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Freshly Added to BGG - January 19, 2023

I've left you waiting long enough, so it's about time to take a Deep Dive into the new year, with a whole batch of future releases! Speaking of which, I haven't much to tell about it that the picture above doesn't display already: cute penguin meeples, a push-your-luck family game from the designers of Point Salad, Verdant, and TEN. Each turn, you flip over ocean tiles; you can either be satisfied with your catch as it is, or try to go deeper to find better prey (see that juicy 9 points squid?), but also at a greater risk of meeting dangerous predators.

Another forthcoming title from publisher Flat Out Games is Satchel Quest, a game I am very, very intrigued about. Described as a "rogue-like bag-building puzzle game", it features chunky tokens that you arrange on a grid. I have no idea how it will actually play, and there has been about zero info about it so far, but a colorful dungeon crawler with Bullet vibes is sure to grab my attention.

To stay in the Fantasy department, we have Defenders of the Wild, a strategy game by Henry Audubon (of PARKS fame) about playing one of four asymmetric factions of anthropomorphic woodland creatures set to defend their land against a machine invasion. I'm sure any resemblance to Root is purely intentional. Anyway, you play on a modular hex-grid map, fending off as you can the machines, suitably driven by an AI deck to impose Industrial Winter on the Wild. This game will be kickstarted eventually.

Fantasy critters remains a reliable marketing theme, and Cloud Foxes, a weird game about pirates cruising the skies aboard giant flying foxes, apparently intends to make the best of it! This is an Area Majority game where you place foxes on a 6x6 grid to gain control over islands, and the foxes are placed by rolling three dice and selecting two out of them to set the coordinates of the fox. VPs are awarded for islands under your influence, looting merchant ships, and trading resources. The publishers/designers team has already one KS game under their belt, Snapshot: Wildlife Photographer, which got delivered a bit more than a year ago.

GOTHIES is a weird deck-building tower defense game with bizarre creatures that apparently like to dress up as dinosaurs. The game is said to take inspiration from Castle Panic except you face tour enemies on a single lane, and these foes can possess your creatures to make them fight against you. Otherwise, the game looks fairly standard for a deck-builder, with cards giving you "seed" power to purchase new ones, while others grant you "song" power to defeat foes.

Enough of Fantasy, let's go back to the harsh and dark real world! Starting with Pax Hispanica, the latest Phil Eklund game, that you can already pre-order but won't receive before 2024. As usual, these games are highly complex and put special care into the historical details. In this volume, you will play in the seventeenth-century Caribbean, coveted and exploited by rival European powers. You will be able to play as a large panel of historical figures, from French Cardinal Richelieu to Bartolomé de Las Casas.

Colonial empires are apparently all the rage, and you will be given another opportunity to plunder the world in Victoria: The Board Game, the tabletop adaptation of the eponymous strategy video game by Paradox Interactive (by the same designer who already adapted Europa Universalis). Your goal is to become the most prosperous nation in these industrializing times, focusing on either economic development, diplomatic relationships, or all-out warfare. In the recent past, PSC Games have been funded through Gamefound, so this one may follow the same path.

As the saying goes, with great wealth comes expensive entertainment, so a wealthy and world-dominant nation sure needs large-scale funfairs. And you will have to manage one in Theme Park Tycoon, a tile-laying, deck-building park about becoming the more successful manager, despite such hardships as employers demanding payment. So far it's only a Polish release, but an English localization should happen, in 2024 at the earliest.

Since we are into some forward-thinking here, maybe we can have a look at futuristic architectures and innovative, sustainable ways of life thanks to Arcology. An arcology is a self-sufficient building capable to host an entire population. The game fosters cooperation between players (all players share a city board with their neighbors on which they can earn points as well), which of course may not be relevant in the slightest for playing solo - speaking of which, there is absolutely no info. This game is set for a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

Even more forward? We now get into full-scale Sci-Fi with Galaxy Force: Battles of the Fallen Stars (I am sure the plurals have been randomly distributed here). Usually I don't advertise Compass Games or any war games in general (and Compass Games have a weird preorder/small and quiet Kickstarter campaign system I never understood), but this one, advertised as a "fast-playing, immersive solitaire play experience", grabbed my attention enough. Across the different scenarios this game has to offer, you will meet alien species, engage in a seceding rebels vs. empire in turmoil raging conflict, and send your fleets all over the six sextants of the galaxy.

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