The ever-flowing magma of new additions in the BGG database keeps adding land to the board game island, at a pace I can’t always keep up with (so some titles may have been dropped in the crevices of the RSS flux).
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite excuse for purchasing a new box: expansions!
Antoine Bauza’s Oltréé most dedicated scouts are already running short of chronicles to play through, so here is an expansion, featuring the inescapable zombies or, as is more appropriate in a Fantasy setting, “undead”: Oltréé: Undead & Alive. Ironically, the game will feature a new mechanic, Lassitude, as the Rangers get tired of going through too many events.
Ecologies, a rather niche card game available through The Game Crafter, receives a second stand-alone sequel, Hidden Habitats, with the same signature art as usual, and which can be combined with the core game. The goal is to build an ecosystem, a pyramidal hierarchy of food chain relationships.
Let us now dive into history, one of the most prolific source of board game themes, starting with an abstract bird’s view in Civilia, in which you unfold the rise and fate of a civilization with only 54 cards. Unfortunately there is no much info on that one.
A game I must have missed earlier, but that's recent enough to include anyway, is Age of Rome. A game with a rotating board, custom shaped silk-screened meeples, some clever cardplay, and worker placement. If you win the game, you become the new Emperor of the Rome, so at least there are some juicy rewards at stakes when playing.
Moving on, we end up with the Venitian Renaissance in Tiletum, a game by Luciana and Tascini, the team behind Tzolk’in. The game is described as a dice management game, and I was pretty disappointed to see it doesn’t involve tile-laying in some form or another. Guess I’m not smart enough for these Euro games. Anyway, the goal is to get the most riches, which should resonate well with most people.
Nothing happens until the XIXth century, with a game with one of the dullest description ever, Oranienburger Kanal, by Solitaire Times’ most beloved designer, the great and only one Uwe Rosenberg himself. Well, he could have gone with a more thrilling theme with that one. Anyway, you manage some industrial complex and build bridges and canals to ensure that you have a strong infrastructure to develop. No pictures, that would be too fancy.
The closer we move from Present Day, the more war-focused it becomes, and as we reach the end of the XIXth century, American Civil War rises, and so is a new naval warfare technology: submarines! In Infernal Machine, you play as the confederate Lieutenant Dixon, and must design, build, and use your submarine to get some Yankees down! This is a GMT P500 release, so you can already pre-order it if you want to see it made eventually.
If you are tired of going deep, you may also take flight with Skyhawk: Rolling Thunder, 1966, where you play as a solitaire pilot going against Viet forces across two successive campaigns. Vietnam War seems to be a popular theme in 2022, with Purple Haze already in the works.
Okay, now I need a break from the dark side of the Modern world, and I will focus to some of its brighter sides, starting with wrestling, because this is the thing that most looks like superheroes at work. In All Time Wrestling, featuring card combos, famous wrestlers, and exciting dice rolls.
Another wonder of the modern world: cars! And they are at they best when they race against each other, of course! Thanks to Classic Rally, you get to fully customize your car and race a couple of them in a freely made race track. Play fuel cards to make them move around, roll dice to bring in weather conditions and car malfunctions.
Third key note feature of our times, animal extinction! Another slightly rising game board theme. With Animalia: Preventing Extinction, you try to safeguard wildlife in a cooperative trick-taking. Since the game rests on communication limits, the solo implementation is a bit of a mystery, but I guess we shall see.
I’ll end today’s your with some glimpse at the future through the upcoming Wreckland Run, third game in Renegade’s Solo Hero Series, also by Scott Almes (I guess Warp’s Edge sold well). In this post-apocalyptic world, you load your truck with supplies and weapons, and then make your run through the wasteland (I guess they’ll come up with a reason why later on).
All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.