Push your luck games are all about risk and reward, and Daredevil from Jeff Siadek aims to distill that down into a quick playing card game.  In this game you are a hot shot daredevil trying to make their mark without dying, and so you will be taking on various stunts in order to increase your renown.  At the start of the game you will be given a character card that gives you a special ability, like re-rolling a die on certain stunts, or allowing you to succeed on doubles regardless of the total.  After getting a character card then several stunt cards will be put out for players to attempt.  Each stunt will have a point value in the form of stars, a number you have to meet or beat on a dice roll, and consequences should you fail.  You will pick a stunt and then make a single roll of the dice, with a re-roll if you have the applicable special ability, meet or beat the number to claim the stunt, else suffer the consequences.  Consequences can come in the form of lowering die values, forcing you to re-roll dice, barring you from trying certain stunts or even death.  But don’t worry the first time death comes out, that was only a brush with death, but the second one will fully take you out of the game.  Once everyone is dead or retires then you total up your stars and the person with the most is the winner.

This is a game with not a lot of strategy or nuance to it, but those games can be fun too, like Roll For It or Tumblin’ Dice.  Plus the art is cute and the theme fits right in with the push your luck mechanic.  So if you enjoy a quick push your luck style game all about being a daredevil, check out the Kickstarter page.

Born to Serve is about 2-5 jobless superheroes who have fallen on rough times and are competing for a job to wait on tables in a restaurant.

“You are a superhero, virtuous, respected and dare we say loved by millions, well ok maybe not millions, but by more than a few people in the little town you and your super group have been tasked with protecting. Unfortunately, the government has cut your group’s funding and that means you all are going to need jobs to support your superhero lifestyle. Sadly, there is but one job to be had in town, at the local restaurant. The restaurant owner has decided to let you all try out for the job and whoever has the most tips by the end of the day gets it.” [source]

Born to Serve is designed by Nick Sauer (known for co-designing Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld), and Diane Sauer (known for Pinball Showdown) and the game plays in about an 1 hour.

Each round, heroes have five service markers they can use to either spend time serving a table or to enlist the restaurant staff who can aid them. Tables which have been fully serviced score each round with the hero who has the most service markers getting the largest part of the tip, while those who helped get half the tip value based on each service marker they contributed. Since all players are superheroes, each have two powers which allow them to bend certain rules in their favor. The player who earns the most money in tips at the end of the day wins the job and the game.

The Born to Serve Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 1st 2018 with the estimated delivery taking place in July of 2019. The project is currently at around 30% of its funding goal.

UFO a Go-Go is the first game designed by David Logan (II), and Matthew Weekes, with art by Mike Shanks. This 3-8 player game is published by Akupara Games and is intended to play in 15-45 mins, depending on the number of players.

 “It’s party season throughout the galaxy, and everyone is hosting a spectacular celebration! But who will be crowned Intergalactic Party Captain…. Is it you? Invite Aliens to your party, just don’t forget to be a good host for your guests and give each of them the attention they deserve. If an Alien feels neglected, they will leave for another party in the galaxy. Will your party be a celestial success, or will you find yourself alone with the punch bowl?” [source]

UFO a Go-Go is a game about following hilarious rules and calling out your friends when they slip up. All the players are hosting their own parties and inviting Aliens to join in. Hosts need to give each guest the attention they deserve, or they’ll leave the party and join someone else’s in another part of the galaxy.

Hosts take turns drawing cards from a central deck which contain four types of cards. Drawing an Alien Card is ideal as they’ll join the host’s party but adding the alien to the party also adds a rule which the host must follow. Aliens can be swopped, stolen, or lured away. VIP Cards represent more impressive guests which hosts compete for, while Galactic Event Cards can mess up the best laid plans. Finally, Party Favors are “take that” cards which hosts force upon other hosts to cause trouble and confusion. The goal of the game is to reach the winning party point value and be declared the Intergalactic Party Captain.

If you’re not sure whether or not this game will work with your group you can download the print & play version to try it out. The UFO a Go-Go Kickstarter campaign will run until Thursday, November 8th 2018 and the estimated delivery date is June of 2018. The project is currently at 14% of its funding goal.

