Second Look—Mafia de Cuba

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.

Fans of Mafia or Werewolf who want a bit more out of their game, pay attention. Mafia de Cuba gives you what you love, and so much more.

Actually, the only thing Mafia de Cuba shares with the previously mentioned games is the face that each player has a role, and someone is trying to figure those roles out. The really cool part? Players choose their roles through gameplay.

The game starts with The Godfather, the only non-secret role in the game. He fills the cigar box (the actual box the game comes in) with 15 diamonds and the character tokens. He then passes the box to the next player. Players can take any number of diamonds out of the box, or a character token. The first player can actually take TWO character tokens and hide one, this removing it from play. Once the box makes it around the table, The Godfather questions the players trying to find the thieves. boite-mafia-de-cubaIf he recovers all fifteen diamonds he wins. If he accuses the wrong people, he’s eliminated and victory is awarded based on who was accused. Each different role has different victory conditions, most sharing victory with other roles. The game’s expansion, Revolucion, adds more roles and a fake diamond.

The game is a blast, and I actually prefer it over other social deduction games. Everything from the pieces, the roles, and the role play really hit the right buttons with me. Speaking of the pieces, the game’s box is designed to look like a cigar box, the plastic diamonds are excellent, and the character tokens have enough heft to make them feel substantial. There’s a player-aid under the lid of the box with a space to place a sticker with the extra rules that come with the expansion, so all the rules are right in front of you during play.  It’s a game that feels solid from the ground up, the only downside being you need at least 6 players to play.

The rules are simple, and you’ll really only need a references sheet for the roles for the first few times you play. The expansion adds more depth, and a lot more fun.

I see this replacing Werewolf in my game collection, though I’d love to see a Werewolf themed version of this in the future.

A copy of Mafia de Cuba was provided free by Asmodee Editions.

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Takenoko: Chibis

ASMTAK02US+containsAs if Takenoko couldn’t get cute enough, now you can add Miss Panda and 9 panda babies to the base game with Takenoko: Chibis. Chibis adds new objectives, plot tiles, more pandas, and new landscape features to use and make sure the pandas are one big happy family.

Takenono:Chibis will be available from Asmodee Editions in August for a retail of $29.99. The box will contain:

  • 1 Miss Panda Figurine
  • 9 Panda Babies tokens
  • 18 Objective cards
  • 17 Bamboo sections
  • 6 Plot tiles
  • 1 Rulebook

Takenoko is a game I keep meaning to pickup, but haven’t yet. Chibis may be the deciding factor in me picking it up sooner rather than later.

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The very popular game of Splendor, which is distributed by Asmodee, will see release in digital form this summer (Android, iOS, Steam) by another Asmodee subsidiary, Days of Wonder. The companies promise a faithful adaptation of the tabletop game, which is nominally about Renaissance merchant houses. Really though, I can see the simple but fairly abstract mechanics of this game working well as a nice distraction on a cell phone or tablet. In case you haven’t played, it works basically like this: each turn a player may either collect income, in the form of gemstones of various colors, or purchase a card, which provides either victory points, recurring income, or both.

Stratego Single PlayerYoudagames and Royal Jumbo recently launched Stratego Single Player (iOS and Android) with options for the classic 40 vs. 40 battle, a shorter 16 vs. 16 battle, and even a campaign mode. The skill of the computer opponent can be adjusted and there are new unit ranks available. App price is $1.99.

Battling the latest killer virus is your job as director of the New York City field office of the Department of Plague Control in Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp (PC, Mac, iOS). The decisions you must make include where to focus research, whom to hire, and what equipment to purchase. Infection is a solitaire game based on the same title from Victory Point Games. The apps are priced $10 desktop and $5 mobile. Fourteen different virus challenges are included.

Up to five players can play live with Apples to Apples now on iOS. The game also connects to social media, so players can share their silly card combinations and challenge friends via Facebook. The basic game is free but of course there are in-app purchases.

Not a game in and of itself, Tabletopia rather is a platform, still in development, for digital publishing of board games. The system is supposed to be accessible from PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, and emphasizes replicating the function and appearance of the tabletop as closely as possible. Interested designers and publishers can sign up for beta access now.

Terra Mystica Tabletopia

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Parfum Asmodee EditionsAsmodee Editions, the company that distributes such popular titles as 7 Wonders, Elysium, and Splendor, has a new game out later this year that is all about the scents.

Parfum is a game of chemistry. Players act as perfumers, trying to create the perfect scent by collecting various ingredients. Use the Aroma dice to gather specific notes used to create perfumes that wealthy clients have requested.

The game comes with 42 fragrance tiles, 25 customers, 25 fountain tiles, and 15 dice. Plus, there are a number of wooden bottles that represent perfume, player tokens, a double-sided game board, character descriptions, and a few more additions to make the game complete.

The game supports two to four players, ages eight and up. Gameplay takes approximately 45 minutes.

Parfum is scheduled to launch by the third quarter of 2015. It will be available at local board game stores for a retail price of $50.

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The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design
The winners of the 2015 Origins Awards, as given out by The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design at the Origins Game Fair, are:

ASMMET01OK. I’m going to be straight with you. Asmodee has a bunch of new stuff coming out in June. This includes Barony, Metal Adventures, Cardline: Dinosaurs and Ultimate Warriorz.

Really, though, I’m mainly interested in Metal Adventures. Why? Space. Pirates.

Metal Adventures is a card game where you’re a SPACE PIRATE  trying to gain honor, wealth, and glory. Using the cards you’ll explore, upgrade your ship, and complete challenges.

Metal Adventures is for 3-6 players ages 14+ and plays 45-60 minutes. It’ll retail for $49.99.

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