board game

Japanime Games has announced that they will be distributing 3 new games based on the popular Robotech IP from Harmony Gold.

Robotech: Attack on the SDF-1 by Strange Machine Games is a cooperative game in which each player takes on the role of a hero defending the Super Dimension Fortress One (SDF-1) against endless waves of attacks, treachery and disaster. Players win by preventing the capture of the SDF-1 by winning battles, managing resources, and repairing damage until the end of the scenario. Robotech: Attack on the SDF-1 is expected in stores in August 2018.

Robotech: Ace Pilot is a fast, competitive dice game for 2-4 players, also developed by Strange Machine Games. Players use luck and skill in a small play area to recruit crew members and collect upgrades, in order to win battles. The most successful commander will earn the title of Ace Pilot and emerge victorious. Look for Robotech: Ace Pilot in June 2018.

Robotech: Brace for Impact is a real time cooperative game for 2-15 players, developed by Escape Velocity Games. While one player takes on the role of the dreaded Zentraedi, the remaining players use card play to counter the relentless attacks, using the crew of the SDF-1. Players use their cards to solve problems, but each requires the help of at least one other player. The game timer makes action intense and frantic, as the crew constantly acts to repair the SDF-1 and thwart the waves of attack. Robotech: Brace for Impact is due for release Summer of 2018.

Distributors and retailers have announced that IDW GamesSonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course board game is now available for pre-order. Sonic the Hedgehog is an iconic character from the video game franchise created by Sega. It spawned its own TV show and comics and has had a few board and card games created over the years with another one on the way later this year.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course will take place in the iconic Green Hill zone of the video game and players will race to collect the Chaos Emeralds as the player with the most of these wins. Characters from the franchise such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnick are available as player characters. Through the race players will be able to heal damage though its not clear if this damage is caused by obstacles in the race or the other players.

The game seems fairly accessible as its for players aged 8+, plays 2-4 players, with an average game time between 30-45 mins. Estimated release date is July 25th, 2018.

IDW Games are also making Death Note: Confrontation available for pre-order. This is a card game based on the popular anime which in turn is based on the wildly successful manga.

“Based on VIZ Media’s popular anime series and recently adapted into a Netflix live action film, Death Note follows Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by Ryuk, a rouge Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?” [source]

In this two-player game, one player takes on the role of L who is trying to locate and deduce the true identity of the supernatural killer, Kira. The other player will take on the role of Kira who is punishing those who he sees as deserving the ultimate penalty. Each player has their own notebook which L uses to find Kira’s targets and track down Kira, while Kira uses his notebook to eliminate targets to gain victory points.

Death Note: Confrontation has a very mature theme and so requires players aged 16+. It plays in roughly 30 minutes and is expected to release March 16th, 2018.


In all professions, networking with your peers is always a good practice to help get your foot in the door to new places and to improve your skill whether it be coding, engineering, or designing board games.  So Geoff Engelstein, Tim Fowers, and Jeff Beck has decided to launch a new board game design retreat called Tabletop Network.  This will be a two day retreat out in the relaxing Snowbird mountain resort near Salt Lake City, Utah starting on Friday June 8th.

There will be lots of people presenting including Rob Daviau, Ryan Laukat, Tom Lehmann, Geoff Engelstein, Stone Librande, Tim Fowers, and more.  Some of the subjects that will be discussed will be engagement, balance, and emerging trends in board games.  Also, while there will some time set aside for playing games, this conference is meant to be about learning together and sharing ideas to improve everyone’s board game design skills, so you might want to leave the prototype at home.

In order to fund this trip they are using Kickstarter for selling the tickets.  To attend in person a physical ticket will run you $295, while a virtual pass where you can watch all the panels and talks online will run you $55.  So if you are itching to rev up your game designing engine, this retreat may be just the jump start you need.

54 AD – Rome stands at the height of its power with majestic buildings, robust infrastructure, and the world’s mightiest army. Rome’s Legions have vanquished her foes, and the Empire stands secure…or does it? Agrippina the Younger’s deadly intrigues ensured Nero’s rise to power, but can Nero hold the Empire together? Oppressed people all over the Empire yearn for their freedom. In particular, the Jews hunger for their independence and the chance to cleanse their homeland. Outside the Empire, a Coalition of Germanic Tribes, Goths, and Parthians will suffer no more Roman expansion. Sensing an opportunity, they begin to push back against Rome. Meanwhile, small groups of Christians are challenging all kinds of religious and cultural norms.

This is the setting of the latest game being published by Chara Games, Soul of the Empire, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.  This game is going to be the heaviest game in their library and promises a deep strategic experience as you take on the role of one of four factions during the pinnacle of the Roman empire.  Each faction is different from the other, with different player powers, different strengths and weaknesses, and each with their own special way to win the game beyond the standard.  The standard way to win the game is to claim seven objectives, and even these objectives are different depending on which faction you are playing, and are usually pushing you towards your own special victory condition.

