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Nürnberg 2013 Photo Report, Part I: 42 New Children's and Family Games

Daniel Danzer
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Microbadge: Kubrick fanMicrobadge: Marcel Duchamp fanMicrobadge: Rules TranslatorMicrobadge: Marcel Duchamp fanMicrobadge: Buster Keaton fan
From gallery of W Eric Martin
I will try to give a brief overview of the games I saw at Nürnberg. After sorting through 800+ shots, over 200 made it into the game galleries here on BGG. I submitted a couple of games not yet in the database, so there might appear below some games you have never heard of – or games perhaps still waiting for their approval. I decided to put all of this in some order so that you can find your way more easily through this "Nürnberg tour", and will sort by publisher inside three categories in this post and create a special post about the fourth category.

This first part deals with the lighter side of gaming: childrens' games, light card games, and family games. Enjoy your tour! If you think I've missed a game, it might be included in the other post – or I might have just missed it, too...

Children's Games

Drei Magier Spiele was showing a typical dexterity game in its "wizard's apprentice game in the box" line. Here in Die verzauberten Rumpelriesen children move leaves out of the way to find hidden imps underneath.

Board Game: Die verzauberten Rumpelriesen

I would have loved to play Versteck dich, kleine Schnecke! at the KOSMOS booth. Players turn around a chip and hide the snail piece in a location of that color. Unfortunately, not too many businessmen at Nürnberg were willing to poke around and look under boxes, catalogues, and cookies for the snail.

Board Game: Versteck dich, kleine Schnecke!

Inka Brand and Markus Brand never seem to sleep. So far, for 2013 there are six games announced; we will see if they'll top their nine games from 2012 – and they are successful in every genre! Here is a children's game from them called Simsala Hopp – and this game WAS played by businessmen a lot! You have to beat a platform from underneath, making the animal tokens jump and turn around, changing from frogs into rabbits ...

Board Game: Simsala Hopp
Board Game: Simsala Hopp
How it works, and a rather difficult "freeze" shot; these fairs are pretty dimly lit!

Queen Games had Banana Party on display. Not much info about this, I admit, but it looks rather intuitive, I'd say

Board Game: Banana Party

Ravensburger presented a new electronic gadget: The Hexbug. This is a battery driven thingie "walking" around because of its vibration. Fun to watch and rather unpredictable as to where it will go – yet still controllable enough to be the core for Bugs in the Kitchen, which internationally will be called "La Cucaracha". The die tells the player which kind of cutlery he may turn for 90 degrees in a labyrinth inside the box. The aim of the game is to lead the bug into your own trap. After several rounds, the most successful player – well, succeeds and wins the game.

Board Game: Bugs in the Kitchen
Board Game: Bugs in the Kitchen

The company also presented two editions of games already published: Ring-O Flamingo with a boat device to flip rings over the table and around flamingo necks ...

Board Game: Ring-O Flamingo
Three step action shot ... again, a businessman having some fun!

... and a new edition of Log Jam:

Board Game: Log Jam

Zoch Verlag had Mucca Pazza, which means "mad cow" and was one of two games with similar art. (See below for Vaca Loca.) This one is rather for the young audience. Players try to shift the rows of body parts, so the animals become complete again!

Board Game: Mucca Pazza

Card Games, Including Games with Cards + X

ABACUSSPIELE showed this final prototype of Ab in die Tonne with some nice wooden components. Players have to pile these up in the garbage bin chosen by playing cards – kind of miniature Bausack with forty small pieces.

Board Game: Ab in die Tonne

Alles Käse! is a light card game with a single die. Roll it and take a card or peek under it. You want to claim only "good" cards with a mouse on the back and avoid the ones with a trap on back.

Board Game: Alles Käse!

AMIGO presented Crazy Lab, a trick-taking game with the twist that you choose the color scoring positive at the end of the game, while others score negative.

Board Game: Crazy Lab

IELLO got this new game by Richard Garfield called Ghooost!. You get rid of your Frankenzombieghostcards and use some special powers...

Board Game: Ghooost!
Board Game: Ghooost!

