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Game Preview: Reworld, or Shape the Ships into Shipshape Order

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In addition to the previously announced Frogriders and Ghost Catchers (preview videos here and here), German publisher eggertspiele has a number of titles in various stages of development, including a new Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling title for SPIEL 2017 that's all about terraforming a non-Martian planet for fun and profit.

In Reworld, 2-4 players each attempt to terraform a newly discovered planet on their own, and to do that they need to use terrabots to establish new cities and shuttles to deliver materials that will populate those locations. I've played the prototype once — entirely bungling my terraforming efforts in the process, mind you — so let me give you a rundown of this typically tactical eggertspiele design that will challenge you to think from front to back in a new way.

Over five rounds, players fill the five levels of their spaceship with tiles featuring terrabots, shuttles, material vessels, and satellites. Each round, twenty of these tiles are placed at random around the perimeter of a large mother ship, and each player receives a hand of 7-13 cards depending on the number of players. On a turn, a player can play one or more cards to claim a tile following these rules:

• If neither tile adjacent to the desired tile has been claimed, the player can lay down any card next to this tile, claim it, then place it in the leftmost space of the level of their spaceship that matches the number of the card played. If you play a 4, for example, then you must place that tile in the leftmost position of your spaceship's fourth level.

• If one tile adjacent to the desired tile has been claimed, then you must lay down a card of the same number used to claim that previous tile or any two cards of your choice (with those two cards thus serving as a joker). Whatever number is topmost on the card(s) played indicates the level of your spaceship on which you must place this tile.

• If both tiles adjacent to the desired tile have been claimed and the cards used to claim them show the same number, then you do the same as described above. If the cards have different numbers, however — e.g., 1 and 3 — then you must lay down the same two numbers (1 and 3), one matching number and any other two cards, or any four cards. You then place this tile on your spaceship in the same manner previously desired.


While she stares at her hand, I stare at mine (artwork and components not final)



Once everyone has no cards in hand or cannot play further, the round ends. Any remaining tiles are thrown away, then you reset the board and deal out a new hand of cards. After five rounds, players now deploy these tiles onto the new planet, taking turns to deploy 1-3 of the leftmost tiles from the spaceship level of their choice to create their personal terraformed world. If you deploy a terrabot, which are labeled A-E, you start a new city with this letter or extend an existing city of yours. Material vessels, which come in five colors, can be delivered to the planet's surface only if attached to shuttles, and each city can have vessels of only a single color. Satellites provide bonus scoring when added to a city. Shuttles and satellites can also be used for shields to protect your newborn planet.

Players earn points during the first half of the game for picking up terrabots and having cards left in hand. (You'd rather acquire tiles, of course, but at least you receive a compensatory point for each card wasted.) During the second half, players score for deploying satellites and for meeting targets set at the start of the game, e.g. being the first to have a city with eight tiles in it, have a city of each letter, empty a level on your spaceship, have a certain number of shields, score a certain number of points, etc.

Once all the spaceships are empty, players score their final points for how well they've developed each city and their shields in comparison with their fellow terraformers. Whoever scores the most points wins!


A poor layout of tiles; don't try this at home — or in space! (artwork and components not final)



At first blush, Reworld might remind you of programming games such as RoboRally, Space Alert, Colt Express, but the game challenge is more along the lines of you loading a handful of moving trucks. Whatever you place into the truck first is likely going to come out last, so if you start a level with an E terrabot, you need to keep in mind that (a) you won't reach that terrabot until you deploy everything to its left first and (b) you can't place anything to the left of this terrabot into your E city unless you have another E terrabot somewhere else on your spaceship that will be deployed first.

As everyone knows, you want to load the bedframes, mattresses and sheets last, but sometimes you can't help it. In Reworld, Kramer and Kiesling have baited the hook with more points for loading terrabots in the early rounds — and sometimes you just don't have the cards for anything else — so you take a terrabot anyway and leave worries about planting it until later.

