APE Games

Moa, a successful Kickstarter Project from APE Games and Martin Wallace (A Study In Emerald, Steam, Brass), is a territory control card game in which players control tribes of New Zealand birds. Each player holds a hand of 9 cards dictating their actions, and players can play as many cards on their turn as they like, but these 9 cards must last for 7 rounds. Additionally, each round only two territories on the board can be manipulated. Players score points for area control, but can also sell their territories to the invading mammals when they lose control. Each tribe of birds has unique abilities; The Eagles are fearsome warriors, the Kiwis respected and honored by their tribe, the Moreporks are mysterious mystics, and the Pukeko can spread far and wide. The Moa, as the leader, has all these abilities and tries to hold the tribes together. Moa features gorgeous art from Vincent Joubert (Via Nebula), and plays 3-5 players at 20 minutes per player.


great dinosaur banner

If you are looking for a game with a unique theme, look no further than The Great Dinosaur Rush, a game about the great dinosaur rush, also called the bone wars, in the late 1800’s as paleontology exploded.  In this game you are taking on the role of one of these paleontologists as you are digging up bones to build your masterpiece of a dinosaur.  In the game you can take several actions between digging up bones, sabotaging your opponents dig sites (called notorious actions), or modifying the desires of the museum of what they want to see in your dinosaur.  Building your dinosaur is the interesting part in that they give you a guide on the general shape and where different bones have to go, but you design and build your dinosaur on your own, letting your creative side show through.  At the end of the game you will score based on what bones are on your dinosaur with what the museum wanted determining the points for each collection of bones.  You also can get points from notorious actions you take during the game, but if you were the most notorious, those bonus points become a penalty.

The game sounds excellent and looks like it will be a hit with families, look for it in stores come September and you can pre-order it directly from the Ape Games site and get a few bonus bits in the process.


Arcadia, a new theme-park building card game, was reviewed earlier this year by The Dice Tower. Unfortunately, there were some misprints with the early copies of the game, – the icons were shifted and didn’t match the symbols they were supposed to have, so when you watch Tom’s review, keep in mind the fixes to the actual version:

Several folks (including reviewers) have indicated that it was taking too long to build attractions with Arcadia. We spreadsheeted every aspect of this game, so this was surprising to hear. Yet after repeated complaints we took a close look at the cards and saw that some of the job and expert cards don’t match the symbols they’re supposed to have. Namely, they had restrictions to build only certain attraction types BUT the icons they provided don’t appear on many of those attractions. Somehow the icons didn’t transfer correctly from our playtest cards to the production cards.

So how are we going to fix this? Well fortunately 99.9% of the games were still at the factory when the problem was discovered. We were therefore able to fix all of the games EXCEPT for the early review copies and those that bought the game at Gen Con. For you folks, we have had the printer provide extra copies of the replacement cards. Just email us at info@apegames.com with your address and we’ll replace your cards for free when we get them!

So if you have an early copy of Arcadia, make sure to email Ape Games for the replacement cards. In the meantime, check out their announcement here for the list of changes to the cards.



This news was released just before they headed off to GenCon but APE Games will be co-publishing Trickerion, a worker placement game all about magicians, with Mindclash Games.  We have previously reported on the kickstarter and with this deal you will now be able to buy the game on store shelves worldwide.  No word yet on the released date yet but it is available for pre-order.  Head over to the APE Games page to see the announcement and for a link to the Trickerion page where you can pre-order.

This image, along with feature thumbnail, are from apegames.com

This image, along with feature thumbnail, are from apegames.com

The guys over at APE Games have taken the time to do a photo gallery for the production copy unboxing of their game Spirits of the Rice Paddy.  While I am not particularly invested in the game since I did not kickstart it, I can’t help but be impressed by the two level player boards and the uniquely shaped wooden bits.  Just looking at it makes me want to play the game (which I bet is exactly what they wanted).  Check out the all the pretty bits here.

