Freshly Added to BGG - April 21, 2023
Remember 1995? It was the time were Catan was the last new hot thing in the board gaming world. The setting sun on the box cover clearly could not be more ironic, as this was truly a new dawn. And now the sun is just scorching hot and we are deep-fried frogs in a saucepan filled with a stirring fricassee of whirling novelties.
1995 also happen to be the setting of the first game of my list, Defrag. Your computer has slow down to a sluggish crawl and it's type to defrag it. To do so, you may rely on hand management, where your cards figure fragmented files that need to be rearranged and consolidated. The game apparently features the possibility to tackle a series of challenges of increasing difficulty. This should appear on Kickstarter at some point.
After the success of Dog Park, the Hazell team is bringing us Forever Home: A Game of Second Chances for Shelter Dogs. In this game, you play as a shelter worker, draft dogs and match them with families, improving your shelter along the way. There is a spatial element on top of this as dogs are also represented as tiles that you need to arrange on your shelter grid.
But as symbiotic a species with our own dogs may be, I guess you won't see even the tail of an errant one wandering on the Path of Civilization, a game that invites you to rewrite the story of humankind through clever card play and card management, from Belgian publisher Captain Games. You may be more excited if I tell you that the designer is the one behind the smash success Turing Machine.
But how do you stride on such a path, hmm? By going full on Global Mining! In this game, conceived and developed by real miners, Earth becomes a giant map of raw material deposits that it is up to you to exploit in full. You don't write a story without ink, and ore of numerous sorts is what humankind's deeds are carved with -so no matter how much dirt you will need to remove to get to that ore, we count on you for empires to flourish, arts to blossom, and civilization to thrive.
Time for a change of tone, mood and aesthetics thanks to Creature Caravan, the latest Ryan Laukat game to be set in the Fantasy land of Arzium. The gameplay of this one is inspired from Artifacts, Inc. and features 134 different cards that you allocate dice onto, adding creatures to your caravan to grant you more options as you move across the game board. Add to this a little bit of trade, some zombies fighting, and ruins exploration to entertain your guests during the trip. The Gamefound prelaunch page is already on.
In the Fantasy department, I also have Labyrinthians, a dungeon crawler set 'beneath the ancient Scottish Highlands' (I did not know they had a sewer system), which boasts easy rules and a "pocket-size" game. You will explore rooms, battle foes, and attempt to fulfill your heroes' personal quests along the way. Already available on the Game Crafter.
Next, two expansions, starting with the crocodile-extermination game Faiyum, Friedemann Friese's wooden reconstruction of Ancient Egypt society and Athena's pick for the end of times, which is getting a Privileges expansion, adding permanent Privilege cards that change the effects of the other cards in game.
Revive, the game of re-populating Earth 5,000 years after civilization as we know it has collapsed worldwide, is now diving underwater with Call of the Abyss. The expansion adds four new tribes to play with, new cards, including the powerful Scyphoz, a new life form that has risen out of the depths and grants powers to those that show their devotion.
And I'll end with my selection of PnPs, starting with In Memory, a roll 'n' write game where you settle in a farm that had once belonged to a couple now deceased. As you grow your farm and attempt to make a living out of it, you will dig through the memories the predecessors left and reconstruct their past lives. Apparently the game is played across three different systems, interlocking to some extent, and if you want to know more, everything is available for free from here (link to BGG).
The last item is The Taming of the Slugiraffe, a game described as 'It's a bit like Dark Souls if you were playing as a Pikachu trying to catch a Snorlax.' If, like me, you fail to imagine what this may look like, then here is the deal: you play as a small creature known as a Giblet and must venture into a pit to find and tame the fabled Slugiraffe. You will face eerie creatures that drop items and give you access to better dice. I do not know if there is more to it than rolling dice to meet requested scores, but if you are interested in it, you can purchase the PnP for $10 on itch.io.