Everyone cursed their hand of cards at one point or another during our demo game, partly because others occupied spaces that would require you to pay cards you didn't have (thus upping your costs) and partly because you didn't want to place tile X on level Y. You squirmed and screwed up your nose, sometimes grabbing a second-best tile and sometimes just plopping a tile on the level anyway and letting that worry meter ratchet up a little higher.

Satellites push players in different directions — I want a lot of red materials; she wants a long city; he wants shields — which then has us valuing tiles in different ways, but they're all jumbled together anyway, so we're often going to have to step on toes or overpay to get what we want. The goal tokens counter this push toward diversity as we're all competing for these bonus points, while simultaneously knowing that we can't grab them all, so we just need to make sure that we do certain things one turn faster than everyone else in order to take more bonuses than others.

While getting the rules rundown, I missed the line about shuttles being required to move materials to the planet. I thought shuttles just let you bring down more materials in one go, with you deploying slower without them, but no, your materials will just be jettisoned into space if you can't dock them shuttleside. Don't make this same mistake; fight for shuttles early and often, while still keeping in mind that if you have nothing good to shutt, then they're not worth that much in the long run unless you want to end up with a bazillion shields protecting a terramalformed planet...
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Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:00 pm
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Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2017 IV: Custom Heroes, Lovecraft Letter, Sorcerer, Stronghold Games, and The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game

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Time for more game overview videos shot in the BoardGameGeek booth at the 2017 GAMA Trade Show, starting with a title that we previewed at GTS 2016 ahead of its Kickstarter campaign and which is now in the hands of backers ahead of a U.S. retail release in June 2017. That game is Eric Vogel's The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game from Evil Hat Productions, and it pits characters from the first five novels in the "Dresden Files" series from Jim Butcher against a scenario based on one of those novels.





• Some publishers brought only a game or two to feature in their time on camera at GAMA, and some brought everything and the kitchen sink. Stephen Buonocore from Stronghold Games is an example in the later category, with him running through nine games in less than thirteen minutes. Three of the titles were released at SPIEL 2016 — Flamme Rouge, Cottage Garden, Not Alone — so you might already know something about them, with the main takeaway from this video being that Stronghold will release this titles in the U.S.





White Wizard Games has released three successful card games — Star Realms, Epic, Hero Realms — and its next release, Sorcerer from Peter Scholtz, sticks to its card game roots while combining an RPG-type element as you create a character in the game by shuffling together different decks that will combo together in varying ways.





• The latest iteration of Seiji Kanai's Love Letter coming from Alderac Entertainment Group — their annual premium version, as it were — is Lovecraft Letter, which gives you an opportunity(?) to go insane during a round in order to make use of special "insanity" powers but at the risk of being booted out for being too mad for the table.





• AEG seems to specialize in spinoff games or games that can be iterated in multiple ways, and this specialization is evident in Custom Heroes, which takes the transparent cards from John D. Clair's Mystic Vale and uses them in a trick-taking game that allows you to level up cards during play, with those changes persisting in future rounds, thereby altering the nature of the deck from which everyone is receiving their cards.

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Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:00 pm
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Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2017 III: Munchkin: Rick and Morty, Evil Dead 2, The Terminator, Nefarious: Becoming a Monster, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters

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Let's continue with more preview videos from the 2017 GAMA Trade Show. We have 32 videos in our GTS 2017 playlist on YouTube, and I haven't even finished publishing everything from day one. We sliced nine hours of video on day one into 52 videos, which seems a bit crazy, to be honest, especially since a number of the videos feature multiple games. We just jammed out as much as possible, which barely left us time for eating at the end of the day. Such is convention life.

One new title I'm happy to see announced is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion from USAopoly as my son and I have had a ball playing the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle base game. We haven't lost yet through five games — and we've come close to losing only once — but we're playing with only two players, so the dark arts events don't hit us the same way they hit people in a four-player game, which seems like a developmental miss.

