Chess variants continue to multiply, and for good reason, Chess as a game has been around for centuries and has a huge following, boasting a player count in the millions. So Queenside Games, along with chess greats Hikaru Nakamura and Anna Rudolf, are looking to shake things up with their variant called CHOKER, an app based board game which combines Chess and Poker.
In this version you start with only a single pawn and your king on the board, but don’t worry, you will be able to add more pieces to the board later. Then you are dealt a hand of five cards, each representing a chess piece that you can deploy to the board. And the zone you can deploy your pieces to is very large, encompassing your half of the entire chess board, giving you lots of options for strategic placement. But before you even get to that step you have to place a bet, wagering some amount based on how confident you are you can win with the pieces in your hand. From there you will take turns placing yours pieces on to the board. After that it becomes simple, defeat your opponent in the game of chess you just created. If you win you get all the wagered money, if not, then better luck next time.
The app will also come with lots of features like multiple game modes, AI opponents, multiplayer mode, speed mode, a points system for rewards, achievements and more. The app has already launched for Android and iOS and you can read more about the game in the press release below, as well as follow links to download it from your respective app store.
London, November 26, 2019 – Award-winning games maker Andrew Finan and developer Queenside Games are proud to announce that the chess and poker fusion game, CHOKER, is now available worldwide on iOS and Android. CHOKER™, a free-to-play game, sees the worlds of chess and poker collide in a modern reinvention of the classic games, where players need cunning and cool calculation to claim victory and win the pot.
Being crushed by the World Chess Champion sparked an idea Andrew Finan, the CEO of Queenside Games, ran the 1995 World Chess Championships at the top of the World Trade Center in New York between reigning Russian World Champion, Garry Kasparov, and the young Indian challenger, Vishy Anand.
Inspired by their brilliance, Finan worked on his chess game hoping to be able to challenge them. When he did play them casually, he found that not only could they crush him with ease – they could do it while blind folded and playing twenty other people at the same time. In chess there is no element of chance to help the underdog, no double six, no lucky deflection, no Royal Flush. He found himself musing about the differences between chess and poker in which you always have a chance – even against the greatest. He wondered what would happen if you added elements of poker to chess. Minutes later the basics of Choker were sketched out.
The best of both worlds Choker brings the bluff, street smarts and unpredictability of poker into the pure skill and knowledge-based game of chess. The result is an unfathomably deep game – a Mixed Mind Sport which requires new divergent skills.
CHOKER™ has three enthralling game phases:
1- BET: Start with just a King and a Pawn on the chess board! Then bet on the five cards depicting your additional chess pieces. This is the time to keep cool, play the odds and outwit your rival.
2 – PLACE: Place your chess pieces in special drop zones on the chess board. You’ll need a winning game strategy. Defend your King but be ready to strike.
3 – CHESS: Once all your pieces are on the chess board – it’s real chess! Outplay your opponent and win the pot before time’s up!
Features Multiple Game Modes – CHOKER™ allows you to match yourself against the AI to practice, your friends for bragging rights and thousands of players from around the world.
Ranks and Titles – Play real Chess Pros and Masters to become a CHOKER™ Master! Win tournaments, win rewards and rise up the global leaderboard.
Speed Chess – Players use a Chess Timer to place their pieces and play real Chess. Its blitz-speed 2-player chess! But armed with only 7 pieces, who will hold their nerve?
The players Choker is a fast paced, strategy game that brings 21st century gaming techniques to the ancient game of chess. From today, chess players will be able to experience leveling up by winning Guru Points as well as being motivated by rewards and achievements. Steve Martin, CEO of M&C Saatchi Sports, described chess as “the “sleeping giant of the sports & entertainment world”. Queenside Games hopes to wake up this giant from its slumber with Choker. There are an estimated 600 million chess players worldwide and 200 million poker players.
About Queenside Games Queenside Games is developer with deep expertise and has successfully completed 2 fundraising rounds. Included on the board is the former CEO of William Hill, David Harding; founder of Sporting Index, Compton Hellyer; Director of the English Chess Federation, Malcolm Pein; Director of Strategy at Ubisoft, Cyril Voiron; acting Marketing Director of PartyPoker, Gary Oakes.
