You're trudging through the icy winds of the frigid Melbourne winter. Your joints are stiff, your fingers are turning black, your hope is depleted. You step on to a ludicrously packed tram. Now you're too hot. You begin to sweat. You get off at your stop. Now you're even colder. You roll a D20 and nothing happens. You curse to yourself in your mother tongue. It won't be long now, you reassure yourself. Spring is coming. Surely there is some light at the end of the harsh tunnel of nature's cruelty?
But what's that on the horizon?! A mirage? A vision? A warm light greets your hopeful eyes. Your wintry sorrow is suddenly jettisoned from your body like happy tears! Let ye rejoice o' tabletop fan!!!
ITS NEW RELEASES AT MIND GAMES.
We're back with another 'Whats New?' and on hot the heels of spring we have a beautiful crop of new games for your boardgamey pleasure!
First (but not most) we have the inaugural expansion for 2017’s smash-hit and game of the year: Kingdomino: Age of Giants!
They weren’t kidding, because this box has a gargantuan amount of content. New challenge tiles (17 of them!) add a range of specific bonus goals that change every game; There’s twelve new dominoes for adding a 5th player; six ‘Giant’ meeples add a whole interactive mechanic into play; there’s even a scorepad; but the last feature – my personal favourite – is a domino dispenser with all new Kingdomino: Age of Giants based art! No need to fiddle around with your tiles in a bag or in a precarious stack on the table that will inevitably collapse (this isn’t Jengomino) - just drop them down the dispenser and pick them out easily from the bottom! One less problem in your stressful life to worry about!
Age of Giants plays with up to 5 would-be-monarchs and takes Kingdomino from a 15 minute game to a tidy 20.
While we’re looking at Blue Orange games, check out some of these fresh titles from some great designers:
Blue Lagoon is a new puzzle/strategy game from prolific game architect Reiner Knizia. Collect sets of resources across the various pacific islands and control the map. But be careful another player doesn’t get to the resource you need first! Blue Lagoon is a satisfying but relatively short strategy for 2-4 island hoppers.
Next up is Scarabya. Kingdomino designer Bruno Cathala’s other Blue Orange game, Scarabya is a geometrical strategy game set in a fictional archaeology based world. Play tetronimo shaped tiles on one of the four archaeological dig sites from the four corners of the globe! Collect important scarabs! Score points and block your opponents! Cathala has a made name for himself as the master of addictive tile-strategy and Scarabya is no exception. For its strategic complexity, Scarabya has an unbelievably quick 20 minute playing time for 1-4 true-blue diggers.
Blue Orange keeps on giving with games for the whole family! Check out Kang, the game of jumping kangaroos for all ages. Be the best coach for your marsupial team in Kang and make them score for victory! This is a kangaroo game that's not for roo-kies! (author’s note: as that previous sentence was copy and pasted from the publisher’s website, I would like to reassure readers that I didn’t write that last pun)
Kang plays in 10 minutes for 2 springy boomers.
Doodle Quest isn’t new per se but is back in print-town with a fresh look! Draw lines to replicate a path you have to memorise beforehand! Dodge obstacles in the deep sea environment better than your opponents! Visit starfish for bonus points! Doodle Quest is the original precursor to the popular Loony Quest but is a bit more kid-friendly. Plays with 2-5 doodlers and lasts around 25 minutes.
Lastly from our Blue Orange round up is the much-hyped Shaky Manor! This one looks like a legitimate blast for kids, their parents, their parent’s parents, their parent’s parent’s friends from bridge club and – if you’re an adult who’s not thinking about procreating any time soon (or playing bridge) – everyone at your next boozed up party! Players get their own tiny (3D) eight room mansion full of small objects you have to organise in different rooms just by tilting and shaking. Two randomised cards in the middle are flipped to denote the mission for the round – then race your friends or grandparent’s bridge friends to be the first to complete it!
...Its kind of hard to describe but do you remember those marble maze games from the 90’s? Shaky Manor is like the high-pressure, 4-player version of that.
Also called ‘Panic Mansion’ in some areas of the world, this one plays 1-4 for as long or as short as your anxiety levels can handle! Come into Mind Games for an in-store demo.
Want more for the kids? Try acclaimed children’s publisher Haba’s new dexterity game, Dino World! Flick dino cards at other dino cards to eat them! Careful though, if you land on the wrong card you’ll be dinner for a bigger dino! Plays in 10-15 minutes with 2-4 inaccurately depicted, de-feathered prehistoric reptiles .
If that’s not enough to satiate your unquenchably rabid hunger for quality gameplay and great looking art, sink your slavering maw into Race to the New Found Land! The new Euro strategy from Z-man everyone is talking about, Race to the New Found Land cleverly combines worker placement, area control, area influence and resource management into a race game of epic proportions. From the publisher’s website: ‘Daring sailors explore the oceans and make a gigantic discovery: Newfoundland. The newly found land.’
...Despite that ridiculously obvious hook sentence, people are already saying this one could be a contender for best Euro of the year. If you like deep strategy and exploration of both a world and its mechanics, this one is for you! Plays in 60-90 minutes for 2-4 brave settlers.
Last (but not least) is the new spin-off of the popular 2017 title, Century: Spice Road. Welcome to the high seas and the infamous Spice Islands in Century: Eastern Wonders!
Eastern Wonders invites fans to return to the exciting world of spice trading as players take to the high seas in the role of merchants seeking to prosper in the exotic Indonesian islands. Century: Eastern Wonders offers new, satisfying game mechanisms that provide infinite replayability and countless strategies.
And while that is cool and all, the best part is that this game can be combined with Century: Spice Road to create an entirely new game: Century: Sand to Sea! 2 games for the price of 1! Or maybe 3 games for the price of 2? Either way you’re looking at pure value incarnate.
Eastern Wonders plays in 30-45 minutes (wow!) and can be played with 2-5 keen spice-traders.
Well that's it for this week folks. Expect big, big (big!) news soon as we have a bunch of cool stuff incoming!
So stay tuned for another ‘What’s New?’ very soon. Meanwhile pop into 145 or 244 Swanston st. and say 'ahoy' and checkout these great games!
Xox Mind Games
PS: Oh yeah and there’s some kind of emoji themed party game that’s probably rude or something. Get it for your edgy millennial friends! Or if you’re an edgy millennial buy it 4 urself tru fam? Its called Emoji Party and it plays for 20 minutes for 3-12 group-chat enthusiasts.