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Svarog's Den - Board Games

New Editions for New Times: Wiz-War, Expedition, Cranium, and Camel Up: The Card Game

by W. Eric Martin

• I first wrote about Steve Jackson Games acquiring the rights to Tom Jolly‘s Wiz-War in November 2019, and after more than three years SJG has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the ninth edition of this classic game, with delivery anticipated in Q3 2023.

Steve Jackson, who has overseen development of this edition, notes that it’s a back-to-basics version that is complete in one box with no expansions forthcoming. From the Kickstarter FAQ: “I absolutely don’t envision any [supplements]. All the ‘good stuff’ for Wiz-War is in this game, and if we duplicated it with different spell names or something, we’d be cheating you. An expansion would not be a good use of our time or your $$$!”

• A title three-quarters as old as Wiz-War is also returning in a new edition: Wolfgang Kramer‘s Expedition, which French publisher Super Meeple will release in July 2023 as Expéditions.

In case you’re not familiar with the design, here’s an overview:

Expedition is a game about moving three commonly held expeditions around the world in search of various archaeological sites. The board shows a map of the world with many different branching paths, and players advance the expeditions by placing plastic arrows. When an expedition arrives at a location that matches one of your private site cards or one of the public site cards, you score that card. Certain spaces on the board allow you to play again immediately, and other spaces allow you to pick up a bonus action card that you can play at any time on one of your turns.

The game ends when someone has scored all of their cards, then whoever has the highest total score wins. (Public goals are worth more than private goals.)

I found it amazing to look at the BGG page and discover that (1) I’ve played Expedition more than thirty times and (2) I haven’t played it since 2009. I need to dig out my copy and introduce it to the youngsters who attend my game days…

• Of a similar era is the party game Cranium, and in January 2023 Funko Games signed a licensing deal with Hasbro — which bought the Cranium game line in 2008, ten years after its debut — to celebrate that game with the Q2 2023 release of Cranium 25th Anniversary Edition.

This game will feature eight hundred new questions across eighteen diverse activities that will have you sketching, acting, humming, sculpting, picture-puzzling, and word-unscrambling.

In Q3 2023, Funko Games will follow this initial release with new editions of Cranium Hullabaloo and Cranium Hoopla, as well as the new title Cranium Big Brain Detective Game, which seems akin to the MicroMacro game line, with players looking for clues in a wildly busy image to solve mysteries (and with this game line being similar to earlier things that present similar challenges, of course).

• Of more recent vintage is Steffen Bogen’s Camel Up Cards, which debuted in 2016 and which is coming back to print from Pretzel Games as Camel Up: The Card Game, with new art by Chris Quilliams and a “crazy camel” similar to those in Camel Up (Second Edition) that race backward on the track. This title is due out late in Q2 2023.

• And I’ll have news of an even more recent new edition a few hours after this post goes live. Any guesses before the press embargo ends?


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