Jul 082016
 

Smallworld Pocket EncyclopediaWe know everyone is working to flesh out their Pokedex on Pokemon Go, but this weekend Days of Wonder is dropping their own encyclopedia for Small World.  The Small World Pocket Encyclopedia is a must-buy for all of the Small World purists and collectors out there.  A smartly designed, pocket sized  hardcover volume, the Small World Pocket Encyclopedia contains not only a full set of easy-access rules for the game, but also an FAQ, designer notes, and, most importantly, sixty-three individual entries detailing every race and special power from the base game and all of the expansions.The Grizzled At Your Order

Only the truly rough, tough, and resilient survived during the Great War.  The same applies to The Grizzled.  A strategic cooperative card game set during World War I, The Grizzled receives its first expansion set this weekend.  At Your Orders! provides additional special missions for players to complete during gameplay, both in experienced and novice versions to satisfy new and old gamers alike.  Even more exciting, At Your Orders! also provides expanded rulesets for two player or solo play for the original base game.

Stellar ConflictLike an expanded, card game version of Galaga, Stellar Conflict is another card game set in the Among the Stars universe.  Taking place over two tense, speedy rounds, Stellar Conflict plays for ten minutes with two to four players.  In round one, players swiftly select ships from a variety of options, choosing them based off of their abilities and availability.  Once that round is complete, these ships are deployed against an invading fleet of alien cruisers that must be vanquished by the armada you have chosen.  Hopefully you haven’t chosen poorly.Mysterium Hidden Signs

You thought you’d solved the mystery and escaped the Mysterium.  You were wrong.  Mysterium:  Hidden Signs is the first expansion for the popular horror tinged game, Mysterium.  Expanding the options and gameplay, this set includes six suspects, six locations, and six objects to deepen the gameplay.  Forty-two new vision cards are also included in order to provide players with a range of new communication options.  Also, if you manage to grab the first printing of this expansion, you’ll receive three promo cards that can be used in the base game.

Rick and Morty Total RickallCryptozoic capitalizes on the extreme popularity of Adult Swim‘s Rick and Morty series with the first card game based on the show.  Featuring a quick learning curve, Rick and Morty:  Total Rickall plays well with two to five players over the course of twenty to thirty minutes.  Always ready to skewer pop culture, Rick and Morty:  Total Rickall is a play off of The Thing, with Rick and Morty attempting to cleanse their house of shapshifting parasites that have disguised themselves as friends and family.  Work your way through these opponents, but be careful not to eliminate the real versions!Kitty Paw

There is never enough cute cat games in the world.  Proving that fact, Kitty Paw is a new dexterity and reaction game out this weekend.  For audiences young and old, Kitty Paw is a one to four player game that can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes to play.  In the game, players rush to draw and play various cat cards in order to match a designated pattern assigned at the beginning of the round.  Of course, that’s too simple.  Players also will be forced to use only one “cat paw” when drawing and playing X-Wing Star Wars Imperial Veteransthese cards as well as pulling from the same draw pile as all other players.

Be ready to get those Tie-Fighter sound effects stuck in your head, because Fantasy Flight has just released another Empire expansion for the X-Wing miniature game.  In Imperial Veterans, players receive two ships, the Crimson Tie and the Tie-Bomber.  The former is all about nimble movement and swift attacking, while the latter hits opponents with a painful barrage of explosives.  This expansion contains all of the materials for players to use either or both ships in their next X-Wing game.

May 132016
 

World's Fair 1893Gather ’round, gather ’round!  Come win tickets to the spectacular World’s Fair of 1893!  Okay, you don’t need an actual ticket to purchase the game, but if you’re playing it you will want to go ticket happy.  A forty minute play experience for two to four players, World’s Fair 1893 has players collecting stacks cards from different regions of the game board.  Each region correlates with a different exhibition, so choose wisely and make sure you don’t pollute your hand.Abyss Kraken

When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.  That’s the conceit of the first expansion for Asmodee‘s Abyss, Kraken!  Intended to be added to the base game, this expansion contains a new rule book, over forty new cards and tokens, and adds black pearls to the game.  These black pearls come with a strategic decision:  do you corrupt yourself for greater power or stay pure to avoid possible destruction.  Beware, though, if you choose not take the Onitamablack pearls from the Kraken, your opponents may not be as cautious.

One of the Dice Tower Essential games, Onitama acts as a variant form of chess for head-to-head play.  In the game, players have a miniature playmat, featuring a 5×5 grid.  They also have five pawns that are moved by a variety of cards.  On each turn, players use a card to move a pawn, discard that card, then draw another one from a community discard pile.  Thus, players will be sharing movement cards.  The goal is to move your pawn onto the same space as an opponent in order to conquer that space and eliminate that pawn.The Little Prince Rising to the Stars

Even though the film’s release was delayed, Asmodee has produced a board game for The Little Prince, based off of the popular children’s book.  The Little Prince:  Rising to the Stars is a simple family gaming experience for two to six players that relies on various racing elements.  Players control planes that are charting a course to the planet of the Little Prince.  Using movement cards, players jockey for prime position on the gameboard in order to make it to the planet first, but also to collect Star Trek Five Year Missionstars and more movement cards.

