For a relatively new company in the American market, Iello’s presence at Toy Fair was pretty impressive (a large end-cap booth upstairs). In terms of Iello’s new games, ones that we haven’t reported on before were a small but diverse set.

Piña Pirata ($20), from designer Donald X. Vaccarino, is a card game of anthropomorphic pirates and, at least at the beginning, simple rules. In turn, players attempt to lay down cards with matching pirates but draw cards if they can’t. The first to empty his hand of cards wins the round. The winner of the round then draws two treasure map tiles. One is retained for scoring—four tiles, forming an “x”, marks the game winner—and one is selected for the rule on its reverse, which is added to and changes the game going forward.

Think Again ($16), by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, is a party trivia game with very easy questions. The trick is that the proper answer is sometimes the correct one and sometimes an incorrect one, depending on which of various symbols is displayed on the back of the next card.

The Night of the Giant Octopus (rough translation from the French prototype) is a satirical take on a Lovecraft game (but unlicensed, so it includes no specific Cthulhu references). In addition to some beautiful art, the game has going for it a focus on deception and negotiation reminiscent of Cosmic Encounter. Each player moves one cult figure and one monster figure around the board (representing a university for young sorcerers) trying to collect a set of items necessary for a summoning. Whenever two or more players’ cultists end up in the same room, those players must agree on which one gets to collect the item. They can make any sort of deal but if they can’t agree, both of their cults lose a strength point. A player who’s cult loses all five points is out of the game.

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