Abyss

  • 2-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 14+
  • 7.3

The Abyss power is once again vacant, so the time has come to get your hands on the throne and its privileges. Use all of your cunning to win or buy votes in the Council. Recruit the most influential Lords and abuse their powers to take control of the most strategic territories. Finally, impose yourself as the only one able to rule the Abyssal people!

Abyss is a game of development, combination and collection in which players try to take control of strategic locations in an underwater city. To achieve this, players must develop on three levels: first by collecting allies, then using them to recruit Lords of the Abyss, who will then grant access to different parts of the city. Players acquire cards through a draft of sorts, and the Lords of the Abyss acquired on those cards grant special powers to the cardholder — but once you use the cards to acquire a location, that power is shut off, so players need to time their land grabs well in order to put themselves in the best position for when the game ends.

Beyond Baker Street

  • 2-4 players
  • 20 minutes
  • 13+
  • 7.1

A heinous crime has been committed. A team of the Kingdom’s finest detectives has been assembled and put on the case. They have a prime suspect, they have a motive, and they know what the opportunity to commit the crime was. Now all they have to do is prove it.

Using powers of deduction and communication, the players work as a team to eliminate dead leads and find clues to prove who, how, and why. All the relevant clues are available to them to do so. They just won’t know it. On top of that, Sherlock Holmes himself is already on the case. Can they solve the crime before he does?

At the start of Beyond Baker Street, players select one of the crimes to solve, and a number of suspects, motives, and opportunities will be available for the players to convict of the crime. Each player holds a set of clues, but they won’t be able to see their own clues — only those of their counterparts.

Coup

  • 2-6 players
  • 15 minutes
  • 9+
  • 7.1

You are head of a family in an Italian city-state, a city run by a weak and corrupt court. You need to manipulate, bluff and bribe your way to power. Your object is to destroy the influence of all the other families, forcing them into exile. Only one family will survive…

In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.

Each player starts the game with two coins and two influence – i.e., two face-down character cards; the fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique set of powers.

Dream Home

  • 2-4 players
  • 20-40 minutes
  • 7+
  • 7.0

What would your house look like? Would you rather have a huge bedroom with an elegant canopy bed or a spacious living room with a grand piano? You are going to play a part of designers who will plan a house and add more and more rooms to it.

Dream Home is a family game about building and furnishing your new house. Over twelve rounds, players collect pairs of cards consisting of a room card and an accessory card (roof, helper, furnishing or tool) and place them on their personal boards, creating their dream homes.

At the end of the game, all players’ houses are finished and fully furnished. Players compare their houses, counting points for functionality, good design, quality of roof and furnishing. The player with the nicest and most comfortable house wins.

Gloom

  • 2-4 players
  • 60 minutes
  • 13+
  • 6.4

The world of Gloom is a sad and benighted place. The sky is grey, the tea is cold, and a new tragedy lies around every corner. Debt, disease, heartache, and packs of rabid flesh-eating mice—just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, they do. But some say that one’s reward in the afterlife is based on the misery endured in life. If so, there may yet be hope—if not in this world, then in the peace that lies beyond.

In the Gloom card game, you assume control of the fate of an eccentric family of misfits and misanthropes. The goal of the game is sad, but simple: you want your characters to suffer the greatest tragedies possible before passing on to the well-deserved respite of death. You’ll play horrible mishaps like Pursued by Poodles or Mocked by Midgets on your own characters to lower their Self-Worth scores, while trying to cheer your opponents’ characters with marriages and other happy occasions that pile on positive points. The player with the lowest total Family Value wins.

Masques

  • 2-4 players
  • 45 minutes
  • 13+
  • 6.6

As the head of an ambitious Venetian family in Intrigo (a.k.a. Masques) – which won the 2009 Concours de créateurs under the title St Benoît – you have sent your most influential representatives to mingle at the Doge’s masquerade ball. By cleverly positioning these guests (and by manipulating the guests of your opponents), you’ll vie for the attention of Venice’s elite guild masters, ensuring the most political power for your family.

Gameplay revolves chiefly around the clever use of guest cards with varying levels of influence. Each player receives a hand of guest cards, and each guest card has an influence value and its own power, e.g., the peddler, the assassin and the gondolier. The higher the influence, the greater that guest’s clout at court. Each player’s hand consists of a mix of cards representing members of any of the families currently in play. Use a rival family’s guest cards against them, and watch for chances to set up your own house for success.

Each of the rooms of the Doge’s Palace offers tokens representing a guild’s favour or valuable ducats to be won by ambitious nobles. The spaces between each card that represents a room in the palace are the hallways of the Doge’s estate – the areas in which guest cards are placed to compete for adjacent resources.

No Thanks

  • 3-7 players
  • 20-30 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.0

No Thanks! is a card game designed to be as simple as it is engaging.

The rules are simple. Each turn, players have two options:

  • play one of their chips to avoid picking up the current face-up card
  • pick up the face-up card (along with any chips that have already been played on that card) and turn over the next card

However, the choices aren’t so easy as players compete to have the lowest score at the end of the game. The deck of cards is numbered from 3 to 35, with each card counting for a number of points equal to its face value. Runs of two or more cards only count as the lowest value in the run – but nine cards are removed from the deck before starting, so be careful looking for connectors. Each chip is worth -1 point, but they can be even more valuable by allowing you to avoid drawing that unwanted card.

Star Realms

  • 2 players
  • 20 minutes
  • 12+
  • 7.6

Star Realms is a spaceship combat deck-building game by Magic Hall of Famers Darwin Kastle (The Battle for Hill 218) and Rob Dougherty (Ascension Co-designer).

Star Realms is a fast paced deckbuilding card game of outer space combat. It combines the fun of a deck-building game with the interactivity of Trading Card Game style combat. As you play, you make use of Trade to acquire new Ships and Bases from the cards being turned face up in the Trade Row from the Trade Deck. You use the Ships and Bases you acquire to either generate more Trade or to generate Combat to attack your opponent and their bases. When you reduce your opponent’s score (called Authority) to zero, you win!

Multiple decks of Star Realms and/or Star Realms: Colony Wars, one for every two people, allows up to six players to play a variety of scenarios.

The Duke

  • 2 players
  • 30 minutes
  • 13+
  • 7.6

The Duke is a dynamic, tile-based strategy game with an old-world, feudal theme, high-quality wooden playing pieces, and an innovative game mechanism in its double-sided tiles. Each side represents a different posture – often considered to be defensive or offensive – and demonstrates exactly what the piece can do within the turn. At the end of a move (or after the use of a special ability), the tile is flipped to its other side, displaying a new offensive or defensive posture.

Each posture conveys different options for manoeuvre and attack. The full circle is a standard Move, the hollow circle the Jump, the arrow provides for the Slide, the star a special Strike ability and so on. Each turn a player may select any tile to manoeuvre, attempting to defend his own troops while positioning himself to capture his opponent’s tiles. If you end your movement in a square occupied by an opponent’s tile, you capture that tile. Capture your opponent’s Duke to win!

Tsuro

  • 2-8 players
  • 15 minutes
  • 8+
  • 6.7

A beautiful and beautifully simple game of laying a tile before your own token to continue its path on each turn. The goal is to keep your token on the board longer than anyone else’s, but as the board fills up this becomes harder because there are fewer empty spaces left… and another player’s tile may also extend your own path in a direction you’d rather not go. Easy to introduce to new players, Tsuro lasts a mere 15 minutes and actually does work for any number from 2 to 8.

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