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U.S. company Thames & Kosmos announced its expansion into the board game category, including high-quality German-style board games from Kosmos, with titles from Klaus Teuber and Reiner Knizia.  The company, which sells direct to retailers but does not currently have trade distribution in the hobby game market, will be exhibiting at the GAMA Trade Show for the first time next week.

Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 as an alliance between the Thames Science Center, a science museum and learning store, and Kosmos, the nearly 200-year old German-based publishing house Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH.  Kosmos has an existing line of high-quality science kits that T&K translates, rewrites, and distributes in the English language, and now T&K will expand into the board game category with a range of German-style board games from Kosmos.

In April, T&K will release Reiner Knizia’s Lost Cities: The Board Game.  The game is based on the 2008 Spiel Des Jahres winner Keltis, and was published in the U.S. by Rio Grande Games (see "Knizia Captures Kudos for 'Keltis'"), but has been out of print for some time.  Players guide a team of explorers to find five forgotten cities, and earn points as they make their way forward and find artifacts, victory points and shortcuts.  The game is for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 30-60 minutes.  MSRP is $39.95.

Also releasing in April is Knizia’s
Lost Cities--The Original Card Game, a two-player variant on Keltis.  The game is for 2 players, age 10 and up, and plays in 30 minutes. MSRP is $19.95.

Another April release is Gunter Cornett’s two-player card game
Kahuna.  A 1999 "Spiel des Jahres Recommended" game, Kahuna has players compete in attempting to gain control of twelve islands by building bridges between them, eventually surrounding them to take control.  The game is for 2 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 30 minutes.  MSRP is $24.95.

Dimension is a three-dimensional puzzle game.  Players compete to stack colorful spheres on their trays to earn as many points possible based on how task cards dictate the spheres must be placed for that round: for example--exactly two orange spheres must be on the tray, blue and black must touch each other, blue must not touch white.  The game is for 1-4 playes, ages 8 and up, and plays in 30 minutes.  MSRP is $49.95.  Release is planned for April.

In May, T&K will release Klaus Teuber’s (
Settlers of Catan) family party game Dohdles!.  Players use a lump of clay to sculpt a word that other players guess. However, the sculpt shouldn’t be too easy to guess, because the sculptor earns points if their opponents guess wrong the first few times.  Guessing players can ask two yes-or-no questions on their turn, or ask for a letter to be revealed in the target word.  Correct guesses move players forward on the game board.  The game is for 3-6 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 40 minutes.  MSRP is $39.95.

Ubongo will also release in May.  Designed by Grzegorz Rejchtman, the fast-paced geometric puzzle game has players race against a timer and each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes.  The faster the puzzle is solved, the more gems are awarded.  After nine rounds, the player with the most gems wins.  The game isf or 1-4 players, ages 8 and up, and plays in 40 minutes.  MSRP is $39.95.