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NY Toy Fair 2018 Round-up II: Forbidden Sky Less Forbidden, Story Cubes Invites Star Wars Storytelling, and Codenames Goes XXL

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Let's check out a few more upcoming games on display at NY Toy Fair 2018, which ends today, Tuesday, February 20, starting with what might be the most anticipated game on display at the show:




Okay, "on display" is a bit of an overstatement given that Gamewright had nothing more than a box visible to highlight the upcoming release of Matt Leacock's Forbidden Sky, but this box does tell you that (1) the game comes in a box instead of a tin and (2) it contains more than would have fit in the Forbidden Desert tin. No, the packages won't line up nicely on your shelf, but you're getting more, so that's good, right?

Gamewright confirmed to me that this game is scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2018 in August. Fingers crossed that they make a life-size version in the air above the Indianapolis Convention Center. I'm sure they can afford the insurance for running that event...




Gamewright also showed off Cahoots, a cooperative game from Ken Gruhl in which 2-4 players take turns playing one of four cards in their hand on one of the four discard piles — matching color or number when they do so — in order to satisfy one of the goal cards on display. If they do, they discard that goal and draw a new one. The challenge is to make it through twelve (easy game) or sixteen (hard) goals before the deck runs out to win.




Bananagrams released Big Letter Bananagrams in 2017 with the components designed for ease of play by older players or those with limited eyesight. Lookout Games is sort of following that same model with Patchwork Express, which will feature larger pieces for ease of handling and visibility (as well as gameplay that will encourage positive scores, and therefore possibly better feelings for those who play).

Czech Games Edition released a limited run of giant versions of Codenames and Codenames Pictures in late 2017 for use at conventions, and now it's planning to release Codenames XXL into distribution in 2018. This version is identical to the base game other than having everything be larger. Stores can use this version for demos, game groups can use it for playing with large crowds or in public spaces to attract passersby, and those with vision difficulties can use it to play without having each card read to them repeatedly.




For Codenames fans of a different stripe, this new version of Codenames: Deep Undercover was on display in the PSI booth. I'm not sure whether this is a revised version of the original or something new. Many times at NY Toy Fair I shoot pics, then worry about figuring out the details later.




Smooching in Star Wars? Okay, there's a bit of that I suppose, but it still seems odd to see that presented as one of the representative dice — and while you might imagine that the dice are placed in the package randomly, I don't think that's the case. Those dice are in place to sell the package through the user seeing them and instantly creating a story of their own. Who are you going to ship in Star Wars IX: Regrets of George Lucas? Grab one or more Story Cubes sets, and you can create your own screenplay.




The wooden token is returning to the Jungle Speed box. Heck, maybe it's been there recently, and I just didn't know it. It's hard to keep track of all these things...




This demo kit for Ticket to Ride is a great idea, one that other publishers should consider emulating. I've seen publishers of party games release small card packs that allow an end user to get the feel of a game, but not something like this, with the gameplay scaled down in a way that potential customers can play a full game in 10-15 minutes in the store. (This might seem like a repackaging of Ticket to Ride: First Journey, but it's not. Players have only 15-18 trains, true, but you have goal cards to complete for points and not a race that's challenging you to complete a certain number of tickets first.)

We'll close with a handful of tweets that can stand on their own without additional comment:








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NY Toy Fair 2018 Round-up I: Eight Expansions from Gale Force Nine, Shadows in the Forest from ThinkFun, and a Prelude for Terraforming Mars

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I zipped to Manhattan for thirty hours this past weekend to visit NY Toy Fair 2018, take pics of whatever I could, then zip home to prepare for a trip to Cannes, France where Lincoln and I will livestream game demonstrations with designers and publishers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 22-24. I hope to publish a schedule of demo times at Festival International des Jeux before we go live, but I have little time to prepare before I head to the airport, so fingers crossed that the wifi on the plane will be working smoothly. Oh, yes, and my wife's birthday was Monday, so that was important, too. Busy week!

