After their recent release of Monopoly for Millenials, which had players buying experiences instead of property, their latest iteration of Monopoly seems aimed at the strike-it-rich generation who simply have the money … blasted at them.
“You get money! You get money! You get money! You get money! Everybody gets money!!!”
In Monopoly Cash Grab the bank is represented by a blaster gun which is loaded with $100 bills and Chance cards. Somebody then shoots the money and cards from the blaster and players rush to grab as much money and cards as possible. The Chance cards allow players to perform special abilities such as swopping money stacks with another player, or taking half a player’s money stack, or making all players pass their money stacks to the left. Once the blaster has fired all of its contents, the player with the most money wins. While the game supports 3-99 players, aged 8+, you may need to keep some riot gear ready if you try to play with too many players.
Monopoly Cash Grab is published by Hasbro and is currently available in select retail stores.
Tiny Towns, from Alderac Entertainment Group, is a competitive board game about building a township from a shared pool of resources. Its designed by Peter McPherson, with art by Gong Studios (known for Aeon’s End and Android: Netrunner) and supports 2-6 players, aged 14+, in competitive mode. Each game lasts roughly 30 mins.
“You are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest in which the smaller creatures of the woods have created a civilization hidden away from predators. This new land is small and the resources are scarce, so you take what you can get and never say no to building materials. Cleverly plan and construct a thriving town, and don’t let it fill up with wasted resources! Whoever builds the most prosperous tiny town wins!” [source]
Each player is given a 4×4 grid, which represents their town, on which they place resource cubes in specific layouts to construct buildings. Players take turns as the “Master Builder” who determines which resource will be produced and given to each player. At the start of the game, each player is also given a Monument card which allows them to build a unique building with a powerful effect. The game ends when all players can no longer place resources or construct buildings. Squares without buildings deduct points while buildings score victory points in unique ways. The player with the most victory points wins.
There are also Solo and Town Hall variants for the game. In both variants, players take turns as the “Mayor” who draws a Resource card from a Resource deck instead of using the “Master Builder”. All players then gain the resource as shown by the card.
Tiny Towns is expected to release in April of 2019. See the AEG website for more information.
Nemo’s War is a fantastic solo board game from publisher Victory Point Games and designer Chris Taylor, originally released in 2009, but which Kickstarted a breathtaking second edition in 2015 featuring new art from Ian O’Toole. After a successful first expansion last year, which added upgrades to the Nautilus, the publisher has now started a new Kickstarter Campaign for expansion pack #2 Bold & Caring, and #3 Dramatis Personae. In Nemo’s War, players take control of Captain Nemo and his crew from Jules Verne‘s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, exploring the oceans in the Nautilus, fighting war ships, discovering treasures, inciting revolution and overcoming story obstacles. One of the main mechanisms in the game is taking on a motive for Nemo, giving each of these actions more or less weighting in the final scoring. Bold & Caring adds two new motive cards to the game, essentially creating completely new ways to play and score high points. Nemo can now be motivated by Adventure, prioritizing exploration, collecting gemstones and taking further advantage of lull turns.
Alternatively the new Humanist motive gives Nemo a Hospital Machine, and allows “diplomatic attacks” on vessels rather than traditional destruction. Dramatis Personae gives more flavor and abilities to the crew with new adventure cards and a new finale. The Kickstarter Campaign for Nemo’s War Expansions #2 & 3 continues through December 18, and is expected to deliver in April 2019.
Mossbark Games has released a digital version of the award winning classic card game Morels from Two Lanterns Games and designer Brent Povis. Morels has players march down a line of cards foraging for mushrooms. Sets of like mushrooms can be cooked in a skillet for points, and additions such as butter can up the points further. Mushroom cards skipped over go to a waste pile which goes bad over time. Scavenge for those rare full moon mushrooms, but be careful of poisonous death angels which can ruin your whole batch. Mossbark worked closely with the designer to make a truly beautiful rendition, plus the digital version sports goodies such as 2 player asynchronous play, 3 levels of AI, local pass and play and achievements. Morels is available now for both Android and iOS.
Upper Deck Entertainment has just announced that they have acquired the rights to the iconic James Bond series of movies for both trading cards and board games. Master Spy James Bond, originally penned by author Ian Fleming, first appeared in movies in Dr. No in 1962, and has continued in more than 25 films since. “James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the history of entertainment,” said Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide a new and unique line of James Bond trading cards and trading card games to fans around the world.” The exciting part of this announcement is the statement that Upper Deck will be making a 007 licensed Legendary deck building game. At this point it is unclear if the future game will be part of the original Legendary, or newer Legendary Encounters lines. The game is described as: “Players will be able to relive their favorite movie moments while working together to recruit their favorite characters and unravel the nefarious schemes of the most infamous 007 villains.”, suggesting the more cooperative nature of the Encounters series of games. Projected release date for the game is Summer 2019.
Flat River Group is a US distributor of various geeky and otherwise unique merchandise, and Impressions is a long standing distributor of board games. So one acquiring the other makes sense to further grow their network, which is precisely what happened recently. Flat River Group announced they will be acquiring Impressions, with the change taking effect on January 1st. Flat River Group and Impressions have had a long working relationship and the acquisition started out as just a conversation about how they could better help each other. But as time went on that conversation turned into a proposal of Flat River Group just outright buying Impressions. Both companies will continue operating under their respective names, but now resources and connections will be pooled between the two companies.
What does this mean for us as consumers? Well for us it just means that distribution (getting the game from warehouse to store) will go more smoothly. But for game producers and Kickstarter creators, this means even more services will be offered by the respective labels making for better and easier distribution of their games.
USAopoly has announced Munchkin Harry Potter Deluxe, a joint effort with Steve Jackson Games, bringing classic Munchkin game play into the magical world of Harry Potter. Players choose whether to be in houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, then dungeon crawl their way to level 10 collecting items and abilities along the way. Munchkin Harry Potter solemnly swears to retain the take-that nature of a classic Munchkin game, allowing players to cast spells, drink potions, or give each other detention. Munchkin Harry Potter comes with 92 Door Cards, 76 Treasure Cards, 6 double sided House Cards (allowing more than one player to be in a specific house), 12 player standees, a custom die, game board and rules. For more information, check out the game web page at USAopoly.
Fans of the classic Vlaada Chvátil game Mage Knight (2011) rejoice, for Wizkids has announced a new Ultimate Edition of the critically acclaimed exploration and adventure card game. Mage Knight has been an evergreen release, inspiring a Star Trek re-implementation in 2016, and staying in the top 25 at Board Game Geek.
“With this comprehensive Ultimate Edition, we will be releasing Mage Knight in English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, German, French, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian! Now you can get Mage Knight in your preferred language and make your playing experience that much easier!*“
In Mage Knight, 1-4 players take on the role of the Mage Knights, role-playing by drafting cards and deck building, in order to create an army to take over their corner of the Atlantean Empire. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition contains the base game, expansions The Lost Legion (2012), Krang (2013) and Shades of Tezla (2015), a new comprehensive instruction set, miniatures with alternate paint jobs, as well as 5 new cards. For more details, check out the WizKids web page here, and look for Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition this December.
On November 24, the first ICECOOL World Championships were held during BaltiCon, the largest Baltics board gaming festival. The crowned winner, and master of all things penguin and flicking, was Khanh Hung Dong of Canada. ICECOOL from Brain Games and designer Brian Gomez, was the 2017 winner of the Spiel des Jahres Kinderspiel Award. In ICECOOL, players take turns flicking plastic penguins through a multi-room schoolhouse, trying to score points by either traveling through doorways to score fish, or by being the Hall Monitor, and catching the other players’ penguins. Video of the final round of the championships can be seen on the ICECOOL Facebook page here.
Calliope Games has announced a new Tsuro game, Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, coming in 2019. Tsuro (2004) by Tom McMurchie, and its followup Tsuro of the Seas (2012) by Tom McMurchie and Jordan Weisman are well regarded abstract family games, in which 2-8 players take turns placing tiles in a grid. Each tile continues several curving paths. Each player has a token on one specific path, and must move along the path as it grows. Therefore, new tiles have the possibility of moving a token off the board, and eliminating that player. Little is known about the details of Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, except that it will be featured soon during PAX Unplugged, November 30 through December 2.
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