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Spielwarenmesse 2020 II: Teaser Pics of Titles from Blue Orange Games, ABACUSSPIELE, and Cocktail Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
Let's check out more pics from the Spielwarenmesse 2020 trade fair while we await the processing of the video overviews that we shot there, starting with a surveying of the Blue Orange Games booth.

I'll add comments on a few items, but in the interests of brevity, I won't comment on everything since that's what videos are for! If you want to know more about an item, search for that game listing, subscribe to the game page, and await the video overviews, which will show up on our BGG Express channel and on those individual game pages. Note that all artwork and components shown in these images might change prior to publication.

Board Game: Dragomino

Dragomino is a version of Kingdomino for players ages 5+, with players drafting tiles sort of as in the original game, then placing a dragon egg on the edge that connects two tiles. The more matches you make, the more eggs you place — although sometimes you'll flip over an empty, already cracked egg instead of one containing a dragon baby.

Board Game: Meeple Land

Board Game: Midnight Exchange

In fact, we did not shoot an overview of Midnight Exchange. The European branch of Blue Orange Games was showing off more than a dozen upcoming titles, but we shot videos of only four, with four more titles scheduled for airtime at FIJ 2020. Priorities!

Board Game: Animix

Animix is another BOG title that was on display, but not overviewed.

Board Game: Cupcake Academy

BOG has a history of releasing real-time games such as Spot it! and Dr. Eureka, and Cupcake Academy is a co-operative game in that genre, with players doing a Tower of Hanoi in order to shift the cupcake wrappers around on their mats and the neutral central mat in order to match the target pattern, then move on to the next one. Complete enough patterns in time, and you win the game.

The game includes pattern cards for two, three, and four players, and at the more difficult levels, you need to trade cupcake wrappers through the neutral map so that you'll end up with multiple wrappers of the same size.


Board Game: Fringers

Board Game: Fringers

Fringers from Asger Harding Granerud, Daniel Skjold Pedersen, and ABACUSSPIELE works somewhat similar to Cupcake Academy, being a real-time co-operative game in which players trade items, but it seems more in the vein of a party game, with up to ten players playing at the same time.

To set up, you reach your right hand into the black bag and shove some number of rings on your fingers. Once everyone has rings, you reveal the target pattern, flip the timer, then start trading rings, but you can use only your left hand to move rings and you can't move rings from one of your fingers to another, but only from your hand to your left-hand neighbor's hand. If you need a red ring on your thumb, then you need to get it from your right-hand neighbor!

At more difficult levels of play, you need to have multiple rings on one digit, which makes trading more difficult since you need the right things in the right order, and beyond that a digit might be off limits entirely, making it impossible to park rings there.


Board Game: Hanabi: Grands Feux

Hanabi: Grands Feux is the newest edition of Antoine Bauza's Hanabi from Cocktail Games, with the game including plastic racks for the long, skinny cards, chunky lightning tokens, and three expansions.

Board Game: Imagine Famille

Imagine Famille is a new version of Imagine, the Concept-like party game in which you combine images on transparent cards to get people on your team to guess a topic or object. This version of the game is aimed at slightly younger players.

Board Game: Top Ten

We'll close with a sneak peek at Aurélien Picolet's Top Ten from Cocktail Games, which will debut at FIJ 2020 in late February 2020 and which will not be released in English until 2021 at the earliest — which is a shame as this game would be my pick of the show, the title I would most want to play and share with others. (Indeed, I dragged Lincoln over to see it as he was doing other things when I first ran across this title during my picture-taking rounds on Sunday.)

I think what most excites me about the game is that similar to Codenames and Decrypto, you have the solid game-y structure that makes everything work functionally, but you, the player, are asked to inject your creativity into the game, and just reading the sample topic cards that Cocktail had on hand got my gears turning in good ways.

Top Ten seems somewhat similar to Wavelength, but with more detailed (yet still open-ended) topics that give you more direction in terms of creating answers. Another game along these lines is On a Scale of One to T-Rex, which like Wavelength comes from Wolfgang Warsch and the Exploding Kittens teamvarious co-designers, but that game gives each player a specific task to perform at an intensity level of 1-10, with you choosing how to carry out that task, but not what the task is.

In any case, here's an overview of Top Ten:
Your goal in Top Ten is to survive five rounds, so you and your fellow players need to figure out how to get things in order!

To start the game, place a number of unicorn tokens on the game board. Choose one player to be the round's chief. That player gives all players a random card numbered 1-10, then they read one of the five hundred theme cards included in the game, e.g., "Batman wants to replace Robin to fight the bad guys. Create a new duo 'Batman and ...' from the worst to the best." The chief looks at their number, then gives an answer based on their number. If they have a 1, they want to give the worst possible suggestion; if a 10, the best; if a 5-7, somewhere in the middle.

Each other player then gives an answer to this theme based on the number they were dealt, then the chief needs to decide who has the lowest number, then the next lowest, and so on. For each mistake, the chief flips a unicorn token over to its poop side.

If all the unicorns have left by the end of the fifth round, leaving you with nothing but poop, then you lose. Otherwise you win!
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