As for what was on display at NY Toy Fair 2018, I invite you to survey the BGG Twitter feed should you be interested in seeing everything that I posted — and I still have several dozen more pics that I hope to post soon — but for now here are a few of the highlights, starting with the company that had the strongest line-up across the board:




Gale Force Nine had only a handful of new games to announce, but this one caused a lot of interest, partially because folks wondered what this means for the well-being of Prodos Games' Alien vs Predator: The Hunt Begins, to which I can say only that I don't know. The tweet above gives you all the info that I know at this point, and we'll get more details in the future. Again, thirty hours total in NYC, including for eating and sleeping.




Secrecy is something you encounter again and again at NY Toy Fair, mostly because many game publishers are partnering with the owners of one IP or another, and they can't talk about that IP until the owner gives them the okay. Thus, GF9 announced that it's releasing a D&D game in August 2018, but since Wizards of the Coast has revealed no details of the new setting or storyline, GF9 can say nothing about the game's contents. You learn that you can't play it solitaire, but beyond that...zippo.

Would you prefer that a publisher say nothing unless it can talk about a game in full? Some do this, as with the thing that I did not expect to see at all and that I doubt anyone else would have expected to see, but I can't say a thing about it, so in the end I'm teasing you for absolutely no reason other than to make you feel what the NY Toy Fair experience is like sometimes. You look behind the curtain — sometimes literally — then you place all that info behind a curtain in your mind until you get the "all clear" later.




Star Trek: Ascendancy will see two more player expansions in 2018. No details beyond the covers and the Q2 and Q4 release dates for now, but for some of you those covers will be all you'll need to make a decision.




Each of the Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks expansion packs contains two Doctors, as well as components related to the television series of those Doctors, but you don't need to use those particular Doctors in gameplay. You can shuffle all the location or dilemma tiles together, then just see who ends up doing what where.




Firefly Adventures: Brigands and Browncoats is shipping to stores at the end of February 2018, with each of the two expansions planned for 2018 including two new characters. As I note in the tweet, the paper storage containers in the box are meant to serve as buildings or obstacles in play, which is a neat double use for those items, especially since that means GF9 can effectively have more components than you might expect in the box since the components are themselves storage.

What's more, the entire box bottom can itself serve as a tile in the game, giving you an additional gaming surface, and the box bottoms of the expansions will function in the same way.




I already referred to my most unexpected game above, but I can talk more about my second most unexpected game since ThinkFun was quite open with it, with Shadows in the Forest being a new edition of Walter Kraul's Waldschattenspiel, an obscure German game more than thirty years old that far more people have heard about than ever played.

In the game, one player pushes a lit candle around the board, trying to reveal dwarves with the light because if they're revealed, they can't move until another dwarf touches them and frees them. All players but one represent the dwarves, and to win the game, they must gather together by one of the trees on the game board. The candle player must freeze all of the dwarves to prevent this from happening.

Due to safety regulations in the U.S., Shadows in the Forest will include an electric light rather than a candle, but you can do what you like in your home once you buy the game. Note that the components shown in these images — and almost all images that I shot at NY Toy Fair 2018 — are non-final. The light will be a bit taller in this game, for example, to assist in the creation of sharp shadows on the board. (I watched a short demo of gameplay in a tent in the ThinkFun booth. I was not kidding before about the curtains!) The dwarves of the original game have been replaced with "nightlings" that will look similar to what's shown below. When a nightling is revealed by the light, you take off its mask to indicate its frozen status.






Did Fold-it always seem to you like a logic puzzle disguised as a game? If so, now you can rip the mask off and buy it in its naked form. ThinkFun had a couple of other logic puzzle collections on display as well:





Let's close with one of the first pics that I tweeted from NY Toy Fair 2018:




Yes, Terraforming Mars gets another small expansion from FryxGames and Stronghold Games, with Terraforming Mars: Prelude due out in July/August 2018.

This expansion includes new corporation cards as well as new "prelude" cards. Stronghold's Stephen Buonocore explained that each player would begin the game with four prelude cards — possibly acquired via drafting, but I can't recall the details right now — and each player would choose two of them with which to start in play, discarding the other two. Thus, each player has more differentiation from the get-go, leading to more variability from the first round on.

Buonocore added that a larger TM expansion, one that's Venus Next-sized, is currently scheduled for release at SPIEL '18 in October.
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Coverage of NY Toy Fair 2018

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NY Toy Fair 2018 opens on Saturday, February 17, which might be today for you depending on when you're reading these words — and if it is today, then I'm at the Javits Center taking pictures and notes about the new and upcoming games on display at the show and posting them on BoardGameGeek's Twitter feed.

