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Azul and Downforce designers team-up to make brainy board game Amygdala

An emotional rollercoaster.

A new board game from the creators of Azul and Downforce – Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer – will see players tampering with the human brain.

Amygdala is a board game for two to four players that focuses on the region of the brain that handles emotions and emotional responses. An abstract game, Amygdala challenges players to take control of the parts of the amygdala that tackle different emotions, with each segment being connected to a particular type of emotion. Every player will be in charge of one of these segments and will attempt to manage their complicated processes throughout the game.

The upcoming board game has players gathering and placing emotional resources within their memory banks, which they can then exchange in order to unlock more emotions. Whenever players manage to successfully gain access to new emotions, they can then place them onto the main game board as tiles. Using their emotion tiles, players can create connections and eventually form networks with similar emotions in order to score points.

Besides scoring points through connections, players can also acquire points by having the most unlocked emotions within a single region of the board. However, to receive these particular points players will need to place a claim tile belonging to that region on the corresponding part of the game board, in order to then collect the points at the end. Whichever player successfully gathers the most points by the end of the game is named the winner.

Apart from co-creating Amygdala, and separately designing Azul and Downforce, Kiesling and Kramer have also previously worked together on the exploration board game Tikal - which has players venturing into the jungles of Central America in search of its ancient temples – and Torres, an abstract game about building castles. Separately, Kiesling has created every entry in the Azul series – including the recent Azul: Queen’s Garden - and Kramer is responsible for designing the quick card game 6 Nimmt!.

A video about the best upcoming board games coming 2022

Amygdala is set to be published by Game Brewer, a studio that has released titles such as Gùgōng - a board game about 14th century China – and Gentes, a civilisation building game taking place over the span of three eras.

A crowdfunding campaign for Amygdala is set to launch on Gamefound on May 30th, with pledge amounts and estimated delivery dates yet to be confirmed


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Alex Meehan

Staff Writer, Dicebreaker

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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