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$85.00

Nouvelle France has arrived from the still-snowy landscape of my Northern neighbor… Canada! Sweet as Maple syrup! 🍁

On offer are two versions of the game… a single copy of the Collector’s edition (featuring a custom, in-box storage system and wooden snow components) as well as the standard Kickstarter retail version (without the in-box custom storage system and utilizing dense-foam snow landscape features rather than wood. In both versions the Tetris bits are the same; as are the game boards and what not. This is SUCH a beautiful game… wahhhhh! 🥰

Winter is coming ☃️🌨❄️

It’s the 17th century and colonists are headed to New France (along the St Lawrence river in Canada) to make their stake. In our case, this involves working for three seasons in the employ of the Feudal Lord there; building three distinct structures – each comprised of exactly three layers of building material.

The thing about Canada is that those winters be chilly, and the snowfall be plentiful. Sooooo… inexplicable pirate-speak aside… at the end of each of the first two rounds, snow will fall. Ohhhhhh… I like this! 😊❄️ And, I should note that I also LOVE Canada!! Wonderful people, beautiful landscape, and always an absolute pleasure to visit! 🇨🇦❤️

So of course… I HAD to have this game!

Three individual game boards serve as the game’s construction sites; the Military redoubt, the Church, and the Seigneurial Mill. For those of you who, like me, cannot stand by when unfamiliar words make their appearance….

A military redoubt is a style of fort wherein the main fort is surrounded by an enclosed defensive emplacement. Picture a fort in the center of a circle… then the area where various fortly activities take place surrounding that… and finally around the perimeter of this fortly-activity-region there is a contiguous, 20-foot wall. No doubt you get the picture.. hehe.

A seigneur was a feudal lord and a seigneurial mill is a mill within the lord’s manor.

Sweet gameplay… intriguing wordplay… Tetris style pieces and off-the-charts table presence… #winning!

Let’s talk about those Tetris bits…

The primary game component consists of Tetris-style pieces comprised of different color sections. Each of these colors corresponds to a different player. Each Tetris piece displays some assortment of these four colors.

On your turn you pull a card from the deck that signifies a certain Tetris shape.. and you then place that shape onto one of the three game boards. The goal is to choose the Tetris piece of that shape that gives you the most points in a given round… while not helping your opponents too much 🧐

You score a point for every section of your color that you play onto the board. If you can get your colors to touch as you place a piece you will score an additional point for each contiguous block of your color. Remember, each level will score right before the snow fall (or end game in regards to the third level)… so while only you score as you place the piece, your opponents’ colors will score when the respective level (1, 2, or 3) scores. So if your Tetris piece has your color immediately adjacent to an opponent’s color on the first level of the piece (the part that touches the table), then while only you will score as you place the piece… you will each score at the end of round 1.

ANYway… Tetris pieces are positioned vertically and ultimately create a three-block-high wall around the edge of each game board. In the first round, the bottommost layer is scored… in the second round the middle layer is scored… and in the final round the top (third) layer is scored.

So… although you may be placing an L-shaped Tetris-shaped-bit in round one… you still need to try and pay attention to what is happening on the second and third levels of the vertical piece of the “L” because those cubes will score in subsequent rounds.

Making things even MORE interesting is the fact that each game board scores in a different manner each round.  For example, the Church may score double points in round one (the first level), but negative points in the second round (second level of cubes) and finally standard points for the topmost level (level three). Yes, please! I’ll have some of that! 🍰

Soooo… as you place the pieces you must think about how you might score on this particular round… and also about how you’d like things to score in the upcoming rounds. Perhaps you can place a piece that features your color predominantly on the first level but features one of your opponent’s colors in the second layer – snagging double points for you but negative points for your opponent. You get the idea… 😈

Common Canadian Occurrence…

AKA – snowfall!

When someone pulls the snowflake card from the deck of Tetris-shaped-bits placement cards, the round ends and the snow falls.

When this happens players will score the level corresponding to that round. For example, the first time a scoring snowflake is drawn, players will score the bottom most layer on each building.