About Choker Choker is a fast paced, strategy game that brings 21st century gaming techniques to the ancient game of chess. Steve Martin, CEO of M&C Saatchi Sports, described chess as “the “sleeping giant of the sports & entertainment world”. Queenside Games hopes to wake up this giant from its slumber with Choker. There are an estimated 600 million chess players worldwide and 200 million poker players.
Onboard the Choker team is five-time United States Chess Champion Hikaru Nakamura, as well as Anna Rudolf, Hungarian International Chess Master and Woman Grandmaster.
About Andrew Finan Finan, is a multi-award winning games designer having created the board game KLOO, an Amazon category best-seller and ToyTalk’s “Board Game of the Year”. Until 2006 he co-owned the London Triathlon and other mass participation sports before selling the business to IMG where he worked as Managing Director until 2009. He is also an author having written the critically acclaimed (and controversial) business book “Corporate Christ”.
First on the list of news in the board game app world is that Zombie Dice on iOS, after being dormant for nearly 7 years, has reanimated and been updated for modern devices. Now if you are running the latest version of the iOS on your phone or tablet, you will be able to have some fun rolling virtual dice as a zombie now. You can head over to the App Store now and download the new version for free.
Next a new expansion was announced to the popular Terra Mystica app, and this expansion brings in all the goodies from the Fire and Ice expansion of the board game into the app realm. This means you will be able to play with all six of the factions in the expansion, from the powerful Yetis to the rule breaking Shapeshifters. Also being included in this expansion will be a new level of AI, hard level, giving experienced players new challenges in the game. Expected release for the expansion is the first quarter of 2018, so expect to see it available in the app soon. You can download Terra Mystica and preview the new factions on the DigiDiced website.
Last, and by no means least, an old series of gamebooks is being converted into an app called Fighting Fantasy Legends. The book series was called Fighting Fantasy, and was a creation of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that was published in the 80s. The books themselves were a mix of choose your own adventure and role playing where you would be choosing the path you would go, but would also be rolling dice for things like combat. The books were very popular and although they have gone through several publishing companies, they are still available today. Now, however, Nomad Games has decided to adapt some of these books, City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Citadel of Chaos, into an app. In the game you will exploring the different areas and using cards and dice to perform actions and do battle while deciding who you will help. As you level up you will improve your dice making you stronger, and with tons of choices to be made in a single game, each play to be different than the last. So if you were a fan of the original books, check out the Youtube trailer and then head on over to the Days of Wonder blog for links to purchase the game in your preferred app store.
One thing that is notoriously difficult, and thus often asked about, is how do you find a game group when you visit or move to a new city? BoardGameGeek is a good place to look, Meetup is not a bad choice either, but those are only good if you know where to look and who to ask. Board Buddies on the other hand is trying to make finding a group as easy as finding a local theater. Setting up a game night in the app is easy, just choose whether it’s public or private event (which changes who can see the exact location), put in some info on what games you are playing, add event info like location and time, and you’re done. Now that the info is logged, your event will show up to anyone in the area who searches, and it will tell them what games are being played, when the event is, and how far away it is from their location. Now you will be able to easily and effortlessly find game groups happening all around you, and maybe find some new friends along the way.
The app itself is going to be free, but this campaign is being run to raise funds to lay the groundwork of the business, and help make sure Board Buddies is maintained for years to come. Pledges start at $5 Canadian and offer things like alpha access, badges within the app, stickers, dice, t-shirts and more. So if you want to help bring this dream to reality, head on over to the Kickstarter today.
Asmodee Digital continues to up it’s game by entering into a partnership with Playdeck. Four games that will immediately be transformed under the new brand are Ascension, Twilight Struggle, Summoner Wars, and Agricola. Notice that these games aren’t new to the app space as they have been previously under Playdeck, but now they are under Asmodee Digital’s control. Will we see new updates or additional versions of the games in the future? Well we won’t know until Asmodee tells us about it. You can download the games from your respective app stores, and check out each of the links above for more information on the individual game apps.
