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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Go for New Strategy Games, Solve Clues about a Murder, and Create Words to Win Monopoly

by W. Eric Martin

• Publisher Korea Boardgames is working with former professional Go grandmaster Lee Sedol to release a series of three abstract strategy games for two players under the heading “Wiz Stone”.

In Great Kingdom, each player attempts to build the largest kingdom by placing their castles in a shared territory and destroying the enemy’s castles. Says Korea Boardgames, “Great Kingdom simplifies Go without taking the fun away for experienced players, making it the perfect gateway into the world of Go.”

In Nine Knights, players need to reach goal tiles with the matching knight in order to win. The number a player places on a knight not only represents its goal tile, but also its strength in battle with enemy knights. Try to figure out the numbers of your enemy’s knights before they know yours.

King’s Crown combines elements of Go and Bingo, requiring both strategic thinking and a good memory. The game is divided into two phases: stone acquisition and stone playing. Your goal is to get a bingo by playing your chosen stones. Choose what information you will give your opponent and try to remember what you know about their game plan.

Great Kingdom has been released in Korea, and the other two games are due out in 2023. I don’t know of release plans outside of Korea, but I would wager on all of the titles being available at SPIEL ’23 in October.

• In case you’re in the market for another game mash-up, in Q4 2023 Winning Moves Games (under license from Hasbro) will release Monopoly Scrabble.

Yes, the chocolate and peanut butter of the mainstream game industry have been smooshed together in this design:

Monopoly Scrabble combines elements of both Monopoly and Scrabble, with players using letter tiles to build words, then moving around the game board based on their score. Build a word on a premium space, and you immediately claim a property. Custom Community Chest and Chance cards keep things moving at a fast pace.

When the final letter tile has been played, whoever has the highest total of cash and property value wins.

• Another Hasbro spinoff title that has hit the market — at least on Amazon in the U.S., with other retailers selling the game starting on August 1, 2023 — is Clue Conspiracy, which keeps all the murder of the original Clue, but with the players now divided as to whether that murder should happen or not.

Here’s an overview of the game, which is for 4-10 players:

As a guest at the luxe Black Adder Resort, you discover that someone (maybe even you!) wants to murder its manager, Mr. Coral. A series of deadly traps have been planted all over the resort — and someone is armed! Now you must solve the ultimate mystery: Who can you trust?

In Clue Conspiracy, players play as Clue characters and take on secret roles on opposing teams: Friends vs. the Conspiracy. The Friends work to save Mr. Coral and uncover the Who, Where, and What of the Conspiracy’s secret Plot. The Conspiracy tries to secretly sabotage the Friends and carry out Mr. Coral’s murder at a specific location and with a specific weapon. Both teams will also find clues to share — or not! Which side will succeed?

The Conspiracy wins by pulling off the murder plot at a specific location or by secretly sabotaging the Friends and setting off traps. The Friends win by disarming all the traps, or if that fails, solving the Who, Where, and What of the secret plot.

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