Nauvoo Games has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for Illicit Investments, the latest expansion for Stockpile, a popular economic game designed by Brett Sobol and Seth Van Orden which received the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence.

The Illicit Investments expansion adds a new phase to the beginning of the game in which players draft a starting hand of Investment Strategy Cards. During each Action Phase, players then have the opportunity to play one Investment Strategy Card to help “control the chaos of the stock market” by providing a wide range of unique actions.

The expansion also includes a new First Player Card variant in which players can bid for turn order, a new Investor Card, and some upgraded component upgrades such as wooden stock tickers and a 2P reference sheet.

The campaign also has the option for an all-in Epic Edition, which includes the base game plus expansions and promos in one single box, as well as a Cosmic Tier which includes both the Illicit Investments and Continuing Corruption expansions along with 2 promo packs.

According to Nauvoo games, they do not plan to re-print the game any time soon following this Kickstarter campaign, which you can find here.

Dungeon Mayhem is a 2-4 player card game set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons where players aim to be the last adventurer standing. The base game had 4 characters (barbarian, paladin, rogue, and wizard) who battled in a dungeon full of treasure, all lovingly illustrated by Kyle Ferrin (known for Vast: The Crystal Caverns, and Root).

“With magic missiles flinging, dual daggers slinging, and spiked shields dinging, it’s up to you to prove your adventurer has the guts to bring home the glory!” [source]

In the Battle for Baldur’s Gate expansion, the first expansion for the game, 2 new characters from Baldur’s Gate are added. The ranger, Minsc, with his miniature, giant space hamster, Boo, and the shapeshifting druid, Jaheira. Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is illustrated by Jake Parker (founder of popular art challenge, Inktober) and is designed by Jordan Comar, and Roscoe Wetlaufer.

Expect the expansion to release on the 17th of September 2019.

Ubongo is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn, geometric puzzle game where players race to piece together interlocking tiles. The goal is for players to get them to fit perfectly on their own puzzle boards. Ubongo Extreme: Fun-Size Edition is a smaller, lower-priced, and more portable format of the larger game and adds a higher level of complexity by using polyhex tiles instead of the traditional tile shapes. Ubongo Extreme: Fun-Size Edition is designed by
Grzegorz Rejchtman for 1-4 players, aged 8+, and is expected to release on July 1st, 2019.

Inka Brand & Markus Brand continue releasing games in the popular EXIT series, with the latest iteration being EXIT: House of Riddles. The game is classified at a beginner difficulty level, caters for 1-4 players, and plays in roughly 1-2 hours. Players are detectives who are summoned to an abandoned house to investigate an unsolved mystery. Upon entry, the detectives hear screams and find the entrance shut behind them and need to crack the case to find their way out. Expect EXIT: House of Riddles to release on July 22nd, 2019.

Brainwaves is a series of games developed by neuroscientists and game designers where players challenge their episodic memory (memory of recent personal events). Thames & Kosmos are releasing 3 games in this series which are all for 1-4 players, aged 8+, and play in roughly 15 mins.

Brainwaves: The Astute Goose has players identifying a burglar hiding in a crowd and is designed by Reiner Knizia. Then, designed by Dirk Baumann, Brainwaves: The Brilliant Boar has players collect sets of various animal portraits on cards by utilizing their memory to match those in their hand (facing away from them) to those revealed on the table. In Brainwaves: The Wise Whale, players are collecting colorful sea creatures by matching either their colors or animal types, and is designed by Maureen Hiron. Expect all 3 games to release on July 8th, 2019.

A new distribution agreement has been struck to bring Horrible Games’ titles to the U.S. and Canada. The Italian-based publisher will have all games for the foreseeable future brought to North America by Canada-based publisher and distributor Luma Games. Horrible Games to be carried by this deal include hits like Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink, but this will also include all future titles from the publisher as well. This is a mutually beneficial deal which will see more exposure for both companies across North America.

“Under the new agreement, Luma will distribute all our upcoming games, including Similo and The King’s Dilemma, and take over distribution of backlist games such as Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink as existing stock sells down and new printings are done. Luma will also handle retail and event support for our catalog.”