That's all you'll get from me for the weekend as I had to leave my laptop at home to upload video files to Dropbox before Lincoln heads to Cannes, France to set up for our livestream from the Festival International des Jeux, with that coverage starting on Thursday, February 22, which is one day before that game fair opens. Lots going on, and little time in which to do it! (If any of you can convince Google to spread fiber across the RDU triangle faster, I'd appreciate it...)
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AMIGO Heads to the U.S.; Gamewright Yells Zoinx at Trash Pandas

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• German publisher AMIGO Spiel has long had a presence on the U.S. gaming market, but only through games licensed by others. In 2018, though, AMIGO is finally opening a U.S. gaming division of its own: AMIGO Games, which is headquartered near Austin, Texas, and which was founded in December 2017 ahead of the closing of AMIGO's frequent U.S. publishing partner Mayfair Games, a closing detailed here.

AMIGO Games will launch in 2018 with twenty titles(!) in the U.S., all of which have been released previously in Europe and many of which have had prior release in the U.S., but senior product manager Ashley Ross tells me that the company is going for a different look with much of its line-up compared to what's released in Germany. The strategy games in the line-up — Tom Lehmann's Ciúb, Johannes Schmidauer-König's Portal of Heroes, and Fréderic Moyersoen's Saboteur, Saboteur 2, and Saboteur: The Duel, all of which are due out in Q2 2018 — will keep their familiar look because they're aimed at an audience that's already "in the know" about such games.

(Adds Ross, "we bought back all the product Mayfair had in stock. Until that sells out, the English version in stores will have the Mayfair logo. On our next production run, the boxes will have the Amigo logo as shown in the images.")




By contrast, AMIGO's family line-up of games — which includes Rudi Hoffmann's Café International, Wolfgang Kramer's Escape from the Hidden Castle (a.k.a. Midnight Party) and Heimlich & Co., Haim Shafir's Eye Sea (first released in 2016 as Brain Storm), Heinz Meister's Déjà Vu, Thomas Pauli's Double Down (a.k.a. Lobo 77), and Thorsten Gimmler's No Thanks!, all of which are scheduled for release in August 2018 — have a retro look that recalls the U.S. game industry of the 1960s.




Of particular interest to BGGers might be Take Five & Take A Number, which combines Wolfgang Kramer's 6 nimmt! and Kramer and Reinhard Staupe's X nimmt! in a single package. Why not since they have so much overlap in their components?

The rest of AMIGO's line-up is children's games, or perhaps a more descriptive term would be "games by Haim Shafir", since he's responsible for designing or co-designing most of them, including CLACK!, Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Connect the Thoughts (a.k.a. Huddelmuddel), and Fruit Punch, which is what AMIGO is now calling Halli Galli in the U.S. This latter box bears the tagline "Spot five and bop the banana!" because the box contains a squeaky banana instead of the traditional bell. Sacrilege!

Another title in the children's line is Bob Lindner's Engine, Engine No. 9, which debuted in 2010 in Germany as Voll in Fahrt.




• U.S. publisher Gamewright has released a list of the game it plans to release in 2018, but right now the description of each item is brief, which doesn't give much in the way of flavor, and the images are teensy as well. Matt Leacock's Forbidden Sky — already teased in this late January 2018 post — is the highlight of the bunch for gamers, but folks might also want to check out Zoinx!, a dice game in which you bet on what you think others will roll, with those players being able to press their luck at the risk of failing and rewarding your instead.

• Gamewright has also picked up Michael and Lisa Eskue's Trash Pandas for publication in Q3 2018, with this title having first appeared through the Eskues' own Red Rook Games with funding via Indiegogo. In the game, player raccoons dig through trash cans (via a die roll) to score food and shiny objects, but you need to balance your greed for more each round against the risk of crashing and coming away with empty paws.

• Another Gamewright title possibly of interest to gamers is Cahoots, a cooperative game due out Q2 2018 in which players need to play cards onto 1-4 piles by matching color or number to complete a series of goals without communicating what they hold in hand. Asks the publisher: "Can you make all piles purple or green? Every card lower than four? All cards add up to ten?" Answers the writer: I do not know. More details, please.

