Category Archives: New games from Latin America

New games from Latin America (September part 2)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Brazil

This weekend the Diversão Offline in Rio de Janeiro is about to take place, an event that is sometimes called the “Brazilian Essen”. With about 5000 visitors on each of the two days it of course isn’t comparable in size, but it is definitely one of the biggest board game events in Latin America. Many publishers showcase their more or less new games there. While I announced some things in the last weeks here already, there is still a lot more to go. Sadly some of the publishers only announce their new games on site.

At least I have found this:

It doesn’t seem as if you could announce a merger in a more charming fashion… the new publisher Diceberry Editora of Iaggo Piffero, who just prepared to launch his first micro game, was taken over, before doing so, by Potato Cat (who we talked about here already). That’s something you don’t see every day. Diceberry will continue as a separate studio, though, and will likely be responsible for micro games at first. It begins with three releases:

Jetpack Lhama sounds gloriously quirky. The paths on which the Lamas transport goods have been destroyed by natural disasters and now they need to think of something new. What would be more appropriate than jet packs? So they strap them on their backs and get going. On the way they sadly have to get through city ruins and take care not to hit old stone pillars and, this is very important, not to get hit with a curse, which can happen easily once in a while. It sounds like it is right up my alley. Jetpack Lhama is a micro game, in which the racing track is put together with cards.

Magic Flow doesn’t seem to be a lot less absurd to me. Here the players take the role of magical rappers, who have to fight monsters with their rhymes. Each monster has a certain verse length and the card back determines a specific way of death. You have to find fitting rhymes very quickly, so that the other magical rappers don’t get it first. It sounds rather bizarre to me and apparently it’s even language independent. I’d like to take a closer look at this as well.

The big Sudoku wave is possibly over already again, but sometimes you still see someone fill squares with numbers at a bus stop. If that’s not interactive enough for you, you might want to try Sudokiller. A detective and a serial killer circle around each other here in 1880s London. The killer owns one of the numbers, while another belongs to his next victim. The detective then has to find out which of the numbers these are, before the Sudoku has been completely solved.

All three games have been developed and illustrated by Iaggo Piffero. And when I take a look at these unusual descriptions, I’m not surprised by Potato Cats interest.

Mine has definitely been sparked, and I’ll see that I can get my hands on them soon.

Vitor Cafaggi is a Brazilian comic artist, who seems to be relatively popular. At least that’s what I inferred after the game he illustrated, Valente – O amor em jogo („Valente – The love in the game) had been swarm-financed within three quarters of an hour.

Valente is a dog, who is split in two between two women (a cat and a panda lady). The players are now trying to get Valente onto their side by releasing comics. Those consist of three cards each (pictures), and once a strip is finished, he becomes a part of the overall story and influences Valente’s decisions. Valente is a comic character made by Cafaggi, that has existed for a while already and hasn’t been created specifically for this game. The author of the game is Renato Simões and the game will be released by Geeks N‘ Orcs.

Mexico

Cat aficionado Ramón López releases his games through his own publishing house called Guerras Gato Games and most of them revolve around cats. His first game, Guerras Gato („Cat wars“), was first published in 2016 and is now being released in the second edition. What it’s about is hardly hard to guess: Leaders of cats send their subordinates at their enemies – and you only have nine lives. When you’re defeated for the ninth time, you leave the game and the last living cat wins. It has been illustrated by an artist that can be found under the name Shengolia.
Shengolia has also illustrated another one of López‘ games, namely
Miaurcenarios. It is a bit hard to translate it, this time around – mercenarios means mercenaries and miau means miau. Here the cats are ninjas and have to beat, among others, evil rats. The illustrators of Bakenoko: Soul Reaper, which is the third game in the series, come from a comic event called Draw Break. This is the only game of the three, in which the cat pictures aren’t the focus. Whoever is capable of speaking Spanish and wants to take a look at the games, you can find short explanation videos here. For October there’s already the next cat game announced. I’ll report on it then.

Peru

Years ago I got the assignment to develop a game on the subject of “fair trade in communal procurement policy” together with Reinhold Wittig. This was quite a challenge, but in the end we kind of managed to put something reasonable together, even on such an un-sexy sounding subject. Working supposedly boring subjects into games is something that occurred to others as well, for example the team of Anevi, with their new release “En Busca del TeISOro Perdido”. The title actually means “the search for the hidden treasure”, but there’s the word ISO woven into the word treasure. Why? Well, because the game is about the ISO-45001-standard, that describes requirements for worker protection management. It has been published together with Ludo Prevención.

New games from Latin America (September 3)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Argentina

Apparently political games are popular in Argentina as well, as can be seen by the example of Ballotage by Diego Barderi and Francisco Rossetto. In Ballotage, the players put together a list for four candidates of their party. Then they throw their ballot into an urn. With a specific number of votes, one candidate of a list ranks up on the game board. This doesn’t however mean that whoever leads the corresponding party gains any points. Rather it depends on the secret goals you have – so you don’t necessarily always want to push for your own people. Furthermore you can always only cast your vote for a list, never for a person, which could require some serious tactics to make the right people get to the top. A nice gimmick is the actual voting via an urn, which is very stylish for a political game. Ballotage has been illustrated by Guillermo Taylor (TAY). If you’ve got some knowledge of spanish you can look at a video here (which you should be able to understand to a degree even with less than perfect understanding of Spanish. The game itself is language independent.)

Most Germans probably have no clear notion of rugby (although I have to exclude myself from that: I was lucky enough to have once experienced the semifinal and final of the german collegiate finals in rugby sevens, that was definitely impressive). In Argentina, however, its a bit of a different case, since Argentina has a very strong rugby national team that once made it up to rank 3 of the world rankings and still today represents a true challenge for teams from the traditional rugby strongholds. So it shouldn’t be that surprising that there are also games about rugby from there.

