Oct 112013
 

Pictionary is so last century.  PIX by Game Works is were all the cool kids are at now.

A party game based around drawing, PIX forgoes the pad and pencil in favor of pixel squares and a magnetic board.  Teams of players take turns using their pixels to (all black except for one red) a picture of the selected word for that turn.  Who’ve has the most discernible picture, wins!

Following the month old Warmachine:  High Command is the aptly named, Hordes:  High Command.  This version, too, is a deck building game set in the universe of Warmachine.  Each player chooses a different faction (Skorn, Circle of Orobos, Legion of Everblight, and Trollbloods), composed of a different deck of cards, then purchases other cards to strengthen their army and conquer terrain.

Become your own Indiana Jones in Days of Wonder‘s new Relic Runners board game!

Players compete against each other by attempting to collect a set of four unique relics.  Taking on the roles of famous archaeologists, each player attempts to make it through a unique trail, acquiring rations on the way in order to move further.  A special toolkit, available to each player only after completing certain tasks, can aid them in winning the game by shifting the rules in their favor.

Agricola‘s two-player game, All Creatures Big and Small incorporates More Buildings, Big and Small.  These twenty-seven new buildings add entirely original ways to house and contain your animals within the game.  Along with the buildings, there is also a fifth stale tile and farm expansion.

Finally, Descent‘s second edition receives another expansion, The Trollfens.  This expansion contains a dungeon’s worth of new loot, including two brand new heroes, a handful of monsters, new shop, relic, and class cards, the latter of which will enhancing hunting and mental talents.

 

Apr 122013
 

Begin the snapping because it’s about to get all West Side Story up in here!

But you can throw technicolor and musical numbers out the window, because this gang warfare is in the dystopian city of Gatorum.  Two to four players take on the role of futuristic gang leaders attempting to overrun the city in a power play.  Hire up local toughs, collect some heavy artillery, and build up your home turf.  But beware because your rivals will be ready and waiting to nab anything you do build up.  City of Remnants is basically Agricola or Kingsburg but filthier.

Throw dem bones!

Adding a component long missing from the slew of Vegas themed games out there, Las Vegas is a new dice game where players roll to win it all!  With six different casinos littering the Las Vegas landscape, each player must carefully choose which casino they roll in so that they maximize their rewards.  A fast-paced, easy to learn family game of interactive dice play, Las Vegas will bring lady luck to your house tonight!

The band’s getting back together!  That’s right, you’ve got the gargoyle, the ogre, the prince, the warrior, the ghoul, the enchantress, the centaur, and, above all, the dragon maiden.  Each of these eight new characters appears in the first expansion set for Chaosatle, the Melee Expansion.  Each of these characters adds a new ability to the game, including the ability to ride the centaur or the dragon maiden’s power to call to her aid the mighty red dragon.  The expansion also includes a special conversion for a solo version of the game where clips reconnect the board in different ways.

Why travel the world to see each of the seven wonders when you can pick up the 7 Wonders:  Wonder Pack?

This expansion to the base 7 Wonders drafting game packs in four special wonder boards and their matching wonder card along with a rule book on how to use them.  These wonders include the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, Abu Simbel, and Manneken Pis.  These brand new wonders can be incorporated into the game easily, adding entirely new abilities to the process.

You’ve made it to the surface, you’ve found a raft, you’ve got a broken sword to defend yourself with, but can you Escape from Atlantis?  Survive:  Escape from Atlantis receives a expansion reprinting and a new release this week in the form of The Giant Squid and Dolphins and Dive Dice.  The Giant Squad has been in print before, but it is no less vicious.  Guard your boat carefully, because the five giant squid tokens included within are always ready to attack.  Luckily, if you get the Dolphins and Dive Dice the friendly creatures kept within will help you back to your boat if you fall out.  However, the Dive Dice give a new benefit to the monsters surrounding Atlantis, that of diving below the surface.

Mar 082013
 

Buckle in, folks, because after a week off because of snow trouble, New Game Stuff is back!  And tonight there is a long, long list of newness to discuss, so it’s just the facts.

FoxMind games delivers one of the most inventive train games in a long while with String Railway.  Using bendable pieces of plastic rope, players both build the board and connect train depots.  Two to five players take turns drawing depot tokens, placing them, and attempting to link them with the pieces of string at their disposal.  Easy to learn and very tactile, String Railway is perfect for families or friends.