Keen observers will notice that this is a huge boon for Horrible Games as Luma is taking over the exact same capacity that CMON did for all of their current catalog. While CMON will no longer be distributing the above-mentioned titles after the stock sells, the prolific publisher already has a release schedule and brand presence that is strong on it’s own. On the other hand, Luma has only been able to distribute a select few titles, such as Museum and Memoarrr!, and this partnership will surely escalate their outreach and footprint in the states through Horrible Games’ existing excellent catalog. If you’re interested in reading more about this distribution agreement, or want to learn more about Horrible Games or Luma Games, check out their websites for their own news posts and products.

Soaring Rhino newest game, Mammoth, is now on Kickstarter. Mammoth takes a unique approach to biome development in a game and offers two different modes of play.  The gameplay in Mammoth draws from the scientific premise that the mammoth was instrumental in preventing the permafrost from melting and fostering massive grassland growth. 

In the competitive game, players are herds of mammoths moving about the barren tundra and trampling the brambles to make room for the flora and grassland. In this tile placing game, players place either square or octagon tiles to do one of two things: expand the flower patch they are creating with their trampling or extend the path of the herd.  Points are scored for extending and completing flower patches. The game ends when the last octagon tile is placed.  Players will score points for the number of tiles in the flower patch their mammoth occupied at the end of the game.  Points are also scored for each tile in the length of the herd’s path.  The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.  

In the co-operative game, goals and action cards are used.  Now the players are scientists working together to guide the mammoth herds through the landscape to accomplish two goals in shaping the biome: create a flower patch of a specific color large enough to accomplish the color goal, and create a herd path in the manner required to accomplish the path goal.  The group will also have to score enough points required by the two goals.  Player actions are limited by the available action cards, but if the team plans well enough, they can ensure each scientist has the action they need.  If the players accomplish all their scientific goals before the last octagon tile is placed, they win the game.

Mammoth plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in 30-45 minutes. Components includes game board, 4 plastic mammoths, 4 baby mammoth tokens, 4 animal path tokens, 72 small 1-point biocycle tokens, 48 large 3-point biocycle tokens. 40 double-sided square tiles, 52 octagon flower tiles, 2 octagon lab tiles, 4 penalty tokens, 8 goals cards, 14 action cards, a go first marker, and rulebook. The Kickstarter campaign runs until June 23 with an expected delivery in February 2020. Check out the Kickstarter Campaign to learn more about the game and the science the game is based on.

Various monsters from the Godzilla franchise are ready to throw down in a new expandable card game from Bandai. Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Destoroyah, MechaGodzilla, Space Godzilla, Jet-Jaguar, and Burning Godzilla are featured in this video trailer. The game is designed by Ryan Miller, a co-designer of Epic PVP and Axis & Allies and Zombies. It is for two to four players and features the Chrono Clash system:

Instead of traditional turn-based play, in this system players share a power resource track, moving the token back and forth based on the power value of the cards they play.  The position of the token determines when play passes to the other player.

[source]

The Godzilla Card Game releases in September 2019, and subsequently, there will be store tournaments with prize support. The base game includes four pre-built decks of fifty cards and a communal sideboard of sixteen cards.

Although this will not be the first board/card game featuring Godzilla, many more would have to be released to catch up to the number of movies (35 as of 2019).

Board & Dice has announced the first expansion for Dice Settlers, Dice Settlers: Western Sea, that is due to be released at Spiel 2019.

Dice Settlers: Western Sea allows the players to expand beyond the lands initially available to them, all the way to the sea. Besides the growing possibilities of the base game, the expansion introduces ways for the players to fish, sail, find treasure, and discover new and interesting technologies.

Dice Settlers: Western Sea is a modular expansion, meaning that players can add any one (or more) of the modules in the box to their base game, growing and changing it in different ways, to suit their tastes. The expansion also includes solo components for those solo players who want to be able to play the expansion in conjunction with the base game.

If you are interested in more information about the expansion, check here.

Lookout Spiele has announced that Foothills, a game co-designed by Snowdonia designer Tony Boydell and his colleague Ben Bateson, will be coming soon. The anticipated release date in Europe is June and the game will be published internationally in either July or August.

