The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Jan/Feb 2017
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With the myriad sources of game news coming out of hundreds of publishers, large and small, it's difficult for even the informed gamer to know which releases to look forward to. This list is an attempt to aggregate what the BGG community as a whole is anticipating, omitting my own personal biases as much as I can.

This is a list of games sorted by what I call the "buzz score", that is, the number of wishlists the game is on minus the number of owners that game has. Most of the time, this will highlight games that are not yet released, but games may stay on the list after their release depending on how much people want them, and how quickly people have bought them. Obviously, games must be in the BGG database to be considered, but after that, there are no criteria beyond wishlists and owners.

I will post an updated version of this list about every two months. Here are some previous lists:

Nov/Dec 2016
Sep/Oct 2016
Jul/Aug 2016
May/Jun 2016
Mar/Apr 2016

There is also a subscription thread for this Geeklist series. If you wish to receive a notification when I post future versions of this list, go over to The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Subscription Thread and subscribe.

Thanks to wildthayne, this list now has its own microbadge! Check it out here: mb
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1. Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1443]
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Buzz Score: 3175

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Design: Ignacy Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 3309 wishlists, 134 owners

[Previous List: #1 (2581)]

First Martians is a cooperative game that re-implements the system used in Trzewiczek's previous game, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. However, in this game, the players are stranded in the hostile environments of the planet Mars. Players can participate in a number of stand-alone scenarios featuring various gameplay objectives, or engage in a campaign mode in which previous play sessions affect the current one. The game will utilize a mobile app to aid with the administration of the game.

Release Notes: This game from Portal Games ran a pre-order on their website, which has already sold out. Pre-orders should be shipped in May, while retail copies should be available in June.
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2. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:4]
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Buzz Score: 2904

Terraforming Mars
Design: Jacob Fryxelius (Space Station)
Specs: 1-5 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 8350 wishlists, 5446 owners

[Previous List: #2 (1803)]

Set in the 25th century, Terraforming Mars is a competitive board game about transforming the surface of Mars to better suit human habitation. Players take on the role of corporations, each of whom has a unique advantage in a certain part of the terraforming process. Players acquire and complete various project cards, which vary greatly in difficulty and reward. Through these projects, players aim to raise the temperature, oxygen, and ocean levels, and score for furthering these goals. Once those three conditions reach the optimal level, the game ends and victory is assessed.

Release Notes: This game from Stronghold Games and Rebel.pl was released at GenCon in August. The game currently appears to be out of stock due to high demand, with a reprint arriving in stores in March.
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3. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:107]
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Buzz Score: 2535

Charterstone
Design: Jamey Stegmaier (Viticulture, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia)
Specs: 1-6 players, 20-60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 2549 wishlists, 14 owners

[Previous List: #8 (912)]

Charterstone is a competitive legacy-style game with eurogame sensibilities, based on a worker-placement system. Over the course of a game, players will add a number of building stickers to the village boards, creating new actions that are available not only just in the current game, but also in all future games. The game will not feature "destructive" legacy elements, such as ripping up cards. Charterstone is meant to be played in legacy mode for 20 games, after which players will have a unique worker-placement game that can be played further without change.

Release Notes: This game from Stonemaier Games should be available through normal retail channels in late 2017.
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4. Board Game: Rising Sun [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:51]
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Buzz Score: 2449

Rising Sun
Design: Eric M. Lang (Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest)
Specs: 3-6 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 2454 wishlists, 5 owners

[Previous List: #6 (1204)]

Rising Sun, billed as the spiritual successor to Blood Rage, is a light wargame that takes place in feudal (and mythological) Japan. Negotiation (and backstabbing) are core to the game's experience; however, negotiated alliances are formalized and players who break such alliances will decrease on the honor track, earning them penalties in their future interactions. The game will feature a variety of unique miniatures similar to the offerings in Blood Rage.

Release Notes: Cool Mini Or Not will be launching a kickstarter project for this game on March 7th.
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5. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.58 Overall Rank:11]
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Buzz Score: 1917

The 7th Continent
Design: Ludovic Roudy (Steam Torpedo: First Contact, 8 Masters' Revenge), Bruno Sautter (Steam Torpedo: First Contact, 8 Masters' Revenge)
Specs: 1-4 players, 5-1000 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 2368 wishlists, 451 owners

[Previous List: #5 (1252)]

The 7th Continent is a cooperative game in which players take the role of explorers who are returning to a mysterious new continent that they have discovered in an attempt to remove the curse it has put on them. As the players explore this continent, new terrain cards will be added to increase the play area. Players each have an action deck which allows them to face challenges they meet on the terrain cards; this deck consists of both items and skills the players can use, as well as success indicators that determine whether they pass skill checks. While the game takes many hours to play, it features a saving mechanism whereby players can preserve their progress for the next session.

Release Notes: This game from Serious Poulp successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in October 2015. They expect to ship the game to backers in May 2017.
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6. Board Game: Yamataï [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:536]
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Buzz Score: 1282

Yamataï
Design: Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes), Marc Paquien
Specs: 2-4 players, 40-80 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 1300 wishlists, 18 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (259)]

Yamataï is a new Japanese-themed game in which players build monuments in honor of Queen Himiko. Players create chains of ship pieces that connect to the various islands to gain access to the resources found there, and later, create monuments on these islands. However, once placed, these ships don't belong to any player, and all players may utilize them to their own ends. Ship placement is determined by a tile draft, which determines how many and what types of ships you can place, as well as your relative turn order. In addition to building monuments, specialists can be recruited that grant the player special powers.

Release Notes: This game from Days of Wonder will be available in March in Europe and in May in North America.
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7. Board Game: Century: Spice Road [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:206] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 1022

Century: Spice Road
Design: Emerson Matsuuchi (Specter Ops, VOLT: Robot Battle Arena)
Specs: 2-4 players
Stats: 1027 wishlists, 5 owners

[Previous List: #15 (645)]

Century: Spice Road (formerly known as Caravan) is a contract-fulfillment hand-building game. Players can play their cards to harvest or trade spices, and then use those spices to fulfill contract requirements. Once a card is used, it cannot be used again until the player takes an action to take their cards back. Of course, more cards can be attained to increase a player's options. Once a player earns a fifth victory point card, the game ends.

Release Notes: This game, now from Nazca Games and Plan B Games, will be released in June 2017.
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8. Board Game: Dice Forge [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:321]
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Buzz Score: 977

Dice Forge
Design: Régis Bonnessée (Seasons, Lords of Xidit)
Specs: 2-4 players, 40 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 982 wishlists, 5 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Dice Forge is literally a dice-building game. Each turn, players roll their dice to accumulate resources, with which they can buy new die faces for their dice, replacing the old die faces. In this way, dice can be customized to a player's specific strategy, synergizing with their other dice. Eventually players will be able to embark upon quests for big rewards.

Release Notes: This game from Libellud will be released around May 2017.
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9. Board Game: Chronicles 1: Origins [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 872

Chronicles: Origins
Design: Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legady, Risk Legacy), Dirk Knemeyer (Tesla vs. Edison, The New Science)
Specs: 3-6 players, 30-60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 875 wishlists, 3 owners

[Previous List: #12 (780)]

Chronicles: Origins is a civilization game with two distinct types of games included. In the first type of game, players take on the role of leaders of a small stone age culture, guiding that culture through harsh environments and toward prosperity. After this stone age game has been played a number of times, the successful tribes created by these games can be combined into a bronze age game where the tribes have evolved into competing city-states. Naturally, only some of the city-states will survive this game, and those in turn can be used as the basis for a later-period Chronicles game that will be released at a later time. This successive journey through history is the basis for the designers' "Echo System", which will be featured in the Chronicles series of games.

Release Notes: This game from Artana will launch a kickstarter campaign at some point.
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10. Board Game: Lisboa [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:98]
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Buzz Score: 838

Lisboa
Design: Vital Lacerda (The Gallerist, Vinhos)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 995 wishlists, 157 owners

[Previous List: #9 (897)]

In Lisboa, players endeavor to re-build the city of Lisbon after the catastrophic earthquake of 1755. The game is played upon a map board of Lisbon, and players need to manage influence, construction licenses, store permits, church power, workers and money in their attempts to create buildings in the various spaces. Additionally, players can schedule hearings to try to earn favors from various officials.

Release Notes: Eagle/Gryphon Games ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for this game in December. It will ship, both to backers and to retail, in June.
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11. Board Game: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1388]
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Buzz Score: 794

Alien Artifacts
Design: Marcin Senior Ropka (Take a Train, Taste of Poland), Viola Kijowska (Take a Train, Taste of Poland)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 795 wishlists, 1 owner

[Previous List: Just Missed (265)]

Alien Artifacts is a 4X space conquest game that plays in under an hour. Players draw money cards that have a number of colored squared that indicate what they can be spent on--blue for technology, green for exploration, red for military, and yellow for any of those three. Each planet that a player explores will be successively harder, but will give the player an increasing array of planetary actions that can be taken instead of spending money, allowing the player to save up. Once the money deck is exhausted a set number of times, the game ends, and players score for their technology, planets, and production.

Release Notes: This game from Portal Games will be released at GenCon in August 2017.
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12. Board Game: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:351]
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Buzz Score: 793

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire
Design: Eric M. Lang (Blood Rage, Arkadia Quest)
Specs: 2-5 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 805 wishlists, 12 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (480)]

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is a game based around the first Godfather movie, played in four acts. Players place their thug and more powerful don figurines on various spots on the board to shake down businesses for money and resources, which are used for completing jobs. Money is also victory points in the game, but only once it is "laundered" and put into their suitcases. Players then have a turf war--players with the most figures in each region will gain control of that region, getting kickbacks from players who shake down businesses in that region next turn. There is also a blind bid auction for cards that give you special abilities--all players will get such a card in each auction except for the low bidder, who instead gets their money back.

Release Notes: This game from Cool Mini or Not will probably be released in Q2 2017.
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13. Board Game: Brasil [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 776

Brasil
Design: Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro (Nippon, Madeira), Paulo Soledade (Nippon, Madeira)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 783 wishlists, 7 owners

[Previous List: #17 (580)]

Brasil is a game about developing the gold mining industry in 18th century Brazil. The game revolves around the city of Vila Rica, in which players must construct various buildings like houses, stores, farms, and churches. As the game progresses, the needs of the players and the city will evolve, and players will need to adapt their infrastructure to meet the changing needs of the populace.

Release Notes: This game from What's Your Game? will be released sometime in 2017.
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14. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.64 Overall Rank:8]
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Buzz Score: 776

Terra Mystica: Gaia Project
Design: Jens Drögemüller (Terra Mystica, The Scepter of Zavandor), Helge Ostertag (Terra Mystica, Kaivai)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 780 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Terra Mystica: Gaia Project is a stand-alone sequel to Terra Mystica, this time set in space. Like in the original game, there will be 14 unique races, each based on a certain color home planet, and players must terraform other planets to their color to establish colonies on them. The game features six different areas of development that you can enhance--terraforming, navigation, AI, "gaiaforming", economy, and research. The game board is made up of ten modular tiles that allow for a variable set-up.

Release Notes: This game from Feuerland Spiele will be released at Essen in October 2017.
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15. Board Game: Near and Far [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 738

Near and Far
Design: Ryan Laukat (Above and Below, Eight Minute Empire: Legends)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 963 wishlists, 225 owners

[Previous List: #20 (542)]

The spiritual successor to Above and Below, Near and Far is a game about equipping adventurers to explore the world. Players begin by moving their pawn around in town to recruit adventurers and getting equipment for them. Pawns can then embark on an adventure by moving onto the map board to establish camps for money and gems, defeat bandits, and encounter stories. The stories provide text and rewards from a booklet similar to Above and Below, but they are fixed to given locations. To provide variety, the game comes with a number of different maps that are intended to be played sequentially, in a campaign.

Release Notes: This game from Red Raven Games was funded on Kickstarter in Summer 2016. They expect to ship to backers in May 2017.
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16. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:312] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 727

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
Design: Suzanne Goldberg (Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective), Gary Grady (Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Gumshoe), Jérôme Ropert
Specs: 1-8 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 1362 wishlists, 635 owners

[Previous List: #11 (807)]

This expansion includes a series of ten case files for the classic game Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases. These case files include six independent case files from West End Adventures (originally released in 1995), which have been updated and are designed to be used with the new edition of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. Additionally, there will be a series of four entirely new case files based upon the Jack the Ripper murders. This expansion will include a new London Directory, map, and newspaper archive.

Release Notes: Originally slated to be from Ystari Games, this expansion has moved to publisher Space Cowboys. It should now be generally available.
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17. Board Game: Roll Player [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:241] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 623

Roll Player
Design: Keith Matejka (Bullfrogs, Herbaceous)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1343 wishlists, 720 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Roll Player is a game where players are creating a Dungeons & Dragons-style RPG character. Players will be assigned a character class at the beginning of the game, which will determine their targets in each of the six stats, which will eventually have 3d6 assigned to them. The main action of this game is dice drafting, and players will select dice not only to have the pips match up to their target value, but also to have the color match their class as well as the color and location on the grid match their backstory. Additionally, each stat has a dice manipulation ability associated with it that will trigger when a die is placed in its row.