A tile laying game of the most serene nature, Zen Garden will put your soul at ease.

Mayfair Games, makers of fine family games, adds some enticing dimensions to the standard tile laying scenario.  Up to four players compete against each other by constructing their zen gardens using tiles of trees, mountains, and streams.  Each player, however, has a special pattern they must try and complete by moving their tiles around the board with special lantern tokens.  The game also comes with various levels of play to increase the difficult the more you play.

The front says Gentlemen Thieves, but the back says Arsene Lupin.  And, no, that is not an indication that this game has anything to do with mullets.  Borrowing the world’s most famous thief, Lupin, Gentlemen Thieves has players taking on the role of a thief and joining forces with other thieves (as long as it serves them) to heist valuable items (represented by tokens) from famous locations across Paris.  Just remember to put on your black gloves.

In Ground Floor the building is already built, now you’ve just got to populate it, employee it, advertise your product, cut down on costs, challenge your rivals, and grow your business.  Then, maybe, you get to rest.  Detailed in its level of strategy, Ground Floor involves bartering, resource management, organization, and any number of other mechanics.  If you’re an Agricola or Puerto Rico fan, get in on the Ground Floor.

The game is a foot, Watson!

Lady Alice is a recently released Sherlock Holmes themed board game allowing players to take on the rolls of kids studying under the tutelage of Holmes himself.  During the game players make deductions about evidence, placing their guesses in a folder.  When the round is over, each guess is revealed to either be true or false, with every player marking down the results in order to solve the mystery.  If you picked up the recently released Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, this game is a perfect companion piece.

The reprint steamroller continues to roll from Dungeons & Dragons with the brand new hardcover edition of Dungeons of Dread.  This classic AD&D tome collects the original “S” series of adventure models, three of which were written by Gary Gygax himself.  For those out there who know the history, these are some of the most well known dungeons in D&D history, perfect for players learning the system by playing these reprint copies.  As usual all the original material is reprinted in its original format.

It’s going to be Easter soon and that means bunnies.  And bunnies mean violent murder of bunnies.

Wait, what?!!  Steve Jackson changes the meaning of Easter with the newest Munchkin booster pack, Easter Eggs.  Evil rabbits are running around all over the place and its your duty to smack’em down while wearing a Sundae Dress and Bunny Slippers.  But watch out for Peter Cottonmouth and Little Bunny ‘Thulhu.

There are four doors, but no exits.

That’s the premise of Room-25.  One to six players are locked in rooms, running from room to room, trying to find the one and only door which leads to rumored exit that is Room-25.  In gaming formats ranging from solo to group cooperative, players attempt to coordinate actions in order to find the mythic room and escape.  But beware, because some students may turn out to be undercover guards, ready to stop the players at the most inopportune moment.

Me matey, there be Pirate Dice off the coast of Pulp Fiction Isle!

By rolling and strategically placing customized D6′s, players sail the seven seas, doing battle with their rivals and searching for sunken and lost treasure.  Each die controls attacks and movement as players sail across the provided map.  Control the direction and speed of your ship carefully, though, as you don’t want to overshoot or undershoot that last hooray!

The recently released Archipelago pirate game receives a rare Solo Player Expansion this week.  Unlike any other expansion, this one allows players to convert the game into a one-player mode.  The pack contains 27 scenarios, each with a different time limit and win condition.  You are also allowed to choose whatever character you wish in order to play.

A game of ancient Egypt, Kemet has players competing over a succession of rounds, divided into categories of night and day.  Within the day phase, players enact their magical abilities in order to defeat your opponent, while at night your regroup and build up your mystical energies.  Wizards can even spend special Prayer Points to bring additional creatures into their armies.

Jul 272012
 

If it ain’t broke, reprint it.

Or, at least, that seems to be Wizards of the Coast’s motto. Two weeks ago, all three of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books were reprinted in beautiful remastered hardcover packaging. The DM’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual are untouched rules-wise while also reprinting all the original artwork. Plus, each purchase puts part of the funds toward furthering the Gygax Memorial Fund.

Crossing the street for a visit to Paizo, the new Pathfinder Player Character Folio. Coming with sixteen pages that will help you to organize and track your character’s progression and abilities. Broken into boxes and sections for listing feats, class features, familiars, cohorts, and items, as well as quick reference charts and folder flaps, this folio is all you’ll ever need to stay on top of all your character’s developments.