• Gamewright's Long Cow falls into the familiar family game genre that requires you to manipulate farm animals. In more detail:

Quote:
Build cows by collecting heads, tails, and middles from the deck. The longer the cow, the more points you score. Bolster your barn with holy cows, robot cows, and even a cross-bred Franken-cow — but make hay before your herd is hit by a tornado, or worse, an alien abduction! Round up the biggest bovines and party like the cows came home!
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New Game Round-up: Martin Wallace and Osprey Head into the Wildlands, and Renegade Challenges You to Prowl Carefully

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• UK publisher Osprey Games released a swanky new version of Martin Wallace's London in late 2017, and now they're embarking on a new, larger project together — a miniatures-filled board game titled Wildlands that's due out in Q4 2018. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:

Quote:
The great evil has fallen, taking the capital with it. Where once there was a kingdom, there is now only the Wildlands. In this lawless fantasy world, gangs must battle it out for survival, treasure, or maybe even glory. Players control rival factions, each with a unique deck of cards dictating their abilities across the battlefield. Some focus on ranged prowess, some on raw strength, and others on the tactical synergy between characters, offering a wide range of playing styles to explore.

Wildlands contains everything you need to dive straight into the frenetic fantasy world of Wildlands. Each skirmish sees players attempt to outwit, outmaneuver, and overpower their opponents as they fight for riches and glory, scoring points by defeating enemy characters and collecting treasure. Familiarity with your favored faction will help, but adaptability is the key to victory, as a semi-randomized set-up and double-sided board means that no two battles will tell the same tale.

To quote from the press release:

Quote:
This is one of our most exciting projects to date, and the release of Wildlands is only the beginning. Ongoing support will see the fantasy world expanded through additional factions, maps, and mechanics, offering players new challenges to face and environments to explore.

"I've been designing games for a few years now and sometimes you wonder if you are just revisiting old designs and themes", said award-winning designer Martin Wallace. "Wildlands was an opportunity for me to do something off the beaten track: a fast-moving, tactical combat game with asymmetric special powers. I was very pleased when the design found a home with Osprey Games, who have done an amazing job of developing and refining the system, as well as applying an engaging thematic background. They did fantastic work with London, so I'm expecting this to be simply awesome when it finally hits the shelves."

• Game site nicegamehub reports in a Spielwarenmesse 2018 round-up that Queen Games will release a new edition of Shun's The King of Frontier from Studio GG. I've asked Queen for verification of this news, and the publisher said that it would have a press release about this in the near future.

• Renegade Game Studios has been lining up game releases left and right, with Aaron Vanderbeek's Castell bearing a Feb. 21, 2018 U.S. street date. In this game, players relive the Catalan tradition of building human towers over a year of festivals in different cities.

Shem Phillips' Explorers of the North Sea: Rocks of Ruin, co-published with Garphill Games and due out in April 2018, allows you to add a fifth player to the game, while also giving you new captains and building types, along with cargo to salvage.

J. Alex Kevern is no stranger on the Renegade roster, and his fourth title with he publisher is Prowler's Passage, a two-player game due out in May 2018. Here's an overview from the publisher:

Quote:
In the heart of the sleeping city lies incredible wealth. While the gates to the city are well guarded, no one is watching what's under their feet. The dead of night provides just enough cover for you to tunnel towards untold riches to plunder the city from within. Act quickly, as a rival thief has the same plan...

In Prowler's Passage, you and a competing thief burrow into the city through a network of underground passages to grab valuable items while attempting to gain control of key districts. Steal the best items, create the longest tunnels, and control districts to become the premier prowler!
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New Game Round-up: Race for the Galaxy Expands, Memoir '44 Goes Higher, and Munchkin Gains Turtle Power

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• Designer Tom Lehmann has noted on BGG that Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Counter Strike — the second title in the Race for the Galaxy arc that began with Xeno Invasion in 2015 — has been green-lit by publisher Rio Grande Games, with this expansion having no anticipated release date at the moment since the design is not finished. To quote Lehmann:

Quote:
XI's sequel, XCS, has been green-lit and we've tested some of its many parts, but it has been bumped back by 5 other RGG projects -- not all of them Race-related -- two of which (Roll: Rivalry and [SECRET]) are mostly done. I *hope* to return to XCS late this year. When I write the XCS secret history and designer preview sometime in 2019? 2020?, I'll try and finish the XI secret history then.

