It was the 5th century BCE and we, the Athenians, had been victorious over the Persians. The Delian League was now under our military control and the income generated by federation fees had made us prosperous. It was time for an ambitious building programme and the most talented architects in ancient Greece were ready. We were going to build housing, temples, markets, gardens and barracks. Our planning rules were going to create a harmonious community, enhanced by plazas. We would create new quarries to provide the stone to stretch our city towards the sky. We were going to build our high city, our Akropolis by Jules Messaud from Gigamic.
The living room floor was a mess, sort of anyway. Everything was neatly arranged in a grid pattern, but there was no order to it whatsoever. Books were next to plants, which were next to games, which were next to frames all while some of our cats were tiptoeing around everything. All of it was only temporary though. I just wanted to get everything lined up, before returning it all to My Shelfie by Matthew Dunstan and Phil Walker-Harding from Lucky Duck Games.
Fungi have long been misclassified as plants. In reality, they are a whole kingdom of their own. What we call a mushroom is just a fungus's fruit that appears above ground, but a mushroom is just a tiny part of a fungus. It's their underground root system composed of dense masses of fine, thread-like filaments, called hyphae, that makes up the majority of a fungus. Yet, mushrooms are crucial in a fungus's propagation. Mushrooms send out spores, which are carried through the air to new locations. When they eventually germinate they create new Mycelia by J. J. Neville from Split Stone Games.
Of the over 30 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, India, only 10 are inhabited. Of those, only a few are open to tourists. To visit the islands you need permission from the nearest customs office in Kochi, which is over 300 miles away. It helps strike the right balance between creating a good income stream for the islands, while also supporting sustainable tourism and preserving the fragile ecosystem of Lakshadweep by Sidhant Chand from Luma World.
The bitumen road had given way to a well-maintained dirt track. My monster road train was stubbornly ploughing on, throwing up red dust behind it in giant plumes. From time to time I could see kangaroos, wombats, spiny anteaters, platypuses and dingos. I even caught a rare glimpse of a Tasmanian devil. It was very busy in this arid landscape. In fact, it was so busy that it felt like there was an Outback Crossing by Bruce Whitehill from Mücke Spiele.
Gosh! The tiles were almost like dominoes, but square instead of rectangular. They came in a combination of six shapes and six colours. Every time you laid out tiles with the same colour, but different shapes or the same shape, but different colours, you had to connect them to what was already there, but without doubling up on colours or shapes. It quickly became confusing. It was a right Qwirkle by Susan McKinley Ross from MindWare.
Each of us was part of a team of four brave explorers who had spent months on the high seas to reach an island of myths and legends. All of us were on an expedition to navigate through dense jungle, trying to uncover paths that had been long lost and many of which were dead ends. If we were lucky we might find treasures along the way: gold nuggets or precious jewels. However, the riches along the way were mere trifles compared to our ultimate goal. Each of us wanted to be the first to reach one of the four temples whose tips we could see sticking out above the giant trees. These temples would reward us with unimaginable treasure and glory. We were determined to make history on the island of Karuba by Rüdiger Dorn from HABA.
"Captain!" came the shout from the deck. I turned around to see who from my Bluefin Squadron had called over to me. "What is it?" I shouted back in the general direction of my crew. "The crow's nest has spotted something. It looks like a smuggler ship." Ah, yes, the Smugglers. We were neither allies nor enemies. They would help us up to a point, while also always looking out for themselves. I only trusted them as far as my cannons could fire at them. "Fine, fine. Come about and let's see what they're up to." Minutes later the smuggler ship was upon us and I shouted "Ahoy!" by Greg Loring-Albright from Leder Games.
Nestled between hills and blanketed with beautiful fields of grass, where cows grazed happily, our village was in the perfect place. Country life was slow and relaxed, because nobody had anywhere urgent to get to. However, that was all going to change soon. Metal tracks were soon going to crisscross between hills and along rivers. They would connect our sleepy corner of the world. They were the Village Rails by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Osprey Games.
You had received a mysterious invitation to the old mansion on top of the hill, which had lain empty for decades - if not centuries. You were about to throw the letter in the bin, along with the junk mail, when you hesitated. It could be interesting to see who else would turn up. After all, there was this old story linking your ancestors to a Betrayal at House on the Hill: 3rd Edition by Dave Chalker, Banana Chan, Noah Cohen, Bruce Glassco, Brian Neff, Will Sobel and Jabari Weathers from Avalon Hill.