card games

Upper Deck Entertainment has just posted a blog article reviewing their 13 card and board game releases for 2017. Legendary, the very popular deck building system, added the small expansions Legendary Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Legendary: Noir, and the larger Marvel Legendary: X-Men. Additionally, the Legendary system welcomed the new standalone game Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

VS System 2PCG had a number of changes and additions last year, including Legacy, Monsters Unleashed, S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra, and The Predator Battles. The games have also undergone a huge change in their publication format, and Upper Deck has said the small box expansions (now known as Giant-Sized Issues) will be released much less frequently.

There were also 5 original games released in 2017, including The Dingo Ate The Baby, Dread Draw, Dungeon Draft, Quest for the Antidote. Finally, Upper Deck released the wonderfully campy hidden movement one-vs-many game Shark Island from Richard Launius and Pete Shirey.

Read the full press release on Upper Deck’s webpage here.

 

When Plan B Games announced Century Golem Edition (Century Spice Road updated with Golem artwork and crystal traders rather than spice traders) was only going to be available directly through its web site, the outcry among the boardgames community was quite deafening.

It was so deafening that now Plan B has announced that Century Golem Edition will be available from retailers later this year.

“Although the Golem Edition was originally sold exclusively on the Plan B webstore, it’s popularity was undeniable. Plan B Games has paired with international partners to bring Century Golem Edition to retailers in North America, the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and Japan beginning around Q2 2018!

Fan outcry and the popularity of the game have once again prompted Plan B to change its mind in regards to the Golem Edition. Does that mean that it may change its mind on the compatibility of the Golem Edition with the announced expansions?

Certainly no word on that. Only time will tell. In the meantime, the upcoming availability of the Golem Edition will be music to many a gamer’s ears.

 

Stone Blade Entertainment, under UltraPro Entertainment, has announced a new game from Ascension designers Justin Gary and Gary Arant. Shards of Infinity is a deck building game for 2-4 players, taking place in the far future, when the Infinity Engine has been shattered, and its reality bending shards are wreaking havoc with the world. Players win by either mastering the power of the Infinity Shard, or by destroying all of their opponents. Shards of Infinity comes with 128 cards, 4 player dials and promises quick 30 minute gameplay. Look for Shards of Infinity on shelves in March 2018.

Portal Games is planning for a busy start to the year with a pile of expansions and retail launch kits ready for players. Alien Artifacts, Robinson Crusoe, and Imperial Settlers will all have new content being released in the first quarter of 2018. Portal Games had already announced a slew of new expansions for 2018, but now players are getting release dates and details of additional in store event kit surprises.

Imperial Settlers

Imperial Settlers by designer Ignacy Trzewiczek and artist Tomasz Jedruszek will receive an expansion deck of cards, We Didn’t Start the Fire, on May 16, 2018. The new empire pack introduces the concept of conquest to Imperial Settlers. Contesting introduces borders to Imperial Settlers. When a player completes a conquest they move the border between empires and can take the left-most faction from their neighboring empire and built it into their own empire. The empire pack will include 50 new cards and support all previous factions.

Portal Games is also planning for the release of a retail support kit for Imperial Settlers prior to the launch of We Didn’t Start the Fire. Releasing on February 2nd, 2018, the In-Store Event Kit will help retailers planning for local tournaments. The retail support kit will include three cards for each of the original 4 base factions that feature a panoramic layout. The three cards in each faction can be placed side by side for a seamless and massive view of the world of Settlers. The kit will also include an Imperial Settlers playing mat (23″ x 13″) to be used as a prize in local tournaments. Winner of the 2014 Golden Geek for best solo game and now almost four years old, Imperial Settlers continues to build a fanbase of players.

Alien Artifacts
Alien Artifacts: Discovery will be released March 21st, 2018 as the first expansion to Alien Artifacts by designers Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska. The first expansion begins to move along the storyline of the Alien Artifacts universe.
By accident, humanity discovers a mysterious resource hidden under the thick crest of one of the planets. The race for the wealth and new possibilities begins!
The expansion introduces the Alien Resource card which will allow players to harvest additional resources from planets and gain new abilities. The Discovery expansion will add 50 new cards to the game, including planets, technologies, ships, Alien Artifacts, and Alien Resources.
An Early Launch Kit will release on March 3, 2018 for brick and mortar stores. Participating stores will receive 10 copies of the expansion, 10 promo materials, and an Alien Artifacts poster. Most importantly, participating retailers will receive the expansion a full two weeks before the official release date.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe will see the The Lost City of Z big box expansion in 2018, but prior to that players will have the chance to travel through time with Robinson Crusoe though an In-Store Event Kit on March 21st, 2018. The In-Store Event Kit will allow players to take part in a new time travel themed scenario. The kit will include:
  • a new scenario about time travel
  • 8 unique player characters
  • four sets of custom wooden pieces representing the food resource
  • one poster
Released in 2013, Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island won the Golden Geek Best Thematic Game award, the Gra Roku Advanced Game of the Year and the Swiss Gamers Award.
The game has also appeared on a number of Dice Tower Top 10 lists including:

Picture from popularmechanics.com

It’s coming to the end of the year, and what does that mean, lots of people putting out their Top X for 2017 lists.  The Dice Tower does this themselves as they have already released their Top 10 Games of 2017 and Top 10 Pop Culture of 2017 on Youtube.  But not to be left out, Popular Mechanics has now released their list for the Top 50 Games of 2017.  What is interesting about their list is that they are a lot of great games on here from across the spectrum, from party games, to micro games, to heavy strategy games, and even Kickstarter games.  Although like any list, some maybe are not as great but get by on notoriety, but strangely also some games not from 2017 make the list.  Some of those games on the list include Star Realms, Quantum, and Codenames, which are great games, but odd choices for being included on a 2017 list.  Either way, check out their list to see the top 50 “new” board games for this year of 2017.

“RISE UP! My fellow animals, against those that would exploit us!”

ARGH! (Animals Revolt aGainst Humans) is a brand new 2 to 4 player bluffing and set-collection card game published by Dude Games from designer Romaric Galonnier.

In ARGH! players take the role of rival animal operatives fighting to stop the evil human scientists from experimenting on any more innocent animals. Ratchet, the leader of ARGH! has charged you with destroying the lab once and for all. Unfortunately, he has also charged other animals with the same task and there is not enough glory for all! Act quickly, find allies where you can and anything you can do to hinder your rival freedom fighters couldn’t hurt either…right?

On your turn you will draw a card from one of three decks (Garden, House and Laboratory), look at it in secret and decide to keep it face up or give it to another player face down. Without knowing what the card is, that player then chooses to keep it face down or return it to you face up. Play continues in this way until one of the three decks is empty or any player has two face-up bomb cards.

A player with two bomb cards is declared the winner but if a deck runs out first, each player reveals all their face down cards. If nobody has two or more bombs, the value of their cards will determine each player’s final score. Check out the official rule book for a complete rule explanation.

“Join me and together we shall annihilate this place, the symbol of our oppression!” – Ratchet, leader of Animals Revolt aGainst Humans.

ARGH! is the latest offering from designer Romaric Galonnierc, also known for games such as Yesss! and Casting.

ARGH! plays in 5 – 15 minutes and set for release in January 2018!

Fields of Eleria, based on multiplayer online battle area games (MOBA) has launched on Kickstarter. The game, from Cobalt Plasma Games, has had 63 backers pledge $3,500 of the $9,000 goal with 11 days to go. The campaign ends Thursday December 21st at 6:02 pm MST. A pledge for a base copy of the game is $45 with an anticipated ship date of April 2018.

A head to head high fantasy card game, Fields of Eleria draws its inspiration from a combination of Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas, eSports, as well as traditional card games.

The juggernaut of redsteel, Amalar Prime, barrels down your last bastion of defense, the Emerald Vale. It tears through the plates of shale and stone that protect its core as the blades of your samurai seem ineffective against its thick hide. Suddenly the skies crack in a thunderous boom, shaking the trees in the valley below as the dragoon Denna Grellsway comes hurtling down towards her foe, her Brillian Lance trailing a silver streak of hot fire. The lance finds its home, striking down the golem in a single blow, its metallic helm shattered by a goblin-sized hole.

In the game players build decks of 50 cards comprised of Heroes, Minions, Gear, Wards, Fortifications, Actions, and Abilities from 12 primary factions. Players use those cards to attempt to push through 3 lanes in order to destroy their opponent’s Core, while at the same time using those cards to defend the three lanes connected to their own Core.

Once their decks are constructed, players take turns using commands to control their armies and any cards in play, maneuvering their troops forward and back. Resources must be generated and used each turn in order to play cards out of a hand and activate battlefield abilities. Starting out with generating just a single resource Shard each round, players can eventually develop five Shards per turn. Players can stockpile Shards for a future push or use up the Shards every turn they are generated.

