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Inflate the Value of Your Tricks, Outwit Scotland Yard as Jekyll or Hyde, and Go for an Instant Win in TRICKTAKERs

by W. Eric Martin

To follow up yesterday’s designer diary about the two-player trick-taking game Jekyll vs. Hyde, I thought I’d highlight a few other announcements regarding trick-taking games:

• U.S. publisher New Mill Industries has signed a licensing deal with designer Taiki Shinzawa for the release of new editions of his trick-taking games Zimbabweee Trick (2019) and Dois (2014).

Zimbabweee Trick is meant to simulate currency hyperinflation, with players adding their most recently played card to previously played cards to create larger and larger values. Whoever takes the most tricks in a round scores nothing, whereas those who make their bid exactly score more per trick than those who didn’t make their bid. New Mill will release this design under the name Inflation!

Dois, which will be released as Charms, gives you hand of number cards and suit cards. On your first turn, you play out one of each, but then you play only one card per turn, changing only number or suit as you attempt to make your bid.

TRICKTAKERs is a 2021 release from designer Hiroken and publisher Joyple Games that will receive an English-language release from Portland Games Collective.

The game lasts three rounds of five tricks each, and to win you want to win two of the three rounds OR not take a trick in any of the three rounds OR fulfill your character’s victory condition. (If none of that happens, whoever has the most points wins.) Yes, players draft characters after receiving their hand of five cards, and those characters have special powers. The King, for example, gets an übertrump card in place of any other card in their hand, chooses a character first in the next round, and automatically wins if they sweep all five tricks in the game’s final round. Before each trick, the Hermit can draw a card from the deck, then discard one from their hand, scoring points if they win 0, 3, or 4 tricks in a round and winning the game if they win all five.

Portland Games Collective also plans to release TRICKTAKERs: Expansion Set, which contains seven new character roles, and TRICKTAKERs Little, an expansion set that adds items and roles. These versions will keep the art of the original games.

Roles in TRICKTAKERs Little

• What’s more, designer Hiroken is running a Kickstarter campaign through February 2023 for English and Japanese versions of KINGs: TRICKTAKERs, which features a similar concept to the earlier release.

In KINGs: TRICKTAKERs, the game once again lasts three rounds, but now with players simply trying to score as many points as possible. Each round, you draft a number of characters, using the front side of two characters for their abilities and the back side of a third character for that round’s bid.

• And to end where we started Korean publisher Mandoo Games has announced a standalone sequel to Jekyll vs. Hyde titled Jekyll & Hyde vs Scotland Yard, with original designer Geonil being joined by Gaëtan Beaujannot and Olivier Cipière for another two-player-only trick-taking game, albeit one that is now co-operative.

Here’s a quick overview of the game, along with a mock-up cover by Vincent Dutrait:

You’re Dr. Jekyll, the kind doctor and valuable friend — but you’re also the infamous Mr. Hyde, who is hunted by Scotland Yard for the many misdeeds committed in the City of London. Your objective is to maintain the balance in the duality of your personality, while staying ahead of Scotland Yard’s investigation.

This is a story-based game in which you have to achieve the objectives of every chapter of the story to complete the game.

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