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.

Nov 062015
 

Diner card gameOrder up!  Diner is a fast-paced game about waiters in a competition to make the most money in tips.  Players compete to create orders (cards that link together) that, ultimately, cost the most money.  Diner won the Dice Hate Me Games 54-card Challenge, which is a competition where game designers must create a game using only 54 cards and minimal components.Jolly Roger The Game of Piracy and Mutiny

The high seas are only semi-cooperative, or, at least, that’s the case with Jolly Roger.  A game for four to ten players, Jolly Roger is set aboard a scurvy pirate ship where players take on the roles of crew and captain.   At the beginning of each game, a player is elected captain.  She will then lead the rest of the players into a battle where they will attempt to steal loot.  Spoils are split up among players, and can be hidden safely away on Treasure Island, but if a certain crew member feels they aren’t The Game card gamegetting an even share, they can always instigate a mutiny.

While it may sound ominously like some version of Saw, The Game from IDW is a spin on the cooperative card game where players can not openly communicate with each other.  Players each have a hand of numerical cards, ranging from 0-100, and must stack them in one of four separate piles.  The goal is to order them as close to ascending and descending orders as possible, which is where the lack of communication causes problems.  A 2015 Spiel Des Jahres nominee, IDW hopes that you will not hate The Game, but hate player.Battle for Zendikar Holiday Gift Box

The holidays are upon us, and that means Wizards of the Coast is getting into the present buying spirit.  Like the last three years, Magic the Gathering has just released a new Holiday Gift Box.  This year, the Battle for Zendikar Gift Box includes five booster packs, dividers, twenty full-art lands, dividers, a promo card, and, of course, the Swords and Strongholds Mouse Guardtitular 2,000 count card box.

Creator of the popular Mouse Guard comic, David Petersen, has branched into the realm of board games with Swords and Strongholds.  A less intensive version of chess, Swords and Strongholds is derived from the Mouse Guard universe and features Petersen’s distinct artwork.  A head-to-head game, players must capture all four of their opponent’s pawns or build a stronghold in either player’s back corner.  Also out this week is an updated, boxed edition of the Mouse Guard RPG.  This Mouse Guard RPG Boxed Set contains a core rulebook, GM screen, dice, maps, action cards, and other essential components.Ender's Game Battle School Board Game

Spinning out of the popular novel series (and less popular film), Ender’s Game:  Battle School the Board Game adapts the head-to-head wargames from the book.  Each player controls an army that is doing battle in an anti-grav arena.  Soldiers can be moved across the battlefield, but will continue moving unless they are stopped by debris or an opponent, due to the anti-grav.  Victory can be attained by freezing your opponent’s Superfight Expansion Decksgates or commander.

Following hotly on the heels the Superfight base game are a plethora of expansion decks.  This weekend, Pulp received not one, not two, but all nine of the Superfight expansion decks!  These include a range of cards that can be added to the base game, each distinguished by theme.  So, you can go with the anime deck or maybe the adult content deck or, if you’re feeling particularly brutal, the Walking Dead deck!

Jan 172014
 

Got eight minutes to spare?

Why not play Eight-Minute Empire: Legends?  The second stand-alone release in this line, Legends is literally playable in eight minutes, ready-made for quick gaming in between gaming.  The game involves players picking cards off of six piles, with each card providing a special action to perform immediately after.

Three new ships pull into the Star Trek Attack Wing docking bay this weekend, including the USS Excelsior for the Federation, RIS Vo from the Romulan alliance, and Dominion’s Koranak vessel.

Who you gonna call?  Yourself!

Ghooost! is family friendly, easily travel-able card matching game where players try to get rid of their hand of cards by matching suits with cards previously laid down.  Players pull from their “mansion” for new cards, hoping for cards with special abilities that allow them to lay more cards or enact other actions.  The whole game also comes in a handy carrying box that folds out into the game board.

Gamer couples searching for a new two player experience need look no further than Pixel Tactics and Pixel Tactics 2.

Head-to-head battling is the name of the game, stemming from each player controlling an identical deck of cards, but assigning a specific leader card to the deck that entirely alters how each card plays.  This allows for twenty-five different variations on the standard deck.  And don’t worry about picking these initially releases up in order, they are both stand-alone and can be played in any order.

The fifth large expansion for the Warhammer:  Invasion LCG card game, Hidden Kingdoms, fleshes out the remaining factions that have, up until now, not seen play in the game.  These include Skaven, Lizardmen, Wood Elves, and Undead, each of which has been built-up to a full faction.

The Mayan apocalypse may never have come, but that hasn’t stopped Tzolk’in from producing an expansion to end all expansions.  Tribes and Prophecies not only adds enough pieces to include a fifth player, but also alters the gaming experience entirely by allowing each player to take command of tribe leaders that grant them abilities beyond the normal selection.

Space is a vast and endless place, which means Rio Grand Games has plenty of universe to produce a fifth Race for the Galaxy expansion from.  Alien Artifacts adds a fifth playable deck onto the base game, as well as five additional start worlds.  Along with these extra pieces, the expansion contains another gaming mode where players map an alien “orb” searching for artifacts that gain them extra powers.

For the penultimate game item, Pathfinder, like a Pokemon trainer on a winning spree, continues to evolve their dragons.  This time around, it’s the Red Dragon Evolution set of miniatures.

And, basically, that’s kinda it…

Like there’s three dragons.

