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Revisit Black Friday, Play Seasons in Holly Oak, and Flip for Freaky Frogs From Outaspace

by W. Eric Martin

• I’ve already written about Faiyum: Privileges, but it turns out that designer Friedemann Friese of 2F-Spiele has at least three other items that will be released by SPIEL ’23 in October.

Black Friday is a revised edition of Friese’s 2010 stock market game of the same name…or named Schwarzer Freitag if you have the German edition. In this game, 2-5 players try to gain as much gold as possible by dealing in shares before the huge stock market crash. Ideally you can earn cash by cleverly buying and selling shares, thereby manipulating the market development and share prices, then spend it on gold to lock in your wealth.

Black Friday includes an independently acting opponent, the M.I.B.S. (minimally intelligent broker service), that you can use or not depending on the number of players in the game.

• Friese has released a few solitaire games over the years — Friday, Finished!, and 5×15 — and now he’s releasing a new one: Freaky Frogs From Outaspace, a card game that simulates a pinball machine. An intro:

Try to keep playing as long as possible, relying both on skill and luck. If everything runs perfectly, you will start the nerve-wracking Multiball, or you gain an Extra Ball to play an additional round.

This game can be unfair, exactly like a real pinball machine. Sometimes you lose a ball very quickly without having any opportunities to aim at the targets: Bad luck!

Do not give up if you initially score only 1,000 points. From game to game you will get better. Score Bumpers, hit the Ramps, and possibly activate the Multiball…and you will get to scores of 100,000+ points, just like with a real pinball machine.

Rio Grande Games plans to release all three of the titles above in North America.

• Friese’s 2022 card game Fancy Feathers will see an expansion — It is getting colorful! — that features six new types of animal cards. You play by choosing any six types of cards in the game, so you can add these to the mix, giving you 18 types from which to choose.

Like the base game, the expansion is for two players, but additional copies can used to accommodate up to six players.

• To expand on Rio Grande Games’ offerings, the publisher plans to release Prussian Rails, a new edition of John Bohrer‘s German Railways, which originally debuted in 2008 as Preußische Ostbahn in the second half of 2023.

• In that same time period, Rio Grande plans to release Holly Oaks, a seasonal trick-taking game Tom Lehmann in which 3-5 revelers mark the passing of the seasons, seeking the favor of the Oak and Holly kings. In game terms, trump rotates with the seasons as spring becomes summer, then summer becomes fall or autumn (depending on where you live).


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