May 202016
 

Game of Thrones House Stark playmatEven though the members of the various Game of Thrones houses may be dwindling thanks to stabbings, dragon flames, beheadings, and other grisly forms of death, you can still represent them with the brand new Fantasy Flight playmats out this weekend.  Each playmat features the sigil of a house, including Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister.  Perfect for Magic the Gathering, the A Game of Thrones LCG game, or any other card game where you don’t want everything to slide all over the table.Waka Tanka

If you can look past the racism of Waka Tanka (trust us, the previous box art was worse), then you’ll probably have a great time with this bluffing game for three to six players.  In the game, players control shamans from the Sioux Nation, each attempting to conjure spirits in order to commune with them.  Each turn, players lay a spirit card face down in front of that spirit’s totem.  The catch is that a player is allowed to put down a card that does not match, something they’ll get away with Storyline Fairy Talesif no other player calls them on it.  Get rid of all your cards to claim victory.

Once upon a time there was a storytelling game that was not called Once Upon a Time and added mechanics from Apples to Apples.  That game was called Storyline Fairy Tales.  The first in a series of group storytelling games, Fairy Tales allows three to eight build their own fable with over 100 cards labeled with characters, locations, actions, and so forth.  Each player takes turns as the “narrator,” asking other players for a character or place or some other card descriptor.  The other players then place down their selection, leading to the narrator choosing the best one.  In the future, expansions will provide cards for other styles of story outside of fairy tales.My First Stone Age

The resource management game Stone Age is a great time for adults, but a little overly complicated and lengthy for children.  Z-Man games and designer Marco Teubner have solved that problem with My First Stone Age.  A kid friendly version of the game, My First Stone Age still involves two to four players moving figure around the board, collecting cute, wooden resources, and using them to construct their own settlements.  Unlike the original version of the game, My First Stone Age also plays in fifteen minutes, meaning a distracted child doesn’t have to pay attention that long in order to enjoy the experience.

 

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.

Mar 112016
 

Tiny Epic DefendersCapital City is under attack!  Tiny Epic Defenders of the realm assemble!  Yes, Tiny Epic Defenders is a new tower defense game from Gamelyn Games out this weekend.  In the game, players will work together to defend Capital City from attack by multiple hordes.  These vile villains are encroaching from surrounding towns and must be stopped before they overrun those hamlets on their way to the main city.  Study their patterns, strategize, and collect artifacts to help you fight them off!A Prophecy of Dragons Time Stories

The popular group storytelling/roleplaying-light board game, T.I.M.E. Stories, adds another expansion pack this weekend.  A Prophecy of Dragons includes another ninety minute session for players to incorporate into the base game.  In A Prophecy of Dragons, the time traveling adventures of the game that you control will actually be jumping dimensions, moving to a parallel universe where the middle ages were overrun with magic users.  The world you encounter is drastically different from the one described in our history books.

Happy PigsLast week we had My Happy Farm.  This week, we narrow that down to just Happy Pigs.  A buying and selling family game, Happy Pigs is quick-to-learn and easy-to-play for ages ten and up.  Players compete to purchase, raise, and sell their porcine livestock.  Use funds to purchase baby pigs at the beginning of the game, feed them into adulthood, get them to reproduce, then sell the top choice piggies.  Outside of the cutely designed pig tokens used in the game, Happy Pigs also has a special two player variant those farming inclined couples.  And if pigs aren’t your bag, don’t worry because, for a limited time, each purchase comes with a special Penguins expansion.  La Granja

Farming must be the theme for tonight, because La Granja is our next highlighted game.  From Stronghold Games, La Granja finds players operating farms across the lake from the Spanish village of Esporles.  Over six rounds, will maintain and grow their farm, hiring workers and adding new fields in order to grow produce that will be sold back to the residents of Esporles for a profit.  Keep a close eye on the strategies of other players, however, as turn order can be Smash Up It's Your Fault expansioneffected by dice rolls in order to change the direction of the game.

Everyone loves a new Smash Up expansion, but, in this case, everyone actually contributed to a new Smash Up expansion.  AEG put out a call for factions that fans would like to see incorporated into the popular card game, then chose the winners and released them in the It’s Your Fault expansion.  If you’ve cruised around the Internet for a few short minutes, you might be able to guess the winners that ended up in this expansion.  The four new factions include Sharks, Superheroes, Greek Myths, and Dragons!

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.

Nov 152014
 

7 Wonders BabelAsmodee released another 7 Wonders expansion this weekend and this one requires some heavy labor.  7 Wonders:  Babel contains two separate gaming expansions that can be added singularly are together.  First, is the tower component, which adds an extra beginning drafting phase.  During this phase, players draft tower tiles, each of which features a special law that affects all players.  Second, are a set of law cards that tax players for using certain colored cards.Ace Detective A Noir Card Game

It wandered in out of the cold, a cigarette hanging from its box lid, a fedora covering its corner.  Ace Detective was its name.  A storytelling card game in the vein of Once Upon a Time, Ace Detective has players utilizing plot cards to tell a group narrative.  Each turn players lay down story cards in an attempt to keep the yarn flowing, but must battle against each other to take control of the plot’s direction. Catan Ancient Egypt Settlers of And, if you can’t tell from the title, Ace Detective is all noir, all the time.

