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Hardback: A splendid Tim Fowers word game

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From the creators of the bestselling game, Paperback, comes the next chapter in deckbuilding/ word games. Play as Penelope Quill, an aspiring, 19th-century author working to write your next novel, earning money and prestige along the way. Spend your coins on cards to specialize your deck in certain genres and exploit card combinations, and press your luck to draw extra cards — but make sure you can still string a word together! Be the first to acquire enough prestige to complete your masterpiece and be recognized as the finest novelist of the age!

Wordsmiths can score big by discovering the perfect word from their hand of randomly drawn cards.
Strategic players can maximize the benefit of their cards by carefully crafting the perfect deck.
Multiple strategies to explore:
Competitive, cooperative, and single-player gameplay options.


Players build a deck of letters with various powers and race to 60 fame points to win. Some of the features:

No wilds in your deck- any card can be wild.
Push your luck for more cards with the Ink system.
Match genre colors to gain bonus abilities on your cards.
Fight over the coveted Endorsement cards.
New Persistent cards stay in play until someone uses them!

You can play it here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=hardback

In addition to the competitive race mode for 2-5 players, the base game includes several variant rules including Literary Awards, Adverts, Player Powers, and Events; and a co-op mode for 1-4 players, in which players join forces against one of four simulated opponents, each of which is proficient in a different deck genre.

The team would like to thank the Fowers Games team, as well as the designers Jeff Beck & Tim Fowers.
Of course, nothing would have been possible without the help of Quietmint, our developer, who made the game available for all to enjoy.
Exciting, isn't it?

Words are hard, but this game isn't. It's simply clever and I must admit that it is one of our favorites from this publisher.
So don't wait: start a game right now. Or two.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
06/16/2021 Comment on this

Let's play TICHU!

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TI-CHU (and not tissue) has been a successful trick-taking game since it was released last century (1991 to be exact.. yeah I'm feeling old too) taking many of its rules and mechanisms from "Zheng Fen," a traditional Chinese game, that itself takes some scoring from "Da Bai" and "Tuo la Ji," two other traditional games.

TICHU has evolved to worldwide popularity since its release thanks to Urs Hostettler, and here is why:

The deck is a standard 52-card pack with four special cards added: dog, phoenix, dragon and Mah Jong. When it's your turn, you may either beat the current top card combination (single card, pair of cards, sequence of pairs, full house, etc.) or pass. If play passes all the way back to the player who laid the top cards, they win the trick, clear the cards, and lead the next one. The card led determines the only combination of cards that can be played on that trick, so if a single card is led, then only single cards are played; if a straight of seven cards is led, then only straights of seven cards can be played, etc.

The last player out in a round gives all the cards they won to the player who exited first, and the last player's unplayed cards are handed to the opposite team. Fives, tens and Kings are worth 5, 10 and 10 points, with each hand worth one hundred points without bonuses- but the bonuses are what drive the game. At the start of a round, each player can call "Tichu" prior to playing any cards. This indicates that the player thinks they can empty their hand first this round; if they do so, their team scores 100 points, and if not, their team instead loses 100 points. Cards are dealt at the start of a round in a group of eight and a group of six; a player can call "Grand Tichu" after looking at only their first eight cards for a ±200 point bonus. If both players on a team exit a round prior to either player on the opposite team, then no points are scored for cards and the winning team earns 200 points (with Tichu/Grand Tichu bonuses and penalties being applied as normal).

The first team to 1,000 points wins.

Easy, simple and clever: that's everything you need to play on your commute, or chilling at home, and it's available here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=tichu

Due to its immense popularity, the game is distributed worldwide, and we would like to thank the game designer, Urs Hostettler, the publisher Fata Morgana, and the fantastic work of our three developers: vinayakr, tchobello and Ginso.

So now you can play this classic gem on BGA in a... *sneeze* ;)
That's it for now, don't forget that there is an official CONSPIRACY tournament held on BGA that you can join until the 14th of June, to win some awesome prizes.
TICHU next time! ;)
06/09/2021 10 comments

MEDINA : another gem from the game designer of "Intrigue" and "For Sale"

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Stefan Dorra is a famous game designer for a reason: he brings his own feel to any mechanism.
Stefan is an explorer.
And that's why we're proud to bring you one of his best titles: Medina.