Tercer Tiempo is a rugby deck-building game. The cards either represent abilities, with which to try and get ahead on the field. Other cards are tactics cards, with which to either combine ability cards to more complex plays, or interfere with the enemy team. The game comes from Ariel Mennucci and has been released by 2 Creativos. It has been illustrated by Matias Iribarren.

Brazil

Meeple Heist by Thiago Bonaventura and Emivaldo Sousa seems to be an unusual game. The players lead a specialised gang that wants to rob a Casino. To that end, there are 16 meeples in four colours walking around in the Casino (meaning on the game map). Then you try to get them to the best positions. For each specialist there is a position to get the most money. Sadly there are two problems with this. First off, every player has a stack of cards that decides which meeple colour represents which person – the meeples that represent my safecracker could be the muscle for someone else. Now this would be a wonderful occasion to bluff, but therein lies the second problem: For each person in my team I have to play an escape plan card, in order not to leave empty handed in the end. While the others still may not know who makes up my team, during gameplay it becomes clearer and clearer who is a part of it. The more information is available on the board, the more accurately the others can interfere with my plans. This is one I’d really like to play some day. Last year there was a crowdfunding project for Meeple Heist, now the release by Papaya Editora is imminent. The illustrations have been made by Matheus Astolfo.

Columbia

In Animal Warriors humans are locked in battle with animals. I’m not sure if I understood everything correctly (understanding videos in Spanish is still hard for me), but I’ll try to describe it like this:

The cards represent figures that are part of different clans. They have attack and defense values, but can also support each other. The goal is to break through the enemy lines and rob your opponent of all of his hitpoints. There’s a kind of game board, on which cards, but also bonus chips, are laid out, which can upgrade your own cards. The whole thing is shipped as a core box and there are several extra card decks that can be bought separately. Animal Warriors is made by Jhon Edicson Cárdenas Hernández.

Peru

Already released in spring, but having gone slightly under my radar, is Kontiki’s Adventure by Roberto Ballón and Cristina Frisancho (who also did the graphic design). The game is about the adventures of Tikis, little ghosts from old Peru, in a labyrinth of hidden cards. The players have to find altars and their fitting sacrifices, and whoever reaches the exit in the colour of the altar that has been activated last wins the game.

Of course there are spells and traps as per usual in a proper labyrinth, and the ghosts are trying to use this to their advantage (or to the disadvantage of the others). Kontiki’s Adventure is intended to get the Peruvian audience closer to pre-Columbian history, but also to the modern world of board games. The publisher is called KON Juegos.

Venezuela

Chess is called Ajedrez in Spanish. And three means tres. When a game is released that is called Ajetrez, you can already imagine that it is a variant of chess for three players, and that is exactly right. But Ajetrez is apparently not really the official name of this venezuelan game, because it is actually called Los Tres Reinos (The three Kingdoms).

It amounts to the same thing though. The leaders of three kingdoms meet on a round game board. The goal is, of course, to become the ruler of all three. Partially the rules of chess are utilized, but there are 57 instead of the expected 48 figures and negotiations also play a part here. Additionally, there is quite a bit of background story to explore. Los Tres Reinos was developed by José V. Morillo I. and is published by the author.

New games from Latin America (August part 2)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

September is an important month for publishing new games in Brazil. That’s where I’m headed right now – this time there are mostly new releases from Brazil to discover. Although in the end I’ve also got a small treat from Peru for you. Have fun reading!

Brazil

With twelve published games since 2011, Marcos Macri is one of the more successful Brazilian authors. His game Dogs may be known to some people here as well. Now a card game called Chicago (with illustrations done by Diego Sanchez) is being released by his publisher MS Jogos, in which the players fight for power as bosses of the Mafia in Naratetmalwo. You build businesses in the city, keep the police at bay and use the special abilities of the generations (grandfather, father and son) to consolidate your power. Despite the announcement by Macri, that the game would be ‘small’, the game has a described game length of 90 minutes. In a language independent card game. I’m definitely curious.

Sir Holland o Bravo („the Brave“) is a comic by a an artist called Zambi. The titular Sir Holland is a knight and seems to be renowned enough in Brazil to base a game upon. It is called A Fuga da Torre (“Escape from the Tower”) and is made by Eurico Cunha Neto, Alexandre Reis and Daniel Alves. I haven’t found out much about the mechanisms, but apparently the players have to try to get to the roof of the tower, in which they’ve been locked into by an evil wizard, to fly towards their freedom from there. A Fuga da Torre is intended to be released this month by Taberna Jogos and Conclave Editora.

The Brazilian publisher Sherlock S.A. did nothing half-arsed when naming its new Ameritrash game Yuzen: Essência do Mundo (Yuzen: Essence of the World). With a game length of about two hours the card based war game is a harder nut to crack. The players take over a nation and their heroes and try to defend their own interests and bloody the competition. Yuzen hails from the trio of authors Guilherme Vasconcelos, Renato Morroni and Thiago Ferri. It has been illustrated by Manoelo Boianovsky da Costa and Bruno César. Despite quite significant early praise in the Brazilian scene, the Crowdfunding campaign has been rather sluggish.

