Dice Tower Newsletter

board game

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The nominees for induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame were released, and 3 iconic board games (4 depending on which side you are on) made the cut.  They are as follows:

  • Bubble Wrap. Created by accident in 1957 by two engineers who were attempting to develop a new kind of wallpaper.  (given that a previous winner was blankets, this makes sense)
  • Care Bears. Began as a line of greeting cards in the early 1980s but evolved into a brand whose bears star in storybooks, television shows and games.
  • Coloring Book. New York printer McLoughlin Brothers is credited with inventing the books that have enjoyed renewed popularity lately thanks to adult-oriented versions featuring complex designs.
  • Clue. The game that invites players to solve a murder remains a best-seller nearly 70 years after its release.
  • Dungeons & Dragons. The 1970s role-playing game featuring imaginary worlds of magic and monsters influenced today’s computer game industry.
  • Fisher-Price Little People. A wooden version first rode the Safety School Bus in 1959. The brightly painted figures were given arms and legs in the 1990s.
  • Nerf. The foam balls safe enough to throw indoors were first produced in the 1960s.
  • Pinball. The machines have long been a mainstay at bars, amusement parks and arcades, with players using flippers to launch steel balls through mazes.
  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Competitors throw mechanical punches in an effort to knock the block off of their opponent’s boxer.
  • Swing. Found in ancient cave drawings in Europe and ceramic vases from Greece — and in playgrounds and backyards everywhere.
  • Transformers. Hasbro’s shape-changing action figures are featured in comic books, games, breakfast cereal and movies, the latest of which is due out in June.
  • Uno. The 1971 game where players dispose of the cards in their hands has sold steadily for more than four decades.

Two out of these 12 nominees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on November 10th and reside alongside toys like the Legos, Barbie, and Chess.  You can see the list and previous winners on the Hall of Fame website.

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At the beginning of the month there was some news that rocked the shipping world, and that was one of the largest shipping companies in the world, Hanjin, filing for bankruptcy.  This means that all the freight and ships they had out at sea when this happened effectively got stranded because the company could no longer pay port fees.  No port fee payments, no docking of ships, no unloading of freight, and stuff just sits out at sea.  So far the effect of this in the gaming world hasn’t been felt until now, with Wizkids announcing that Heroes in a Half Shell gravity feeds will be in short supply after launch.  This is because a container on one of those stranded ships contains a large portion of the shipment of gravity feeds.  Hopefully things with the ports gets resolved soon as Hanjin goes through the difficult process of an international company going bankrupt.  There is good news though, in a blog post Wizkids has assured everyone that pre-orders will be filled, and that once more information is known it will be passed on to retailers.

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Fans of the original adventure and survival game Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island will be interested to know what specific changes will be present in Portal’s new release of the game under the Portal banner.  According to Portal’s latest news release, the major notable changes will include:

  • a “typical” square game box, as opposed to the original’s coffin box
  • a fancier 1st Player Token
  • an additional 7th Scenario
  • Character Sheets on thick cardboard, as opposed to the thin sheets in the original
  • shaped wooden resource components, as opposed to the cubes in the original
  • redesigned Discovery Tokens with thematic names on them
  • character stickers for the wooden player pawns
  • a freshly-reworked rulebook (I like how Portal points out that the original “explains nothing” and the new one “explains everything”)

Preorders are currently being accepted, and this new release is scheduled for release in November of 2016.  For more information, visit Portal’s new release here.

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Tasty Minstrel Games has launched another crowdfunding campaign for an upcoming release. Designed by Mark Major and developed at TMG for more than two years the community now has an opportunity to fund Chimera Station.

In Chimera Station, 2-4 players attempt to build a space station over five rounds in a unique twist on a worker placement game. Each round has three phases, the first and third rounds are familiar to most people who have delved into this genre of game: Placement and Feeding. It’s the middle phase that makes the other two phases vastly more interesting. In the Splicing Phase, prepped workers are upgraded to have extra parts. Claws, leaves, brains, and my favorite, tentacles. The physical components allow you to add up to two additional sections into each of your six workers with interlocking pieces. Extra parts means your workers gain various abilities such as displacing other workers and gaining extra resources.

Following TMG’s recent trend, Chimera Station is available in a DELUXE format which includes upgraded components such as metal coins. There are also a line of stretch goals to upgrade the DELUXE version even more, and add a mini expansion. The Kickstarter Campaign is live now and will go through October 7, 2016. The game is expected to ship in June of 2017, but with the limited nature of the DELUXE product, the time to act is now.

Check out TMG’s Kickstarter Page for more information including reviews, preview videos by Man Vs Meeple, Rahdo, UndeadViking, and Bowers Game Corner. Since TMG hasn’t shared their splicing technology, we were not able to combine Radho and UndeadViking, so you’ll have to watch their reviews separately.