AXIO is Reiner Knizia’s redesign of the older game Ingenious, and is a simple abstract strategy game where you just place a tile each turn and score the shapes. When you score you will score only the shapes matching the tile you put down, and that are connected to that shape in that row or column. That means as you get shapes to be placed together, the more points you will score in one go. But that isn’t all there is to it, there are also pyramids that you can place down when you surround an empty space, giving you a points boost just when you might need it. And why might you need that boost? Well that is because at the end of the game, your final score is the lowest value on your score track, so you need to make sure you are scoring evenly.
The AXIO Octa app uses all the same rules and scoring, but instead of placing squares you are placing octagons, and there is no pyramid to place so scoring evenly becomes extra important. The apps come with solo play, online play, and team play as well as in game achievements that you can get. Art is okay but considering the art of the original (or lack there of) this isn’t too much of a detraction. You can download the app today on either Android or iPhone, and both will run you about $4.
Renegade Games has been partnering with Dire Wolf Digital to bring some of their physical games into the mobile space, such titles include Lotus and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. So to kick off the holiday season they have announced updates to their digital games of Lotus and Lanterns as well as a new update to their companion app.
Lotus is a game all about forming beautiful flowers and using some area control to make sure that when the flowers finish and score, you are the ones getting the points. The app version of this game brought the game into beautiful 3D with excellent graphics and animation, bringing this simple card game up to another level. The update featured for the app is that the leader-board and friends list of the game is compatible with Lanterns, so now you can challenge friends from either game to either game you own. You can purchase the app in the App Store or on Google Play.
Lanterns is a simple tile laying game where you lay down tiles in order to collection various colored lantern cards. You will then use these lantern cards to make dedications and depending on which array of colors you turn in will net you different points. Like Lotus the app version of Lanterns elevates the game by giving it some beautiful graphics and scenery along with great animation. The app even has the expansion, The Emperor’s Gift, available for download as well. The update featured for the app is that the leader-board and friends list of the game is compatible with Lotus, so now you can challenge friends from either game to either game you own. You can purchase the app in the App Store or on Google Play.
And finally, Renegade games has updated their companion app, adding in some content for their latest game, Clank in Space. Already the app includes content for the games FUSE, Flatline, and the original Clank game. But with this latest update you will now be able to play Clank in Space solo, with you going against the AI as you explore Lord Eradikus’ starship alone. The update has already been made so you can either check your app now, or download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.
Castles of Burgundy is a classic euro game that sits in the BoardGameGeek top ten, and with a card game version already created, why not create a dice version? Coming later this month you will finally be able to play Castles of Burgundy the Dice Game, a roll and write style game. The core of the game is still there with the familiar hex board, the ability to buy and sell goods, different actions you can take on tiles, and bonuses you get for completing areas of the board. But now instead of rolling dice and assigning workers to slowly do these actions, now the roll of the dice will immediately let you get silverlings, mark off spots on the board, get goods, and other things. This means you will be able to play a game very quickly, and still get a bit of the experience you have from the big game. Look for this game to hit store shelves by the end of the year.
Next we have a new game coming from Cryptozoic based on the highly popular Rick and Morty cartoon called Rick and Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Multiverse Game. This game is a unique engine building game in that you will be using energy from the different levels of the multiverse in order to build and operate you inventions, but there is more to it than that. If you go into the lower multiverses you will get first dibs on energy to be able to power/build things, but because that universe is more primitive, the things you can build are more limited and more unreliable. Stay in the higher ones and you will be farther down the list when comes time to give out energy, but you will be able to build the best stuff, so plan wisely. Whoever can “collect” the most tech by the end of the game will be the winner. Look for this game to be released in April of next year.
