Essen 2015 - Japon Brand

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2015

Running Time:  31 min.

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Japon Brand offers many different games from Japanese designers but is not a traditional publisher in the European or American sense of the word. It is an alliance of many small publishers brought together by practical necessity - pooling their resources in order to bring more games to market

We chat with the founder of Japon Brand, Takerube Nobuaki, noted game designer Seiji Kanai and translator Simon Lundstrom about Hanafuda (Flower Cards), a classic Japanese card game. Hanafuda has a fascinating history including Portuguese missionaries, gambling and the founding of Nintendo.  

We also discuss the influence of traditional board and card games like Hanafuda and Shogi or Go on modern game designers and players in Japan.

Finally, we conclude with a chat about the recent micro-game craze, inspired in part by the global success of Seiji's game Love Letter.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Mike Elliott

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  29 min.

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From Magic: The Gathering and dozens of media licensed games to Thunderstone, Quarriors and Dice Masters, Mike Elliott has been a proilfic game designer for the past twenty years. Starting with his early days at Wizards of the Coast , we chat with Mike about his career in games. 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Kumo Hogosha

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  10 min.

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Kumo Hogosha is an abstract strategy game from French publisher Morning Players. Your group of warriors (inlaid wooden dice) compete to push the Stone of Balance onto the steps of your opponent. But beware, the arena itself can rotate and quickly change the tide of battle. 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Game Salute

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  20 min.

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Dan Yarrington chats about Game Salute's new edition of Poseidon's Kingdom, an undersea strategy game with amazing sculpted figurines and a dice wave. 

We also discuss Area 1851, a Wild West - Alien Encounter mash up and a new expansion to the medieval crafting game King's Forge. 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Artipia Games

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  20 min.

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Greek publisher Artipia Games has built up an eclectic catalog of games. This year is no exception

Konstantinos Kokkinis chats about a bevvy of new titles that demonstrate Artipia's broad, innovative spirit.

Dice City is a fast light dice crafting game.

Project Elite is a real time co-op game with massive minis.

Pursuit of Happiness is a gamerly interpretation of The Game of Life.

Among the Stars: Revival is a card drafting space station building game.

Stellar Conflict is a reboot of Lightspeed, a game originally published by Cheapass Games over a decade ago.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Bezier Games

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2015

Running Time:  26 min.

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Ted Alspach chats about the challenges of updating and adapting previously published titles like Terra and To Court the King (now Favor of the Pharaoh). 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Abacusspiele

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2015

Running Time:  20 min.

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Matthias Wagner chats about a new deluxe edition of the classic card game Tichu and a 3-player variant, Chimera. We also discuss the chocolate cultivation game Cacao. 

The bulk of our conversation focuses on upcoming releases for 2016: Micro Robots, Leo the Long-Haired Lion and Food Fight (Obstkomplott).

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - MAGE Company

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2015

Running Time:  18 min.

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MAGE Company's Alex Argyropoulos chats about three new games, each with a science fiction angle: one original, one adaptation of a classic, and one conversion from a print-and-play design.

Raid & Trade is a post apocalyptic game of negotiation and resource management where players vie for citizenship in a a Golden City. 

Res Publica 2330 AD is an adaptation of Reiner Knizia's Roman classic. Players settle alien worlds by trading and collecting sets to build space stations and cities.

Aether Captains is a steampunk dice game where players take on the role of a zeppelin captain fighting off waves of air pirates.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

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