Mar 152014
 

Coming up on Channel A is a new program for fans of anime and manga, ready-made for party gaming!

Recently run through the distributor system following a successful Kickstarter run, Channel A is another in a long line of Apples to Apples style party games.  In the case of Channel A, players are selecting multiple cards, each with a uniquely anime-esque words, and using them to pitch a new anime show to the rest of the group.  Votes are taken and points are assigned based on majority. 

If there’s a cult following bigger than fans of zombie stuff, it’s fans of Cthulhu stuff.

From the makers of Zombies!!!, the highly popular zombie outbreak survival game, comes Cthulhu!!!:  Hastur La Vista Baby!  Similar to Zombies!!!, players control hardened Elder God exterminators attempting to halt the return of an creature from beyond by sanctifying ritual sites.  However, the threat of insanity looms large over everyone thrust into the middle of this horrific setting.  Can you hold out?

Flash Point is jumping in the drink with its newest set of expansion boards, Dangerous Waters.

In this expansion are two double-sided game boards with representations of a submarine and a sunken ship, offering an entirely original environment for players to experience.  Any safety provided by the above-ground buildings of all the previous sets is now out-the-window, so to speak, raising the stakes in this popular cooperative game.

Newly arrived and quickly disappearing from the shelves is Magic the Gathering‘s most recent Duel Deck, Jace vs. Vraska.

Hotly anticipated, this duel deck retails for $19.99, but contains cards with values which far exceed the price.  As well, these duel deck sets are always perfect introductory products for new Magic players, giving them a fully built deck to play as well as one to give an opponent.

A supplement to the Chaos Space Marine’s Codex, the recently released Crimson Slaughter Codex provides information about unique artifacts and options for your existing Chaos Space Marines army.  As well, it provides a unique story that’s never before been told in the Warhammer 40K materials.

Legend of the Five Rings makes a major comeback this weekend with the launch of a freshly designed base set, the Ivory Edition, anchored by four new booster pack releases and a set of nine starter decks.  The classic nine clans are represented, including crab, scorpion, crane, and all the rest.

Somebody really needs to Asmadi Games to start play testing these games they’re releasing.

In the mean time, here’s another We Didn’t Playtest This edition, this time known as We Didn’t Playtest This Pasted-On Theme at All!  Adding another batch of original cards, this expansion also includes stick-on (paste not included) themes like zombie, pirate, elves, and more.  Not only do these themes make each card snazzier than before, they also change the endgame scenario.

While we’re on the topic of expansions, the popular education series, Timeline, gains another themed expansion this weekend.  Timeline: Music & Cinema plays just like the previous versions of the game with players attempting to lay cards from their hand in chronological order without seeing the dates.  In this specific expansion, all the cards relate to major moments or works in the music and film industries.

A loving homage to classic Dungeons & Dragons, Luke Crane’s Torchbearer RPG HC is all dungeon crawling all the time.

Building off of the Burning Wheel and Mouse Guard roleplaying systems, Torchbearer deals in deep, dank dungeons, heroic adventurers, and a hunt for glory.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler has finally swing his way into the Legendary deck-building game, and he’s brought along friends.  Another mini-expansion for Marvel‘s successful DBG, Paint the Town Red (trust us, the contents are better than the title) includes cards for the Black Symbiote Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Black Cat, Scarlet Spider, and Spider-Woman as well as Mastermind cards for Carnage and Mysterio.

Mar 012014
 

Starlight #1

-Mark Millar, creator of Kick-Ass, Wanted, Jupiter’s Legaacy, and Civil War, unleashes another Image Comics original!

-Think of Starlight as a post-modern Flash Gordon, dissecting the tropes of the character and genre.

-Duke McQueen is an old man.  But in his younger years he saved the galaxy more times than you can count.  Now, after retiring and losing his beloved wife, Duke is called back into action one more time.

-Goran Parlov, famous for his long run on Punisher MAX with Garth Ennis, joins Millar to lend a Joe Kubert-esque vibe to this space opera.

Avatar the Last Airbender “The Rift Part 1″

-The Avatar gang adventures continue after the Last Airbender cartoon series!

-Toph rejoins the group in this new three part epic!

-Evil forces interrupt a revived Airbender festival tradition, causing Aang and his friends to go on the offensive, eventually venturing into the spirit realm to defeat their foes.

-The third in a series of post-cartoon Avatar comics, The Rift bridges the time gap between Last Airbender and Legend of Korra.