Ancient Terrible Things makes a return to Kickstarter running as a 10 day campaign in celebration of their 10 year anniversary. Ancient Terrible Things is designed by Simon McGregor with art by Rob van Zyl who are part of the Pleasant Company Games design studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ancient Terrible Things is a pulp, horror, adventure game for 2-4 players who are intrepid adventurers exploring a dark jungle. Each turn players travel to a Fateful Location, then face an Ominous Encounter, and attempt to unlock its Ancient Secrets through a combination of dice, tokens, and cards. For more information on how the game plays you can check Tom’s Review and see why he included it in his Top Ten Cthulhu Games.

The campaign does not have any stretch goals but there are multiple pledge levels depending on how much of the game you want to buy into. Both the Madness of McGuffin (the latest expansion) & The Lost Charter (an expansion which was previously out of print) are available as separate pledges or you can buy everything which exists for the game. If you’re a solo player, then The Lost Charter expansion will be of special interest as it includes solo rules for the game.

All pledge levels have limited quantities so be sure to act quickly if you’re on the fence about backing the project. The Ancient Terrible Things Kickstarter project will run until Tuesday, October 23rd 2018 and the estimated delivery of pledges ranges from December of 2018 until February of 2019 depending on which items you order. The project goal was fairly low, but they’ve already surpassed it by a wide margin.

Think Fun had some pretty good success with their first two Escape the Room games, Stargazer’s Manor and Gravely’s Retreat, so a third one seemed only logical.  In their latest email newsletter they announced they will be developing this new Escape the Room game to not only be scarier, but also far more difficult that the previous two.  In fact they are making the claim it will be the most difficult room escape game on the market.  This is a rather high bar, and hopefully they still make the game fun because you can easily make an escape room that is very difficult but not fun.  However, given how fun and interesting, albeit easy, the other two games have been, I am hopefully for this one as well.

Development is still fairly early, and they don’t expect to have it released until the second half of 2019.  You can read the full newsletter below, and sign up on their website for email updates to track the development of the game.

You’re getting this email because you signed up to be the first to hear about new content or games in ThinkFun’s “Escape the Room” line. It’s been awhile since we had news, but now we are thrilled to announce that we will be coming out with a third ‘Escape the Room’ game!

So what can we tell you about it? The most important thing is that we heard your feedback on our first two Escape games (Stargazer’s Manor and Dr. Gravely) – what we heard was that you want the game experience to be more difficult, and for it to be scarier. Asked and answered! Escape the Room 3 will be the hardest ‘escape’ style board game on the market, and it’ll be a good deal spookier than either of the first two.

For emphasis we’ll repeat ourselves – this will be the hardest escape style board game on the market.

We can’t announce the theme or any other specifics quite yet, expect to say that we’re expecting a release date in the second half of 2019. Our plan is to send, to this group of email subscribers only, updates between then and now with exclusive first looks at artwork, announcements on theme, and any other cool info that surfaces. We’ve never done this with a game before – usually we keep things under wraps – but we want to involve you in the process, and so we’re going to!

How can you help? It’s pretty basic: just share our new sign-up page for this email list with any friends you think might be interested. The more interest we can build ahead of time the better the product will do, and the better the product does the greater the chance that we’ll come back with an Escape the Room 4, and 5, and so on. So again, please send this page to anyone you can think of and have them sign up

Catan GmbH is debuting a new CATAN release at Essen, which will not only add new game elements to Klaus Teuber’s award-winning fan favorite but will donate all proceeds from the scenario to the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Crop Trust). CATAN – Crop Trust is a collaboration between Crop Trust and Catan GmbH, introducing a new semi-cooperative way to play the classic game as well as teaching players about one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today.

Players’ must balance their individual need to harvest crops against their collective goal to store and preserve seeds in the Seed Vault. Players who harvest too much endanger the seed diversity, and in doing so, threaten the land with mass extinctions and a collapse of the food supply.

“As a part of our mission to support the conservation of natural resources, Catan GmbH will donate all proceeds from the scenario to the Crop Trust. Catan Studio, the publisher for the English-speaking market, will also donate a portion of their revenue per printed copy and will offer support to organizations who want to use the scenario for educational or charitable causes.”

CATAN – Crop Trust contains educational information in addition to the board game. A specially-produced almanac which explains the history of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Frequently Asked Questions, and examples of the importance of crop conservation are also included.

