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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse IV: T.I.M.E Stories, Unlock! & More from Space Cowboys; Teasers from IELLO; Messe Walkthrough

W. Eric Martin
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• Some publishers had little to show at Spielwarenmesse 2017, but a lot to talk about, as with French publisher Space Cowboys, which had these mock-ups to show as a teaser:




Yes, in addition to the Expedition: Endurance scenario for T.I.M.E Stories — which became a 2017 release due to delays — Space Cowboys has three other scenarios on their release calendar for 2017. Lumen Fidei from Ulric Maes already has an established BGG page, noting that the scenario "involves moral choices, a powerful opponent and new mechanisms", whereas I've just created pages for the Estrella Drive and Frères de la Côte scenarios, about which I know little more than what's printed above.

Oh, wait, there's also a shot of their back covers, noting again that these are mock-up covers and not final:




Vincent Goyat from Space Cowboys noted that the plan for T.I.M.E Stories, now that they're over the delay, is to release three new scenarios each year, with one of the scenarios planed for 2018 coming through a public submission.

Aside from the scenarios, Space Cowboys plans to revamp the base game or repackage its components in some manner. Goyat explained that they've heard from many people who have played the Asylum scenario included in the base game on someone else's copy of TS, but who then felt bummed by the idea of buying their own copy of the base game and getting with it a scenario they've already played. Maybe one of the 2017 scenarios will be packaged on its own as well as with the base game, or perhaps the base game components will be delivered on their own by drone. Something will be decided at some point, then Space Cowboys will announce that decision.

• Aside from T.I.M.E Stories, Space Cowboys talked about a few other upcoming releases. Cities of Splendor, for which I posted an overview video recently, is scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2017, as is Victorian Masterminds from Eric M. Lang and Antoine Bauza; we recorded an overview video of that game in Nov. 2015, which gives you an idea of how long some of these game projects take to come to print.

Unlock! bears the tagline "Escape Adventures", and this is Space Cowboys' take on the "escape room as a tabletop game" trend, with each Unlock! scenario consisting of a deck of cards. The box at right contains three scenarios and is due out Q1 2017 in Germany and elsewhere in Europe; in the U.S., each scenario will be packaged on its own at the request of Asmodee North America.

Space Cowboys has a second trio of Unlock! scenario in the works for release before the end of 2017, with these scenarios involving a haunted mansion, pirates, and a deep sea vessel titled "Nautilus". Before the release of that trio, another print-and-play Unlock! scenario will be released to help introduce new players to the genre.

• Finally, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures — title #1 in Space Cowboys' Sherlock Holmes game series — was just released in U.S. stores in mid-February 2017. Title #3 in the series, the original (and newly revised) Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, is due out in Q2 2017. Title #2 is an updated version of Jesús Torres Castro's Watson & Holmes, first released in 2015 by Ludonova, and that's due out Q1/Q2 2017.

Following all of these will be Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Carlton House & Queen's Park, which will consist of the cases in The Queen's Park Affair and The Mansion Murders — two of the original SHCD supplements from the 1980s, with both being revised and updated — as well as two individual cases released by Ystari Games in 2012: La Rançon du Diable and La Piste Tordue.

• I've been posting dozens of game overview videos from Spielwarenmesse 2017 on BGG's YouTube channel, with those videos being posted to the individual game pages as well, but in addition to the videos, I brought home catalogs from many publishers, and those catalogs sometimes bring revelations that went unmentioned on camera or during conversations.

IELLO, for example, mentions that a Halloween-themed expansion for the King of... line is in the works, so I'd presume that we'll see an updated version of Richard Garfield's King of Tokyo: Halloween since those exact words are on the blank box in the catalog. (IELLO also notes that more than 750,000 copies of King of Tokyo have sold worldwide.)

• A first expansion for Maxime Rambourg's The Big Book of Madness is in the works, with a new element being introduced to the game.

• IELLO also depicts four titles in a "Coming soon" spread:

Sticky Chameleons, by Théo Rivière
Fairy Tile, by Brett J. Gilbert and Matthew Dunstan
Sentaï Cats, by Bauza, Maublanc, Rivière, Lebrat, and Oury
Hito Hira

I know nothing more than what's shown in the images below, but I now share that information with you as well:





• Let's close this post with a walkthrough of the top floor of Hall 10 at Spielwarenmesse. Halls 10 and 11 are the only two halls at the fair that consist of two floors, and Hall 10 is where most of the game publishers are located. As you'll see after the short introduction with Reiner Knizia, the environment at this fair is a far cry from Origins, Gen Con or SPIEL. Even NY Toy Fair, which I'll be hitting the weekend of Feb. 18-19, isn't as polished as this show, but maybe I'm just under the spell of the yellow floor coverings...

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