2019

IELLO has two new games coming to your favorite retailers this September. The first is the all new Ninja Academy, designed by Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière. The game pits 3-to-5 players against one another in a wide variety of dexterity challenges. Challenges are decided at random, and alternate between tests for the whole group or a duel between two players. There’s really quite an assortment of mini-games here, as per the game’s description:

“For example, try to be the first player to place a ninja meeple on each of your fingertips! Try to guess how many ninjas your opponent put in the box just by shaking it! Be the quickest to assemble 5 wood logs vertically! Be strong enough to collect points depending on your score, but also be strategic enough when you bet on the winner of each duel!”

The second new release is an expansion for 8-bit Box called Double Rumble. Designed by the same team as Ninja Academy above, this game emulates NES-era side-scrolling beat-em-ups like River City Ransom and is playable solo or cooperative with a friend! Players take on waves of baddies coming from left and right, and it takes timing, tactics, and special attacks to survive the increasingly difficult waves and reach the boss. Fans of 8-bit Box and the retro games it calls back to will really like the flair of this one. For more information about either of these releases, be sure to check out IELLO’s website in the coming weeks as their catalog updates and watch out for their retail release early September.

Since 2015, Popular Mechanics has published a running article on the best new boardgames that they periodically update. The list has grown from 15 to 35 to 50 games (archived articles here). Every iteration of the list has been written by William Herkewitz, so the list captures his evolving exploration of new entries in the hobby. Popular Mechanics recently published the latest update to Herkewitz’s list of best new boardgames. New is a relative term in the parlance of boardgames, and in this case it means published in the last six years, as the oldest game on the list is Quantum. The list is not ranked, so it is a collection not an order. Each entry has a well-written two-to-three paragraph description of the game and why it merits inclusion.

So, what changed since the list was last updated in December 2018? Games added to the list: Architects of the West Kingdom, Azul, Betrayal Legacy, Brass: Birmingham, Claustrophobia 1643, Decrypto, Monolith Arena, Nemesis, Planet, Vindication, Western Legends, and Wingspan. These twelve new additions bumped the following titles off the list: Camel Up, Century: Golem Edition, Clank!, Dead of Winter, Dice Forge, Five Tribes, Mombasa, Nemo’s War: 2nd Edition, Now Boarding, Super Motherload, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and Whistle Stop

Here you can check out the full list and see the thirty-eight titles that kept their spot.

Next Move Games is not laying off the gas just yet. They have one more new release joining Tuki at this year’s Origins Game Fair, and this one is the start of a new line of small box games. 5211 is a re-implementation of a game known as 5 Colors, a design from 2017 that seems to have had a limited distribution. What Next Move has done is brought on the excellent Chris Quilliams for all new art and adjusted the components to allow for up to 8 players. This is great news, because 5211 will be leapfrogging off an already established rule-set that was already conducive to a party game audience, while receiving the components to appeal to that wider audience and with distribution and art to back it up.

“5211 is a fast playing, type-matching card game with unique scoring methods that reward clever plays! Designed by Tsuyoshi Hashiguchi and illustrated by Chris Quilliams, 5211 is an addictive game that begs to be played over and over! […] While players could get lost forever in the simple elegance of the game’s design, an average game of 5211 should only take about 20 to 30 minutes to play.”

The game is played over multiple rounds until the deck of cards has been depleted. Each round, players will simultaneously choose and reveal 2 cards, then two more one at a time. The color most represented by played cards scores, unless it’s too many which causes it to bust and the second most color scores. If there’s a tie for most, they both bust, and the next highest color scores. It gives the game this sort of trick-taking feel within a set collection game, where every card played is a gambit of trying to figure out what colors your opponents will be inclined to play. If you’re interested in learning more about 5211, check out Next Move’s website and it’s BGG description, and be on the lookout for the game breaking into retail shortly after Origins.

2019 marks the 15th season for The Dice Tower and it’s network of gaming reviews, news, and convention coverage. The Dice Tower has grown each year to bring more content at increasing quality, but only due to the generosity of you – all of our viewers and readers!  It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and give as much as we can back to the community. So it is once again time that we humbly ask for your support with the 2019 fundraising campaign.

Like the previous campaigns, this fundraiser is full of incentives ranging from gaming gear, exclusive Dice Tower products, and promos. There are decals, pins, coasters, tokens, card sleeves, component storage bins, games bags, dice pouches, and of course, dice towers.  Returning in the fundraiser are dice, including a metal pair, with the Dice Tower logo. Promos for some of the hottest games of 2017 including Champions of Midgard: Valhalla, Bunny Kingdom, Onitama, Time of Legends:Joan of Arc, Fireball Island, Alien Artifacts, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Flamme Rouge, Spyfall, Suburbia, Roll Player, and so much more!

Video credits, custom voicemails, and even a custom video just for you are a couple of the unique perks to pledge.  There is even an opportunity to share a meal with the Dice Tower crew at one of the conventions or to come spend a day of gaming at with the Dice Tower crew at Mac & Cheese, a gaming cafe.

There is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. If you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, news article, or convention coverage, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, we value your many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving you great content in the years to come. Thank you!

Sit Down! has three new products in the pipeline this first month of the new year, all having been shown off at the previous Essen show. All three are slated for initial release in European Markets, with future distribution unannounced. Their newest title is Gravity Superstars, a competitive game for 2 to 6 adventurers that emulates platforming games of old as each player jumps and runs along platforms to capture stardust . It’s a very cool and innovative design where each player deals with a different puzzle because their piece sits facing them in one of the four cardinal orientations of the board, a different perspective giving a different set of challenges.

     “What is really original about Gravity Superstar is the manner in which the players’ pawns move: Each turn, they move one or two spaces, then they are affected by gravity, which makes them fall until they are stopped by a platform. This effect is made possible by the fact that the pawns are used lying down on the board. Thus, they move up (above their head), down (below their feet), left, or right. During its movement, a pawn can collect stars (to score points at the end of the game) or replay tokens (to take a second consecutive turn), and eject opponents’ pawns from the board.”

The next two products are for the Magic Maze line, starting with Magic Maze Kids XXL. It’s pretty much exactly what it reads on the tin, it’s a giant board (70 x 70 cm) compatible with Magic Maze Kids that also adds a few new rules, and that sounds like a lovely addition to an already excellent children’s game. Last is a much awaited expansion for the original Magic Maze hinted at during the Dice Tower Awards ceremony last July, Hidden RolesThis appropriately-named expansion (one that I have been very hyped for) can be added to any game of 3 or more players to allow for a potential traitor who doesn’t want the team to succeed, but if they’re called out they are removed from play and must give up their action to someone else. All of these sound amazingly fun in all their own ways, and if you are as excited as I am to see more from Sit Down!, be sure to check out their website for future announcements!