card games

The Unlock series of card games from Asmodee and Space Cowboys each contain the essence of an escape room encapsulated into a coded deck of cards. Using an app and a timer, players look for clues on the cards, and solve puzzles. In Europe, these games are generally sold in packs of 3, and the newest collection has just been released, Unlock: Exotic Adventures from designer Cyril Demaegd. The stories in Exotic Adventures, which will likely be sold individually in North America at a future date, include Unlock! Night of the BoogeymenUnlock! Scheherazade’s Last Tale, and Unlock! Expedition: Challenger. Night of the Boogeymen follows a child William, who has been tormented by monsters from under his bed. Players need to fight off the monsters without waking William. Scheherazade’s Last Tale takes place at the last moments of the classic story. Scheherazade is about to tell the Sultan her last tale, but she is out of ideas and the scribe has gone missing. The players need to find the lost scribe and tell the final tale. Expedition: Challenger involves a Private Investigator, a woman with a missing friend, and a valley full of unseen monsters lost in time. Players need to find the mysterious Professor Challenge and the lost friend in time. Unlock: Exotic Adventures is available now in Europe. Previous trilogies included Unlock: Escape Adventures (2017), Unlock: Secret Adventures (2017), Unlock: Heroic Adventures (2017), and Unlock: Mystery Adventures (2017).

Z-Man Games has announced the next game in the Oniverse series of games, Aerion by designer Shadi Torbey featuring art from Élise Plessis. The Oniverse is most famous for its flagship game Onirim (2010), the popular 1-2 player card game of pattern creation, door collection and inevitable reshuffling, as well as its successors Sylvion (2015), Castellion (2015) and Nautilion (2016). Aerion continues the theme of 1-2 players trying to collect a series of goal cards, this time by building 6 airships by collecting the best blueprints, resources and crew. Resources are collected by rolling 6 dice, using specific combinations to create your materials. If your roll does not make a resource you need, you can discard cards to reroll – but like Onirim, if you run out of cards in the resource decks, you lose the game. Again following on the success of Onirim, Aerion comes with 6 mini expansions changing the challenge slightly each time. Aerion comes with 133 cards, 6 dice, 16 tokens, 1 scary wooden pawn (remniscent of Onirim), and the rulebook. For more information, you can read the press release from Z-Man Games, and look for Aerion at your FLGS in Spring 2019.

Happy Meeple, a web browser based board game app provider, has announced their next game is Circle the Wagons by Button Shy Games. Released in 2017, Circle the Wagons by designers Steven AraminiDanny Devine and Paul Kluka, is one of Button Shy’s wallet games, packing a deep experience into an 18 card deck. The cards have 4 territories on one side and endgame goals on the back. 2 players take turns creating a town with 15 cards, trying to connect like territories, and meet the goals set forth on the remaining 3 cards. If a player skips the first available cards, they must give them to their opponent. Towns are scored after all 15 cards have been played. Happy Meeple, who previously created web browser versions of Lost Cities and Hanamikoji, has a contest going for Circle the Wagons – the first player to beat their top rated bot, Verboten, 3 times in a row wins a cash prize.

Slugfest Games, makers of all things red hued and dragony, has announced a Kickstarter Campaign to reprint of its first games, the out of print but oft requested En Garde! (2005). En Garde, by designers Cliff BohmGeoff Bottone, and Colleen Skadl, is a card game of thrust, parry, riposte and touche, simulating the back and forth elegant sword fighting of a more noble age. 2-6 players take turns dueling with one chosen adversary, playing back and forth until one player submits. Players lose poise over the game, and a player with zero poise is liable to be eliminated. This Kickstarter is unique in that the game is ready to print, and supporting the campaign will simply pre-order you a print on demand copy of the game. The one big stretch goal is to turn the game into a full print run manufactured release, with improved box, cards, player mats and markers. The Kickstarter Campaign for En Garde continues through December 10, and the print on demand game is ready to deliver in January. If the full print run stretch goal is met, delivery is scheduled for May 2019.

