Reiner Knizia is a well-known board game designer whose latest releases, Cascadero and Cascadito, are generating excitement among both his dedicated fans and a wider audience. These games offer a bridge between the complex Eurogame genre and more accessible gameplay.
Cascadero takes place in a historical setting resembling medieval Spain. The objective is to unite the land after a period of conflict. Players represent ministers who must send envoys or royal messengers to towns on the game board, reconnecting them to the kingdom’s resources and raising their own competency level. Envoys alone are not enough; they need the support of royal messengers to gain trust from the townspeople.
Two main strategies emerge in Cascadero: players can either range far and wide, connecting multiple envoys with sheer numbers, or focus on a smaller area and build strong trust and loyalty with fewer envoys. Both approaches lead to victory points and advancement along success tracks representing different types of towns, such as mining, textiles, farming, scholarship, and trade. Advancing along these tracks grants bonuses like free movement of envoys or extra turns.
Timing plays a crucial role in Cascadero. Triggering bonuses at the right moment can create cascading victory point scoring opportunities. To win, players must reach the end of their success track by the end of the game. The player with the most victory points earns recognition as El Cascadero’s trusted adviser.
Cascadito offers a simplified version of this experience through roll ‘n’ write dice drafting gameplay. The goal remains earning more victory points than competing ministers by strategically placing results from rolled dice onto individual player sheets. Despite its smaller box size, Cascadito maintains combo-heavy gameplay and complexity while also offering a solo mode for each map sheet.
Nick Murray from Bitewing Games emphasized that success tracks in many games often feel dull or overused but praised how Cascadero keeps them engaging and competitive. The tracks are an integral part of the tile placement strategy game, serving as its beating heart.
Murray also highlighted that Cascadito was not initially designed as a companion game to Cascadero but became one during the development process. The team wanted to ensure that both games complement each other while offering unique experiences.
Using smaller boxes with more approachable designs to introduce complex Eurogames is a strategy worth considering for other studios. Cascadero and Cascadito’s stunning graphic design by Ian O’Toole, intriguing concept, and relatively short playtime make them appealing choices for players looking to dive into the world of board games.
The joint Kickstarter campaign for Cascadero and Cascadito will launch on October 10th, with fulfillment expected in the second half of 2024. Retail release dates have yet to be announced.
What Children will Enjoy
- Cascadero and its smaller sibling, Cascadito, are board games designed by Reiner Knizia.
- These games take place in a historical period in Spain and involve uniting the land after a period of strife.
- Players act as ministers and must send envoys or royal messengers to towns on the game board to reconnect them to the kingdom’s resources.
- The goal is to earn victory points and reach the end of the success track to win.
- Cascadito is a simplified version of Cascadero that uses dice rolling and drafting mechanics.
- Cascadero and Cascadito are designed by Reiner Knizia, a well-known board game designer.
- The games involve connecting towns, earning victory points, and reaching the end of the success track.
- Cascadero is more complex, while Cascadito is a simplified version with dice rolling mechanics.
- Both games have beautiful graphic design by Ian O’Toole.
- The games will be available through a Kickstarter campaign starting on October 10th.