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Freshly Added to BGG - May 25, 2023

Oh no! You didn't get enough board game goodness during last Kickstarter Tuesday, and now you are craving for better titles to look forward to? Who knows, maybe with this week's selection, we might get you something to trigger your cardboard appetite.

I'll start with my best shot, offering you no less than being a god. What's best to be? In Almighty, you will create, destroy, demand from your people as only a god can demand, all the while fostering belief and attracting followers, up until the End of Times when you will reap VP and see how you managed. The game mechanics are based on worker placement and tableau building, relying on Acts performed by lesser gods to implement your will upon the mortal lands. A Kickstarter release is likely, given the previous game of the publisher has been crowdfunded.

Speaking of gods, what about temples? Published by Ludonova (which entails a retail release), Amristar: The Golden Temple tasks you with the construction of the most sacred site in the Sikh religion. To achieve so, you will deal with a mancala system and manage your workforce (including an elephant) to collect resources, make donations to the temple to gain prestige in the process, and become all the wiser at the same time by striding on different knowledge paths. It's all a bit confusing to me, but I guess you get the general idea.

Don't try too much though: no matter how beautiful your temple may be, it will never be deemed as attractive as those from afar, because, as we all know, on your neighbor's lawn, Grass is Greener. But it may be a good time to change this, and this trashy take-that card game with an improbable solo mode offers you this very opportunity: waste your neighbor's lawn, so that no flamingo may ever outshadow your lovely gnomes.

Gardening is definitely no longer zen and peaceful, and Poison Garden confirms this trend. In this soon-to-be-kickstarted solitaire card game, you are locked in a deadly garden, forced to tend for the plants or the doors will stay shut. In the meanwhile, weeds try to engulf the alleys into chaos, and only your caretaking skills may grant you freedom in the end. And if you are devious enough to try this, you may give he game a more challenging flavor by adding poisonous plants that require extra precaution on your part.

If you enjoy turning everyday subsistence activities into deadly hazards, you may also want to have a look to Survival Kitchen, a cooking game set in a post-apocalyptic word, where ingredients are not only a rare commodity, but also perilously toxic more often than not. This game is quite one of a kind, being a real-time, deck-building, hybrid app-driven game, where you scan ingredients before adding them to the cauldron in the hope of serving the best meal to your patrons, giving them a little tickle of taste and piquancy in their bleak and wasted existences.

To stick with questionable cauldron contents, Boil + Trouble has you taken the role of witches, whose collective goal is to ensnare and devour six children (don't ask me why six, this must be some obscure ritual stipulation, magic being kindof a persnickety accountant at times). The goal is to attract your victims alongside paths leading up to your boiling cooking pot, with the help of your loyal minions - but beware! Well-minded heroes are roaming the forests and they will ruthlessly thwart your plans if you let them. Since the rules rely on limited communication (all witches share the same cauldron and throw in ingredients to perform their craft), I do not know how the game fares in solo. Announced as an upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Time for a complete change of atmosphere with Planta Nubo, a bright and optimistic take on the future by a trio of designers (La Granja's designer Mike Keller and Adreas Odendahl, and Uwe Rosenberg): as the planet was being scorched by climatic catastrophe and turning into an overall desert, the remaining trees revealed a new nature-based technology to humankind, which from then on could live in harmony with nature in a beautiful and peaceful world. These semi-sentient trees, the Arbors, crucially need oxygen though, and it is up you to develop your own Arbor into both a fully grown and majestic tree, and a shelter for the remnants of humankind, collecting resources and trading around with your bee-like airships. Worker placement and tile-laying await around the corner. Likely a retail release.

After the tree tops, the abyss: in Sirens - The Deep Sea, you will dive into a realm of mermaids and monsters, of precious corals and merciless fights. The game describes itself as a world-building game that plays over the three levels of a 3D structure, as you collect resources, trade, fight, make combos of spells, conquer new castles, and face off bosses. This is by the same designer/publisher as the unsuccessful Kingdoms of Akandia, and it will go into the crowdfunding arena through Gamefound in 2024.

And now some rehashed contents, with the episodes 3 and 4 of Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles, launching on Gamefound this Fall. Your little colony, born out of the wreckage of your space ship, has grown into a full-fledged city, and Dino Riders are sent away to chart the distant lands. Episode 3 is built around this concept, as you improve your city based on the advantages that the newly found discoveries of your roaming riders gradually grant you. All of this is not to last, however, and episode 4 takes a darker path - that you are left free to guess, since it won't be revealed until the next few months. Of course, Dávid Turczi is still in charge of the solo mode design.

Next, we move to an expansion for War of the Ring: The Card Game, Against the Shadow, whose chief and only purpose is to grant the game a solo/cooperative mode. In this game pitting the good guys against Evil Sauron, you will get to play as the Free People, while your industry-prone, aesthetic-averse adversary is governed by a flowchart worthy of its cold, mechanical mindset.

And as usual I end with the free PnP pick of the week, Sunlight, a game about arranging cacti into a beautiful landscape, ensuring that each pot still has enough light for the plants to thrive. All required files are available straight away on BGG.

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