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Create Horror Films in Nightmare Productions, and Prepare to Solve Cases in LA-1

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Nightmare Productions
• In October 2021, I profiled Trick or Treat Studios, and at the end of that post I teased that publisher's new edition of Reiner Knizia's classic auction game Traumfabrik.

That new edition, Nightmare Productions, will debut at Gen Con 2022, with players now hiring directors, actors, special effects artist, and so on to create horror movies. At first glance, gameplay appears unchanged from previous editions. In short, over four rounds, players bid on lots of items available for the scripts they hold. The winning bid is equally distributed among all other players, so every lot you win makes it easier for others to outbid you.

Twice each round, players each draft one tile based on the number of actors already hired. At the end of each round, awards are distributed based on the value of scripts that have been fully cast. At game's end, incomplete scripts are worthless, so you want to get the right tiles while still spending as little as possible.

Board Game: Nightmare Productions

For those not going to Gen Con, Nightmare Productions has an August 2022 retail release.

• Trick or Treat Studios has another Knizia title due out in August 2022: Zombie Mania!, with this design having first appeared from German publisher Noris Spiele in 2014.

The gist of the game is that everyone starts with zombies on their individual player board, and to win you must be the first player to rid yourself of zombies. On a turn, you roll eight dice, re-rolling as you wish as long as you set aside at least one zombie per roll, something that also allows you to set aside other dice, and based on the die results you'll be able to dump zombies in the cemetery or on the boards of other players.

Board Game: Zombie Mania!
Board Game: Zombie Mania!

• Another quick-playing game being reborn by the publisher in 2022 is Emerson Matsuuchi's Tricks and Treats, which he first self-published through Nazca Games in 2012.

In this bluffing game, players divvy up their Halloween candy haul one by one into baskets, but the baskets outnumber the players, and each player knows only which basket is theirs. You want to end up with the most goodies in your basket, but if someone calls you out for placing sweets in your own pot, then you're bounced from the game, feasting only on your salty tears.

Board Game: Tricks and Treats
Board Game: Tricks and Treats

• In a newsletter, Trick or Treat Studios notes that it's working on licensed games for Halloween, Chucky, Universal Monsters, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but aside from the horror titles, it's also working on a 1-5 player co-operative game called LA-1 that bears this introductory description:
Most detective work done in the city of LA-1 takes place under the perpetual dark clouds that still linger from the bombs. Even so, you plan to work together to gather clues, interrogate suspects, and go on stakeouts in a world that is divided by class and dominated by status. Use your skills to solve the case before the all-consuming darkness closes in forever.

Board Game: LA-1

In the story-driven, adventure game LA-1, you take on the role of detectives working for Mace & Doyle Investigations who are helping one another to resolve cases in the post-apocalyptic city that was once Los Angeles. Each case can be played individually or as part of a campaign. Because of the multiple cards that can send investigations in different directions, it's possible to play each case more than one time, having different situations and outcomes each time.
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