Freshly added to BGG, February 16, 2022
This week, there were so many new additions on the BGG database that I felt a bit overwhelmed. How to cope with this many new entries? Well, I applied the old principle I always apply in gaming: “when it’s clear you can’t win, do what gets you the most fun”. Rest assured, there should be something for everyone here: we have magic, sci-fi, dogfights, dry euros about Ancient China, prehistoric struggles and even penguins!
So let’s start with a kitten, because all these “Freshly added” posts should start with something cat-related. In the Korean game Kitten Box, you want to satisfy the whims of a cute cat figurine by arranging cardboard boxes as cozy resting places. It’s a real-time spatial puzzle, so it’s up to you to see whether this particular of games and the cat theme is a winning combination or not. The game includes rules in English, but I have no clue with respect to the availability.
Staying with logical spatial puzzles featuring cute animals as their main protagonists, we have Pengo Jump, from Blue Orange. You must arrange icebergs for penguins to jump around on, with limited time (I don’t know whether this means a limited number of moves, or a real time element).
Another one belonging to this very niche category, Beetle Island (or is it Coleopterra? The publisher website and the BGG page do conflict here) is a tile-laying game where you put hexagonal tiles depicting insects on a grid in order to score as many points as possible, as usual. Personally, I find these beetles cuter than the silly-looking cartoony penguins above.
As an intermission, and because it also features bugs, let me introduce the first free game of the week, the PnP A Bug on the Motherboard. I’m not too sure I understand the theme (you play as a fly stuck on a computer that wants to build computer parts before getting fried???). From a look at the picture, you roll a die whose value tells you along which direction you can move, and you must collect energy and place components on the grid, but if you get 12 sixes, you lose.
In Circuitry, that could be commended for its ascetic, minimalist look, you play as a meeple that must reach a “charge point” of its color and gets back to the starting “master node”, by laying out maps progressively building a maze of electric threads. The solo mode apparently plays differently, but I don’t know how. This should pop up on Kickstarter in the following weeks.
If you want more circuits and electric grids, you can dive into this cyberpunk Japan, full of radiating neon aesthetic, in Tamashii: Chronicles of Ascend (also called: Title: Doesn’t need to make sense). From Awaken Realms Lite (the spin-off company of Awaken Realms, specialized in smaller games, usually not nearly as successful), it has the oddity to feature a campaign in which some scenarios are competitive, some are co-op, so I have no clue what this entails for solo play. It should launch on Gamefound soon enough, but no precise date has been announced so far to my knowledge.
The next game takes place in Ancient China, in the “Spring and Autumn” historical period, prior to the unification of the country under the first Qin empire, and so it is rightly called Before the First Emperor. The game is from a small publisher than already did some Kickstarter campaigns, including Déjà Vu: Fragments of Memory, that I should have told you about in a Lounge Post that remains to be written. This game is very much euro-oriented, with worker placement and resource management, and it seems to lean towards the ‘heavy’ side judging from the boards’ iconography.
Going back even further in time, we end up in Late Prehistory with Stonesaga, a legacy game where you lead a Neolithic tribe that must survive through crafting and building. Each game session spans a generation, and what you achieve impacts the history of your people. Apart from the settlement-building element, the game also features exploration as you slowly discover the greater world that surrounds your community.
I’m not sure you can end up building a space shuttle to go into space, but if you’re patient enough, you may bring your clan up to the distant future to partake in the great Lunar Rush. I mean, we needed a “giant corporations yearn to maximize their profits in outer space enterprises” themed game, right? The game mechanics revolve around bidding and simultaneous action selection, all mechanics that are known to translate well to a solo experience.
So, maybe it’s better to slow down a bit and get back to closer skies with Dockfighters: The Ale Wars, a miniature wargame set in World War II, or so I think, because I can’t (and Google neither) relate the Ale Wars to any known historical period. Anyway, I promised you dogfights, I had a word to keep.
Now that I have satisfied your thirst for thematic variety I can go move on to my favorite part: Fantasy. Starting with Library Labyrinth, a game where Heidi can fight a Kraken according to the game description. It’s a co-op game in which you play as famous characters from history and fiction to defend a library under the threat of the worst terrors ever invented in literature (or more accurately, in public domain literature). You move around, play cards, put back these horrors on the shelves they belong to… You can even play as Athena, if we are to believe the box cover.
Then we have Ynaros Fallin, a game of shaman dueling (which probably entails that you will be pit against an AI). In a typical skirmish fashion, you move around your characters, play cards, but also try to take control of the magic lands to earn experience points.
I’ll end with my favorite: Fire for Light, from Will Sobel, a designer that was unknown prior to the launch of the Astro Knights campaign. The game tells you the story of four heroes in a land of cold and darkness that struggle to bring the daylight to the land over a campaign of 15 scenarios. Each session has you crawl on a hex-grid map that you must explore to fight monsters and gather resources necessary to sustain the life of your village. The campaign is apparently supported by a branching narrative, to ensure replayability in case you’re not entirely bored out after a whole run of the campaign.
And a last, quick bonus: Attack The Dungeon! is a dungeon crawling game that you can play with a standard 54 card deck. Provided you can actually find the rules, of course, because I didn’t.
#KittenBox #PengoJump #BeetleIsland #ABugOnTheMotherboard #Circuitry #Tamashii #BeforeTheFirstEmperor #Stonesaga #LunarRush #Dockfighters #LibraryLabyrinth #YnarosFallin #FireForLight #AttackTheDungeon
All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.