Magneto #1 

-Magneto is a changed man, but maybe not for the better.

-How does Magneto, formerly the world’s most feared mutant, go about gaining some of that prestige back?  Well, the simple answer is:  by doing bad things.

-Cullen Bunn, local boy made good, has been delivering some wildly fun Marvel comics over the last couple years (Fearless Defenders, Deadpool Kills…, Night of the Living Deadpool) and now it’s time for him to blend that pure joy for the medium with the darkness of his creator-owned series, Sixth Gun.

-Bunn promises a blend of horror and noir in this solo revenge tale for the X-Men‘s most popular villain.

Moon Knight #1

-Basically Marvel‘s version of Batman, but three times the crazy because Moon Knight‘s sporting three separate personalities!

-One of Marvel‘s many unsung characters, any Moon Knight series promises to be a twisty, violent ride. . .

-. . .especially when it’s written by comic legend, Warren Ellis.  Ellis has created some of the most ingenious characters and premises in comic history, including The Authority, Planetary, Transmetropolitan, as well as runs on Astonishing X-Men and Hellblazer!

-Little is known about the plot of this series, but, in my experience, that indicates a story so wild and unexpected that they don’t want to spoil it.  Trust us, it’s the must buy Marvel book for the week!

Jan 182014
 

My Little Pony Friends Forever #1

-BEST.  PONY.  COMIC.  EVER!

-Hot on the hooves of IDW‘s other two massively successful My Little Pony comic book series, comes a third jewel in their Equestrian crown, Friends Forever!

-We’ve seen ponies get the solo spotlight in the Micro Series comic, but Friends Forever is about team-ups!  Each issue will feature two ponies working together (or not) to conquer the issue’s conflict.

-Issue #1 features the pairing of Applejack and Pinkie Pie!

All New Invaders #1

-The Invaders are back to show the Marvel Universe that classics never go out of style!

-Original Invaders members Namor, Captain America, Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier), and the original Human Torch reunite for the first time in continuity!

-James Robinson, fresh off of DC‘s Earth 2, brings his golden age sensibilities to this story!

-How will the team fair against a rogue Kree force looking to bring back an army of Norse Gods?

George Romero’s Empire of the Dead #1 (of 5)

-Legendary master of the undead, George Romero, brings his zombie universe to Marvel comics.

-This issue begins an epic saga of zombie ravaged New York, as Act One of a three act maxi-series.

-Romero is joined by veteran artist extraordinaire, Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Moon Knight, Scarlet), whose sketchy, gritty style is perfect for horrific stories like this.

-Romero expands his universe by bringing vampires into the fray.

Deadly Class #1

-Issue #1 is already  OUT OF PRINT!

-Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Fear Agent, Black Science) weaves together assassin stories and high school movies in this darkly humored action series.

-Set during the hedonistic 1980s, Deadly Class has a group of teenagers navigating high school while learning how to be the best assassins in the world.

-Kinda like if John Hughes had a love baby with Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.

Jun 212013
 

Walkers are running rampant and its your duty to shoot’em down.

The Walking Dead Card Game from Cryptozoic is a brand new way to experience the post-zombie lifestyle, coming with two ways to play:  Hero and survival mode.  Hero mode has players taking control of a character from the show in an effort to earn more zombie points than the other 2-6 players.  Survival mode, on the other hand, pits 3-11 players against each other, but, instead of trying to nab the most points, everyone is trying to accumulate the least.  Perfect for parties full of Walking Dead fans, this new card game is easy to learn and fun to play.

Marvel‘s Legendary becomes a little more, uh, legendary-er this week thanks to Dark City, the deck building game’s first expansion.  Not only does this expansion offer seventeen new characters and five villains (like Cable, Colossus, Moon Knight, Blade, Kingpin, Loki, and Apocalypse), but also augmented game rules.  These include expanded abilities for bystanders, giving them autonomy, as well as character artwork that clarifies who has power when.

Lovers of Apples to Apples should take note of Word Whimsy.  This party game of wordplay is structured similar to the aforementioned game, but around phrases instead of single words.  Players take turns drawing prompt cards, like “My Professional Wrestling Name” or “Favorite Bar”, then proceed to arrange cards from their hand into the wackiest answer to that prompt.  And while this version can serve 3-7, there are also other variants included that alter the entire game.

Just when you thought they were done, there’s more Dominion.

