W. Eric Martin
• NY Toy Fair usually has far more to offer in terms of mainstream games aimed at children than modern games aimed at older players, but the variety of games on display at that show has been diversifying and expanding over the past few years to mirror how hobby games have gained greater awareness in the market at large.
One good way to continue this expansion is by merging modern game design practices with material well-known by the general public, and that's what Ravensburger is doing with Jurassic Park: Danger! Adventure Strategy Game, a 2-5 player game from Forrest-Pruzan Creative due out in May 2018. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:
The first visitors have arrived at Jurassic Park to see its miraculous dinosaurs firsthand, but chaos has hit Isla Nublar: The power is out, and the prehistoric creatures are on the hunt!
In Jurassic Park: Danger! Adventure Strategy Game, one player controls the T. Rex, Dilophosaurus, and Velociraptor, prowling through the jungle to attack the humans. The other players team up as characters from the classic movie, struggling to get Jurassic Park back online and escape the island before they fall prey to old-time predators!
• In late January 2018, I posted an overview of what's coming from German publisher KOSMOS in the first half of the year. Now its North American counterpart Thames & Kosmos has shared its 2018 release calendar, with it being a mix of titles that are either new-for-the-year or new-for-this-continent, as has been the case in years past.
In terms of titles new to 2018, Thames & Kosmos will release Drop It in April 2018, Rüdiger Dorn's Mercado in August 2018, and the previously unannounced Word Slam Family in September 2018, with this being both a standalone game and an expansion for the original Word Slam from Inka and Markus Brand.
Word Slam Family removes the die and timer from the original release (offering you an app in their place) and asks you to use the box as screens for the clues that you give to your teammates. This game includes one hundred single-word clue cards, as well as one hundred cards with words or phrases that you must guess, with six items on each card. (Think of this as the travel version of Word Slam, but with all new cards; if you own the original, you can toss the small box and store everything together.)
As for other North American releases coming from Thames & Kosmos, Legends of Andor: Dark Heroes is due out in June 2018 (with the Andor: Bonus Box not being on the 2018 release calendar), a new edition of Targi is coming in July, and Imhotep: A New Dynasty is due in August. (The Targi expansion is not on T&K's 2018 release calendar, presumably because they want to reintroduce the base game to the market at large; BGGers might know the game, but T&K aims at a wider, more mainstream audience, so you need to have the base game in place before releasing an expansion.)
The Exit: The Game series — which has sold more than a million copies worldwide — has four titles due out in English in 2018: The Sunken Treasure and Dead Man on the Orient Express in July and The Sinister Mansion and The Mysterious Museum in October.