Most Anticipated Games - October 2018 Edition October 12 2018

Each month at For The Win Board Game Cafe, we take a look at a few future releases that we're really excited about. From new games, to expansions, to Kickstarters we'll be covering it all monthly. 

The River

It's hard not to be excited any time Days of Wonder has a new release on the way. They have an excellent track record, and typically work with top-tier designers. The River is the latest project brought to you by the developer of Jaipur and Jamaica. The initial impressions thus far is that it appears to be in the same vein of complexity as Quadropolis with worker-placement elements thrown in. Either way, we're in for whatever's in store. 

The River arrives in November 2018.


Smartphone Inc.

I like to include at least one game in these blogs that has unique theme. Smartphone Inc. may end up being just another Euro worker-placement game, but I'm gonna give them props for taking up a very modern smartphone theme. Players take on the role of CEO of one of the world's largest smartphone companies, in hopes to amass global domination. Live out your Android vs. Apple fantasies now on tabletops!

Smartphone Inc. will be available sometime in 2019


Magic Fold

If you had told me that the puzzle genre would dominate 2017, 2018 and beyond, I would have called you crazy. But here we are approaching the end of 2018 and some of the hottest releases in recent memory have been puzzle games. From Patchwork to Azul or Unlock! to EXIT, the puzzle genre can take many forms. And now Bruno Cathala is blessing us with a cloth-folding game. I know it sounds a little absurd (does anyone actually enjoy folding laundry?), but I believe in Bruno.

Magic Fold will be available before the end of 2018.


Shadows: Amsterdam

Shadows: Amsterdam is a real-time, team-based deduction game. Likely inspired by Captain SonarShadows is a race to find 3 pieces of evidence and bring them to your client before the other team. Wrapped in a world of espionage this time around, there are a few elements of Magic Maze found in the game as well. 

Shadows: Amsterdam will be on store shelves by November 2018.

Weapon Wars

When we were younger we used to imagine creating the ultimate weapon and pitting it against one another. From sharks with lazers to a giant axe, made of tiny axes - our imaginations were our only limitations. The arguments got hot and heavy. And now Weapon Wars is bringing that child-like wonder back with Weapon Wars. With a simple Exploding-Kittens style premise, I can see this one becoming a hit card game opener.  

Click here to visit the Kickstarter page. Until Daylight ships to backers in November 2018.




FTW Staff Picks - The Mind October 11 2018

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 

The Mind

Genre: Cooperative 

Designer: Wolfgang Warsch

Player Size: 2 to 4 Players

Game Length: 15 minutes

For fans of: The Game, Hanabi, Magic Maze

A large part of playing any tabletop game involves instinct and gut-feeling. Going against it can often leave you with regret, and going with it can often leave you vulnerable. At the end of the day, you drive your actions and you are responsible for your decision-making. But bringing that to a cooperative setting, where you are unable to communicate effectively is a challenge unlike any other. There are already quite a few games that play with these deduction and instinct mechanics and The Mind is just the most recent among these Spiel des Jahres nominees and winners. 

In The Mind, players work together to pass through a set amount of levels by playing their collective cards in ascending order, without the ability to communicate in any way. Each level, players are dealt cards equal to the level number. Once all cards have been dealt, players may place their cards in a collaborative pile at any time. If someone plays a card higher than one or more of the cards in any other player's hand, the lower cards are discarded face-up and the team loses a life. The team is granted lives equal to the number of players. If the team is able clear all the levels before running out of lives they win the game!

If all this sounds familiar, that's because it is. The Game, another Spiel nominee is very similar both in play and in style. In fact, you can play a bootleg of The Mind using the cards from The Game. Here though, there are no rows - just one big pile. It's more challenging in that sense, but the game offers a bit of a lifeline with its Shurikens. A Shuriken allows each player to discard their lowest card, revealing information to all the players while getting rid of cards. All in all, they are only slightly varied experiences, but differ enough to prefer one over the other. For us, we prefer The Mind.

The Game probably wins the award for the most generic title in tabletop history. The Mind is not necessarily a much more creative name, but it's very representative of how the game itself is played. Because there's very little mechanics to the game, you are essentially breaking it down to reading minds. And this allows for each game to play differently as you play with new players. When your group starts to click, it feels great - almost like you're unlocking a real-life super power. That feeling alone makes The Mind worthwhile.