In the past you’ve thrown around numbers like “From 0 to 100 in 6,3 seconds” while playing car quartet games. Nowadays you could do a Kickstarter quartet:”From 0 to funded in 6,3 hours” or something of the sort. Two Brazilian games just had an interesting head to head race in that regard. One of them is RPGQuest: Dungeons by Marcelo del Debbio, which is a new game in his successful RPGQuest series, that’s been around since 2005. After a longer pause it continued with RPG-Quest: A Jornada do Herói (Journey of the Hero) and now he put Dungeons, which is compatible, to the swarm for financing. The game series is a type of hybrid between role playing and board game and surprisingly does without elaborate miniatures. Since it still financed this quickly and is chewing through the stretch goals right now, seems to indicate that there’s a faithful fan community out there. The illustrations are done by Ronaldo Barata, Douglas Duarte, Caio Monteiro and Ricardo Souza and the game will be published by Daemon Editora.

What’s also been nearly immediately financed after the recent listing was Grasse – Mestres Perfumistas by Bianca Melyna and Moisés Pacheco de Souza (illustrated by Orly Wanders). In this worker placement game, we’re thrust into the french town of Grasse (that you may remember from the french novel “Perfume”). In the role of competing perfumers we buy ingredients and mix the best fragrances, whether solid classics or extravagant specialties. Whatever we end up with, we also have to exhibit and sell, so different strengths can come to play. The game is intended to be published by Ludens Spirit.

Peru

When I take a look at how many political games are released in Latin America, I get the impression that there might be some kind of desire for something of the sort there… as, for example, in Peru, where Javier Zapata Innocenzis’ game Presidente, which had its first release in 2001, just got its fourth edition by Malabares. In this small card game you lay down cards from your hand in your playing area, sorted by votes, money and influence. Whoever gets the most votes at the end wins the game, but to be able to play the cards with the most votes you need money and influence, and when you have too much money and influence you can be accused of corruption by others.

 

New Games from Latin America (August 6)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Argentina

Fast Food is a very simple game by Joel Pellegrino Hotham, which he published with his publishing house juegosdemesa.com.ar. It consists of eight big cards that display seven plates each. On each plate there’s a different combination of ingredients. A player throws three dice and now everyone has to find the plate on which the exact combination of ingredients shown on the dice is displayed. Whoever has found the plate has to quickly look for the wooden salt shaker on the table and put it onto the plate. For doing this you gain a hamburger chip. Once all the hamburger chips are distributed, the player with most hamburger chips wins the game. An expansion has also quickly been released, that includes new rules and a fourth die. The illustrations have been made by the game author as well as Silvina Fontenla.

Claudio Fabian Piccone has released his first game after 14 years since the development of the first version, Carrera de Palabras! (Word race!), by self publishing, in two versions at once, a Spanish version and an English print on demand version. In this game you can find a parcours from A to Z. The player whose turn it is, draws a category and has to say a word that fits that category and begins with A, then one with B, C and so on, until the sand timer has run out. In the next round you start on the space you ended up on. Some of the spaces have special properties and action cards complicate matters even more.  Whoever first reaches Z wins the game. If you want to know details and own a bgg account, you can read the rules in english there.

Brazil

Asmodee still wants to grow after the sale to PAI. On Wednesday (August 1) it became public knowledge that they would acquire the biggest Brazilian hobby-game publisher Galápagos Jogos.  Galápagos Jogos was founded in 2009 and its portfolio mainly consists of licensed foreign games, but does include some of their own publications. For German players this might be a side note, but in my eyes it does show that the Brazilian market garners enough interest to gain investments. And maybe it also shows, that the new owner of Asmodee wants to continue with the expansion concept.

Sérgio Halaban and André Zatz are surely part of the most successful and well-known Latin American authors. Hart an der Grenze (Close to the Border) was also successful in Germany and became a successful hit internationally after a rework under the name of Sheriff of Nottingham. Since some time I’ve been chasing one of their games, that originally came out in 2011 with the title Ouro de Tolo and was published in 2015 then under the name of Quartz. To my not all too small delight, the game has now found larger circulation, as an again reworked version with the title  Snow White and the Seven Dwarves: A Gemstone Mining Game, which is supposed to be released by Passport Game Studios and USAopoly, and is also intended to be presented at GenCon this month. The game is a Push-Your-Luck Game, in which dwarves want to gather as many precious gemstones as possible, before an accident happens. The rules were just changed in details, but the new theme is intended to draw new audiences.

Mexico

Its always said, that the secret to a successful crowdfunding campaign are pictures of cool plastic miniatures – the rules then become of secondary importance. A Mexican campaign has now elevated this concept to the top. A whole group of publishers and producers has announced a new universe called  Eldritch Century. Planned are a “Skirmish Game” for October, a board game and a role playing game for 2019, as well as a TV-Show for 2022. But even now its possible to get the first miniatures via the campaign, to get really fired up for whats in store in the future. This can only be a success! And indeed, the funding goal has already been reached. I myself don’t really have a feel for miniatures – but if someone likes it, you can look at it here.

Peru

Rome wasn’t built in a day, Carlos Campos Aboado has to have told himself. That’s why he released

CopaGol, whose first prototype he already made in 1984. He then named his publishing house, fittingly, Area 84 Games. The game consists of a game plan with a football field that is surrounded by a parcours. The two players then move markers around the field and do the actions that are displayed on the spaces they land on. Added to that are a bunch of cards with which to influence the game. The goal? Of course, to score a goal. CopaGol was illustrated by Roberto Ballon.

New Games from Latin America (July 16)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

My overview today turns out a bit shorter (and I also couldn’t get a hold of pictures to all games), but I did warn about that earlier already. I researched diligently, but at the moment I’m finding mostly stuff for August and September. I’m guessing it’ll pick up the pace a bit by then. And then there’s already the convention…

Argentina

Piensa Palabra (Think of a Word) is the first game by the publisher Multiverso, but further games are already in print (more on that soon, I guess). It’s a simple word game, in which three cards are flipped, one of which shows an initial, one a content category and a third a further description of the word. Whoever finds a fitting word shouts it out and and may take one of the cards, which will then be replaced. The player that has first gathered 10 cards wins the game. The author of the game is Shannon Conly.

