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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Map the World, Eat Numbers, Make Paths of Mycelium, and Sniff Your Cards

by W. Eric Martin

• Canadian publisher Paper Plane Games debuted in 2020 with Uwe Rosenberg’s Fairy Trails, and for its sophomore release it’s aiming larger with Mapping the World from Amanda Vallerand and Louis Sédillot. (Kickstarter link)

In Mapping the World, you are a cartographer striving to become the best-known master of your trade by creating a map of the world. You’ll send out explorers to discover new territories, develop new tools, and manage your riches and influence at the royal court. Will you become the most prolific cartographer and win the game, or will one of your colleagues take the prize?

On your turn, either pick up cards from a common market (which will also change the rest of that market for the following players), or play cards from your hand to perform various actions, like moving your explorer’s ship or upgrading your equipment. The central action consists of mapping different parts of the globe, which will net you victory points as well as fulfill different objectives that change from one game to another. After a player has fulfilled a certain number of objectives, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

Numbsters is a solitaire game from Milan Zivkovic and Button Shy in which you need to eat all your cards in hand but one to win. (KS link)

To start, you have six random “Numbster” cards in hand along with the lone Mouth card. Each card has a number and a special ability. On a turn, draw a card, place it in the front of your hand, then optionally swap two cards or move one card to a different location. If the Mouth is between two cards with sequential numbers, the smaller number eats the larger one, with that card being removed. The ability on the frontmost card is active, so that might let the Mouth eat something else, after which the front card moves to the back. If the Mouth is ever up front, you lose, but if you shrink your hand to one Numbster and the Mouth, you win.

Arabella from Signe Aasoja and 2D6.EE mixes two genres — roll-and-write and 18xx — into a single hour-long game. On a turn, players draft dice to take a single action: buy shares, buy trains, build tracks, or run trains for income and dividends. (Gamefound link)

• In Mycelium: A Mushling Game, the first title from designer Eric Yadvish of YadCo Games, you use a hand of mushling cards to construct a network of mycelium pathways linked to nutrient trees, attack other players’ paths, and manipulate where the nutrients will appear at the end of the round. Ideally your gatherer mushlings will be in the right spot at the right time as the first player to gather ten nutrients wins. (KS link)

• Designer Noël Campana had advance copies of his trick-taking game DOUC IN DANGER for sale at SPIEL ’22, but now he’s crowdfunding more copies to reach a wider audience. (KS link)

• Each round in Shake That City from Mads Fløe, Kåre Torndahl Kjær, and AEG, the active player uses a ginchy randomization device to drop cubes in a 3×3 grid, then chooses one color of cubes to replicate on their personal board with tiles, while all other players can choose cubes of another color. Can you use those tiles to construct a well-designed city? (KS link)

Empire’s End from John D. Clair and Brotherwise Games has players bid to not take a disaster each round. In compensation for having part of their empire wrecked, they receive the resources bid by others as well as a compensatory power. For more details, head to this March 2022 GAMA Expo report. (KS link)

• Playing card producer MPC (Make Playing Cards) is running a crowdfunding campaign for a fried chicken-themed and -scented deck of cards. (KS link) The pitch: “Who doesn’t like the smell of fried chicken? Now you can enjoy playing a deck of cards whilst breathing in that delicious smell of fried chicken all at the same time.” In more detail:

Using micro technology, fried chicken fragrant essence oil is trapped inside tiny microcapsules which is then cleverly applied onto the cards as well as the tuck box so when you handle or rub the cards or box, the microcapsules break and release the delicious fried chicken aroma. The whole concept is genius. I mean a deck of cards already provides hours of fun, but now, you can have hours of fun while smelling fried chicken. It’s a match made in heaven!

Only a thousand decks will be produced! Mashed potato and gravy decks not sold separately! Do not bring this to my table!

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