Both games premiered at Essen 2016, and they were very well-received. They’ve been available in Europe for a while, but this will be the first official release into North America for these games.
Cottage Garden, which as you could probably guess, is a gardening-themed board game. Each player is trying to have the most neatly organized garden, in order to maximize the amount of victory points they earn.
The players will have two different garden bed squares, and each square has different spots that give you more points if you don’t cover them. The flower tiles available to plant are all different geometric shapes.
Each turn players select a flower tile to place in their garden. Once a player has no more unplanted boxes visible on their garden bed squares, they score the bed and take a replacement bed.
I was able to play Cottage Garden, after one of my friends paid a lot of money to buy it from a French Store and have it shipped over to the United States. The game is pretty light, but very fun. I really enjoyed the mechanics, the art and the theme of the game. It is definitely on my buy list!
Cottage Garden is for 1-4 players, takes about 45-60 minutes to play, costs $59.99 and will be released by Stronghold Games in June 2017.
NOT ALONE is an asymetrical card game set on the mysterious planet of Artemia. You and your team of intergalactic explorers get shipwrecked on the planet. As your team explores the planet, you realize there’s a creature stalking you!
One player will be the creature, while the rest of the players act as the human crew. The humans are attempting to survive a certain amount of time, while the creature is trying to assimilate the crew to the planet.
The humans all have a hand of different location cards. The locations all do something different, like allow you to draw a a card from a new location (thereby opening that up as a place you can go), pick up your cards, etc.
The humans will all play a card face down, and then the creature uses a power and then lays a token on the map, which indicates where they are going. The players flip their cards over, showing where they are. If the creature is in the same location as a human, the creature “catches” the player.
Once that round is over, the players all have to leave their cards face up, which means each player is now limited in where they can go. This adds a great element of deduction to the game.
The creature, on the other hand, is not limited. They could return to the same location as last turn.
NOT ALONE is a quick, fun game of deduction and survival. It is for 2-7 players, takes about 30 minutes to play, costs $29.95, and Stronghold Games will release the game in May 2017.
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