Stronghold Games has announced an updated release date of July 2018 for the "Driver's Edition" of Vital Lacerda's 2014 release Kanban. This edition of the game, which Stronghold states will not be reprinted past 2018, includes forty wooden cars to dress up the game, along with a double-sided game board that is meant to help newcomers pick up the flow of the game more easily.

• Designer Gil Hova of Formal Ferret Games will release The Networks: Telly Time, an expansion for The Networks that features UK-based shows, nine genres, and a new "noughts-and-crosses" way to get a genre bonus, will debut at the UK Games Expo in June 2018.

• Are you a Memoir '44 fan who's still hoping after all these years to get a copy of Memoir '44: Air Pack? Well, you can just keep hoping for now, but designer Richard Borg has noted in the Days of Wonder forums that something new related to air support is in the works for the game:

Quote:
...a new Air Sortie expansion is scheduled for sometime soon, well maybe not that soon, but it is on the near Horizon.

It will be and most certainly will be a seamlessly fit into all our Memoir '44 game scenarios. This is in fact is how I originally imagined it would always be. Air rules that were simple and yet they would be a very interesting and fun way to add another very cool feature into our Memoir '44 games.

IDW Games and Steve Jackson Games have joined forces and licensing power to bring about Munchkin: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a design by Jon Cohn that will debut in June 2018 in three editions, with two of those editions being funded via Kickstarter since they contain extra bits with which some folks won't concern themselves.

The only gameplay description released so far covers pretty much exactly what you might expect from Munchkin: TMNT: "Players take on the roles of the turtles and their friends to fight monsters and grab treasure."

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Video Previews of Lookout Games' Patchwork Express, Caverna: Lost Peoples, Neom, Little Songbirds, and Isle of Skye's Second Expansion

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I posted a overview of titles coming from Lookout Games in 2018 shortly after the Spielwarenmesse 2018 fair ended, and now that we've started publishing the game overview videos on YouTube — twenty in the playlist so far! — I can show those titles to you in slightly more detail, although not too much as the games are still being developed, they have little to no art, and we stuck to the basics of gameplay.

• Let's start with Patchwork Express, a reimplementation of Uwe Rosenberg's Patchwork that is both easier and faster. Why would you need that, you might ask? Because Lookout wants to make the game accessible to far younger (and far older) players. The game board is only 7x7 instead of 9x9, and the pieces are larger and less complex, with some small pieces being added to play near the end of the game so that you can patch holes in your quilt and try to achieve perfection.





Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister's Isle of Skye will receive a second as-yet-unnamed expansion in 2018, with this focusing on the "dead ends" that players create during the game as they run roads into mountains, grasslands, or lakes. When you create a dead end, you can take or buy a special tile that gives you bonus points during the game at the end of each round or a special ability.

The components are rough in this overview, and as the developer mentions, this expansion is still being designed and developed right now, but this gives you a taste of what's coming.





Little Songbirds is a card game from Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle in which you need to play the right bird cards from hand in order to scare birds from the feeder, collect seed, avoid crows and squirrels, and land bird couples in your collection. Lots of stuff going on in a small card game!





Neom is a futuristic city-building game from Paul Sottosanti in which players draft commercial, residential, industrial, resource, and other tiles over three eras, assembling those tiles into a personal city. Each tile that you draft requires money or resources in order to play it, and you can possibly acquire resources from other players as long as you can afford to pay for them.

At the start of the game, players draft cornerstone tiles — valuable tiles that have specific building requirements that can affect everything else you do in the game.





• Finally, we have Caverna: Lost Peoples, which began life as a fan project on BGG and which Lookout is developing for a planned debut at SPIEL '18 in October. This expansion for Uwe Rosenberg's Caverna will consist of eight species packs, with each species having four unique buildings. Each species has unique advantages and disadvantages in play, with some introducing new resources, and by adding their buildings to the game — replacing some of the original buildings and thereby adding variety to the starting set-up — other players can gain the ability of these new species as well. Want to eat dogs as trolls do? Now you can!