The last physical game we will be talking about is the unique game called Wallet, which uses a literal wallet as the main component. The story is that you are surrounded by the cops, and to escape you need an ID and some cash form the boss, but he just took off in a helicopter. Lucky for you, he dropped his wallet with all of the IDs and cash left inside. So on your turn you will be searching the wallet trying to find a plausible ID and some cash to either get out of town, or bribe the cops to look the other way. But be careful, there could be an undercover cop in your midst if they find their badge in the wallet. Rounds are quick at only 10 minutes and the whole game is over in 30 minutes, with the person who scored the most points being the winner. So if you want to get your hands on this game with a very thematic and unique component, you will have to wait until June of next year.
And finally, we have the two App releases for the day, the first being an update to the Carcassonne app and the release of the updated Abalone app. Carcassonne is the perennial favorite tile laying game that most games and even non-gamers know about, and it has done very well as an app in the past. But this new release of the game makes it look stunning by introducing fully 3D tiles to the game. This will give the classic game a lot of pop and make it look really impressive. Check out the new version here and then download it from Google play (sorry iPhones) or steam today.
The second app that has been release is Abalone, a classic abstract strategy game of pushing marbles to corner and remove your opponent’s pieces. The game looks great and bringing it to the app space means you will be able to practice and work on your strategies against an AI before challenging other players. Plus the ability to vary aspects of the game like how many marbles you need to remove to win, or setting a time limit, allows you to add more challenge to the game if you are a seasoned player. So if you are interested you can find out more about the game here, and then download it from your particular app store or steam today.
We have reported on how a Catan movie is in the works, and the question everyone keeps asking is what in Catan can you make a movie about? Well a new game from Asmodee Digital may help answer that question, Catan Stories: Legends of the Sea Robbers. This is a text based adventure game set in the Catan world, where you will control three heroes as they seek to rescue Catan.
Explore the world of Catan like never before. Catan Stories : the Legend of the Sea Robbers is a text-based adventure game developed by Asmodee Digital with Klaus & Benjamin Teuber, the authors of Catan. Embody a raven, the keeper of the island, and guide three heroes on their journey to rescue Catan. Every decision you make will lead you to mysterious parts of the island. It’s time to save the island! (Catan Stories website)
So if this kind of choose your own adventure game is of interest to you, you can purchase the game in the App store, or on Google Play today. This is the first in the line of adventure games like this so expect to see more of them in the future.
Here we are with another week of Kickstarters of a wide array from an election game, to a detective game, to a war game, so lets get started. Up first, we have a card game based on an app called Cahoots, and being published by Mayday Games. The game Cahoots is a normal trick taking game, but with a bit of a twist in that there are no follow rules and you score is based on which suit won the trick, not who won the trick. But the question is, which suits will score for you? That is determined by a card you receive at the start of the game and will have three of the six suits on them, and it’s these suits that will score for you. However, you won’t be the only one scoring with those suits, so over the game you will be partnering with different people in order to score the suits on your card. So each round you will play out a total of two cards, and whatever suit had the highest total value will be the winner and be scored that round. After that you will choose some cards to keep, and some cards to remove from the game, shrinking the available card pool. Once all the cards are out of the game, whoever has the most points is the winner. So if this new take on trick taking sounds interesting to you, or you are a fan of the app, check out the Kickstarter page.
Next is our war game entry, coming straight to you from the prolific war game creator DVG, this time as an air dog-fighting card game called Down in Flames: Locked On. In this game you will be flying one, two, or three of dozens of different aircraft of the recent age like the F-15C Eagle or the Sea Harrier FRS1. You will be taking these into battle trying to shoot down the opposing player’s planes through clever use of your missiles. At the heart of this game are the action cards, each with multiple uses from special abilities, to maneuvering, to attacking, and even countering your enemy’s attack. When you attack you will play your card, if your opponent counters with a card you then have the opportunity to counter that card, continuing like this until the final card is played. If you managed to play the final card your attack succeeds, if your opponent, then the attack is canceled. When an attack is successful you will then draw cards based on what you fired to then carry out another attack sequence with those cards. If you succeed there, you have destroyed the enemy craft, and if they are all destroyed you win the game! So if a fast playing, dog-fighting style card game with a healthy dose of real life accuracy is your kind of thing, then check out this Kickstarter today.
