Dec 182015
 

For Sale board gameEverything’s for sale!  Or, at least, that’s the idea behind Stefan Dorra’s For Sale:  The Game of Property and Prosperity.  In this fast-paced game of bidding and bluffing to get the highest-ranking properties, it isn’t how much you pay for the properties, it is how much you sell them for.  Manage your money wisely during the bidding and property acquisition phase, then outsmart your rival tycoons during the selling phase.  Be the richest real estate mogul at the end of the game to win!Medieval Academy

While school might be the last thing you’re thinking about over the holidays, Medieval Academy provides an education that is a pleasure to attain.  Over the course of six rounds, players will compete as squires attempting to impress their respective knights.  Master the arts of jousts and tournaments, complete dangerous quests, and polish your education by drafting cards to strategically play.  By the end, the best squire will be knighted by King Arthur, himself.

Deception Murder in Hong KongFans of Betrayal at House on the Hill, Letters from White Chapel, and Fury of Dracula will want to closely examine Deception:  Murder in Hong Kong.  In the game, players find themselves in a scenario of intrigue and murder.  One player is the murderer, secretly choosing their weapon and the evidence they leave behind.  Another is the forensic scientist who holds the key to convicting the criminal, but is only able to express their knowledge through analysis of the scene.  Everyone else plays investigators, interpreting the clues, all while the killer is among them.Star Wars Edge of the Empire Mask of the Pirate Queen

Almost as if there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out or something, Fantasy Flight drops two supplemental hardcover books for their Star Wars roleplaying system.  First up, for the Force and Destiny system, Keeping the Peace.  In Keeping the Peace, players will find additional materials for Guardians, including character options, force powers, signature abilities, lightsabers, armor, and much more.  Out for the Edge of the Empire system is the Mask of the Pirate Queen adventure module.  A multi-part tale for both seasoned and starting players, Schrodinger's CatsMask of the Pirate Queen sends players on a hunt for the eponymous Pirate Queen.

What’s in the box?  In Schrodinger’s Cats, the answer to that question is always indeterminate.  A pseudo-scientific card game for two to six players, Schrodinger’s Cats has players running experiments, forming hypotheses, and trying to one-up each others research.  Taking on the role of one of many cat physicists, like Isaac Mewton or Neil Degrasse Tabby, players will use their special abilities to prove their hypotheses and debunk those of other players.

Jun 262015
 

SpyfallFor three to eight players, Spyfall from Cryptozoic is a one-of-a-kind conversation-based game.  Players have a few minutes to identify a spy in on of the numerous locations – a day spa, a space station, a submarine, and so on.  Observation, concentration, nonchalance, and cunning – you’ll need all of them in this game!Nevermore

In the game of Nevermore, players must collect the cards to success.  Build your hand each round, drafting cards you want and poisoning your opponent’s hand by passing along cards you think they can’t use.  Whoever has the most of a suit, gains the power of that suit – doing damage, healing, gaining Light and Shadow magicks and scoring victory points.  Will you transform all your rivals into ravens – or can they regain their human form in time to score enough Victory to Dark Angels Codex 2015win?

The updated Dark Angels Codex is out this weekend alongside a slew of other Dark Angels product.  The Codex contains information on the history of the faction, a showcase of Citadel miniatures, a comprehensive army list, and an appendix.  Also out this weekend are the Dark Angel Datacards and the new Dark Angels Interrogator-Chaplain.Forbidden Stars

We’ll continue to stick around the 40K universe with the next board game release, Forbidden Stars.  Released by Fantasy Flight, Forbidden Stars has two to four players take the helm of a mighty faction from the Warhammer 40K universe.  Dominate rich planetary systems and use their resources to fuel your engines of war.  Brave the madness of the Warp, transform your worlds into Pafumeimpenetrable bastions, and slaughter your foes.

Another in the long line of family friendly Queen Games, Parfum is out this weekend.  Parfum transports players to the wonderful world of fragrances, which dates back hundreds of years to when aromatic scents were first used in the Orient in myriad ways.  As master perfumers, players distill precious essences and create unique perfumes using ingredients like vanilla and lavender.  But each customer has their own preferences, so even the most charming symphony of fragrances must satisfy the tastes of the wealthy clientele.  Choose your aroma dice skillfully and mind well your client’s desires in order to become the most successful Peloponnesperfumer.

In Peloponnese, players will take control of a powerful civilization of ancient Greece.  You’ll develop your civilization through the eight game rounds, add territory and build prestigious buildings.  These increase your civilizations’ inhabitants, luxury, wealth, and power.  Some buildings also offer protection against the destructive disasters.  Only through a good balance between inhabitants, Fairytale Gloomland, and buildings you claim victory and join the gods of Peloponnese.