Brazil

Coisinha Verde (Small Green Thing) is the name of a publisher, who fittingly released a game called Card Goblins, and this in 2012 already. Since this game by Tiago Junges is the most successful card game of the Universe, according to the publisher, he’s now going one better and has started a crowd-funding campaign for a new edition, which will contain at least a Pirate- and a Ninja expansion (depending on the success of the campaign even more). The players send their pirate armies against a city that houses piles of treasures. To get one of the three coveted victory points, you need to gather a certain combination of treasures, which is sadly the same goal as that of the other armies. This of course means conflict, which you try to decide for your side with the individual abilities of your own army.

Chile

Entre Juegos is a well known games shop in Santiago. Juan José Fernandez developed a game for this shop that is also called Entrejuegos. This about translates to “between games” and is a reaction game for two people, in which they smack cards onto the table to get rid of them as fast as possible. Whoever manages to do so first gains a whole lot of points. If the contestants pay attention to whether the enemy, or enemies, plays a card between two of the same cards, they can gain extra points, so on the one hand it’s about speed, but on the other it’s about observation. The game doesn’t just get into the name of the shop with its own name, but also its concept. For the release of the game there was support by the relatively new agency Caldero de Juegos (Games Cauldron), that helps small publishers with printing (in China). The design of Entrejuegos has been done by Pablo Céspedes.

Peru

After humanity was able to be contented by Yahtzee for decades,“Roll and Write” has lately established itself as its own genre of games and enjoys great popularity. And this isn’t just the case here (in Germany), but also in Peru, where Inkarumi by Javier Orejas has been republished recently (the original is from 2011). Inkarumi roughly means “Stone of the Inka” on Quechua and it’s about building a pyramid, in which the bottom stones are made of sixes, the five stones above it made of fives and so on. You throw your dice around to start with and fill out as many boxes as possible, although you can only build the upper levels, if they’re already standing on two built stones below. As soon as someone has built it all except for six or less stones, the game gains a speed component. Whoever rolls in a way that would make them capable of finishing the pyramid, has to shout “Inkarumi” to be able to fill out all the stones. If someone else calls out first, the turn is lost. If you wrongly shout Inkarumi, however (whether it’s your turn or not), you lose stones on your own board.

Hilko’s Hoard: New Games from Latin America (July 2)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Argentina

The first edition of the game Bariesus by Marcos Mignola had already been released in 2014, now there’s a second edition at juegosdemesa.com.ar. The Bariesus are mighty wizards that can manipulate the elements. They are trying to conquer a set number of provinces by summoning armies of water, fire, air and earth and sending them against each other, which happens by playing cards. They gain taxes from the conquered pieces of land with which they can hire mercenaries. If no one can decide the war within twenty turns, the god Kasdail destroys the universe, which has rather unfavorable repercussions. This prelude to the apocalypse has been illustrated by Samanta Armonelli.

Brazil

A game that could be right up my alley (minimal rules and a lot of interaction) is 6 Pandora by Flávia Barreto and Roberto Lago Lopes. The players are mages who want to gather the elements for their spells. To amass the corresponding resources, you throw two colored dice, the small box serves as a seal-able dice cup for this purpose. Afterwards you claim something about the result of your throw and steal the resources to reach whatever individual goal you have, but you shouldn’t be caught lying, of course. 6 Pandora has been released in small numbers in an edition by 4touché.

Just released is Macacos me Mordam! (Monkeys are biting me), the first game of the new Brazilian publisher Curió Jogos, who wants to specialize on games for three- to ten-year-olds. The players are monkeys who want to climb a tree to grab as many bananas as possible. The tree is explored during the climb, meaning it’s built from trunk and treetop cards in three dimensions. Whoever first manages to gather 6 bananas wins the game. Macacos me Mordam was made by Isabel Butcher and was illustrated by Taline Schubach.

At the moment a lot of people are watching the football world cup, but if you ever tried to offer a sports game to a publisher, you’ll know how little interest you’ll often be met with. Sports games are seen as poison for sales. That of course doesn’t tell you a thing about the quality of the games, there are definitely quite a few out there that are exciting. Some of them are released by self-publishing. We’ll be talking about football multiple times in this article. We’ll start in Brazil with the game Futboard by José R. Mendes, who has also done the illustrations. His publisher is called MUNDUS and is apparently not just busy with football, since another game called Mundus Imperial has already been announced.

Futboard is a strategic board game, in which you create a team from players with different characteristics and then alternate taking three actions each, where you’ll have to decide between the typical football actions of moving, passing and shooting. Whoever scores the most goals within 45 minutes wins. Yesterday a crowdfunding-campaign for the game started, that met the funding goal within the first day.

Chile

I’ve never been to Chile, but when I look at a map it dawns on me how important the sea is for a country with a shape and location like this. It stands to reason that you can release a game about the ecosystems of the Chilean coast once in a while. That’s what the publisher Within Play has done with Toskasi (by Chilo and Dani Varela). The players move, driven by dice, through various landscapes of their choosing and gather cards in the process, which depict different organisms, which in turn interact with each other. Skillful play of the cards gains points, that can lead to victory at the end. Toskasi is the name of a certain type of conger eel, by the way, who occur in waters of the Chilean coast.

