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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Organize the Right Wizards, Accuse the Right Murderer, and Pick the Right Ringbearer

by W. Eric Martin

It’s easy for tiny games to be overlooked at conventions, so here are a few that will be featured at SPIEL ’23:

Rikki Tahta of La Mame Games has announced his newest design: Accuse!, a card game for 2-4 players:

Accuse! is in the tradition of classic murder deductions but shorter and more interactive. Plant traps, hide information, and mislead your opponents while you work out the solution first.

The game consists of 18 evidence cards: 6 suspects, 6 weapons and 6 locations. Three cards are removed from play, and the rest are dealt out to players. On your turn, you declare a card and place it face down in its location. If anyone suspects you of bluffing, they can challenge…at the risk of revealing one of their own cards.

At any stage, anyone can stop the game to start an accusation. If they are right, they win; if wrong, they are out and the remaining players bid to see who makes the next accusation.

Wizards Cup is a new two-player game from Seiji Kanai and Jelly Jelly Games that from this short description sounds like a scaled-down version of Challengers!:

Tonight starts the Wizards’ Cup, a magical dueling tournament held once every century. As the king of a country, you will select the six best wizards from your kingdom and decide the order in which they will compete. Yes, your role ends there, and all that remains is to watch your trusted wizards battle it out.

In Wizards Cup, you want to build the best team you can, anticipating how your opponent might attack, and ideally show off your country’s strength in the magical world.

Maybe a better comparison would be to one of those robot fighting leagues in which participants bring their creation to the arena, then see who can get their attacks through unexpected defenses.

• Italian publisher Horrible Guild has announced that two new Similo titles will be available at SPIEL ’23, starting with Similo: Board Games 2023.

The thirty cards of Similo: Board Games 2023 each feature a different game that’s debuting at SPIEL ’23 — including Horrible’s own Quicksand and Sunrise Lane — and this item is free with the purchase of any of the depicted games from the publisher of said game. Horrible hasn’t released a list of included games, but a promotional image shows cards of Karak II, Humanity, and Challengers! Beach Cup. I imagine the publishers featured will be promoting this freebie in their booths and on social media since it’s a great cross-promotional item.

The other item is Similo: The Lord of the Rings, with the cards featuring characters from the Tolkien trilogy in the standard Similo style used by artist Naïade.

In case you’re not familiar with the co-operative deduction game Similo, you can check out my overview from 2019.

• At SPIEL ’23, Horrible Guild will also release Evergreen: Pines and Cacti, an expansion for Hjalmar Hach‘s Evergreen that introduces two expansion modules with plants that relate to light and shadow differently than other plants. Small pines grow into large pines spontaneously if they’re in shadow at the end of a season, whereas cacti grow quickly, but die if they’re not kept in the light.

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