Mossbark Games has released a digital version of the award winning classic card game Morels from Two Lanterns Games and designer Brent Povis. Morels has players march down a line of cards foraging for mushrooms. Sets of like mushrooms can be cooked in a skillet for points, and additions such as butter can up the points further. Mushroom cards skipped over go to a waste pile which goes bad over time. Scavenge for those rare full moon mushrooms, but be careful of poisonous death angels which can ruin your whole batch. Mossbark worked closely with the designer to make a truly beautiful rendition, plus the digital version sports goodies such as 2 player asynchronous play, 3 levels of AI, local pass and play and achievements. Morels is available now for both Android and iOS.

USAopoly has announced Munchkin Harry Potter Deluxe, a joint effort with Steve Jackson Games, bringing classic Munchkin game play into the magical world of Harry Potter. Players choose whether to be in houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, then dungeon crawl their way to level 10 collecting items and abilities along the way. Munchkin Harry Potter solemnly swears to retain the take-that nature of a classic Munchkin game, allowing players to cast spells, drink potions, or give each other detention. Munchkin Harry Potter comes with 92 Door Cards, 76 Treasure Cards, 6 double sided House Cards (allowing more than one player to be in a specific house), 12 player standees, a custom die, game board and rules. For more information, check out the game web page at USAopoly.

Fans of the classic Vlaada Chvátil game Mage Knight (2011) rejoice, for Wizkids has announced a new Ultimate Edition of the critically acclaimed exploration and adventure card game. Mage Knight has been an evergreen release, inspiring a Star Trek re-implementation in 2016, and staying in the top 25 at Board Game Geek.

With this comprehensive Ultimate Edition, we will be releasing Mage Knight in English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, German, French, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian! Now you can get Mage Knight in your preferred language and make your playing experience that much easier!*

In Mage Knight, 1-4 players take on the role of  the Mage Knights, role-playing by drafting cards and deck building, in order to create an army to take over their corner of the Atlantean Empire. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition contains the base game, expansions The Lost Legion (2012), Krang (2013) and Shades of Tezla (2015), a new comprehensive instruction set, miniatures with alternate paint jobs, as well as 5 new cards.  For more details, check out the WizKids web page here, and look for Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition this December.

The official Harry Potter edition of Vlaada Chvátil‘s wildly popular and award winning game Codenames is now available in your friendly local game store. Codenames: Harry Potter is actually more a variation on Codenames Duet, being a cooperative puzzle game for 2 wizards. Players take turns trying to locate 15 hidden members of the Order of the Phoenix among a 5×5 grid of both picture and word cards, using their side of the key card. Players give single word clues, along with a number referencing how many cards relate to the clue. The clue receiver can pick multiple cards, but must stop after an incorrect pick. But beware, because the game is instantly lost if the Black Card is picked, leading the players down Knockturn Alley to the waiting Death Eaters. Players win if they find all 15 members before 10 incorrect guesses.

Codenames: Harry Potter is available now, and more information is available on the USAopoly webpage here.

Little Monster That Came For Lunch And Stayed For Tea is a new game coming from Strawberry Studio, designers Robin Lees and Steve Mackenzie (Beyond Baker Street), and artist Anna Kędzior. Little Monster is a light racing game, in which 2-4 players each use cards to feed their 2 strange, hungry monsters, moving them to the end of the lunch table first. Players either draw or play cards on their turn, hoping to combo their skills and abilities. Easy to teach, Little Monster comes with 14 unique monsters, each with special skills, and plays in about 20 minutes. Read more about Little Monster on Strawberry Studio’s website, and look for the game in stores in late November 2018.

Now on Kickstarter is a card game that is ready to put the BRAINS! in battle. In Ready Set Battle Zombies by Mark Kiedrowski, players are either the zombies or the human.The humans must defend against the zombie attacks, with military strength and the zombies must try to make bigger and better attacks each turn, and try to turn opponent’s cards into zombies.

Players use character cards to attack others, and upgrades to improve those characters. Instants can be played at any time. Gold tokens are received from gold cards and missions, and the gold tokens are used to buy other cards. The winner is the player that gets their opponent’s life to zero.

The core set comes with the zombie deck and the human deck, including 18 character cards, 20 starter cards, 3 instant cards, 18 gold cards, 15 upgrade cards, 2 elite cards, and 10 mission cards, as well as, tokens and dice. The expansion is anime-themed, that allows for healing and deal damage over time, as well as 2 secret elite cards. It includes 9 character cards, 9 upgrade cards, 10 starter cards and 9 gold cards, as well as tokens.

More information about the Kickstarter can be found here.