I had the great pleasure to sit down and speak with Mike Selinker, the developer of such board game classics as Betrayal at House on the Hill, Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game, and my personal favorite, Gloria Mundi. Interestingly, Mike noted that he declined to be involved in the creation of Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, so that he could play the game without knowing the outcome of all the stories, a luxury he never had with House on the Hill. However board games are just the tip of the iceberg, as Mike is equally known for his work in puzzles, having contributed extensively to Games Magazine and international puzzle competitions.
In 2013, Mike and his company Lone Shark Games Kickstarted Maze of Games, a massive puzzle book in novel form that was in development for 18 years. Maze of Games followed the story of Colleen and Samuel Quaice, siblings in 1897 trapped within a series of deadly puzzles by a skeletal entity called the Gatekeeper. Just to make things worse, these puzzles are presented out of order, so putting the evolving story of the children in order is an essential part of the grand overlying solution. A successful Kickstarter for the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton followed in 2014. 5+ years have passed, and it appeared the book had still not been fully solved, so the team at Lone Shark started preparing a Kickstarter to publish an official solution guide. With only weeks to go until the KS was due to launch, a surprise email revealed that a team of 13 people had finally found the answer. Lone Shark quickly reformatted the Kickstarter, excited that the puzzle was still inspiring people so many years later.
The Maze of Games Omnibus has just launched on Kickstarter and includes not only the original Maze of Games novel, but also The Keymaster’s Tome, a solution guide handwritten by the protagonists, audiobook versions of the Theseus Guide to the Final Maze, and a full radio drama The Gatekeeper’s Variety Hour, both with the voice talent of Wil Wheaton. Finally, the team included a special escape room announcement. Mike and the team at Lone Shark have often envisioned a real world version of the Maze of Games, and such a thing has come to reality thanks to Epic Team Adventures in Seattle.
The Kickstarter for Maze of Games Omnibus continues through April 3, and the books are scheduled to be released in June 2019. For more details on the books, the audiobooks, and the escape room, check the Kickstarter page here.
Avalon Hill’s Betrayal Legacy is available in stores now. Ever since Dice Tower News covered the announcement last year, fans have eagerly awaited its release. The original Betrayal at House on the Hill, designed by Rob Daviau, is a hugely popular and thematic game and has already served as the inspiration for re-implementation in the fantasy setting of Forgotten Realms in Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. Rob Daviau has made his mark in the industry as a premier legacy game designer, first with Risk Legacy, then with award winning Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (currently #2 on BGG), Seafall, and Pandemic: Season 2.
Rob Daviau returns in Betrayal Legacy adding permanent changes and a multi-game story arc that define the legacy game concept. It will not be enough to survive the haunted mansion for one game. The game is told through a prologue and 13-chapter story where players represent specific members of a family, who age over time, and experience the events of the haunted mansion over multiple decades.
Betrayal Legacy plays 3-5 players, ages 12+, in about 75 minutes per game. Go to Avalon Hill to learn more about the game, or visit your friendly local game story today.
Fans of the classic Avalon Hill game Betrayal at House on the Hill know all too well the pain of loose clips on difficult player boards; those black markers that came with the game never seemed to fit right on the cardboard pentagons. Well fear no more, because Wizkids has announced the Betrayal at House on the Hill Upgrade kit, with 6 new player stat trackers and some pretty spiffy dice. The new character cards are double sided, like the originals, but sandwiched between the sides are rolling stat tracker wheels. The cards come with all new character art and a set of green pearlescent dice, displaying the familiar 0-2 pips from the original game. Look for the Upgrade kits in stores this September 2018.
Rob Daviau and Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks announced the forthcoming release of Betrayal Legacy, based on the Betrayal at House on the Hill game at PAX Unplugged today. Betrayal Legacy will be released under the Wizards of the coast Avalon Hill brand. Betrayal Legacy is scheduled to be released in Q4 2018.
Rob Daviau helped create the original Betrayal at House on the Hill in 2004 while working full time for Hasbro. Risk Legacy was the first of Daviau’s Legacy games and created while he was still at Hasbro. They were followed by his designs of Pandemic Legacy, Seafall, and Pandemic Legacy Season 2, none of which were Hasbro releases. While Daviau was off perfecting the Legacy concept Betrayal was also growing, receiving the Widow’s Walk expansion in 2016 and a Dungeons & Dragons re-theme as Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate in 2017.
Betrayal Legacy will take the concept of the original betrayal game, exploring a haunted mansion, and add permanent changes and a multi-game story arc that define the Legacy concept. At Pax Unplugged it was announced that the new game will feature a prologue and a thirteen-chapter story that will take place over multiple decades. Players will represent members of a specific family, with some characters aging within the story arc and possible family descendants making appearances.
About Legacy Games
Legacy Games are games where player choices permanently alter the state of the game. Alterations the game might include placing stickers on cards or the board, permanently destroying game components, opening sealed game packages, and more. Legacy Games follow story arcs that result in the changes taking place over a campaign resulting in a copy of the game that cannot typically be reset as a new game at the end of the campaign. To fully play through a second campaign of the same game requires the purchase of a second copy of the game.
Pandemic Legacy was the second Legacy game released, and currently is the highest rated board game on boardgamegeek. Aside from the popular acclaim it received on the site, it was also the winner and nominee for many awards, including:
Both Eric and The People ranked it as the best game of 2017. Tom, Eric, and The People have all placed Pandemic Legacy on the list of the Top 100 Games of All Time.
Wizards of the Coast and Avalon Hill have teamed up to create Betrayal At Baldur’s Gate, a spiritual successor to the classic board game Betrayal At House On The Hill. The new game is designed by Chris Dupuis (Betrayal At House On The Hill: Widow’s Walk) and Mike Mearls (Castle Ravenloft). Set in the Forgotten Realms city of Baldur’s Gate, 3-6 players take turns placing tiles, exploring the dark alleys and deadly catacombs of the city, until one of the party is turned traitor. The game comes with 6 prepainted adventurer miniatures, Traitor’s Tome and Secrets of Survival haunt books, 42 tiles, and loads of tokens and cards. Fans of the original will enjoy the new Dungeons and Dragons theming of this classic traitor mechanism board game.
Betrayal At Baldur’s Gate is due for release in October 2017. You can read Wizard of the Coasts full press release here.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is the quintessential Halloween game and one that a lot of people think of when asked about horror story type games. Now, after it’s initial release 12 years ago, the game is getting a long overdue expansion, Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow’s Walk.
As expected from any expansion it will add additional cards to the omen, item, and event decks as well as provide more haunts in the form of a second set of books, but the most interesting aspect is that it also adds additional room tiles of a new floor, the roof. Now as you explore the mansion you will be able to go upstairs and then out onto the roof, opening up more possibilities for horrific events and ways to trigger new haunts. The release date is still a ways off but it is planned to be released in October of 2016, you can head over to the Wizards Play Network site to check it out.