Play itself is interesting in that you will roll dice Yahtzee style and from those dice form sets or runs in order to activate your abilities.  This abilities include spawning units, moving units, purchasing power cards, claiming objectives, and fighting other players on the board.  Fighting in this game is deterministic with the number of units on the battlefield being your strength, augmented by cards you can play from your hand.  Using this system means that you don’ know 100% what you will be facing, but also allows players who are looking at a certain defeat to get some benefit out of the battle through card play.  The final piece that sets all the factions apart are their unique power cards, these are cards that they can purchase each round and give you distinct advantages to completing your objectives.  So plan well, pick your battles wisely, and accomplish your goal to claim the soul of the empire.

If you are a fan of Chara Games or these types of strategy games, check out the Kickstarter for more information.  A base pledge of $50 plus shipping will get you the game, and additional levels allow you to get full size art prints of the factions, or get multiple copies of the game at a discount.

The Houghton Library at Harvard houses some interesting books, but did you know it also has a collection of some historical board games from over 100 years ago?  Some of the highlights include The Magic Ring, a spin and move game from 1796 where you are trying to reach the center of the ring first.  Or maybe you would enjoy The New Game of Emulation for the Instruction and Amusement of Youth from 1804, another spin and move style game that taught players various virtues, which could have been a prequel to The Mansion of Happiness, a similar game in both theme and play that Chaz talked about on Board Game Breakfast.  They even have copies of early paper games, one of which is a German language game which plays strikingly similar to the modern games Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity.

Any way you slice it the collection is very interesting and showcases the history of board gaming over the centuries.  And as an added bonus, the library has even done high resolution scans of some of the boards so you can print out and play your very own copy of the game (yay?).  You can read more and see some of the highlights on the Harvard Gazette website.

Renegade Games has announced that they have formed a partnership with Saban Brands, long time owner of the Power Rangers license, to produce Power Rangers themed tabletop games.  What kinds of games and when have not been released yet, but they promise to deliver on the same themes of inclusivity, diversity, and teamwork that have sustained the Power Rangers brand for 25 years.  You can read the short press release on their website, as well as sign up for an email newsletter to be kept up to date on new developments.  With the popularity of the theme and Renegade Games’ knack for creating great games, this partnership should bear some megazoid sized fruit.

Dinosaur Island, what everyone refers to as Jurassic Park the board game, has come back to Kickstarter to allow everyone another chance at getting the Kickstarter edition, as well as an expansion and a two-player spinoff entitled Duelosaur Island.  Dinosaur Island is a worker placement and dice rolling type of game where you will be collecting things like DNA and money in order to expand your park.  The things you can get for your park include upgrades to park equipment, concessions, and those all important dinosaur pens for you to later fill with dinosaurs.  But be careful, the dinosaurs can break out and eat your visitors, which is never good for business.  So keep those dinos in their cages, and the visitors happy, and you just might win the game.  The Kickstarter edition of the game, which they are calling the X-treme edition, includes a slap bracelet first players marker, upgraded tokens, and sleek metal coins.

The expansion for Dinosaur Island is called Totally Liquid, and aside from having a commercial straight from the 90s, includes lots of new content to add to your game.  Included in the expansion will be all the components to add a fifth player to the game, which is something requested by a lot of players.  Also included will be blueprints, which give you points based on how you build your park, a park extension with a special attraction and worker, and PR events which give bonus scoring opportunities at the end of the game.  But the big addition is the fact you will now be able to build water pens into your park and have the majestic Elasmosaurus and the vicious Dunkleosteus grace your parks.  Basically the expansion will be giving you more of what you love about Dinosaur Island, just with more water.

And finally, you will be able to get Duelosaur Island, a two-player version of the game where you will play head to head against an opponent to build the best dinosaur park.  A lot of the game will be familiar to Dinosaur Island players, but still utilize new mechanics like a variation on the I split, you choose mechanic for assigning dice modifiers in the game.  This way the game will stay fresh and be streamlined for a better two-player experience.

So if any of this sounds like fun to you, check out the Kickstarter campaign, Duelosaur will run you $35, the expansion $45, and the X-treme edition of the base game will set you back $85.

WizKids announced the release of the ultimate edition of Mage Knight Board Game. If you’ve missed out on getting this game and its expansions this edition includes the base game and The Lost Legion, Krang, and Shades of Tezla expansions all in a single package which will dominate your board game shelf. Mage Knight Board Game is designed by Vlaada Chvátil and supports 1-4 players, aged 14+.

