Tag Archives: Ludens Spirit

Abstract building, thematic destruction and chess on the hill: New games from Latin America January 2019

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

Welcome to the new year.

I intend to keep up the regular overview articles each first and third monday of the month. I’ll just number them now, though, since that is easier for me. Let’s go! [Editor’s note: We combined both articles of January into one here, but we are trying to catch up with Hilko to release them alongside their German release]

Argentina

Someone asked me recently, pretty much out of the blue, to teach them chess, after I hadn’t even touched the game in years. In essence I could still do it, and I can’t deny a certain fascination for chess, even though I generally prefer completely different games. But there’s one great thing with chess: There are a lot of fans all over the world, so it also kind of connects people cross-culturally, similar to football. But chess is only for two people, which is a pretty big difference. So there are always attempts to publish variants for more. Alex “Vikingoviejo” Schmidt, from Buenos Aires is not the first who has tried his hand at making a chess for four players, but he, first of all, makes beautiful games and secondly, included an additional part in his game Der Hügelkönig.In the middle of the playing area there’s a hill and the goal of the game is to move your own king onto that hill. The game is put together from variable elements, so there are multiple possibilities of building the board.

Sucesos Argentinos (Argentinian Events) was a game from 2016 that lends its concept from Chronology/Anno Domini/Timeline. This means that there are cards with events, where the year is printed on the back side. The goal is to put the cards in the correct chronological order. Sucesos Argentinos differs from the others, in that it introduces a drafting component. You lay out your own chronology, but draw the cards from a combined pool. Apart from that, the cards of course include events from Argentinian history. A new (Expansion-) edition has been released now, with the themes of economy and society, and a third one is apparently also in preparation. Sucesos Argentinos comes from Guido D. Cegarra and was illustrated by Santiago Rodríguez. The publisher’s name is AA Lúdica.

Brazil

In December a new game by Marcos Macri has been published by MS Jogos. It is called Xingu and revolves around the contact between Brazilian natives of the Xingú area with the arriving white folk at the end of the 19th century. During that time telegraph lines were laid there, which led to the “discovery” of multiple tribes, which wasn’t necessarily to their advantage. The players now lead one of these tribes each and have to try to survive, despite violence, the arrival of diseases and the dangers of the slave trade. Whoever wants to know more about the historical background, can find some information on Wikipedia here and here. The design of this worker placement game, which includes a lot of materials, has been done by Diego Sanchez.

Abstratus has been on my watch list for quite a while now, since it doesn’t just look unusual, but also instantly speaks to me with its game concept, because I like creative as well as building games. The players each have a batch of abstract parts, usually made from wood, and then draw a card each on which a word is printed. Now they build whatever is written on their card with their parts. The cards are then shuffled together with a bunch of cards from the card pile and everyone has to guess which sculpture represents which word. It maybe is comparable to the great Krazy Wordz, but instead of words you have sculptures. It has been created by Thelma Löbel, Auber Bettinelli and Alberto Duvinier, who also appear under the name Zebra5. It has been published by Ludens Spirit.

While it is inexplicably necessary in Germany to double the letter X, it doesn’t seem to be the case in Brazil. A party game called Quix! Has been released there now, by Marco Aurélio Tayt-son

In this game a letter card is flipped open every round. Then you throw a die which shows something to do. In the end it is about finding words in a category that has been drawn by lot that begin with the current letter. How this is done varies from round to round. Sometimes every player guesses at the same time, sometimes you take turns, whereby every player advances a letter in the alphabet, sometimes there are duels between two players, and so on. Whoever gains any points may advance on the game board. On certain spots you gain Heureka cards, with which you can intervene in the moves of the other players. When you reach the end of the game board first, you win the game. It has been released by TGM Editora, and illustrated by Guilherme Marques.

How do you become the new head witch when the old head witch has been burnt at the stake? By turning the city that did it into ash. Triora – Cidade das Bruxas (Triora – City of Witches) by Michael Alves was crowd funded last year and will now be released in a bilingual version (English/Portuguese) by Arcano Games and Meeple BR Jogos. The players race to destroy the small city of Triora as thoroughly as possible. To do so they rely on the help of the ghost of the old head witch, while they have to be careful not to fall prey to the inquisition. The real place Triora, that is situated in northern Italy, near the french border, was the stage for the first witch trials in Italy in 1587-1589. The thematic approach of the game is definitely unusual – since the women persecuted and murdered as witches in the early modern period were completely innocent victims of superstition and misogyny. The game turns the tables, so to speak, and uses witchcraft to punish the actual guilty party. The design is made by Marcelo Bissoli. Outside of Brazil Triora is intended to be published by Grey Fox Games.

Chile

Tesoro Maldito means cursed treasure and is a recently released game by Alexander Larrain and Ignacio Roldan, published by Half-Zombie Games. The players in the game semi-cooperatively steer an expedition through a dungeon, by voting with anonymously played cards where the group is supposed to go next. Doing so they gather treasures, which are personal property, since at the end of the game the player who has secured the most treasures wins. Of course the dungeon is also guarded, and it is generally a good idea to first and foremost survive the journey into the deep. Tesoro Maldito was illustrated by Osmel Adelso Castellano Marchena.

Mexico

In December I already announced the Roll A Game Expo, at which the Quetzalera was supposed to be awarded. With about 1200 visitors it was probably Mexico’s biggest game expo. During the announcement of the candidates for the award I noticed that the list that I had wasn’t really complete. So there are 3 games among the 8 finalists (in the picture) that I hadn’t reckoned with, even though I already reported on them in the past. One of those was the winner, specifically Cooks & Crooks by Luis Muñoz and Andrés Novelo (in the yellow t-shirt). Together with them on the steps there was also Seat Wars by Andrés Ayala (middle) and Geisha by Ana Coronado (fourth from the right). Accordingly it was a triple-triumph for Detestable Games, who have already announced some new released for 2019. We can look forward to that.

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 (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.