A new variation on the popular Gloom format, Fairytale Gloom where players control the gruesome fates of famous literary characters like Jack, Gretel, and Puss in Boots.  Unique transparent cards stack on top of each other to make scoring easy.  The points you can see are the points in play!Albion's Legacy

Albion’s Legacy is a fully cooperative adventure board game that pits a team of players against a legion of enemies.  As King Arthur and his allies travel to complete difficult quests, they must explore a kingdom that changes each time the game is played, while despair threatens to overtake the land.  It will take all of your combined wit to complete your quest and save Albion.  Worth a Walking Dead the Prisonlook for fans of Shadows Over Camelot.

A new expansion for the comic book based Walking Dead game, Walking Dead The Prison is both a stand alone edition and an expansion for the original base game.  Take on the role of a survivor who has just found the perfect place to start a new life in a world full of zombies.  With only two companions at the start of the game, players must struggle to find resources and rescue other survivors, while also working together to secure the prison…but only one survivor will ultimately get to be in charge.  Can you find enough resources, secure enough Ice King Marceline Card Wars Adventure Timeareas and kill enough zombies to become the leader of the survivors?

Holy stuff!  Check out the new decks for Adventure Time Card Wars!  In this Collector’s Pack, there is Ice King’s IcyLands deck and Marceline’s useless swamp/NiceLands deck.  Also included are oversized hero cards for Star Wars Force and Destiny Beginner Gameeach character, the introduction of the IcyLands landscape, and math loads of new art.

The year of Star Wars continues with the long awaited Force and Destiny Beginner Game edition for the Star Wars roleplaying game.  This Beginner Game box includes a complete, learn-as-you-go adventure that introduces force powers into the roleplaying system.  Pre-generated character folios keep rules right at their fingertips.  Custom dice and an exciting narrative gameplay system make every roll a story.  Detailed rules provide for hours of entertainment as you creat your own adventures and tell your own stories.

Jul 232011
 

If there is one irrefutable fact of gaming, one universal truth, one concept that can not be argued, one idea that can never be proven false, one thing that’s really, really true, it is the following:  dice are fun.

And so it goes that the wonderful game, We Didn’t Playtest This At All, of which we spoke last week, receives one more expansion pack, dubbed simply Dice Are Fun.  Packaged similarly to the Chaos Pack expansion, Dice Are Fun is able to be played along with the base game or as a stand-alone.  With the base game, players shuffle the deck and place the instruction card on top, along with a handful of dice.  Then, as players wish, they can draw a die and a card by discarding four cards from their hand or two starred cards.  As a stand-alone, players each need a D20 and something to keep score with as they will be working through the cards, one by one, slowly gaining or losing points on their D20, hoping to eventually stand at 40.  As with the other versions of this game, it plays fast, light, and funny.

It is a small world after all.  Why?  Because Philippe Keyaerts is not only the creator of the popular Small World, but also the new Olympos.  Structured around a theme of ancient Greece, Olympos is a multi-faceted strategy board game that sounds a barrows elements of Small World and 7 Wonders.  Basically, two boards are laid out, one that displays a map of ancient Greece and Atlantis, while the second displays pictures that represent “developments”.  The amount of actions players have is based off of where they are on the game’s timeline, but, regardless, the two types of actions are to expand settlers on the map game board or to purchase or build discoveries on the developments game board.  So, like 7 Wonders, there are numerous ways to acquire points and, thus, the victory.  Expect a well-designed, strategic experience when you pick up Olympos.

Ask yourself one question:  can you trust me?  Hopefully so, or else why are you reading this, but in the game of Double Agent you should never believe that you can trust anyone.  A two player game in the relatively new Duo Collection from Matagot, Double Agent has opponents facing off by using six secret agents to steal important government documents.  The trick here is that each player uses the same six agents, so neither knows which ones work for them.  Deception abounds and trickery ensues over the course of a fast-paced twenty minute play time.

Turn any table into King Arthur’s legendary round table with Artus.  You could also use a saw, but that gets sawdust everywhere and you’ll probably cut a finger off or something.  Anyway, to the game.  Artus uses its theme to full effect by using Arthur’s round table as the center piece of the game.  Players set “knights”, “royalty”, and unaffiliated pieces in various numbered spaces around the table.  The pieces rotate around the table, trading off the king position based on points acquired throughout the game.  Just remember your table manners.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion fears the elephant.  Obviously, that’s not how the song goes, but in the two-player game of Jungle, that’s how it works.  Players use animal tokens to move across a compact game board utilizing each animal’s unique ability over the others.  For instance, all creatures fear the elephant, but the elephant will run screaming from the mouse.  As the game operates on simple mechanics, it can be picked up in a matter of minutes.  But it may take years to become a true king of the jungle.

