The beautifully illustrated deduction game Rising 5: Runes of Asteros is getting a USA release around March 2018 courtesy of publisher Grey Fox Games.

In Rising 5, you and up to 4 other players are cooperating to save the planet of Asteros from the deadly monsters that have been freed from their sealed prison by a malevolent force, where they were confined millenia ago. As a member of the Rising 5 team of heroes, you have to choose wisely from a range of actions (including some unique to each character), to once again seal the monsters behind the Rune Gate, and by working together as a team you are able to improve your chances by lending your support to your team-mates actions.

Mechanically, the game uses an app (that also plays atmospheric music for that full immersion) to generate a random combination of colours and monsters that you have to correctly pair up, and also to arrange them in a specific order. Whilst it might have echoes of the aged stalwart Mastermind, especially in the very core of the game, the decisions you have to make are much more interesting; in fact, you have to earn the right to even guessing at the combination – nothing comes for free!

The wonderfully talented Vincent Dutrait provided the artwork, whilst the game was designed by the team of Gary Kim and Evan Song, and if you need any further convincing, it’s received the Dice Tower Seal of Approval (and also appears on the “2017 Top 10 games list” of at least one of the Dice Tower hosts…).

Outside In Games has started a new Kickstarter Campaign for the hybrid deck building game Stumped. In Stumped, 2-4 players take turns using deck building to construct a tree out of wooden trunks, branches, leaves and fruit. Resource cards are played in stacks at your tree’s roots, the base of the tree, and players attempt to create sets of one each dirt, water and sun cards, which adds a wooden piece to the tree. Cards alternatively can be used to buy either more resources or unique action cards from an open market, some decidedly take-that and destructive, and some more constructive. The first player to complete their tree with 10 leaves wins the game. Stumped comes with beautiful wooden pieces to construct 4 trees, 4 colors of wooden leaves (nearly 2 lbs of wood), and 165 cards, including 42 unique offensive, defensive and growth-related action cards.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Stumped continues through December 6, and is expected to deliver in April 2018.

Blue Orange Games is no newcomer to high-quality games. With hits such as New York 1901 and this year’s Spiel des Jahres winner, Kingdomino, Blue Orange has been diving deeper into the arena of family board games. Well, this year they hit a new plateau with Photoshynthesis. Photosynthesis is a strategy game in where you plant trees and harvest them at the right time to earn points. The sun will traverse the board providing sun points to those trees that have line of site to it (without being in the shadow of another tree).

The game has outstanding components with high-durable trees and beautiful artwork.

The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don’t forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!

Come see this beauty over at booth 1811 at GenCon!

Arena battle games are nothing new however Ascended Kings caught our eye. Many current games utilize cards for pawns. Ascended Kings is chock full of minis, dice, cards and sports some pretty fancy artwork. Additionally, it’s based upon a graphic novel that will be available to purchase.

Story by Jason M. Allen and Nick Macari, written by Nick Macari, and illustrated by comic legends Renae De Liz & Ray Dillon, artists from A Game of Thrones and The Legend of Wonder Woman. Ascended Kings: The Fall of Empyrnea is a 60-page, fantasy hardcover graphic novel based on the arena combat board game centered around the four kings of Empyrnea. This is the first installment of the Omega Mundus Series. This book is not required to play the board game, but it is a perfect companion to immerse yourself into the Ascended Kings Universe!

Ascended Kings is being published by Incarnate Games and is designed by Jason M Allen. This one almost slipped by us as it only has a few more days left on Kickstarter.

Engage in free-for-all combat to the death, spurred on by slowly encroaching walls of fire. With no player elimination, fallen kings immediately return to the battle as Revenants—powerful dark beings from the fringe dimension—keeping every player in the fight until the four kings’ Bloodstones are united and the ultimate source of power, the Omega Stone, is summoned.

To learn more about the project and fund it you can visit the Kickstarter page here.

Dawn of the Archmage continues the rich fantasy world of Archmage Origins. Once the rulers of Sorcado, mages have fallen from power. Challengers arrive from every corner of the land. Knighted Paladins, land-hungry Lords…​ ​all seek to dethrone the mages. But mages don’t go down easily. It’s time to fight back!

SolarFlare Games announces their latest Kickstarter project, Dawn of the Archmage, a miniatures skirmish game in which each player controls a mage from a school of magic.  Each player will be summoning powerful monsters to the battlefield and pitting them against the other players in battle.  The winner of the game will rise above the other mages, ascending to the rank of Archmage.

Here’s a look at more from the press release for Dawn of the Archmage:

Each mage uses summoning powers to bring new and dangerous creatures to the battlefield. Expending massive mystical energy, their battle grows in frenetic power as monstrous beasts fight for the mages who control them, seeking to destroy all challengers in a magic-fueled frenzy.

In addition to summoning fearsome creatures to fight, mages possess a selection of powerful spells. With a single word, the battle can shift. Manipulating odds, controlling movement, and countering rival spells, the mage’s strategy will determine the supreme ruler of Sorcado.

The battle rages everywhere. Modular map tiles allow the mages to customize the battle area. Large, sprawling battlefields or close, confined ones…​ ​the fight is different every time. Will it be the Arena? The Forest? The Ruins? Or even Underground?

