Blue Orange Games
In 2017 Kingdomino won the coveted 2017 Spiel des Jahres award. Designer Bruno Cathala and artist Cyril Bouquet have returned to the -domino world with Queendomino. Blue Orange Games is scheduled to release Queendomino in October at Spiel Essen 2017.
In the award winning Kingdomino players took on the role of a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand their kingdoms. Players took dominoes with a combination of the games’ 4 terrain types and built out their kingdom, ensuring that at least one of its sides connected to a matching terrain type already in play. When taking the tile they will place, players also choose what tile they will place in the next round. More valuable tiles will provide a later spot in turn order in the next round.
The game ends when players have (ideally) completed a 5×5 grid. Some tiles contain crown symbols on them. At the end of the game players multiple each of their connected terrain types by the number of crowns in that connected terrain area.
Queendomino builds on these simple mechanics. Tiny knights earn your coins. Use the coins to buy pieces from the marketplace which you can place on the new red terrain to improve your kingdom… unless another player has already played the dragon and destroyed that piece from the market! Place tower pieces in your kingdom in an effort to earn the Queen’s favor.
While Queendomino is a stand alone sequel to Kingdomino, the two games can be combined to allow 4 players to play towards a 7×7 grid or for 6 players to play towards a 5×5 grid.
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!
Blue Orange Games has two great new games coming in August 2017.
Following in the spirit of their Spiel winning Kingdomino, Fantastic Park by designer Brett J. Gilbert (Elysium) has 2-5 players using domino style tiles with one animal on each side to build a park. Whatever animals are left on your last remaining tile in hand are the animal types that score. Animals score according to the largest connected group of that type. If a player has a domino with matching ends in hand at game end, that animal type scores twice.
Photosynthesis has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and rightly so. Almost an abstract game, Photosynthesis has 2-4 players growing trees on a large hex grid board. Each turn, the sun moves around the periphery of the board, and trees will gather sun energy from that direction. Remember that larger trees will shade smaller trees, preventing the collection of energy. After collecting energy, players spend the sun to grow trees, plant new seeds, or complete the life cycle by removing large trees for points. The game lasts for 3 or 4 full revolutions of the sun around the board. Photosynthesis is a strategic balance of resource collection and spending, with gorgeous components and art by Sabrina Miramon (Quadropolis).
Blue Orange Games has announced that they will be selling their newest big box game, Photosynthesis, at Gen Con 50 in August this year. In Photosynthesis, 2-4 players take turns first absorbing light energy, then using the stored energy to plant and grow new trees on a hex grid board. The sun rotates around the board each round, and trees will cast shadows preventing yours and other players’ trees from soaking in that delicious sunlight so needed to progress. Aimed for players 8 and up, Photosynthesis is a highly strategic, fairly cutthroat game with beautiful components and artwork.
Look for Photosynthesis at Gen Con 50, August 17-20, 2017. You can read the full press release from Blue Orange Games here.
Several new titles are hitting shores in the first half of 2017, including both new games and new expansions:
- Pandasaurus Games is releasing Wasteland Express Delivery Service to let players make the most of a post-apocalyptic wasteland economy by delivering food, water, and guns in customized trucks represented by detailed and unique miniatures. The game comes from the minds of Jon Gilmour, co-designer of Dead of Winter, and Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback, who are responsible for Fleet, and features comic-book-style art by Riccardo Burchielli. The primary campaign progresses over 10 games, but random scenarios can also be generated for one-shot playthroughs. The game plays 2-5 and is set to hit the market on May 15, 2017.
- Looney Labs announces the release of a new version of Fluxx, this time with a science flair. Chemistry Fluxx, for 2-6 players, involves playing atom and periodic element cards to match a certain goal, a common mechanic among the Fluxx series of games. The game is set to release May 25, 2017. More information can be found on the publisher’s website by clicking here.
- Stonemaier Games will be releasing the Moor Visitors expansion to its popular title, Viticulture, this time with contributions by Uwe Rosenberg. The expansion will add 40 visitor cards to any version of Viticulture, a promoter card, and a harvest machine card. It is scheduled for release in February 2017.
