Tim Tylinski

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Tim is an electrical engineer in the aviation industry. He lives in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area with his wife, son and dog. He buys more games every year than he plays.

It seems like every board game publisher is providing their spin on the roll-and-write genre. The OP (formerly USAopoly) has partnered with Matagot to bring Dungeon Academy to the North American market.

Dungeon Academy looks like a roll-and-write crossed with a dungeon dive game. The game has 16 six-sided dice with different sides representing things like monsters and potions. The dice are rolled and arranged into a 4×4 grid which represents a floor of the dungeon. The floor is revealed to the players which then race to draw a path through the dungeon level. The game is played over four rounds/levels.

“Simultaneous play begins as students race to draw the most favorable route in, through, and out of each Level, taking hits to their energy from encounters with Monsters, while restoring it with every potion. If any player’s Health or Mana is depleted before their path is resolved, they fail the test and forfeit points, or Glory. The student with the most Glory after the four Levels earns the coveted Adventurers diploma to win!”

Each player has a hero which provides them with a special ability during the game. Loot cards provide bonus treasure which players can choose from once they’ve completed their route through the level.

Dungeon Academy is for 1-6 players, ages 10 and up, and will be available later this year. You can read the announcement from The OP here, as well as, learn more from the game’s product page on the publisher’s website.

Minion Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an expansion to The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire. The Cold War expansion adds six separate modules which can be added to the base game, as well as, components for an automated solo play.

The expansion modules range from new nations and structures cards, to a doomsday clock board. The addition of a ‘Clash of Nations‘ card deck provides a new solo play experience. The Kickstarter campaign has reward tiers which include print-and-play, just the new expansion material, all the way up to a bundle with the base game and both expansions.

If you would like to know more about the base game of The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, you can watch The Dice Tower review with Sam and Zee.

CMON has announced God of War: The Card Game. Using the setting from Sony Santa Monica’s very successful 2018 reboot of the God of War franchise, the card game will have one to four players enlist the help of Kratos, Freya and other heroes in an attempt to stop Ragnarok from destroying Midgard.

The announcement did not reveal much about the game play. Each game will have a tableau of cards which depict a different “quest” made up of monsters and locations from the video game. Players will work together to make their way through each quest. The indication is that the actions and outcomes of one quest will impact future games. Each player will have a personal dashboard and a deck of cards unique to the particular character they are playing.

“As players progress, earlier Quests will have an effect on what comes after them. At certain points along their path, players must choose which Quest they will complete. Completing one might grant a bonus, but Quests left untouched will result in dire permanent consequences as the players move forward. These choices and challenges lead to new strategies, making it so no two games of God of War: The Card Game are ever alike, and adding real significance to the choices players make during the course of the game.”

There’s not a listing for the game on BGG or the publisher’s website at this time, but you can read CMON’s announcement by clicking here. The game is slated for a third quarter release later this year.

Catan, one of the pillars of the board game hobby, made the jump to digital form some time ago, and has been available on most platforms. The notable exception has been the Nintendo Switch, but given the Switch’s immense popularity, it was only a matter of time. Asmodee Digital has announced that Catan will be available on the Nintendo Switch on June 20, 2019.

Asmodee Digital’s announcement did not contain many details on this version of the game, only that “The game will be showcased with all the benefits of the Nintendo Switch system…” A page for Catan is up on Ninentdo’s website, but it doesn’t provide any additional information at this time.

The hybrid nature of the Switch seems like a natural fit for the digital version of Catan.

In 2017 Weta Workshop, the acclaimed design and creative studio, turned to Kickstarter for their first board game, GKR: Heavy Hitters. Now, they have returned with a board game based on the sci-fi movie, District 9. District 9: The Boardgame is currently on Kickstarter.

District 9: The Boardgame is for 2 to 4 players and features a modular board, hundreds of cards and, of course, a lot of miniatures. The game plays out over three days, with each day presenting new game elements.

“Return to District 9 and relive the film’s final three days through a whole new perspective. Lead your Faction through the alien slum in a search for the tech that will give you the edge. Salvage the most technology, take control of the district, and claim your victory!”

There is a draft rulebook available for download on the game’s Kickstarter page if you would like to dive deeper into the game play. The campaign has several stretch goals ready to be unlocked, along with optional add-on content. The base pledge is for $99 and there is another pledge level which includes the 5/6 player expansion and ally pack at a discount compared to their respective add-on prices.

