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New Game Round-up: Cannes 2018 Edition — Save Dinos, Escape the Maze, and Set Loose the Huns

W. Eric Martin
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• At the Festival International des Jeux in Cannes in February 2018, Belgian publisher Sit Down! will release Magic Maze Kids, a version of Kasper Lapp's Spiel des Jahres-nominated Magic Maze aimed at players as young as five years old. Here's the setting for this game, which is for 2-4 players:

Quote:
The king was accidentally turned into a frog! Gather your friends, stride across the forest, and find the correct ingredients to prepare a potion that will cure him.

Magic Maze Kids is a cooperative game in which everyone controls all of the heroes, but only in one direction! Tutorials gradually teach you the rules, and several levels make the game evolve with the children.
• At FIJ, Sit Down! also plans to release three new roll-and-write titles from Henri Kermarrec: The Temple of Apikhabou, The Skull Island, and The Valley of Wiraqocha. All three titles are part of a series of games collectively titled Penny Papers Adventures, and they are all built on the same engine for gameplay, with each being playable individually:

Quote:
Penny Papers Adventures is a series of small strategy games in which all of the players use the same result of three dice to explore a location more thoroughly than their opponents by writing numbers in their grid in an optimal way to make the most victory points out of it. Challenge your ability to manage space, and wisely use the special effects of the dice. Oh, and don't miss an opportunity to mess up your opponents' grids when dangers appear! The number of players is unlimited as everyone plays at the same time!
• Starting new imprints is all the rage these days, with IELLO launching LOKI at FIJ with Ludovic Maublanc and Théo Rivière's SOS Dinos, a 1-4 player cooperative game for ages 7 and up that bears this short description:

Quote:
You need to react, anticipate, and work together as a team to save the four dinosaurs in SOS Dino! Draw a tile, place it on the board, then move one of the dinosaurs closer to the safety of the mountains. Pay attention to lava and meteor showers!


• Another new title at FIJ, albeit only for demo with the release scheduled for September 2018 is Huns, a dice-drafting game from designer Fneup (a.k.a. François-Nicolas Parachini) and publisher La Boite de Jeu for 2-4 players. Here's a rundown of what you do in the game:

Quote:
Winter 453: The Huns reign supreme over half of the known world. The great Khan, king of the Huns, is suffering, and there are many who dream of taking his place. The Khan must appoint his successor. He will choose the bravest and most glorious of his generals, and you intend for that to be you! But you are not the only contender, and you will have to prove your worth.

Each turn in Huns you must choose between raiding for resources or picking a card that will grant you a special ability. In more detail, the game includes five decks of cards in five colors that feature equipment, raids, mercenaries, curses, and treasure, as well as goods cubes in the same five colors. Each player starts the game with two wagons that require specific colored goods to fill them.

At the start of a round, the active player rolls five d3 dice in the five colors, then chooses one of the dice and takes either cubes or cards in this color. If you take cards, they draw 1-3 cards (based on the die roll), keep one of them, then place the others face down under this deck. Equipment gives you an in-game bonus, raids have a one-time effect, treasure earns you points at game's end if you meet the condition listed, mercenaries give you a reusable effect once you give them goods, and curses are played on opponents, who must apply goods to them to dispel their effect. If you take cubes, you can place them on a single mercenary card, a single curse card, or any number of your wagons in the appropriate spaces. If you fill a wagon, you draw a new one from those on display. Each player takes one die in turn, choosing cards or goods, until all the dice have been chosen. The first player marker then moves clockwise, and the new active player rolls all five dice again.

When one of the cube colors or one of the decks is empty at the end of a round, the game ends. Players score points for raids undertaken, treasure achieved, mercenaries paid off, and wagons delivered, and whoever has the most points wins! Card combos, drafting strategies, and resource management is what Huns is about, set in the universe of the mighty warriors of Huns.
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