Category Archives: New games from Latin America

Fish, Football and the RAGE in Mexico

This is a 2-part guest post by Hilkman translated from the German articles originally published in December on his blog Du Bist Dran!

Brazil

K&M Jogos just released Treta do Anzol by Mário Sérgio and Rodrigo Sampaio Rodriguez (the latter is mentioned here under the name of Rodrigo Zuzu). Loosely translated the title is “Fish hook pranks”. In this crazy fishing tournament the members of a family argue about who has caught the best fish. Sadly you always seem to get other things, from monsters to mermaids and when there finally are fish there, you have to protect them from cats and envious relatives. For the others you’re in the same category, of course, and so you constantly duke it out as hard as possible. Whoever has the most fish at the end of the game can win the competition. It has been illustrated by Douglas Duarte.

Since summer I have a prototype of the football simulation Bola na Rede (Ball in the net) lying around here, sadly only with portuguese rules, so I couldn’t play it yet.

I was a bit taken by surprise by the Crowdfunding-Campaign for a completely redesigned version of the game by Yuri Piratello and André Coelho (illustrated by Rodrigo Satyro). Apparently it wasn’t just like that for me, since so far the campaign has barely gotten any attention. This despite the fact that this version doesn’t just include another game, called Footpoker, but as a sadly unusual stretch goal, it also includes a women’s team. Something like that is scarce and a nice detail. A successful end to the current campaign seems doubtful, in light of the weak start, but maybe this game will be published in one way or another anyway. I at least will keep my fingers crossed.

Chile

edf

One year ago in Essen I could already get to know an early prototype of Hegemonía: Sombras del Poder (Hegemony: Shadow of Power) (I had already reported on it quickly here). Now the game by Nico Valdivia Henning has been released. The publisher Niebla Games released computer games as well as board and card games, that mainly play in a shared universe, namely the world of Causa: Voices of the Dusk. In Hegemony you make alliances and take on challenges together. Each member of an alliance carries a hidden wager, which means the most successful alliance can profit. The art of bluffing and of course the skill in diplomacy are needed to be part of the right alliance at the right time. A whooping eight artists have been part of illustrating the game.

Mexico

On 20. November 1910  Francisco Madero called for the Mexican revolution against the dictatorship of Porfírio Diaz. For the 108th anniversary the Kickstarter campaign for the new edition of Tierra y Libertad (Earth and Freedom) by Saúl Sánchez was supposed to start (the predecessor was released in 2010 already). It didn’t make it quite in time, but now the campaign is running.
The players each lead a group of Mexican revolutionaries and try to topple the dictatorship, competitively or cooperatively, and establish a new constitution. The Kickstarter advertises connecting worker placement with direct conflict (making a kind of hybrid game). Now the Mexican revolution is not only 100 years, but also a whole continent away for most Germans, but maybe someone here has heard of guys like Emiliano Zapata, at least since 1994. If not, maybe the game offers a good opportunity to change that.

Peru

Junior Achievement is a nearly 100 year old organization, that aims to further entrepreneurship among youths. There are branches nearly everywhere, just like in Peru. At a competition of the organization, K’iraw una cia JA just won four categories with the game Wakkeball War, for the company of the year, the most innovative project, the best socially responsible project and the best production process. Now K’iraw will also compete internationally, first within the Americas. Behind it is a group of 27 students around the 16 year old Sathya Mariluz Garcia. In Wakkeball War four rival ball shaped characters are on their way to the legendary city Paititi. The game is played on a map of Peru and the actions are resolved through different kinds of cards. The game is supposed to further knowledge of Peru on the side, and you can download an app with questions in addition to the game. The author says that the game is intended to strengthen the national identity. Something that sounds a little weird from a German perspective isn’t that unusual in Latin America, I’ve found a bunch of games with goals like this before (see above). Mostly it is about a theme that is connected to their own history in some fashion.