Players will claim victory if they are able to grind their opponent’s Core down to 0 health before their own Core hits zero.

For players interested in learning more, Cobalt Plasma Games have made both the QuickStart Rules as well as a Print and Play version of the game available via the Kickstarter page.

Cobalt Plasms Games

Cobalt Plasma Games is an independent tabletop and mobile games developer with a focus on competitive head-to-head gaming. While Fields of Eleria is the first official release from the studio, they have done but illustration and concept development for various iOS games including Elthinia and Obsidian Rift.

Deepwater Games has officially opened its doors as a new board game development and distribution company, and is starting by bringing games from the excellent company EmperorS4 to North America. The Taiwanese company EmperorS4 hit the scene strongly in recent years with such excellent games as Hanamikoji and Burano, and Deepwater Games has secured the rights to bring their next four games to the U.S.

Herbalism is a logic and deduction card game for 3-4 players, in which players try to figure out the right combination of ingredients to cure an ongoing pandemic. Players share information, but only one player will be crowned the “God Farmer”, so hidden information remains essential.

Shadows in Kyoto is a 2 player abstract game set in the same world as Hanamikoji. Using elements of Stratego, players need to gather information about their opponents pieces. Players move wooden pieces with hidden characteristics on a grid board, and win by capturing certain pieces, or by reaching the opposite end of the board. Cards with gorgeous art control movement, and add special actions to the mix. Shadows in Kyoto is a quick simple game, but with deep elements and plenty of room to tweak the complexity.

Crows Overkill is a light “take that” card game for 2-4 players. Players are trying to remove crows from in front of themselves, so that they can sleep in a little longer. Card play dismisses crows or moves them to other players, giving this party game a heavy “hurt your neighbor” feel.

Hanzi is a 2-5 player memory matching game, using 3600 year old kanji characters. Players will create new written characters which form the basis of modern Chinese culture, making this fun and engaging game also a valuable learning experience. Double sided cards show an old Han era character on one side, and the new modern character on the other. Players try to match their given theme by revealing the correct characters.

Deepwater Games is bringing these four games to America in 2018, and will be bringing certain American titles to Asia in a reciprocal deal. They have also stated that they will have 2 more titles coming from EmperorS4 in late 2018, as well as their own in-house developments. You can read the full press release from Deepwater Games on their website here.

 

WizKids has two new games coming to shelves in March 2018, Spy Tricks and Letter Go!.

Spy Tricks is a new edition of the 3-4 player Japanese game Trick of Spy (2016) by designer Susumu Kawasaki (Traders of Osaka). Spy Tricks is essentially a trick taking card game, but players must use the information they gather to deduce the identity of the “secret document”, a face down card from the deck. Players then bet on what the secret document might be, trying to reserve guesses before the other players. Play rounds equal to the number of players, and highest score at the end wins.

In Letter Go!, players write words on their whiteboards, using letter cards available to all. However, the players only score their words under two conditions: They must claim letter cards before their opponents, and they must follow the rules on the changing “random ridiculous” rule cards. Letter Go! comes with 6 whiteboards, 26 double sided rule cards and 96 letter cards.

Wizkids has just announced plans to release Doppleganger in 2018, an adventuring-party card game with a traitor mechanic. Wizkids has been on announcing a pile of new games, and Doppleganger can now get added to that last. Doppleganger is scheduled for a May 2018 release. Players aged 14+ will spend 30 minutes figuring out which of the 4-8 players in the game are traitors.

In Doppleganger players are working together to find three Artifacts of Light. Things are never easy for an adventuring party, and in this case one or more of the players are hidden-traitor dopplegangers, trying to stop the party from finding three artifacts.

Wizkids has described the game as having mechanics similar to ResistanceBattlestar Galactica, and Dark Moon. While adventuring in Doppleganger players are invited to join an adventure and secretly throw cards into the pool. Players will also be required to choose which dice to use in the battles they encounter. Cards in the pool will help the adventuring part succeed (a weapon) or fail (who threw in the poison potion?!).

 

Content of the game will include:

  • 107 Cards (Heroes, Items, Quests, Loyalty, Reference)
  • 5 Dice
  • 1 Rule book
  • 1 Dice bag
  • Tokens
  • Damage counters
  • Exhaustion tokens