You’ve beamed aboard, hopefully not wearing a red shirt, and now you and your crew mates have to solve the worst problems of the universe.  Star Trek:  Five-Year Mission is a cooperative experience for three to seven players set in either the original Star Trek or Next Generation time periods.  Each player receives a crew member role, with its own unique abilities, then must work together to solve various threats that arise.  Finding solutions gains the whole crew points, leading to victory, but if any crew member parishes, everyone loses.Krosmaster Quest

Building on the world of Krosmaster, Krosmaster Quest is a tactical adventure game that expands not only on the world, but the mechanics.  For two to six players, Krosmaster Quest uses a modular game board to expand the play space of the game, but still uses chibi-style figurines (including two exclusive figures only found here) in the gameplay.  Players travel around the world of the gameboard, vanquishing monsters, acquiring treasures, and allying with others to increase their power.  Even though Krosmaster Quest is a Histriostand-alone experience, figures and other components from previous Krosmaster games can be combined with it.

The show must go on in the Histrio board game!  For two to five players, Histrio is all about assembling the best cast for your play.  Each player represents a touring troupe of performers on the cusp of presenting a new play in front of the kings of various realms.  You will need to recruit actors for your play, but make sure to balance tragedy and comedy in order to provide the fullest experience.  Your casting will result in better financial return and the respect of the kingdom!Back to the Future board game

Building off of the popular films, IDW‘s Back to the Future board game does not have to reach 88mph to be fun!  Using elements of the Chrononauts game, Back to the Future requires players to competitively transport Doc Brown and Marty through three time periods in order to maintain the proper timeline.  Whoever repairs time the quickest, gets to joyride TIME Stories Under the Maskin the DeLorean whenever they wish!

The growing popularity of the fluctuating storytelling adventure game series, T.I.M.E. Stories, means more expansions.  Like the previous expansions for the game, Under the Mask, adds new cards and environments to progress the stories of the various adventurers participating in the game.  Under the Mask sends the participants far back in time the age of the pharaoh’s in order to uncover an ancient secret.

Apr 152016
 

Chez Geek Spring BreakFor those layabouts still building up slack in the world of Chez Geek, Steve Jackson Games has another way for players to continue to be lazy.  The Chez Geek Spring Break expansion can be added to the base game in the form of forty entirely new cards, all themed around traveling for the Spring Break holiday.  In addition to those cards, the expansion also contains Event Cards, which are an entirely new element that changes up gameplay.Crossover Crisis Deck Building Game

Cryptozoic has built up quite an empire of property-based deck building games, including DC, The Lord of the Rings, and Street Fighter.  Well, this weekend they add another conquest to that list with the Crossover Crisis Deck Building Game.  In this version of the game, players are controlling and building decks around popular Cartoon Network shows, like Dexter’s Laboratory, Regular Show, Samurai Jack, and Adventure Time.  As always, this version of the game is completely compatible with other Cryptozoic deck builders, so if you want you can have Finn face off with Superman while Frodo waits in the wings.

Rory's Story CubesSay you’re writing your first novel.  Or game mastering an RPG for your buddies.  Or maybe just killing time with friends around a campfire.  No matter the case, Rory’s Story Cubes are designed to randomly generate story ideas and elements to help fire the imagination.  Out this weekend are six mini-expansion packs for the series, each with three dice featuring a single theme.  For example, the Enchanted box features story elements related to fairytales and fantasy while the Clues box is all mystery related.Talisman Cataclysm

A new big box expansion for the popular dungeon crawl board game, Talisman, drops this weekend.  Talisman The Cataclysm introduces an entirely new main board to replace the one found in the base game.  In addition to the replacement game board, the expansion also contains over 150 extra cards and miniatures that Munchkin Marvelintroduce five original characters into the game, including ones inspired by Viking and Indian mythology.

Marvel is in the air as Captain America:  Civil War is on the horizon.  Understanding their fan base, Steve Jackson has made another coup by acquiring the rights to Marvel‘s popular line of characters in order to release Munchkin Marvel.  A new base game for the popular series, Munchkin Marvel uses the same mechanics from the other Munchkin games, but applies the heroes and villains of Marvel to them.  You’ll still be fighting monsters and acquiring treasures, but now those monsters will be Thanos, The Red Skull, and the like while you’ll be using Mjolnir or Cap’s shield to take them down.