Colombia

Nivia Weizman usually creates elaborate games made of wood with his company Doubble Six. Now he has risked a foray into a ‘normal’ board game and it is about football as well, it is called Fútbol Dados (football dice). You have a lineup of 11 meeples on a football field, of course, try to move the ball into the direction of the enemy goal. To do so you throw four dice. The result of just one dice roll can be used to pass the ball to a free player, but only orthogonally or diagonally. When rolling doubles you can also pass over enemy players. With a triplet or quadruplet you don’t even have to play the ball in a 46° angle, but can play surprising far passes. To score a goal you have to reach the net with a specific number of pips.

Peru

Anevi Corp specializes in educational games. The publisher consists of Mariam Aranda, Ottoman Silva and Christopher Merino. Lately there have been three new card games released by Ottoman Silva, namely Bio Maniac (about the human body), Smash Molecules (about elements and molecules) and Super Training Football (you’ll be able to figure that out yourself), apart from those a game called Sembrando Agua (about water as a resource. This game has in fact been published ordered by the government) has been released in February already. The games, that Anevi publishes under the term of ‘Serious Games’ are designed in a comic style, despite the motto (the illustrator is called Bryan Silva). As Christopher Merino has told me, the publisher is aware that the brain doesn’t learn without being emotionally stimulated. So they’re trying to walk the line between enjoyable gameplay and imparting knowledge onto the players. Something like that doesn’t always work well, but when my currently eight year old asked me what I would do, and I said, that I’m writing something about games from Peru, which is in South America, she answered: ‘I know that, Peru appears in Länder Toppen.’ (link in German). There we go.

Games about food are (just like those about football) apparently popular in the whole world, as is the case in Peru. In a game called Perú Cocina by Javier Zapata Innocenci you gather ingredients for well known Peruvian dishes. You have cards on your hand in that depict two ingredients each. There are recipe cards on the table. You gradually play the ingredients for the recipes, but always have to take care of the order and decide, which ingredient on each card you want to play at what point of the game. If you can’t play something, you put it in a pool that everyone can access. Whoever can add the last ingredient to a dish gets that dish and the points for it at the end of the game. Perú Cocina is published by Malabares.

 

Hilko’s Hoard: New games from Latin America (June 17)

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Well, here I was just finished patting myself on the back for my good idea of releasing these kinds of overview articles on a monthly basis, when I suddenly realized that not even that is enough. At this point I find so many games that the articles are threatening to become endless. First off, it would mean that nobody would read them, and secondly it also eats so much of my time that I’d be incredibly stressed if I wanted to write other meaningful stuff in the meantime. So it seems as if I’m going to publish my “New Games from Latin America” – articles on the 1st and 3rd Monday of a month. Among other dates, this means today. We’ll see if it proves successful.

Argentina

 

I had noted here on several occasions that I learned quite a bit about South American history from games. The game Maipú also falls under this category, in which, in 1818, the Spanish colonial troops lost against a Chilean-Argentinian army and had to retreat from Chile. The hug of the two victorious leaders is seen as the hour of birth of the independent state of Chile. In honor of the 200. anniversary of the battle there’s now the gaming simulation Maipú 1818 by Miguel García and Gerardo Montenego, which was published by Alquimia Creativa. The players move around with various troops and then fight each other with 2d6, whereby they get different kinds of modifiers according to the troop type and leader. It is designed by Sabina Mangiavacchi.

Brazil

Released in March already, but I seem to have slightly missed, is a game with the weird name Melvin vs. Kronk. In the end I want to report about it also due to the fact that it will be one of the Latin American games that will likely be available at Essen in October. Melvin vs. Kronk is penned by Renato Simões and is a reaction game. You play cards with faces (of Melvin, the Geek and Kronk, the Orc) on your personal card pile. But the cards show varying facial expressions – if you notice that there are two similar cards lying face up, you hit the pile of jewel cards in the middle. Whoever manages to do so first, draws the two topmost cards, keeps one of them and gifts the other. The player who has gathered the most juwels by the end of the game wins. The game has been published by Geeks N‘ Orks, a publisher, who despite having a name very much tailored to this one, also has other games in store.

Very close before the end of a successful crowd-funding campaign stands Orbs, by Raubher Borba, which is supposed to be released by Usina Studios. A bunch of Alien peoples have the small problem, that their sun has exploded, which of course does lower the life expectancy and quality drastically. Now they don’t just want to escape the explosion radius, but also take an artificial planet with them. Sadly there exists an old prophecy, that says that this will only work out for one of the nations. Whether this could be connected to a certain game from Chile (see below)? Orbs was illustrated by José Serrano.

Chile 


The sun of the earth seems to be fairly well, and still it’s not all just fun and games. In the cooperative game Earth’s Last Stand by Ignacio Gonzalo Paz Cornejo the oblivious players cruise around the earth in their small spacecraft, when suddenly a dimensional portal opens and a gigantic alien vessel appears and conquers the earth. The last hope now rests on the shoulders of the players, that need to destroy the strange spaceship, before it rings the end of humanity.

Oh, you’ll be thinking, that all sounds nice and all, but I’ll never get my hands on a game this exotic. Far from it, you can download a (graphically downgraded) print and play. You can find the rules (in English) here and the game materials here, Although you’ll also need 34 dice in three different colors, which already tells quite a bit about the game mechanics. Sooner or later the game is supposed to hit the shelves with full graphics.

