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Freshly Added to BGG - March 31, 2023

Another quiet week, with more junk than stuff probably, but I like to adorn our home page with pretty pictures - and if I don't publish anything, the blame will fall on lazy me, not on the economically struggling board game publishers who apparently can't come up with newer titles at the same rate as before!

This week's first is Laniakea, obviously inspired by the Marvelian mythology. You play as a Celestial, a giant being that can swallow galaxies whole for breakfast to ensure itself a good and steady growth. Beyond this premise lies a deck-building game where you move on the grid of the universe and play Cosmic Power cards to achieve supremacy over your peers.

By the way, I have an actual upcoming Marvel game, D.A.G.G.E.R., published by Fantasy Flight Games. You travel across the globe to fulfill missions and prepare for the final showdown against the big baddie, relying on combos to make your characters more powerful. A nice touch is that heroes come in two sides, so you can choose among two different versions of each character (and the corresponding standee reflects your choice). The design is by Dane Beltrami, an FFG veteran (Twilight Imperium IV, Fallout solo expansion, Elder Sign Omens expansions, etc.). He seems to have mostly built upon previously existing designs so far, let's see how he fares with a title entirely his own.

To come back to indier offerings, I give you Fortitude, a solitaire trick-taking game set in World War II. The goal is to win tricks in both Calais and Trondheim while losing in Normandy to avoid tipping the German army about the D-Day plans. This looks like an intriguing blend between a trick-taking game and a war game, and if this sounds appealing, you will likely be able to know more when the planned Kickstarter campaign actually launches.

Next, we have MEGA Mini Dragons a game that is apparently not afraid of Elizabeth Hargrave, from publisher Microgameo (the one behind the creepy baby dinosaurs card game kickstarted last year). Set in a pseudo-Celtic mythology setting, with dragons and castles in the sky, the goal of the game is to visit merchants to get resources and craft items, achieving prestige to rise within the Dragonite society, and eventually bribing a few officials or two along the way.

Feeling uninspired? Then I've got everyone's favorite board game's theme to cheer you up: pizzas! In Pizzachef, you will strive to be recognized as the best pizzaiolo of La Casa dello Chef, a restaurant whose owner retired and that you'd like to run in their stead. Little is said about the gameplay, but you will use cards to fulfill orders in an efficient way to gain a maximum of tips (apparently that's how the place keeps afloat!).

Las Vegas is another popular board game theme, and I think it can only get better with random monsters. Monsters Love Vegas is a flip-and-write trading game where the goal is to get the best vegas items (I am sorry, I have no clue what this could be) by the end of the 12 rounds that make the game. This should be offered on Kickstarter at some point.

Enough with these silly board game themes! Give me a classy abstract or I'll break my wooden meeples apart! Ok, ok, no need to become so dramatic, here you are: Yin Yang, an area control game about flipping tiles, triggering effects to achieve better control over the board. You can claim tiles and reserve some in a betting area to increase the final score. This is all I could gather, since the BGG description is the most illegible I have ever come upon.

The next title is pretty special since it features characters that show striking similarities with the Solitaire Times staff: the guy with garlic and a flask of olive oil is a wink to Athena's Balkanic location, JW is the best of us for communication stuff so he gets a crow, and since I am the younger kid of the crew, I end up with a helmet too large for me and oversized pants. You can follow our bloodthirsty adventures in The Hunters A.D. 1492, the medieval adaptation of The Hunters A.D. 2114, a successful board game of monster hunting and settlement building. Just like its post-apocalyptic counterpart, the game pits you against ravaging creatures, such as a devious megaloptera or a hungry rabid wolf. It plays across a campaign made of a series of "hunts" that play in around 60-90 minutes, and for which you must properly prepare by selecting the most adequate gear. The story leads you from town to town as you unfold your career as a monster hunter.

I have another monster-hunting game in store, Forest of the Demon, which favors a widely different approach and aesthetic. In this minimalistic mint-tin roguelike game, you can equip skills, loot, familiars even, as you look for the Demon in the heart of a monster-filled forest. Items may increase your stat levels (health, attack, magic), making it a bit reminiscent of One Deck Dungeon at first glance. Already available on the Game Crafter, and currently benefitting from a crowd sale.

An expansion to end the day, Bitoku: Resutoran (the Japanese phonetic adaption of "restaurant"), featuring box art with a widely different vibe than that of the base game. This expansion, described as the first of many, brings three new modules, as is suitable for any heavy Euro expansion, allowing for more dice mitigation options. Despite Dávid Turczi's fame, Bitoku does not seem to be much appreciated as a solo title, but maybe this expansion will give it a bit more flavor.

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