In addition to Ulm, two other games will be coming out in October from R&R Games.  The first of those games is the family weight adventure game called Touria, a game where you are an adventuring band of heroes.  You will go around fighting dragons, collecting gems, and trying to obtain the king’s blessing to marry Princess Tara, or Prince Talon if he is more your speed.  The actions you have to choose from are dictated by the four towers on the board, each one having four quadrants with different actions in each one.  On your turn, whichever actions are pointed towards you on those towers are the options you have, so tower orientation is important and will have to be a part of your plan.  It’s a race to the finish and whoever gets to the castle first will be the winner.

Second is Coin Quest, a bidding game where you are bidding with coins to obtain more valuable coins, and in the end have the most valuable collection.  Not much has been released about this game so I will let the publisher do the talking;

A DIABOLICAL BIDDING GAME! In this winner take all game, you are a part of a mysterious cabal of elite coin collectors. Outbid and outsmart your peers in an informal auction to acquire better coins. The shrewdest collector will be the one who goes home with all the coins!

Look for both these games on store shelves in October.

Have you ever wondered how to get to the top of the sky? In a Funforge and Passport Games September release Hop! players are striving to be the first to get there. It’s not simply a race though. Any player reaching level seven triggers the end of the game, but the player with the most points claims the victory. To earn points, you must help others overcome challenges and climb high with you. The hardest choices will be who you help, and how you can limit the points they earn helping you.

Interesting choices in a family game isn’t the only reason to want to know more. The game comes with high quality pre-painted miniatures and the art is done by Marie Cardouat, the same artist from Dixit. Keep an eye out for Hop! later this month.

Mystic Vale already made waves with it’s new card crafting mechanic, and along with solid gameplay has made itself fairly popular.  So naturally AEG will be expanding the game because “deck” building games like this live and die in the long run based on expansions.  Mystic Vale: Vale of Magic will expand the game with 58 new advancement cards and 18 new vale cards, all of which sport the newest magic type, arcane magic.  Not much more has been said about arcane magic other than you will be able to repel blight with it, and it is unstable so there could be consequences when using it.  Look for this expansion to hit store shelves in October, then we will all find out what these new cards have in store for us.

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Announcement day was only a short while ago and in that they announced several new products and updates coming to Magic.  Here is what you have to look forward to in the coming year;

  • “Rise Among the Worthy” on the plane of Amonkhet. Discover a world ruled by Nicol Bolas when the first set of the Amonkhet block releases April 28, 2017.
  • Nicol Bolas is among the most powerful beings in the Multiverse—don’t face him alone! Much like the original Archenemy release, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas pits you and two friends against a single powerful foe where you must work together to survive—or fall to Nicol Bolas himself.
  • The second set in the Amonkhet block, Hour of Devastation, releases July 14, 2017.
  • In the same spirit as Duel Decks: Anthology and Planechase Anthology, Commander Anthology gathers four previous Commander products together in one convenient package, releasing June 9, 2017.
  • Draft like a master once more as we release Modern Masters 2017 Edition March 17, 2017—featuring cards from Eighth Edition through Magic 2014, including new trips through Innistrad and Return to Ravnica.
  • Brains or brawn? Cunning or strength? Test your guile and brute force with Duel Decks: Mind vs. Might, releasing in May of 2017.
  • Updates to Magic: The Gathering: Puzzle Quest are here, with Kaladesh content!

You can read our previous announcement day coverage for info on products that are about to hit stores.

Fans of the area control game Cyclades can start their trip planning now as the new small-box expansion, Cyclades: Monuments is being released this holiday season.

Designed by the prolific Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, the award-winning Cyclades had players racing to build two cities in the Cyclades group of islands whilst vying for the favour of the gods. This new expansion throws in ten monument miniatures and their associated monument cards. Constructing these monuments will grant the player an advantage that can give them the edge over their opponents!

The Cyclades: Monuments expansion is compatible with all previously released expansions for Cyclades. For additional information, visit Asmodee’s website.

Hasbro has just unveiled their latest Star Wars toy, and it’s a version of Simon where you will be playing the game on Vader’s face.  Simon, is the game where an electronic device shows you a series of colors and sounds and you have to perfectly repeat back the sequence.  Now with it shaped like the head of Darth Vader, you will be learning a Star Wars appropriate tune on the dark lord’s head.  That’s right, you will be tapping out the tones for the imperial march music as you are testing your memory and listening to Vader breath, which makes my inner geek giggle.  Look for this to hit store shelves in the spring of 2017 at most places where toys are sold.