I keep stalling to avoid writing the first Freshly added post of the year (the last one was written in late December), but games keep coming in at a steady pace, making the task more daunting as time elapses! Time to catch up with the upcoming releases (or with the entries that will forever remain in Board Game Geek limbo).
Let’s start with Fit to Print, a game with an alluring box cover by none other than Ian O’Toole, who apparently created the whole woodland world the game is set in. As for the mechanics (as if Ian O’Toole as an artist isn’t enough to ensure that it will trigger everyone’s interest), they include drafting, pattern-building, and real-time. In solo however, the real-time element is dropped and you must achieve a high score by laying tiles in a clever way. Different puzzles specify different sets of tiles to tinker with.
Another game smelling of humus and other forest fragrances, and involving puzzly tile-laying as well, is Dream a Tree, a game in which you must arrange tiles to create the best possible tree. This will fit nicely in the “Zen” game category, alongside Castles of Caladale and A Gentle Rain.
Venturing further into the thicket, we meet the tool-making elves of Woodcraft, a game of fierce capitalistic competition to prevail as the best elves-manned workshop of the woodlands. Manage your resources, roll dice, prosper and rake in good money!
If you prefer a more spiritual take on the forest theme, you may enlist to become a Mushroom Shaman. The pitch is rather interesting: civilization is choking on the fumes of its own polluted breath, and people start seeking the help of the Mushroom Shamans, secluded in the last patch of jungle still spared from the industrial wastes. As a Mushroom Shaman yourself, you will guide these newfound followers, establish your cult, and save the planet. That’s quite a program! From the description, it sounds like a worker placement game.
And I’m quite pleased to have a second game in the ‘spiritual leader settled in the wildlands’ category thanks to Fabled, a Slavic mythology-inspired game in which sages travel natural landscapes in order to collect books. Very little is known about this game, but the publisher (Moroz Dev) has produced several games in the past, so there are chances we might actually see this one eventually.
I’ll end my little nature tour with another game illustrated by a hyped board game illustrator, namely Andrew Bosley, who's behind the art of the next and final expansion for Tang Garden, Seasons. You’ll get minis, leaf-shaped painted wooden tokens (at least it looks like so), pagodas, silk-screened dragon meeples, and the possibility to decorate your garden with squirrels (although I’m not sure they could be found in China), all this to be Kickstarted soon of course (February 22).
Now, a bit of random stuff.
I’ll begin with Isle of Trains: All Aboard, a re-implementation of the 2014 Isle of Trains, and "All Aboard" means that solo players are now welcome to join! The goal is to transport people with trains, and the mechanics rely on multi-use cards (cars, locomotives, buildings, money, cargo, etc.). Complete contracts, deliver passengers, and get points to get the highest possible score.
Despite the looks, Okol Invasion is not a game about fertilizing an egg cell, but about leading an alien species through their planetary conquest agenda. The goal is to feed the Mother D10 with energy by smartly playing cards and by relying on the ancient powers of multiplication. It’s a PnP game that has not been made available yet.
Hexagone is a strategy game in which you roll dice that specify which types of hexagon you can interact with on your turn, in order to match 3 or more hexagons of the same type and collect them accordingly. So, a hex-shaped theme-less variation on Bejeweled, basically.
Next, and now that this game has climbed to the first spot of the BGG Hotness list, this news is about as fresh as the fish on the game box cover, we have Legacy of Yu, a complex solo game of worker placement and resource management with a branching campaign from Garphill Games, with a Chinese mythology theme. They seemed to have done their homework on this one, which I always appreciate. The goal is to develop a prosperous settlement, despite the threat of the incoming floods and not-so-friendly barbarian tribes meddling with your hard efforts.
Then I have Pōpoki, a solitaire PnP game in which you play as a feral cat in Hawaii, walking across lava to escape the recent destruction of the gardens you were living in. You’ll roll dice, draft and play cards, in order to make your way out of the lava-devastated area as unscathed as possible.
And I’ll end with another PnP, Daddy Issues, the story of a dad who left home to buy cigarettes and never came back… Or did you? It’s up to you to manage your fate in this RPG-inspired game involving exploration, inventory management, deadly encounters with werewolves and pigeons, and coping with your anguished family. If this sounds intriguing to you, the files are already accessible from the related WIP thread on BGG.
All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.