 

Peru

I can remember vividly how my local football club Werder Bremen signed a completely unknown player from Peru in 1999 and I had some reason to have higher than average hopes, that he would become a hit. Well, he did, because it was Claudio Pizarro, who returned every couple of years and stayed a popular figure until the end. I don’t know what happens in Peruvian football nowadays. But like elsewhere it seems to be a popular pastime, since LEAP Game Studios, a publisher for computer games, has for the first time ventured into analog entertainment and released the football card game Supercards – Perú Campeón, by Luis Wong, which is available since mid-May in kiosks in Peru. The illustrations are by Edward Torres and Christian Magán. Two players compete against each other and try to combine the most successful game moves with their five hand cards. If the opponent can’t block them you score a goal. There’s also a solitaire mode, in which you can play through a world cup final. Computer gaming firms often think a bit bigger, which is the reason why LEAP Game Studios has gotten together with depor.com, a bigger sports website. If you know Spanish, you can look at a short video explanation here.

Venezuela

So far I hadn’t found anything from Venezuela. Now this has changed. As might also be known in these parts through the media, Venezuela is embroiled in a massive economic and currency crisis. In such an environment games are of course a luxury. Despite that – or exactly because of that – a publisher by the name of SBMjuegos has decided to release a game. It is called El Infiltrado (English: The Infiltrated) and is a sort of political Werewolf variant. The story is hereby told through both the lens of the extreme right (that valiantly fights against a corrupt regime) as well as the extreme left (that fights the terrorists, that want to push the country into the abyss). Meanwhile not even everyone knows their own roles (some might be controlled by the opposition without their knowledge) and the roles get merrily switched during a play. I have a preview copy of it lying around here, but sadly couldn’t find a group for it yet.

Currently there is a campaign for El Infiltrado on Kickstarter, in fact it is in Spanish and English. Since there aren’t many people in Venezuela who can afford games right now, the campaign is also supposed to make sure that the local price will be manageable and of course that it will also be produced there – due to this it is relatively pricey with 13 euros for a micro game. Whoever may have some euros spare may very well think about whether or not to back this project and in turn also support the economy in a crisis-ridden country.

Hilko’s Hoard: New games from Latin America

This is a guest post by Hilkman translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran!

 

Since the last article had gotten rather comprehensive, I decided to dedicate a recurring column titled “New games from Latin America” towards this theme (there’s indeed always quite a bit of research to be done on this). Until further notice I’ll reserve the first Monday of a month towards it. We’ll see whether this works out or not, most likely these articles will vary greatly in length, depending on what I stumble upon. It’s something I’m quite excited about myself. For now I’ll just start like this. A pointer to begin with, towards the overview page I made concerning the Latin American publishers (German description). It was a lot of work, but if someone is coincidentally on their way to Latin America, he might want to take a closer look at the publishers of the corresponding country and think about what could be worth checking out. Additions and corrections are welcome, if someone happens to know anything, otherwise I’m always finding more myself as well.

Argentina

I don’t know whether it’s different today, but in my time at school in the eighties Latin American history was nearly a non-issue, especially the time after the spanish colonial rule. How nice is it then, that it’s possible to learn a great deal from board games. For example, that on the 20th of November 1845 a joint British-French fleet tried to break a blockade on the Paraná River to force open trade routes to the interior. They broke through in the end, but with so many casualties, that the intruders had to distance themselves from further attempts. Whats only a footnote in German perception is of great importance for South America. Since 2010 the 20th November is a holiday in Argentina.

Where I got all this from? I read up on it after I stumbled upon the game Soberanía (Sovereignty) by Julian P.L. Bracco, which he published (with Illustrations by César Carrizo) with his publishing company EPICA JUEGOS. Soberania is a cooperative historical simulation in which the players fight together against the invasion.

Not long after I learned of this game the publisher put another one out there: Just released is Cruce de los Andes (Crossing the Andes). It’s about the Argentinian hero of the fight for independence José de San Martin and his campaign to expel the Spanish colonial troops from Chile – this’ll be a topic for the next article at the beginning of July again. The current game wears the subtitle “Vol. 1: Gobernación” (Part 1: Government). A second part is being prepared. Cruce de los Andes mostly consists of cards, with which you can reenact the life of San Martin, but also entails two relatively freeform short RPG’s by Benjamin Anibal Reyna and Martín Bravo.

 

The publisher Tinkuy has released another literature game, this time in cooperation with the Chilean author María José Ferrada. It is about Haikus, those minimalistic poems in a japanese style. Invención de Haikus is once again not what purists may imagine a game to be, since it is just about creating Haikus – there is no point system or other victory conditions. Instead you draw cards with seasons, natural phenomenons, first letters, beginning or end verses and you craft Haikus. I myself have no idea about Haikus, but I’m gladly lured in by tasks such as these and would therefore like to try it. But before I do it in Spanish I’ll probably have to practice a bit more.

Brazil

Two years ago already, Eduardo Guerra has released his game Crop Rotation by self-publishing. In March it has now been released in a new version by Legião Jogos, sporting the title Crop Rotation: Bug Plague. In this farming game you have cards with tasks in your hand that require a certain order of the three crops in the game. You plant something and try to get the corresponding order. Sadly the others can ruin your plans. If you instead decide to play cooperatively, there are locusts that will intervene. The game was illustrated by Jonatas Bermudes.

Also planned for publication under Legião Jogos is Eleições 20XX (Elections 20XX), which is currently vying for support on the Brazilian crowdfunding platform catarse.me. It is about elections in a fictional land, in which – just as fictitious of course – smear campaigns, abuse of power and buying votes are the order of the day. The game includes voter cards with certain preferences and the players try to steer the voters that are inclined towards them into the right direction, and try to keep the ones that wouldn’t vote for them anyway from voting at all. The game originates from the pen of Bruno Carvalho and was illustrated by Rogério Narciso and Thiago Ramos.