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Video Coverage of Spielwarenmesse 2018, Starting with Coimbra

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Lincoln Damerst and I shot many dozens of game overview videos at Spielwarenmesse 2018, the annual toy and game fair in Nürnberg, Germany, and now we've started publishing those videos on YouTube and on the individual game pages.

I don't plan to post every video on this blog, but I will post some of them when they're relevant to something else in the news, when I have more to say about a particular game, or when I expect that many folks are eager to learn more about a game, as is the case with Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli's Coimbra, which eggertspiele will debut at Gen Con 2018 in August.

To watch this video or anything else related to Spielwarenmesse 2018, head to the YouTube playlist for this convention and see what else has been posted.


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New Game Round-up: NY Toy Fair 2018 — Licenses Galore, with Star Trek Fluxx, A Wrinkle in Time, and Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game

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• At NY Toy Fair 2018, which opens on Saturday, February 17, U.S. publisher Looney Labs will showcase several upcoming titles that demonstrate its continued ability to merge its existing titles with the works of others to spread awareness of their games.

First, Looney Labs has partnered with Gale Force Nine in order to create Star Trek Fluxx and Star Trek: The Next Generation Fluxx, both of which will be on display at NYTF ahead of their August 2, 2018 U.S. street date, which coincides with the opening day of Gen Con 2018.

Second, another pair of games coming from Looney Labs results from a partnership with folk artist Mary Engelbreit, whose work you would undoubtedly recognize, even if you don't know her name. Details on these games will be available at NY Toy Fair, but for now we know that the publisher will release some kind of Mary Engelbreit-related Fluxx as well as a version of Loonacy featuring her artwork. This deal isn't something that will rock the hobby industry, but given how well-known Engelbreit is across the United States, this is a brilliant way for Looney Labs to introduce itself to a new audience.

• I already wrote about a handful of 2018 releases from Cryptozoic Entertainment in late December 2017, and now the publisher has revealed even more upcoming releases that it will have on display at NY Toy Fair 2018, including two more titles based on a pair of Rick and Morty episodes.

Rick and Morty: The Rickshank Rickdemption Deck-Building Game, a sequel of sorts to 2017's Rick and Morty: Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind Deck-Building Game, features a set of council cards that cause players to vote to enact new rules, dramatic one-time effects, and other mysterious situations. Access tokens give players votes and chances to devalue the Galactic Federation currency from 1 to 0.

Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game is based on the "Pickle Rick" episode, comes packaged in something that looks like a pickle, and bears this description:

Quote:
One player plays as Pickle Rick as he tries to escape a heavily armed compound, while the other player takes on the roles of both the Russians and Jaguar as they try to stop him. The Pickle Rick player uses weapons cards to dole out damage and Air Vents to get out of jams as they try to get to the rooftop. The game includes both Pickle Rick and Jaguar miniatures that are moved across a dynamic board made up of tiles that are constantly being added, rotated, and flipped.

Non-final Rebirth art
• Cryptozoic's DC Deck-Building Game will see two releases as well in 2018, with Rebirth introducing movement as element of the game design through eight "Mighty Meeples" wooden figures, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Aquaman. What's more:

Quote:
The game features both competitive and cooperative modes, offering two distinctive ways to play. In both modes, villains do not go into a player's deck when defeated, but instead grant a one-time reward. In competitive play, defeated villains give players victory points, then go under their superhero cards. They can even be used to bribe rivals for various favors.

DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Crisis Expansion Pack 4 is another small expansion that can be used with any of the DCDBG base games. As for what it does, here's an overview:

Quote:
This expansion introduces the keyword "Unity" for ongoing cards that get better as more teammates have them in play. The pack focuses on the Teen Titans and includes six superheroes from the Titans, original members of the group who are now all grown up and have something to prove.

Another fresh twist to gameplay comes in the form of personal crisis cards, which may directly affect only one character, but can still take down the whole team if players don't work together to solve the problem.

