Erin Dawson


Play as a street gang building an empire in Neon Gods by Plaid Hat Games. Start your business, recruit your gang and hustle on the black market. Beware of cops who’ll do anything to shut you down and opponents who’ll do anything to invade your turf. Neon Gods is a colorful play on 70’s and 80’s style in an alternate reality of a future 2009.  Control your territory and build your illegal empire so you can edge out your rivals. The game is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and will play in about 60-120 minutes. You can pre-order now and the game will be available later this year. You can also check it out at the Plaid Hat Games booth at GenCon 2018.

Renegade Games is proud to announce Spell Smashers a loot collecting word game! Use letter cards to create words (spells) that damage fierce monsters. As you deal damage you collect coins and the more coins you have the more loot you can score in the town! A great match up with Designer Christopher Chung and Artist Mihajlo Dimitrievski (The Mico) you are sure to enjoy the zany gameplay and intricate artistry found in Spell Smashers!

Spell Smashers is for 2-5 players ages 12 and up and will play in 45-60 minutes. It is available to pre-order now and is to be released in October 2018.

ASTRA or the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association has announced their Best Toys For Kids Awards for 2018. They describe their awards as:

“…the Best Toys for Kids Award is intended to heighten consumer awareness of the value of creative, open-ended play and the role that independent, locally owned toy stores play in providing children quality playthings that promote happy, healthy, and productive childhoods.”

A great goal to be sure! Let’s see what retailers around America have picked as their favorites.

Best Game Night Award  is ITZI by the makers of TENZI. Answer the given questions as fast as you can, but you can only use the letters in front of you! Be the first to use all 5 of your cards first and you win! Fast, fun, competitive and definitely great for game night!

Game Play Under 7 Award is Gnomes at Night a cooperative board game by Peaceable Kingdom-A Mindware Brand. For ages 6 and up use your skill and quickness to recover the Queen’s treasures in the twisty castle. The Gnome pieces are magnetic adding an element of dexterity and sensory development for the littles in your group!

Best Game for 7+ is Forbidden Sky by Gamewright. I am personally, really excited for this one! Not even released for retail yet this is the third installment in the Forbidden Series of games that started on and island moved to a desert and now soar to new heights as you investigate a suspicious air base. This game actually includes an electric circuit players need to assemble correctly before the platform falls to the earth! Coming Soon to your favorite game retailer!

Best Game Strategy is Photosynthesis by Blue Orange Games. Learn how trees grow as you play through the process of Photosynthesis. Plant your trees in optimal soil and expose them to the most sunlight so they grow the biggest and most healthy. Avoid the shade because no sun equals no growth for your little tree. This game is also environmentally friendly being made from 100% recycled cardboard.


Breaking Games has announced their new upward-moving strategy game Expancity. Play as 1 of up to 4 builders in a city breaking ground and building to the sky as you compete for the most points. Earn points by completing your structures (either commercial or residential,) by building next to coveted locations (but beware of less advantageous locations which can zap points), and by completing goals and contracts. Use strategy to place your tiles and structures in the most point-awarding location and be the best builder in Expancity. Be sure to check out Tom Vasel’s in depth review of the game here! Due to be released in late August,  Expancity is for ages 10 and up and will play in 60-90 minutes.

Fallout; the ever popular game that has players looting a post-apocalyptic irradiated wasteland is introducing New California, an all new landscape to dominate and plunder. Visit the places you love to hate from the video game series such as The hole, Lost Hills Bunker and the Cathedral.  This expansion adds 5 new miniatures with different benefits and abilities and you can play them through 2 new scenarios. One is a quest into a mysterious power and groups that control it and the other is a competitive quest to find a water source for a parched city. New individual cards for your encounter deck guarantee many options for a different experience every game. Available in the fourth quarter of 2018 and available for pre-order – reserve your copy today!

Eggertspiele is announcing their plans for an expansion to the ever popular game Heaven & Ale. The game has been nominated for many awards in the past 6 months to include: Kennerspiel des Jahres, Golden Geek (Strategy), Meeple’s Choice, and Goblin Magnifico. Manage your Monasteries delivery route and get your brews into the hands of your taverns even more efficiently with an all new board and more strategic options for players. More information will be available in the coming weeks and it scheduled for release in Spring/Summer of 2019.

DV Giochi is demoing a few new games starting at GenCon 2018. We get a sneak peak! Let’s see what they are!

