Michael Korson

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Just in time for your wallet to have recovered after GenCon!

Time to start looking in the couch for loose change! Board and Dice have announced that in September they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to publish a deluxe master set version of Yedo.

Originally published in 2012, Yedo is a thematic worker placement game set in 16th Century Japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate. Players play as heads of competing clans trying to gain influence with the Shogun by managing resources and performing missions to gather prestige points, while also thwarting the efforts of their rivals.

The Deluxe Master Set for Yedo will include the expected updated components with extra polish based on years of player feedback. Specifically, the updated components for the Deluxe Master Set will include: i) a bigger box that will contain all new components; ii) borderless cards with new artwork; iii) custom wooden screen-printed disciples; iv) a updated version of the classic Yedo board; v) new double-layered clan boards with new art and designed for better play and vi) updated and deluxified versions of game components, tokens and coins.

More excitingly, this deluxe set will also include new, extra content created specifically for the Deluxe Master Set by original designers Thomas Vande Ginste and Wolf Plancke. This new content will include the ability to create your own preferred game experience based on your play style and the preferences of the other players by modifying facets of the game such as length, difficulty level, and interaction type. Additionally, two new modules entitled ‘Specialist’ and ‘Teahouse’ will be included.

Watch for the launch of the Kickstarter on September 9th, 2019 to learn more details (including the practically mandatory bevy of Kickstarter stretch goals) for this exciting new edition.

But no Ian Malcolm? Why!?!

Mondo Games and Restoration Games today announced that they have acquired the license rights to add Jurassic Park to their Unmatched head-to-head skirmish game system. This splicing of DNA will allow players to pit iconic dinosaurs against the heroes of the film in epic battles, using a initial pair of two-player sets and a solo-hero pack that will be released in 2019-2020.

Unmatched: InGen vs. Raptors will be the first two player set released and is scheduled for a late 2019 release. Sattler vs. T-Rex and a solo expansion featuring Dr. Alan Grant will follow in 2020. Each character deck featured in these upcoming releases will be designed to represent the personality and characteristics of its on-screen counterpart, and no two heroes (or dinosaurs) will battle the same way. Unique maps featured on the game boards will allow players to designate specific terrain to either replicate scenes from the film or direct their own. Finally, players will be able to mix and match heroes and maps to create a customized play experience, just as they would with other Unmatched sets.

All three packs will feature illustrations from Oliver Barrett, who has illustrated other entries in the Unmatched series. It should be noted that these Jurassic Park Unmatched entries will replace the previously announced Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene game, which will no longer be under development.

To summarize: God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates Man, Man creates dinosaur board game!

Winners of the 2019 Spiel des Jahres Awards were announced today.

The Winners, along with the runner-up nominees are:

Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year):

Just One (Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter)

Also Nominated were Werewords and LAMA.

Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year):

Valley of the Vikings (Marie and Wilfried Fort)

Also nominated were Go Gecko Go! and Fabulantica.

Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur – Enthusiast Game of the Year):

Wingspan (Elizabeth Hargrave)

Also nominated were Carpe Diem and Detective: A Modern Board Game.

Congratulations to all the winners! You can find the original announcement here.

Fun fact: the literal translation of the German name for ‘Wingspan’ is ‘flap’ (at least, according to Google).

"What's with that rubbish? It doesn't even start with "I wish!"

River Horse, who moves the stars for no one but has previously published Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Board Game and Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal The Board Game, once again invite players to once again choose down with Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Card Game, based on everyone’s favorite 80’s fantasy musical.

Labyrinth The Card Game is essentially a family-weight trick-taking game, based on medieval era card games (but of course, things aren’t always what they seem to be). Players must work with their partner to win hands and claim mastery over the Labyrinth (or at least find their way to the center). There are also more advanced rules that add elements such as having to follow suit (It’s not fair!). The game features 80 tarot-sized cards with original art by Ralph Horsley based on the original character designs of Jim Henson and Brian Froud. No clear indications as to player count, but should be at 4-players based on the game play description.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Card Game is currently available for pre-order from River Horse and should arrive some time this year. More details can be found here. Dance magic, dance!

The OP (formerly known as USAopoly) has announced that it will be releasing another popular IP-themed game in Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising. Death Eaters Rising is a cooperative card and dice game based on the fifth film (or fifth book, if you prefer) ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ and is scheduled to arrive in stores and Diagon Alley this fall.

In Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, each player assemble a team of allies from the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army and Hogwarts to face off against the growing power of the Dark Lord. Players can start off with familiar heroes such as Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Sirus Black, and Dumbledore and may be able to recruit otheres such as Snape, Ginny Weasley, Alastor Moody, and Hagrid. Players then must battle Death Eaters such as Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfroy for control of key locations, like the Ministry of Magic, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village, before finally facing off against You-Know-Who himself.

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is designed for 2-4 players ages 11 and up with an estimated playtime of 45-60 minutes. In addition to being the third Harry Potter-themed game from The OP released this year (which includes Scrabble: World of Harry Potter and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defense Against the Dark Arts), this game appears to be the third installment of an unofficial ‘Rising’ trilogy of games that include the earlier released Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars: Dark Side Rising.

Game Toppers, which most recently delighted the masses at Origins by providing playmats for all the open gaming tables, has announced a mystery give-away contest in support of their recently launched Kickstarter campaign for various packages featuring it’s premium game mats and crafted game table tops that can transform even a humble card table into a high-end board game surface.

Contest participants are invited to dive into a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery, which stars the Dice Towers’ very own Eric Summerer, which is unveiled across a series of three YouTube videos. Participants must hunt for 5 clues across the three videos and enter them as part of their submission form for the contest.

