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New Game Round-up: Building Forests, Fighting Rats, Drinking Randomly, & Avoiding Death

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Final Deathweek
• We're ten days out from the end of SPIEL 2016, so it's time to start thinking about Tokyo Game Market in December 2016, right?

Okay, you might not be thinking about that show, but I am, and I've started pulling together a convention preview — Tokyo Game Market (ゲムマ) Preview • December 2016 — to highlight titles that might be of interest to others. Final Deathweek, for example, is one of several new titles from Manifest Destiny's Kuro, and it has a great backstory that may or may not come through in the gameplay. An overview:

You should have died in that huge accident last summer — but one of your compatriots had had a premonition in which they saw the accident happen, and you had decided to trust this, and thus managed to escape death at the last moment. You returned from the banks of the Styx feeling that you could now enjoy summer life with more treks and more beaches...but you can't relax just yet. Fate doesn't like when people tamper with her whims, and the angel of Death is stretching his hands towards you slowly but surely. Will you be able to escape his clutches for another week? It's a desperate, shared struggle for survival.

Final Deathweek is a cooperative card game. Players hold cards that symbolize "death flags" (death warnings) of certain colors. Each turn, each player in order must select one of the available events for the day, trying to NOT match the colors of the event with the color(s) they have in hand. While not matching colors, they should also try to form chains with the events they take. If the colors do match, the player takes damage, eventually being killed if too much damage is taken.

The game lasts for seven days, and if all players survive, they beat the game.
• Another title on the TGM preview is Hobby Japan's たたらばと森 (Tatara, Field, and Forest), a big box game by Japanese standards, with players trying to both plant and harvest trees in the forest in a sustainable way so that they can run their tatara furnaces and smelt steel better than everyone else.

Board Game: Forest of Tataraba

Board Game: Drinking Fluxx
• After many years of resisting requests from Fluxx fans, Looney Labs had decided to release Drinking Fluxx on July 24, 2017 — that date being the 21st anniversary of when designer Andy Looney created Fluxx. The game will be released under their adult game imprint Fully Baked Ideas, previously used for the release of Stoner Fluxx, with the game being packaged in a manner that separates it from other Fluxx games to emphasize its adults-only nature.

• Rats are unstoppable! That's the only conclusion I can draw from seeing Rattus: Academicus from Henrik and Åse Berg and White Goblin Games being announced for release in 2017. This expansion — the fourth large one — allows you to upgrade the base characters to make them more powerful, with universities and event cards providing even more diversity in the gameplay.

Micropolis is a tile-laying game from Rodrigo Rego and Brazilian publisher Redbox that must be awesome because the tiles are rhombuses — the best geometric shape ever! Okay, the gameplay description is brief, but in brief you place tiles to create large buildings such as the royal palace and a nuclear plant, with you trying to place all of your influence tokens on these tiles before anyone else. Some details are missing, but rhombuses!

Board Game: Papertown
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