Each of the three gameboards features a scoring piece that displays how to score in that area on each round… as I alluded to above. The scoring guides display 2x points, standard scoring, and negative scoring in a random order.

So, as an example, on the first round the Mill might score double points… and then on the second round it might score negative points for each cube of your color in that level… and finally in the third round it would score standard 1-for-1 points for each cube of your color.

Three game boards, three different scoring schemas, 48 Tetris pieces each featuring a variety of 5 colors… all being stacked into 3-cube-high walls around the game boards. There is a LOT of variety here… and a LOT of fun, puzzle’y goodness to be had! 😁❤️🎉

How did you find this sweet game, Drew?

We all have a pretty good idea that despite this being a really well-done abstract game… the thing that first drew me to it was the components. And normally you would be spot on! But, in this case, the thing that first drew me to this awesome (and gorgeous) game was a friend and customer of Upstart!! She was a play-tester for the game and knew the publisher personally (perhaps the designer as well.. I can’t recall that bit… I need more coffee).

Anyway, she shot me a note and said, “Hey Drew! Thought you might like this Kickstarter! I play-tested the game and it was really great…”

I swung by the campaign page and after seeing a picture of the game laid out on the table, I wrote to the publisher and asked about retailer options. Done. I should note that this friend has also made a handful of suggestions that have made Upstart an even better company… not hte least of which was to include video links to reviews and play-throughs within the write-ups!!!

Thank you SO much, Weena!!!

After reading more about the game and reviewing the rules… I felt confident that this was another sweet game that HAD to be in my collection! And, this was another chance to back a smaller publisher with a smaller Kickstarter backer footprint… which is something I really try to do whenever I can!

Granted I have to balance that with carrying the mega-hits that weigh 30 pounds and come in boxes big enough to ship a standard size microwave so I don’t have to live in a tent year-round… 😂😅😟 but part of the mission of Upstart is to support small publisher content.. and by Gosh, this is definitely a must-have game! Win… win!

What game is that? It looks sooooo sweet!

AKA You all know I backed this because the components are gorgeous…

The table presence of Nouvelle France is absolutely stellar! 🚀

A Fleur de Lis inspired score track adorned with beautiful artwork sits in the center of the table… each of the three buildings sit around the inward-curving edges of this score track… and as the game proceeds, the multi-colored Tetris pieces and the snow drifts fill out the canvas in an ever-increasingly-pleasing mélange! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

OK… too much coffee.  Haha. ☕️☕️☕️

Seriously though… this is a beautiful game. The wooden Tetris pieces are chunky and have a pleasing wooden-texture goodness that fits with the construction theme of the different game boards. The snow fall adds a layer of richness to the entire experience AND doubles as a practical consideration; covering the edges of the level that will no longer score in subsequent rounds. The first snow fall covers the bottommost edge of the cubes… and the second fall piles on top of the first; covering the edges of the second layer of cubes. Brilliant AND beautiful!! 🤩

This game is a solid check mark in the WIN category for me! I love finding a unique game on Kickstarter that really plays well. These rare gems are part of what got me started on the Kickstarter path… and a significant part of what helped to shape Upstart. My sincere thanks to the designer (he also did all the artwork) – Jacques-Dominique Landry – and to all the wonderful people over at JackBro Playful Creation for putting this stellar game out there in the world… and for allowing me to carry it here in the shop. I believe I am the only US-based shop to carry the game and I could not be more excited about that! Hopefully the is the beginning of a wonderful friendship with JackBro!

For my solo gamer friends…

The designer and publisher are working on a solo mode in English… and it is nearing completion as of the time of this writing (late May 2021). If you picked the game up here and cannot find the English solo rules, please shoot me a note and I will help you track them down once they have been produced! I’m here to help! …although I am no longer with the government… hehe… as the saying is supposed to go 😉

Peaceful videos of snow falling in 17th century Canada…

AKA standard video roll-out!