Almost exactly a year ago, Boardgamegeek’s W. Eric Martin posted the preview of new titles to watch for at GEN CON 2014. One of those titles was APE Games’ Arcadia (designed by Greg Bush and Phil Chase), a light and simple theme park building card game for 2-5 aspiring owner/operators. Next there were some reports of the game being demoed at GEN CON, but no release plans. Then at the beginning of 2015 Arcadia was sighted as an add-on in the unrelated APE Games Kickstarter campaign for Spirits of the Rice Paddy.

Why did APE Games bundle the two games together? From the campaign updates:

We didn’t Kickstart Arcadia because the game is relatively inexpensive to produce, and because shipping it on its own is a little less practical. I think that I like the model of Kickstarting larger projects, and piggy-backing smaller games in with them.

Now comes some more meat (or perhaps cotton candy) for interested parties to chew on in the form of production proofs at the APE Games Blog. These proofs show off the high quality of the 3 decks of cards used in the game, the amazing wrap-around art on the game box, and finally the colorful, densely packed rulebook.

APE Games currently estimates the game will be delivered to backers (of the Spirits of the Rice Paddy kickstarter) in August of 2015.

From a quick glance through the rulebook, Arcadia looks like a fun game. Theme park management isn’t an overly explored theme, and the mechanism of grabbing workers and attractions from a central tableau seems pretty simple. I like that there is different scoring objectives based on which critic is reviewing your park. Some people like balloon animals, others do not!

For more info there’s now plenty to be had on the APE Games website. The proofs are posted on the APE Games blog, along with the description of a nightmare odyssey to actually pick the proofs up from the shipping company…an ordeal many independent publishers are all too familiar with.

As far as the delay in production, board gamers at this point are pretty familiar with the drill. Better components and gameplay are usually worth the inevitable wait. As far as attaching the game to Spirits of the Rice Paddy…only APE Games will know for sure if this is a viable way to sneak in smaller releases for the future.

Chaos cove

APE games has announced a new upcoming game: Chaos Cove.

Chaos Cove will be a family game for 2 to 5 players. Players have a set of objectives, and hire pirate and other scalawag mercenaries to help them complete them. Each mercenary has a different set of skills, so choose wisely. Complete an objective and hire more mercenaries who can work together to complete more complex missions

The release date is still unknown, but more details are expected in the coming months. Take your first look at Chaos Cove here.

spirits of the rice paddy

APE Games, best known for Rolling Freight and Island Siege, brings Spirits of the Rice Paddy to Kickstarter. This uniquely themed agriculture simulation game has players tending to rice paddies, cultivating crops, and using livestock to improve their fields in a race to produce the most rice.

“With a little luck, all that back-breaking labor will pay off in the end. The good news is that the spirits are eager to assist, granting many special abilities, blessings and magic.”

spirits of the rice paddy cards

Designed by Philip duBarry, creator of Revolution! and Courtier among others, Spirits of the Rice Paddy utilizes familiar European game mechanics including card drafting, worker placement, and tableau building. It supports 1-4 players, offering a medium weight strategy experience.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Kickstarter page to see all the stretch goals and download the rulebook.

rise to power

APE Games announced its partnership with Rule & Make to publish Rise to Power.  Designed by Allen Chang and Alistair Kearney, the game was funded in Australia on Kickstarter earlier this year.  Rise to Power is a city building, card game with a set collection mechanism.  You can find more information on the game here.

spirits of rice paddy

Coming soon from APE Games, Spirits of the Rice Paddy is a game designed by Philip duBarry (Revolution!, Courtier, and Kingdom of Solomon).  In this farming and mythology game, players are rice farmers managing water conservation, animal placement, and tending to rice paddies.  In addition, spirits are present to bless players, granting special abilities.

APE Games released the cover art earlier this week by artist Ani Roschier and Jim Maxwell.  Jim has done two other game covers for us in the past – Rolling Freight and Island Siege, and also does art for motion pictures and television (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Borgias, The Vikings, etc.)