Tokyo Game Market Autumn 2018 took place November 24-25 at Tokyo Big Sight. We went there to bring you all the good games for www.nicegameshop.com and we took a ton of pictures, too!
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.
This series is released once or twice a month, covering international gaming news, trends and just plain gossip spotted online.
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There’s a lot to talk about in this edition: Osaka Game Market took place on April 1st (and didn’t fool around with new releases), we attended two fairs in Germany, and Kickstarter exploded with campaigns for global game lovers.
In terms of publisher attendance and new game releases, Game Market is the biggest tabletop fair in Asia, with three events in Japan each year. We regularly attend the two in Tokyo (so-called Spring and Autumn editions, in May and December) and will return in just a few weeks.
Then there’s the Kansai Game Market, which is smaller and held either in Kobe or in Osaka and before Tokyo Game Market Spring. This time it took place just a month before the Tokyo event, on April 1st.
In December, 2017, 730 publishers launched 466 new games at Tokyo Game Market, but there were still many new games ready for for release at Osaka Game Market.
The hottest new release was Zogen by Oink Games, who these days are the most famous publishers in Japan, if not across Asia. Zogen is a reaction game for 2-6 players by Christoph Cantzler and Anja Wrede.
As the game description on Board Game Geek says:
In Zogen, a.k.a. ゾーゲン, the player researchers want to rid themselves of their microorganism cards as quickly as they can, but they can do so only by observing the current lab environment and watching the one thing that changes, then “recording” it by playing their card.
In more detail, each player starts with a hand of sixteen cards, with each card showing 0-4 types of microorganisms, which are named “Maru”, “Tsuki”, “Yama”, and “Siri”. The start player for the round places one of their cards face up on the table, then everyone plays at once, trying to lay down a card that differs from the initial card by exactly one microorganism, whether one more or one less.
— まこ (@macogame) March 23, 2018
Oink Games have been very successful and have quite a distinctive style. Maybe that is the reason so many companies try to copy them.
You probably heard of the accusation that WereWords copied Insider, and maybe you even saw the ridiculous copycat of Deep Sea Adventure at Kickstarter… and now there’s a new one released at Osaka Game Market.
A Genius Forger goes to New York has pens, paper and a similar art style in this drawing party game by Makoto Nakamura.
The rules, however, are quite different to the bestselling game from Oink. There isn’t much info on the web, but we could gather that you have to copy the drawing style of another player in order to win.
So it definitely isn’t a copycat. And, although we haven’t played the game, the price tag of only 500 yen (~4€) certainly wouldn’t stop us from buying it blind!
Annecto Punch was previewed by Grandoor Games, the publisher behind Captain Dice and Wing Spirits. Their new title seems to be similar in terms of quirkiness, and definitely has the most fist bumps in any game I have seen yet.
It also seems highly language dependent.
Let’s wait and see if the final release comes with English in the box…
As it is the trend these days, itten also showed a giant version of Tokyo Highway. With streets big enough to knock someone unconscious I guess we won’t see a widespread release but it is cool to look at nevertheless.
— 佐成 やす (@yasu_torahane) April 1, 2018
In other Game Market news, Bruno Faidutti gave a panel talk with Hisashi Hayashi and Seiji Kanai. It was also revealed that One Draw’s classic Greedy Kingdoms will be released by AEG (this edition has Bruno Faidutti in the credits).
See this post for Bruno’s perspective on Osaka Game Market.
Speaking of Bruno Faidutti we also came across this very cool cover for the Iranian edition of Citadels which we had to share (by Hassan Nozadian):
In this draw-and-write design:
Players create subway networks by filling in the station spaces on their individual game sheets. Using the numbers revealed by the cards, all players fill up their subway map with ◯s in the station spaces.
However, the number of times they can add stations to each line is limited, so they have to make tough choices. Players can score many points by getting their star bonuses in stations with many intersecting routes. Players also get bonuses by being the first to complete routes.
Try to fill in all your stations to minimize the penalties and achieve a high score!
Okazu Brand also just announced their new release for the imminent Tokyo Game Market(!).
— okazubrand@金沢ボドマ (@okazu_900jaku) April 2, 2018
In Stock hold’em (ストックホールデム), players are investors who want to use information to manipulate stock prices, buy and sell shares, and earn lots of money.
During the game, players place information cards with sources (i.e., suits) and numbers on each company, and all employees manipulate stock prices by making poker hands for each company.
Since some information about these cards — either the suit or the number — can be viewed from the backside of the card, players can speculate about how a company might be valued by guessing the hands of other players.
While the Nice Game team couldn’t attend Osaka Game Market, we did attend two local fairs in Germany: Spieletage in Ratingen and Spiel Doch! In Duisburg.
We’ll definitely have a lot to talk about after these fairs!
Other links from around the world:
- The Bark Side from our friends at Korea Boardgames is about to go live! Watch the video with Eric Martin here and check out the landing page here
- Deca Slayer is live on Kickstarter – a collaboration from Seiji Kanai and Hisashi Hayashi
- As is Dream Catchers from Play Nation Studios in Singapore
- Warriors of Jogu: Feint from Iberian Rails author Tony Chen has two players battling it out
- Pocket Pharma is a new edition of Medical Frontier, updated with Brett Gilbert to streamline gameplay and make the package smaller
- Birdie Fight is one of the topsellers of NiceGameShop and an all-around great game. Now Daily Magic Games is Kickstarting an English version with some neat extras – but be quick, as the campaign is almost over!
- While we’re publishing the German version as Das Geheimnis der Tempel, Deepwater Games is back on Kickstarter to secure funding for an English version of Mystery of the Temples from EmperorS4. Deepwater is also offering Round House and Sorcerer & Stones from the same publisher in an epic bundle.
- Viva Love on Taiwan’s crowdfunding platform zeczec will be published by the same folks who released Raid on Taihoku
- Finally, Sugoroku-Kozo’s Board Game Wandering explains a new Japanese game in which the games are always changing and always up for debate