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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Walk Dogs, Ride Waves, Catch Imps, and Role Play in an Adventure Party

by W. Eric Martin

Can I blitz through even more new and upcoming games from GAMA Expo 2023 by using only an image and a couple of lines? Of course I can because I’ve selected which images will be included in this post! The secret of life is to set yourself up for success, not failure!

• In Adventure Party: The Role-Playing Party Game from David Smith, Travis Winstead, and Smirk & Dagger Games, each player takes the role of a fantasy character in one of three scenarios, and you roll dice to resolve various situations — but this is a co-operative party game, not a role-playing game, with success being determined by how well you can describe the effect of your die roll on the situation and whether someone else can guess what you rolled from that description.

Weird Little Elf was a tiny release from Maggie and Jordan Clyne and Atlas Games in late 2022. In this party game for 4-15 players, players attempt to identify the imp among all the elves who are answering questions from Santa, with the imp required to follow this one weird rule for weight loss for interacting with others, with the game containing dozens of weird rules.

• Designer Sean Fletcher and publisher The Op continue to roll out expansions for the battle arena game Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances, with Leading the Charge hitting retail in Q1 2023 — and being the best-selling pack to date, which isn’t a surprise given its Elsa, Buzz Lightyear, and Scar character combo — and with At the Ready coming later in 2023 with Robin Hood, Mulan, and Mrs. Potts. Yes, the teapot is ready to inflict scalding punishment on your enemies!

• Aside from its licensed catalog, The Op is releasing several games aimed at the hobby market in 2023. I’ve already mentioned The A.R.T. Project, which is being licensed from Lumberjacks Studio for release in Q3 2023.

The Perfect Wave is a drafting card game in which you construct a wave from number cards, with the wave never decreasing in height and with you scoring for runs and sets in the wave you ride, not to mention tricks performed thanks to “paddle out” cards.

Mock-up at GAMA Expo 2023

Express Route is a co-operative game in which 1-4 players operate shipping technology, co-ordinate actions, and use specialist abilities to expedite vehicles and satisfy consumer demand before it becomes too overwhelming.

Mish Match is a real-time card game in which you need to spot and slap cards that match.

Bark Avenue from Mackenzie and Jonathan Jungck and TerreDice Games is a game of competitive dog-walking. Think pick-up-and-deliver in New York City, with you trying to earn good reviews over seventeen rounds from all the dog-walking opportunities available to you. Australian publisher Good Games Publishing is handling distribution for this crowdfunded title, with availability at Gen Con 2023, followed by a release in October 2023.

• Good Games is also handling distribution for Mercurial from David Goh and Hyperlixir, with players rolling dice, manipulating these results, acquiring spells, then using them to do various fantasy things.

Too Many Cooks is a 2022 release from Jarrah Bloomfield and Good Games Publishing in which, like the 2022 release Décorum, everyone has secret goals and you’re manipulating a shared area so that all goals can be achieved at the same time. Unlike Décorum, ]Too Many Cooks is played in real-time rounds of five minutes.

Trickdraw is another Good Games distribution project, with this game coming from designers Blake Propach and Morteza Rohaninejad and publisher House Fish Balloon.

In this card game for 2-5 players, you can play cards face down for gold, which is worth 1 point, or face up for the action listed — but played cards can be flipped via actions, allowing you to transform a used card into gold or flip gold to take the action on the other side. Whoever has 10 points in front of themselves first wins.


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