W. Eric Martin
• Gen Con 2018 opens in just over two weeks, and publishers are still making plenty of announcements about the new titles they'll have for sale at the show, as with Mattel's revelation of an expansion for Brian Yu's Kinderspiel des Jahres-winning Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters.
The Creepy Cellar Expansion, which retails for US$20, includes two new rooms and a new victory condition, with players now needing to bring the treasures they collect down into the cellar. The twelve treasures in the expansion curse players in particular ways as long as they hold on to them, and a new blue King Ghost figure who cannot be defeated will move about the house.
At Gen Con 2018, you can try out this expansion on an oversized version of the game, and if you win, you'll receive a metal golden ghost figure as a reward.
• Four other titles coming from Mattel at Gen Con 2018 are part of a new two-player line, with two of the games being new and the other two being repackaged older games, specifically Blokus Duo and Yu's 2006 card game Voltage. In Jürgen Heel's Trailmazer, you need to be the first to connect opposite sides of the board "with a criss-crossed line" of your own color, and in Nick Hayes' Spirits of the Wild you need to collect sets of colorful stones, give them to the animals on your board, use their special abilities, and send the coyote trickster spirit to frustrate the opponent.
• Japanese publisher Oink Games will have two new tiny releases at Gen Con 2018, one of them being Taisei Kato's TomaTomato, a party game for 3-6 players in which you're presented with four card types — Tomato, Mato, Ma, To — that you will line up, then read as quickly as you can. At the start of play with only a few cards, you may have to say only "Tomato", but soon the cards will accumulate into something like "Tomatotomatomama!"
• The second Oink title is a new version of Tomoyuki Maruta's Bye-Bye Lemming, which first appeared in 2017. Now instead of you trying to send out your lemmings to wherever it is that lemmings might go, in Flotsam Fight you are a group of explorers on a sinking ship who want to save as many of their precious treasures as they can by loading them onto lifeboats, with some cards naturally being easier to load than others.