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.

Global Boardgame News (August 4)

We were at BerlinCon last month, which is on it’s way becoming one of the biggest board game events in Germany. Partly due to the fact that it is held the weekend before the Spiel des Jahres award ceremony, which traditionally takes place in Berlin and means that many publishers are in the city anyways. But also because the hosts of Hunter & Cron do an excellent job of making an enjoyable show for exhibitors and visitors alike. In fact, we were debuting our game Das Geheimnis Der Tempel and people liked it quite a bit. If you enjoy quick playing strategy games with gorgeous illustrations, it will be available at NiceGameShop soon 😉

We were busy demoing our games the whole weekend. Nevertheless we got around picking up a copy of Trick’n’Trouble by Frosted Games, which is the new edition of Fukudourou’s cooperative card game for exactly 3 players Familiar’s Trouble, and also get a sneak peek at A Pleasant Journey to Neko. This dice strategy design by Citie Lo and Wood Games will be coming out at Essen this year.

Of course there is Gen Con happening right now and this comes with many interesting game releases. You can read about the games we are most interested about in our last Global Boardgame News. There is however one game we did not talk about back then…

We’re making Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage, By Babis Giannios, in cooperation with the nice people at White Wolf Publishing!

It’s quite different from the games that we usually make or cover in these news but there is a thin thread connecting it to everything else we are doing: We first saw the original (unthemed) game by Babis Giannios when he submitted it to the Korea Boardgames Design Contest in 2014!

The elevator pitch is that it’s a quick-playing legacy game about vampires and history with an epic campaign and an innovative vampire turning mechanism. If that sounds like your cup of tea, find out more/subscribe to the newsletter at: vampire-heritage.com

Also at Gen Con you can buy two new titles by Oink Games, which were just announced last month: the trick taker Flotsam Fight (which is actually a new edition of Bye Bye Lemming) and the tongue-twisting party game TomaTomato. The velocity with which Oink is releasing new games is mind boggling. At this rate they will have a new game at Essen and then another one at the Game Market in November, if they want to release a game at every show they are attending.

Speaking of Essen SPIEL there are already some news coming in regarding that show.

Swan PanAsia showed some of the games they are planning or have already released until Essen on Facebook. Kittys and Talk’n Guess are new editions of games from Japanese publisher Little Future, but Island Project is an original design.

Due to global warming the world as we knew it was flooded. Scientist use underwater volcanos to create new land, but better don’t stand on the tile where the volcano errupts! In Island Project 2-4 players create new land and race to the highest peak to score points. The illustrations are by veteran artist Cyril Bouquet who did also the artwork for games like Kindomino and Okiya.

On their website they are also mentioning Xuanwu Gate Accident 2, but our understanding is that this is only a new edition of the older game with the same name.

The game agency Japon Brand just announced their lineup for Essen and will be bringing 17 titles to that show. Some of them are already available at NiceGameShop, like Monster Empire or Richest Rascal, which is the new edition’s name of Strongest Bully. Others are brand new releases debuting in Essen like analog lunchbox’s new Airship City and 2 new titles by Manifest Destiny. All around it is a good overview of Japanese designs of the last year and we are excited to have them at NiceGameShop and see if a publisher is picking them up for wider distribution in the West.

Two games for which that recently happened are passtally and King of Frontier.

passtally was released by analog lunchbox at the Tokyo Game Market in May this year and it was just announced that Pandasaurus will distribute this title next year in the US. It looks like theme, graphics and gameplay will stay the same from the rulebook which was uploaded.

King of Frontier on the other hand was changed drastically – at least judging by these graphics- and is more of a reimplementation now. The new game is called Skylands and Queen Games will be bringing it to Kickstarter on August 24th and then release the game at Essen SPIEL. Campaign mode certainly sounds interesting and the inevitable Queenies could give this title a lot of replayability in the years to come.

But there are games even further off than Essen and these are the new games for the Tokyo Game Market in November. Publishers are starting to announce their lineup for the show and posting pictures of prototypes on social media.

This is the list of new titles by Manifest Destiny at Game Market. Two of them (Forwarder of Xanadu and ハロウィンパーティー!(Halloween Party)) will already be shown at Essen and two more are reprints of older games (SimNovel and Alicematic). That still means that  there will be 5 new games at Game Market! It is interesting that there will be reprints of older titles, something that did not happen before with Manifest Destiny titles as far as we know. If a title was not picked up by a Western publisher, a sold out game was gone. Maybe that means that we will see other games getting reprinted in the future? Garden of Minions anyone?

This is one of two new games Okazu Brand will be selling at the next Game Market. This game has no name yet and is tile placement game in which the players build their cities simultaneously.

