A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

What’s On Our Wishlist February 2023

wishlist - joan of arc

We're introducing a whole new series here at Zatu blogs HQ! We're getting a selection of our bloggers to let us know what is on their board gaming wishlist every month.

Joan Of Arc: Orleans Draw & Write - Favouritefoe

Wish lists are wonderful things. There’s no limit in size or scale. No restrictions, limitation, or logic to fetter. Imagination and desire are all you need. And I have both of those in spades!

My own ever increasing tome of temptation includes a lot of roll and writes and flip and fills. I love the accessibility and flexibility of the genre. I love the distillation of big game feel into small game size (Twilight Inscription and Hadrian’s Wall excepted!). There are now examples as crunchy and engaging as anything without the addition of a dry wipe marker or a pencil. And so when I saw Joan of Arc aka Orleans Draw and Write, it instantly went onto my wish list. Orleans is a quintessential bag building, – it’s rank as 30 overall on Board Game Geek cements its reputation as one of the most well respected games around. Despite being almost a decade old, it still beats off the competition. But at 90 minutes, it’s not exactly a lunchtime friendly gig. And as my gaming is often shoehorned in between other things, I value achieving the feel of a full game in snack size.

And although this adaptation isn’t exactly like the original, I am hoping there is going to be enough reminiscent of old Orleans in artwork, style and objective. From what I can tell, your workers are going to be busy; each has a job to do and points to score. Granted there is no “bag” and I guess that is a fundamental part of the original game. But bag building is just another form of drafting, and that’s a tried and tested part of many a roll and write. It’s not the size of the pool of workers, it’s what you do with them that counts!

Fall Of The Mountain King - Tom Harrod

I’m a huge fan of Burnt Island Games’ 2019 triumph, In The Hall Of The Mountain King. Don’t believe me? Check out my review, here! Does that title give you déjà vu? It's named after a famous piece of orchestral music composed by Edvard Grieg. You might not know the Norwegian play it originates from (‘Peer Gynt’). But I’d wager you’d recognise the theme if someone hummed it to you…

In The Hall Of The Mountain King is a network-building Euro-style game. It blends resource management, pick-up-and-deliver, and polyomino tile-placement over grid coverage. The brainboxes behind the design are Jay Cormier and Graeme Jahns. The stunning, evocative art is by one of my favourite board game artists, Kwanchai Moriya. I can't fault it!

And now, to my delight, a much-anticipated prequel has arisen. Fall Of The Mountain King takes place before ‘Hall’; it explains what happened to the trolls. They fought a terrible war against gnome invaders. The poor trolls got driven away from their beloved mountain. (The trolls would later return to it, which is where the action picks up in ‘Hall’.) ‘Fall’, though, is a different beast, from a mechanisms point of view…

The heart of the game is an area control battle. You’re not fighting human players, alone, though! You’re also battling against the gnomes, who are akin to a swarm of NPCs. The pesky little so-and-sos can even pip you to certain scoring sectors on the board! It sounds like there’s a fascinating array of mechanisms that dovetail together, here. You’re drafting square (2x2-grid) action cards to build a tableau of actions to take on your turn. You place cards down in a melding-and-splaying grid. Parts of cards have to overlay others, so you need to build with care and efficiency. (Think Orchard, or Hokkaido.)

Fall is by a different design and artist combo compared to Hall. (This time it’s Adam E. Daulton and Fahed Alrajil and Xavier Cuenca.) From what I’ve seen though, the art style seems consistent to that of Moriya’s in Hall. Initial responses look like this is deeper on the complex scale compared to Hall. (3.50/5 vs 2.81/5, according to the community). I’m a huge fan of mid-/heavy-weight Euros, so everything equals green ticks in checkboxes, as far as I’m concerned…

Cat In The Box  - Neil Proctor

As the Christmas and New Years celebrations fall into our distant memories it’s time to start looking forward, but not to next Christmas are you mad, rather to the new games that will soon be delivered to our doors.

Us gamers have a terrible habit of getting overly excited about games that haven’t yet been released and I count myself as one of those people whose new favourite game is the latest one to be unwrapped and played. But this months wishlist dreaming is a cheat as I have already played it lots and lots as a good friend of mine has a pre-retail release copy.

The game in question is Cat in the Box. This is a trick taking game but very unlike any other trick taking game available. All of the numbered cards are black and when you play a card you declare what colour (Red, Blue, Green or Yellow) it is. No other player can then call the same colour / number combination. So far so clever but where the genius comes in is that there are more numbers than there are possible colours. When you are trapped into a corner and cannot legally play a card of yours without causing a paradox you forfeit the round. In addition to this awesome mechanism you are also declaring at the beginning of each round how many tricks you will win based on your hand of cards.

Despite the fact that my good friend has a copy of this game I have also ordered a copy and I eagerly await that special knock on my door with my shiny new best game ever at the beginning of February.

Heat - Seb Hawden

I have had a few racing games over the years, ranging from Downforce and Jamaica to The Quest for El Dorado and Camel Up. There is just something about the latest hotness, Heat, that tickles my fancy. I found Downforce a bit flat, Love El Dorado and have since replaced Camel Up with Long Shot the Dice game.

In Heat, from what I have seen, there seems to be a lot more player control over your car. You use a bit of hand and deck management to get ahead of your opponents. You must slow down for corners and can degenerate heat, which clogs up your deck if you're running too fast. There's slipstreaming, upgrades and various other modules in the box and I would love to try it as soon as possible.

Unlike some of the other racing games I have played, Heat seems to be less about luck and more about skillful play, with a bit of push-your-luck sprinkled in. I have seen games where players have managed to come back from being quite far behind and I love that. There was nothing worse in Downforce than being stuck at the back and not being able to do much about it, which has happened to me several times.

The only issue is that Heat is in quite a bit of demand at the moment, is very popular and hard to get. This is the issue when newer games become the ‘in thing’, they sell out fast and are all over YouTube. DAMN YOU INTERNET! I will keep my eye on Zatu, as with other websites, for copies coming into stock. Heat is high up on my wishlist this month and I cannot wait to fill my engine with heat and fly around the tracks at breakneck speed.

Unsettled: Framework And Planets 001-002  - Stefano Paravisi

As every avid boardgame player, I am always looking forward to play new games and I keep a “very reasonable” wishlist on ZATU to help with the process. One of the games that I'm really looking forward to buy soon is “Unsettled”. In essence, Unsettled is a cooperative survival adventure for 2 to 4 players set in an uncharted region of the outer space. As part of a crew of explorers, players must work together and use their own skills to explore new planets and complete a set of tasks in order to survive. The challenges of strange new worlds will be the main opponents for the team while creativity and imagination will be the key to their survive.

One of the aspects that picked my interest in this game is the promise of a unique and highly-replayable experience. In fact, players will have different skills and will need to complete a different combination of survival tasks in order to win at every game. All the components needed to generate this flexibility are included in a core box (called “the framework”) together with the components for the first two planets your team can chose to explore. If you are looking for a longer journey among the stars and to boldly go where no crew went before, Unsettled also provides 7 more planets that can be purchased separately.

One last feature I am sure I will love about this game is how the box and components have been designed. For example, the Framework comes with a highly stackable set of trays that allows for quick setup and tear down. These trays are also quite flexible and can fit both sleeved and non-sleeved materials. It does not surprise Unsettled won the 2021 Dice Tower production value award.

So why don't you let us know what is on your wishlist this month? Let us know on our socials @zatugames.