The 108th American International Toy Fair was held in February in New York City, and Eureka was there to check out this year’s lineup of new games and gadgets. We returned to Boston with armfuls of exciting releases from all our favorite companies and designers, and at our game camp (thanks to all who participated!) we had the kids test 0ut a few of the most intriguing with us. The stand-out success was Cargo Noir, which our campers wanted to play so many times in a row we had to order them to try something else. (The point of the camp, after all, is to learn lots of new games!)
Cargo Noir is set in the 1950s, in the shady world of professional contraband running. Players preside over smuggling cartels, with their fleets of cargo ships and ill-gotten fortunes. Each turn, you dispatch your ships to various ports acr0ss the world, and in the next round they return, hulls overflowing with swag – assuming you’ve outbid your competitors! Collect matching sets of bootlegged goods and trade them in for ships, warehouses or just the fanciest shows of wealth to win the game.
Cargo Noir comes from Days of Wonder, the company that makes the enduringly popular train game Ticket to Ride, as well as one of my personal favorites, the ever-changing fantasy conquest game Smallworld. In addition to smooth, smart and easy-to-learn gameplay, Cargo Noir boasts some of the most fun, attractive artwork of this year’s slate of new games. Fans of strategic but not overly long and involved games like Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride should stop by Eureka and add Cargo N0ir to their shelves!