Next we have a new detective game from Van Ryder Games called Detective: City of Angels. This game I think is best described as Clue on steroids, with the main difference is that this game is more complex and is done as a one versus all style game. One person is The Chisel, whose sole job is to lead the detectives astray and keep the case from ever being solved. The detectives will be moving around the board, investigating locations and questioning suspects. But here is where it gets tricky, The Chisel will be choosing the responses that he gives from those being question, and he can even outright lie to you. However, if you challenge him on his bluff you can get the truth, revealing much needed information to solve your case, but challenge on a truth and he gets leverage over you to use against you later. You can also bribe a snitch to be able to listen in on this info so even if you aren’t there, you can get some critical info to help you solve your case. Strong arm some suspects, get to the truth, and solve the case before the trail goes cold and you can win the game. You can find out more on the Kickstarter page.
After that is the unusual game of the article, and that is Electioneer, the Hong Kong election board game from Nightdreamer. This game aims to do with the Hong Kong election system what Die Macher did for the German election system, and that is create a great game out of it. This is an area control and resource management type game where you will be going around the various towns and cities trying to secure the most votes. One way to get votes is through strategy cards, which show a number of territories that have some connection to them, like hitting the 12 different districts that are home to higher education institutions to get the college vote. You will also get votes for holding the most influence in different zones on the board, as well as for holding the second most influence. Basically there are a lot of ways to get votes, and this game shows it’s designer’s researching ability because all of these ways to get votes are methods used in actual Hong Kong elections. Will you be able to manage your money well and get enough votes to be elected? Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.
And last but not least, we have a reprint and revamp of a previously Kickstarted game, and that is Endure the Stars from Grimlord Games. This 1.5 version will not only allow new players to be able to acquire this game and it’s many extras, but also improve the game for those who already own it. Endure the Stars itself is a survival horror type game where you are passengers on a colonization ship a year into it’s long journey. However, unauthorized experiments have been conducted to try and engineer a new life-form to explore new planets, but those experiments were discovered and the lifeforms got out, killing everyone in their path. Now people are living in small groups scavenging to survive, and it’s up to your group to try and root out these creatures before they kill you all. Fight back with all sorts of different weapons and ammo, and try to maintain your sanity as you play through the campaign to defeat this evil. So if a sci-fi dungeon crawl game sounds interesting, or if you own the first edition, check out the Kickstarter page today.
Board games apps continue to flow as they are a great way to play some of our favorite board games where ever we want, like Tsuro and Cottage Garden. The Tsuro update is something that just recently launched on the iOS platform as the latest iOS update included tech to be able to utilize augmented reality. Augmented reality is basically where you can look on your phone for a view of what is front of you, overlaid with information, objects, or other things digitally. What this means is that now you can “play” Tsuro on your real life table via your iPhone. Is this really necessary? No, but it is a cool next step for technology to be able to now see the digital board game on the table in front of you, although still on your screen. You can download the update now on the App Store.
The second announcement is that another of Uwe Rosenburg’s polyomino games was released today, Cottage Garden. The app was designed by the company DigiDiced, known for faithfully and effectively translating other games of his to the digital space. Of course it comes with a list of great features including:
• 2-4 players locally, online or even cross-platform
• Family friendly – non violent theme
• Worldwide ranked multiplayer and casual play with your friends
• fast real time games or asynchronous games with 24 hour time limit per turn
• Easy interactive tutorial to learn the game from scratch
• Analyze your best games or learn tricks from the best with playback
• 3 different computer opponents
You can find out more about the app on their website.
Released today with Cottage Garden was Smash Up, by Nomad Games Ltd (II) and published by Asmodee Digital. It’s features are:
– Online Cross-platform multiplayer: 2 to 4 players
– Play with 4 players or solo against the AI
– 9 faction decks, including the base game set and more: Zombies, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards & Geeks
– Random or manual faction selection
– Fully automated scoring
– Tutorial system plus ‘Step Through’ and ‘Review’ modes to help players learn
– Leader boards & Achievements
– Contains 16 Base cards to compete over
– Languages available: English, French, German