See for yourself: TricTrac gold award, International Gamers Awards, Deutscher Spiele Preis...
The game is quite a reference for more than 20 years, and that is why it was re-released with updated components in 2014.

That is the game you can play on BGA NOW.

But what is all the fuss about?
A medina describes an old city center in North Africa, mostly in Morocco.

The year is 1822. After years of decay, it is time to rebuild the medina, located at the foot of the Atlas mountains. The architects and engineers of the city work to erect large and beautiful palaces and to renovate the damaged city wall. As the reconstruction of the old city progresses, the city's inhabitants flock through the alleys and the contours of the new city gradually reappear!

Each turn, players must place two pieces on the board, either augmenting an existing building or starting a new building if the current building of that color is finished. Each player will claim one building of each of the four colors by the end of the game, gaining one point per wooden piece attached to it.

Also, owning the largest building of a particular color will earn you a bonus for that color. Finally, there are bonuses for the player who most recently connected one of their buildings to the walls, which grow from the four corners of the city.

It's that simple. And you can play it by clicking this link:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=medina

We would like to thank Stefan Dorra, but also White Goblin Games for their authorization, as well as our awesome developer, Lymon Flowers, who did a remarkable job on this adaptation that you can play "on-the-go"' or at home, on BGA.

Don't forget that you will be able to discover another title on Board Game Arena this week being released Wednesday, 2PM CEST.
As usual.

BGA is improving everyday, thanks to your help. Don't hesitate to click on the "community" tab to learn more about game translations provided by the community: you can help a game reach players that don't speak any foreign languages. And we think that is beautiful.
See you on Wednesday!
06/07/2021 5 comments

RAILROAD INK: Drawing off the rails

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I like trains.
We like trains.
And what's cooler than building a rail network?

That you can do so right now in Rail Road Ink!

Winning a Golden Geek award for it's solo mode and best 5 Seasons Roll&Write award, you can tell why this is a game you should try.

Your goal in this game is to connect as many exits on your board as possible.
Each round, a set of dice are rolled in the middle of the table, determining which kind of road and railway routes are available to all players. You have to draw these routes on your board to create transport lines and to connect the exits, trying to optimize their placement better than your opponents.

The more exits you connect, the more points you score at the end of the game; however, you lose points for each incomplete route, so plan carefully!
Will you press your luck and try to stretch your transportation network to the next exit, or will you play it safe and start a new, simpler to manage route?

Railroad Ink comes in two versions, each one adding new special rules to your games.
Increase the difficulty by adding the River route into the mix, or use the Lakes to connect your networks by ferry. Or will you dare to play the red version, with lava and meteors? These expansions can spice things up, making each game play and feel differently.

You can play it here, from 1 to 12 players, and it will last about 10 minutes.
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=railroadink

The BGA team would like to thank the designers, Hjalmar Hach & Lorenzo Silva, as well as the team from Horrible Guild for their help bringing this wonderful game online on Board Game Arena. Choo choo to you!

Notably, the game has been developed by joezg, our in-house developer, and I must tell him publicly how much I love what he did here.
You can be confident it works well, but don't forget that you can post any feedback in our bug report form if needed.
We love to hear from you, but don't forget to check the rules twice. ;)

That's all for now, folks.
More rails-related titles will be coming to BGA.
It's just a game of... patience.
But the train will arrive on time. ;)
06/02/2021 11 comments

Lost Ruins of Arnak: Spiel nominee you can play online!

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What a year!
Now you're even able to play board games that just got nominated for the famous Spiel des Jahres online, even before we know the winner.
Nothing to hide here, but we are proud to offer you:

Lost Ruins of Arnak, or Die verlorenen Ruinen von Arnak in German.
(It's spelled Narak in French to cover some "misinterpretations," but the feel is the same: an exotic place to discover.)

And that's a perfect fit for this game!

On an uninhabited island in uncharted seas explorers found traces of a great civilisation. Now you will lead an expedition to explore the island, find lost artefacts, and face fearsome guardians, all in a quest to learn the island's secrets.