I can overlook that uneven player count scaling, though, as he's a Potter fan who's enjoying himself greatly and I get to do all my silly voices while playing. Maybe after we finish, we can go through the game again with three players to up the challenge — or we can jump into this instead the material another way.





• USAopoly showed both HP:HB–TMBOME and the Munchkin: Rick and Morty standalone game (and many other things) at NY Toy Fair in February 2017, but I couldn't take photos in their booth. Such are the restrictions that come from working with licensors to transform their stuff into games. At GTS 2017, Andrew Wolf from USAopoly could now talk about Munchkin: Rick and Morty — as well as a Munchkin: Deadpool expansion — while still not revealing any of the cards themselves.





• USAopoly also teased Donald X. Vaccarino's Nefarious: Becoming a Monster, an expansion for Nefarious that existed in prototype form when the Ascora Games version of Nefarious went to market in 2011, but which never previously saw print.





• Let's make a licensing sandwich with a creamy Nefarious middle by taking a look at Evil Dead 2: The Official Board Game from Space Goat Productions. Some people have looked at this release and the next one and wondered how this company they never heard of landed these licenses (as well as one for The Howling), and the secret is that this "new" company has existed for a decade, having been founded in 2006 as a "talent management agency and production studio" for the comic book industry.





• SGP collected more than $200,000 for The Terminator: The Official Board Game on Kickstarter in March 2017, and the ideas in the game sound like what you'd want to see in an adaption of The Terminator, but we won't see what the final result is until the game hits the U.S. market at the end of 2017.

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Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:05 pm
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Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2017 II: Codenames Duet, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire, and A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game

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Time for another round-up of upcoming games that were on display in the BoardGameGeek booth at the 2017 GAMA Trade Show, starting with an overview of Codenames Duet, a cooperative version of Vlaada Chvátil's massive party game hit from 2015. Now two players — or more should you want to play in teams — work together to try to identify all their spies in the field. You think these guys would keep better notes by this point!

I played Codenames Duet once at PAX East 2017 with CGE's Joshua Githens, and the game presents an interesting challenge, especially since three of the spies are shared among the pair of you. This makes it impossible for you to guess only those words that don't show on your side of the card, yet you don't know which three are shared, so you're then considering everything on the board when given a clue — which is as it should be. (One word of advice: Just try to remember when you do identify a spy that's also part of your "half" of the team since that will help you narrow down choices in the future.)

During play, you're both staring at the board and either of you can yell out a clue and a number, but since each of you has spies unique to your side, you can't only throw or receive; you need to do both. Sometimes, though, you're happy for the other player to give a clue as the answers might eliminate something troublesome with a clue that you wanted to give — which mimics the nature of the original Codenames.

As Josh mentions in the video, CGE is still working on the timing mechanism at this stage of their development. We played with a stack of green "found spy" tiles, along with a row of individual spy tiles. When you gave a clue, you'd pick up the stack, cover any spies guessed correctly, then place the rest of the stack on the first individual tile of the row (thus increasing the size of the stack by one). If you need to place the stack back down but no individual spies remain, then you've run out of time and you lose; if you ever place the final tile in the stack and have nothing to put back down, then you win immediately (as the gamemakers presume that you're smart enough to guess any remaining spies on a 1-1 basis at worst).





• At GTS 2017, CMON Limited announced that it had brought on designer Eric M. Lang full-time as Director of Game Design as of April 1, 2017, and we spoke with him at the show about his responsibilities for the publisher and what this entails for future designs from him. Rising Sun was on the table, so we talked about that a bit as well.





• Lang then stuck around in the BGG booth to preview The Godfather: Corleone's Empire, which will be released in July 2017, presumably to avoid the money crunch that gamers will experience at Gen Con 2017. We actually recorded an overview of this game at GTS 2016, but now the design and components are final, so you can see the game as it will hit the market.





• And there was still more from CMON Limited as Lang and Jared Miller stuck around to present an overview of plans for Michael Shinall's A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game, part of which will launch on Kickstarter in Q3 2017 and much of which will unwind in monthly batches once the initial starter set hits the market in 2018.