Crowdfunding links:

  • We are interested in boardgaming scenes from all over the world and that is why we are very interested in the crowdfunding project by Kenechukwu Ogbuagu at Indiegogo about opening the first board game café in Nigeria. It is amazing to see a board game scene develop from the ground up and that we all can contribute. The campaign is not merely a donation, instead as a reward you can choose from 14 different games designed in Nigeria. If you are at all interested in obscure board games you should take a look at the Indiegogo page.

 

  • Nunami is an interesting looking 2-player game which takes around 15 minutes and it is the first Inuit designed boardgame. Please check out Hilko’s article (link is in German), which has additional information on the game. It is still a bit off to the funding goal, but we hope that this will suceed. We are oddly drawn to the expensive “Visit the beautiful Ivujivik” pledge level. But with a price tag of 13000 CAD (+ travel to Canada) it is just a dream.

  • The Tales of Ki-Pataw or the (Google) translation of Chinese “Want to have a Capybara? Formosa Romance Tan: Fuxin Beitou” is a game by Soso Studio currently looking for funding at Taiwanese platform zeczec. It is a Gateway style strategy game for 2-4 players, taking 30-60 minutes to play. The real stars here are however the capybaras and the hot springs.  The player will play one of the characters, including a capybara, going to the 1937 New Beitou Hot Spring Township (which is a part of Taipei), while roaming, collecting energy materials and completing task. The game comes with English and Chinese rules and can be shipped overseas. The publisher told me that the game will be demoed at Essen.

That’s all for today. Please note that the Nice Game team will be on vacation until the end of the month, so please be patient with us if you place any orders at NiceGameShop or send any messages our way, as it might take longer than usual.

Finalists of Korea Boardgames Design Contest 2018 announced

Thanks to all who participated in the design contest by our friends at Korea Boardgames. We received many interesting submissions by authors from Korea and all over the world. After reading the rules of all submitted games and some difficult decision making we chose the following finalists in the KBG Design contest 2018:

Antasia – Otto Jensen
Four Gardens – Martin Dolezal
Fruits Rush – Romain Caterdijan
Global Towers – Julio Nazario
Morf – Jørgen Brunborg Naess
So full – Tim Schilstra
The Madhouse – Walter Vaes
Sau(g)clever – Jean Claude Pellin
눈대중 생선가게 – 최재오
두근두근 회전초밥 – 슈어팀
레드 저널리즘 – 이성원
보석 탐험대 – 박준영
비포 선 라이징 – 이현지
시궁쥐 항구의 밀수꾼들 – 박정상
캐셔 – 조영후
팀몰라 아무도 – 배정수
프리라이더 – 장한솔
히어로레이스 – 이교운

We will contact each finalist individually to arrange the shipping of the prototypes to our office.

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.

Global Boardgame News (July 9)

With no convention we have attended in the last month, this Global Boardgame News is filled with new games, crowdfunding campaigns and other announcements we discovered in the last few weeks. Let’s start with a big one:

Many companies were trying to get the distribution license for Tokyo Highway, but in the end it was the biggest of them all to get it. Asmodee will be distributing itten’s smash hit worldwide. People reading this blog will already know all about this game but if not, please take a look at our review. All people looking for the 3-4 player expansion can rejoice as Asmodee’s version will be playable with 4 players right out the box. Barry Doublet made a video at the recent Paris est Ludique Festival which you can check out here:

Great to see this game finally getting the attention it deserves. Off to SdJ!

Mandoo Games announced their lineup for this year on their Facebook page. Many of those are localizations for the Korean market, but there are also a few original designs: Seals, Spring Rally and Wangdo.

We especially like the description of the 2-4 player area control game Wangdo, but read for yourself.

Long long time ago, before age of human, there were four bear clans who help the king to reign over Northeast Asia. The time has come for the king to decide who will be the heir to the throne. The clans send their princes to the world to acquire all the qualifications to be the next king. They travel from town to town and build sacred bear statues; they inherit knowledge of religion, education, military, and commerce in return. The new journey is about to begin. Who will succeed to the throne? 

There is one more game coming from Mandoo Games this year.

Papering Duel is kind of like a perpetual Tic-Tac-Toe for gamers. In this 2-player abstract game by veteran designer Martin Nedergaard Andersen the players try to make lines of three of the same style or color, while also hindering the other player in doing so, all that with decks of transparent cards. If you manage to make a line of three you will get to draw 1 card from the deck, if you make 2 lines you get 2 cards. If you managed to make a line you have to put your markers on the other board, which means the other player can not use these colors and symbols.

