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Build the ISS, Expand Your Tavern, and Fold Paper Thanks to Schmidt Spiele

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• German publisher Schmidt Spiele has released first details about its early 2021 releases, and the title that stands out as most unlike previous Schmidt titles is the co-operative game Mission ISS, a game for 2-4 players that plays in 90 minutes from Micheal Luu, who had previously designed the 2017 title Rob 'n Run from PD-Verlag.

Here's all that I know about the game right now, aside from its March 15, 2021 release date:
The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project in which sixteen countries are currently involved. The ISS is a symbol of what people can achieve by working together. Boundaries that seem so important on Earth take a back seat on the space station; what matters is a perfectly coordinated collaboration between the astronauts.

Board Game: Mission ISS

Mission ISS begins in 1998 when the first module of the ISS was built. From your control center, you give instructions to the astronauts in space. At first only a few crew members are on the station, but over time you bring more astronauts to the station to add new modules, carry out various research assignments, or just drift in weightlessness. As on the real space station, the co-operation between the players and the coordination of the astronauts determine the success of the ISS mission. Only together will you be able to master the challenge of space.
• On the flip side of this title is the very much like previous Schmidt titles announcement of Zimmer frei!, the first expansion for Wolfgang Warsch's The Taverns of Tiefenthal, which consists of four modules for use with the base game. Players now have the option of adding a wine cellar or a guest room — the "Zimmer frei" of the title — to their tavern. Innkeepers give players individual skills that might influence their strategy in the game, and the mayor will reward players when you help him to develop "his" town into a tourist center.

Board Game: Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal: Zimmer frei!
Cover in progress

Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal: Zimmer frei! is due out in May 2021.

• Another familiar-sounding title for early 2021 from Schmidt Spiele is Kannste knicken, a 1-4 player game from Ralph Querfurth and Klaus-Jürgen Wrede that's the newest entry in Schmidt's "klein & fein" line of roll-and-write games.

Here's an overview of this March 2021 release:
In Kannste knicken ("Can bend"), everyone plays at the same time, marking off spaces of their choice on their individual player sheet based on the roll of two special dice each turn.

Board Game: Kannste Knicken

You can fold over a corner of your paper, but only after marking all of the smiley faces in that corner. But will you fold over the corner just a little bit or much more? You need to mark off more smiley faces to "bend" more of the paper, but you receive a permanent bonus each time that you do. Whoever first bends all four corners on their player sheet, then connects the revealed target symbols on their sheet wins.

Kannste knicken includes four types of player sheets with differing degrees of difficulty.
• Other titles coming from Schmidt Spiele include the German-language version of Antoine Bauza's Collexion, a polygon-collecting game that Blue Orange released in Europe in 2020; Pocket Detective: Die Bombe tickt, a co-operative deduction game from Yury Yamshchikov first released by Russian publisher Lavka Games; and through its Drei Magier Spiele brand, Lena Burkhardt's Plapparagei, a quick-playing card game in which you're trying to dump cards quickly while saying the right things at the same time.

Board Game: Collexion
Board Game: Pocket Detective: Die Bombe tickt
Board Game: Plapparagei
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