Pocket Box Games, as they sound, are games designed for and packaged in small plastic boxes that are easily transported so you can bring them with you anywhere. How big are the boxes? They measure a mere 4.25 inches in one direction, 7.25 inches in the other, and only 2 inches thick. This puts it in the same size class as the Tiny Epic series of games, meaning they will be highly portable and you could easily bring several of them without much effort. But enough about the box, what about the games?
The games they are packaging in these boxes are what really bring back the 80’s as they are reprinting classic SJG titles for these boxes. The initial titles (not including stretch goals) are Illuminati, Ogre, GEV, Battlesuit, Car Wars, Truck Stop, and Crash City. Also since they are wanting to really relive the time, they are making minimal to no additions or changes to these games so they will play like they did back in the day, although with a “2019 Reproduction” stamp on components so you can tell editions apart. However, they did depart from the original in one way, and that’s the price. Each pocket box game will cost you $20 plus shipping, with discounts for buying in sets of 4. Also available are just empty pocket boxes themselves, that way if you have the original but the box is beat up and busted, you can just get the new and improved box at $10 per pair of boxes.
So if you are looking for some gold from Steve Jackson Games’ past in a brand new box, check out the Kickstarter page today!
Crypto-currency is pretty big right now, and mostly only a part of the financial world, but could that same kind of technology be used for board gaming? Cryptogogue thinks the power of the blockchain can be leveraged for a trading card game to completely change the landscape of the game. How it would do that you ask? Well the blockchain is basically a list of records that is public and wide spread that records transactions between parties efficiently, permanently, and makes them easily verifiable. With that you could apply it to a trading card game to create an environment where you can trade and sell cards all over the world from your very own home or FLGS, while reducing the possibility of fraud to nearly zero. Add in a print-on-demand system and you can then take these digital cards into the real world and play with them. There are even more benefits where you can take physical cards and scan them into the digital space, and you would be able to easily search records to see what cards were used by players in a tournament per say. Overall this technology could change TCGs dramatically, but it first has to be tested with a game.
That is the second part of Cryptogogue’s plan, they will be leveraging this system in a new trading card game called Volition, a spiritual successor to the now dead game The Spoils. The Spoils was a well received game and if not for bad timing in seeking more funds (they sought financing right before the 2007 financial crash) might still be in play today. Volition will be a more streamlined and improved game and is said the be “accessible like Hearthstone,” yet more “skill-heavy, like The Spoils and Magic: The Gathering“. Volition will only be hitting beta this year in the first quarter, but if things go well you may be seeing more of the game as it is deployed. You can find out more information from the interview on CryptoSlate, or you can go join Volition’s forums to get in on the action.
With the new year comes new game announcements, and AbacusSpiele isn’t holding back on theirs.
First on the list is the next game in the 3 Secrets line, this time called Crime Time. In the 3 Secrets game there is one person who is the informant and knows the truth behind the crime, and it’s up to the rest of the players to question them to get clues. Get enough clues and you can reveal the 3 secrets and solve the case! Not much has changed with this new one except for the setting, which this time has you playing time traveling cops, going back in time to solve the mysteries of the time. This game will be available in February of 2019.
Pearls is a new hand management style game where you are divers trying to dive for the most valuable pearls. But the more valuable the pearl is, the fewer there are, and when you surface you only score the cards showing the same number and color. But don’t just chuck the lower value pearls, those can be combined into necklaces for bonus points, helping you getting closer to victory. Do all this within a 10 card hand limit and you just might win the game. This game will be available in March of this year.
Next we have the latest in the Deckscape line, and that is Deckscape: Behind the Curtain. In this version of the game you are the recipient of tickets to see the final magic show the great Lance Oldman. As the show goes on you start to figure out the tricks behind his magic, but then the show takes a surprising twist! Now you have to uncover all the magician’s secrets if you want to escape. Look for this to be available in February of 2019.
Next we have a re-implementation of the game Dancing Eggs, called Crazy Eggz. This is a fun kids game where you will be grabbing and trying to hold on to a bunch of eggs, but where you have to hold them is determined by the roll of a die. Will you they be between your knees? In the crook of your elbow? Will you have to cluck or be silent? You will have to roll the dice and do what they say until you can hold 5 eggs and be crowned the winner. This is the latest release they announced so far with it coming out in May of this year.