Lost Ruins of Arnak combines deck-building and worker placement in a game of exploration, resource management, and discovery. In addition to traditional deck-building effects, cards can also be used to place workers- and new worker actions become available as players explore the island. Some of these actions require resources instead of workers, so building a solid resource base will be essential. You are limited to only one action per turn, so make your choice carefully... what action will benefit you most now? And what can you afford to do later... assuming someone else doesn't take that action first?!

Decks are small, and randomness is heavily mitigated by the wealth of tactical decisions offered on the game board. With a variety of worker actions, artefacts, and equipment cards, the set-up for each game will be unique, encouraging players to explore new strategies to meet the challenge.

Discover the Lost Ruins of Arnak, right here, right now, by clicking this link:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=arnak

The game has already won many awards, such as the Golden Geeks and the Board Game Quest. But will it become the Kennerspiel? Only the future will tell.
It is up to you to build your opinion of this game.
But you cannot say you could not play it now! ;)

All of our thanks go to the CZECH Games team and IELLO for their huge support, as well as the designers Min & Elwen.
Without developers we cannot achieve anything on BGA, and the credits goes to BoltKey, who made it possible for you to play it in such a short amount of time. Congratulations!

Now it's time for you to tell us about your feelings: Will it win? And why.
2021 is a big year for BGA, and as you can see, we keep on releasing games from any publishers or distributors of any type worldwide, for anyone to enjoy them. After all: They don't belong in a Museum!
05/26/2021 36 comments

Conspiracy : A "bis" from Abyss.

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Under the sea... (bis)

Conspiracy: Abyss Universe is a card game set in the world of Abyss.

If you like Abyss, it is a different game setup in the same universe.
If you don't like Abyss, it is a different game setup in the same universe.

The card deck in the game consists of cards in five colors, with twelve of each color and cards numbered 0–6. Each player in the game drafts cards and builds a reverse pyramid, starting with a row of five cards, then placing four cards in a row below that, then three under that, etc.

On a turn, you can draw 1–3 cards from the deck, choose one of those cards and add it to your current row, then place any remaining cards grouped by color near the deck; alternatively, you can pick up all the cards of a color next to the deck and add them to your current row.

As soon as the cards in your rows show two matching keys or three different keys, you take either the revealed location card or the top card of the location deck, and place it over the last played card with a key. Location cards increase the value of a card and sometimes have special powers. Some cards feature pearls, and when you have as many or more pearls as whoever has the pearl majority card, you take this card from them.

The game ends as soon as someone finishes their pyramid, and all players score their points. For each color, you score points equal to the largest valued card in your pyramid. Additionally, for each color, you look at the largest grouping of cards in your pyramid and you score 3 points for each of those cards. Whoever held the pearl majority card at game's end scores 5 points for it. Whoever has the highest score wins.

You guessed it: Conspiracy does capture the same feel as Abyss in a more compact package.
It still has the same core balancing of how many options you want to give yourself which in turn will give your opponents more options. It does feel like the luck of drawing the color you need to keep your string going and drawing the key you need are significant, but it is short enough and there is enough mitigation to make it work well.

You can play the game by clicking right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=conspiracy

You can play it in less than 10 minutes.

We would like to thank Bruno Cathala & Charles Chevallier, both game designers on this, as well as the team behind it from Bombyx. You all rule.
We would like to thank our developer thoun for his work and efficiency. Wow- that was an efficient development!

Now it's your time to tell if the Abyss universe is something for you... or not ;)
05/25/2021 7 comments

We're "Happy" to build a "City"!

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Hi diddly ho neighborinos!

It's time to build your perfect city of love and happiness.
Oh, let's add a Supercute market!
And what about parks? People love parks. And an ice cream shop. Covered by glitter.

Are they happy now?
No?
Ok, let's see what could please them...

Happy City is a simple family-oriented game, using some well-known mechanisms in a nicely-shaped short game.
It could remind you of a richer Machi Koro, or a simpler Splendor.

Each round, get your income and buy a card from the common pool (placing it in your 10-space tableau) that either provides income, people, or heart icons. Your score at the end is the multiple of the last two. It only goes 10 rounds or so (depending on whether people pass to save up for bigger cards).
The main decision is when to switch from buying income cards to scoring cards. Each player can acquire one special effect to differentiate themselves.

