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New Game Round-up: Wheel Through Noria, Arrange Leaves in Indian Summer, and Dance with The Bottle Imp

W. Eric Martin
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• Following last week's busyness at Gen Con 50, I've been racing through my inbox to update our SPIEL '17 Preview, which debuted on Monday, Aug. 21 with 168 listings and which now features 256(!) listings — with me making only the slightest dent in my inbox. Sheesh!

The three latest entries in the SPIEL '17 Preview come from Edition Spielwiese, which debuted at SPIEL '16 with Uwe Rosenberg's Cottage Garden. For SPIEL '17, the publisher has a new puzzle-y game from Rosenberg — Indian Summer — which it dubs the the second part of Rosenberg's "puzzle trilogy". Here's how the publisher sets the mood:

Quote:
Before winter makes its appearance, a particularly warm fall bathes the forest in a golden shimmer. During the Indian Summer, New England blossoms one last time. Treetops are ablaze with countless colors — a living rainbow, from green to orange to red. Slowly the first leaves are starting to fall. Meanwhile, our steps and the diligent squirrels rustle the colorful foliage.

On our walks through the woods, we discover all kinds of little treasures; we collect berries, nuts, mushrooms and feathers. We pause for a moment to watch the shy inhabitants of the forest before we set off towards home once again. There, a good book and a hot tea are already awaiting.

Indian Summer is firmly geared towards experienced players. At the heart of the game are puzzle tiles with holes that are placed on individual forest boards to cover up treasures. When players get their hands on these, they gain more options and an edge over their opponents. All that counts in the end is to be the first to cover your forest floor completely with leaves.

I've already covered the pirate-based memory game Memoarrr! in this BGG News post, so that leaves Noria, the debut title from Sophia Wagner, who won an author stipend from the Spiel des Jahres jury in 2015. Michael Menzel and Klemens Franz provide the art for this title, which can be summarized as follows:

Quote:
A new era is looming on the horizon. The future of Noria is right in front of you, and you must guide your flourishing trading empire into prosperity. Discover flying islands, buy ships, and build factories. Invest in prestigious projects, and secure their success by passing on secret knowledge to politicians. For even above the clouds, there is still room for improvement...

At the center of Noria is an innovative mechanism called "wheel building". Each player has an action wheel consisting of three rings, with slots for a number of different action discs. Over the course of the game, players try to obtain new discs and manipulate the rings of the wheel to optimize their action selection. Additionally, to ensure their investments bear fruit, they also need to bribe politicians with knowledge.




• Other recent additions to the SPIEL '17 Preview include a new edition of Günter Cornett's wonderful card game The Bottle Imp from Finnish publisher Lautapelit.fi.

In this 2-4 player trick-taking game that is ideally a three-player-only game, everyone wants to grab the bottle for some of the time as you score more points that way. The bottle "price" starts at 19, and all cards with a value lower than this are trump — but when you win a trick this way, the price of the bottle drops to this new value. Should you still hold the bottle at the end of the round, you lose points instead of gaining them, so you need to find a way to force someone else to buy the bottle. The Bottle Imp is a great game, and it's good to see the title returning to market.

• Lautapelit.fi will also have a new edition of Emanuelle Ornella's Byzanz, which first appeared in 2008 from AMIGO, as well as expansions for two 2016 titles: Flamme Rouge: Peloton, which allows for play with up to six players, and Dokmus: Return of Erefel, which adds a new guardian to play as well as new game boards.
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