Zooloretto

Zooloretto

Each player uses small, large, wild, and exotic animals and their young to try to attract as many visitors as possible to their zoo, but must be careful. The zoo needs to be carefully planned as, before you know it, you might have too many animals and no more room for them. That brings minus points. Luckily, your zoo can expand. This is a zoo of a family game in which less is sometimes more.

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Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game

Crossroads is a new series from Plaid Hat Games that tests a group of survivors’ ability to work together and stay alive while facing crises and challenges from both outside and inside.

Dead of Winter is the first game in this series, designed by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour. It puts 2-5 players together in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity are either dead or diseased, flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game.

Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means the players are working together toward one common victory condition–but for each individual player to achieve victory, they must also complete their personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that’s fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or worst of all: vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group’s goal but don’t get walked all over by a loudmouth who’s only looking out for their own interests!

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Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Developer Stefan Brück at alea describes Las Vegas as “an easy, dice-rolling, fun-and-luck game with a lot of interaction and ‘schadenfreude'”. Who doesn’t love schadenfreude? (Well, other than those being schadened, I suppose…)

In more detail, Las Vegas includes six cardboard casino mats, one for each side of a normal six-sided die. For each mat, players draw money cards until at least $50k is showing, but the amount may end up being a lot more, making that casino more desirable.

Each player has eight dice of a different color, which they take turns rolling. When you roll your dice, you can choose to place them on the relevant casino cards; for example, a die showing a 1 will be placed on the casino mat marked “1”. You must place at least one die per turn, although you may place more. All players take turns doing this until all the dice have been used. Finally, the player with the most dice on each casino card takes the money associated with it. In case of a tie, the next non-tied player takes the highest-valued money card at that casino.

Las Vegas rates a 1 out of 10 on alea’s difficulty scale.

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Eight-Minute Empire

Short on time but you want to build a civilization? From Red Raven Games, the people behind the board games Empires of the Void and City of Iron, comes Eight Minute Empire. In Eight-Minute Empire, 2-4 players take turns selecting a card from six displayed. The card gives a good, and also has an action that the player takes immediately. Actions help players take over the map, but sets of goods are worth points at the end of the game, so players have to balance the two aspects. Eight-Minute Empire is the super-quick area control game with tough decisions. It’s easy to learn and perfect for when you only have a few minutes.

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Tokaido: Crossroads

Tokaido: Crossroads

The Tokaido is ready to unveil a few more treasures for the most faithful Travelers: cherry trees in full bloom, luxurious bathhouses, good luck charms, calligraphy, legendary objects, and even clandestine gambling rooms are now part of the journey! Tokaido: Crossroads, an expansion for the game Tokaido, will open up new doors and many new possibilities to make your journey even richer and more strategic.

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Pandemic: On the Brink

Pandemic: On the Brink

Pandemic: On the Brink is an expansion to our popular cooperative game, Pandemic, where players take on roles to work together to find cures to 4 diseases.

In this expansion you will find seven new roles; eight new special events; and several challenge kits to be added to the basic game play.

Virulent Strain Challenge: makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways.

Mutation Challenge: adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.

Bio-Terrorist Challenge: one player plays against the others!

You may also play with 5 players and play on Legendary level!

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Arctic Scavengers

Arctic Scavengers

In the year 2097, the entire Earth was enveloped in a cataclysmic shift in climate, plunging the globe into another ice age. Nearly 90% of the world’s population was eliminated, driving the survivors to band together into loose communities and tribes.

In Arctic Scavengers, you are the leader of a small tribe of survivors. Resources, tools, medicine, and mercenaries are all in scarce supply. You and your tribe are pitted against up to four other tribes in a fight for survival. Build up your tribe, skirmish against other players head-to-head, or even bluff your way to victory.

The player with the largest tribe at the end of the game is declared the winner!

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Yedo

Yedo

Japan, 1605 – Hidetada Tokugawa has succeeded his father as the new Shogun, ruling from the great city of Edo (a.k.a. Yedo), the city known in present times as Tokyo. This marks the beginning of the golden age of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the so-called Edo Period that will last until 1868. Naturally, the most powerful families in Edo immediately try to curry favor with the new Shogun – and this is the opportunity our clan has been looking for, our chance at power and glory. Our clan will prove ourselves to be indispensable to the new Shogun. We will work from the shadows to acquire information about our rival clans. We will kidnap those who might oppose our ascent and assassinate those who prove a threat. We will use cunning to prevent our adversaries from doing the same to us. We will find glory and honor in the eyes of this new Shogun – or failing that we will end his rule by any means necessary.

In the strategy game Yedo, players assume the roles of Clan Elders in the city of Edo during the early years of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The object of the game is to amass Prestige Points, mainly by completing missions. To do so, players must gather the necessary assets and – most importantly – outfox their opponents and prevent them from completing their missions.

There are several ways to reach your goal. Will you try to complete as many missions as possible and hope that your efforts catch the Shogun’s eye? Or will you choose a more subtle way of gaining power by trying to influence the Shogun during a private audience? You can also put your rivals to shame by buying lots of luxury goods from the European merchants. It’s all up to you – but be careful to make the right choices, for in Yedo, eternal glory and painful disgrace are two sides of the same coin…

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New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam

Nieuw Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch West Indies Company in order to encourage the lucrative beaver pelt trade with the local Native American hunters along the Hudson River. To establish a trading post there, they needed a town and a fort, which was built on the tip of Manhattan Island. To encourage European patrons – that is, settlers of means or noble birth – to populate the colony, they granted them both land and indentured servants. The patrons became the lords of a new feudal system not unlike that seen in Europe.

In Nieuw Amsterdam, players are those patrons, and they bid on action lots in order to build businesses, work land for both food and building materials, compete in elections, ship furs to the Old World, and trade with the Lenape Indians – a process that gets more complicated as players claim more land and push the Lenape camps farther up the Hudson River.

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne

In Carcassonne, players build the area surrounding this impressive city, one tile at a time. They then place a follower on fields, cities, roads or monasteries in order to score as many points as possible. These followers will become knights, monks, farmers and thieves, depending on where they are placed. No matter their followers’ function, the player who places their followers most intelligently, and who builds the playing area most deviously, will win the game.

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