The latest release from Stonemaier Games has finally bee-n announced. The internet is abuzz with excitement as the hive mind wonders what is to come from debuting designer Connie Vogelmann. The initial paragraph from the description goes like this:
“In a far-distant future, humans no longer inhabit Earth. The cause of their disappearance (or perhaps their demise) is unknown, but their absence left a void ready to be filled by another sentient species.”
The humble honeybee has evolved over numerous generations and now has become a super intelligent and supersized society known as the Mellifera. Their technology is so advanced, they can now go to space. Yep, that’s right folks. We got space bees.
In Apiary, 1-5 players are given a choice of 20 unique factions to start with, with a hive, some resources and worker bees. The gameplay is described as worker placement and hivebuilding, allowing you to explore planets, gather resources, develop the technologies of your hive and create carvings of your faction’s strength over a year’s Flow. Workers don’t have long to act before the Dearth where they must hibernate.
Having a more through flip through the rulebook, the contents of the game are all the more intriguing. There are several resources to manage, including wax, pollen and fibre, a cool Queenship mini, workers with variable strengths printed on them and a lot more. Action spaces are never blocked, but you can bump other players out of a space, which gives them a stronger bee for a future turn. You can keep playing actions until you want to regain income or just want to hibernate your strength 4 bees.
This looks like a really fun game to play and learn the strategy for, and in particular, fans of Teotihuacan, Honey Buzz, Tzolk’in and/or Euphoria are suggested as potential fans of Apiary. Throughout October, the reviewer content will be available and the game purchasable through the Stonemaier store. However, if you’re happy to wait, the worldwide retail release is scheduled for late November, just in time for Christmas.