Another busy week, I guess Spring pumped up a new fresh sap into the veins of board games publishing!
Last week I was joking with my wife that it was funny for a city to have a building perpetually under construction as a worldwide recognized symbol. So it is no surprise that Board&Dice has chosen the Sagrada Familia to feature on the cover of Barcelona, a very heavy Euro with tile laying and worker placement, set in the late nineteenth century Barcelona (so the Sagrada Familia should be nowhere near as advanced). But of course, the ultimate goal is to rake in victory points. This is another design by Dani Garcia (another large, sprawling, complex, busy Euro), and it raises the fundamental question: is this the first step into a forthcoming B-series, now that the T-one seems to have reached its conclusion?
Far away from the stirring excitement of the city, you may find solace in Apple Grove, a game that boasts a "unique color wheel selection mechanism", from Tangerine Games (a new publisher which has announced Nestlings a few months ago, now soon to be kickstarted). And I guess the board gaming world needs an Andrew Bosley-illustrated new title every week... Anyway, little is known about this game, except that you'll have to manage an orchard to collect apples (and juicy points), and that it claims to be relaxing and family-oriented.
Another food-related title is Fromage. Now, I have a confession to make: despite being French, I am highly cheese-phobic. I already feel nauseous and uneasy showing this box art, so I really cannot check the description any further. I leave it up to you. My bad.
So I'll move on to something with which I happen to be much more comfortable, Witchcraft! The game is from the team (designers, artist, publisher) that brought you Resist!, a game well on its way to being crowned the best solo design of 2022 by the 1PG community. In the game, you band up witches from several of the village's families and defend your place against supernatural threats, such as the Baba Yaga or the Headless Horseman. But at the same time, these magical endeavors are bound to raise suspicion from your fellow villagers, which will be all too prompt to accuse you of spreading the very same evil you are fighting off as best as you can. So you need to operate in secrecy - and here is where the hiding mechanic from Resist! comes into place. The Gamefound preview page is already up.
Berserkers is the latest title from the French publishing studio Alone Editions (best known for Way of the Samurai). The goal of the game is to save the kingdom of Helm by lighting up the eight protective fires Odin and marking with a sacred seal the three Shadow Riders (no, it doesn't need to make sense). To do so, you will roll dice and spend money... However, you only get money by drafting King Requests at the beginning of the game, and they all need to be fulfilled before you can claim a victory.
As usual, I accompany the Fantasy appetizer with a Sci-Fi starter; today I have Conquest Princess: Fashion is Power, a title that had been announced months ago on Gamefound, but was lacking a BGG entry up to this day. Mu-gahgah, the Fahsion Tyrant, is threatening to take over the galaxy, and it is up to you, the Agents of T.I.A.R.A., to suit up and fight against it! The game features a bag-building mechanic and you draw from the bag to activate actions. From the page, I see a wide number of different boards and a sizable amount of heterogeneous stuff, so it's a bit hard to, but suffice it to know you will move around, shoot, and activate locations' abilities in order to complete your mission before time runs out.
Back to Earth with an expansion for the successful nature-themed tile-laying game Cascadia, Landmarks. The game features a new module to add endgame scoring bonuses, the so-called landmarks, as well as new alternative scoring conditions for animals and new habitat tiles (does this mean a new kind of biotope? if not, why does the game need new tiles? will it break the existing balance? obviously, I have no clue). It will be released straight to retail.
For this post, I will briefly re-kindle a tradition that has been held dear on our website, featuring a game based on a standard deck of cards: Card Maze. First, you randomly generate a maze with all cards but those from the 1-4 range, with the black cards being placed horizontally and the rad cards being placed vertically. As in any good French* card game, the goal is to take down all nobility. Then you will move around the maze and "attack" cards to build up your own strength (in the same style as Card Capture) until you feel powerful enough to defeat the face cards.
And I'll end with two free PnP. The first one is Dice Pyramid, a tin box-sized dice game where you tackle dice challenges to climb your way to the top of the pyramid. The game is fully available on the publisher's website.
I have saved the best one for the end: .disrupt. Indeed, this game finally tackles our common secret dream here in Solitaire Times: founding a start-up to become the new Bezos, to rival the likes of Musk. In order to rise above your peers in such a competitive market, you will need to take up one of the four asymmetric roles and use worker placement and your savvy sense of business to achieve dominance and squeeze the most profit you can out of science and research. Soon to be kickstarted, with custom meeples and dual-layered boards.
* The designer is actually from Brussels. Let's pretend it counts.