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Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:00 pm
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Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2017 I: Dice Forge, Pyramid Poker, Dinosaur Island, Wasteland Express Delivery Service, and Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game

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BoardGameGeek was at the 2017 GAMA Trade Show for two days in mid-March 2017, and we streamed game demos over both YouTube and Twitch for nine hours one day and eight hours the next. Since you possibly don't want to sit through more than seventeen hours of video to find the overviews that interest you, I've started posting the individual game demos on YouTube (in this GTS 2017 playlist) and on the individual game pages here on BGG.

Most of the videos highlight games due for release later in 2017, and while some don't contain much more than a teaser, as with this short clip on Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game





—many of the videos show off the finished look of a game, as with this pre-production proof of Wasteland Express Delivery Service from Pandasaurus Games—





—while others sometimes show the entire game being played, as with this nine-minute video of Pyramid Poker from R&R Games.





Some folks had mentioned that the Dice Forge overview that I shot at FIJ 2017 in Cannes was unclear or didn't give them enough information about the game, so here's another take from GAMA.





As might be expected, many games currently on Kickstarter or scheduled to be funded via Kickstarter showed up at GAMA, as with Pandasaurus' Dinosaur Island. They do have a pandasuarus promo as part of the KS campaign, right? Right?!





We tried a new microphone set-up at GAMA. Instead of having wireless mics that attached to the collars of host and guest — a mic that needed to be placed onto, then removed from each guest — we instead had wireless microphones on tripods that projected over the demo table, yet out of view of the cameras. I feel the guests sound great, while I sound like I'm speaking from inside a large vase, but maybe that's just me hearing my voice outside my head.
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Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:05 pm
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Game Previews from FIJ 2017 III: Dice Forge, Jelly Squad, Mysterium: Secrets & Lies, Mafiozoo, and Seeders from Sereis: Exodus

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I'm almost through posting game demo videos recorded at the 2017 Festival International des Jeux in Cannes, France, leading off this time with a trio of games from French publisher Libellud, with Dice Forge coming from company owner Régis Bonnessée.

Dice Forge is a dice-crafting game along the lines of Rattlebones and the LEGO dice games as the faces of the dice can be changed over the course of the game to customize the dice to a player's strategy.

I hadn't realized how softly I was speaking in these three videos until I processed them. We were located in the press area on the third floor of the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès where FIJ takes place, with open space all around us and balconies that opened onto the floors below. Everything was peaceful and quiet, so without the buzz of the convention that normally takes place, I was practically whispering...





Mysterium: Secrets & Lies from Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko adds more of the same to the Mysterium base game in the form of new object, location, and characters, along with new story cards that can replace object cards to give the game a tougher challenge.





• Antonin Boccara's Jelly Squad is a frantic dice-rolling game with players trying to collect jelly from the monster that attacked the city so that they can crow about doing more to save people than anyone else. Hold that jelly high, champion!





Mafiozoo is a new version of Rüdiger Dorn's Louix XIV with publisher Super Meeple working the endgame scoring, the power gained during the game, and the setting.





Seeders from Sereis: Exodus is an oddity for publisher Sweet Games, which normally releases tiny boxed games with relatively short playing times. The game originates from a future history derived from Serge Macasdar and Charbel Fourel, one that has the human species traveling to the stars over thousands of years, modifying itself in multiple ways, and encountering others along the way.

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Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:00 pm
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Game Previews from FIJ 2017 II: Secrets, Unlock!, Go Cuckoo!, Oh Captain!, and Not Alone: Exploration and Sanctuary

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• Let's check out more upcoming games that were previewed — or in some cases released — at the 2017 Festival International des Jeux in Cannes, France, starting with Secrets from Repos Production. Co-designer Eric M. Lang is on the minds of many gamers due to the Kickstarter launch of Rising Sun, but that title's more than a year from being released whereas Lang has six titles scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2017, this being one of them. That's not necessarily ideal as at some point I would think that Lang fans would pick and choose, leading to some releases being overlooked, but those release decisions are made by publishers, not him. Of course the potential audience for, say, The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is likely going to differ from that of Secrets, so maybe all will go well for everybody. We'll see.