RAGE

On 15th and 16th December RAGE (Roll a Game Expo) takes place in Mexican Guadalajara, a relatively large-scale project, which should become Mexico’s first real game convention. To convince the publishers and authors to come, a Mexican game award has been brought to life, which is supposed to be handed out in different categories. A jury does the selection, but an audience award is also planned. I already had the opportunity to look at a model of the trophy in Essen, the Quetzalera (english: Quetzaladder). Its a word play consisting of Quetzalcoatl and escalera, in which Quetzalcoatl is a central American snake god and escalera means ladder – You might know “Snakes and Ladders”, the classic ladder game. So the snake snakes itself through a ladder.

To my great joy there will also be an award specifically for Mexican games, even more specifically for those that present themselves at the convention. It spans from advanced prototypes to already released stuff. Role playing games are also part of it. For me, as a blogger, this award is also awesome, because I suddenly find out about a ton of games that I haven’t heard of before. It seems like there is a lot more to the Mexican gaming scene than I had previously assumed – Mexico is a little bit of a sleeping giant among the Latin American gaming nations. We’ll see whether the convention gives this a boost. One can hope.

I already reported on War for Chicken Island by Ivan Escalante last time. The campaign has since been canceled and restarted, this time with a lower financing goal and much more success – it was a massive difference to the first go they had. I still find the miniatures fun. Tierra y Libertad by Saúl Sánchez is currently in Crowdfunding, as you may know, at the latest since last Week. Kanyimajo by Ramón López I have reported on here already. Who else is there?

For 2019 Geisha by Ana Coronado at Detestable Games has been announced. As expected it takes part in Kyoto and several different Geishas try to be the most successful. For that reason they work on their skills, like poetry, Ikebana, music and so on. It is executed in the form of a worker placement game, where you play mini games at the places you wish to do something. I might not be the most experienced worker placement player on earth, but I haven’t come across a concept such as this before, and I often find mini games particularly appealing. The illustrations stem from Daniel Sotomayor.

Also with Detestable Games Meeplepalooza by Kina Jager and Santos Artigas is supposed to be released. In this drafting game you found a rock band and take part at a festival – where you of course want to be the band that everyone is talking about in the end. To get this done, you need musicians, instruments and good songs, that you need to write yourself, by filling in notes on sheets. Add to that a few nice solos and you’ll be famous in no time. The illustrations are made by someone by the name of Nabs.

There is supposed to be a crowd funding campaign for Geisha as well as Meeplepalooza in 2019.

Bound takes place in the future. More specifically in the year 2048. All humans have access to a kind of successor to the internet. The player try to dominate this net as hackers and remove their enemies from it. One is Shade, a super hacker, and the most successful criminal. The others try to follow in his footsteps and can’t shy away from anything to get to the top. Bound comes from a trio of authors, José Pablo Lara Robles, Erick I. García Rodriguez and Juan A. Velázquez Ovando. Art design wise E. Kazunari Shiraki Merida and Enrique Palos Reynoso are responsible.

Mentes Voladores is a party game by Luis Alfredo Cortés, which he designed together with Cristián Bredee. Every player has a plastic mind frog, or rather three of them. Each round you compete for a reward chip, then a task card is revealed. Reacting to that you flick the corresponding mind frog into the box – whoever does so first wins the chip, assuming that it was the right frog. Why frog? Well, those things kind of look like the frogs in the flicking games in my childhood. Mentes Voladores is supposed to be released in February 2019 under the label Lúdika y Artefactos.

Dark Maiden by Lis Luna is a cooperative card game for up to three people, in which you fight through four locations and gather items to finally face an evil end boss. Until then you should of course be strong enough. The illustrations come from six different artists and studios and Dark Maiden will be released by Sun Fairy Games.

Sajkab is the name of a World which various historical populations have been transported to by a mysterious maelstrom: Maya, Spartans and so forth. There continue having battles against each other that they’re used to from home. That’s the story that Omar Benitez tells us with his game Sajkab. It is a card driven board game, in which the players move their pieces through, partially, harsh terrain and try to get superiority in battles. Sajkab has been illustrated by Damiant.

