So many awards and nominations amongst the games included in the August crate. We kick off with Magic Maze, a 2017 Spiel des Jahres nominee. This is a fascinating game and one we love in the office. Then add in the classic that is Tokaido – it amazes me that this has been nominated for four different awards, hasn’t walked away with one yet! (TableTop Episode). Then we bring in the fantastic racing game that is Formula D (TableTop Episode), add to the pile with the amazing bluffing fest that is six-times-nominated Sheriff of Nottingham (TableTop Episode) and top off with the 2013 UK Games Expo Best General Card Game Winner, Smash Up (TableTop Episode).

Let’s not forget the amazing Fleet, Port Royal, Zany Penguins, Aquarius and Brew Crafters and you’ve got our August crate selections!

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[bartag name=”Tokaido” image=”4444″ background=”4445″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-5″ playtime=”45 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.1″]It goes without saying, Tokaido, the game that became an instant classic, is a most fantastic game, worthy of its many awards. In Tokaido, each player is a traveller crossing the “East sea road”, one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. While traveling, you will meet people, taste fine meals, collect beautiful items, discover great panoramas, and visit temples and wild places but at the end of the day, when everyone has arrived at the end of the road you’ll have to be the most initiated traveller – which means that you’ll have to be the one who discovered the most interesting and varied things.[/bartag][bartag name=”Formula D” image=”4452″ background=”4451″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-10″ playtime=”60 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.1″]Formula D is a high stakes Formula One type racing game where the players race simulated cars with the hope of crossing the finish line first. The game mechanisms are a simple race, get to the finish line first! However, players have to use a significant amount of planning, and rely on quite a bit of luck. Each player manages when to shift gears, with each gear providing a different speed. Of course, things do not always go as planned! Enjoy the thrill of the race as you speed around the track. With multiple customisation options this game will be one you’ll keep racing back to.[/bartag][bartag name=”Sheriff of Nottingham” image=”4456″ background=”4455″ bgg_url=”” players=”3-5″ playtime=”60 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7.3″]Prince John is coming to Nottingham! Players, in the role of merchants, see this as an opportunity to make quick profits by selling goods in the bustling city during the Prince’s visit. However, players must first get their goods through the city gate, which is under the watch of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Should you play it safe with legal goods and make a profit, or risk it all by sneaking in illicit goods? Be mindful, though, as the Sheriff always has his eyes out for liars and tricksters and if he catches one, he very well may confiscate those goods for himself![/bartag][bartag name=”Smash Up” image=”2787″ background=”2786″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-4″ playtime=”45 minutes” age=”12+” average=”6.9″]The “shuffle-building” game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience. With eight different factions, Smash Up includes dozens of combinations to try. Pirate-Aliens play different than Ninja-Aliens, for instance. Which will you use to smash up your opponents?[/bartag][bartag name=”Magic Maze” image=”4464″ background=”4463″ bgg_url=”” players=”1-8″ playtime=”15 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.4″]After being stripped of all their possessions, a mage, a warrior, an elf, and a dwarf are forced to go rob the local Magic Maze shopping mall for all the equipment necessary for their next adventure. They agree to map out the labyrinth in its entirety first, then find each individual’s favourite store, and then locate the exit. In order to evade the surveillance of the guards who eyed their arrival suspiciously, all four will pull off their heists simultaneously, then dash to the exit. That’s the plan anyway…but can they pull it off?[/bartag][bartag name=”Zany Penguins” image=”4460″ background=”4459″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-5″ playtime=”20 minutes” age=”7+” average=”6.8″]In Zany Penguins, you want to make sure that your tribe of penguins is the one that takes control of the Earth, so do what you can to take charge of regions such as the desert, jungle, and the North Pole. Each region has a set of cards numbered 1-9. Each player starts with two cards in hand. On a turn, you draw two cards, pass one card each to your left- and right-hand neighbours, take the cards passed to you, then simultaneously play and reveal one card in front of you on the table. It’s fast and furious fun – and it has penguins![/bartag][bartag name=”Fleet” image=”4462″ background=”4461″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-4″ playtime=”30-45 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7.0″]In the northwest corner of Nunavut, Canada, a formerly inaccessible bay off of the Arctic Ocean has become reachable through a secret inlet. Untouched by the hands of time and fed by both the ocean and warm fresh water springs, Ridback Bay is teeming with sea life. A remote, timeless village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world’s greatest fisherman to harvest this plentiful bounty. The docks and warehouses are being revitalized, and now it is time to begin the real adventure. Go build your Fleet and become master of the high seas![/bartag][bartag name=”Aquarius” image=”4454″ background=”4453″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-5″ playtime=”20 minutes” age=”5+” average=”6.0″]The groovy card game that’s kind of like dominoes (only better!) Aquarius features three types of cards: Elements, Goals, and Actions. Element cards are played kind of like dominoes, with each player trying to win by connecting seven panels of one particular element. Goal cards determine which element each player is going after, and Action cards allow players to shake up the action in five different ways. The game is fast, fun, colourful, and easy to learn.[/bartag][bartag name=”Port Royal” image=”2785″ background=”2784″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-5″ playtime=”20-50 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.2″]The merchant players in Port Royal, which won the Austrian Game Designers Competition under the title Händler der Karibik, are trying to earn as much as they can out of the Caribbean Sea, but if they set their goals too high, they might take home nothing for the day. Port Royal is a favourite in the office and a game we had to include again (previously included in our February 2017 crate) – this is a game which you’ll keep coming back to![/bartag][bartag name=”Brew Crafters” image=”4448″ background=”4447″ bgg_url=”” players=”2-4″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”13+” average=”6.4″]In Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game, you’ve opened your own brewery and are competing with other brewers in town to be named the Brew Crafter of your city. It’s a time of regrowth in the old urban centre, and the hippest and best beer crafters have gathered both hops and hopes in building the best brewery in the city. You’ll build your brewery by installing equipment and hiring workers, and then get to work brewing your beer! The player that earns the most reputation as the city’s best brewer will win.[/bartag]

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