Chasing dragons is usually not advised as they are regularly unfriendly when caught, however the new Game of Thrones LCG Chapter Pack of the same name actually advises it. As with the other Chapter Packs, the Chasing Dragons pack comes with 60 new cards for the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle. If you haven’t played any of the LCG games before, each chapter pack is designed to advance the story and alter the gameplay, so, in short, keep the game fresh and interesting.

Agricola is easily one of the best resource management games ever created, but it is a long game and it is intented for multiple players. But don’t worry, Z-Man is on top of it. The new Agricola two player game has parred the playstyle down, adapting Agricola for a quick head-to-head, stand-alone experience. Players compete by working to fence in the most animals over the period of eight turns.

It is, in fact, not a small world after all.

Days of Wonder releases a new addition to their popular Risk-style board (featured on Will Wheaton’s Tabletop) this week, Small World Realms. This edition to the game is a collection of map pieces, tokens, and original rules scenarios, allowing players to create their own board for use by races and powers from either the original Small World or Small World Underground. So, maybe the real answer to whether it’s a small world after all is: it’s up to you.

Two millennia after the dawn of space travel, the galaxy hums with prosperity and peace. But as mankind and its neighbors colonized the stars, the burgeoning need for resources becomes apparent. As a plucky entrepreneur you must explore the edges of space searching for precious minerals. Will you buy the fastest ship in the sector? Can you afford to hire the best pilot in the galaxy? Shall you choose to purchase the latest state-of-the-art gadgets, invest in planetary refineries or pay off your rising debt? The cargo you haul could be worth fortune, so grab your helmet and suit up! So are the stakes in Starship Merchants!

You can’t teach an old war new tricks. But you can update them.

Axis & Allies releases two updated and altered versions of its classic wargame structure today with Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition and Axis & Allies 1941. The 1942 edition is an updated, heftier version of the previous edition, complete with new units. 1941, however, is an entirely new Axis & Allies release featuring the same popular mechanics in a different theater of war.

Mar 302012
 

The odds are in your favor today, dear readers, for we have two Hunger Games…uh, games…freshly in stock.

The Hunger Games: District 12 is strategy heavy survival game where you and up to three other players attempt to remain alive in the harsh conditions of District 12. Fight to collect clothing, food, and other items as you try to avoid The Reaping. Or be sent to the Hunger Games as punishment.

Or, option 3, you could try the Jabberjay game. This Hunger Games…game (there’s no good way to say that) is two card games in one. The first game is similar to BANG! in that players each control a different Capitol or District Citizen, hiding their identity from all other players as they also attempt to make them flee. As the first game plays 5-12 people, a second 2-4 player game is also included. It is a cooperative game where players work together to protect citizens from the Peacekeepers.

If you remember the instantly addictive tile battling game, Pocket Battles, from a year or so back, you’ll be excited to hear there’s a new expansion deck out today. This time around it’s Macedonians versus Persians. If you haven’t played the game, it’s based around opponents creating armies out of their various tiles, then pitting against each other on three separate fronts. Pocket Battles is an easy game to pick up, in large part due to the fact that you can begin with any of the Versus Packs.

Next up we have two new additions to the insanely popular Agricola. These two individual decks of cards add a completely new experience to the classic board game. First, is the World Championship WM Deck. This deck was created at the first ever Agricola World Championship by its very own fans and players. The deck contains 115 new cards divided into five individual decks comprised, overall, of 60 Minor Improvements and 55 Occupations. Second, we have the NL Deck with 120 new cards. This deck adds a whole new thematic setting to the game, introducing players to the Netherlands. Both of these will expand and enliven the game, adding a whole new level of play.

Booze can also enliven any gaming experience, especially a full glass of wine. But what about a game about wine? Vinhos is just that game, being a resource control scenario where each player builds a wine empire over the course of 6 years/rounds by purchasing vineyards, gaining a reputation, and establishing a market. If you’re a lover of games like Belfort and Le Havre, Vinhos is you cup of…wine.

Similar in mechanics, but vastly different in theme is Lords of Waterdeep, a Dungeons & Dragons board game. Controlling a Lord of Waterdeep, players compete by purchasing buildings in the city, assigning agents to do your bidding, and spreading your influence further over the city. Offering a play style you’ve never experienced in the world of D&D, Lords of Waterdeep combines fantasy with strategic gaming.