Build your little city, card by card, managing your income to make people want to live there and to make them happy. Choose each building carefully and keep an eye on your opponents! Find the right balance to create a home where the heart is.

You can play it now right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=happycity

Made for 2 to 5 players, lasting for close to 10 minutes, it's a game anyone can learn and play at the same time.

Designed by Toshiki Sato and Airu Sato, beautifully illustrated by Makoto Takami, it's a Japanese game published by the excellent Cocktail Games team, and we would like to thank them all for bringing the game to Board Game Arena.

We can't write a word not thanking our developer, apollo1001, who did a very good job making this title available online.

Go try it, it's worth 10 minutes of your time to get to know more about this very light and engaging city-builder.
The game has just been released in shops, so it's a novelty you should get your hands on!

“Happiness is a house with many rooms, but at its core is a hearth around which we gather with family, friends, the community, and sometimes even strangers to find the best part of ourselves.”
― Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
05/19/2021 7 comments

BTS: Play it now, even if it's not the band you're looking for...

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Oh.
Sorry.


BTS doesn't stand for the famous K-pop group Bangtan Boys.

It stands for BEYOND THE SUN.

And it is one of the most exciting games released last year!
Winning the Most Innovative Golden Geek award in 2020 as well as many more distinctions; it is a medium-weight game that is worth your time.

Beyond the Sun is a space civilization game in which players collectively decide the technological progress of humankind at the dawn of the Spacefaring Era... while competing against each other to be the leading faction in economic development, science, and galactic influence.

The game is played over a variable number of rounds until a number of game-end achievements are collectively claimed by the players. The winner is the faction with the most victory points obtained by researching technologies, improving their economy, controlling and colonizing systems, and completing various achievements and events throughout the game.

On a turn, a player moves their action pawn to an empty action space, then takes that action. They then conduct their production phase either producing ore, growing their population, or trading one of those resources for another. Finally, they may claim up to one achievement, if possible.

As players take actions, they research new technologies that come in four levels. Each technology is one of four types (scientific, economic, military, commercial), and higher-level technologies must match one of the types of tech that lead into it. Thus, players create their own technology tree in each game, using these actions to increase their military strength, to jump to different habitable exoplanetary systems, to colonize those systems, to boost their resource production, to develop android tech that allows growth without population, and more.

The game is perfectly suited for 2 to 4 players, and games last more than 60 minutes. (120mins with 4 beginners)
But don't be shy, it's worth the time investment.

Have a look at the game here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=beyondthesun

Perfectly mixing mechanisms like area control, workers and resource management, and even a tech tree, there is just enough interaction to elevate this game to the level of must-play.

The BGA team would like to thank, as always, the publisher Rio Grande Games (So many of their games are available here now), and of course the game designer Dennis K. Chan.
Nothing would have been possible without the help of Mogri, the developer that made it run perfectly on Board Game Arena, and on most devices.

No expansions here, but until you have played at least 10 games of this gem, you will have time to exploit the games mechanisms.

That's it for today, as always, thanks for reading!

I can't understand what people are sayin'
어느 장단에 맞춰야 될지
한 발자국 떼면 한 발자국 커지는 shadow
잠에서 눈을 뜬 여긴 또 어디
어쩜 서울 또 New York or Paris
일어나니 휘청이는 몸 yeah


Yeah, i can't get it out of my head.
05/12/2021 23 comments

Tranquility: The Silence of the Limbos...

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Jump on board the good ship Tranquility and set sail for paradise. Take care, though, because in a land where day blends into night it is easy to lose track of time- and you still need to find that special little island to call home.

Tranquility is a co-operative card game in which players must fill the sea with numbered island cards and guide the ship home. Note that in the world of Tranquility, the only way to play is in silence.

The goal of the game is for the team to complete the grid before any player runs out of available actions. Cards must be placed so that the grid ascends in numerical order from bottom left to top right. All players win if they manage to complete the grid and have placed a Start and Finish card. All players lose if a single player can no longer play or discard any cards legally. However, the players may not communicate.

