Nov 272015

Munchkin Christmas LiteWith the holiday season just beginning in earnest this weekend, it’s time to start thinking about that one important question that everyone raises during the season:  can you play Munchkin?  Okay, maybe not the most important question, but still valid.  Well, Steve Jackson games has made it easier than ever to get into Munchkin with Munchkin Christmas Lite.  An inexpensive deck of Christmas themed cards, Christmas Lite has all of the Munchkin Kittensmaterials for three or four players to learn the basics of Munchkin.

Possibly the greatest Munchkin expansion ever, Munchkin Kittens is on shelves this weekend!  Included in this booster expansion are thirty adorable kitty cards illustrated comic artist Katie Cook that can be incorporated into any of the Munchkin base games.

Bottlecap VikingsBottlecap Vikings may seem like a cross between Fallout and the popular television show (which would be pretty great), but, instead, it is a fun, family friendly resource management game.  In Bottlecap Vikings you will sail, loot, and plunder your way around a bottlecap shaped game board.  Build your village and gain glory until the Valkyries come to claim the fallen across a variable action rondel, two victory conditions, and individual player ability trees.Melee

Styled after 16-byte video games of yore and a pinch of Minecraft, Melee is an army battle game for two to four players.  In the world of Melee, the king has died without an heirs to the throne.  Each player will control one of four different armies (each sitting astride either a parrot, mouse, pig, or dinosaur), fighting from their own castle, to attain the throne.  You will use money and other Operation Faustresources to build your armies and pit them against each other to decide ultimate dominance.

Think Coup or Bang! during WWII and you’ve got Operation F.A.U.S.T., a new deception game from Grey Fox Games.  In this highly social game, players will find themselves in occupied France during WWII, tasked with a mission to recover Europe’s most valuable pieces of art before they are looted by Hitler.  To win the game you must gather intelligence, locate Europe’s most at risk treasures, and recover them before your opponents.  Use your network of spies, double agents, and more to achieve your goals, but take care not to reveal information to others.Bomb Squad

Remaining on the field of battle, but updating it to a modern era, Bomb Squad is a cooperative game with high stakes.  In Bomb Squad players control members of the Retro City Bomb Squad, and their trusty bomb disposal robots in order to defeat dastardly villains that threaten the world.  Help program a robot to navigate buildings, rescue hostages, and defuse bombs in real time.  You cannot see your hand of Command cards, so you’ll have to help your partners figure out which cards to play.  Using a special timer app, the game plays out in real time, with bombs going off every ten minutes unless you defuse them!

TerraCombining a party game experience with factual trivia, Terra pits players against each other in a competition where being close counts.  Faced with world trivia questions like “How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?” or “How many sculptures are on Easter Island?” players will attempt to make educated guesses, marking them with cubes on a slider.  If you don’t know the answer, use your opponents knowledge against them by guessing just a little bit less or more than what they do.  It can’t hurt, as being closer is the goal.

Aperture Science welcomes players to a board-based cake acquisition enrichment activity, Portal the board game.  Yes, Cryptozoic and Valve have adapted the popular Portal video game series into a board gaming experience.  Players control test subjects who are attempting Portal board gameto traverse the testing lab, represented by a modular board, using high tech portal guns.  Tiles will fall off the board over the course of the game, causing players to leap forward as fast as they can in hopes of not getting caught in a disappearing tile.  And at the end:  cake!  Of course, the cake is a lie, so Cryptozoic has given you an exclusive Steam redemption Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Gamecode for Portal 2 instead.

Fantasy Flight does what the company is best at by remaking and relaunching the classic Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game.  This card game is a cooperative game of heroic dungeon adventures for one to four players.  Players assume the roles of some of the Old World’s most iconic heroes, then venture into the shadows to battle goblins, trolls, orcs, ghouls, ratmen, and other creatures.  Can you survive their relentless onslaught?  There are only two ways for your quest to end – in death or in glory!

Nov 202015

Mafia de CubaJoin the family in Mafia de Cuba.  In the vein of Ultimate Werewolf or Bang!, Mafia de Cuba is a game of deceptive trickery.  Players will pass around the actual game box, which will contain various diamonds and tokens, each of which can be stolen or left in order to choose your allegiance.  As the box is passed around, other players will have to deduce who has taken or not taken what tokens in order to figure out their allegiance.Boss Monster 2

Boss Monster 2 may have already come out, but that was simply the standard edition.  If you know anything about video games, you’ll know that alternate versions and updated editions are a regular occurrence.  That being said, Boss Monster 2 receives a special limited edition variant this weekend.  Including the same twelve new bosses from the original version, this limited edition presents them in shiny, deluxe holofoil!