I left out a few other subtle aspects to the gameplay… but these videos will help elucidate those bits… and besides, they are far more pleasing to watch than reading my prose!

The team over at Gaming Knights do a brief rules overview and then play-through a bit of the game… A great video with some solid instruction! You can find the video HERE.

Lee over at Geek City USA also does a really nice job teaching the game HERE.

The Unfiltered Gamer walks us through the basics of the game and offers his thoughts. Bonus points for using the expression “Super nifty” in describing a portion of the game – I love it!!!  And I may have to start adding that expression to my write ups! Hopefully that’s not copyrighted… 😉😁❤️

You can find the video HERE.

Seigneurial Wrap-up…

This is an incredibly well-designed, fun-to-play, puzzle’y abstract with gorgeous artwork and fantastic components. I mean… what else is there to say? Upstart’s REJOICE! 🍾

One final note… polyomino. Yeah… I know that’s what the Tetris-shaped bits are called… but I just think “Tetris-shaped-bit” is more fun to say!

OK.. one more final note… I am not the seigneur of anything… even this wrap-up.. haha… but darn it, I wanted to use that word! 😉😁

Thanks for reading until the end, my friends! I hope you are all well. ❤️

 

Ages: 10+
Players: 2 – 4
Play Time: 45 – 60 minutes 
Designer:
Artist:
Publisher: JackBro Playful Creation
SKU: JackBro Playful Creation 001
MSRP:
Virtually unavailable on the net! (MAY 2021)
Our Price:
Retail Kickstarter Edition – $85.00
Collector’s Edition – $125.00
Link to BGG:

 

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SKU Jackbro Playful Creation 001 Category Tag


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Description

Nouvelle France… a gorgeous, well-designed, puzzle’y jaunt into New France in the 17th Century!

Main aim

A strategy game where you need to skillfully place construction blocks to build three historic sites from the Nouvelle France era, outwit your opponents, and thereby gain points. Add to that three further ways of either bettering your score or hindering your opponents.

Concept and Goal of the Game

Each turn carefully place a construction block to help build either the military redoubt, the church, or the seigneurial mill. At the end of each turn, players gain points based on the placement of these blocks. Three times during the game, it will snow, and this is when players receive extra points based on the number of cubes of their colour present in the level being tallied up. The snowdrifts are then added to each building, fitting around and hiding the level that has just been tallied, therefore limiting the remaining space available to gain points. The player who has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Playing the Game

Each turn, a player draws a card illustrating a type of construction block, taking the one indicated from the stockpile. They need to add the block to one of the buildings in line with the rules of play: a wall must not be more than 3 cubes high; blocks must be within limits shown on the foundation tiles; blocks must not be inserted underneath another one already in play etc. Once the block has been placed, one point is awarded for each newly added cube of the player’s colour, with further points being added for all the cubes already in play of the same color that this new block touches. Therefore, players should try to have as many of the cubes already in play of their colour touching those of corresponding colour in the newly placed block to maximize their score per turn. Also, strategically played ally cards and colourless blocks allow players to increase their scores.

When a snowflake card is drawn from the construction-block deck, the game stops, and points are awarded to each player based on the number of cubes of their colour found in the level being tallied. The snowdrifts are then added. This happens three times during the game. When the first snowflake card is drawn, points are tallied for the first level of each of the three construction sites. When the second snowflake card is drawn, points are tallied for the second level. Finally, when the third snowflake is drawn the tally is done for the third and final level, and the game ends. The tally sticks placed next to each building indicate how points are attributed each level. On the tally sticks there are +, – and x 2 symbols indicating how many points players win or lose based on the number of cubes of their colour in the level being tallied.

End of the Game 

The game ends when the third snowflake is turned over. Points are tallied for a final time for the third floor of each construction site. The player having the most points on the points’ board is declared the winner and earns the title of Royal Engineer for New France.

~Description provided by the publisher

Additional information
Weight 10.1 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 16 × 6 in
Nouvelle France

Retail Version, Collector's Version

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