Time for another random preview of titles that can be found on the BGG Spiel Preview list (out of 603 items at the time of this writing on September 13). As always, no games that are just in preview and no expansions (I am making an exception to that no expansion thing this time). On with the list!
Ninja Arena (Oliver Schneider, 2mt Games) is a game of ninja combat. Each player controls a ninja, and each round you’ll preplan three actions. Initiative is determined by the player who finishes planning first, and then you execute your actions. There are 18 actions to choose from, but I couldn’t tell you what they are. The game is only in German for now, though an English version should be Kickstarting during the fair. It looks pretty amazing – all wood and metal. It’s also quite expensive (€75), but it does look like something I want to hear more about.
Take It Easy! (Peter Burley, Burley Games) is a reprint of a 1983 simultaneous puzzle solving game. Each player has their own hex board, and one player will call out a tile that everyone must place. The goal is to complete lines of the same color, which will then score the number printed on it times the number of tiles in that line. So having 5 9s down the middle could get you 45 points. This game actually IS multiplayer solitaire – there’s zero interaction, just everyone seeing who can get the best score with the same set of tiles. I’ve tried it on the app, not really something I’m interested in playing again, but there are plenty of people happy to see it back in print.
I know I said no expansions, but here’s the exception I’m making. Brettspiel Adventskalendar 2016 (Frosted Games) is the second edition of a board game Advent calendar, where there’s a different prize for each day of December. Last year, there was a different small promo expansion for a bunch of different games, usually with a Christmas theme attached. The problem with this is that, in order to fully enjoy it, you need to own and like all of the games included. Probably the best thing to do is to get a group copy, then have a draft for the included expansions.
Spaghetti (Michał Gołębiowski, Granna) is a dexterity game where players are trying to grab noodles and meatballs before they slip off the plate and stain the table. You can only use one hand and touch one noodle at a time, and you have 20 seconds to get as much as you can. Meatballs are grabbed if pulling a noodle makes them start to roll off the plate. It looks like a cute family dexterity game, though not as delicious as playing in real life.
The Golden Sails (Yuri Zhuraviev, Hobby World) is a game of shipping goods in a fantasy world. Over the course of 12 rounds, players are revealing new goods and assigning experts to determine what those goods are (there are four options per goods card). Then, beginning with the last player to place an expert, each player takes one goods card and puts it in the appropriate pile. After the twelfth round, the player with the most points scores. The game seems like it will be interesting, but I really can’t tell. There’s no video explanations of it at this time, and the rulebook seems to be written in a discover-it-yourself style. It’s from the designer of Viceroy, for what that’s worth.
Coffee Roaster (Saashi, Homosapiens Lab) is a solitaire pool building game where you are trying to make coffee. You’ll choose three varieties to roast in a game (out of 22 possible), and put the necessary tokens in a bag. Throughout the game, you’ll be trying to improve beans and remove things that will spoil the taste. It seems like a pretty involved game. I’m always on the look out for a good solo-only game, so this is one I’ll have to look into more.
EXIT: Das Spiel – Die Grabkammer des Pharao (Markus and Inka Brand, KOSMOS) is one of three games in the EXIT series designed by the Brands and releasing at Spiel. In this one, you are visiting a pyramid when you get separate from the rest of the group and find yourself in a chamber. Suddenly, the stone doors close. You have to figure out how to escape. All three of the games are one-shot escape room games, modeled after the real-life phenomenon (which was in turn modeled after video games). Sounds interesting, and not too expensive as long as the experience is good.
Insider (Akihiro Itoh/Kwaji/Daichi Okano/Kito Shinma, Oink Games) is a hidden role word game. The Master chooses a secret word, which an unknown Insider can view. Then the players ask the Master yes/no questions in order to determine the secret word within five minutes. The Insider is trying to guide them to the correct word. When it is found, the sand timer flips, so you have the same amount of time that you took in order to find the Insider, who wins if he remains undiscovered. Sound like an intriguing concept. The picture above also makes the game look appropriately enigmatic.
World Monuments (Piero Cioni, Queen Games) is a game about building different monuments around the world, like the Capitol, Taj Mahal, Notre Dame, or St. Peter’s Basilica. Players claim stones from a quarry, which is a kind of rondel where stones are randomly seeded at the beginning of each round. You then take turns building the monument based on a specific blueprint and scoring points accordingly. The player with the most points when the building is complete after the third round is the winner. Seems like a pretty cool game, would love to check it out sometime.
Me Want Cookies! (Roberto Fraga, Le Scorpion Masqué) came out last year, but it’s getting a German release called Keksäää! this year. Players are monsters trying to get the right desserts before their opponents. A line of three cards are dealt out, each one showing the same six desserts, with each dessert connected to another in a different way. At the beginning of a round, roll a die and then find that dessert on the first card. Follow it to the dessert is connected to, then find the connected dessert on the second card, follow that path to a third dessert, find the dessert on the third card, find the fourth dessert, and then grab the corresponding token. The first person to find a fifth correctly wins. It seems like a game that rewards observation, but seems like a good kid’s game.
Black Hills (Ángel Luis García, Zacatrus) is a Western themed game where players are trying to trade resources for status points. Each round, players will be choosing characters to play – cowboys, Native Americans, and settlers. Each character has its own ability and is placed somewhere on the board. Players can also buy event cards to play whenever they want. You can also hire gunmen to try to steal resources. I like the look of what I’ve seen artwise for this game, but I don’t really know much about it. I’m sure more details will come out eventually.
That’s another random preview in the books. Thanks for reading!