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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Forage in Wld Gardens, Create Portents, and Lower the Heat to See Daybreak

by W. Eric Martin

I’ve been stewing in SPIEL ’22 info for months, so before I start posting (more) about games seen and previewed at that show, I thought I’d sample other game announcements hitting my inbox, focusing on crowdfunded projects for this post.

• In Daybreak, designers Matt Leacock and Matteo Menapace have created a co-operative game in the vein of Pandemic, but with players in the role of world powers that are “deploying policies and technologies to both dismantle the engine of global heating and to build resilient societies that protect people from life-threatening crises”. So, a fantasy game.

Publisher CMYK plans to deliver Daybreak in mid-2023, and the crowdfunding project on BackerKit ends, well, October 20, the day this post goes live. As I said, SPIEL ’22 has kept me busy.

Leacock and Menapace have published six designer diaries about the game in the BGG forums that cover the design from initial broad strokes to details about loss conditions and replayability.

• The BackerKit project (link) for Carl Chudyk‘s Aegean Sea from Asmadi Games doesn’t go live until October 25 or thereabouts, but given that Innovation remains my #1 game after twelve years, I’m highlighting this game now.

I bought the limited edition release of Aegean Sea at Gen Con 2019 and have played it all of once, a victim to my tendencies to focus on work gaming instead of fun gaming, but the spirit of Aegean Sea struck me as extremely Innovation-like in that cards can be used in multiple ways — as islands, ships, temples, goods, or an island’s populace — and all 220 cards are unique. My opponent and I were overwhelmed with possibilities…which is the best way to be overwhelmed, I think.

• In Christopher Chan‘s Portents from New Mill Industries, you compete against another “charlatan fortune teller” by using match-3 style gameplay to create portents that allow you to collect omens, which you then assemble into fortunes in order to preserve your job in the castle. (KS link)

• U.S. publisher Rose Gauntlet Entertainment released its debut game, Keystone: North America, in September 2022, and for its next release designer and company co-owner Isaac Vega is presenting another game centered on an appreciation of nature: Wild Gardens, which challenges players to forage wild ingredients, cook delicious meals, upgrade your kitchen with new tools, and serve interesting guests, who reward you with points and special abilities.

This 1-4 player game will be crowdfunded on BackerKit in early 2023.

• Just in time for Halloween — oops, this crowdfunding project closed on October 7, 2022, but nevertheless I’m going to say a few words from Flick or Treat, a tiny dexterity game from Julio E. Nazario in which one ghost player attempts to capture the other players before they can collect all of the candy. This 3D-printed game includes candy tokens, but you can play with real candy, should you wish.

Everyone other than 67 backers have missed out on this title, but perhaps if enough people express a desire to flick ghosts at other times of the year, the creators will make it available once again.


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