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New Game Round-up: Gigantoskop Introduces Primate Fear, Pixels and Asante Come to the U.S. & L5R Love Letter

W. Eric Martin
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Board Game Publisher: Gigantoskop
• For its tenth anniversary, Swedish publisher Gigantoskop is returning to memories of games past with Primate Fear, which is set in the same world as its 2003 release Spank the Monkey and is compatible with that game and its expansions. This time, however, you're not trying to spank the monkey but flee from it. In detail:

Quote:
As in Spank the Monkey, players scrounge around trying to find junk to build towers and locate parts for reinforcements to make the towers stronger, but they're not trying to reach the monkey and spank it this time. Oh, no. On the contrary, they are trying to get as far away from it as possible because this monkey is not a mischievous nuisance but rather a reanimated zombie monstrosity of an ape. Once the players have stumbled over all the monkey parts and the monkey awakes, it will climb after the players, eating the brains of the ones it catches until only one player remains – the winner.

In game terms, each player starts with a hand of five cards. On a turn, a player draws 1-2 cards, then plays at most one Junk card to start or continue building his tower and at most one Reinforcement card to strengthen his highest Junk card. He can also play one or more Attack cards on opponents to try to demolish their towers, lowering them within reach of Frankenmonkey. Players can use Defense cards to try to ward off attacks, with the active player rolling a die to see whether an attack succeeds. If it does, that player's tower might further crumble as the junk collapses on top of other junk.

Each time a player uses a card with a monkey claw on it, a new part is added to Frankenmonkey on the assembly board; if the monkey is complete, then the claw raises the monkey up one level on the height board. At the end of each player's turn, the monkey (if still complete) rises one level, eliminating players at that same height.

Players can use Primate Fear cards with Spank the Monkey rules and vice versa, or they can combine the games, with the goal being to spank the monkey before anyone else while still having your brain intact.
And as with 2012's Big Badaboom, which featured a plastic bomb to hold the cards in that game, the Primate Fear box is something special in its own right: a coffin!

Board Game: Primate Fear

Board Game: PIX
• Stefan Brunelle from Asmodee, which distributes titles from GameWorks in North America, mentions on BGG that Laurent Escoffier and David Franck's PIX – previously released only in France due to the cost of production – should be available in U.S. stores by the end of September 2013.

• U.S. publisher Z-Man Games has announced that it will release Rüdiger Dorn's two-player game Asante, which was first released in Germany by KOSMOS in early 2013.

• StrangeAssembly.com reports that Alderac Entertainment Group plans to release a Legend of the Five Rings-themed version of Seiji Kanai's Love Letter, although no release date has been announced. At Gen Con 2013 in mid-August, I asked AEG's President John Zinser about this item, and he mentioned that this likely wouldn't be the only specially-themed version of Love Letter to see publication.

• In coordination with the release of Ticket to Ride on the Kindle Fire, as covered in this iOS News post, Days of Wonder has released Ticket to Ride: Character Score Markers, a set of eight wooden markers shaped to match items related to characters on the Ticket to Ride box or other characters in the TtR series of games. Players can use these markers to track their score during play.

In other Ticket to Ride news (sort of), a BGG user mentions that German retailer Milan Spiele posted a link to what appears to be a Ticket to Ride expansion set in the Netherlands. That link is now dead, but if true, this wouldn't be the first time that Days of Wonder has had information released ahead of time as in 2008, Edge Entertainment accidentally leaked news of Ticket to Ride: The Card Game ahead of the publisher's official announcement. In the months to come, to quote Mammy Yokum, we shall see what we shall see...

Board Game Accessory: Ticket to Ride: Character Score Markers
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