Here’s what is new this week:
- Fliptown: The Outskirts Expansion
- El alquimista de los dados
- Naturopolis (Kickstarter Preview)
Fortune and glory await in the Wild West. But how will you earn your spurs in this untamed land? Will you help settle the town? Blaze a trail to new discoveries? Mine for gold? Or turn to a life of lawlessness? You choose your fate in this wild and woolly flip & write game.
Don’t scoff at the idea of blending Poker with a flip & write game. This one sounds really promising, as each round you’ll get 5 turns and each of those turns will give all players the same three cards, using one for the suit to determine the area of your map to use, one using the value to determine which spot on that area you’re marking, and the other to go toward the 5-card poker hand at the end of the round. Balanced against this is the presence of a sheriff, which might force you to pay a hefty penalty if you run through too many things that raise your wanted level. With the option to also play solo, this one is sure to provide a fresh take on a crowded genre for 1-4 players.
Fliptown: The Outskirts Expansion
In the Outskirts, resources are scarce and the competition is fierce.
What better way to celebrate your new flip & write game than by also picking up its accompanying expansion? This one integrates smoothly into the gameplay, adding extra goals to try and accomplish first for a reward. This is the perfect one to mix in right from the start, or, if you prefer, to add after a dozen plays to give the game a fresh feel again.
There is little left for the next full moon. When it shines high in the sky, the secret conclave of the potion-makers order of warlocks and witches will begin. Then, the oldest and wisest of the master witches and warlocks, will choose from among the aspirants, the new member of the order, to whom all kinds of secrets will be revealed. Only one will be chosen.
A game of dice rolling and potion making that promises to be fun, fast, and easy to teach. The yahtzee-style mechanic applies to the dice rolling for the active player, but with a pair of twists: if they don’t reroll anything, they get a bonus. For every reroll they do (up to 2 rerolls), everyone else gets a bonus. So there’s a lot to consider there. Pair that with the ability to lock in only the dice from a single number between rolls, and that dice are drafted by taking all of a number, there’s some fun decision spaces to be found in this game.
El alquimista de los dados
Rumors have reached the count that his alchemists, you, are a gang of lazy people who spend the day playing cards and dice in the tavern. Therefore, he has decided to stop financing your experiments and has asked one of the most illustrious alchemists in the kingdom to test you. The wise old will ask you to make some of him’s most famous potions. In this way, the count will know who is really a worthy alchemist and who is a charlatan that spends his coins. Get ready!
A light game of set collection to brew potions, well, maybe. There’s a chance that things won’t work quite as well as you expected, as there’s rarely a guaranteed success for making a potion. Like any great game, this one has ways to help mitigate that luck and improve your odds of success, though. If you always thought you’d make a good alchemist, or at least a witch or a wizard, you will enjoy the theme of crafting potions in around half an hour.
Naturopolis (Kickstarter Preview)
Wind whistling, bees buzzing, rivers rolling along: the sounds of the great outdoors are everywhere. This open countryside is unspoiled by human hands, and it’s your job to keep it that way. Make sure the tourists and campers have somewhere to go, but don’t let their presence distract you from what really matters.
Here’s more than just a fresh new theme for an already-excellent line of games. Not only does this capitalize on the gameplay you may already know and love, but it also adds in a few new twists that, depending on scoring conditions, can be absolutely critical for your end result. Campsites and rivers are both features that are prevalent in your nature terrain, adding more variety. But the big change comes from the roads. Yes, those pesky roads we all love to hate from Spawl and Agropolis are back and worse than ever, costing even more points against your score. After all, who really wants a road running through your natural landscape, right?
Games of the Week: Sprawlopolis & Agropolis
Jackhammers chattering, trucks beeping, engines roaring, the sounds of construction are everywhere. Sprawlopolis is growing and YOU are in charge of it all. The last team of planners couldn’t cut it, so the city turned to your team, the best of the best. If anyone can turn this tiny town into a thriving civic center it’s you.
If you want to feel hopelessly incompetent, this is the solitaire experience you’ve been looking for. Or maybe I’m just that bad at the game, boasting about a 20% win rate. I’m not complaining, though (okay, maybe I am a little bit) because this game is quick and clever and exactly what you hope for in a pocket-sized city-building game. The variable scoring conditions ensure hundreds of possible combinations to try without ever repeating the same game, and each presents a unique challenge for how to maximize your points in conjunction with the other objectives. Technically this can be played cooperatively with up to four players, but the risk of invoking a blood feud over poor play is much lower when playing by yourself. In all honesty, this game is (in my humble opinion) one of the best games of the previous decade and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should do yourself a favor and print this out to try today. The amount of variety in 18 cards is mind-boggling and enjoyable.
Having developed dream cities in Sprawlopolis, it's now time to set your sights on the rolling countryside, where farm, ranches, and roads intermingle master plan, as ever, seems just out of reach.
Agropolis is a stand-alone expansion to Sprawlopolis, bringing the same card-laying, variable-scoring gameplay into a new setting: city blocks give way to orchards, wheat fields, livestock pens, and vineyards. As before, players draw three goal cards and then attempt to place cards one at a time to create a rural tableau that best satisfies those goals. New gameplay features help offset overly-powerful scoring combos and layer additional attributes onto certain types of terrain, providing even greater depth of gameplay without satisfying the original's signature elegance.
If you ever found yourself wishing Sprawlopolis was a little less major city and a little more countryside, this game is going to fit right in your barnyard. With rules you may already know but with a look that is a little more evocative of the countryside, us Midwesterners are going to enjoy this retheming of a great title. However, it isn’t just the look of the cards that are different here. No, there’s an additional “optional” rule of a Feed Fee to consider, based on the scoring cards that are used. All of them have some animals along the bottom, and some scoring cards can have you need additional points to win based on the animals represented on the cards. For those who truly love to lose (because Sprawlopolis was already impossible to win often anyway, right?), you can possibly give yourself a higher score to hit in order to secure victory. After all, life on the farm is not for the faint of heart.
Check out Games of the Week here: https://www.pnparcade.com/collections/game-of-the-week
See you next week with more information on our newest print and play games!