MLP_CCG_StarterBring home the mystical mysteries of Ponyville and beyond with this exciting new expansion set to the My Little Pony Collectible Card Game.  Each High Magic Theme Deck includes three must-have exclusive cards, including a new Mane Character card that will change the way you play.  With the Steal the Show Theme Deck you’ll use the show-stopping magic of The Great and Powerful Trixie to unlock the Chest of Harmony, travel halfway across Equestria, score fifteen points, and win the game!Code of Nine board game


Heavily influenced by anime and manga, Code of Nine is the newest game from the designers of Tragedy Looper.  In the game, you are an automaton awakening to the ruins of the world 100 years after its destruction.  With no humans alive to guide you, and only having two of the eight important conditions that you must obey, you must wander the ruins to complete the task assigned you.  Each location on the board has a unique effect.  You may gain items, steal items, or look at your opponents’ Memory cards.  You must choose which action to take, but with only fifteen turns to act, choose wisely.

Kingslayer playmat A Game of ThronesFantasy Flight games launches a series playmats this weekend for the Game of Thrones LCG.  Each of these rubber playmats are 14″x24″ in diameter, and feature beautifully illustrated versions of the George R.R. Martin’s most famous characters.  Choose from The Kingslayer, the Mother of Dragons, Ironborn Reavers, the Red Witch, and others.  While these playmats are intended for use with the LCG, they are obviously usable with Magic, My Little Pony, or any other popular card game.Monster Playmat Tube

And if you’re going to be picking up a new playmat, might as well grab a fancy Monster Playmat Tube.  These tubes come in a variety of colors, including red, green, gray, clear, and opaque black and white.  Unlike other brands of playmat tubes, Monsters are triangular, which keeps them from rolling away Dragon Farklewhen you sit them down.

You’ve played Farkle, but have you ever braved the challenge of Dragon Farkle?  The answer is likely “no,” as the game is just coming out this weekend.  Dragon Farkle is like standard versions of Farkle, but with the added mechanics that account for the whole dragon-ness of it all.  Not only will you roll dice to “build your armies,” you will also utilize various magic items and companions, represented by cards, to battle against the menacing dragon.  Shadows Over Normandie Achtung Cthulhu

What game isn’t improved by throwing some Cthulhu into it?  None.  The answer is none.  In Shadows Over Normandie:  Achtung! Cthulhu, two to three players control opposing armies (the Majestic, Deep Ones, or Black Sun) in all out warfare.  Represented by illustrated tokens, each army moves across battlefield tiles that pose obstacles and cover, much like a miniature battle game.  Of course, in this version of Amazing Spider-Man Dice Masters Starter SetWWII, the Elder Gods have fully descended upon the Earth, adding a little extra challenge.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, rolls a die like a spider can!  Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man Dice Masters Starter Sets have finally swung into the store.  Each Starter Set contains forty-four custom dice and thirty-eight cards, enough materials for two players to compete head-to-head.  Included in the game are old favorites like Spider-Man, himself, the Kingpin, and Carnage, alongside new favorites, like Spider-Gwen.  In addition to these affordable Starter Sets, the Amazing Spider-Man booster packs are also on shelves.  Each pack contains a new character that can be incorporated into the main game.

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!

Sep 182015

Sylvion card gameSpinning out of the popular cooperative card game, Onirim, Sylvion is another one to two player card game that requires players to work together.  A tower defense game, Sylvion requires players to construct a deck of cards that can successfully fight off slowly approaching rows of villain cards.  The edition of the game Pulp currently has in stock not only contains the base game, but also two expansions.Trap Zany Zombies

From IDW (yes, those cats that publish comics) comes a new dice rolling, card game called Trap!  From Jeffrey Neil Bellinger, the designer of Killer Bunnies, Trap! has players using their memory and a handful of quirky cards to ensnare the biggest set of creatures they can over the course of five furiously frantic rounds.  Currently, the game comes in two versions, Zany Zombies and Nimble Ninjas.  Each version has players collecting zombies and ninjas, respectively, but both include a “link and lock” Open Sesamecard that allows players to combine them.

Open Sesame, also from IDW, is a press-your-luck card game of high-stakes memorization and deduction by world-renowned game designer and multi-Spiel des Jahres winner, Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Takenoko, Tokaido, Rampage, Hanabi).  Take turns alternating between the role of Ali Baba or one of the thieves raiding the Cave of Treasures.  As Ali Baba you’ll steal treasure from the cave until you’re trapped or you flee, and as the thieves, it’s your job to carefully observe and recite exactly what it is that Ali is attempting to escape with.Little Red Riding Hood

From one folktale to another, the newest addition to the popular, family-friendly Tales and Games series is Little Red Riding Hood.  In the game, players will work together to help Little Red Riding Hood reach grandma’s cottage before the wolf sticks his nose where it’s not welcome!  Choose from two modes of play, either everyone works together or one player plays as the wolf and the other team plays as Little Red Riding Hood and friends.  And, as always, along with the game is a written booklet telling the Dark Gothic Colonial Horror Deck Building GameRed Riding Hood tale.