Another in Settlers of Catan line of standalone spin-offs, Catan:  Ancient Egypt pairs the same great Catan mechanics with an Egyptian setting.  Oxcarts are used to move resources like papyrus, stone, and cattle from town to town.  This standalone edition also features two alternate play scenarios, increasing the replay value of the game and keeping players interested.Lord of the Rings Celebrimbor's Secret Adventure Pack

As Sauron’s forces draw ever closer, the fellowship must venture into the mines of Celebrimbor to discover the only three rings of power untouched by the dark lord.  This is the story for Lord of the Rings Celebrimbor’s Secret, the newest Adventure Pack for the LotR LCG.  Adding sixty new Magic the Gathering Khans of Tarkir Holiday Gift Boxcards to the game, Celebrimbor’s Secret includes Galadriel as a playable hero character.

With the holidays just around the corner, Magic the Gathering has, for the second year in a row, released a special gift box to ease your shopping distress.  The Khans of Tarkir Holiday Gift Box is an inexpensive 2000 count card box that also happens to contain four Khans booster packs, special card dividers, stickers to personalize the dividers, land, and a special promo card.  Check your favorite Magic player off your “To Buy” list.My Little Pony Celestial Solstice

Nearing closer to the newest My Little Pony booster pack set, Enterplay has released their equivalent of an MtG Fat Pack.  The MLP Celestial Solstice box contains materials for two players, including a twenty-four card pack of rare, foil promos, three Premiere Edition boosters, three Canterlot Nights boosters, and a Pandemic The Cure dice gamedurable card box.

The popular Pandemic strain of virus fighting cooperative games has mutated this weekend.  Pandemic:  The Cure is a dice variation of the original game, converting all the regular mechanics to dice rolls.  Each player still takes on a different role, now represented by a unique set of dice.  The outbreak is also represented by dice, which are rolled, then placed on the gaming board.  A quicker variation of the original, Pandemic:  The Cure can be set-up and played in around thirty minutes.Rarrr card game

With Godzilla and Pacific Rim recently stomping all over movie theaters, Kaiju in demand.  Rarrr!!! is a drafting card game that answers that demand, giving players the chance to control powerful, monstrous creatures.  Broken into two drafting rounds and a bidding round, players first build and power their monster, then use the power cards they’ve attained to outbid others in an effort to destroy the most buildings.

Sheriff of NottinghamThe first release in a series of board games given the seal of approval by Dice Tower, Sheriff of Nottingham puts players into the roles of Nottingham’s merchants and the greedy Sheriff, himself.  Each turn players attempt to enter the city with various goods and products for sale.  However, they may choose to mix legal and illegal products together in their carts.  But, beware, the Sheriff will be allowed to pick through each merchant’s stash and weed out items or punish players.Till Dawn

Both a drafting and Push-Your-Luck game, Till Dawn is a vampire game with style.  Contained within a creatively designed coffin-shaped box, Till Dawn has players taking over the role of a horde of competitive vampires.  Over the course of three rounds, players pass around a deck of cards, drawing one, then following its command.  The goal is to collect the most blood tokens and return to your coffin before the sun rises, but vampire hunters and other obstacles Titanium Wars Confrontationcan make that a difficult possibility.

A short and sweet expansion, Titanium Wars:  Confrontation adds some appealing extras to the base game.  Included within this expansion are new arsenal cards, planets, leaders, and events, as well as cards that replace previous cards.  In addition, Confrontation includes a Versus Mode variation that can be played individually or in teams.Trajan

Stefan Feld, game designer for Bora Bora and Bruges, releases a new game this weekend entitled Trajan.  Players attempt to build-up their own corner of Rome through the use of special ability tiles.  Tiles are distributed around the table through a special mechanic where they are placed in bowls, then used by each player Voyage of the Beagle Robinson Crusoe expansionstrategically.

The first expansion for Robinson Crusoe, Voyage of the Beagle is here!

Containing a set of original scenarios that can be paired with the base game to extend its playability, each of these scenarios link together, serializing events so that what occurred during the last play session remains into the next session.King of New York

Hottly anticipated, Richard Garfield’s sequel to King of Tokyo is finally here!  King of New York is bigger and more intense than its predecessor, just like a game set in America should be!  Like King of Tokyo, players take control of monsters, attempting to gain the most victory points by beating the crap out of each other.  However, the game board for King of New York is double the size, providing multiple zones for players to fight from.  As well, the game adds a “fame” component that allows one player to take the spotlight and gain special abilities.