W. Eric Martin
• In a report from the 2018 Lucca Comics & Games fair, I mentioned that Italian publisher uplay.it edizioni was founding a new brand for the re-release of a decade-old Days of Wonder release. Now uplay.it has revealed the final look of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects: Deluxe Edition, which designers Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc have revised and which will be released by Mojito Studios in 2019. Here's a description of gameplay that clarifies changes from the original Cleopatra and the Society of Architects:
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects is a fun and engaging family game that includes a three-dimensional palace that players compete to build. Players strive to become the wealthiest of Cleopatra's architects by constructing the most magnificent and valuable parts of her palace.
Players, however, will be tempted to trade in materials of dubious origins in order to build faster. While these corrupt practices might allow an architect to stay a step ahead of the rest, they come with a high price: the cursed corruption amulets honoring Sobek, the crocodile-god. When Cleopatra finally reaches her new palace at the end of the game, she punishes the most corrupted architects (i.e., the ones with the most amulets), depriving them of riches or giving them as a sacrifice to her crocodile! The wealthiest architect from among those still alive wins.
In addition to a new graphic design by Miguel Coimbra, this edition of the game incorporates these gameplay changes:
—The combinations of resource cards to discard in order to build pieces of the palace have been reworked.
—The player rewards for building the palace's pieces have been recalculated.
—The consequences of corruption have been reviewed.
—The Great Priest is no longer activated in the same way.
—The player count has changed from 3-5 to 2-4.
—There is a new specific system to manage the character cards, which are no longer part of the deck, and are instead handled separately.
• In late 2019, German publisher HUCH! plans to release Torres Family, a new take on the 2000 Spiel des Jahres winning Torres from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling that contains two scenarios appropriate for players of a slightly younger age than the original game. (When first released in 1999, Torres bore a 12+ age recommendation while the game's re-release in 2017 was labeled 10+.)
Scenario #1, "Who Will Become the New King?", plays similar to the original game but with simplified rules, while scenario #2, "Impress the King's Envoys", adds a color element to the game, with players needing to build towers on fields of the right colors in order to build next to envoys, which earns double the points of a normal building. Note that the image shown at left has unfinished graphics and is cut from an online catalog. More details once HUCH! sends out press material ahead of the Spielwarenmesse 2019 trade fair.
• Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle's Beta Colony, which I wrote about in mid-December 2017, was released on the U.S. market in mid-December 2018 by publisher Rio Grande Games. Ken Hill, who was recently hired as production manager at RGG, notes that Tom Lehmann's New Frontiers should be available in U.S. stores just before the end of 2018 or possibly the first week of 2019. A designer preview from Lehmann for this game will run on BGG news on Dec. 28, 2018.