My wild role playing time are long gone, and usually I don’t write anything about role playing games on here, but I’ll make an exception for Leyendas de Elden (Legends of Elden), since it also competes for the Quetzalera award. So far I know about Leyendas de Elden, that it is supposed to be a role playing game that is as accessible as possible, which also targets inexperienced role players or real newbies. Added to the simple rules there will be unusual character classes, and it takes place in a world that mixes fantasy and science fiction. Leyendas de Elden comes from Daniel Ortiz and will be released under the label OR15 Gamelab. This publisher also has another game in the race, a card game by Guillermo Esquivias, which will be unveiled at the expo. So we can be excited.

In Colorbugs by Israel Ramos the most famous artists of the garden, namely Vincent Van Bugh, Frida Kohlor, Pabug Picasso and Salvabug Dalí, want to finish their paintings. Each of them has their own goals, in the form of secondary colors behind a screen. To reach these goals, they have to mix the base colors that they find in the garden. The delightful illustrations come from Julieta Maldonado. The publisher is called Ludens Games and has released a diverse range of games in the one year of its existence, from abstract games, to educational games, to party games.

Chakkan is a deck building game for two players. Sadly I’m not that well-versed in this genre, but a push your luck mechanism was new for me: You place 8 of the cards from your deck in a face down pile and reveal two of them. If they match in color or number, you may reveal more – but if you reveal the wrong card, you need to place all of them back again. Or you stop and take the revealed cards onto your hand and can play them afterward. The game itself is a fighting game, in which you try to reduce your enemy to 0 points. The game, with illustrations, has been made by Juan José Cabrera Fernandez and has been released by Another Game.

I couldn’t find any substantial information about three more games:
Code 10: Chase the Alien by Jorge Velázquez
Demon Hunters by Hugo Hernández (probably another role playing game)
Party Booster by Alberto Sánchez

I will report on the results at some point.

Editor’s note: In this update on Kickstarter the winners have been announced. The organisers also have uploaded a video of the expo.

New games from Latin America (November part 2)

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

Argentina

Criaturas y Cristales means – probably not that surprisingly – “Creatures and Crystals”, which might give a first premonition on what the game is about. It is a card based fantasy game by Martin Venturini, which can be played by 1-5 people either competitively or cooperatively. You play a character that you send through markets and temples during the game to gain abilities and equipment there, to prevail in a hostile world. This doesn’t just include the fight against evil monsters, but also the contest with other characters in a special arena, where you can prove that you’re better than the others. Criaturas y Cristales is published by 3D Fantasy in three differently priced versions, each illustrated by Emmanuel Bou and designed by Daiana Diaz.

These days MendoZen is releasing Pegó el Zonda Ancestral by Munir Ots, illustrated by Fernando Carmona. In this game we set off into the history of the Cuyo region in West-Argentina to the Huarpe. Various tribes are competing to gain the favor of the gods, the worthiness to which they mainly demonstrate by controlling the Zonda wind. With the help of different play styles of the wind you attack the other players and deal damage to them, if they can’t protect themselves through other natural phenomena. The whole thing is done with cards and card combinations that you play until there is just one player left, who therefore has won thanks to divine favor.

A new edition of the 2015 title Los Caminos de Alicia (The Paths of Alice) by Matias Esandi and Amelia Pereyra has just been published by Rewe Juegos, this time it’s not in a fancy box like the original, but includes an expansion. You lay down a labyrinth of hexagonal path tiles from a central spot. There will appear scenes from Alice in Wonderland in the labyrinth here and there, which have certain effects on the game. Each player follows a different goal on the way through the labyrinth. Since this is, it feels like, the one hundredth game with the theme Alice in Wonderland, that I’ve encountered (I’d be surprised if there were more games for a different literary source), I capitulated and just ordered the book. I guess I’ll indeed have to read it in order to join in on the discussion.

Finally I have two more short news from Argentina.

Tinkuy releases an expansion to the game Contame, on which I have reported here in the past. The expansion is called Contame Inicio and includes new cards for the storytelling game. On the 24th and 25th November the event Innovando el Juego takes place in Buenos Aires, which I will participate in, in a certain sense, as well, sadly only virtually: On Saturday at 18:30 German time I’ll be interviewed live via Skype. The whole thing will be released afterward on Youtube as well, apparently, but at the moment I just find it awesome to be able to be near such an event at least a bit. I’m very excited about it, although I’m not certain yet what awaits me there.

