This series is released once or twice a month, covering international gaming news, trends and just plain gossip spotted online.

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There’s a lot to talk about in this edition: Osaka Game Market took place on April 1st (and didn’t fool around with new releases), we attended two fairs in Germany, and Kickstarter exploded with campaigns for global game lovers.

In terms of publisher attendance and new game releases, Game Market is the biggest tabletop fair in Asia, with three events in Japan each year. We regularly attend the two in Tokyo (so-called Spring and Autumn editions, in May and December) and will return in just a few weeks.

Then there’s the Kansai Game Market, which is smaller and held either in Kobe or in Osaka and before Tokyo Game Market Spring. This time it took place just a month before the Tokyo event, on April 1st.

In December, 2017, 730 publishers launched 466 new games at Tokyo Game Market, but there were still many new games ready for for release at Osaka Game Market.

Let’s take a look…

The hottest new release was Zogen by Oink Games, who these days are the most famous publishers in Japan, if not across Asia. Zogen is a reaction game for 2-6 players by Christoph Cantzler and Anja Wrede.

As the game description on Board Game Geek says:

In Zogen, a.k.a. ゾーゲン, the player researchers want to rid themselves of their microorganism cards as quickly as they can, but they can do so only by observing the current lab environment and watching the one thing that changes, then “recording” it by playing their card.

 

In more detail, each player starts with a hand of sixteen cards, with each card showing 0-4 types of microorganisms, which are named “Maru”, “Tsuki”, “Yama”, and “Siri”. The start player for the round places one of their cards face up on the table, then everyone plays at once, trying to lay down a card that differs from the initial card by exactly one microorganism, whether one more or one less.

 

Oink Games have been very successful and have quite a distinctive style. Maybe that is the reason so many companies try to copy them.

  Global Boardgame News (April 24)

You probably heard of the accusation that WereWords copied Insider, and maybe you even saw the ridiculous copycat of Deep Sea Adventure at Kickstarter… and now there’s a new one released at Osaka Game Market.

A Genius Forger goes to New York has pens, paper and a similar art style in this drawing party game by Makoto Nakamura.

The rules, however, are quite different to the bestselling game from Oink. There isn’t much info on the web, but we could gather that you have to copy the drawing style of another player in order to win.

So it definitely isn’t a copycat. And, although we haven’t played the game, the price tag of only 500 yen (~4€) certainly wouldn’t stop us from buying it blind!

Hell Village is Group SNE‘s thematic follow-up to Demon Worker, although in this case the rules are not related.

Annecto Punch was previewed by Grandoor Games, the publisher behind Captain Dice and Wing Spirits. Their new title seems to be similar in terms of quirkiness, and definitely has the most fist bumps in any game I have seen yet.

It also seems highly language dependent.

Let’s wait and see if the final release comes with English in the box…

As it is the trend these days, itten also showed a giant version of Tokyo Highway. With streets big enough to knock someone unconscious I guess we won’t see a widespread release but it is cool to look at nevertheless.

In other Game Market news, Bruno Faidutti gave a panel talk with Hisashi Hayashi and Seiji Kanai. It was also revealed that One Draw’s classic Greedy Kingdoms will be released by AEG (this edition has Bruno Faidutti in the credits).

  Coconuts Story: Part II

See this post for Bruno’s perspective on Osaka Game Market.

Speaking of Bruno Faidutti we also came across this very cool cover for the Iranian edition of Citadels which we had to share (by Hassan Nozadian):

MetroX, the new game Hisashi Hayashi and Okazu Brand sold out at Osaka Game Market. Good thing it’ll soon arrive at NiceGameShop (among other titles we mentioned here).

In this draw-and-write design:

Players create subway networks by filling in the station spaces on their individual game sheets. Using the numbers revealed by the cards, all players fill up their subway map with ◯s in the station spaces.

 

However, the number of times they can add stations to each line is limited, so they have to make tough choices. Players can score many points by getting their star bonuses in stations with many intersecting routes. Players also get bonuses by being the first to complete routes.

 

Try to fill in all your stations to minimize the penalties and achieve a high score!

Okazu Brand also just announced their new release for the imminent Tokyo Game Market(!).

In Stock hold’em (ストックホールデム), players are investors who want to use information to manipulate stock prices, buy and sell shares, and earn lots of money.
During the game, players place information cards with sources (i.e., suits) and numbers on each company, and all employees manipulate stock prices by making poker hands for each company.

 

Since some information about these cards — either the suit or the number — can be viewed from the backside of the card, players can speculate about how a company might be valued by guessing the hands of other players.

While the Nice Game team couldn’t attend Osaka Game Market, we did attend two local fairs in Germany: Spieletage in Ratingen and Spiel Doch! In Duisburg.

  Spot the Monkey!

It was a pleasure bringing our games, Korea Boardgames and the NiceGameShop to both those fairs and meeting all you lovely people.

The next conventions we’ll be visiting are in May: Tokyo Game Market, Board Game Festa in Seoul and the inaugural Moonlight Boardgame Festival in Kaohsioung.

We’ll definitely have a lot to talk about after these fairs!

Other links from around the world: