recently placed card as well as one adjacent card. If the challenge was correct – and the card placed wrongly – the challenger wins a point chip from the placer and the card is removed; otherwise the challenger hands over a chip to that person.

After 15 cards are placed, there is an interim scoring in which all players secretly guess how many cards have been placed correctly. Guess correctly, and you score two chips; if no one is spot on, the closest guesser wins a chip.

After three rounds and the final interim scoring, the player with the most chips wins.

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30. Board Game: Map It! World Edition [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:5116] [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Ausgerechnet Honolulu (aka, Map It! World Edition) uses the same game play as the other Ausgerechnet! titles: Players deal three piles of 15 location cards from a deck of roughly 200 cards (naming cities around the world for this edition), then place an interlude card between each set of piles to make a deck of 45 cards. One location card is placed on the direction board, which has arrows pointing north, south, east and west.

On a turn, a player draws a location card – keeping the latitude and longitude on the back of the card secret from all players – then places the card next to the direction board, indicating how she thinks this location relates to the starting one. Is Honolulu west of San Francisco? Why sure, so place it by the west arrow. Location cards can be placed between cards already on the board.

After each location card is placed, any player can challenge the positioning of that card. That player reveals the back of the most recently placed card as well as one adjacent card. If the challenge was correct – and the card placed wrongly – the challenger wins a point chip from the placer and the card is removed; otherwise the challenger hands over a chip to that person.

After 15 cards are placed, the interlude card signals an interim scoring in which all players secretly guess how many cards have been placed correctly. Guess correctly, and you score two chips; if no one is spot on, the closest guesser wins a chip.

After three rounds and the final interlude scoring, the player with the most chips wins.

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31. Board Game: Rise or Fall [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:9134]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 7 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

All the high school cliques – goths, geeks, jocks, cheerleaders, punks, skaters, artists, even the cool teachers – are competing to be as popular as they can be, and naturally that means they'll take the opportunity to slime others in order to make themselves look good by comparison. Can your clique come out on top?

In Rise or Fall, you represent a clique and try to hold on to your popularity points for as long as you can. Each turn everyone plays a card simultaneously, either attacking one opponent's clique, defending your own, or trying your hand at self-promotion. (Brag much?) If you attack someone who didn't defend herself, you take one popularity point from her; if she did defend herself, however, you look like a jerk and have to remove one of your points from the game. If someone defends herself and no one attacks her, she has to throw two points away. (Geez, you think you're so important that everyone's after you? As if...) If you're the only player to play an achievement card, you add a point to your pile.

Run out of popularity, and you're out of the game. As soon as only two cliques remain, the game ends and the clique with the most popularity points wins!

Other Information: Price: $25

Also available in a French version.
 
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32. Board Game: String Railway [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1390]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

String Railway is a unique train game that consists of colored strings, tokens, station tiles, and a board for scoring. To set up, first place the string tied in a big circle on the table to establish the field area for the game. Next, place a small circle of string to represent mountains and a line of string to represent a river. Finally, place the main stations for each player equal distances apart from one another.

On a turn, you draw and place a station tile, then try to place a railroad string between your stations in an effort to connect them in order to form your own train network. Connected stations earn victory points (VPs).

After five turns, the game ends and the player with the most VPs wins.

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Board Game Publisher: GameWorks SàRL
33. Board Game: Crazy Circus [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2586]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 10
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Crazy Circus – one of many names under which this design has been released – is a simultaneous puzzle solving game. Three animals stand on two platforms, and you are trying to change their configuration to match a target card by issuing commands like "Ma", which moves the bottom animal on one platform to the top, or "Ni" which swaps the top two animals on the two platforms. As a result, the game is a race to shout out multi-syllable commands such as the eponymous "MaNiKi", or "LoNiMaSo". The first player to do so correctly wins the target card, and whoever collects the most cards wins!

Other Information: Price: €25
 
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34. Board Game: PIX [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1812]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 9
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

You know how to draw? Good, then PIX is a game for you as it offers a new challenge: drawing with pixels!

