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Game Previews from FIJ 2020 IV: Mysterium Park, Monumental, Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade, and The Belgian Beers Race

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
Let's run through another set of game preview videos from the FIJ 2020 game fair in Cannes, France, with yet more videos being published soon on our BGG Express YouTube channel and with videos from GAMA Expo 2020 to follow soon.

Note that these days you might need to add an asterisk after any release date mentioned by a publisher in these videos given that they were recorded, gosh, four weeks ago in late February 2020, which might as well be a decade at this point, but that implicit asterisk was often in place even before this current crisis hit us.

Think positive!

• We'll kick off this round-up with Mysterium Park, a new take on Mysterium from original designers Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko and Mysterium publisher Libellud — and while normally I've seen each forthcoming Libellud title previewed at a media event once or twice prior to them going public with it, this design is new to me, so now we can discover it together:

• As often happens during this time of year, we booked Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade for a slot at FIJ 2020 with originating publisher Don't Panic Games, while also booking the English-language licensing partner Japanime Games for a demo slot at GAMA Expo 2020. Sometimes I do this because we'll pick up the game designers — Johan Benvenuto and Florian Sirieix in this case — at one show and not the other, but in this case with caught the publisher at both ends. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I like to give designers air time when possible...

• Designers Marie and Wilfried Fort won the As d'Or 2019 for best children's game for Where's Mr. Wolf, and now that design time is back with publisher [company=491]Blue Orange Games[/company] for Bye Bye Mr. Fox!. Give them enough time, and we can possibly have adorable games about every predator in the animal kingdom.

• At FIJ 2019, we were able to have designer Matthew Dunstan on air talking about Monumental from Funforge, but the crowdfunding campaign for that project didn't fly, so the publisher overhauled the look of the game (among other things), and now at FIJ 2020 we got a peek at the look of the final design.

(In line with my opening comment, in its latest Kickstarter update, Funforge puts that asterisk firmly in place: "Meeple Logistics will send the last 223 parcels in due time. Still, it is impossible either Funforge or Meeple Logistics to know when exactly. France is now in total confinement and it’s very difficult to know how things will evolve.")

• I know nothing about The Belgian Beers Race from Michaël Boutriaux and BYR Games — or about Belgian beer in general — but I did attend the Jenever Feesten (Gin Festival) in October 2015 in the town of Hasselt, Belgium, where friends of ours live. Even though I'm not normally a drinker, I sampled many gins, including some served in teensy cups made of chocolate. (Here's a write-up of the annual event in The Guardian should you be curious to learn more. As for the game, watch the video!)

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