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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Start Fresh with Hotel, For the Queen, Good Cop Bad Cop, and Keystone: North America

by W. Eric Martin

Here’s the latest round-up of “everything old is new again” in the tabletop game industry:

• To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Geoffrey HayesHotel, a.k.a., Hotel Tycoon, in Q1 2024 Ooba Games will release a new/retro edition of the game with the 3D buildings still being a prominent element.

• On May 14, 2024, Darrington Press will release a second edition of Alex Roberts‘ storytelling game For the Queen, which debuted in 2019 from Evil Hat Productions. The prompt cards are part of what drive the gameplay, and the art in this edition is entirely new, so even if you’ve played before, you might something appealing here.

Pull the Pin Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a fourth edition of Good Cop Bad Cop from designers Brian Henk and Clayton Skancke, as well as a new Zombies expansion, with eliminated players now joining a third team — zombies! — with their own victory condition.

Japanime Games will crowdfund a second edition of Heart of Crown, a deck-building game that debuted in 2011 from designer ginkgo and publisher FLIPFLOPs. This edition features updated card text, graphic design, and layout, as well as a new card type.

• U.S. publisher Rose Gauntlet Entertainment plans to crowdfund a second edition of Keystone: North America, a design by Jeffrey Joyce and Isaac Vega, with the publisher promising new art, updated rules, refreshed tokens, and a reduced player count…which seems like an unusual choice. Notes the publisher: “After listening to your feedback and seeing what you enjoyed most about first edition, we went back to the lab to cook up the most streamlined experience possible. The result is a tighter game more focused on what it does best, resulting in a reduced player count (now 1-2 players) and price!”

The game previously accommodated 1-4 players, but I’ve played only with two, so I can’t say whether more players altered the experience. Maybe with two copies you can have more people in the same game? I’m sure details will emerge by the time the crowdfunding campaign launches in April 2024.

On top of this, RGE plans to release Keystone: North America – Coastal Expansion, which will introduce new species, mechanisms, and solo and co-op adventures, with this expansion being designed for compatibility with both editions of the base game.


My question with every new edition released: Do we have to create a new listing for this item in the BGG database? Does a reduction in player count require that? How much have the rules been updated? Does a new card type in Heart of Crown make this a different game from the original? Does the fourth edition of Good Cop Bad Cop get its own listing given that the third edition did, or is it close enough to just rename the Good Cop Bad Cop (Third Edition) listing?

I recognize BGG is inconsistent on such things, but I invite you to propose a system that doesn’t require re-starting the database from scratch that will allow for the consistent cataloguing of new editions of games. How many cards being added to a game make it new? What about new solitaire rules? Or solitaire rules with extra components for solitaire play? Or (given the example above) fewer components?

I’ve seen some people argue that any change should get a new listing and others argue that all of the Ticket to Ride games should be on the same page.

I favor a system in which all of the differences — player count, rules, new components, changes in cards, etc. — are pushed down into versions, leaving us with, say, a single Good Cop Bad Cop page, but even then is Puerto Rico 1897 the same as Puerto Rico? What about Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue and Penguin Party, which were briefly symbiotic? I wrote a lot about that latter situation in 2014, and nothing’s changed since then…except for the varied ways in which publishers release new editions.


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