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New Game Round-up: Break Codes, Speak Truthfully, Control the Lanes, and Feel Your Way to Success

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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I'm constantly on the lookout for new games to write about, and the richest source of both information and frustration comes from my Twitter feed. I follow only Japanese game designers and bloggers, and every single week they post about dozens of intriguing game designs that (typically) are not listed on BoardGameGeek. I send myself note after note to follow up on at some point, and for a few of those designs, that point is now.

VUGHEX is a two-player-only competitive card game from Tomoki Motohashi of Takoashi Games that consists of only eighteen cards. Players alternate playing six unit cards with the aim of gaining control of the three "lanes", then the powers of the units for each lane are summed, and the player with the higher power wins the lane.

—If you win a lane not controlled by you, you gain control of this lane.
—If you win a lane controlled by you, you deal 1 damage to your opponent.

Repeat as needed until someone deals their opponent 3 or more damage and wins.

Image from Miss Merc here

• Designer Mitsuo Yamamoto typically releases abstract strategy games through his own Logy Games, but for his current Kickstarter project (KS link), he's offering a 2-5 player bluffing game called Honesty Stone that seems to have some Coup elements to it, although I'm not grasping all the details from the description on Kickstarter or this shorter one on BGG:

Players must be honest without telling a lie; if they are revealed to be a liar by other players through the use of an honesty stone, they are out of the game.

The game is simple and easy: Players have three jewels each, and each turn players guess the color of another player's jewel. Different color jewels have different effects, allowing players to reject a guess, exchange stones, or make more powerful guesses. Using an effect gives your opponents clues as to what color stone you have — assuming you are telling the truth.

The player who keeps the color of their jewels hidden until the game end wins.
• Aside from that new design, Swiss publisher Helvetiq has licensed Yamamoto's 2017 release Megateh for re-release as Four Senses, with that latter game being available at SPIEL '19. Here's an overview of the game:

Megateh is a three-dimensional, multi-player game especially suitable for any player with restricted sight. Equally challenging and fun regardless of vision limitations, this highly tactile, physical game with ceramic and wooden pieces is based on touch and does not rely on artificial sound effects.

The goal is to make four-in-a-row by placing pieces on the board. The board structure is designed to aide sight-impaired players. Holes on the board indicate where players can legally place their pieces. The pieces are formed in various ways to make them easy to recognize by touch alone.

The look of Megateh

• Another licensed JP game heading to larger markets is Ryohei Kurahashi's TAGIRON from Jelly Jelly Games, which IELLO will release before the end of 2019 as Break the Code. Here's an overview of the gameplay, followed by a video summary recorded at SPIEL '17:

TAGIRON is a logical deduction game played with number tiles and question cards. You win if you can guess all of your opponent's tiles. Put on your thinking cap!

After each player has drawn number tiles at random and placed them behind their screen in ascending order from left to right, lay out six question cards on the table. Choose which questions might give you the most information about what your opponents hold, and hope that you can guess their tiles first!

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