Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Laurent Escoffier &
Sébastien Pauchon


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Last year's Corto is a quite unusual boardgame which is based on the adventures of Hugo Pratt's famous comic-book hero Corto Maltese. In this strategic card-placement game the players can join Corto on some of his most famous adventures, and they try to score by placing cards of characters from the books onto different storyline adventure boards which have been brought together to create a big gameboard. Apart from the final positioning of the characters at the end of the game, the players also have the possibility to score victory points in the adventures, and each of the adventures had its own special rules for scoring.

The modular gameboard and the fact that a few more Corto stories exist make the game ideal for the creation of expansions, and the owners of the first edition of the game were in for quite a surprise because the game included an additional deck of adventure cards which did not belong to any of the adventures included in the game. The cards showed characters from the adventure Fable of Venice, but due to a missing storyboard they could not be used properly. There have been speculations whether MATAGOT later would release the gameboard as a print-and-play expansion, but the truth was even simpler. A packing error hat been made at the factory, and this had resulted in the fact that the first edition of Corto did not just contain the required playing materials, but also cards for the first expansion which had been printed simultaneously.

So, MATAGOT all the time had been planning to release more stories for the game, and now they have finally started with Corto - The Secrets of Venice, once again containing the additional cards, but this time accompanied by a matching storyboard. As always, the main characters of the book have found their way into the game, and once again their alignment is represented by a black or white border, allowing the placement or removal of player tokens. The special rules for Corto - The Secrets of Venice once again are connected with the storyboard itself. In accordance with the background story from the book some treasures are hidden at Venice, and this is represented by coin symbols printed above some spaces on the Venice-board. At the end of the game it will be checked to which players the characters occupying these spaces belong, and the respective players then are allowed to add the corresponding amount of gold to their total score.

In playing terms the storyline and mechanism of Corto - The Secrets of Venice blends perfectly with the storyboards of the main game. As with the other boards, the Venice board offers some nice extra rewards which the players can consider when making their placements, since usually only a good mixture of character groups and extra rewards will ensure victory. However, I was a bit surprised by the rather straightforward implementation of the extras in Venice. Whereas other storyboards come with stand-ups for a train or a boat, no additional playing material is needed here. This certainly works fine with Corto - The Secrets of Venice, but I guess it will need more innovation in the future if MATAGOT wants to realize even more Corto-stories in form of these small expansions.

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Copyright & copy; 2015 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany