Bombyx Game Round-up: Dream Imaginarium Anew, Craft a Codex, and Assemble Traveling Companions to Glow
• A lot of game information passes through my hands, often for titles that I’ll never think of again once I write or tweet about them, but sometimes I get to rediscover a forgotten game as when French publisher Bombyx tweeted a note about mock-up copies of Cédrick Chaboussit’s Glow — Lueur in French — being available.
Wait a minute, I know about the new edition of Chaboussit’s Lewis & Clark from Ludonaute, but wasn’t there something else…?
Yes! At FIJ 2019, BGG recorded an overview of Cahboussit’s “Dice Quest”, a prototype that I described in a March 2019 post as a game that “won’t be released by Bombyx until FIJ 2020”. Okay, the timing of things has changed, but Bombyx — as with many other French-speaking publishers — holds on to titles and reworks them until they are perfected, with Abyss, Catch the Moon, and Imaginarium being three such examples of its work. Here’s the final look of Glow, for example:
As for the gameplay, you can watch the overview below (keeping in mind that things might have changed over the past sixteen months), or read this:
In Glow, you are an adventurer who builds their company by recruiting a new traveling companion each turn, trying to combine their powers as best as possible. You’ll roll the dice to activate the advantages that your companions bring you…or their disadvantages. Gather many slivers of light to dispel the darkness, restore the
In short, Glow is a card-drafting, dice-rolling, and combinations game. In the box are lots of colorful dice and two game boards for two different gaming experiences. You so have to count on luck
• Another title coming from Bombyx in Q4 2020 is CODEX Naturalis, a Thomas Dupont design for 2-4 players that the publisher initially released in a print-and-play format (link) under the name “Quarter” in early 2020 for quarantining gamers to play at home.
This design falls into that bucket of clever card games that feel like you’ve seen before, but can’t exactly place where and in the end are possibly mistaken. Here’s how it works:
In CODEX Naturalis, you must continue the work of the illuminating monk Tybor Kwelein, assembling the pages of a manuscript that lists the living species in primary forests. Can you put the pages together in the best order possible? And are you prepared to sacrifice a species to develop your manuscript?
In the game, each player starts with a single card on the table, a card that shows some combination of the four possible resources in the middle of the card, in the corners of the card, or both. Players also have two resource cards and one prestige card in hand, while two of each type of card are visible on the table.
On a turn, you place a card from your hand on top of one or more exploration zones that are on cards you already have in play. An “exploration zone” is a fenced-off corner of the card; your starting card has four such zones, one in each corner, while resource and prestige cards have only three.
—Resource cards have no cost to be played, and they often depict resource symbols in their exploration zones.
—Prestige cards deliver points when played, but they often have a resource requirement, e.g., three leaves or two wheat/one water/one stone, and you must have those resources visible in your manuscript at the time you play the prestige card. You score points from this card immediately, with some cards having a fixed value and others a variable one depending on how many of a certain symbol are showing or how many exploration zones you covered this turn.
If you wish, you can play a card from your hand face down; such a card has four exploration zones, but provides no resources or points. After you play, draw a face-up card or the top card of either deck to refill your hand.
When a player reaches 20 points, you complete the round, then each player takes one additional turn. Players then score points based on how well they matched two public objective cards and one secret objective card, after which the player with the most points wins.
In the image above, for example, you can play the card in the lower right because you have three leaves showing in your manuscript. You might cover these cards over time, though, so your resources are no permanent.
• Finally, Bombyx will release Imaginarium: Chimera, an expansion for 2018’s Imaginarium from Bruno Cathala and Florian Sirieix. Here’s what you’ll find in the box, along with more delicious art from Felideus Bubastis:
Dreams are central to the Imaginarium: Chimera expansion. To every machine is added a dream, its “soul”. Once a turn, instead of doing one of the two actions you chose, you can spend some time dreaming — and if your dreams are persistent, you can win extra resources or victory points (VPs) — or even end the game earlier than normal.
In addition to new projects and assistants, this expansion includes components to allow for play with up to six players, but only in the new “team play” mode in which teammates share resources, VPs, and broken machines. Good communication allows for combined actions…