KOSMOS offers Primo, a multiplayer solitaire card game by Wolfgang Kramer with some special cards that add interaction. I played this at the Stuttgarter Spielemesse, as did Wolfgang with Kosmos (now Queen) editor Stefan Stadler and others.

Board Game: Primo

Alex Yeager of Mayfair Games was so nice to show me the cards from Rivals for Catan: Age of Enlightenment with his colleagues from Mayfair on them

Board Game: Rivals for Catan: Age of Enlightenment

At the Spiele Café, the always barefoot (yes, ALWAYS!) game designer Andreas Rudin from Murmel Spielwerkstatt und Verlag AG played a new game from his company, called Ciao Cash. It is a kind of stripped down Careers, with each player trying to end his "life" at the end of the game as "happy" as possible purchasing a lot of items, best according to his secret goal, but also facing illness, accidents or taxes. A satirical, economical, fun, fast game.

Board Game: Ciao Cash

Ravensburger was showing Maureen Hiron's Triple³, an abstract version of her game Tripolo in which you play cards to get three in a row - each time. Either matching the shape, the color, or the number of small wave lines. Played simultaneously, similar to Set, Triovision and other games in this genre. It is interesting that Ravensburger has decided to publish this game in an abstract form, maybe to appeal to more gamers with different tastes or to match other titles in their line.

Board Game: Triple³

Schmidt Spiele did the same while showing Kniffel: Das Kartenspiel by Ted Alspach, which uses the well-known brand of Yahtzee rather than the "thematic" Perpetual-Motion Machine, which is, let's face it, the very game.

Board Game: Kniffel: Das Kartenspiel

Zoch Verlag presented two very different card games: A word game about kraut and a trick-taking one about potatoes. Well, bon appétit!

Potato Man is a trick-taking game with a special core idea: Instead of one "trump" color, the main rule is that each color can be played only once in each round! When a player is not able to play a card because he has no unplayed color left in his hand, the round ends early, which is bad for players who planned to get the higher scoring cards available at the end of a round. Then there are also the least valuable cards beating the highest ones. Great twists in there, almost making it an "not so easy" game at all!

Board Game: Potato Man

Brautkraut is a blast, tongue-twisting being the core idea! Anja Wrede and Christoph Cantzler settled on a very special rhythm, too: The last thing a player does on his turn is reveal a new card and place it on top of the common, open deck. Now the next player has to say the word from the last card underneath and the word implied by the new card. ??? Funtastic and mind-boggling. You want to laugh? Just learn these four German words ("au" is pronounced as the "ou" in "pronounced", "ei" like "eye") and go ahead:

-----• Blau (blue)
-----• Kraut (cabbage)
-----• Braut (bride)
-----• Kleid (gown)

Board Game: Brautkraut
Krautkleid becomes Krautblau

Light Family Games

A German edition of Pharaoh Code was presented at the AMIGO area.

Board Game: Pharaoh Code

Amigo also showed the new, updated version of Wolfgang Kramer's Escape from the Hidden Castle

Board Game: Escape from the Hidden Castle

Asmodee displayed a new version of Hotel Tycoon looking more - well, postmodern.

Board Game: Hotel Tycoon

Also, the German edition of Get Bit! will be distributed in 2013, tin-boxed and for 3-6 players including the shark.

Board Game: Get Bit!

A game called Angry Birds Action Game was presented, but it was NOT the big one with the same name, but a board game with some goal cards.

From gallery of duchamp

Asmodee also distributes the German version of PIX...

Board Game: PIX

...and iKNOW by Tactic.

Board Game: iKNOW

In between battling miniatures, Heidelberger Spieleverlag was surprising with The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet by Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala.

Board Game: The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet

At the Hurrican booth, some guys were playing on Saturday evening, so I took some shots of Rise of Augustus during gameplay:

Board Game: Rise of Augustus
Board Game: Rise of Augustus

Board Game: Rise of Augustus

KOSMOS showed a wide collection of family games, which are sometimes hard to put in categories like "light", "medium" or "heavier" games, so I will just follow the suggested ages. Legends of Andor: The Star Shield was presented with some new cardboard 3D goodness:

Board Game: Legends of Andor: The Star Shield
Board Game: Legends of Andor: The Star Shield
A volcanic fortress – and a catapult to shoot at it (I guess)

In Dice Devils players compete for items from the middle of the table; when more than one player wants the same item, the dice (rolled before and kept secretly) decide who gets it...