Each participant is automatically entered into a drawing for a Game Toppers Premium 3mm stitched edge game mat. In addition, those who correctly identify all the clues are entered into the Grand Prize drawing for the mysterious Game Topper Package, which has a value of $1000.

More information about the Game Toppers give-away can be found here.

Information about Game Toppers current Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Brain Games Publishing, a Latvian game company, has announced several smaller games for upcoming release:

TEAM3 is a cooperative team game for 3-6 players where the teams of 3 players each must work together to build a structure as quickly as possible. The challenge is that one of the players can’t speak, one can’t see, and one who is in the middle (or thematically, the one who can’t hear). The non-speaking player can only communicate in gestures, with the player in the middle interpreting the gestures to the player who can’t see who must then build the structure since he is the only one that can touch the pieces. TEAM3 comes in two versions (pink and green) each with its own set of tasks and a mini-expansion.

Farm Rescue is a cooperative game for young children based on the classic Memory game. In Farm Rescue, players are working together to outsmart the bad wolf by flipping cards face up and down and trying to remember where certain animals are before the wolf can get to them. It’s for 1-5 players and games have an approximate time of 15 minutes.

Keeping with the domesticated animal theme, Pigasus is a card matching game where players compete to match different animals together. In Pigasus, animals appear in crazy combinations of what we know (is that a giraffe or a gorilla??). Players have to react quickly to find a pair of cards that are a mix of the same animal, but in different combinations. The player that grabs the most pairs is the winner. Pigasus takes 2-8 players and last approximately 20 minuts

Finally, do you wanna a build a snowman?? If so, Snowman Dice may be the game for you. In Snowman Dice, players are rolling dice to build a snowman and get him to the North Pole. However, other players can use their dice to roll snowballs to try to knock over their opponents snowman. It plays 2-4 and lasts about 10 minutes.

More details about these games can be found here.

There’s been a lot of anxiety lately in the board game community regarding a 25% tariff on Chinese imports proposed by President Trump’s administration that would include board games, board game components and accessories – and one Game Publisher has decided to do something about it!

Chip Boyd and Neil Gilstrap of Happy Gorilla Game Studio will be heading to Washington D.C. to appear before the U.S. Trade Representative on June 24th to testify about the impact that the proposed tariff would have on Kickstarter campaigns and game publishers that are currently in mid-fulfillment and are facing having to pay these tariffs as soon as their games shipment hits the dock. Chip and Neil also plan to advocate for a change in the tariff’s wording that would diminish the overall impact the tariff would have on mid-fulfillment Kickstarters. No word if their testimony will be shown on C-SPAN or not.

In addition to their advocacy efforts, Happy Gorilla Game Studio has also launched a second Kickstarter to help defray the potential tariff costs for their War for Indagar campaign, which is currently in fulfillment and shipping from China now (literally, it’s on the boat). The campaign offers an opportunity to grab a copy of War for Indagar, if you missed out on the original campaign, or some additional miniatures, both of which will be fulfilled using surplus stock from the current incoming shipment (so no need to launch another Kickstarter campaign to cover the tariff costs for this campaign too). Note that Happy Gorilla Game Studio assures backers of the original War for Indagar Kickstarter that it will fulfill, regardless of the success of this new campaign.

Details about the Happy Gorilla Studio Kickstarter campaign can be found here.

Fans of heroic rodent campaign games, rejoice! Plaid Hat Games has announced that ‘Aftermath,’ the latest entry in the Adventure Book Game series, is now available for pre-order.

Designed by Stuffed Fables and Mice and Mystics designer Jerry Hawthorne, Aftermath is set in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, leaving common animals like mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small creatures to inherit the Earth. Across 27 story-driven mission, Players will take on the role of one of these animals and must explore suburban ruins in order to scavenge for food and other resources to provide for their colony while also being on guard against predators.

The game promises dynamic card play that will allow players to complete a wide variety of actions and also will include a mechanic for players to choose whether to use combat or diplomacy to resolve various threats. Finally, similar to Dead of Winter, each player will have a personal goal to accomplish in addition to the main objective.

The list of contents, pre-order and other information about this upcoming release can be found here.

Cooperative Game Scheduled for Fall Release

There has been a disturbance in the Force as a rare, non-FFG Star Wars-themed game has been announced today. USAopoly (who also goes by the name ‘The OP’) and Disney Consumer Products UK have publicized the pending release of Star Wars: Dark Side Rising, a new cooperative card and dice game that is set during the events immediately prior to and during Star Wars: A New Hope. The game is designed for 2-4 players for ages 10 and up and has an estimated game time of 45 minutes.

In this light strategy game, each player will lead their own Rebel cell, led by their starting Team Leader (either Captain Cassian Andor, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker or Hera Syndulla), as they work together to recruit other iconic characters (such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Admiral Raddus) and prevent the construction of the original Death Star to thwart the Empire’s overall plans for domination of the galaxy. A custom-sculpted 3D Darth Vader bust is featured on the game board that commands the Imperial forces trying to either wipe out the Rebels or make the Death Star operational. The Rebels win by defeating enough Imperial agents before the Empire is able to either successful bring the Death Star online or eliminates too many of the Rebellion’s assets.

The game will be released in the European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) regions in the fall. It is unclear from the announcement whether this game will be exclusive to the EMEA regions or will receive a North American release at a later date. However, The OP has stated that Star Wars: Dark Side Rising was designed specifically for EMEA.

Admittedly, the look of the game from the images released and the described game-play sounds very similar to The OP’s earlier board game Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War. The shared use of the term ‘Rising’ in both titles also suggests that Star Wars: Dark Side Rising may be the latest entry in a unofficial board game series begun with Thanos Rising.

Star Wars: Dark Side Rising will also be showcased at the UK Games Expo as well as DISTOY 2019 in London.

More information about this release is available here.