Despite containing no pencils, dry-erase pens, pads of paper or laminated cards, Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert’s The Guild of Merchant Explorers is as much a flip-and-write game as any other. It’s the feel that counts. A single card is flipped. Everybody uses that card to fill in spaces on their personal map. Everybody suffers or profits together. At least initially. After a few cards, whether any given flip helps or hinders your expansion is a function of planning and foresight rather than mere chance.
What sets this title apart from its peers, though, is the way it resets between eras.