Dawn of the Archmage goes live on Kickstarter on August 1, 2017.  The project features two separate pledge levels, the first including one copy of the game, and the other including a copy of the game as well as the card game Archmage Origins.

Dawn of the Archmage is for 2-4 players ages 8 and up and plays in 40-80 minutes.  For more information on the project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

Rogue Heroes Studio has started a Kickstarter Campaign for the Rifts Board Game, a miniatures game based on, and endorsed by, the popular Rifts RPG from Palladium Books. In Rifts, heroes do battle in the ‘Burbs outside of Chi-town again the Coalition Dead Boys and Dog Boys.

Rifts will have 3 modes of play, a campaign story for 1-5 players, a skirmish mode for 2 and a head to head card game version. Rifts comes with high quality 32mm miniatures for 5 Lazlo heroes, 10 Coalition Dead Boys and 5 Coalition Dog Boys. The game surface is composed of a large double sided combat map with 1 inch grid, and 2 double sided set-on game tiles. Other components include dice, over 300 cards, and a 64 page instruction booklet. Fans of the Rifts RPG will find plenty to enjoy in this well constructed, miniatures style board game.

The Kickstarter for Rifts continues through June 4, and the game is expected to deliver in June of 2019.

Wizkids has teased a new as yet unnamed Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System based board game. This would be the fifth board game in the line, following Castle Ravenloft (2010), Wrath of Ashardalon (2011), The Legend of Drizzt (2011) and Temple of Elemental Evil (2015). The new game will be created by Kevin Wilson (Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Arkham Horror) and will be a cooperative game for up to 5 players. Wizkids has stated that the new game will be fully compatible with the previous 4, allowing the mixing and matching of rules and components.

The new Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System board game is expected to be released August 2017.

Zafty Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Pixel Glory: Light & Shadow, the standalone sequel to Pixel Glory (2015). Pixel Glory: Light & Shadow is a light card driven dungeon crawler with beautiful 16-bit retro style art where wizards compete to vanquish monsters and save the village by learning the best spells. Additions to this expansion from the original are new spells and monsters, and this time around the monsters fight back. Additionally, Pixel Glory: Light & Shadow can be played competitively or cooperatively, solo or with a hidden traitor mechanic. Players can even become a ghost after death.

Pixel Glory: Light & Shadow is available in two different versions (Light and Shadow) each with its own secret pack of cards. The Kickstarter Campaign continues until March 14 and is expected to deliver December 2017.

USAopoly Inc. has announced two themed versions of their highly acclaimed game Codenames inspired by Disney, Disney•Pixar and Marvel will be released this fall. Codenames is a popular party game in which teams compete to provide clues to cards to their partner(s). In this case, however, the clue-givers run the risk of having their team accidentally choose cards that belong to the opposing team. Additionally, a spy card needs to be avoided by both teams or the game is lost. Only the clue-givers know which cards belong to which team!

Codenames has won many different awards since it’s release and has spawned several different expansions including adult-themed Codenames: Deep Undercover and Codenames: Pictures.

USAopoly President and CEO John M. Davis had this to say:

“We recognized that Codenames was perfect for pairing with the Disney, Disney•Pixar and Marvel franchises. We are confident the Disney, Disney•Pixar and Marvel versions of Codenames will complement our extraordinary portfolio of game brands,”

Codenames has won a number of accolades including Dice Tower Gaming Award’s 2015 Best Family Game and 2015 Best Party game. In 2016 it also won the board game industry’s most prestigious award: the Spiel des Jahres.

Codenames  Disney  Family  Edition  will  feature  characters  and  locations  from  Disney  and Disney•Pixar  films throughout the last  90 years.  Codenames Marvel Edition will appeal to Marvel fans and will be more of a traditional party game. The game will incorporate many fan favorites, including Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Avengers, Doctor Strange, and Spider‑Man.

Davis went on to say “We’re particularly enthusiastic about the artwork, as it includes a great mix of characters and locations that Disney, Disney•Pixar and Marvel fans will appreciate.”

Both Codenames Disney Family Edition and Codenames Marvel Edition will be available in Fall 2017. Both games are targeted for players 8 and up. They will be sold exclusively in North Americ

USAopoly, Inc. will be at Toy Fair in New York City, February 18‑21. For more information and details on some of the industry’s best games, click here.


In a recent press release, UK Games Expo (the largest UK board gaming/hobby convention), announced that as they enter their 11th year, they have confirmed their sponsors for their next 2017 event.

Major sponsors since 2012, and a large part of the impetus to move on and expand UKGE are Mayfair Games. Julie A. Yeager, Director of Marketing at Mayfair Games said “Mayfair Games is proud to continue our support of UKGE. Together, we are part of a great team, supporting a strong and growing U.K. gaming community through even more gaming opportunities for UKGE 2017!”

Catan Studio said “Catan Studio ™ develops and publishes Catan® games—the world’s preeminent analog game brand. We look to nurture the Catan community as it grows. Attending UK Games Expo, home of the UK’s largest Catan championships, as major sponsors is part of this strategy.”

To find out more, you can head over to their official page and read their press release here.