Plaid Hat Games has announced a new hero pack for their 2018 card game, Guardians. Guardians: Retribution brings four additional heroes to the game; namely, Jupiter, Ryker, Therion and Warhead.

“… heroes in this expansion do even more to push the boundary of how ultimate cards can shape gameplay, by including even more double-sided ultimate cards, and even an ultimate capable of being reused more than once in a game!”

No specific release date was given for the card expansion, only that it is “coming soon.” You can read the press release for Guardians: Retribution from Plaid Hat by clicking here. If you want to learn more about the base game, you can watch Tom Vasel’s review of Guardians here.

Last year Shem Phillips and co-designer Sam Macdonald released Architects of the West Kingdom, the first game in a new series.  Now the designers are back with the second installment in the series, Paladins of the West Kingdom.  Architects had players building a town and its cathedral, while Paladins has players spreading the faith and defending the town from outsiders.

In Paladins of the West Kingdom, each player has a set of 12 paladin cards which provide workers, temporary attribute bonuses and a special ability for the round.  The players draw three paladin cards at the start of each round, select one to use, return one to the top of the deck and the other to the bottom.  Each player also has a personal board which is used to gather resources, increase attributes and score points.  Players take turns using their workers to perform a variety of actions, like recruit townsfolk, fortify the town, commission new monks, and attack or convert outsiders.  Some features from Architects (e.g. debt cards) return in Paladins; however, several new features are introduced, like suspicion cards which could lead to penalties from the Inquisition.

Like Architects and Raiders of the North Sea, Paladins features artwork from The Mico. Paladins is for 1 to 4 players.  There are a couple of different pledge levels, as well as, some additional promo cards included for both Paladins and Architects.  You can find out more about the game on its Kickstarter page.

Capstone Games is partnering with Winsome Games on a new line of games they are calling the Iron Rails series.

“The Iron Rail series from Capstone Games features games centered around investing in and building railroad networks with a focus on a specific geographic region in the world. Player interaction, route building, and stock investments are key features of the Iron Rail series.”

The first release in the Iron Rails series will be Winsome’s 2014 game, Irish Gauge. The Capstone release of Irish Gauge will maintain the original game play, but with a completely updated look featuring the artwork and graphic design of Ian O’Toole.

Irish Gauge supports 3 to 5 players, with a play time of about 60 minutes. Irish Gauge is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year. You can learn more about the game on its BGG page.

WizKids has announced a licensing deal to bring the sci-fi television series, The Orville, to their HeroClix line of games. The initial game content will include the primary crew members of the show, and is due out later this year.

” The first product to release will be a Jumbo Starter Set featuring the main crew, including Captain Ed Mercer, played by actor Seth MacFarlane, along with Commander Kelly Grayson, Dr. Claire Finn, Lt. Alara Kitan, Lt. Gordon Malloy, Lt. Commander Bortus, Lt. Commander John LaMarr, enabling HeroClix players and fans to embark in interstellar combat with their favorite characters. “

There were not many additional details provided in the press release, but you can read the full announcement here.

If I told you there was another social/party game on Kickstarter, you might not be too excited.  But, what if I told you the game was co-designed by award-winning designer, Wolfgang Warsch?  Designers Wolfgang Warsch (The Mind, Illusion and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), Alex Hague and Justin Vickers have teamed up on a new game called, Wavelength.

Wavelength is a team based guessing game, whereby, a hidden target is established between two points.  One member of the team is trying to get the other players to guess where the target, or bullseye, is located.  They do this by drawing a card which presents opposites end of a spectrum, for instance, hot and cold or rough and smooth.  A clue is given in attempt to relate the location of the bullseye within that spectrum.  Players then discuss how they think that clue relates to the position of the target between those extremes, while the opposing team can “suggest” how they think the clue relates in an effort to make them second guess themselves.  The active team then turns a dial (7.5″ rotating wheel) to select a spot on the spectrum.  Varying points are awarded based on how close they are to the target.

“One of the really unique things about Wavelength is that it’s played entirely IN THE BOX. The cards, dial, and score tracker all slot into the box’s tray, and you just…pass it around.”

The Kickstarter campaign for Wavelength has a single pledge level of $29 for a copy of the game.  The campaign is being run by Alex Hague, who has completed several successful campaigns for the game, Monikers.