• To continue the theme of "licensed IPs at NY Toy Fair", which is not an unfamiliar theme by any means, I present A Wrinkle In Time: A Daring Adventure Game from Kami Mandell of USAopoly — which, I think, is the only game in our database based on A Wrinkle in Time other than Lloyd Krassner's unlicensed Wrinkles in Time, and he has released hundreds of free, online-only games, so he kind of doesn't count.

This game is based not on the Madeleine L'Engle book, but on the Disney movie due out March 9, which of course is based on the book. As for the gameplay, here's what we know for now about this 1-3 player game:

Quote:
In the game, players take on the role of the story's main characters — Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin — and work together to solve mathematical puzzles, decode secret messages, and tesser to new locations to rescue Mr. Murray and get home. The engineering of a hexaflexagon is behind the "Flex Enfolders", which when used in conjunction with dice rolls must sum up to progress through five movie-based locations, or levels.

A coding portion of each round relies on players' abilities to communicate and lay out an "operation chain" that aims to generate a successful result, after which they will use the color filtration of Mrs. Who's "Quizzing Glasses" to reveal Mr. Murry's hidden whereabouts.
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Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:34 pm
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Spielwarenmesse 2018 Round-up VI: Quest Anew to El Dorado, Bounce Like a Kangaroo, and Find Catalysts to Score

W. Eric Martin
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Following yesterday's unexpected excitement, I think it's time for my final tweet round-up for Spielwarenmesse 2018, the annual toy and game fair in Nürnberg, Germany. I still have random pics on my phone that I haven't tweeted yet, along with notes about this or that, but I have plenty of other new things to write about as well next week ahead of NY Toy Fair, so let's get to this!

• I've already covered a number of Ravensburger titles in these round-ups — Carpe Diem, The Rise of Queensdale, Impact, TransAmerica — but the publisher had still more to show around every corner in their booth, and that booth was quite wind-y indeed. At SPIEL '17, Ravensburger and designer Reiner Knizia had already announced that an expansion for The Quest for El Dorado would be released in 2018, and here's the first look at that Heroes & Demons expansion which was otherwise not on display on the demo tables.



• Yet another title in the "scurrying cockroach" line from Inka and Markus Brand is being prepared for release by Ravensburger in 2018, and it's neat to think about this game and The Rise of Queensdale originating from the same sources. One game is an involved campaign series that will require players to devote dozens of hours to playing it, while the other is likely a 5-10 minute affair with skittering HEXBUG toys. Quite the range!



Catalyst, which is scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2018 from dV Giochi, is a drafting combo game in which you purchase characters as they appear from the deck, then use their one-time powers to do different things, which includes purchasing buildings in which to place future characters you purchase as those buildings can be used repeatedly to zoom your way toward the finish line.

We recorded an overview video of this game, along with several dozen others, while in Nürnberg. I'm not sure what the final video count was, but I do know that Lincoln has been working on getting them out in the near future since another convention — FIJ in Cannes — is just over the horizon.



• The next title in IELLO's mini-games line is Nessos, a new version of Comet's Bakudan Takarabako from Takaaki Sayama and Toshiki Arao.

The original game name translates to "Bomb & Treasures", and the deck consists of cards containing those two types of items, with the treasures being numbered 1-10 and the bombs not being numbered because honestly it's going to kill you no matter which number it might say. On a turn, you give another player a card face down; if the card is a treasure, you must state truthfully the number on it, and if it's a bomb, you make up whatever number you want. The other player can accept the card, send it back to you, or add a card to it (following the same rules) and give it to someone else.

Your goal is to collect cards worth a certain number of points, but if you collect three bombs, you're out of the game. Boom. Thus, Nessos is almost a pure bluffing game, with you also playing the odds and trying to get sets since having a 1, 2 and 3 is worth 10 points instead of 6.



Claude Leroy's classic strategy game Gyges, first published in 1985, is being released in a new themed edition from Blue Orange Games, with players now trying to bounce a kangaroo into the opponent's back line three times to win. The challenge is that you can bounce off of other pieces already in play in order to keep moving a token, but you can move only a token that is off the board on your side or (if everything is on the board) closest to you on the game board.

Side note: With his son Timothée, Claude Leroy started the small publishing firm Jactalea, and Jactalea is what became the European division of Blue Orange Games, which Timothée now manages.

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Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:00 pm
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