You don't know how to draw? Good, then PIX is a game for you as you'll draw just as well as anyone with pixels!

That's the publisher's come-on for the party game PIX, in which your "drawing" skills will be put to the test. During set-up, you'll receive a magnetic board, twenty black square "pixels" and one red pixel; one or two other players will have the same color magnetic board as you. On a round, the players holding one color of boards will be challenged to create a pixellated image of a secret word.

Once the drawing time has run out, each player will reveal her artwork in the hopes that someone will guess what the image is. Both the correct guesser and the player who created that image score points – but here's the catch: Drawings are revealed according to the number of pixels used, so the fewer pixels you use, the more likely you are to show your image first, but the less likely other players are to guess what it is. Well, maybe – perhaps you're an 8-bit wizard and others will decipher your creations instantly...

Other Information: Price: €30

Alas, available only in France due to high production costs.
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Board Game Publisher: Gordion Games
35. Board Game: Drop Site [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:7093]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Turkish
Description:

Drop Site, the winner of the Premio Archimede 2010 Carta Mundi special prize for best card game, is a game about coordinating humanitarian aid shipments.

As parachutes of aid drift (quickly) to the ground, players must do their best to predict where aid shipments will land. This aspect is represented by players hiding cards in their "debt" pile in hopes that these cards will later match the face-up cards in the middle of the table. Players score points for every card (aid shipment) they are able to accurately predict by the end of the round, scoring more points for shipments they were able to spot while they were still high up in the air, but losing points for cards they were unable to match. Drop Site is fast-playing, intuitively strategic, professionally manufactured, and easy to teach and learn.

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36. Board Game: Grisbi [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Turkish
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Grisbi is a very dynamic and entertaining game about encounters between cops and robbers. Each player's goal is to act quickly and – by matching the right pictures – collect all the location cards. Grisbi is not a turn-based game, so being swift is your best weapon. Try not to make any mistakes while matching pictures!

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Board Game Publisher: HABA - Habermaaß GmbH
37. Board Game: Kuck Ruck Zuck! [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The animals at the zoo are tired of constantly having to pose for photographs again and again, so they decide to steal a camera and take pictures of themselves to make the process more fun. Can you tell who has the camera?

In Kuck Ruck Zuck! you can't see which animals holds the camera – but you do have the snapshots as evidence of where the camera was, and by looking at the pictures you can tell which animals took which shot. But can you figure out which critter took which pic before anyone else?

Other Information: Price: €10
 
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38. Board Game: Monstertorte [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:7036]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The monster bakers are hard at work in the kitchen – but to be honest, they're all terrible bakers, filled more with enthusiasm and drive than baking talent. Thus, you need to help them assemble the ingredients they need in order to complete the cakes on order!

To set up Monstertorte, place all of the ingredients – wooden balls in six colors - in the mixing bowl, that is, the box bottom. On a turn, one player reveals a cake card, then all the assistant chefs use their wooden spoons to scoop out the proper ingredients and assemble them in their individual bowl. The first player to do this wins the card, and the first player to collect five cards wins.

Other Information: Price: €20
 
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39. Board Game: Tier auf Tier: Jetzt geht's rund! [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:5063]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

It's time to stack more animals, but as the title suggests, now you move around, too!

In Tier auf Tier: Jetzt geht's rund!, a crocodile is trying to drift peacefully across the ocean, but unfortunately for it, you and the other players each control a bunch of animals that want to go for an ocean cruise, so you'll take turns stacking animals on the crocodile's back. The ocean waves don't let the crocodile drift peacefully, however, and after each animal is placed, the player must rotate the crocodile on its turntable – taking care to watch out for the shark at the same time.

Whoever first stacks all of her animals on the crocodile's back wins!

