• In August 2021, I noted that AMIGO Games, the U.S. branch of German publisher AMIGO Spiel, had regained the rights to Uwe Rosenberg‘s trading card game Bohnanza and that it plans to release a 25th anniversary edition of the game in 2022.
At Gen Con 2021, head of AMIGO Games Alex Yeager passed along a few details about this title, namely that it will be released as a single large print run to ideally last for a decent portion of the year, but not stick around forever; that it will retail for at most US$25; that it will contain a new bean type (my money is on “jelly”); and that it will contain three variant games, one of which will use a collectible coin packaged in the box.
Other titles coming from AMIGO Games in the U.S. — all in October 2021 — are:
—2Can, a “golf”-style card game from Haim Shafir in which you attempt to trade cards to get the lowest score.
—Flip-Pix!, a real-time game in which you have double-sided cards with pictures on one side and letters on another. To begin play, you flip over a card from the deck so that it shows either images or letters (depending on how you set up the deck), then if it shows images, everyone looks at the letter side of their cards and races to find a letter that starts the name of one object depicted on the card. As soon as someone plays a card, everyone flips their cards to the image side to find something that begins with one of the letters on the card just played. Whoever plays all of their cards first wins.
—CLACK! Thwack!, which plays like Haim Shafir’s real-time game CLACK!, except that everyone has a stick with a suction cup on it, and you need to slap and grab cards that match whatever was rolled on the dice that round.
—Quick Cups, another real-time game from Haim Shafir, with players manipulating their five colored cups as quickly as possible to match a revealed pattern. As with Bohnanza, AMIGO Games has gained the rights to this design that originally appeared from AMIGO Spiel, but was first released in English by another publisher, in this case Spin Master.
—Magic Mountain, a design from Jens-Peter Schliemann and Bernhard Weber that I’ll describe in detail because it seems like a neat design with an unusual physical element:
To set up, place supports on the game board to elevate the starting area, then place six sorcerers’ apprentices in the back row and four witches on their designated starting spaces. Add the five colored will-o’-the-wisp marbles to the bag.
On a turn, draw a will-o’-the-wisp, then place it at the top of one of the six starting channels and let it go. If the will-o’-the-wisp hits a figure, the ball will stop. Pick up this figure and move it to the next open colored space on the winding path that matches the color of the will-o’-the-wisp. If you’re moving a sorcerers’ apprentice, you might want to do it quickly because if the will-o’-the-wisp hits that same figure, you can move it once again! Don’t rush moving the witches, though, since you want them to move as little as possible. If a will-o’-the-wisp doesn’t hit any figures, then you must move a witch of your choice to the next matching colored space. Once all five will-o’-the-wisps have been drawn, return them to the bag and start again.
If you manage to move four sorcerers’ apprentices to the bottom of the mountain before three witches get there, you win! You can adjust the difficulty of the game by requiring more sorcerers’ apprentices or fewer witches or both. Alternatively, you can play the game competitively, with each player or team trying to get their group of four figures down the mountain first.
You might notice the “Play together, not against each other!” tagline on the cover of Magic Mountain. Yeager noted that for the most part the company’s titles in the U.S. have been sold by toy stores, not game stores, so co-operative games might not be familiar to the AMIGO Games audience. That said, Yeager wants to ensure that AMIGO Games releases something more suited for hobby gamers, such as Alexander Pfister‘s Monster Expedition, at least once a year to keep a foothold in that market.
• Ivan Lashin‘s Furnace was on tables at the booth of both originating publisher Hobby World and licensing partner Arcane Wonders, with this being a 2-4 player game with an extremely clever bidding system in which you want to grind through raw materials to earn the most money. (For more details on the gameplay, head to my detailed overview from May 2021.)
Hobby World’s Julia Klokova said that an expansion is currently under development, with Furnace: Interbellum consisting of new characters with special powers, new aspects in the production chain, and a new twist on bidding.
• Publisher Restoration Games was awaiting many new titles that were in transit…somewhere other than Gen Con 2021, so it was demoing future releases on its main demo tables, with the highlights being Return to Dark Tower, which was funded on Kickstarter in February 2020, and…
Components not final
• Artisans of Splendent Vale from Nikki Valens and Renegade Game Studios is another title with a crowdfunding connection — with that Kickstarter having launched two days after Gen Con 2021 ended. I don’t recall seeing the game being demoed at the show, but you could marvel at the size of the box, which I estimate to be .65 descents. (I assume you’re familiar with that unit of measurement?)
• Aside from reliable sellers like BANG! and its Decktective game line, publisher dV Giochi brought approximately one hundred copies of Wonder Book from Martino Chiacchiera and Michele Piccolini to Gen Con 2021, with visitors playing the pop-up adventure game on one or two tables practically every time I passed the booth.
• Auction site eBay had a giant booth at Gen Con 2021, and many people speculated before the show what might be taking place there. Turns out that you could have your picture taken and placed on a trading card-like printout. Yes, you too could be Carol Lomas!
Okay, I discovered a bit more to this story later, and I’ll get to that in a future post…
• On the way to dinner on Thursday night, we met a new friend far from the convention center, a friend we only barely didn’t step on thanks to its camouflage.
• We also saw intriguing DNA-inspired signs/decorations outside the headquarters of pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company.
• Then we passed this amazing scene. Why settle for miniatures when you can set up the life-sized work at your home?