On this Saturday, March 9, 2019, your mission, if you accept, will be to go to Epinal to discover the fun festival and come back with game reviews. Confident in our abilities, proud to receive this quest, we set out on a fun adventure. For the first time, I went to the festival Jeux et Cie d'Epinal, in France. Fortunately, to help me and support me in this heavy task, Barry (second time at Epinal) accompanied me and guided me in the pouring rain (as well as play the role of chauffeur).
After several hours of driving, we arrived at the site: the Congress Center. Easily found, rather well located when you come from far away and with plenty of available parking spaces, the mission seemed to be starting on a good track.
This is a free festival, which offers you the chance to discover new or old games in a good atmosphere and for all tastes. That's what the poster promised us. Once inside the room, we actually find ourselves in a family atmosphere, dare I say zen. The stands were quite spaced out, a lot of tables available, people were smiling, even very welcoming. On site, besides the games we found some service in terms of restoration (although I found the thing a bit expensive), games to bring back (wide choice in the local game stores). As for the types of games, the target audience is still family and children even if, here and there we did find games a little more focused on the expert public. The demonstrators and volunteers present were very good, friendly and quick to explain the rules with joy and good humor. A nice surprise for a festival this size. It is regrettable that some publishers did not make the trip or bring protos to test, while others were just not present. Overall it's really nice. Too bad it is a bit far, (a 3 hour plus car journey) if not with pleasure I would go back (especially in such a charming company). Especially since the festival only lasted for three days! Wow.
As for our original mission ... So we tried no less than thirteen games. Here are these titles with a (very) short summary and opinion. Plus we pick out our top 3 gaming experiences of the event.
Attention, these opinions are first impressions within the framework of a festival (noise/fighting for a table/rules not explained correctly/fatigue from continuous playing), as always in this type of events. These opinions can change by playing the game in other configurations, like at home or different player counts or after watching a Rodney Smith video =).
how to play
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The heat is comfortable.
The wind blows genitally. Then a little more forceful, making cards fly off tables and frantic gamers scramble after them. Only to return to the table with a giggle on their lips and the game continues.
Yes, we are outdoors at a weekend festival called Paris est Ludique. Not "Gay Paris" but "Playful Paris." Where publishers from all over France come to demo their new game, classic big sellers and games for the future. First time and famous designers show up to to get reactions from their prototypes and maybe their signature on a contract. Also Belgium publishers get in on the act and somewhere, hidden away there is even an English one too.
But that is not what you see as you walk around the Pelouse De Reuilly. It's all the smiling faces from the thousand guests that are walking around. From the demonstrates, content to retell the story of why their detective is addicted to cigarettes or why it's important to save the animals in the zoo. Even from the security personnel, who are amazed to see some many gentle people having fun together. And these smiles reflect in the environment all around.
This is not the first time that I have been here and felt this ambiance. PeL (Paris est Ludique) is my local big event, where I get to catch up with friends and contacts that I have made over the years. It is the second best event that I attend every year, after Essen (nothing will beat that). And I enjoy every minute of the wondering and babbling that takes place there. It's family friendly exterior entices thousands of parent to sit down and have fun with their kids.
So I played as much as I could, so I could show you what is new and coming to our hobby. And maybe a be of that smiling has been captured on video and rubs off onto you. Roll on PeL 2019... =)
Overviews and interviews from Pel
This is a preview of a Kickstarter.
Don't forget that this version of the game that I have played, is just a prototype.
There may be changes to the component, rules and art .
come together, right now
Nētā-Tanka gives me the same sensation, only that it also makes you feel good because you've helped out the fellow players. No, this isn't a co-op game. You are competing. But you are preform tasks to help your fellow man around your nomad village. Feeding them, clothing them, housing them, all for generousness point. All these thing will make your people see that you are "The One" to become the next Nētā-Tanka. This is a game, that if you are really good to you friends and family, you will win the game.
Every building actions and job that you send your meeple out to do will generate generosity points. These are either in a spendable token form or just solid final score form. In the game, you'll be placing out you clan of meeples, one at a time onto spaces that give them a task. Then on your turn, activating the tasks that you sent them to do, before the cleanup and preparation of the next round. A fairly straight forward game of this genera, yes?
... Read on ...
you scratch my back...
Unlike the village idiot, you won't get suckered in to preforming that same old task from round to round, that helps all everyone get resources, apart from yourself. So your day in the sun will come if a player takes the "Elder of the hunt" or "Elder of the forest" action space. Those are powerful actions giving you a choice in what you do, either taking a resorce or preforming a build action. Choosing this space will commit that meeple on that space to going hunting for buffalo of collecting wood in the forest the next round. Therefore setting up more resources that now you can pick from.
what's the point?
You don't have to do what the card says, so you can go your own route. Make your own objective, without bonus points. As other players may get in the way of the actions you want to preform. Or because you miscalculated an action. For example, you have a meeple on the "Smoke Meat" space and player one just captured a buffalo, but player three is going to skin it and cut up the meat...
And your player two...
And there's no meat for you to smoke...
Better fine a pipe...
But this secret objective card is not a loss, as you can trade it in for a point of generosity that can be either spent on the "Offering" space or kept as a scoring point at the final. Making an "Offering" is one way to get resources that you want, plans to make Handicrafts. And also use a powerful tool..."Links."
join the chain gang
That's not to say that you will have a hard time doing the things you planed to do each turn. Even though a large majority of spaces that can only hold one meeple, the game does not feel restrictive. There will always be a space or action that you want to do, open for one of you meeples. In fact, there will be rounds where every player gets the spaces that they want and some where they don't. One way around this is, as mentioned before, using the "Offering" space to pay to use the "Links." Another is by unlocking a special ability, which allows you to copy. Basically allowing you to place one of your clan in a space already occupied by one other meeple. Yours or another players. And BAM! your doing the action you wanted to do and maybe activating a "Link" too.
Lots of possibility's for ways to get them chores done. And when their done, it's off to the next. As there are may ways to get those points of generosity to come your way. Not only do you get scored on the height of your totem pole but a bonus for each skull and two parts wood constructed. Object give the marked points but creating sets will give additional. Point city, or should I say point village!
more than just a pretty skin
Of course, there are a lot more things to talk about. Like how timing is important and how becoming first player gives you a helping hand and how to actually build a tepee!!! But those are questions that will be answered in the video below
Now watch "how to play"
Look out for the game when it hits Kickstarter on June the 5th
Barry Doublet &
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Jolly Dutch Productions
Jumping Turtle Games
La Boite De Jeu
Lucky Duck Games
North Star Games
Paris Est Ludique
Sorry We Are French
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The Flying Games
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