Dominion Guilds is the eighth expansion released for this mega-popular deck building series.  This time around, the theme revolves around jobs and what citizens of the township need to do to get them.  Thirteen new kingdom cards as well as coin tokens to wile away for use later.  Other cards come with a starting cost, but can be bought for more money in order gain the user further abilities.

We’ll cover the next two games in the order the original books were released, just to play it like OG nerds.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey board game is a one to four player game that lasts up to an hour, ferrying players through the events of Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit film.  A cooperative experience, players take control of Bilbo and his dwarf companions, attempting to collect gems and gold as you out maneuver and defeat the monsters in your path.  Designed by Reiner Knizia, this is no simple property game.

The second Tolkien/Cryptozoic collaboration out this week, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game enters the deck building arena, telling the rest “They CAN NOT PAAAAAAASSSSS!”  Structured identically to the DC Deck Building Game, players take on the roles of either Frodo, Samwise, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, or Boromir, facing off against the forces of Sauron.  Players purchase cards from the center of the table to build-up their own decks in an effort to defeat orcs, Balrogs, and Nazgûl.  Also, in an absurdest twist, this game can be combined the DC Deck Builder for Gollum vs. Superman battles.

Mar 022013
 

Welcome to the bad old days.

The world is a pit of despair, Ultron is in charge, and there’s no hope for survival…except for a rag-tag bunch of heroes with a plan.  Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Emma Frost, Wolverine, Invisible Woman, Taskmaster, Beast, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are the last ditch effort for the Marvel Universe to continue existing, but something tell’s me they may have a chance.  This dystopian future tale is THE EVENT for the Marvel Universe this year, with three issues coming out a month for the next three months.  And don’t worry about crossovers with other series, because they’ve been kept to a minimum and left as non-essential; read’em if you want, don’t if not.  With the mad puppeteer of Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Scarlet), having worked on establishing the implications of this tale over the last four years, Age of Ultron is going to leave its mark.  And for a series that epic in scope you need an artist that can match the tone.  Luckily, Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates, America’s Got Powers) was able to lend his deft talent at cinematic realism to the book!  Don’t get left behind like so many did with Avengers vs. X-Men, pick up issue one of Age of Ultron, or one of its many variants, this Wednesday!

Cullen Bunn has managed to blend sci-fi, horror, and western genres in the long lived Sixth Gun series with ease.  Now Bunn is applying the same strategy to a tale of viking carnage!  Helheim begins with a brutal siege on a tiny, seaside village by forces of evil.  But standing between them and the meaty townsfolk is Rikard and his horde of viking warriors.  Though you might think you know where this story goes from there, you’d be surprised.  This is only the beginning.  Bunn just rocked Marvel NOW! with his first issue of Fearless Defenders (you know we’ve been talking it up at the store!), an issue which also featured some viking fisticuffs, and aims to do the same to Oni Press with the start of this new ongoing series.  When you blend gothic horror, witchcraft, and zombies, you get Helheim!

Searching for images of Joe Casey’s Sex #1 resulted in some awkward moments at the store.  Yeah….

One of this month’s Image Comics releases, advertises itself as “a good reason to come into the comic store – to buy SEX!” Though it may be crass, it’s true.  Joe Casey has written everyone from Wolverine to Batman to The Avengers to Spider-Man, but he’s never written anything as chock full of debauchery.  A former superhero is forced to give up his vigilante lifestyle only to take to the streets for some much needed R&R.  However in a town like Saturn City, R&R can get rather S&M.  Follow Simon Cooke on his dark, dirty journey through the recesses of a town gone wrong in a post-modern superhero tale unlike any other in comics today.

And finally tonight, another twist on a classic tale.

No Place Like Home was one of my favorite miniseries from Image Comics last year thanks to its intelligent, inventive reworking of the classic L. Frank Baum fable, The Wizard of Oz.  Dee is a rocker from the city, but a rural kid at heart who must return home to Kansas after the grisly murder of her parents during a tornado.  After getting home and rekindling friendships with old acquaintances, Dee stumbles into a decades old mystery that ties together her parents, the two sheriff, a local drunk, and…a flying monkey?  Comic newcomers Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan dropkick Judy Garland and replace her with a twisted slasher film sprinkle with famous imagery and characters from the classic tale.  Oh, Tirotto claims this is only the beginning of an epic arc that’ll take Dee all the way over the rainbow.