What are you doing!? I don't even know you!
As Latin American games are still fairly unknown outside their countries of origin, I have decided to do a Latin American new game round-up once in a while. If you have any news to share, please contact me (here or at gamenews at lidude dot net). Let's see how much interest there is for it.
The Geek Out Festival in Buenos Aires on the May 6, 2017 is the launch date for Corona de Hierro ("Iron Crown").
In this game by Franco Toffoli, the players assume the roles of nobles in the days of Charles III, last emperor of the Carolingian Empire. They try to extend their power bases in the battle for succession. Power in this card-based board game is gained by laying siege to castles, sending emissaries to the Pope or foreign powers, or controlling important prisoners. When somebody reaches for the crown, the most powerful player wins the game. The game was illustrated by Luis María Dumont and Emiliano Mariani and will be published by El Dragón Azul.
Another last minute announcement was made for the festival; it will also be the launch date for Geek Out! Masters by Matias Saravia, who was one of those geeks who triggered my interest in Latin American games. Geek Out! Masters is a press-your-luck game using the dice from the Geek Out! logo. The goal is to roll the number 42 (which is a die face) as often as possible. Other results can make this difficult by removing dice, flipping others over, or making you lose your entire score from the turn if you cannot remove them.
In the meantime, the three finalists for the Premio Alfonso X have been announced. Aside from the well-received Conejos en el Huerto and Mutant Crops, La Macarena made it into the finals. The judges had a lot to say about every participating game, and I agree to their assessment that La Macarena's main drawback is its length (which my family has house-ruled a little), while they suspect that Conejos en el Huerto might look deceptively like a children's game (not something that would ever have bothered me). I am certainly curious who will come out on top.
Brazil has its own game award as well. It's called Prêmio Ludopedia and there are two categories, one for the game of the year in general and another one for domestic games. In each category, there is a jury vote and a public vote. For the most recent awards this didn't matter as the jury and the public were in agreement. In the general Category, Terra Mystica won — I guess most of you are familiar with it — and the domestic prize went to Space Cantina by Fel Barros und Warny Marçano. Both designers have cooperated before, for instance with Sapotagem which I had the pleasure to play last year (a similar concept to Pi mal Pflaumen).
In Space Cantina, which was illustrated by Lucas Ribeiro and published by Ace Studios, the players try to successfully manage a restaurant in a giant space station. Planning your menu can't be all that easy when your next customer might very well be a robot...
A much noted new release is D.50: Las Redes del Reich ("The Network of the Reich"), a partly cooperative game about Nazi spies who infiltrate Chile during WWII. One of the players is playing such a spy, while the others represent the police unit D.50 and try to put a stop to the spy's evil plan. The game is based on historical events and was sponsored by the Fondo Nacional para el Desarrollo Cultural y las Artes (FONDART), which could be translated as "National Foundation for Cultural Development and Arts". In Chile, the release date (April 15th) seems to be eagerly awaited. Publisher Cuatro Quesos ("Four Cheese") consists of three people (Diego Aravena, Isadora Cárdenas and Wladimir Gárate) as well as "fun and creativity".
Careta ("Mask") is a game by Nico Valdivia Hennig, released by Niebla Games on March 30, 2017. Niebla Games is currently working on a computer game named Causa, and Careta is set in the same fantasy universe. Says Valdivia:
was born with the desire to simulate the experience that traditional games are known for. This is why we’ve drawn inspiration from traditional games such as Truco
, and Liar's Dice
to create a game that, despite its novelty, gives a sensation of an ancient tradition.
To accomplish this, it was decided to set the game in the vast universe of our most ambitious project: Causa, Voices of the Dusk
. Within the world of Causa
is one of the greatest legacies of the Rumah culture, an ethnicity loaded with mysticism that is known for its cleverness, seafaring mores, and their aptitude for business. Due to this, Careta
holds this mystic character of the Rumah, serving not only as a game, but also a tool for divination and narration of their most ancient traditions.
Careta was illustrated by Thomas Heim, Víctor Peña, Julio del Río and Sebastian Rodriguez.
Another recent release is Los Tesoros del Rey Pirata ("The Treasures of the Pirate King") by Pablo Céspedes and Víctor Hugo Cisternas. Players are moving across an archipelago and collect treasure maps, which should ideally be as valuable as possible. Since the other players try the same, it is advisable to challenge them to duels or open fire outright (in order to be able to steal hand cards or treasures). To execute an action, you need a number, with the numbers being printed on the cards. If you need a specific number, you can discard a hand card with that number. If you are somewhat more adventurous, you may as well just draw a card from the stack and use whatever number comes up. Illustrations are by Dan Rodriguez, and the publisher is Ludoismo.
There She Is!! is the name of a mini-series of five short Korean films about the love of a rabbit and a cat who try to overcome the resentment and racism of society at large. (You can watch it here.) Strange stuff, but it's got its fans; in Costa Rica, for example, where iN'sanity Games has dedicated its second game to the series. Players cooperatively try to help the unusual couple. A Kickstarter campaign is being prepared for it. As until a few days ago, I had never heard of the films, I cannot judge the size of the target group, but the looks of this are so unusual that I'll keep an eye on it. It will be published in Spanish, Korean and English. The designer is Yo Leiten.