Finally, lots of goodies are coming for Millennium Blades! Level 99 Games introduces the first full-size expansion including over 400 cards, Set Rotation. The expansion riffs off pop culture icons with 12 new card sets, and adds six new starter decks based on card type, four new characters, nine new promo sets, and four new decks for co-op mode! Level 99 is also releasing five mini-expansions consisting of new cards for the game:
- Millennium Blades: Crossover lives up to its name by including 54 new cards that feature characters from other games by Level 99. Metagame within metagame! Set to release in April 2017.
- Millennium Blades: Sponsors twists the metagame even further by including 54 new cards with characters from other tabletop publishers and favorite games, such as Mage Wars and Neuroshima Hex! Releases May 2017.
- Millennium Blades: Futures follows Crossover and Sponsors by introducing 54 new cards featuring future Level 99 characters on them, able to be used in the base game. Releases June 2017.
- Millennium Blades: Final Bosses contributes four Master-Level card sets and accessory cards, to be released in June 2017.
- Millennium Blades: Fusion adds two new characters: Raritti, a master of card fusion, and Shafille, a CCG archaeologist. Set to be available in May 2017.
The Boss is a bluffing, social deduction game where you get to be an organized crime Boss! You need to insure you get your “piece of the action” from jobs performed in the cities of New York, Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Memphis and Philadelphia. The game includes 40 cards, wooden cubes, a score board, and tokens. You better read the other players reactions in order to determine the card that scores the most points, or it could be curtains for your crew! It is a 2-4 player game for 10+ ages and takes 30 minutes.
Blue Orange is releasing the game in January and pre-orders are already being taken. A game you can’t refuse: The Boss!
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, ASTRA, has recently released their picks for the Best Toys for Kids for 2016. For the most part it’s a lot of non-board game items, but they do have some game categories with board game winners worth mentioning. And they are:
Choose your Own Category – Sneaky Cards, published by Gamewright
Classic Play, 0-7 Years – Rat-A-Tat Cat, published by Gamwright
Game Play, 3-5 Years – Little Red Riding Hood, published by SmartGames AND Balance Beans, published by ThinkFun
Game Play, 6+ Years – Happy Salmon, published by North Star Games
Game Play, 8 Years+ – Dr. Eureka, published by Blue Orange Games
There are more awards given by ASTRA for other types of toys, so if you want to see the full list you can download it from the ASTRA site.
Vikings on Board is a new family weight worker-placement game from Blue Orange Games coming in August. In Vikings on Board you are trying to get the most points by obtaining goods from ships or betting on the clan who gets a majority on the ship. On a typical turn you can place your worker on several spots to do different things like take the first player marker, put goods on a ship, rearrange ship segments, adjust prices in the market, or place a bet on a ship. The interesting one in the bunch is rearranging ship segments because each segment has colored shields on it that match the player colors. So when a ship is scored, the player with a majority of their color gets to pull off goods first and add it to their score pile. At the same time, people who bet on the clan who got majority on that ship get to take their bet and add it to their own score pile. At the end of the game you will score won bets and the goods based on their price on the market, so you have to adjust prices to maximize your points. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.
This was being demo’d at Dice Tower Con a couple weeks ago and will be demo’d again at Gen Con in August so you can try it out. The retail release of the game is in August as well so you will be able to find it on store shelves soon after. You can find out more about the game on Blue Orange Games’ website.
The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category. And the nominees are:
BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS
BEST CO-OP GAMES
BEST FAMILY GAMES
BEST GAME ARTWORK
BEST GAME EXPANSIONS
BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER
BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
BEST GAME REPRINT
BEST GAME THEMING
BEST PARTY GAME
BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME
BEST STRATEGY GAME
BEST TWO PLAYER GAME
MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
After 42 hours of nonstop board gaming through 63 different games, Mensa has announced their Mensa Select winners for 2016. They are:
These are the second wins for Renegade Game Studios and Breaking Games who both secured wins last year with Lanterns and Letter Tycoon respectively. The win by Bezier is it’s third with previous wins being for Castles of Mad King Ludwig in 2015 and Suburbia in 2013. As for Columbia Games and Blue Orange games, these are their first wins for the Mensa Select award so hopefully this means good things for their futures. You can see the article about the winners here, and visit the Mensa Mind Games site to see all the previous year’s winners.
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