After a brief break from releasing big box games, Days of Wonder is back on the scene with Quadropolis:
The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5×5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that’s as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player’s 4×4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).
When a player takes a tile, a figure is placed in this now-empty space and the next player cannot place an architect in the same row or column where this tile was located. In addition, you can’t place one architect on top of another, so each placement cuts off play options for you and everyone else later in the round. After all players have placed all four architects, the round ends, all remaining tiles are removed, and the tiles for the next round laid out.
After four rounds, the game ends. Players can move the inhabitants and energy among their tiles at any point during the game to see how to maximize their score. At game end, they then score for each of the six types of buildings depending on how well they build their city — as long as they have activated the buildings with inhabitants or energy as required.
Next up, Ravensburger has delighted Stefan Feld fans everywhere with word of Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game:
The Hundred Years’ War is over and the Renaissance is looming. Conditions are perfect for the princes of the Loire Valley to propel their estates to prosperity and prominence. Through strategic trading and building, clever planning, and careful thought, players add settlements and castles, practice trade along the river, exploit silver mines, farm livestock and more in this top-selling game by Stefan Feld.
Finally, Stronghold Games keeps the momentum rolling from a huge 2015 with their latest offering, Bear Valley by Carl Chudyk:
In Bear Valley, you must be the first to survive the treacherous wilderness and escape to the safety of the camp at the end of the valley. Players start as 2-6 campers along the Bear River and must navigate the wilderness, avoiding bears and trying to not get lost.
The map of trails and challenges is built by the players as they explore the wilderness. These wilderness cards feature beautifully illustrated realistic art and have between three and six exit points along with a variety of features, both made-made and natural in origin. No two games will ever play the same.
Gameplay is structured around a clever movement mechanism in which the first player moves one card, the second player moves up to two cards, the third player three, and so on. Each of the six player characters has both advantages and disadvantages that can be used across a variety of play options — short or long play, regular or advanced.
Dive into caves, row canoes, cross bridges, climb mountains, and cut through treacherous underbrush as you stop at nothing — except bears — to be the first to reach base camp. Can you survive and escape Bear Valley?