Fox Mind’s latest release, Match Madness ($30), is a challenge puzzle played in real-time head-to-head. That is, each player has a set of five two-piece blocks covered with various symbols (sort of like three-dimensional dominoes). A challenge card is flipped and the first player to arrange their blocks in a matching pattern wins the point.
Fox Mind, known mostly in the past for these types of abstract titles, is moving this year to incorporate in to its lineup games with more thematic content.
Flipolo (imminent, $20) is another kind of fast-play race. Every player gets a board of animal faces and a set of double-sided tiles with the same animal faces mixed-and-matched on either side. The goal is to be the first to cover one’s board with matching animals. The challenge is to use the right side of the right tile on the right space, without needing the opposite side of the tile in a different space.
Sports Dice Baseball (May, $12) is a light dice game for two players. When a meeple comes up to bat, both players roll a set of dice. For each, the most common roll (single, double, etc.) governs. If the roll of the one at-bat is better, the hit is a success. If the roll of the player fielding is better, then the batter is out. Ties can be broken by the player currently holding the power chip, if they hand the chip over to their opponent.
Museum Heist (summer, $30) secretly assigns players individual art-thief characters. Then they take turns moving character tokens around the museum map-board (any, not just their own). The goal is to be the first to arrive at an art token and steal it without being discovered.
The concept for Head of Mousehold (summer, $20) is based on the saying, “The second mouse gets the cheese.” That is, after determining a new speed ranking each round for the various colored mice, players lay mouse cards (alternating face-down and face-up) on the cheese-baited mouse traps. At the end of a round, when everyone has placed their three mouse cards, the one who played the second-fastest mouse on each trap gets to claim the cheese.
Slide Blast (summer, $30) is a tile-laying path game along the lines of Tsuro or Psyche Paths. Starting from a central hub, players add hexagonal tiles to build out an elaborate water-slide. They rack up points for every segment that their token slides, as well as bonus points for slides they assist other players.