Release Notes: This game from Thunderworks Games was released in late 2016, but is currently sold out. A reprint is due in March.
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18. Board Game: T.I.M.E Stories: Lumen Fidei [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 605

Time Stories: Lumen Fidei
Design: Ulric Maes
Specs: 3-4 players, Age 12+
Stats: 618 wishlists, 13 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This fifth expansion module for the cooperative puzzle-solving game T.I.M.E Stories is set in medieval Spain. Players travel back in time to try to steal a valuable artifact from a diplomatic mission. This scenario introduces questions of morality into the players' decisions, and features a new, powerful opponent.

Release Notes: This game from Space Cowboys is due to be released in Q2 2017.
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19. Board Game: Splendor: Cities of Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 603

Cities of Splendor
Design: Marc André (Splendor, Barony)
Specs: 2-4 players, 30-60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 607 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Cities of Splendor is an expansion for the light engine-building game Splendor that features four separate expansion modules. The first module features goal tiles more exciting than the original noble tiles. The second expansion features tokens placed on tiles that represent cities. The third expansion has a board on which players can claim special powers. The fourth expansion has special power cards that are shuffled into the main deck.

Release Notes: This game from Space Cowboys is likely to be released sometime in the middle of 2017.
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20. Board Game: Sword & Sorcery [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:467]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 600

Sword & Sorcery
Design: Simone Romano (Galaxy Defenders), Nunzio Surace (Galaxy Defenders)
Specs: 1-5 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 771 wishlists, 171 owners

[Previous List: #22 (507)]

Sword & Sorcery is a cooperative campaign-based dungeon crawl game in which the enemies are controlled by an AI consisting of a variety of cards and effects. The gameplay is an evolution of the gameplay of the designers' previous game, Galaxy Defenders. As the campaign progresses, players acquire items and develop powers, and if a character dies, he can use special soul powers to aid in battle as well as be resurrected.

Release Notes: This game from Ares Games was successfully funded on Kickstarter in Fall 2015. They expect to start shipping to backers in April 2017.
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21. Board Game: Nemo's War (second edition) [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:487]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 576

Nemo's War (second edition)
Design: Chris Taylor (Nemo's War, Astra Titanus)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 703 wishlists, 127 owners

[Previous List: #24 (495)]

This is the second edition of the solitaire game featuring Captain Nemo's exploits about the Nautilus, Nemo's War. The game itself is rather open-ended, as players can discover ancient ruins, fight against the imperial superpowers of the day, hunt giant squids, or make scientific advancements, all depending on what you think Captain Nemo's real motives are. The game feature all-new (and much-improved) art, and also features a new cooperative mode that allows play by multiple players.

Release Notes: This game from Victory Point Games successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in January 2016. The game is expected to ship to backers in July 2017.
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22. Board Game: Transatlantic [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:1212]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 549

Steam Ship Company
Design: Mac Gerdts (Concordia, Imperial)
Specs: 2-6 players, Age 12+
Stats: 551 wishlists, 2 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (472)]

In Steam Ship Company, players invest in five different shipping companies in the nineteenth century. As the game progresses, the ship technology advances, from clippers in the beginning of the game to fast liners at the advent of the twentieth century. Not only are players investors in these shipping companies, they are also running their own companies that can build and fuel the ships, as well as manage cargo and passengers. Players compete to invest in the best shipping company, but also use their own business ties to work with the shipping companies of their choosing.

Release Notes: There's no release date for this game from PD-Verlag, but Essen in October 2017 seems like a good guess.
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23. Board Game: Jamaica: The Crew [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
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Buzz Score: 533

Jamaica: The Crew
Design: Malcolm Braff (Jamaica, Animalia), Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes), Sébastien Pauchon (Jaipur, Jamaica)
Specs: 2-6 players, 30-75 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 535 wishlists, 2 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (273)]

Jamaica: The Crew is an expansion for the pirate race game Jamaica. This expansion features a number of special ability characters that can be picked up at harbors and loaded onto your boat like any other resource. However, they also take up a hold like resources, so taking more of these characters will limit your ability to navigate.

Release Notes: This game from GameWorks SàRL is planned to be released in Spring 2017.
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24. Board Game: Mountains of Madness [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:2162]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 512

Mountains of Madness
Design: Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Risk Legacy)
Specs: 3-5 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 514 wishlists, 2 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Mountains of Madness is a completely new cooperative game based on the H. P. Lovecraft novel At the Mountains of Madness. Players must fly their plane to the heart of the mountains, flipping over cards to reveal challenges along the way. These challenges require players to contribute certain numbers of symbols on cards within a 30-second time frame. As the game proceeds, players gain Affliction cards, which affect how a player is allowed to communicate with other players in the game. If the group can get to the heart of the mountains and then escape with more reward cards than afflictions, they win.

Release Notes: This game from IELLO will likely be released at Essen in October 2017.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2286]
Doug Faust
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