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Assist Charles Darwin, Write Books of Time, and Play with Vital Lacerda’s Inventions

by W. Eric Martin

• With Vital Lacerda‘s Weather Machine now out from Eagle-Gryphon Games, let’s turn to the next release from this designer/publisher combo, with Ian O’Toole once again providing art and graphic design — Inventions: Evolution of Ideas, which will be crowdfunded in 2023 for release in 2024.

Here’s a brief look at the game concept:

Since the dawn of time, humanity has sought new ideas, forever developing them into still newer concepts. Their genius made them stand out from the other animals. Each invention is a veritable evolutionary step. Humans’ use of tools surpasses the efforts of all others, making Homo sapiens technologists since before historical records were invented.

Inventions: Evolution of Ideas follows humanity’s most noteworthy innovations and places the power of these technological developments in your hands to evolve your societies over the ages.

In Inventions, cards simulate these new concepts. Cards are the ideas that eventually become inventions. Once they are invented, these technologies can be shared with the world, and everyone involved in the process spreads the exciting news, giving credit where credit is due. Developing these inventions progresses your society, advancing its technology, economy, and culture. You can even share with other societies, boosting the inventions’ efficacy even more!

Inventions is a tactical game, but you will do best by building these tactics around a long-term strategy. Each society’s progress will be measured in Invention Points (IP), and the player who has the most IP has the strongest society and wins the game.

• Polish publisher Board&Dice has announced a new game for release in June 2023, and while this title has a “T” in it, the game does not seem akin to the publisher’s usual “T” offerings. Here’s an overview of Books of Time, a 1-4 player game from Filip Głowacz:

The history of humankind has been written down for thousands of years. Our technological achievements, geographical discoveries, and the will to prosper are weaved into intricate threads spread throughout books that tell the story of our time on Earth. Now you have the chance to shape this story.

Books of Time puts a unique and exciting twist on tableau building, allowing you to construct three great books, each with their own sets of special abilities that you can write, thereby creating incredible combinations. The story of a civilization is now truly at your fingertips.

Three types of pages go into player books: trade, science, and industry. During the game, you add pages to these books to create powerful combinations of actions that you can activate. You need to efficiently manage your resources to create the books that will meet your personal objectives and score you the most points.

Teaser• For those who do want more “T”, Board&Dice will run a crowdfunding campaign in 2023 for a deluxe edition of Daniele Tascini‘s Teotihuacan: City of Gods that will include the base game, all expansions, all promos, and deluxe components, with a “beauty pack” available for those who already own everything for the game.

• For another take on the power of books, in Q3 2023 French publisher Sorry We Are French will release In the Footsteps of Darwin, a 2-5 player game from designers Grégory Grard and Matthieu Verdier that has you walking where the title tells you to:

Twenty years after his expedition around the world, Charles Darwin is writing On the Origins of Species. He wants to gather new information about animal life, particularly about continents he hardly explored. Who other than young naturalists, eager for discovery, could help the renowned scholar finish writing his most famous work?

In In the Footsteps of Darwin, players are junior naturalists who have just arrived aboard the Beagle to help Charles Darwin finish his book On the Origin of Species. During this journey, you will study animals, carry out cartographic surveys, publish your findings, and develop theories. Starting with the naturalist controlling the Darwin token, naturalists take turns in clockwise order, performing these two steps in order:

— Study an animal or take inspiration from a character: Choose one of the three tiles facing the Beagle and place it onto your naturalist’s notebook. It may be either an animal to study or a character from the Beagle’s previous journey who will inspire you. Gain the bonuses depicted or any additional scoring bonuses triggered by the tile’s placement.

— Voyage of the Beagle: After placing a tile on your notebook, move the Beagle as many spaces forward as the distance between the Beagle and the tile you just selected (1-3 spaces), then draw a new tile to replace the empty space on the journey board.

Your goal is to score more points than your opponents to determine who contributed the most to On the Origin of Species.

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