And some are bigger than others.

But they’re all red…

Yup…

Anyway, the ‘verse is never done offering up rewards for determined, swindly captains, especially ones experienced in Breakin’ Atmo.

The first expansion deck for the beloved Firefly board game, Breakin’ Atmo, supplies players with twenty-five new jobs, supply cards, and shiploads of gear!  Shiny don’t even begin to describe this valuable bobble!

Jan 182013
 

Antike Duellum sends two players back in time for an epic head-to-head battle!

Taking the rules of the original Antike board game, Antike Duellum modifiers the mechanics for a two player war game of ancient Rome.  Coming with two separate scenarios (Rome vs. Carthage and Persia vs. Greece), the base game lasts between sixty to ninety minutes.  Play your cards right, literally, as carefully playing event cards (25 of which are brand new for this version of the game) changes the pace of the game and entirely decides the outcome.  With an easy to learn rule system, you’ll never be saying, “It’s all Greek to me.”

Uggh errgg mrrgg grrrgg.

That would be caveman for Cavemen, the Quest for Fire.  This simple little Rio Grande card game has two to five players taking on the role of a prehistoric hunter who’s mission is to kill dinosaurs and gain influence in the tribe.  To do this, players draft cards into a common card pool which decides the possible actions for that turn.  If you hold the special conch token, however, you get to choose your action first and take an extra action at the end of everyone else’s turn.  So, I say againg, uggh errgg mrrgg grrrgg.

The popular miniature adventure game Mage Knight gains a new expansion in The Lost Legion.  If you are brave enough to overcome the deadly obstacles in the way of purchasing this expansion (which, basically, is to just have the money to buy it) then you too can acquire all its riches.  Within the box is an entirely new Mage Knight (Wolfhawk), spells, artifacts, skills, locations, scenarios, enemies, and friends.  As usual, each piece and accessory is detailed and designed to the high standards of WizKids.

For the second time tonight dinosaurs have to be mentioned.

Yes, it’s a good night.

In the lost city of Uchronia dinosaurs never died out.  Now players take turns placing and drawing resource cards  in order to build up the ancient city, using their prehistoric lizard pals to assist them.  Building cards are drawn from the center of the table and used by players to continue constructing their palaces and become the patriarch of the city.

Dec 142012
 

Managing to actually beat the next Star Wars films into the world, the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG base set has, shockingly, arrived earlier than expected.  Copying the Pathfinder Beginner Box method of release, Star Wars Edge of the Empire is also released in a beginner box format, coming with all the essentials for play.  Included in the box is a quick-to-learn rule booklet that will teach anyone, even the most uninitiated roleplayer, how to play the game.  Dice, pre-generated character sheets (which are ready-to-play), an adventure book, tokens, and much more are also included.  Create your own galaxy far, far away by picking up this one, catch-all Beginner Box.

Maybe you haven’t heard, but there’s this movie called The Hobbit coming out this weekend.  I don’t know, people are excited.  In a brilliant stroke of cross-marketing, Fantasy Flight has released a new Hobbit trick-taking card game.  A head-to-head battle of good versus evil, The Hobbit card game has players taking on the roles of Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin to take on the forces of Smaug and Bolg.  Each card has its own special abilities as well as associations with good or evil, which will benefit or harm them depending on the items being attached to them.  Trust me, you’re going to need something to keep you and your five friends busy while your sitting in line waiting for tickets.

In an effort to make an RPG system for every corner of the Warhammer 40K universe, the Only War Core Rulebook drops today.  Focusing on the Imperial Guardsmen, Only War allows players to control any of the twelve specialties, whether that’s the powerful Heavy Gunner or the beneficial Medic.  The game also supports all forms of interaction with easy-to-understand rules capable of handling conversations to mass battles.  Also, by the weird possibility that you’re playing a 40K game without knowing anything about the universe, this rulebook comes with complete background details on the Imperial Guard and all their enemies.

The fire is rising, brother.  And you just read that in Bane’s voice.

Though he, technically, has nothing to do with Dominare, Bane’s general revolutionary plan does share some similarities with the gameplay.  It’s all about influencing the citizens of Tempest with secret backdoor dealings, underhanded treachery, and cunning.  Each player controls different agents of the underworld, sending them into eight different city districts to begin spreading rumors of a conspiracy that will upset the city’s balance.  In the end, its all about control and who possesses it.

Ticket to Ride continues to trek across the globe for its most recent map expansion packs, this time landing in Africa.  Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa (beside being a minor reference to Joseph Conrad’s famous short story) features an entirely original map of the country, complete with new terrain cards which specific different track colors for different geographical regions.  Players can multiply their points by using them in conjunction with particular routes.  As Ticket to Ride is one of the best family games on the stands since forever, so keep it fresh and interesting for yours by picking up this new expansion.

Wares!  Fine wares!  Get your fine wares right here!

Continuing from Catan Histories previous releases, Merchants of Europe is the newest stand-alone Catan edition.  This augmentation of the basic Settlers of Catan rules has players controlling merchants and trading posts in various cities in Europe, attempting to expand their mercantile reach ever further.  Ultimately, your goal should be to recruit as many new merchants as you can in an effort to build trading posts further from your original locations and acquire different commodities (i.e. sugar, wood, sheep, etc.) for trade and sale.  Along with this, players must also build trading routes over which they will need to transport their goods, hoping they’ve built them in safe areas or else have their product pillaged from under them.