Play is taken in turns moving clockwise with the quietest player going first. On a player’s turn they must do one of the following: 1. Play a card or 2. Discard two cards. Then they draw back up to a hand of five cards. Cards must be placed so that the grid ascends in numerical order from bottom left to top right. If the card is placed next to an existing card in the sequence then you must discard cards from their hand equal to the difference between the numbers without revealing the values of the discarded cards. (e.g. placing a 5 next to a 3 will require two cards to be discarded from your hand) This applies even if the cards are on different rows.

Tranquility is a game of silence and reflexion. Fit for 1 to 5 players, it is a cooperative puzzle game that will keep you entertained while being relaxed.

You can give it a try right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=tranquility

We would like to thanks the people from Board Game Hub, as well as the game designer James Emmerson. The game has been perfectly brought to BGA by bhauman3, our developer, and is a nice adaptation of the original boardgame.

It's short, beautifully illustrated by Tristam Rossin, and you should try this game if you want to play that special "something else" that some gems of a game can be.

You'll be able to enjoy another release this week, so don't miss our Wednesday release!
05/10/2021 4 comments

Dungeon Petz: An heavyweight pet shop from hell

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Vlaada Chvátil is a famous game designer for a simple reason : he created some of the most amazing brain-burrning experiences in the board game world.
From Through The Ages to Galaxy Trucker to Dungeon Lords to Bunny, Bunny, Moose, Moose, his designs have continued to break new ground, introduced new mechanisms, and universally provided thoughtful, fun game experiences that stick with you long after the games are over.

And Dungeon Petz is no exception.

In Dungeon Petz, Chvatil's sequel to Dungeon Lords, you manage a group of imps that were recently displaced when their dungeons were destroyed by heroes in the previous game, leaving them without jobs. With their limited skills, the imps band together and open a monster pet shop, hoping to achieve fame and glory and a bit of profit selling their pets to the few dungeon lords that still remain in business. Of course, all the imps from the other decimated dungeons decided to do the exact same thing, and now the imps are not only competing to sell pets to the dungeon lords, but they are also competing against each other to see who has the best pets (because that's what imps do).

During the game, you will buy baby pets and raise them for sale and exhibition. Being baby pets, they won't always do what you want, or what you expect. You'll just have to provide for their various needs as best you can. You will buy cages for them, provide them with food, install toys in their cages, clean up poop, more poop, and piles of poop. Or not (your choice). You will defend your cages against pets throwing tantrums and trying to escape (be prepared for the occasional hospital visit). Some pets will try to play with dangerous magic and accidentally grow themselves an extra set of eyes, or an extra tail. And some pets just get depressed when there is no one to play with them. Pets are complicated creatures. And they grow fast. It's probably best if you put in the time and learn about them now while they are little, because when your pets age they get hungrier, more fearsome, and far more demanding. In the game, you can buy books about your pets to learn their inner-most secrets (What To Expect When You Are Expecting Poop). There are a lot of things you can buy: long shovels for cleaning, um, stuff... you get it; whips to encourage the exhibition judges to vote your way; and even magical armor that your imps can use when defending against outbursts and the occasional fit of magical experimentation.

And just when you grow attached to your pets, learn how to care for them, and start to respect them as individuals, you'll throw them on stage and make them compete in shallow exhibitions against each other to see which pets are the meanest, hungriest, and poopiest. And then you'll sell them. Just like that. For one gold nugget if you can. Or less, if it helps your bottom line. From infant to family pet to exhibition to sale, a gold nugget for you, and a life of servitude to horrific dungeon lords for them. Such is the life of a pet.

If any of this sounds fun, then Dungeon Petz is the game for you!
But beware : it's not a light game.

You can see it in action by clicking this link, if you dare:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=dungeonpetz

This is a worker placement, blind bidding and card management game. The game play flows together very nicely if you are able to accept that you can not plan everything. And that's part of the charm.

We would like to thank the team behind Czech Games, Vladaa Chvatil, and all of the game testers.
There would be no games on BGA without the help of developers, and oh... what a humongous work has been done here by our fantastic dev, Victoria_La, who worked on this monster of a game for weeks.

So now, you have two possible choices: Play it, or pass.
But you have to know that there are two kinds of humans in the world:
The ones who have played this game, and the others...

And about expansions?
(we see you)
Like any games on BGA: if the game is played by many people, they will come ;)
05/05/2021 25 comments


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