Brazil

Roberto Tostes has won the first prize at a prototype competition by Diversao Offline in 2017 with Sobrevivência na Amazônia (Surviving in the Amazon). Now he has started a Crowdfunding-Campaign for his game to get it published. The players have dropped themselves off in the Amazon region via parachute to explore little known territories. They now have to fight through the rough terrain until they reach the extraction point. There are dangers lurking, but also the possibility to gain extra points by photographing animals that are threatened by extinction. To survive, the brave explorers have to get food and water and they need to build camps to sleep in, every four rounds, because of the darkness of night time. Sobrevivência na Amazônia has been illustrated by Manoela Boianovsky and Orly Wanders and is intended to be released by self-publishing.

I wrote about Wagner Gerlach and the Clube do Tabuleiro de Campinas here once already. Equilíbrio escaped my attention then, which seems to have been made in spring. It is again a game which can be made by yourself with supposed disposable stuff, meaning you don’t need to buy it (and also can’t). A hexagonal game area is placed with bottle caps on which further (partially stickered) bottle caps are stacked. You move through this area with your meeple and try to gather five different elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Metal and Wood), which you can exchange against a Yin-Yang-Symbol afterward. When gathering the playing area gains holes, which make movement harder; when you exchange a symbol though, you can place down the five elements again to acquire new tactical options. Whoever has exchange three Yin-Yang symbols first, wins the game.

And in September I reported on Meeple Heist , with the assumption that the publication by Papaya Editora was just around the corner. Yesterday I now found out that Papaya Editora are closing down completely. All the rights to the games have been sold to Ludens Spirit an apparently bigger publisher. What they will do with all the rights, I don’t know, but at least the release of Meeple Heist should be secured. Currently it is set for January 2019. We will see.

Mexico

In miniature games on Kickstarter I usually also shrug when a ton of people longingly count the days to release, because there are sooo many cool miniatures included. For me, all of these classic fantasy miniatures kind of always look the same. Absolutely not belonging into that category is War for Chicken Island, which currently has a lot of effort on Kickstarter to reach its funding goal. Even though the miniatures this time around really look quite cool. They are chickens that fight for limited resources on an island that is way too small. Despite their exaggerated weaponry they are less concerned with clubbing in the others skulls, but rather to high five them, because that gains you points you need to win. Leads to the same thing, but without someone dropping out of the game. War for Chicken Island comes from Ivan Escalante, who also illustrated it. The publisher is called Draco Games and I thought the Kickstarter video was pretty cute sometimes. Currently it looks like there is a relaunch, even though the final decision (as of yesterday) has not been reached yet.

New games from Latin America (November part 1)

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

Back in normality – while I’m trying out the first new releases from the fair, a few news from Latin America have accumulated. Have fun reading.

Argentina

I don’t think I’ve seen Dragqueens as a game theme so far. This has changed not too long ago, since at the moment there is a Crowdfunding-Campaign for Las Divas by Mariano Medina Gouguet (by self-publishing). According to the cover it isn’t about being a Dragqueen… but being the BEST. There are different Dragqueens with different goals, of which you draw one face down. One may want to have many cameras on her, another wants fame, another may want to talk the others down. There’s a small number of different cards with different functions that you draw and play. Whoever reaches his personal goal first wins. Las Divas has been illustrated by David Salamanca R.

Years ago Friedemann Friese got attention with a solo game called Freitag (Friday). Some years later, Super Noob Games are now releasing a solo game called Lunes (Monday). As you can guess, it doesn’t have anything to do with a lonesome island, but something completely different, the least favorite day of the week in the office. Here you try to leave the office, without your boss noticing. You move through variably built office buildings, finish some tasks on the way and hide from the boss. And sometimes you should fill up on coffee (also something you can know from Friedemann Friese, even if in a pretty different fashion). When you manage to get outside, you win. Lunes is made by Aibel Nassif and Julián Tunni, who also contributed to the illustration.

