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New Game Round-up: Nefarious Nears, Dual Dixits, Cranio Quartet & Count Down the Days 'Til the Bomb Goes Off

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• In early February 2012, I posted a rundown of releases from the U.S., French and German branches of Asmodee, with one of those items on the calendar being Dixit: Journey, which I described as being "presumably Dixit 3 although I need to check on this". Turns out that they're almost the same thing, but not quite – Dixit: Journey is a standalone game that uses the same game play as Jean-Louis Roubira's Dixit, but with new artwork on the cards, a regular game board with a scoring track and a place to line up cards for a vote, and revised rules; Dixit 3 consists of only the new cards and is marketed as an expansion for Dixit or Dixit Odyssey.

Why the difference between the two? Dixit: Journey was created specifically for the U.S. market at the request of Asmodee, which would also be the publisher of the game instead of merely the distributor of the Libellud-produced Dixit. The box and cards would be designed for a U.S. audience and have a more mainstream look. Since the cards were new, though, Libellud would sell them as an expansion in Europe. AT the 2012 NY Toy Fair, Asmodee's Stefan Brunell said that the price of the two sets would be almost identical – $33 for Dixit: Journey (which is due out in July 2012) and approximately $30 for Dixit 3 (due out in September/October 2012).

• Publisher Ascora Games has a new website, but that's relevant only because of the news announcement on it of Nefarious' completed print run and subsequent (and still in-progress) delivery to the U.S. Ascora's Scott Tepper notes, "If all goes well, you should be seeing Nefarious in your favorite game store in March 2012."

• White Goblin Games will release Michael Schacht's Coney Island in a French/Dutch edition in 2012, with the Giant Wheel Spiel 2011 promo being included in the package.

• Todd Rowland from Alderac Entertainment Group shares – something – that the publisher will have at Gen Con 2012 via Twitter.

• Dutch publisher The Game Master has announced its October 2012 release, aka, time to start the Spiel 2012 buzz now. Here's a description of Count Down:

In this stressful modular board game, you are in charge of a special ops team with a special mission! Find the bombs and dismantle them before they ex–

Count Down will have you searching for bombs at public places such as airports and train stations, or finding terrorist cells in cellars or in ghettos, at warehouses or at the harbor. When the sky grows dark, finding the bombs and getting home safely becomes more and more difficult.

Count Down is fully modular, with players being able to create their own game boards, adjust the level of difficulty (with different players playing on different levels), create and develop their own special ops teams, play single missions or entire campaigns in which the characters level up, and adopt the game format that works best for your group: cooperative, competitive, team against team, or paranoia (with a traitor in hiding amongst the team).

• Italian publisher Cranio Creations has laid out its 2012 release schedule, which consists of the following four titles, with no specific dates announced for any of them:

-----* Pimp My Park, with the players trying to build the best amusement parks possible while also getting customers through the gates. Artwork by Dixit's Marie Cardouat.
-----* 1969, a re-enactment of the space race of that era for 2-5 players.
-----* Mutatio, another take on the "evolve your animals so that they survive better than everyone else's" genre.
-----* Flies!, in which players try to swat opponents' flies while propagating their own.

Update, Feb. 29, 2012: Even though Cranio Creations included Flies! and Mutatio in its Nürnberg 2012 announcement, the publisher has since informed me that these titles are not definitely on its release calendar and has asked me to remove the pages since the games are still in development.

• And what does Kickstarter hold for you, the gaming public, at the moment?

-----* Di Renjie, a deductive card game from Ta-Te Wu in which players collectively try to deduce which cards have been removed from the deck, while scoring points individually to determine a winner – except that if all the cards haven't been deduced, then everyone loses. (KS link)

-----* Seven Sisters, a hand-management, worker-placement game in which players try to woo the sisters in question to obtain their precious "victory points" and "special favors". (KS link)

-----* Shadow Days, a "fantasy deck-building, combat and survival game" is back for a second go-round on Kickstarter. (KS link)

-----* Cartoona, "a tile-laying, creature-building game of strategy and chance" from designer/artist Robert Burke. (KS link)
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