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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse III: IELLO Welcomes New Kings, Arena Fights, Mad Mountains, Land-Hungry Bunnies, and Celebrations of Your Own Death

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: King of Tokyo/New York: Monster Pack – Cthulhu
• The atmosphere of the Spielwarenmesse toy fair in Nürnberg, Germany is nothing like that of Gen Con or SPIEL. I booked nearly every moment that I had available for the three days that John K. and I planned to record game overview videos, but I often don't know exactly what someone will have to show, so sometimes I booked too much time and (more rarely) too little. IELLO was one of the companies that had a skimpy reservation time as I could choose only a thirty-minute slot in its automated reservation system — despite IELLO often having more than a half-dozen games to show off!

No matter, though, as John and I recorded a couple of overviews with Romain François, then went elsewhere, then came back to IELLO, then went elsewhere, then returned to IELLO yet again to finish them off. You don't have the leisure time at consumer shows — mostly because it's impossible to get anywhere quickly! At Spielwarenmesse, the aisles are wide and empty, something I'll demonstrate in a walkthrough video at some point.

For now, let's check out the Cthulhu Monster Pack from Richard Garfield, with this item serving as an expansion for either King of... title. We need to find a good shorthand for this in the BGG database. Any suggestions?

Board Game: Arena: For the Gods!
• If you're looking for different ways to beat upon your fellow players, IELLO would like to suggest Arena: For the Gods! from Maxime Rambourg, a game that draws inspiration from multiple mythologies for weapons, equipment and mounts that you'll bid for in order to smite one another most effectively.

Board Game: Pyramids
• In 2016, IELLO went a bit overboard with the number of card-drafting games that it released. Well, that might have been the opinion of some, but folks at this French company apparently think that wasn't enough as they have a new drafting game in Brett J. Gilbert and Matthew Dunstan's Pyramids. I've played this 2- to 5-player game twice with two players and need to play with more to see how it compares, but at heart this is a quick-playing set-collection game in which you want to maximize the value of your pyramid, tomb, and obelisk. Glory in death...

From gallery of Gregaria
• One of those aforementioned card-drafting games that IELLO announced in early 2016 — Richard Garfield's Bunny Kingdom — never made it to production that year as the publisher kept working and reworking the components and parts of the graphic design to try to make all the moving parts work smoothly. The game is on the release docket for 2017, though, so if you haven't seen it before, you can now hear the word "bunny" multiple times in quick succession while learning how to claim and enrich your land.

Board Game: Mountains of Madness
• And to close out this post — not that this is all that's coming from IELLO, of course — we have an early look at Rob Daviau's Mountains of Madness, due out at SPIEL 2017 in October. This co-op design design attempts to inject the madness into the players themselves, possibly making you think they're not all there during the course of the game...

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