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]
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.
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.
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.
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.