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Live Life as a Soap Bubble, Spend Time as a Bee, and Get Your Fans to the Music Festival

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game Publisher: Helvetiq
Swiss publisher Helvetiq has announced a quartet of new releases for the first half of 2023, and if you're concerned about getting too much air in your game boxes, you might consider checking out these titles as Helvetiq consistently places tiny games in equally tiny boxes.

Bubbly, due out in February 2023, is the first published title from Swiss designer Tobia Botta, and this 2-4 player game puts you in a role that you might never have previously imagined:
The life of a soap bubble is not easy. Small and brave, it tries to fly as long as possible, fighting against the elements that surround it.

In Bubbly, you take turns playing as a soap bubble. As a bubble, your goal is to stay in the air as long as possible. Meanwhile, your opponents have no goal other than to knock you down. To do this, they play cards to create a path. You have to manage your hand as best you can to keep moving forward, at the risk of falling dangerously close to the ground. To go up or straight, you need to play a matching card; to descend, you can play any color.

Board Game: Bubbly

The bubble that goes the furthest is declared the winner! Bluff your opponents to avoid showing your weaknesses and fly to victory.
• March 2023 will bring Happy Bee, a 3-6 player game from Maxime Rambourg and Théo Rivière that's billed as an introductory drafting game:
Each round, all players select their bee card(s) at the same time, then place them face down on the table in front of them. (The number of cards chosen varies with the round.) Once the cards are revealed, players check the majority for each family and collect flower cards, which are worth points.

When all the flower cards are distributed or discarded, pass the non-selected bee cards (which are still face down) to your left neighbor. Take the bee cards from your right neighbor and add the bee cards you just selected for this round to your hand. You should have seven bee cards again and can now play a new round.

Board Game: Happy Bee

The game ends after the ninth round. You add all the points of the flower cards you collected during the game, and whoever has the most points wins.
Watch Out is a game for 2-6 players from Matteo Cimenti, Carlo Rigon, and Chiara Zanchetta that plays in just a few minutes. (Update: This game was released on May 18, 2023 with the updated name Crazy Pilot.) Here's the setting and situation:
Corkcity is a seemingly peaceful city, and as happens most days, you have to go to work...but today, you left late, so you need to floor it while driving through the city.

In Watch Out, you have to react as quickly as possible to the situations you face to be on time, but zombies are out and hiding among the population!

Shuffle the cards and deal twenty situation cards, a start card, and a car card to each player. Place the car in front of you and the start card at the bottom of your deck. Everyone now reveals a situation card from their deck, and play begins.

Board Game: Crazy Pilot

You must resolve this situation before moving on to the next one, and so on until the end of the game. To resolve a card, you must place it around or on top of your car card. You can stay in your lane, change lanes, stop, or turn around. If you see one (or more) zombies on your situation card, shout "Zombie!!!"

The game ends when a player has placed their twenty cards on the table, then all players check the back of their cards to see whether they made the right choice. They earn 1 point for each card with the correct icon and lose 1 point for each mistake. Spotted zombie cards are also worth 1 point. The player with the most points wins.
• Finally, On the Road is a game for 2-4 players from designer Gabriele Bubola that lacks any visuals right now, but this description will likely bring plenty of images to mind:
In On the Road, you play music bands that want to reach the Skudde Festival with the most fans.

During the game, you travel throughout the land in order to gather the highest number of fans. To win, you need to make sure they will also make it to the Festival to see you on stage — and won't get stuck in line at the toilet.

On your turn, play your movement cards to visit new places or travel back to beloved areas. Each tile represents a different landscape. The more often you visit a type of landscape, the more fans you will get there, i.e., meeples you place in a bag. On some tiles, you get a chance to draw from the bag. Your fans will be invited to watch you play, whereas other bands' fans will be sent to queue for the toilet.

The game ends when all the tickets for the Festival are sold. The winning band is the one with the most fans on the floor.
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