“We gathered some of our favorite mechanics from our favorite games and made that our design goal,” Chen said when I asked about his inspirations. “We wanted to combine the engine building of Race for the Galaxy, the dice manipulation of Alien Frontiers, and the simultaneous action selection of 7 Wonders.”
Kodama: The Tree Spirits is a game about growing trees. In nature, trees to not follow a blueprint or a predetermined path; they grow how they please, their branches forming a unique natural fingerprint. Like snowflakes or people, no two are exactly alike, which makes building a board game about growing trees tricky. Games have structure and rules, a literal book that tells you how to play. Nature and games are seemingly at odds, but Kodama manages to pull off a well-balanced game about growing trees while capturing the free-form, aimless beauty of nature. In Kodama, players aim to please the titular
Antigravitor, an upcoming futuristic racing title, has no qualms about tossing realism out of the proverbial window; most of the time I’m just careening through the race tracks, the hoverbike whizzing by so quickly that the lights trails in the course make me feel like I’m inside a long-exposure shot.