German publisher HUCH! has released its 2023 catalog, which lists both its own releases and titles that it carries in Germany from other publishers.
• The biggest release, as least for my biased eyes, is MATRX from designer Kris Burm, due out in Q4 2023.
The description from HUCH! is somewhat vague: “MATRX features the basic elements of GIPF combined with the move options from DVONN, PÜNCT, ZÈRTZ, YINSH, and TAMSK, opening up completely new tactical options that need to be mastered. MATRX can also be used as an expansion for GIPF.”
BGG user Michael Reitz notes that he spoke with Kris Burm at SPIEL ’22, and MATRX is a new edition of the GIPF potentials — pieces that can be added to GIPF to provide special powers — while also being a standalone game with a new game board that uses all of the potentials as pieces. I’m bummed that I missed seeing Burm in Essen, but thankful for the info!
• Torres Family, due out in Q3 2023, is a simplified version of Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling‘s 2000 Spiel des Jahres-winning game Torres that contains two ways to play.
First, you can play Torres-lite, with players trying to impress the king by building tall towers and being in as many castles as possible. Second, you’re once again constructing towers, but you’re trying to be close to the King’s envoys so that you receive twice as many points, but not every tower may be built on every field due to color restrictions on the game board.
• Rababia, another Q3 2023 release, is a family game from Florian Racky for 2-4 players that seems to have the Colovini flavor of Clans crossed with Downforce.
Each player secretly represents one of the five animal messengers who have been charged to deliver a message to the raven king, but not every animal can take each path across the country’s lakes, swamps, cliffs, caves, and ravines. Some environments are the natural habitats for the messengers, while others are insurmountable obstacles. Can you reach the castle first? And can you figure out the animal role of other players to gain additional points?
• Marsch der Krabben is a two-player, co-operative game from Julien Prothière based on the comic series of the same name.
In the game, due out in Q3 2023, each player has a set of square crabs who are a bit of a curiosity of nature since they cannot turn, but walk in only one direction. One player’s crabs move vertically across a grid of sand and sea, and the other horizontally. Together, despite being unable to speak to one another and on the constant lookout for enemies, they try to free their crab buddies who are stuck under tires, a guitar, or other flotsam. Can they make it in time to set all eight buddies free?
Marsch der Krabben includes eleven scenarios in which the two heroes’ rescue mission become increasingly difficult.
• A number of titles previously anticipated for release in late 2022 have been rescheduled, such as Witchstone: Full Moon, an expansion now due out in Q2 2023 for Martino Chiacchiera and Reiner Knizia‘s 2021 game Witchstone.
Cesare Mainardi‘s Erobern!, a card-playing game of world domination, is also due out in Q2 2023, while Goblin Coaster from Ursula Hermens-Meyberg and Jan Meyberg, and Circles from Thomas Sing have moved to Q4 2023.
After The Crew and The Key, I’m curious to see what Sing presents in Circles, but the “Facebook ad” art direction of the cover leaves me conflicted.
• HUCH! is also bringing language-specific versions of several games to the German market, with Kites, Onirim, and Stellarion coming in Q2 2023; the Touch It series of games in which you identify items by feeling the raised elements on cards in Q3 2023; and SPIEL ’22 attention getters Turing Machine and Tribes of the Wind, also in Q3 2023.