Chile

Back in June I already mentioned Corruptia by Camila Muñoz Vilar and Fernando Casals Caro with praise, of which I could play an advanced prototype at the game author meeting in Göttingen. In Chile the game is released this month through the publisher ZXG. In Corruptia the players take on the role of politician that want to become as powerful as possible. On some of the cards laid out at the beginning there are meeples, which are basically people, that have been involved in a project due to the politics surrounding it. The players play out cards onto the table in turns and try to pull meeples from the laid out ones onto the new cards. At the end the connected cards of one color are multiplied with the number of meeples on a group of cards and then you gain points for each card of the corresponding color you still hold in your hand. Sadly playing out the cards isn’t that simple. There are certain formal requirements, but also a vote in parliament about it. So you should be sure you have enough allies, or when that’s not the case, to be able to bribe or blackmail the other players. As in many negotiation games that you play for the first time, we were very reserved at the beginning of the game, since we couldn’t really understand the consequences of our actions yet. Going further the negotiations and agreements got louder and more interesting. A really nice game, the release of which I’m very happy about. It was already available at Nicegameshop in Essen (and there you can get it afterward as well).

Whoever is sad about the fact that many of the games are still very hard to get over here, may be happy about getting the opportunity again to make a game themselves via Print and Play. I’m talking about La Marca del Cthulhu. Its a sort of deduction game, in which you try to find out the identity of others (in the best case without going insane yourself). First you roll and then you may place tiles in the playing area, with which, if they fit, you may undertake actions. Each character has different goals (although everyone wants to survive). Some have the goal to gain knowledge, others work towards killing a specific other character. It has been published under the publisher name Nebrall Games.

Peru

In Excavatumbas by author and illustrator Juan Diego Leon the players dig for treasure at a graveyard, where they intend to sort worthless from valuable stuff. Of course they also have to take care, that the others don’t run off with the best things, so you also have to steal amongst each other and sabotage to your hearts content. But beware, there are also three ghosts at the graveyard. When the third appears he puts a stop to it all and you should have gotten as many treasures as possible until then. Excavatumbas has been released under the publisher name of Black Lion Games.

 

New games from Latin America October part 2

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

Due to the massive amount of work I’ve put into the preview article on Essen, my research about Latin American games has come up a bit short. Though there are a bunch of things I did find, and if I missed something, I’ll try to hand it in in November.

Mexico

There’s a new Kickstarter-Project from Mexico called Weapon Wars, which has reached its financing goal already, but will still be up for a while. In Weapon Wars cosplayers fight with iconic weapons, from spoons to pillows to nerf guns to I don’t know what. You always attack the person to your left and hope that she can’t fend it off and you gain a pixelated heart from her. Whoever gathers three hearts first wins the game. Of course there are a lot of special cards, with which to manipulate the whole procedure. I found the video for the campaign to be quite funny. Maybe you’re interested in looking into it. The author is called Carlos David Perez Tovar, the publisher is Lodus Games and the illustrations stem from Rodrigo Gil.

In September I already reported on the publisher Guerras Gato Games. Their new game is called Kanyimajo and comes, like the others from this publisher, from Ramón López. The evil witch Robacolores (who steals the colors) has imprisoned the Kanyitos. Kanyitos are little energy balls (whoever wishes to get a better picture of it should take a look here). Now there are only three days remaining to rescue them, otherwise the world will stay colorless forever. Luckily the players have gotten wind of the witches’ cat, that could transform the Kanyitos into Kanyikats. To win, you have to rescue as many of the poor creatures as possible, without meeting the evil witch twice. The illustrations are made by Shengolia again.

Uruguay

There’s also something new from Uruguay once more. There’s supposed to be a gold treasure in the woods around a small village, which means you should go and have a look around there. Sadly the treasure is guarded by a Werewolf, and a Werewolf sorta isn’t really harmless. Where I got that from? From the game Matching Adventures: The Werewolf’s Treasure by Federico Franco, which has been published by Arnár Estudios (with illustrations by Rodrigo Linares and Pablo Luthar). The game is memory based: You have to find pairs of cards within the laid out cards. If you find one, you may keep one of them as an action card and use it later (for example, those are weapons with which to defend yourself) – with the goal, to find six gold coins before the Werewolf eats you.

