KickStarter is a crowd-finding platform, where people seek financial support for their latest, greatest idea. All sorts of bizarre and unusual things can be found there, as well as a lot of boardgames. One of the more curious projects currently seeking financial support is “The Edible Games Cookbook“. Designed by a professional game designer cum amateur baker, the hard-back book presents a series of “food experiences to play with friends and family”. The campaign page says that players “might be required to crack a secret code that’s baked into cream puffs; keep a straight face while eating something gross; conjure up a delectable morsel from a mishmash of ingredients; perform “sacred”, food-related rituals; test their memory and taste buds … and that’s only half the games”. There is a sample chapter available, if you want to have your taste buds tickled, and the project runs until Friday 20th July 2018.
Sadly, Peter Firmin, “father” of Bagpuss and Basil Brush, passed away yesterday after a short illness, aged eighty-nine. In addition to the old, saggy cloth cat (baggy, and a bit loose at the seams) and the anarchic fox (boom BOOM!), together with Oliver Postgate, Peter brought many other childhood favourites into our homes. These include, The Clangers, Pogle’s Wood, Pingwings and What-a-Mess. To gamers though, the most interesting are probably Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, both of which have recently inspiredboardgames that Peter Firmin personally illustrated in his unique and beautiful style. He was a lovely man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him and those who were inspired by him.
People playing Carcassonne in and around the walled city of Carcassonne, are a common sight and the locals are very tolerant. However, the residents have been less impressed by the new art installation adorning the medieval fortress. Selected by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Carcassonne’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the installation is also part of the IN SITU Heritage and Contemporary Art, a summer event in the Occitanie / Pyrenees-Mediterranean region focusing on the relationship between modern art and architectural heritage.
– Image from france.fr
The work was designed by Felice Varini and comprises thin, painted aluminium sheets laid on the walls and towers of the west side of the medieval city, to form a succession of yellow “concentric eccentric circles” drawing visitors into the city. The installation was officially inaugurated on 4th May and will be visible until the end of September.
The first weekend in June was the UK Games Expo (sometimes known as UKGE, or simply Expo), held at the NEC and the NEC Hilton Metropole in Birmingham. Several of the GOATS went, as well as some of the GOATS’ friends from the Didcot Games Club. Friday was unbearably hot in the main hall with two people actually passing out with the heat, but by Saturday, the air conditioning was on and and it was less sticky. That was just as well because Saturday was the busiest day, though it didn’t feel too crowded because there was extra space compared with last year.
Plenty of games were played; Blue and Black even managed to squeeze in a quick game of Mijnlieff while they were waiting for lunch to arrive on Friday lunch time. The surprise of Expo though, was Echidna Shuffle – a light pickup and deliver game with extremely tactile pieces. In the demo game, Black pipped Purple into second place, with Blue and Black some way behind, but the only real question was how many copies they were going to buy, and it was no surprise that it sold out on Friday! It surely won’t be long before it Features on a Tuesday night…
This weekend, 1st-3rd June, gamers will be converging on Birmingham for a three days of fun and games for the UK Games Expo (sometimes known as UKGE, or simply Expo). The event has a very different feel to Essen in October, as it is focussed on gamers playing games rather than publishers selling new games. In addition to Euro Games, there are lots of role/cos players, miniatures games, and war games, with tournaments as well as plenty of “open gaming” space, talks and play testing. The event is now in its twelfth year and every year is bigger than the last: this year it will be occupying three halls in the of the NEC as well as the NEC Hilton Metropole. Several of the GOATS are planning to go this year, some for just a day, others for the duration, and it is certain that it will be a fun weekend.
Spiel des Jahres Azul by Michael Kiesling Luxor by Rüdiger Dorn The Mind by Wolfgang Warsch
Firstly, more than half of the nominees were designed by either Wolfgang Warsch, or Michael Kiesling, so huge congratulations to them. In our view, Azul richly deserves it’s nomination and it would be no surprise if it ultimately wins the award. Of the other two nominations for the “red pöppel”, The Mind has received quite a lot of attention, and is a bit like a cross between Hanabi and The Game (both of which have been acknowledged by the Jury in the past, in 2013 and 2015 respectively). Luxor has a good pedigree as it is designed by Rüdiger Dorn (also designer of The Traders of Genoa, Goa, Istanbul, and one of our group favourites, Las Vegas), but it is a bit more of an unknown as it has only just come out. Usually the Kennerspiel Prize winners are a good fit to our group, but this year they are also largely unknown to us, so there is clearly a lot to discover before the winners are announced in Berlin on 23rd July (Kinderspiel des Jahres winners will be announced in Hamburg on 11th June).
…it would seem that Eurazeo is not looking to hold onto Asmodee for the long haul, instead they will be looking to maximise Asmodee’s growth and then make their exit, probably in the next two to five years. So the big question is, how are Eurazeo going to make their “controlled exit”?
Reuters now reports that according to un-named sources, the answer is, “Sell Asmodee”. Apparently, investment bankers have been hired to run a sale process which they claim could value the company at over €1.5 billion (quite a return for Eurazeo who originally paid €143 million for Asmodee in November 2013). As yet, there is no credible information as to who the potential buyers may be, but if the news that Asmodee is to be sold is true, there will no doubt be plenty of speculation over the coming weeks and months. Possibilities range from a major toy manufacturer like Hasbro or Mattel wanting to add expand their range of boardgames, to venture capitalists companies going for maximum short term profits, leading to reduced quality and increased prices. No doubt, time will tell…