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New Game Round-up: Fold Space, Slide to Triumph, and Build Villages (or Don't)

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Potemkin Empire
Jonathan Woodard's Potemkin Empire from Indie Boards & Cards takes inspiration from the historic — although likely exaggerated — tale of a lover attempting to please his bae, specifically that of Grigory Potemkin overseeing the construction of fake settlements to please his lover Empress Catherine II during her tour of the Dnieper River.

In Potemkin Empire, you get a shot at impressing Empress Catherine II as well. Specifically, you and 2-4 other players are mayors of villages along the rivers, and you're each going to construct a "Potemkin village" to make your land look swankier than it is, while also attempting to call out others for their obviously fake façades. Here's a slightly longer description of the game, which is being funded on Kickstarter (KS link) ahead of a planned September 2019 release date:

In Potemkin Empire, you play the role of a mayor of a small Russian village. You attempt to impress Empress Catherine by convincing her that you have the most prosperous and stable village in the land. But with her visit quickly approaching there's no time to really fix your village, so you're just going to have to make it look as impressive as possible. That is to say, you're faking it. You'll accomplish this by drafting interior cards that are either real or fake, then combining them with facades to construct an imposing, if flimsy, kingdom.

You score points by producing goods in your industrial buildings, exposing opponents' fake buildings with spies, constructing government and cultural buildings, and passing off fake buildings as real ones. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!
For more details on the game, you can check out this instructional video from Bebo here on BGG.

Board Game: Folding Space
Folding Space is the third title announced by Maple Games, and it comes from the design duo of Alan R. Moon and Bobby West, who also worked together on Aftershock: San Francisco & Venice. Here's an overview of the game, which hits Kickstarter in April 2019 ahead of a planned Q4 2019 release date:

Take command of your very own pirate ship, and blast off to the rings and moons of Saturn! The high seas are no match for the adventures that await you and your crew as you race against rivals, and battle for resources and treasures. You'll need split-second planning to outmaneuver and outwit the other captains if you want to claim this section of space as your own!

Folding Space is a highly approachable game for 3 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, that takes approximately 30-45 minutes to play. The game features an innovative infinity board for all players to give orders to their crew simultaneously, and those players will pillage resources, acquire treasure maps, and battle their space pirate rivals on a modular tile map.
The "infinity board" mentioned is similar to the individual player boards in the well-known Richard Breese title Keyper and the completely unknown title Enchanted Paths from Martin Nedergaard Andersen, both from 2017.

Slide Quest is one of several new titles from Blue Orange Games due to hit the U.S. market in Q2 2019, and this design from Nicolas Bourgoin and Jean-François Rochas has such intuitive gameplay that you can jump in almost immediately.

The gist of the game is that you are a knight — one who has a rolling ball instead of legs, mind you — and you must complete certain tasks in order to complete the current level. To move about the playing area, you press on plastic levers that hang out over the edge of the game box to lift that edge of the board, with the knight then sliding in the opposite direction. Sometimes you just need to follow a path and not fall in a hole; sometimes you need to knock enemies in the hole; sometimes you have to fight monsters.

Slide Quest includes twenty levels of gameplay, and we recorded an overview of the game at Spielwarenmesse 2019 in case you want to see it in action:

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