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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Deliver Papers, Fight for Higher Wages, Fill Your Cruise Ship, and Remember the Magnificent

by W. Eric Martin

• At the start of September 2023, I wrote about the shared booth that Japanese publishers Saashi & Saashi, itten, and Oink Games will have at SPIEL ’23, and now the former publisher has revealed that it will debut a new release at that show: Saashi‘s Newsboys.

Here’s an overview:

Newsboys / ニュースボーイ is a flip-and-roll-and-write game for 1-4 players about paperboys in Brooklyn, New York in the 1890s.

During the game, you mark Xs on your player board with a pen to gradually expand your newspaper delivery area. Each turn, someone flips the top card of the deck to reveal three icons, and each player rolls their three dice; each player then chooses one icon and marks off as many of those spaces on their board as the number of icons visible on the cards and their dice.

Earn icons from blocks of different types such as offices, homes, school, factories, and shops. Earn points in the game (and at game’s end) for expanding your delivery area faster than the other players. However, if you don’t demand higher wages through strikes, then all your work will earn you less.

Whoever earns the most points wins.

• In addition to a selection of older titles, Saashi & Saashi will have its earlier 2023 release on hand: Come Sail Away!, a co-design by Saashi and Daryl Chow:

Come Sail Away! is a board game for 1-4 players in which you compete to board passengers upon your luxury liner, bringing them to their favorite cabins and facilities. Players can enjoy a deliciously thoughtful and brightly illustrated game that is simple to learn, yet always challenging.

The aim of Come Sail Away! is to guide passengers into your cruise ship as smoothly as possible, earning points in the process. In addition to earning points for filling each room on the ship, you can earn bonus points for filling certain rooms faster than other players. Further, by guiding passengers with luggage to their cabins, players can advance on the luggage track, allowing you to place additional small cabins, gain additional passengers, and earn bonus points. As the game progresses, it is also important to think ahead and make sure your ship has room for passengers, or else you will have a crowd of disgruntled passengers at hand!

• Another first-timer at SPIEL ’23 (at least far as I am aware) is Korean publisher Underdog Games. I don’t know how much of its catalog will be on hand, but I do know of two releases, both of which look gorgeous and which I’m looking forward to trying in person.

Both games come from designer KIMKUN, who is the head of Underdog Games, and they are described as storytelling-based deduction games with communication limits — but the descriptions are more intriguing than clarifying:

From 2022, we have #inconversible: Dawn erasing you, with one player being the owner of a social network service (SNS) and everyone else being players. Here’s the description:

In the quiet dawn, the main character (the owner) who just broke up with his lover is trying to delete an SNS photo album containing memories with him/her.

They deleted it by leaving a hashtag, but they couldn’t erase the most precious memory.

The other players follow the adjective hashtag left by the owner of the SNS, and flip picture tiles that are the most distant from the feeling the hashtag gives. If the last picture tile after the fifth round is the most precious memory, everyone wins. If you overturn the most precious memory during the round, everyone loses immediately.

Leave only one precious memory.

#inconversible: Magnificent Yomi from 2023 seems to feature similar gameplay:

Yomi, a girl with red hands, has become an old man and traveled to the fantastic world of “Magnificent”.

Now Yomi in bringing together local children to show them her album of memories and tell the story of “Magnificent” that she experienced.

But be careful because her album contains a fake memory. If you mention that fake memory (that is, if you flip it over), everyone loses.

#inconversible: Magnificent Yomi is listed in the BGG database as having only a Japanese/Korean edition, whereas #inconversible: Dawn erasing you is an English/Korean edition, but ideally translations will be on hand.

As I’ve written many times, SPIEL is my favorite convention because everyone is gathering for the same purpose: communicating through games, no matter where you’re from, and I’m thankful for the effort people make to share their creations.


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