“The Mage Knight Board Game throws you and up to three other Mage Knights into the sprawling and ever changing world of the Atlantean Empire, a land that is but a distant memory since your transformation into a mysterious Mage Knight. Build your armies, defeat bands of marauding enemies, and eventually conquer cities in the name of the mysterious Void Council.” [source]

This edition also features comprehensive rules text for the base game and expansions as well as 5 all-new cards, alternate paint jobs, and a significantly reduced price. WizKids will also be teaming up with publishers around the world to release Mage Knight Board Game in English, Polish, Spanish, Czech, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. Considering the heavily strategic nature of this game having the content in the players native language will greatly add to its enjoyment.

Mage Knight Board Game: Ultimate Edition is expected to release in English in September 2018. Release dates for other languages have not yet been made known. For more information check out the WizKids website.

Filler games have come to be known as short, light games you play at the start and end of game nights to fill time while other people arrive, or to try and squeeze out just a little bit more time gaming.  Well Green Couch Games intends to confuse us all when talking about a filler game as they have created a card game called Filler.  While this may seem like another game in the joke series of games from Dice Hate Me Games, this is actually a card game about filling pastries with all sorts of delicious fillings.  The will use many aspects together like multi use cards, set collection, resource management and simultaneous action selection.

At the start of the game you have just a hand of three cards, and from these cards you will simultaneously determine player by each picking a revealing a card at the same time.  From there you will go in turn order playing down cards to fill orders that are in the central row, and with those filled orders get more cards, money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim.  But be careful, played cards stay down until you take a turn to pick them back up, so plan careful so you don’t miss filling critical orders.  As you progress you will have more and more ingredients to use to complete bigger orders for more acclaim, and at the end it will be the most prestigious baker that wins the game.  Green Couch will be Kickstarting the game in April, but if you miss it there you will be able to find it on store shelves in the 3rd quarter of this year.  You can read the press release below for more information.

(Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Green Couch Games springs ahead with the ultimate “Filler” card game!

You are a pastry chef in charge of putting delicious fillings in a variety of cakes, pastries, and baked goods. By coming to work early and making use of your full pantry of supplies, you will earn money, customer reviews, and critical acclaim. With a little luck, you might win out over your rivals and be crowned Star Baker!

Filler combines many of the ingredients that have made Green Couch Games a treat to bring to the table. Easy-to-learn rules mixed with a quick playtime and playful appearance makes Filler a great game for families of casual gamers or connoisseurs looking to pass the time waiting for more guests to arrive.

In the game, players will use multi-use cards and a blend of simultaneous action selection, time and resource management, set-collection, and hand-building to collect ingredients needed to fill tasty pastries on their way to becoming the Star Baker. Starting with a hand of 3 cards with various start times and basic ingredients, players will choose a card to reveal along with other players to determine the turn order. The earliest player to show up for work goes first and so on around the table. Using cards from their hands (Pantry), players may use ingredients they have acquired to Fill recipes from a central row of available cards (Recipe Book) or Restock The Pantry by picking up all of their previously played cards. Each recipe filled will provide new start times and ingredients to use in future rounds and may earn points that are represented by money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim at the end of the game. The availability of bonus points and cards containing special actions help to direct players’ choices in the kitchen, add depth of play, and provide variety and replayability.

This card game crams a lot of sweet delight into its 72-card package. With illustration and graphic design by Claire Donaldson (Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, Go Nuts For Donuts, Food Truck Champion), Filler will  leave players with a mouth-watering desire to play this delicious game again and again.

Filler is a game for 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up and is designed by Jonathan Chaffer of GRUBS (Grand Rapids Unpublished Boardgame Society). This game follows Chaffer’s first game, Stroop, from Grand Gamers Guild. The game plays in 20-30 minutes.

The game is set for a Kickstarter campaign launching on April 11th, 2018 with plans for a Q3 2018 release.

Green Couch Games was founded by Jason Kotarski to release great little games that make great big connections. Filler will be its 11th release. Jason is also a game designer and co-host of 20 Minutes of Filler.


Upper Deck is teasing a new card game called Dark Legacy: The Rising on their blog.  This new game is going to be a two player battle card game that will involve some dice rolling as well, and will be released in the form of starter packs featuring two different factions each.  In the game you will pick one of six different factions, and build a deck out of their available cards.  On your turn you will either attack or cast, if you cast you will then roll the included d20 to figure out how many casting points you will have available this round.  From there you will spend those points to cast spells and ready your assault on your opponent.  As you defeat your opponent and cast different spells you will also gain experience points and level up, which will allow you to cast spells easier and give access to more advanced cards.  The currently planned starter packs will get you to level 5, with later packs getting you to level 10.  You can find out more about this game on Upper Deck’s blog, and look for the game to hit store shelves this summer.