In any case, Lang and co-designer Bruno Faidutti showed up at FIJ to talk about Secrets —and many other titles, of course, some in the design stage, others nearing publication, and I missed getting Faidutti talking about Fearz! due to overlapping appointments and Detectives due to me not checking Geekmail for a week! In any case, here's an overview of the hidden team game Secrets, and I'm curious as to whether anyone else is also feeling the American Flagg vibe.





Not Alone was a big hit at SPIEL 2016, and now designer Ghislain Masson and publisher Geek Attitude Games have two expansions in the works for release in 2017, with Not Alone: Exploration adding more of the same for variety and Not Alone: Sanctuary adding creature mutation and other new elements.





• The As d'Or — France's game of the year awards — were announced the night before FIJ opened, and designers Josep M. Allué and Víktor Bautista i Roca won the best game for children's prize with Go Cuckoo!, which is published by HABA under the title "Kikou le coucou" in France. They talked with me about the game's origin and development, specifically its transition from a game for adults to a game for children — despite it still being a game for adults in the end — while also demonstrating how to play.





• Another As d'Or winner was Unlock!, the escape room game series from Space Cowboys, with this title selling like gangbusters in France while still awaiting release in most other places in the world. Cyril Demaegd designed one of the scenarios in Unlock!, which will be sold individually in the U.S. instead of as a trilogy, and he talked about the game's reception and what else is in the works.





• To round out this handful of videos with designers talking about their creations, here's Florian Sirieix on one of two games that he has coming out in 2017: Oh Captain! from Ludonaute, with this being the launch title for the publisher's Legends of Luma world.

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Wed Mar 8, 2017 5:00 pm
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Game Previews from FIJ 2017 I: Batman: The Boardgame, Otys, Booo!, Princess Jing, and Captain Sonar: Upgrade 1

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• Didn't I just finish posting game preview videos from Spielwarenmesse 2017 the other day? Yes, yes I did. I have a lot of preview videos in the can, though, so here's another batch for you, this time recorded on the shores of Cannes, France at the 2017 Festival International des Jeux, which took place February 24-26.

Let's start with an overview of Batman: The Boardgame, which was probably second only to Cities of Splendor in terms of breathless excitement generated from those monitoring FIJ from home. Batman: The Boardgame is based on the design of Conan, both being from Frédéric Henry and Monolith, with the game system at the heart of the design being mostly finished while everything else is still in the works. No release date yet as Monolith wants to move everything to the finish line first in order to avoid Conan-like delays upon completion of the inevitable Kickstarter.





Roberto Fraga, co-designer of Captain Sonar with Yohan Lemonnier, gave an overview of what to expect in Captain Sonar: Upgrade 1, which wasn't on hand to try out at FIJ 2017 in the Matagot booth.





• Fraga also showed off Princess Jing, a two-player game being published by Matagot that he designed eighteen years ago. Yes, this design predates the third millennium on the Gregorian calendar. Fraga told me only after we stopped recording that the inspiration for this game came from a Michael Jackson video in which characters hid from one another behind columns in a labyrinth of some sort. Perhaps someone can link the video below as this one doesn't ring a bell for me...





Pearl Games is collaborating with Libellud on its 2017 release Otys, with Pearl providing the gameplay and Libellud the world-building. Sébastien Dujardin presents an overview of this game about diving in a post-apocalyptic world, noting that it should be available for previewing at Gen Con 2017 ahead of its scheduled release at SPIEL.





• Christophe Gonthier's Booo! from Blackrock Games falls into the category of "staring games" — games in which players stare at a board, seemingly petrified, until someone finally notices a way to do whatever it is they're supposed to do.