Let’s stay in Korea for a moment. The BoardGameCon took place in Seoul last weekend, which is one of the biggest board game events in the country. The pictures are by Yoshiyuki Arai who was showing the Korean edition of Speed Clay Maker, published by Happy Baobab.

Marble Bobsleigh by Gemblo is a wild design of marbles and a giant plastic board. It’s a speed game in which each player in turn order shoots a marble in the middle and if a color comes up twice all player remove their flag of that color as fast as possible and blow their marble to try to get it first into the hole in the middle. The winner takes the marbles who came up double and puts them in their queue. If a player wants to shoot but can’t the game ends and the player with the most marbles wins. You can watch the setup and the gameplay in Korean here:


 

This is a promo picture for Formosa Romance Tan which will go live on the Taiwanese crowdfunding platform zeczec July 16. In the game capybaras are visiting Taiwan to bathe in hot springs. At least that is one part of the game. Sadly, there is not much info on the gameplay yet, but everyone loves capybaras right? It will be published by Soso Games and Mizo Riot and will be playable at Essen.

Another game which will be playable at Essen is Dej, which is the Iranian edition of Citadels by Bruno Faidutti. We were showing a picture of this game in a previous edition of the Global Boardgame News, but now there is a website on Houpaa Games for it as well as a blog entry on Bruno Faidutti’s blog. Gameplay wise nothing has changed, but the artwork is all new by the Iranian artist Hassan Nozadian.

We are happy to see that Fukuroudou’s Familiar’s Trouble will be released in German as Trick’n Trouble shortly by Frosted Games, especially because we helped a tiny bit by establishing the contact between the two parties.

This cooperative trick taking game for exactly 3 players comes out this month and thus should be available at BerlinCon which takes place in Berlin July 21-22. It is the next convention we will be visiting and also exhibiting at. If you are around please come to our booth and say hello. We will only bring selected titles of the NiceGameShop so if you have any specific wishes please let us know in advance.

The next big convention on the horizon after that is GenCon and we scoured the excellent preview list by Eric Martin for games for the Global Boardgame Lover. There are some older titles on the list which are just getting an English edition or are just introduced to the US like Crabs, Hanamikoji, Rising 5, Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch, Galaxy Wrestling Federation, The Legend of the Cherry Tree that blossoms every ten years, Minerva, Circus Puppy and Paper Tales and it’s expansion Beyond The Gates. Many of those titles we were already showing in previous editions of Global Boardgame News or we are selling them in the shop.

However, there are also a few new games of (our particular) interest releasing at the show. AEG is adding 2 new titles to their Big in Japan line, which both originated at the Game Market.

Magical Treehouse is the new edition of One Draw’s Village of Familiar from 2015 and is featuring all new artwork. The rules of this card drafting game seem to be untouched from the original Japanese edition. In this worker placement and drafting game 3-4 players attempt to build the best treehouses while also gathering resources.

Players are wizards, whose skills will be judged by how well they craft potions. To do that, a treehouse must be built to remove the potions from the forest floor. So wizards build a treehouse, and have their familiars bring them supplies.

This new edition of the cult hit Greedy Kingdoms however is featuring also new rules ato the all new artwork. The new rules by Bruno Faidutti make this rather a reimplementation. It is fitting that Bruno Faidutti is making the new rules as Greedy Kingdom had a Citadels feeling. As fans of the original game we are excited about trying this one out soon.

In this bluffing game for 2 the players deploy their heroes to attack and defend their kingdom, while collecting resources and building two Royal Palaces first.

We saw Fortune City by BigFun Games now at a couple of conventions but never got the chance to try it. In this design by Chih-Fan Chen for 2-4 players is based on a popular app of the same name.

It combines purchases and city development. Each kind of purchase helps you to build a characteristic building in the game, then make your city more and more stylish.

Last but not least there is Symphony No.9 by Moaideas. We could already play the game as a prototype and liked it quite a bit. In this 2-4 player strategy game you take on the role of a patron of different famous composers.

Can you become the most prosperous patron during the age of musicians? Will you work them to death and hold on to their final masterpiece? Or will you have to sell your belongings to provide for their talents? Enjoy showing off your wealth in the musician sponsoring & investing game of Symphony No.9.

That’s all we have for now. If you are at BerlinCon please come to our booth to say hello.

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: Game author’s fair in Göttingen 2018

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

Among the many very good gaming events of a given year, there are three events that I only miss under the most dire of circumstances. The Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February and the Spiel in Essen in October seem to be self evident. The third of these is the game author’s fair in Göttingen, which since time immemorial, takes place in the city hall in Göttingen on the first weekend of June. I have written something about this (German) on my Blog already, which I don’t want to rehash right now (editor’s note: we have published an English article by ourselves last year).