Other Information: Price: €20
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40. Board Game: Wasserratten in Sicht! [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Wally Walrus' island is a bright treasure, and only the shining light in the lighthouse keeps the water rats away from its shores. Wait, what's this? The light has gone out?! Now the rats have set sail for the island in their boat – they're not stupid water rats, mind you – and it's up to you and your fellow builders to ward them off.

To do this, players in Wasserratten in Sicht! will construct additional lighthouses brick by brick by rolling the right combinations of colors on the dice available to them. Can they get the lights to shine in time and keep the rats from overrunning the island and snacking on Wally's whiskers?

Wasserratten in Sicht! includes a competitive variant.

Other Information: Price: €15
 
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Board Game Publisher: Hans im Glück Verlags-GmbH
41. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Depeschen [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In Carcassonne: The Messengers, a small expansion for Carcassonne, players place a second meeple (included in this expansion) on the score board at the start of the game. Whenever they score points during the game, they decide which scoring meeple to advance; if a meeple lands on one of the dark spaces on the score track (0, 5, 10, etc.) and the owner of that meeple is the active player, then that player draws the top message tile from the track and either scores two points for it or takes the action shown on the tile. The possibilities are:

  • Score that player's smallest road, city or cloister as if it were the end of the game, but leave the meeple in place.
  • Score two points for each banner in a city that player occupies or two points for each of that player's knights.
  • Score three points for each of that player's farmers.
  • Draw and play an additional tile.
  • Score one follower and return it to that player's supply.

Whichever option the player chooses, he then places that tile on the bottom of the message stack.

At the end of the game, players add the scores represented by their two scoring meeples, place one meeple on that sum, then figure out their final scoring, earning no more messages.

Other Information: Price: €3

Jay Tummelson has said that Rio Grande Games will release this series of mini-expansions for Carcassonne in English, and he expects they'll be available in March/April 2012. Once we have English names, I'll add versions for them in the BGG database (or someone will depending on who's speedier).
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42. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Fähren [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Carcassonne: The Ferries, a small expansion for Carcassonne, includes eight new land tiles that show three or four road segments leading to a lake in the center of the tile; these tiles are mixed with the other tiles in the game.

Whenever a player draws one of these tiles, she or he places it following the normal rules, decides whether to place a follower (and if on a road as a robber, on which segment), then places a ferry on the tile to connect two of the road segments. Any segments not connected by a ferry end in the lake. Whenever a player extends a road that contains one or more ferries – whether by placing a Ferries tile or a regular road tile – she or he may move the first ferry closest to that tile in each direction of the road to connect different road segments. If this movement leads to a road being closed at both ends, that road now scores.

Other Information: Price: €3
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43. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Fluggeräte [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In Carcassonne: The Flying Machines, a small expansion for Carcassonne, eight landscape tiles showing a pair of wings are mixed with the other tiles to be used in the game.

Whenever a player draws one of these tiles, he places it according to the normal rules. He then has the option of placing a follower on this tile as normal or of attempting to fly a new follower to a nearby tile. This meeple will travel in the direction determined by the wings' orientation; the distance (1-3 tiles) is determined by a die roll. If a tile exists in this location, he can place the meeple on any unfinished, non-field location, whether that feature is occupied or not; if no tile exists in this location or all the non-field features are complete, then the player places no meeple this turn. Crash!

Other Information: Price: €3
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44. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Goldminen [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In Carcassonne: The Gold Mines, a small expansion for Carcassonne, eight landscape tiles showing a gold bar are mixed with the other tiles being used in the game.

Whenever a player draws one of these tiles during play, she places the tile according to the normal rules, then places one gold bar on this tile and one gold bar on any adjacent tile, whether orthogonally or diagonally adjacent. She may then place a follower as normal on the tile placed this turn.

Whenever any feature is completed – whether on the same turn or a later turn – and one or more tiles of the completed feature have gold bars on them, these bars are distributed among the players involved in the scoring. If one player has a majority of followers on the completed feature, she collects all of the gold bars available; if two or more players are tied in the number of followers present, then gold bars are distributed among those tied players, going clockwise from the active player.

