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New Game Round-up: Galaxy Trucking Once Again, Taking Cash for Cultures & Writing Articles and Pub Hopping for Points

W. Eric Martin
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Z-Man Games has opened preorders for both the English and the French versions of Christian Marcussen's Clash of Cultures – but only for pick-up at Spiel 2012 in Essen, Germany. Preorders are open through October 12, 2012, and by preordering you'll receive the game one month prior to its regular release.

• In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Days of Wonder has released a new printing of Pirate's Cove, which has been out of print for a while. Arrrh!

• To follow up on recent news item about Ravensburger's 10 Tage durch Deutschland, Moon and Weissblum's take on bringing their 10 Days in... series to Germany, I asked Leah Sugar at Out of the Box Publishing whether it would be releasing an English-language version of this game. Her response: "We are very excited that Ravensburger will be producing 10 Tage durch Deutschland, the German version of 10 Days in Germany. They are the experts on that country and have done an amazing job with the game. At this point, there are no plans for an English version of 10 Days in Germany. As of right now, Out of the Box Publishing will be focused on titles that appeal more widely to the American market. However, as interest in the series grows, an English version of 10 Days in Germany is always a possibility."

• After missing its initial Spiel 2011 release date, Vlaada Chvátil's Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion took a long detour around the universe, but now Czech Games Edition has announced that the expansion will be available at Spiel 2012 this October.

What's more, CGE will also have Galaxy Trucker: 5th Anniversary Edition – a box that contains the core game, both expansions, and other items. The announcement mentions that a "limited number of copies will be available", but before fans get worried over missing out, CGE's Petr Murmak has already promised on BGG that "At first we will have them in Essen, but they will be also available another way."

• Speaking of that part of the world, I've gotten word of what Czech Board Games will have at Spiel 2012, and they both sound off the beaten path for those weary of familiar themes. First, in partnership with the publisher Bonaparte, is Journalist from designer František Čermák. Something's garbled in the translation of the game description below, but I think it's enough to give an idea of what's going on:

Morning in an unfamiliar room. Hotel. Headache. Buzzing phone. Roaring chief editor: "Where is the promised article? Where are you messing about?" Tangled language. Your gibbering voice can't stop this onslaught. "I don't care about your excuses! Get up and do something! I want to have a damn good story on the table right away. Otherwise you're fired!" Bashing phone resonates in your head even in the shower. Cold water slightly helps, and after a while you go into town to find something that will satisfy your boss.

In the game Journalist you assume the role of a reporter who writes articles at the last minute, then needs to deliver them to the editor. First, every player prepares a city on his own game plan in which the game takes place. During the game, you are composing words from letters and putting them on your own game plan. You must carefully plan where you put the letters to get more points or some other bonuses. The game is played simultaneously with a sand timer measuring the time. Thus, you are always pressed for time and must quickly work with your imagination and count with maze-like structure of the city which limits your possibilities.

Can you write a quality article and deliver it to the office earlier than others?

And then there's Czech Pub from Josef Koštíř, which is co-published with Efko. The CBG/Efko team was responsible for the 2011 release of Infarkt, which was a joyous surprise at last year's Spiel. I still delight at the idea of winning a game by pushing cigarettes and bacon on your unsuspecting neighbors. In any case, here's an overview of Czech Pub:

Welcome to the Czech pub!

Enjoy the pleasant environment of this classic Czech pub and assume the role of a local drunkard. Drink your fill, and in the meantime while you are waiting for your order, steal some beer from other guests or tell them a spicy story.

In Czech Pub your goal is to drink as much alcohol as you can to score points – by playing cards, mind you, not drinking real alcohol – while also managing your drunkenness as it can limit your possibilities and may even get you thrown out of the pub. Cheers!

And the cover! I love presenting odd games to people and having them recoil in confusion while shiftily looking at the other players to confirm that they're seeing what they think they're seeing. For me, nothing will top this for cover of the year...

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