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New Game Round-up: Mexica Returns, Zombies Recess & King Ludwig Reveals Secrets

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Mexica
• New French publisher Super Meeple was established to reissue out-of-print masterpiece games, and for its first release in April 2015 it will publish a new version of Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer's Mexica, with new versions of Java and Tikal to follow in 2016 and 2017. IELLO is partnering with Super Meeple to publish this new version of Mexica in English; rights to Java in English have not been announced, and Rio Grande Games currently has Tikal in its catalog.

The Super Meeple website notes that two other titles are due out in the middle of 2015 and in October 2015, but those titles haven't been announced yet.

• Does every game need a Cthulhu expansion? Perhaps not, but Tony Boydell has created one for Snowdonia just in case...

Board Game: Zombies!!! Jr.
• In the wake of Leonard Nimoy's death, Twilight Creations announced that by chance its next Zombies!!! release will be titled Zombies!!! Space Bites! with an (ironically titled?) card named "Live Long and Prosper!"

• Twilight Creations has also teased one image (at left) from an upcoming release titled Zombies!!! Jr.

• One last bit about Twilight Creations: As of March 6, 2015, the publisher has chosen Alliance Game Distributors as its exclusive distributor for the U.S. hobby retail channel.

• Steve Jackson Games has a new printing of The Awful Green Things From Outer Space due out in June 2015.

Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Secrets
• In addition to the previously announced titles Favor of the Pharaoh and Suburbia 5★, U.S. publisher Bezier Games has one other offering for 2015: Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Secrets, which like Favor of the Pharoah will debut at Spiel 2015 in October. Here's an overview of the expansion:

What secrets are lurking in the shadows of King Ludwig's castle? Dozens of hidden swans are scattered throughout thirty new rooms in Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Secrets. Ludwig is particularly fond of these swans, which provide both much-needed cash at any time or can be collected for big bonuses at the end of the game. Surrounding and protecting your castle are new moats, making every room inside it even more valuable. The King has come up with more favors, including one for creating courtyards. Finally, secret passages enhance connections and muffle sound from activity rooms.
In a speculation thread on BGG, some people had guessed that the initial "S" stood for swans, and while that turns out not to be correct, swans definitely deserve a place in the castle, as designer Ted Alspach explained in a press release: "King Ludwig II of Bavaria was known for his eccentric castle-building, having created some of the most iconic castles in the world during his short reign. He is known as the 'Swan king' as his signature castle, Neuschwanstein, translates roughly to 'New Swan Stone'."

As for the other elements in Secrets, Alspach says that they all relate to the historic castle and Ludwig's desires: "One of the elements of a castle that Ludwig didn't get to build during his short lifetime was a moat, something he longed for as a moat separated two of the castles he frequented as a young boy. But he did get to indulge in another of his architectural desires: Neuschwanstein has several secret passages added specifically at Ludwig's request.

Continues Alspach, "Barbicans and Moats change the way you construct your castle, upping the spacial element that so many people enjoy in the original Castles game. The new rooms provide immense replayability, and coupled with placing Secret Passages and collecting Swans for money and/or points, it really broadens the overall game experience without increasing complexity."

Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Secrets
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