Jun 182011
 

I know Atlas held the world on his shoulders, but there’s no way he could have lifted all the Atlas Games restock we received this week.

I’m talking games like Pieces of Eight, Gloom (and its expansions), Mad Scientist University (and its expansions), Lunch Money, Beer Money, Once Upon a Time (and its expansions), Let’s Kill! (and its expansions), Recess, Letter Head, Grand Tribunal, and Spammers.  A good portion of these games are card based and pocket-sized, much like a number of popular Z-Man games.

To hand choose a couple of the finest options, here’s a brief rundown on Letter Head, Recess, Let’s Kill!, and Once Upon a Time.

Letter Head is a blend of word and bluffing games.  A good fit for anyone who’s played and loved Quiddler, players gain cards that contain letters and point values as they attempt to create words.  The difference here is that you can barter and lie to your opponents to gain cards you don’t have.  But it doesn’t stop there, Letter Head also contains rules for 14other letter-based gaming scenarios.  Good bang for your

buck.

Recess transports you back to the school playground as players race their boy and girl tokens across the playground attempting to have them meet (and kiss *Gross*) within a time limit.  If you land on a space with another player’s token, though, some bullying ensues with only the winner walking away with lunch money.  And beware the nuns roaming around the playground who will whip your butt into detention so fast you won’t even see theruler coming at you.  A perfect kids/family game.

This next one is a rosy little ball of sunshine called, Let’s Kill!.  Man, with games like this and Gloom (equally dark, equally hilarious) Atlas might not be a gaming company you want to run into in a dark alley.  Anyway, the title pretty much says it all as the game revolves around players drawing victim cards from one deck and weapons from another in an attempt to murder as many people as you can in the most gruesome ways possible.  And if that isn’t enough bloody mayhem for you, there’s always the Crime

Scene Instigation and A Pretty Corpse expansion decks to add more victims, weapons, and other interesting cards to the mix.

Once upon a time there was a great game called Once Upon a Time.  I know, cheap.  Sue me.  Once Upon a Time uses elements of storytelling and roleplaying to create a game where players via for control of a fairy tale-esque by playing cards that shape the direction of the tale.  However, if another player interrupts you, they can gain control of the story’s flow.  Certainly a game where having a sharp imagination comes in handy.  Plus, you can always add the Dark Tales expansion (with a grimmer set of cards with trolls, goblins, and darker elements) or get really creative with the Create-Your-Own Storytelling Cards (blank cards that allow you to draw in the story elements).

As a period to this tale of Atlas, you should also know that we received the entire line-up of Dungeoneer card games.

Going boldly where no Heroclix game has ever gone before is the new Star Trek Expeditions cooperative boardgame.  Updated with the likenesses of the most recent J.J. Abrams film, the storyline of this game has players juggling three objectives, working together to solve all of them in a thirty day (one day=one turn) time limit.  Classic Heroclix-style dials are utilized, but in a different fashion that before; characters’ dials rotate, not from damage but, from choices and successes they make.  As far as using the license to its fullest, most enjoyable extent, this game knocks it out of the park.  Come play test it on any of our Sunday game nights, if you feel inclined.

Camelot Legends helps you get your knight on!  Players build up their own round tables in an effort to complete tasks and missions in the lands of Camelot, Cornwall, and the Perilous Forest.  The game contains 100 different cards, giving players a ton of options from which to build their cavalry

of knights.  Whichever team of knights completes the most tasks by the end of the game wins.

Another expansion in the ever expanding Warhammer Invasion card game, Legends, introduces new legend card types to be used with each race.  What are legend cards, though?  Representing one of the more powerful characters in your army, these cards can be placed in the center of your play field, allowing for cards in all your other three zones to utilize their powers.  Basically, Legends adds another layer of play in the already diverse two-player battleground that is Warhammer Invasion.

Last, but most creative, is the card expansion for Dixit.  Called Dixit 2 (okay, that’s not too creative), this hefty little expansion box adds eighty four new, full art cards to the existing game.  If you haven’t played Dixit, shame.  But, past the reprimanding, here’s how it works:  much like a Pictionary version of Apples to Apples, Dixit has players laying down cards decorated with gorgeous artwork in the center of the table and having one player guess who laid down what based on a prompt.  If nothing else (and there’s plenty else), the game is beautiful!