And finally we have a trio of Sherlock games called Death on the 4th of July, Last Call, and The Curse of the Qhaqya. These are deduction games similar to 3 Secrets, but this time no one knows the truth and so you will all have to figure it out together. Everyone will have a hand of clue cards and on your turn you will decide if you want to play it out on the table, or discard it. Played out cards are clues that you have collected and can help you solve the case or, if they end up being irrelevant, lose you points at the end. You are free to talk about any of the cards you have in your hand, but while they are in your hand the information you can give out is incomplete and may not give the full picture. Solve the case and catch the killer before he gets away! Look for all three of these to be available in February of 2019.
I know this news is about as surprising as hearing that the sky is blue, but Asmodee has acquired another company in their quest to be the biggest and best game company out there. This time around they acquired the company Bezzerwizzer Nordic, publishers of their name-sake game Bezzerwizzer and the party game Hint. Bezzerwizzer is a trivia style game with some added mechanics, and is a favorite of Eric Summerer, and Hint is a party game about getting others to guess what you are hinting at without saying the forbidden word. Bezzerwizzer saw an English language release back in 2008 and Hint has not been released in English. Also with Asmodee already distributing for Bezzerwizer Nordic, it will be a quick jump to distributing their games to all the other countries Asmodee is present in. So a new edition of Bezzerwizzer and an English language version of Hint may be on the horizon. See the press release below for more information.
BEZZERWIZZER NORDIC JOINS ASMODEE
Asmodee Group has announced today the acquisition of the game studio Bezzerwizzer Nordic.
Established in 2006 by Birgitte and Jesper Bülow, Bezzerwizzer is one of the leading game publishers in the Nordics with its main titles Bezzerwizzer and Hint. Asmodee already
distributes both games in Nordic countries.
“We are excited and proud to become part of Asmodee. Having built a strong Nordic position in trivia and party games, we are ready to bring our games to players in other parts of the world
as a member of the Asmodee family, who shares our dedication to high quality board games.” said Jesper Bülow, Bezzerwizzer Nordics CEO.
Bezzerwizzer becomes Asmodee’s 14th studio and brings its expertise in developing successful trivia games with creative developing & marketing teams to the Group.
Asmodee has offices in 18 countries: USA, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Chile, Belgium, Brazil, Taiwan and
China. The company also relies on 14 publishing studios spread around the world and distributes products in over 50 countries.
“We are delighted to welcome Birgitte, Jesper and the Bezzerwizzer team into the Asmodee family. Thanks to our global distribution network we will bring the studio’s products to new players around the world.” said Stéphane Carville CEO of Asmodee Group.
Flat River Group is a US distributor of various geeky and otherwise unique merchandise, and Impressions is a long standing distributor of board games. So one acquiring the other makes sense to further grow their network, which is precisely what happened recently. Flat River Group announced they will be acquiring Impressions, with the change taking effect on January 1st. Flat River Group and Impressions have had a long working relationship and the acquisition started out as just a conversation about how they could better help each other. But as time went on that conversation turned into a proposal of Flat River Group just outright buying Impressions. Both companies will continue operating under their respective names, but now resources and connections will be pooled between the two companies.
What does this mean for us as consumers? Well for us it just means that distribution (getting the game from warehouse to store) will go more smoothly. But for game producers and Kickstarter creators, this means even more services will be offered by the respective labels making for better and easier distribution of their games.
Pitchcar is a very popular dexterity game and one of Tom Vasel’s favorite, so much so that he has a “World Championship” every year at Dice Tower Con. There have been several expansions for the game already adding in things like long straight aways, ramps, hazards, race track crossings, and more. But they haven’t been able to add one thing to the game yet, and that is a full 360 degree loop, that is, until now. Pitchcar Expansion #7 finally brings in the loop, using a specially made flexible material that allows not only standard loops, but loops that turn 90 degree, loops that come back in the same direction you went in, and even a corkscrew. This will add a whole new dimension to your Pitchcar races so you will want to grab it while you can.
A pledge for a single loop will run you $52 plus shipping, but order two and you get a discount with the pair only costing $99 plus shipping. You also have the option to add on some other items like additional cars, slide powder to reduce track friction, 1 meter of foam rail, and the epsilon pieces. The foam rail is special because it is sticky on one side and is meant to be put anywhere on the track, allowing for you to customize your guardrails for even more variability. And the epsilon pieces add in yet another feature to the track, and that is the ability to split the track into two and then merge it back into one. So if you want even more crazy combos out of your Pitchcar set, check out this Kickstarter today.