This being the oldest and still biggest event of its kind world wide was extremely well-attended, with about 350 people this Saturday (the tables were sold out for the first time, even though some tables stayed empty due to cancellations in the end). The city hall hit its capacity limit, but it’ll be renovated next year so we’ll have to move into the notably bigger Lokhalle anyway (which is the reason why the meeting will be moved to July – at least it probably won’t be running parallel to the UK Games Expo then, which most likely has forced some publishers to do a split this time around).

This year I could especially enjoy the meeting, due to the fact that I didn’t have any prototypes ready that I would have wanted to present. So I had quite a bit of time to look at exciting stuff from other people and even play quite a bit. Of course in one and a half days there’s never enough time to try everything, but it’s a bit like in Essen: It’s mainly about getting to know new people and meeting old friends again, which you only get to meet during such events. Naturally it was a special treat for me, that there were even two authors from South America who took on the long journey. I had invited both of them to come to the open game circle on Friday to be sure to have enough time to play their games. Up first was Corruptia, designed by Fernando Casals Caro together with Camila Muñoz Vilar (who sadly couldn’t be there herself). Corruptia is, unsurprisingly, a game about politics. As a politician you try to use the mood of the people to get your projects through the parliamentary votes as unimpeded as possible. The game scores with some clever and new mechanics, and went down very well in our group of five people. For me personally three rounds instead of the five would have sufficed (I am a fan of very short games), that aside it was gripping until the end. Corruptia is scheduled to be released in Chile in September, and judging from how many people attended Fernando’s table on Sunday, I can very well imagine that it might land over here as well some day (editor’s note: it will be available at NiceGameShop before Essen).


Leandro Maciel from Brazil even brought a whole cabinet of games with very appealingly designed prototypes. Sadly we only had time to play one of them, more specifically Loony Races. The name is telling, it’s a race, where you can never be too sure of your success. It is a back and forth with foul play involved, in which I mainly only got second place due to the fact that I sneaked up too close to the finish line. A little more restraint would have been smarter, given the cards I held. So I learned something again. On Sunday I then got the opportunity to play a bit of Fire in the Hole, in which a team of rabbits and a team of moles literally undermine a farm and work towards getting the carrots to tumble down. If you’re not careful though and drill into the cowshed less appetizing cow droppings will fall down into your own hole. Since both teams are intent on manipulating the labyrinth in their own favor there are nice take-that moments. Leandros’ games are easily accessible and make you laugh – his table was also well-visited and he was not only able to just gather interest from publishers for pretty much all of his prototypes, but may possibly be sitting down to finish others right now, to send them as well.

I experienced some relief there, since of course it’s never the case that every author can garner that much attention. That being the case, I’m pretty happy that at least the ones with the longest journey managed to do so brilliantly.

Apart from that I still managed to play prototypes from Michael Luu, Sophia Wagner and Torsten Landsvogt, which were in different stages of completion and included some clever ideas all around that I would definitely like to play again. We’ll see which of those will end up on the market.

Another small treat was that I had a talk with Michael Kiesling just at a time where there was nobody else at his table and he instantly invited me to play a game of Azul with him. It’s probably not a surprise that it wasn’t a very close match. What mainly fascinated me, was the fact of how quickly he took his decisions as a veteran player, while I of course had to think way longer. Azul is just an awesome game, that only very few people that I know don’t like.

In the evening we sat in a jolly circle with Reinhold Wittig and found out, that three of the five people in our room had never played The Mind. Since we didn’t have a copy with us, we improvised a game of five with Take 6! cards, some screw-nuts as lives and something else as throwing stars. It was really, really great, there was tons of laughter and legendary scenes and we really managed to clear level 6 first try. I think that the three newcomers didn’t really understand why I was so excited (third win in my 52th game). On the next day one of them told me, that they later played some more and only then realized how hard the whole thing really is.

When I look at those two gaming experiences in the space of a few hours, I get reminded why I keep my fingers crossed for The Mind as choice for game of the year so much. Azul is a cool game, very balanced and with a nice level of interaction, that’s neither too confrontational nor too much of a hug box. I would play it again any day. The Mind, however, brings up emotions and that’s what I especially wish to get in a game.

On Sunday evening I hosted Rustan Håkansson as a guest. At least his game Nations should be known to many of you. We sadly didn’t try any of his games, but it was simply a very stimulating evening with a bit of gaming and good conversations. That’s also a strength of the meeting in Göttingen: I take more time for individual people.

So, overall a really fantastic weekend for me and I’m very much looking forward to next time.