Foothills is a game in the highly regarded Snowdonia line of games. The game is 2-player only however, and features an action selection mechanism rather than the worker placement mechanism featured in Snowdonia.

You can find more information for Foothills on the Lookout Spiele website here.

In a game of Hats 2-4 players compete to have the highest score by having the most outstanding hats and being declared the maddest. Hats is designed by Gabriele Bubola and illustrated by Paolo Voto.

Each turn a player has a choice of actions to add a face-up hat to their collection in front of them by exchanging a card from their hand with one on the tea board which is either of the same card type or alternatively of a lower number. Otherwise a player can add any card from their hand directly to their collection in front of them by turning it face-down as a black hat. Each black hat is worth one point at the end of the game while all of the face-up hats’ scores are determined in a dynamic manner by which positions the matching hats hold on the tea board at the end of the game.

And there is one final scoring twist at the end of the game. Each player’s last remaining card in their hand determines their favorite type of hat. All of the hats in their collection of this type score the value of those cards minus the value of the final card held in their hand.

Plus there is a chocolate cookie worth 5 points to the owner of the greatest variety of hats!

Stay tuned for future games in the new Made in Wonderland series.

For further details on the game, including the cookie, and to download a copy of the rulebook visit the publisher’s site here.

The sharp-eyed and -eared among you may have heard Tom Vasel, our illustrious leader, drop a bombshell on the latest episode of Boardgame Breakfast. The next game in the Dice Tower Essentials line of games, will be Smartphone, Inc. originally from Cosmodrome Games and designer Ivan Lashin. The Dice Tower Essentials are games that Tom himself has played, deemed extraordinary, and brought personally to publisher Arcane Wonders for retail publication. Smartphone was originally shown at Essen 2018, and despite having a very small print run, quickly became a darling of the show. Rumors of reprints abounded, but until now the game has been on the grail list of many collectors.

“Back when smartphones were only beginning to conquer the world, it was your destiny to lead one of the most promising manufacturing corporations in the world. Analyze and research customer demand around the globe. Get out of your comfort zone and try to get more profit by setting up new offices in nearby regions. Improve your production and research innovative technologies. Try to get local markets under your control. Find your own way to success—become the producer of an elite high-tech product or a manufacturer focused on the mass market. And don’t forget to keep your plans secret if you want to win this race. Other companies want the same thing you do: to become the most successful (and richest) smartphone manufacturer of all time!”

Smartphone, Inc. is often described as Food Chain Magnate lite, being a strong but elegant economic game for 2-5 players about manufacturing and selling cell phones around the world. At the heart of the game, players manipulate two double sided cards, creating their “pad”. Each half of the pad contains 6 squares of icons, and by overlapping them in specific ways, players create their plan for the round: Visible symbols give actions for the round, while covered squares add additional product for sale, but inherently limit a player’s turn. Players can gain Improvement Tiles from the market each round, more cardboard tiles that can be added to their pad, adding new icons, or flipped to create more phones for sale.

Available actions include changing the sell price of a player’s phones up or down, researching new technologies, spreading and selling to other areas on the world map, gaining Improvements, and making more product. Newer technologies and world expansion give players more locations to sell their product, and each player can only sell in one “slot” per round, creating fierce competition for the markets. Players can focus on creating large amounts of cheaper phones, which allows them to act first, flooding sell spaces and outcompeting their opponents, or they can make higher priced phones to simply make more money. The richest player after 5 rounds emerges victorious.

The components for Smartphone are exceptional, with the entire board using dual layered cardboard, creating recessed slots for player pieces. The pieces themselves are brightly colored clear plastic cubes (phones/goods), office buildings (for territory control), and smartphone bars (representing progress). Individual player storage boxes keep the pieces organized: plastics, the player’s “pad”, and starting innovations. A clean, minimalistic graphic design places the round structure and all rules in easy to understand proximity. Also included in the game is a strong A.I. driven solo mode.

Smartphone Inc. will be available to demo at GenCon, Origins Game Fair, and Dice Tower Con this summer, and Arcane Wonders has stated that the awaited Kickstarter Campaign for reprints will still occur later this year, with retail release to follow in 2020. For more details, check out Arcane Wonders announcement here, and the Cosmodrome official webpage for Smartphone Inc here.