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth was a game meant to hearken back to the classic movie starring David Bowie, and if the score on BGG is anything to go by, it doesn’t quite do it. But River Horse Games is looking to improve, or at least expand, on that experience with a expansion coming in 2019. Not much has been released about it other than the name and teaser graphic above, but it does show that five new figures will be added to the game, with four of them being these mischievous Fireys. Who do you think is the final figure in the middle? Another Jareth model? We will have to wait and see as new information trickles in from the River Horse Games Facebook, and look for the expansion in stores some time in 2019.
Red Raven Games has just announced their latest game, Haven, designed by the talented Alf Seegert, and featuring Rad Raven’s signature art style. Haven is a two player area control type game where one player plays the forest trying to protest the havens, and the other plays the city trying to capture it’s power for themselves. In order to take control of the havens you have to battle for them, and to battle for them you will be placing out your seekers at different lore locations, leaf, water, stone, similar to Battle Line. You will also being making offerings at these different locations because resolution doesn’t trigger until three offering cards are at a single location. Resolution is easy, whoever has more swords will be able to claim a shrine, but whoever has more value of cards there will claim the lore card which is worth points at the end. When you claim all the shrines around a haven on the board you get to claim that haven for your side, pushing you closer to victory. At the end of the game you will also get points if you have the most of a given lore type, and then points will be awarded for having the most havens. Most points at the end is the winner. There are more rules than just this, which you can download and read on the Red Raven Games website.
Overall the game looks like a nice two player battle game where you are trying to strategically win certain shrines and cards in order to score the most points at the end through area control. Beyond just the seeker and offering cards I mentioned above there are also lore cards which change things up as well, giving you an extra leg up just when you might need it. Along with advanced variant rules and Red Raven’s signature art, this could be a very good two-player game. Look for it on store shelves soon, although no specific date has been given.
Pandasaurus Games dropped some news today about two new things happening for 2019. First of that is a new hire in the form of Jon Gilmour who will be the head of Game Development for any games being designed within Pandasaurus. Given that Jon Gilmour was one of the designers behind two of their big hits, Wasteland Express Delivery Service and Dinosaur Island, you can expect any new games coming from Pandasaurus to be that much more polished. Speaking of new games, that brings us to the next announcement from Pandasaurus Games.
Coming in June 2019 will be a new game called Dead Man’s Cabal, all about resurrecting yourself a group of friends so that you can throw a party and have actual guests. You see, you are playing as a Necromancer at the top of his game, and having mastered all 9 dimensions of space time there is nothing that is out of reach for you. Nothing, except maybe making some friends as this pursuit has deemed you creepy to everyone, everywhere. But who needs them, you can resurrect yourself a group a friends and throw an awesome party, that will show them!
Dead Man’s Cabal is an action selection game where you will choose two actions each round, one that you will perform privately by yourself, and one you perform with the whole group. This adds an extra level of strategy to the game because not only do you need to accomplish your goals, you don’t want to be helping others accomplish theirs. You will be using these actions to collect resources in the form of bones and crystal skulls, and then using those to bring back some fun people to party with. Whoever throws the best party will win, although it’s not mentioned how that will be determined. One aspect of the game that people will enjoy is that all the bones and skulls in the game will be 3D pieces and so it will help level up the experience.
Be on the lookout for more information as it comes out, but you won’t see it on store shelves for several more months until at least June of 2019.
Aaron Smith is making his debut in board gaming on Kickstarter with his new game, Sheeple. Sheeple is a party game that takes some hints from Scattergories, and adds some twists to it. In this game you will start the round by pulling a category card, whoever is the active player will pick the category. From there you will have 60 seconds to write down as many answers as you can think of, but keep in mind you don’t want to be too unique or too common with your answers. After time is up you will start reading off answers. If you match with 3 or more people then you all earn one point for that answer, match with exactly one other person and you both get two points for that answer, match with no one and you get nothing. After all the answers are read and you total your points, you then move your pawn on the board that many spaces. Where you land could be an event space, moving you some number of spaces, a sheep space where you draw a card and do what it says, or just a boring empty space that does nothing special. First person to the Ewe-niversity is the winner!
Sheeple is a fairly straight forward game, but often good party games are, and the sheep art is cute as well. A copy of the base game will set up back $25 plus shipping, and for an additional $10 you can get the Angle/Devil card pack along with it. These decks add additional cards to use for when you have to draw a sheep card, with the devil deck being NSFW themed, and the angel deck being Christian themed. Some if these kinds of party games interest you, then check out the Kickstarter campaign today.
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