The game Vossa Excelência – O Jogo Político (Excellence), announced under self-publishing by Fernando Augusto C. Prado and Marcelo S. Dias was illustrated by Douglas Duarte and also concerns itself with dirty politics, and this game can be found on catarse.me as well. In this scenario the players are already representatives and have to try to consolidate their powerbase until the next election. A little abuse of power is very convenient for that. Sadly, there are some annoying forces among civil society, that have their eyes on representatives exactly like these and who could potentially put a spoke in their wheel. Two crowdfunding campaigns about dirty politics at once – apparently the people in Brazil have a lot on their mind.

Games that are called Uga-Uga Bufapum are fascinating to me in a certain way. I’m not sure whether I would have felt differently if I could really speak Portuguese. What does one need again, to become the new biggest boss of a stone age tribe? The biggest club? The most fancy loincloth? Far from it – it’s mostly about being able to most impressively fart. To this end you play cards with, small up to catastrophic, farts and this of course into the general direction of your opponents. As soon as they become unconscious, the succession dispute is resolved. All of this is conceived by Mário Sérgio, the illustrations are by Victor Cavalcanti and the publisher is called K & M Jogos. A nice side note: The portuguese words for “fart” and “wordplay” are identical, so that when I first approached the game with google translate I still had the assumption that the game was a stone age era corny joke contest. Maybe that’d also be an idea for a game.

Likewise an unusual, and presumably a far better smelling story, tells Café Express by Kevin and Samanta Talarico. After the eruption of a terrible plant disease, the last three healthy coffee beans are transported through the land to plant them in uncontaminated soil and secure their survival (Coffee bean or humanity? Your choice). Of course unscrupulous gangsters aren’t far, with the intention to grab the precious cargo for themselves. In this game for two to four people, law enforcers play against criminals – although the roles are often switched. According to the publisher Potato Cat it is one of the first Brazilian games that make use of transparent cards. The illustrations come from Jéssica Lang. Café Express was successfully financed on catarse.me, meanwhile Potato Cat already has the next campaign under way.

This time it is about New Eden Project, that stems from the same authors, but has been illustrated by Tiago Sousa. In a dark future there is war and since more and more city are destroyed, the hour of the corporations that can build entire cities within weeks has come. The players compete to plan the best city of all time, that can then be built somewhere in a wasteland. You build with cards.

A publisher that’s still young is Dijon Jogos (yep, it’s really named after the mustard). I like their website even just due to this idea – other publishers should do this (even though such numbers are subjective. But 0% is definitely a pretty clear call).

The first game of the publisher comes from Diego de Moraes, it has been released in April and is called Os Incríveis Parques de Miss Liz (The unbelievable Parks of Miss Liz). It’s about the popular theme of amusement parks again. Every player builds their own park with all kinds of attractions on a tableau – so it is mainly a tile placement game, in which you try to puzzle together the most amusing park, but you’ll also have to be economical to be able to afford it in the first place. The illustrations are done by João “Raulex”.

Azzelij from Rodrigo Sampaio Rodriguez has been published in a small series by Zuzu Board Games. It’s a tile placement game, in which you have to place the tiles in such a way, that the circles that are created in the corners are a majority of your own color. The base game, that was already released in 2017, is a simple and rather relaxed old school game. Meanwhile there’s an expansion with which you can play with notably more complex scoring, so that the game feels more interactive and should resonate with a broader audience. At least to me it’s way more fun with the expansion than without.

When I first came across the fantasy pirate game Pélaghos on the net, I racked my brain over what the name could mean. Online dictionaries didn’t help, so I asked: It is the name of the game world, and the name leans on the greek word pélagos, which means sea, and is also found in the word Archipelago. Learned something again! Pélaghos comes from Ney de Alencar and Roice and Thiago Mello and is the debut game of the publisher Tiki Games. It just finished a successful campaign on catarse.me. Herein you play one of four human nations and try to gain supremacy over a variably constructed archipelago in which not only other beings like fairies and minotaurs, but also a great deal of dangers lurk in itself. You can gain victory points with different methods, whether trade, adventure or others. The game is steered by a massive amount of cards, that you’re supposed to take on your hand in the right combination. The illustrations come from Guilherme Rodrigues Soares. The game looks big and ambitious anyway, but the publisher adds one on top regardless: In the near future a novel by Pedro Ricardo Piccini is supposed to be released, that takes place in the Pélaghos world.

Tá na mesa seems to approximately mean about as much as “It is served!” There’s again another cooking challenge, but this time it is about the top chefs making the best traditional fare. The players gather ingredients, prepare their meals and have to present them as well in the end. Whoever does this the best wins. Anyone who wants to know more can take a look at their current crowdfunding campaign (the rules are in Portuguese, but the game is nearly not language-dependent, according to publisher Mamute Jogos).

Chile

“The 11” (“La Once”) is actually a small snack in the late afternoon, but in Chile the term has changed its meaning and refers to a meal in the afternoon that can also take on a slightly bigger scope. Despite this I first had problems to understand the game title “La 11 Coffee & Tea Party“, yet it’s still about coffee and cake. In a (fictitious) café called La Once there’s a promotion each year where the guests have to play for their food. Only the winners get served the best food, while they play out the finale. Now the café has released the game to the public. Its a tight scramble for the best combination of three of the six treats (Set Collection and Take That). Recently I had written that the coolest game boxes are from Columbia. But this novelty from Chile is a real competitor here, since it is reminiscent of a cookie bag. That instantly whets the appetite. Author Carolina Baltra wants to speak to a public beyond Chile with this sweet theme, but is also thinking about releasing a version in the future, that orients itself more on Chilean customs. The illustrations stem from Paloma Amaya and the publisher has the nice name Juguemos+ (“Let us play more!”).

