In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria…one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he’s commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he’s building while also selling his services to other players.
In Catan (formerly The Settlers of Catan), players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
Ladies is a three- to five-player game that includes female versions of the beans used in Bohnanza. You get more money if a field is harvested with a lady bean as the top card. You get no money if a field is harvested with a baby bean on top. There are some new rules about reordering beans on the fields. Gangsters is a one- or two-player game where you must pay off the Bean Mafia. Each turn, the Bean Mafia will take beans from your fields if yours match what they are growing. They will also take matching cards when drawn. This game also includes a few new beans with irregular beanometers.
Carcassonne: Die Erweiterung (later prints used the title Inns & Cathedrals) is the first major expansion for Carcassonne and introduces a few new aspects to the game. There are a couple of completely new kinds of tiles – the inns and cathedrals. There are also new tiles that present cities, roads, and cloisters in new shapes. Additionally, each player gets a “big meeple” which counts as two regular meeples. Another whole set of meeples means 6 players can now enjoy the game. Finally, a set of scoring cards helps make score-keeping a little clearer.
In the year 2288, off-world mining is now controlled by a few mega-corporations. It is no longer just people or nations that are subject to exploitation, but entire planets and moons. As the CEO of one of these mega-corporations, in Charon, Inc. you will vie against CEOs of other corporations as you exploit the planet’s resources and colonize Charon, the largest moon of the dwarf planet Pluto.
Carcassonne: South Seas keeps the familiar tile-laying gameplay of the original Carcassonne, with players adding a tile to the playing area each round and optionally placing a token on the tile to claim ownership of…something. Instead of the familiar cities, roads and farms, however, players in Carcassonne: South Seas use their meeples to gather bananas, shellfish and fish, then ship those goods to traders in exchange for points.