New Games from Latin America – October 2018 part 1

Argentina

The author collective Maldón is known for often designing their games rather spectacularly, which it releases under its publisher of the same name. So, I always instantly perk up my ears when there’s something new from Maldón. That’s why it nearly surprises me that I missed the release of El Camarero this summer – I really got to hand this in now. In this game, every player has a set of cards and loudly creates an order of a five-course menu. In the middle of the table you then have eight cards lying around, and you take turns being a waiter and either have to assign cards to customers, who ordered the corresponding thing, or you have to carry stuff back into the kitchen that nobody wants. However, there’s also a bell and whoever notices an error slams it incessantly, so that the waiter gets a complaint-chip. In the end you get points for fulfilling your own order (if it has been delivered back to the kitchen you should have complained) and point deductions for unfilled orders and complaint-chips. Sounds like an atmospheric party game. You can find a video with the instructions here.

I’m not entirely certain how dangerous a Pogo-hug can be. If I want to find out some day, I should probably play Nació Popular by Leandro Bortolussi and Julieta Vega, that has been released by La Jugandéra Magica. This two-player game is about snatching jewels, which you can do by playing cards. The cards that have been played are then compared according to a rock-paper-scissors system. Whoever has the most points at the end wins. Additionally, there are there further game modes. What does this have to do with a Pogo-hug? Well, the player that gathers the most jewels may throw a hug-die, that determines a type of hug. The Pogo-hug is just one of the possible variants. I’ve also never seen something like that before.

Colombia

From 11. to 15. October the SOFA, “Salon del Ocio y la Fantasia” (along the lines of: “Salon of Leisure and Fantasy”), will take place in Bogotá. There’s music, video games, cosplay and pretty much everything else you can imagine in a huge area. More than 200.000 people were there last year! Of course, that also means that board game publishers are there in numbers and there are a bunch of new releases to report on (probably in the next article as well).

Asedio means “siege” in English and is a card game by Manuel Jacobo Monroy, who also illustrated it (link to his illustrator page). The players brawl for the vacant imperial throne of the empire of Draboria. To do so, they first build themselves a small power base in the shape of houses, then villages, then towns, hire mercenaries and send them off to attack the others (in which case they of course shouldn’t neglect the defense of their own settlement). Since the cards simultaneously represent money, you always have to think about whether you need them for your plans or better use them to finance those mercenaries. The player who does this most successfully and reaches a certain number of points wins the game. Asedio has been released in self-publishing.

The publisher Ludo BrandTeller has a new release with Medieval Magic Market by Christhian Bedoya, a card game, in which different fantasy-figures go to a market and try to get a hold of items that are as valuable as possible… and then also keep them, since the other people are interested in them as well. The various characters have different abilities, of course, and you can easily lose the things you gained again. Additionally, you don’t know exactly when the market closes, so you always have to try to stay on top. The illustrations are also done by Christhian Bedoya. By the way, the publisher name does not have anything to do with burning dishes (Brand is fire in German and Teller means plate), rather it is the English brand and teller that is referred to.

Mexico

As an adolescent I went to the football stadium from time to time – it was less expensive than the movies and easy to get entertainment. Nowadays modern football has arrived… with all its commercial overhang. I haven’t watched the Bundesliga live in ten years and since there are no more free radio broadcasts anymore, I don’t even properly follow it anymore. It appears to me, that it’s the same with some games. In my youth I played Blood Bowl here and there, but then there were 27 different editions and a massive overhang – it feels foreign to me. Yet still I have pleasant memories of how I painted my team of dwarves back then and played a few hot matches. So, I can understand pretty well that it has its allure. So I want to call some attention to  Kings of the Pitch, a Kickstarter-campaign by Juan Montaño from Mexico, in which you have the possibility to buy a set of referees for fantasy football. It’s a niche-product indeed, but the financing goal is modest and I feel like it is interesting that miniatures don’t have to come from China (I had reported on a different miniature workshop here [German; he’s talking about this]). Maybe someone may find this of interest.

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.