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.
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.
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.
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.
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.