There are 100+ videos that pertain to CATAN on The Dice Tower so check some of them out.
CATAN – Crop Trust will debut at the Essen Game Fair and will be available in stores and online on November 8, 2018.

When it comes to spellcasting, the Harry Potter series has a fairly firm monopoly on the idea of swishing and flicking a wand about. While style hardly originated within that fiction, it’s undeniable that the act of drawing intricate patterns in the air with a gnarled stick was taken to new levels of popularity because of J.K. Rowling’s genius world-building. We’ve all been there, we’ve all vainly tried to cast Leviosa with a nice branch or replica at some point, it’s okay. Buzzy Games understands this, and that’s why their newest title, Abra Kazam! is all about it. In this party game arriving this month in time for Essen, 3 to 8 players take turns demonstrating charms from a drawn card, while all other players try to identify the spell based on the movements in order to score them.

“Abra Kazam! offers a friendly and fun experience that brings together all ages, from 7 to 99 years, around a spell-casting contest. Gather up to 8 wizards and make room around the table for the Charms contest. At your turn, grab the magic wand and try to make the others guess your spell by drawing in the air the magic move of your card. The first to find the corresponding card on the table becomes the Wizard. But he will have to play by following the challenge just revealed on the back of the card.”

Guessing the spell correctly, while rewarding you with the card as a point, also binds you to a challenge, which will either limit your speech or your movements, making you work harder to cast or guess. Maybe you’ll have to cast your next spell with your arms outstretched, or maybe you’ve become paranoid of a dragon and you have to shout “It’s coming!!” before making any guess or face a penalty. While the restrictions may or may not work as a catch-up mechanism, they will absolutely be funny and mixing that kind of charm and theme with silly, goofy fun seems like a great mix to me. If you’re interested in learning more about Abra Kazam!, check out the product page on the distributor’s website for full rules and more.

Fantastic news for anyone lucky enough to attend the Essen Spiel Game Convention in Germany at the end of the month – Board game publisher Pegasus Spiele is once again hosting a fantastic game night, this year taking place Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26, from 7pm – 1am. The event will include a library of over 50 games for lend, including such hits as Azul, Reef, Sagrada, and many more. Additionally, new and notable games from associated publishers Plan B Games, Eggertspiele, Frosted Games and Portal Games will be available to play, such as Blackout: Hong Kong, Camel Up 2nd edition, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, Monolith Arena, Detective, Men at Work, and several others. Guests of honor this year include 2018 Spiel des Jahres winner Michael Kiesling (Azul), Roberto Fraga (Captain SonarDr. Eureka), and Yohan Lemonnier (Captain Sonar). For more information and schedule of events, check out Pegasus’ announcement here.

For those of you, like me, who like to upgrade their game components, Renegade Games Studio has something just for you!

Starting with the release of Architects of the West Kingdom, you’ll now have the option to purchase metal coins to replace the cardboard bits provided in the base game. These are great additions that, while not integral to game play, add some fun to the experience. It will especially have some added value for individuals who may not have backed the Kickstarter version of the game or who want to also upgrade their Raiders of the North Sea trilogy. You can pick up a set of 50 coins to upgrade your entire set!

So prepare those coin bags, these will be available for pre-order online through the Renegade Store or at your FLGS now or look for these new coins on shelves starting in November!

Two years ago a game based on the movie Evil Dead 2 was Kickstarted by Space Goat Productions, the game garnered quite a bit of support and earned over $700,000 from 6,000+ backers.  But unfortunately the story doesn’t have a happy ending as through poor planning and bad money management, Space Goat Productions have since stated they can’t deliver on the games.  So after discussing internally and then securing the rights to the game, Jasco Games and Lynnvander Studios are going to resurrect the Evil Dead 2 Official Board Game on Kickstarter.  Also, even though they have no relation to the original failed game, they have promised that for each game of the new campaign that gets purchased, they will send a copy of the game to a backer of the failed game.  This will be a first for a project that has failed on Kickstarter and should help soothe some anger.  There is a caveat though, the game is going to have similar components as the Space Goat version, but it will be a new design created by Lynnvander and Jasco.  Will this be a good thing?  Will it flood the market with a mediocre game?  We will have to wait and see when the Kickstarter comes.

You can read the full announcement on Jasco Games’ website.