In the last moments, so to speak, I stumbled upon a crowdfunding campaign for Art Pieces that just started. A Chilean drawing game, of which I don’t even know who made it. The game seems to get released bilingually (English/Spanish), but the campaign is completely in Spanish, so that I just have to hope that I approximately understood the concept. The group draws three cards on which a single element of a picture is given, and an encompassing theme. Everyone now has 90 seconds to draw something according to these guidelines. Only after the drawing has been done a card is revealed, that determines which factor is relevant for the rating of the pictures. Those aren’t always the most artistically valuable portraits, but rather it could also be the most boring or the most simple.

All pictures with the gracious permission of the right holders.

Hilko’s Hoard: King Alfonso looks towards Argentina again

This is a guest post by Hilko Drude, translated from the German article originally published on his blog Du Bist Dran! 

I can’t help but take another look at the King Alfonso award in Argentina. In the end there’s barely an effort as systematic and honourable in any country, to elevate the local gaming scene out of obscurity, as there is in Argentina.

And there are interesting things here again this year.

Just like last year, there are nine games participating in the competition, which I would quickly like to present to you. Sadly I haven’t managed to establish contact with all of the authors and publishers this time around. So I couldn’t provide pictures for all of the games. Many of the publishing houses don’t have a website either, just a Facebook page, which I have then linked to.

Bienaventurados (The Blessed)

A card game with a Christian theme. Such games are generally shelf warmers, but the four Authors (Federico Acien, Germán Cuesta, Nicolás Passarino and Franco Toffoli) have apparently oriented themselves on games like 7 Wonders or Sushi Go in terms of game mechanics, and those can be rather successful, as experience has shown.

So the game is focused around passing around cards and drafting and creating a playing area that has as many points as possible, although the points of the different card types are again dependent on each other here. Meanwhile it’s intended that you learn something about a good Christian lifestyle.

It has been published by Tëkun, fits into a small card game box, and is illustrated by Carlos Julio Sánchez Suau.

Contame (Tell Me)

Also a very small game. It centers around telling stories by drawing cards from different decks and integrating the pictures or words into a story with a given genre. You can play it cooperatively or against one another (then you’ll get points, depending on how hard it was to incorporate the corresponding things into the story).

The target audiences are apparently first and foremost schools and libraries, where it seems to be well received. The publishing house Tinkuy, which consists of Gloria Claro, Ariel Marcel, Daniela Azulay and Rocio Gil, has already published a whole series of smaller card games dealing with poetry, literature and analog entertainment in general.

Contame, illustrated by Pablo Patini, will very likely not be the last in the series.

Corona de Hierro (The Iron Crown)

I’ve had this lying around, unplayed, since Essen. It’s not quite as easy to get it onto the table either, since it has cards with Spanish text. I’ll have to have the right visitors to be able to try it out.

Either way, the game is about becoming the most powerful noble in 9th century Italy, by arranging yourself with other nobles or the pope, besieging castles and winning battles. At the same time, every player also has a hidden goal, and not everyone wins by becoming the new King.

Corona de Hierro comes from Franco Toffoli (who also has his hand in play in Bienaventurados), has been illustrated by Luis Maria Dumon, Emiliano Mariano and Guillermo H. Nuñez and was published by El Dragón Azul.

El Delirio (The Delirium)

An abstract two player game in which you roam around with pyramid-shaped stones and capture the pyramids of your enemy. There are different goals in the game, but usually it apparently revolves around capturing one or more of the black pyramids of your enemy.

El Delirio is self-published by Daniel Martin.

Epidemia (Epidemic)

Also self-published is Jonathan Agustini’s Epidemia.

Here you need to be the last to survive. To do this, you need to protect your five organs, and attack the other player/s, manipulate immune systems or swap out an organ or two. Whoever has five damaged organs can’t win anymore, but can still annoy the others.

Futbolmesa (Football Table)

A football-simulation, as the name implies. Again I have only little information on the game, but you have players with differing stats and move the ball along the crossing points of the game board with their help.

It seems there is also a luck element involved, but I couldn’t find out how specifically. The Author, Pablo D’Andrea, published it in his publishing house Apóstrofe.

Geek Out! Masters

I already reported on Matias Saravias beautiful little dice game here.

In short, it’s centered around rolling the number 42 as often as possible. To do this, you need to rotate, re-roll or shoot the other dice, but definitely never leave them alone with dragons.

A small and handy game that can probably score points in a country where game costs are high also due to its price already. It is also published by El Dragón Azul, with illustrations by Gabriel Pintueles.

Magos & Tabernas

When there isn’t enough beer left in your favourite pub, it is definitely an advantage when you can do magic. Then you can conjure your own beer fight with the other guests for the last glass of beer, by throwing fireballs at their heads and other such things.

That’s what happens in Adrián Novell’s card game Magos & Tabernas published by Ludocracia, with illustrations by Matias Pan. Sadly this game is language dependent, so that it probably will not gain a lot of attention here (in Germany).

But a translation can always appear, if Magos & Tabernas can assert itself in Argentina.

Magus: Aura Mortis

A further development of Magus: Fortuna et Nostis, which Martin Oddino first published three years ago. Magus: Aura Mortis is one of the bigger games in the competition.

The players intrude into the castle of a mage and try to fulfill various missions there. They can use magic, attack, move or even change the whole structure of the castle (it consists of a game plan that can be set-up in various ways).

Even a cooperative mode is included, in which everyone fights against the evil archmage together. The game is illustrated by Lucas Charra and Maria Luz Cantisani Rovasio, and published by RunDOS.

Yes, that refers to what it sounds like, the publishing house also creates video games.


The winner of this years competition will be revealed on the 28th of April at the Geek Out Festival in Buenos Aires. I will surely report on it then.