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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Collect Lumens in the Lost World, Cycle Cards in Mind Up, and Protect Precious Works in The A.R.T. Project

by W. Eric Martin

The Festival International des Jeux (FIJ) opens on February 24, 2023, so I thought I’d highlight some of the titles that will debut or be previewed at that show, starting with Lumen: The Lost World from designers Bruno Cathala and Corentin Lebrat and publisher Lumberjacks Studio, with art by the ever-present Vincent Dutrait.

Lumen: The Lost World is a two-player game due out in France in April 2023, with an English version also in the works. Here’s an overview:

In Lumen, two peoples clash in the Lost World where the seasons coexist in harmony. The inhabitants are another matter, mind you, with the People of the Day and the People of the Night at perpetual war for possession of the Lumens.

The game is a territorial duel driven by a roll-and-write mechanism, and players will try to spice up their choices and recruit mercenaries by developing the skills of their factions. Each round, the players choose to combine the result on two dice in order to recruit fighters and give orders to those existing on the board. Each territory is worth Lumens. With each movement, reveal the discovery tokens that will bring you Lumens or bonus actions. The player with the most Lumens wins.

The game comes with seven different scenarios.

• In October 2023, Vincent Dutrait and Lumberjacks Studio will come together again for The A.R.T. Project, a game for 1-6 players from Florian Sirieix and Benoit Turpin. The briefing:

You are part of the Art Rescue Team, with the aim of fighting against “The White Hand”, an organization responsible for many thefts of priceless works across the planet. Your team of specialists, the best in their field, will travel from Japan to Rio de Janeiro via Scandinavia in order to recover stolen works of art. Will you manage to gather, together, enough clues in the allotted time to stop this cultural looting?

In the co-operative game The A.R.T. Project, you play together against the game. Each player draws two mission cards at the beginning of each round, then all players decide the order of the round. Your jerrycan reserves, weapons, allies, and clues are all held in common, and their management is essential.

When you play a mission, you spend common resources and find clues that will be useful to everyone. Try to save seven works before the end of the mission deck…

• Florian Sirieix is also co-designer on Time Collectors with Mareva Beauchamps, with this game from Belgian publisher Lubee Edition due out in March 2023. The short pitch for this design: “Use 4D10 to travel through time!”

The slightly longer pitch:

The year is 8052, and time travel is possible now. Time Collectors invites you to combine dice to travel through time, collect cards, and earn more points than your opponents.

In more detail, roll your 4D10 dice and organize them to select the year to which you want to travel. Use time crystals to alter your results. Collect the riches of the past on your personal board in order to claim achievement cards and end up with the most beautiful collection of all time.

Mind Up! from Maxime Rambourg and Catch Up Games is a card game for 3-6 players with a simple premise and lots of interactivity. Sounds like a recipe for what I want to see on the table!

Here’s how to play:

In Mind Up!, you start with a line of cards on the table, with as many cards as players. Each turn, players pick a card from their hand and simultaneously reveal it to make a new line, ordered from the lowest to the highest card. Each player then takes the card in the previous line at the same position as the one they just played, adding it to their tableau. These cards will score points at the end of the round, depending on their color and the order they were picked. After being scored, they become the player’s hand for the next round.

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