January is a time of New Years’ Resolutions, and we certainly had one here at Board Game Crate, and that was, quite simply, to play more games!

This months’ crates included the Essen new-releases of Photosynthesis and Bunny Kingdom, as well as last year’s amazing Spiel-des-Jahres winner, Kingdomino. We also added into the mix another Essen new release, the fantastic ‘The Grimwood’, which we can’t get enough of!

We hope you all love this month’s crates. Let us know what you thought of the selection of games, by dropping us a line!

Photosynthesis

  • 2-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 10+
  • 7.5

The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don’t forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!

Kingdomino

  • 2-4 players
  • 15-20 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.4

In Kingdomino, you are a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, wheat fields, lakes, and mountains in order to spot the best plots. But be careful as some other Lords also covet these lands…

Dominoes with a kingdom building twist. Each turn, connect a new domino to your existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The game mechanics for obtaining the tiles is clever: the order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen. Make sure to secure tiles with crowns- these royal treasures help to multiply the worth of your kingdom at the end of the game! The game ends when each player has completed a 5×5 grid, and then points are counted based on the number of connecting tiles and crowns.

Bunny Kingdom

  • 2-4 players
  • 40-60 minutes
  • 12+
  • 7.5

Peace has come at last to the great Bunny Kingdom! Lead your clan of rabbits to glory by gathering resources and building new cities across the land!

Draft cards and pick the right ones to position your warrens on the 100 squares of the board, provide resources to your colonies, build new cities to increase your influence, and plan your strategy to score big at the end of the game. Settle in lakesides or fields to collect water and grow carrots, gather mushrooms in the green forest, and climb the highest mountains to discover rare and precious resources… Secretly rally rabbit lords and recruit skilful masters to make your cities and resources even more valuable at the end of the game.

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The Grimwood

  • 2-6 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 12+
  • 6.8

You might be a bounty hunter looking for fame and fortune. You might be a peasant looking to feed his starving family. You might be a maiden running away from her arranged marriage, or just a random dude who has gotten lost. Whoever you are, you’ve ended up at The Grimwood, a forest where supernatural creatures reside.

This highly chaotic, slightly strategic game for 2-6 players takes you into the dark fantasy of The Grimwood, where you search the forest (i.e., deck) to find settings, animals, or most coveted of all, supernaturals, to add to your collection. Use the powers of the supernaturals to help yourself or sabotage others, or find a Rune or Amulet for extra actions or protection. Lots of things can happen in The Grimwood. Find-and keep-the most combinations, and you win!

Honshu

  • 2-5 players
  • 30-40 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.1

Honshu is a trick-taking, map-building card game set in feudal Japan. Players are lords and ladies of noble houses seeking new lands and opportunities for fame and fortune.

One game of Honshu lasts twelve rounds, and each round is divided into two phases. First, map cards are played in a trick, and the player who played the highest valued card gets to pick first from those cards played. Then the players use the map cards picked to expand their personal maps. Each player must expand their personal maps to maximize their scoring possibilities.

Custom Heroes

  • 2-6 players
  • 45 minutes
  • 14+
  • 6.9

Custom Heroes is a card-crafting, climbing trick game in which plastic cards are added to sleeves in order to modify the cards already in those sleeves.

The players attempt to win rounds by getting rid of their cards as quickly as possible using the classic climbing trick mechanic. e.g. If a player leads with three 4s then the next player must play three of a kind of equal or higher value. When all players pass, the last player to have played cards leads a new trick with whatever card or set of equal cards they want. Go out of cards first for first place, second for second, etc.

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