Board Game: Dice Devils

And again the Brand couple! Playing La Boca you try to create this special 3D building – but you do that in teams, with each teammate aiming for the same goal: The building has to look like it does on his card – from his point of view! Aaaah!

Board Game: La Boca
Board Game: La Boca
Photo on the right by Henk Rolleman; we must have missed each other just by minutes on one hundred occasions at Nürnberg!

Kosmos also likes to go with licenses from books or films, so let's see:
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – Das Würfelspiel with a Darth Vader stand-up figure, some dice, and tiles of the well-known heroes make up a small dice game.

Board Game: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – Das Würfelspiel

Rabbids are also well-known, so here is the boardgame Rabbids: Das Familien-Partyspiel.

Board Game: Rabbids: Das Familien-Partyspiel
Board Game: Rabbids: Das Familien-Partyspiel

A different kind of license is the "Miniatur-Wunderland", the largest model train complex in the world (13 km of rails, 930 trains running, 210.000 miniatures), located in Hamburg. Pegasus Spiele decided to take a game they wanted to make, but for which they had not yet found a matching theme and combine it with this background, now called Wunderland.

Board Game: Wunderland
Board Game: Wunderland
The whole game was situated on a model train landscape

Board Game: Wunderland
Board Game: Wunderland
Detailed map and pieces, postcards with photos from the original miniature Wunderland on postcards to collect.

Speaking of licenses, games originating from online-games, and so on, we continue with Ravensburger. Stromberg is a very sucessful comedy show on German TV (inspired by the BBC series "The Office"), so here is the "office chair race game".

From gallery of duchamp

And since Doodle Jump is all around, here we can now "doodle jump" on an inclined plane.

From gallery of duchamp

Ravensburger has other light family stuff without a license, such as
Der Millionen Coup, the second "tiptoi family" game, now making the tiptoi device also attractive for older kids and their parents. After Wettstreit im Hexenwald, this is Matthias Cramer's approach for this genre. Players in this cooperative game try to crack a safe of a bank. Of course, they are security specialists just checking the system, not real gangsters!

From gallery of duchamp

Two more abstract games – artists, are you too expensive ? – were shown by Ravensburger, one being Top 5 Rummy by Rüdiger Dorn. A turning wheel in the middle determines the (changing) prices of the cards you want. Astonishing again that a theme wasn't pasted on to bother customers so that they'd have another reason to write posts about pasted-on themes on BGG and other forums!

Board Game: Top 5 Rummy
Board Game: Top 5 Rummy

Günter Burkhardt seems to mimic Reiner Knizia with the Tetris/Fits version Just In Time, though adding a sand timer.

Board Game: Just in Time

Since apps for tablets or mobile devices are "a la mode", there is an additional app now available for Scotland Yard to work with the normal game, adding "GPS" and "mobile phone tracking".

Board Game: Scotland Yard

After the rather successful Forbidden Island, Matt Leacock has a follow-up game, again with a German edition at Schmidt Spiele. Forbidden Desert now comes with some steampunk-ish art, plastic miniatures and items (plus a motor made of real metal!) and a lot of gameplay differences. There are no cards to determine what happens, but sand tiles. To locate the items you have to shovel away the sand, find the city tiles with arrows pointing in two directions to learn about the matching point on the grid and the item hidden there. Go to this place, shovel again, and get the item to re-build your aircraftsteamspaceshipvesselmachinething.

Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Standard starting scenario and the "aircraft" plus the items to complete it

Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Real metal motor and meteorologist card

Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Board Game: Forbidden Desert
Steampunk helping device and city tile

Last, but not least, Zoch Verlag combines blind bidding with heavy poker chips and some nice interaction. Auf Teufel komm raus is a great offer for gambling aficionados, while still being family fun!

Board Game: Auf Teufel komm raus
Board Game: Auf Teufel komm raus
Overview and nice piles...

Daniel Danzer
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