Mar 182016
 

Zany PenguinsAsmodee relies on board gaming rule #356, which states that adding cute penguins to any product immediately improves it.  That cuteness would be deceiving, however, as the penguins of Zany Penguins are slowly marching their way to world domination.  Problem is, on the way to conquering the globe, they’ve split amongst themselves.  A set collection and area control game, Zany Penguins has players gathering hands of penguins cards, each with their own value and abilities, then using them strategically to occupy various zones.  Waddle your way to victory!Hoax

Like every Agatha Christie murder mystery (or Clue, if you’re my age), Fantasy Flight‘s new deception game, Hoax, is set at a posh mansion after the death of its wealthy owner.  Players are given one of seven character cards, each with an identity and specific abilities, but then have to discover who everyone else is.  The twist:  you can claim to be whomever you want to be.  Using accusations and deductions, players will attempt to uncover the lies and expose their opponents.  Fans of Bang! or Spyfall Loot N Runshould make sure to try their hand at Hoax.

Get your Indiana Jones on with Loot’n'Run from Iello.  A card game for two to six players, Loot’n'Run is comprised of fifty-four different room cards that players will simultaneously sift through.  Everyone is vying for the best loot, but dangerous guardians can be awoken and turned on other players at any time.  Bluff your way to fortune and glory to claim the win!

This weekend sees the newest expansion for Elder Sign, Omens of Ice.  In the Elder Sign Omens of Iceexpansion players will find an entirely original adventure to the icy ranges of Alaska.  When a blanket of endless snow has covered the planet, investigators must travel North in hopes of discovering the source.  On their adventure they will encounter new Ancient Ones and other hardships.  Complete with new allies, spells, and items, Omens of Ice can be incorporated into the base Elder Sign board The Pied Pipergame to expand the experience.

Another in the popular Tales and Games series (frequently featured on Tabletop), The Pied Piper is another affordable game for families of all ages.  With variants for less and more experience players, The Pied Piper sees two to five gamers attempting to fill their opponents house board with as many rats as possible.  Lure the rats out of your house and place them into the houses of your challengers, but, beware, they can do the same to you.  Like all of the previous Tales and Games releases, The Pied Piper not only includes the game, but also the entire original story it is based off of.

You don’t have to give into the dark side to purchase them but it might help, the newest wave of Star Wars X-Wing ships are out this weekend.  Already sold out at multiple locations, this wave of ships was hotly anticipated. Star Wars X-Wing Ghost Mist Hunter Tie Inquisitor For one reason, the set includes two ships pulled directly from the Star Wars Rebels cartoon series.  First up, are the two new large ship expansions, the Punishing One and the Ghost (complete with the Phantom shuttle).  Second, the small ship expansions include the Mist Hunter, the ship used by bounty hunter Zuckuss, and the second ship from Rebels, the Tie Inquisitor.  Make sure to lose that annoying droid, Chopper, then head up to get a hold of the newest additions to your fleet.

Mar 042016
 

The Godfather An Offer You Can't RefuseIDW‘s going to make you an offer you can’t refuse:  a deception card game based off of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy.  The Godfather:  An Offer You Can’t Refuse is playable with five or more players in its base version, so it’s perfect for parties or large gatherings.  Basically, players are secretly assigned the role of either a member of the Corleone family or a cop hot on their trail.  No one knows who is who, but over the course of the game everyone has to figure out each others’ identity.  The game also includes a quick-play ruleset for three players!The Siblings Trouble Pocket Adventures

Part The Goonies, part Sandlot, and part of your own childhood, The Siblings Trouble:  Backyard Adventures is a cooperative storytelling game that recreates the wild, imaginative adventures of adolescence.  A quick-to-play, thirty minute experience, two to four players select one of the pre-designed characters from the game or build their own based off of themselves.  Each player controls their own Adventure Deck as they progress My Happy Farmthrough a “story” using various cards and dice to decide the outcome.

Another quick-to-learn, quick-to-play family game has sprouted up this weekend.  My Happy Farm‘s art design is approachable for all ages of players, from eight and up.  The ruleset matches the artwork, with three simple stages to gameplay.  Players plant seeds, harvest what grows, and then use those crops to feed various animals.  Each animal requires certain crops to be feed properly, so you’ll have to strategically purchase the seeds you need.Star Realms Colony Wars

Star Realms has received numerous booster pack expansions, but with Star Realms Colony Wars the popular deck-building game now has its first full-deck expansion.  Colony Wars, like the base game, is initially playable with two players, but can scale up with each successive deck you purchase.  Colony Wars provides 128 additional cards that explore the outer worlds and all of the tempting resources that await there.  Also out for Star Relams is the Cosmic Gambit booster expansion.  This pack includes New Dawnfifteen new cards that can be incorporated into either of the Star Realms base decks.

A thematic expansion to Among the Stars, New Dawn drops this weekend and provides a new cosmic gaming experience for eager players.  Set in a galaxy where a peaceful Alliance set out to bring prosperity and peace to the systems under its sway, New Dawn actually finds that peace has never arrived.  Instead, desolate star systems and planets lay desolate, ready to be revived.  Over the course of five rounds, players will take on the roles of different races, all part of the Alliance, traveling around the galaxy to establish bases, take control of dormant facilities, and culminate resources.  Do not let the five rounds limit convince you that New Dawn is a short game, however, as the entire experience can take up to two full hours to play.