2018

Welcome To… by Deep Water Games Named the Best Casual Game of 2018 by Casual Game RevolutionWelcome To… beat out finalist The Mind and Decrypto in both judges’ and public vote to win the second annual Best Casual Game of the Year award.  Other nominees included Reef, Cryptid, Drop It, Gizmos, Just One, Space Base, and Ticket to Ride: New York.

Congratulations to Deep Water Games and designer Benoit Turpin!

Picture from popularmechanics.com

Popular Mechanics, a longtime publication about popular science and technology, has often covered features that would interest the intellectual and creative minds of its readers, so it should be no surprise that the magazine has published a list of 50 best new board games for the past three years. While their list is not as comprehensive as the Dice Tower’s Top 100 Games or the numerous lists of Top Ten GamesPopular Mechanics has been a champion of the boardgame hobby to the uninitiated.  Popular Mechanics’ latest list comes just in time for the holidays and includes a wide variety of games to appeal to every type of gamer.  While only a handful of popular games from 2018 make the list, such as Rising Sun , Everdell, and Root, the majority of the list is comprised of great games from the past several years.  Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Terraforming Mars, Star Wars: Rebellion, Scythe, Gaia Project, and Great Western Trail all make the list. Check out their list to see Popular Mechanics 50 Best New Board Games.

It may seem unusual to see board games discussed in a non-board games or non-entertainment magazine, but Popular Mechanics has dabbled in providing board game advice to its readers for a couple of years now.  The Dice Tower crew updates its Top 100 Games each year, produces a Top 10 Games of the Year each December as well as numerous Top Ten Games in an endless number of categories.  Popular Mechanics has done well to include a large variety of games on their list, ranging from party games, to heavy strategy games, to children’s games, to legacy games.  While a couple of games from 2018 are on the list, such as Rising Sun and Thunderstone Quest, many of the games are from 2017 and earlier.  Needless to say, the list does recognize some great games:  Gloomhaven, Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Terraforming Mars, Star Wars: Rebellion, and Scythe all make the list. It was truly compiled by a lover of games.  Check out their list to see Popular Mechanics 50 Best New Board Games.

The Spiel des Jahres awards are the premier awards for board gaming each year, with awards for Family Game of the Year, Strategy Game of the Year, and Kid’s Game of the Year.  Each year the Kid’s Games of the Year is announced in June while the rest are announced later in July, and today we have found out who the winner of the Kid’s Game of the Year is.  That game is Dragon’s Breath by HABA Games.

Dragon’s Breath is a cute little game for ages 5 and up, and in it you will have four young dragons and one dragon dad, trying to get the most gems out of a ice column filled with them.  That ice column in the game is represented by a stack of rings filled with plastic gems.  Each round the young dragons will pick a gem color that they think will come out of the ice when the dad melts it.  Once they have all picked the dad will pick up the top most ring, allowing some gems to fall off the tower to be collected by the young ones.  There is also some holes in the board that if a gem falls in there, it goes to the dad and he may win.  After all the gems that fell have been collected, the young dragons pick again what color they will collect and the next ring comes off.  This will continue until all the rings are gone and then whoever has the most gems is the winner.

As you can tell the game is simple, but with the fun theme and unpredictability of the gems in the ice, means everything isn’t always going to go as you think.  This is definitely a game for kids as it’s mostly luck with what gems will fall, but still has a element of strategy as they have to evaluate what gems they think will fall.  Dragon’s Breath is available now so if you are looking for a good kids game, go check it out.

Eggertspiele has announced a new title for their catalog – Coimbra.  Coimbra is designed by Virginio Gigli and Flaminia Brasini and is illustrated by Chris Quilliams.  Coimbra is a set in the Portuguese city with the same name during the Age of Discovery (15th – 16th century).

As one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, your role is to seek prestige with the monasteries, universities, and fund explorations.  To do this, player’s will draft dice each round that can be used in multiple ways and taking dice can affect turn order, income, and the cost of bribery .  Whoever can optimize the use of the dice and the constant change of synergy with the monasteries, universities, and expeditions will be the winner.

Coimbra is a designed for 2-4 players and takes approximately 60-90 minutes.  Coimbra pre-orders will open April 16, 2018 and it will be released on August 2, 2018 at GenCon.

Gentres, designed by Stephen Risthaus, is being Kickstarted now by Tasty Minstrel Games and will be getting the Deluxified™ treatment.

Gentres is a civilization game for 2-4 players and will last around 90 minutes.  In this game, players take the role of an ancient people who are attempting to develop their society by building monuments and colonizing or founding new cities in the Mediterranean sea.

