Camels Race to the AquaSphere Port

May 29, 2014
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Show me the money…err I mean the prestigious award

Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres nominees were announced last week. The nominees are:

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Spiel des Jahres

  1. Camel Up
  2. Splendor
  3. Concept

Kennerspiel des Jahres

  1. Rococo
  2. Concordia
  3. Istanbul

The winners for both categories will be revealed July 14, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The designers of each winner will then proceed to swim in all the money and fame that these rewards garner.

pic1918028_mdGet a room, Camels!

Looking to capitalize on the hype of the Spiel des Jahres nominations, Z-Man Games announced that they will be handling the U.S. distribution of Steffen Bogen’s Camel Up. While the box art gives the uninitiated the impression that the game is about a group of camels caught in a compromising “hump” situation, it is actually a light hearted racing game where players will bet on which camel they think can make it around the pyramid first. Look for Z-Man Games version of Camel Up to hit stores sometime in 2014.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAVillage floods

Eggertspiele this week teased a Twitter photo of the upcoming Village Port expansion for Inka and Markus Brand’s smash hit Village. Judging by the picture, it appears that the wilderness area from the base game has flooded and the townspeople have decided to capitalize and build a port in its place.  I’m sure they don’t care as long as the pub is still standing! Not much else to report on this but I am very interested by this news. Stay tuned for further details.

Tonight, we dine on point salad!

BoardGameGeek News reported this week that Pegasus Spiele is working on a new game from prolific German designer, Stefan Feld, titled AquaSphere. Everyone’s favorite points vegetarian has been satiating the audiences’ appetite for his games, and fans are sure to be intrigued by this one as well. As described on its BoardGameGeek page:

News from the depths! The AquaSphere is a research facility stationed deep below the ocean’s surface, and your skilled team — consisting of an engineer, a scientist, a collection of reprogrammable bots, and an exploratory submarine or two — is trying to gather as much data as possible.

 

1558474_733705383340280_7789497161306415982_nThe game board in AquaSphere has two main areas: A research station comprised of six sectors in which your scientist conducts experiments and a headquarters where your engineer supervises preparation of the bots. During each of the four game rounds, you take several turns, and on each turn you either:

 

• Use your engineer in the headquarters to program a bot; each round you can choose from three of the seven actions.

• Have your scientist bring a bot to a sector to perform an action.

 

Through actions such as improving your lab, sending out submarines, collecting crystals, and examining octopuses, you expand the abilities of your team or gather knowledge points, which are necessary to win. Additional challenges result from the limited size of your personal lab; you can increase the size of it, making life easier, but this costs valuable time.

 

AquaSphere is a challenging game of strategy and tactics with different paths to victory that requires planning in advance as well as skillful use of short-term opportunities.

AquaSphere is due to occupy your shelf at some point in 2014 (most likely Q4).

1551New Races and Terrain Mystically Appear

It was also reported on BoardGameGeek News this past week that my current favorite game, Terra Mystica from designers Jens Drögemüller and Helge Ostertag, has an expansion on the way. As of now the expansion contains new scoring cards and an additional game board with two new terrain types: ice and volcanoes. There will also be 6 additional races! (As if I’ve had time to go through the 14 original ones!) The new races are Frosteen (teenage snowman), Yeti, Dragon Riders, Devotees (whip it real good!), Shapeshifters and River Runners.

I cannot wait for this to arrive. In the meantime, I need to get more plays of Terra Mystica in!

We literally use Magic to pay the bills

Users of their imaginations rejoice for Wizards of the Coast announced the launch of a free digital rulebook for basic Dungeons & Dragons available to download through its official website starting this summer. Fans of D&D more than likely owe this to the fact that Magic: The Gathering earns Wizards roughly 20 billion dollars a year. The announcement on their website states:

HomePage_DnDLogoBasic D&D is a PDF that covers the core of the game. It’s the equivalent of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia, though it doesn’t have quite the same scope (for example, it won’t go into detail on a setting). It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options.

But the best part? Basic D&D is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our website. We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.

For more details on basic Dungeons & Dragons head over to Wizard’s of the Coasts website.

Until next time, stay classy and keep your game(s) tight!

Dan H. (Nad)

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/PODCAST CO-HOST : Allow myself, to introduce myself. Boardgaming since the womb, I have an unsound infatuation with buying, playing, discussing, photographing, and writing about boardgames. As a boardgame aesthetics enthusiast (say that 5 times fast) you'll typically find that I spend a large majority of the game examining the design, art, and components. I prefer strategic eurogames but will play just about anything these days (except Arkham Horror). And I love Pearl Jam.

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