At the end of the game, any unclaimed gold bars are removed from the board before final scoring. Each gold bar is worth 1-4 points depending on how many bars a player has collected.

Other Information: Price: €3
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45. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Räuber [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.16 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In Carcassonne: The Robber, a small expansion for Carcassonne, eight landscape tiles bearing a robber symbol are mixed with the other tiles at the start of the game.

Whenever a player draws one of these tiles, he places it as normal according to the standard rules, then he places his robber figure – a special meeple included in this expansion – on the score track next to the score marker of any other player. The next player in turn order who has a robber off the scoring track also places a robber adjacent to the score marker of any opponent.

Whenever a score marker accompanied by a robber moves on the score track, the owner of the robber moves his own score marker forward half that many spaces, rounded up, then removes his robber from the score track. (The one exception: If a player moves his score marker by robbing someone else, any robbers on that space move with that player's score marker and wait to rob that player following a normal scoring.) If two or more score markers are on the same space with a robber and both score, the robber's owner can choose who to rob.

Other Information: Price: €3
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46. Board Game: Carcassonne: Magier und Hexe [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In Carcassonne: Mage & Witch, a small expansion for Carcassonne, eight landscape tiles bearing a mage symbol are mixed with the other tiles at the start of the game.

Whenever a player draws one of these tiles, she plays it as normal following the standard placement rules. She then either places or moves the mage or witch on the playing area; both figures can be placed only on incomplete roads and cities, and both cannot be on the same road or in the same city. The player must place or move one of these figures, if possible. She then optionally places a follower on the tile just played.

Whenever a feature bearing a mage or witch scores, whether during the game or at game's end, the mage/witch adjusts the points scored for this feature. The mage adds one point for each tile in the feature, while the witch cuts the number of points scored for this feature in half, rounded up. After such scoring, place the mage/witch next to the score track to await the drawing of the next mage tile.

Other Information: Price: €3
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47. Board Game: Santa Cruz [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1365]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Santa Cruz is played in two independent rounds in which players build homes, churches and lighthouses on the island while also developing valuable resources.

Players each start with a hand of cards, comprising traveling cards and scoring cards. They then explore a board showing three islands, which have tiles laid face-down representing buildings and places, such as churches and lighthouses. On a turn, players must play either a traveling card to explore and place buildings in their color or play a scoring card to score a particular type of building, resource, or other game condition for all players. Spaces near the central volcano are more valuable, but are vulnerable to a negative eruption scoring card.

If that volcano does erupt, the magma might clear away the buildings already constructed. Bad luck? Well, use your experience from the first round to build better in the second. You won't make the same mistakes a second time, will you? Concentrate on the further colonization of Santa Cruz and score while you can!

Other Information: Price: €29
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Board Game Publisher: intellego holzspiele
48. Board Game: Gravitas [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In Gravitas players push the game tiles across the playing area, trying to create lines or blocks of their color.

Gravitas includes three play variants.

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49. Board Game: Singapur [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Two town builders have competing projects that vie for the most beautiful skyline, with the winner being the one who can see more houses when his game plan is realized. Singapur invites you to dream big – but only the one who is wide awake during play can win.

 
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Board Game Publisher: KOSMOS
50. Board Game: Colorio [Average Rating:4.93 Overall Rank:10173]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Colorio starts with players using plastic tokens to cover the colored spaces on the 5x5 game board. On each turn, a player must remove three tokens from the board, then either remove all of them from play or place one or two of them back on the game board in spaces different from where they came. (Thus, at least one token is removed from the board each turn.) A player cannot remove the final token handled by the previous player.

If a player reveals the fifth space of a color, that player is eliminated from the game. In a two-player game, the remaining player wins. In a game with more players, the game continues with that color (and that player) being out of play; when the fifth space of another color is revealed, that player is also out of the game. Plays continues until one player remains in the game.

Other Information: Price: €21
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