The game lasts 6 rounds with each round consisting of two phases.  During the Heyday phase, players will carry out their actions using two precious commodities (coins and time).  The more you spread out the time tokens, the fewer actions you can perform.  However if you combine time tokens, you can carry out more actions this round but fewer next round. Once all players pass, the Decline phase begins which is where clean-up and setup for the next round takes place.

Tasty Minstrel Games has listed the following upgrades to Gentes for the Deluxified™ treatment over the retail edition:  A Foil-Stamped box, Box Sleeve, 6 Oversized Silkscreened Meeples, 24 Normal-sized Silkscreened Meeples, 89 Metal Coins, 28 Stickered Wood Action Tokens, 20 Silk Silkscreened Lock Tokens, 60 Silkscreened Wood Hourglass Tokens, 4 Dual-layered Player Boards, and 4 Custom-shaped Score Tokens.

The Gentes campaign is running until February 17, 2018 and has already met the minimum level for funding.  A pledge of $45 will get you the Standard edition while a pledge of $59 will get you the Deluxified™ English Edition.  A pledge of $60 will get you the Deluxified™ Edition in either Dutch, French, German, Italian, or Polish.  Please check out the campaign page for more details on shipping costs.

Two new WizKids games are on their way this April with interesting descriptions. The first is A’writhe: A Game of Eldritch Contortions – a team vs. team game where players must ” place an appendage on top of an Arkham landmark to complete a specific pattern.” One player cannot do that on their own, however, so they must touch an appendage of the opposing player to complete their own pattern. It sounds like C’thulhu meets Twister with a bit of puzzle-solving added in, which is a cool mix.

The second game is Endless Pass: A Viking Saga – A press-your-luck combat game with variable player powers. Players control vikings defending against a group of shadowy, vicious creatures known as The Endless, while also fighting against your fellow vikings for bonus points. As described in the product description, “The last viking standing or the first to acquire ten glory, while surviving the turn, wins the game. If none of the players survive, then the player with most glory is declared the Conqueror in Valhalla.” The guts-and-glory theme of the game really shines through with that description and with a 30-minute estimated playtime I can see multiple games of this being played back-t0-back, which is very good for push-your-luck games.

Both terrific uses of the C’thulhu and Viking themes. It’s good to see WizKids pushing more punchy titles like these for the Spring season and I expect we’ll see even more like these as the year continues. Both games will be releasing in April, so if you’re interested be sure to go to your favorite retailer to seek a copy. For more information on either title or for more releases from this publisher, please be sure to check out the WizKids website for more information as it’s released.

Minion Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for the first expansion to the 2015 release Dead Men Tell No Tales which is entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken.  Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken is designed by Kane Klenko and the artists are Jason D. KingsleyChris Ostrowski.

In this expansion, players will face the dreaded Kraken.  Adding the expansion adds a few new conditions to the game such as requiring players to kill the Kraken before they can escape the ship with their treasure and lives.  If the Kraken pulls the ship down or destroys it, the players lose.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken comes with 1 Kraken miniature, 15 tentacle miniatures, a new character with meeple and miniature, status tokens and board for the Kraken, 42 game tokens, 1 cloth bag, new cards, and 5 player aids.

The campaign also offers a set of 7 miniatures for the base game characters that can be purchased alone or as an add-on.  Finally a start board that is split apart so that it is easier to mark tiles exploded is available as an add-on.  This new start board can be used to replace older versions of the base game before the the start board was updated in later editions.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken campaign is running now and will end on February 15, 2018.  Please see the campaign page for any information on pricing.

Privateer Press, the company behind Hordes and Warmachine, have opened ticket sales to their yearly Lock and Load Gamefest in Bellevue, Washington.  Like with other conventions put on by a single board game company, this event will be all about Privateer Press and it’s current and new releases.  Not much has been revealed yet on what will be happening at this year’s event, but you can bet they will aim to make it even better than previous years.  One thing to look forward to is some kind of event for Warmachine, which is celebrating it’s 15th year since it’s release in 2003.  To find out more, and to get your badge, you can head on over to Privateer Press’ website.

That’s right folks, the Dice Tower Live Gaming Marathon has officially launched and will going on until 2pm on Friday the 12th.  You will be able to watch the Dice Tower crew with special guests play through a whole bunch of different games into and out of the wee hours of the morning.  Some of the highlights include Grimm ForestNear and Far, Pie Town and more.  But even more amazing is that they will be doing contests live throughout the marathon, but you have to be watching because the contest will be announced, and concluded within the live stream.  So pull up a chair and have fun watching ‘da crew play all the latest and fun games. (Click here for a full list of links)!