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Mon Mar 6, 2017 6:30 pm
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Videos from NY Toy Fair 2017: Emerson Matsuuchi on Century: Spice Road and a Walkthrough of the Javits Center

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As I explain at the beginning of the walkthrough video below, I don't normally record videos at NY Toy Fair. The event doesn't have an overwhelming amount of game announcements — at least not for the typically BGG user — and we've just recorded a hundred game overview videos at Spielwarenmesse in Nürnberg, Germany, some of which will be "new" at NYTF for that audience. Thus, I go to the Javits Center on my own, race around taking notes and pictures for 1.5 days, then fly home wondering when I'll be able to publish everything, which was even more the case this year since I headed to France three days after NYTF in order to record videos at the Festival International des Jeux. Such heartwrenching problems, I know.

Despite those protestations, I inevitably bring the videocamera with me anyway. In 2016, I recorded a trio of awkward videos with Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games. In 2017, I needed it for one scheduled game overview video that I didn't want to pass up — see below — but I didn't want to leave it that, so with ten minutes remaining before I needed to head to the airport, I opened up the camera, walked through the three aisles devoted to games, then kept walking. Hope you enjoy this peek into what NY Toy Fair is like!





• At Spielwarenmesse 2017, I played a game of Century: Spice Road with Plan B Games owner Sophie Gravel and cameraperson John K, then wrote up a game preview here on BGG News. Only afterward did I discover that I could meet designer Emerson Matsuuchi in NYC to record an overview of the game there.

So I did.

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Sun Mar 5, 2017 2:50 pm
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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse VII: AXIO, Torres, Legacy of Pirates, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time, and a Hall 12 Walkthrough

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• After a brief interlude caused by me attending two other conventions, I've finally finished posting all the game overview videos that BGG shot at Spielwarenmesse 2017, the annual toy and game fair in Nürnberg, Germany, which took place Feb. 1-6, 2017. Thankfully few of these games are out yet, so these videos can still serve as previews of what's coming, such as this overview of Reiner Knizia's AXIO, a new iteration of the Ingenious tile-laying system from Pegasus Spiele that was announced at the end of January 2017.





• Not surprisingly, I ran into Reiner Knizia during Spielwarenmesse — several times actually, including a scheduled meeting to talk about what life is like for a game designer at such a convention. If you plan to make a living as a game designer, you don't necessarily need to attend such shows, but you'll be doing yourself a favor if you do so that you can survey in one location much of what's happening in the game industry around the world.





• The Spiel des Jahres-winning Torres from Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer is coming back into print courtesy of HUCH! & friends. If you're already familiar with the game, you can now check out the new (old) components, and if not, you can learn the basics of gameplay.





Cranio Creations has a big legacy-style co-op coming from designers Asger Harding Granerud, Daniel Skjold Pedersen, and Daniele Tascini, with Legacy of Pirates giving you ten linked scenarios and a huge 3D pirate ship that serves as the game board.





• I already wrote up the co-op game Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time from Matthew Dunstan, Brett J. Gilbert, and Funforge after getting an overview at Spielwarenmesse 2017, but for those who want to see the game in action, you can now check out this preview video.




• To finish off our coverage of Spielwarenmesse 2017, here's a nearly seven-minute walk through half of Hall 12. Man, that hall is massive! We just walked up and down the aisles shooting things without stopping and still saw very little of it. Maybe this video will be of interest simply to show some of the hundreds of other products at the toy fair aside from the games on which we've been focusing.

Outside of the few dozen game overview videos I've featured in BGG News posts over the past month, we have many dozen more on the individual game pages, with all 101 videos in a Spielwarenmesse 2017 playlist on our YouTube channel. So many games are coming, not to mention those I saw at NY Toy Fair 2017 and the 30-40 games we recorded previews of at FIJ 2017. Ideally I can post all of those videos before heading to PAX East on March 9, 2017 to see yet more games coming in the months ahead...

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Sat Mar 4, 2017 6:25 pm
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