ASTRA 2017—Mayfair Games

Mayfair’s latest title, Barenpark ($42), tasks players with fitting together various polyomino tiles (similar to Tetris shapes or the pieces from Mayfair’s own game, Patchwork) to build out individual bear zoos.

The challenge in this one comes not so much from fitting the pieces on the board—there are plenty of smaller two-square and one-square pieces to fill the holes—but in figuring out the best order of pieces to take and spaces to fill. Some but not all tiles come with victory points. And for some of those, as with achievements that vary each game, the victory point value decreases with each tile taken. At the same time, covering certain board spaces enables a player to draw additional tiles, take another board, or get access to higher value pieces.

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Toy Fair 2017—Mayfair Games

In Bärenpark (April or May, $42), you’re creating a zoo for bears! There’s four types of bears and crazy shaped puzzle pieces that are reminiscent of Patchwork, and amenities tiles for your zoo like Zooloretto, and when you cover up certain undeveloped areas you get certain bonus points or actions like in, well, Bärenpark. Like Patchwork, the conflict seems to be more in obtaining a certain-shaped tile before an opponent does as we all play somewhat separately. (And unlike Patchwork, it plays up to four players.)

The other big news from Mayfair Games is a re-release of Le Harve, expected before Gen Con (mid August, $70). Reprinting the original game, this new boxed edition comes with the Le Grand Hameau expansion and “some other promo cards that have never before been included in the base game.”

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