Dark Gothic:  Colonial Horror is a stand-alone expansion for the Dark Gothic Deck Building Game.  It can be mixed in with the original Dark Gothic game to add new mechanics and greater variety, or it can be played on its own as a two to three player game that plays at a faster clip.  In Dark Gothic, each player takes on the role of a unique monster-hunting hero, collecting allies and gear to aid them in their journeys Machi Koro Deluxe Editionwhile they root out evil and hunt supernatural creatures back to their lairs.

Introducing a new way to purchase the highly popular city building game, Machi Koro!  Machi Koro Deluxe is a new printing of the original, base game that comes shipped inside a collector’s tin case.  As well, this edition of the game contains the Shadows of Brimstone Caverns of Cynderexpansion sets Millionaire’s Row and Harbor.

Flying Frog‘s supernatural Western board game Shadows of Brimstone (you might know it as the honking huge Western game instead) receives its first expansion set this weekend.  Caverns of Cynder adds an entire “other world” set of map tiles, creatures, and threats for the intrepid players to adventure through.  The Caverns are lava filled, dilapidated mines that are teeming with lava creatures (represented by a new set of miniatures).  An added adventure pits the heroes against a horde of lava creatures who are attempting to cross a bridge intoX-Wing Force Awakens starter box the real world.  They must be stopped at all costs!

Force Friday opened the floodgates for Force Awakens product, and this weekend the popular miniature battle game X-Wing reacts to that marketing machine.  The X-Wing:  The Force Awakens starter kit is out this weekend, including the traditional one X-Wing and two Tie Fighters.  However, these ships have a completely different set of stats and abilities, as they are from thirty years in the future of a galaxy far, far away.  This starter set also has cards for characters from the new franchise, even including the lovable BB-8.  So, make your decision:  The Resistance of The First Order!

Sep 112015

Artifacts Inc.Indiana Jones would tell you these artifacts belong in a museum, and as the owner of your own archaeological company in Artifacts, Inc., that’s exactly what you’ll attempt to do.  An up to sixty minute playtime dice rolling game for two to four players, Artifacts, Inc. has players rolling dice (which represent adventurers) in order to place them onto cards (that require specific numbers) in order to gain cash and favor with museums.Valley of the Kings Afterlife

Staying in the realm of tombs and buried treasure, Valley of the Kings:  Afterlife is out this weekend.  The second expansion/stand alone addition to this Egyptian themed deck building series, Afterlife can be played with one to four players or added to the original to facilitate six player Cthulhu Realmsplay.

As there can never be enough games that feature everyone’s favorite elder god or a deck building mechanic, Cthulhu Realms combines the two in a cheap, quick to learn package.  Putting a spin on the traditional deck building scheme, Cthulhu Realms allows players to chain cards for a great payoff than if they played them individually.  As well, each box contains a special promo character that can be played in the game.Marrying Mr. Darcy

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been combined with zombies before, but never with the mechanics of a card game.  Well no more, because the Kickstarter funded Marrying Mr. Darcy card game is on shelves, as of last week.  In this literary role-playing card game, players take on the roles of female suitors from the novel, building up their romantic appeal in order to woo a handsome suitor.  You’ll attend balls, receive proposals, and cunningly outwit your opponents all in an effort to avoid becoming an Tides of Timeold maid.

A possible contender for the minimalist card game spot held by Love Letter, Tides of Time is a card game that consists of only eighteen cards and plays with only two players.  Players try to build grand civilizations by combining a set of complimentary cards in their kingdom, while also attempting to sabotage their opponents plans.  After three rounds, each player will have either a memorable empire or a pitiful group of random ventures.Discoveries the Journal of Lewis and Clark

A completely standalone addition to the previous Discoveries release, Discoveries:  The Journals of Lewis and Clark requests that you get your explorer on!  In the game, players will take on the role of either Lewis, Clark, or two of the other members of the famous expedition.  Over the course of sixty minutes, players will then compete to collect cards that represent scientific discoveries (as well as Takenoko Chibisvictory points).  To do that, players will need to roll dice to gain exploration actions.

I think we can all agree that pandas are cute.  And more pandas equals greater cuteness.  Such is the theory behind Takenoko Chibis, the first expansion for the popular panda gardening game.  Pairing this expansion with the base Takenoko game, players will gain a handful of new objectives, new plots (including the discovery of the gardener’s cabin), and an additional figure named Miss Panda.  Miss Panda, as well, has the ability of delivering baby pandas, increasing the levels of cuteness to a nearly unbearable degree.