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Pearl Games Welcomes Rise of Sun Moon for SPIEL '18

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Solenia
Sébastien Dujardin of Belgian publisher Pearl Games has passed along updated release plans for SPIEL '18 and the beginning of 2019.

To begin, at SPIEL '18 in October, Dujardin plans to release the 1-4 player game Sun Moon, his first published game since 2014's Deus. (I can't believe four years have already passed since Deus debuted!) (Update, August 20, 2018: The original Sun Moon cover image has been removed from the database, so I'm replacing the image with the cover of Solenia, which is the final name of the game in question.)

Here's the thematic setting for this design:

Several millennia ago, the tiny planet Sun Moon lost its day-and-night cycle: Its northern hemisphere is forever plunged into darkness, and its southern hemisphere is eternally bathed in sunlight. Your mission is to carry on your ancestors' honorable task of traveling the world to deliver essential goods to the inhabitants of both hemispheres. While the Day people want you to deliver the rarest gems and stones, the Night people sorely need wood and wheat to survive. Be efficient and outpace your opponents to collect the most gold stars by the end of the game!
"It is a game more accessible than usual for Pearl Games but very strategic", says Dujardin. "The highlight of game play is the scrolling system of day and night. Since the night and the day are frozen, the resources of the day must be delivered to the inhabitants of the night, and vice versa. The rules are simple, but the game can be very cerebral, too."

The game board is a 5x5 grid of sorts, with the board being comprised of five "strips" of cardboard each in the shape of a pixellated C. These strips are assembled in order — either night/night/dawn/day/day or day/day/dusk/night/night — then an airship is placed in the center space. Each player has a resource board and a set of sixteen cards, each showing a number (0-2) and icons (2-0).

Everyone starts with a hand of three cards. On a turn, you play a card onto an empty space adjacent to the airship or adjacent to another card of yours already played. If you play onto a production island, you collect 0-2 resources depending on the value of the card played. If you play onto a city, you receive 0-2 stars (based on the card value), then you must deliver resources to fulfill a night or day delivery tile depending on where that city is located. You then place the tile in the leftmost space of the night/day track of your board and gain a bonus, with the bonuses getting stronger as you grab more night/day tiles.

If you play a 0 card, the airship advances one space to the right, then at the end of your turn, you remove the leftmost strip of the board, give players resources or stars based on the cards they have on this strip of the playing area, flip the strip over (turning night to day or dawn to dusk or vice versa), and place it on the other side of the game board.

Board Game: Solenia

Thus, as the game progresses, day keeps turning to night, then night to day, and since each half of the world needs only the resources generated by the other half, you need to keep moving. Each card is played only once, with you receiving (possibly) something when initially played, then (possibly) something later when it disappears from the board. You can hold at most eight resources on your personal board, so you can't stockpile everything for later.

The player boards are double-sided, with the B side having different bonuses as you collect delivery tiles as well as a holding limit of six resources. The game also includes improvement tiles that players can draft to customize the rewards they receive on the B side of the player board.

The playing area shown above is a prototype. Vincent Dutrait will do the illustrations for Sun Moon.

• Aside from Sun Moon, Dujardin says that Black Angel — first announced in mid-2017 — is now scheduled to debut in February 2019 at the game fair in Cannes. "We need more time to properly produce the game", he says. Here's the current, Thor: Ragnarok-y look of the game, courtesy of Ian O'Toole:

Board Game: Black Angel
Non-final art

• Finally, Dujardin says that he's working on a roll-and-write, two-player-only version of Troyes with Xavier Georges and Alain Orban that is called, at least for now, Troyes 2. Dujardin says that this design is intended to have "all the sensations of the basic game in 20-30 minutes", and while no release date is attached to this design for now, he hopes to have it out sometime in 2019. "We are very happy with the result..."

From gallery of Photodump
Prototype components
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