In the Age of Rebirth individuals known as Catalysts manipulate a new kind of Catalytic Energy.  In Catalyst, players attempt to accomplish a goal by recruiting Catalysts, activating Catalysts and constructing buildings. As they string together more actions and utilize key-buildings they get more powerful,  allowing you to earn Military Tokens, gain extra coins, recruit more Catalysts and construct more buildings. Once the cards run out – you play one more round and the game ends. Whoever meets the goal and scores the most victory points is the winner. Catalyst is a combination Card Drafting and Combo-Building game for 2-4 players ages 10 and up. Contents: 60 Catalyst cards, 16 Building cards, 4 Goal cards, 1 playing board, 32 Coins, 30 Military Power tokens, 5 Chain Activation tokens, 1 Final Round token, 1 Starting Player marker, 1 scoring pad, 1 rulebook

New to the Deckscape Series is Deckscape: Heist In Venice. Play as a retired thief mysteriously brought together with your old gang. Tasked with stealing 1 billion Euro from an old Venice casino you will need all your wits as you break through their intricate security systems and escape with the cash.  Using just 60 cards can you handle the challenges and accomplish the mission? Recommended for 1-6 players ages 14 and up.
Contents: 60 extra large cards, 1 secret plan
Minute Realms is a quick building game played over a couple rounds. As a king you are building a city. Do you want beauty and grandeur? Or do you want sturdy and easily defended? The choice is yours to make and the fate of the realm is in your hands. But beware even the smallest change can bring defeat or victory!
Contents: 56 building cards. 30 coins, 1 Invader Track, 12 Invader tokens (5 × value 0, 5 × value 1, 2 × value 2), 1 First Player marker, rules
Origami is a quick and family-friendly card game in which you strive to be named the Best Origami Artist. Collect ‘folds’ in order to create origami cards. The
player who best combines their origami cards and abilities is the winner. This game is for 2-4 players ages 8 and up.
Contents; 90 playing cards, an origami of the starting player, rules.
DV Giochi will have all these games at Gen Con 2018 in Indianapolis (booth 2707)

Fantasy Flight Games is set to launch their X-Wing Second Edition in September and with it is going to release some pretty cool expansions. One of those is the Fang Fighter Expansion Pack.  Fully painted with pose-able wings, you’ll get this ship with all the components you need to have this Mandalorian vessel as a powerful addition to your fleet. Pull off risky maneuvers like the Concordia Faceoff and have close one-to-one combat with the enemy.

If you are a veteran to the game and have the first edition Fang Fighter then all you have to do is grab the Conversion Kits at the release. The  Scum and Villainy Conversion Kit  will contain all the new cards in the Fang Fighter Expansion Pack so you can update those first edition ships to play the second edition.

Star Wars: Legion the miniatures game of interstellar combat by Fantasy Flight Games already contains some pretty exceptional characters and now you can boost the arsenal of the Galactic Empire and strengthen your Imperial army with the Emperor Palpatine Commander Expansion. Emperor Palpatine packs a pretty serious punch as his Force Lightning outmatches even an AT-ST, and his command of the Dark Side rivals that of Darth Vader. He does move slowly though- so players will need to strategize to overcome that obstacle.  The Expansion comes with the Emperor Palpatine miniature and all the cards and components you need to add his power and mastery to your game.

Releasing with Emperor Palpatine is his Royal Guard. The Imperial Royal Guards Unit Expansion comes with 4 Royal Guard miniatures and everything necessary to incorporate into your game.  These are fierce combatants who excel in close or one-on-one combat and they are most formidable when protecting a commander. Their Force Pike melee weapon is devastating and the EC-17 Hold-Out Blaster they each carry is a great weapon albeit with a short range.

When these 2 new expansions are put together they truly are a force to be reckoned with.  FFG says these expansions will be released together in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Lucky Duck Games has launched a real-time, competitive puzzle game called Jetpack Joyride. Adapted from the mobile game,  players join a disgruntled gramophone salesman as he steals jetpack technology from the scientists who would use them for evil.

Players need to escape from the lab using a route that gives them the most points by accomplishing goals and building paths over coins. Players simultaneously grab path tiles and build their flight path through 4 lab tiles. The first person to fly from their lab first ends the round, but finishing first doesn’t mean winning. You have to add your points from your escape path and activate your gadgets to get the real score.

Jetpack Joyride is for 1-4 players ages 8 and up and will play quickly in about 20 minutes played over 3 rounds. Great for a fast paced party game as well as a fun time family game.  Jetpack Joyride’s Kickstarter campaign runs until July 31st.