Codenames

spiel 16

The trade fair with the most impact for both Germany and the board gaming hobby is only a smidge more than a month away, and with it come even more hot releases, demos, prototypes, and exciting news just in time for the Holiday shopping season. Taking place this October 13th through the 16th in Essen, the 2016 Spiel is expected to continue the record breaking growth they’ve been experiencing, which is terrific news and further evidence of the oft observed “Golden Age” that this hobby still experiences. According to the press release from Internationale Spieltage:

“[…]SPIEL has grown by more than 50 percent in the last four years. This year it looks as if more than 160,000 visitors will enthusiastically respond to the SPIEL motto “Come and play!”

Over a thousand exhibitors across multiple exhibit halls, each showing off their best and newest releases to the public. It’s not just the size though, that’s exciting. As the press release highlights, there are some interesting trends being showcased this year among the hundreds of entries into the gaming fray. Specifically, this year is seeing a spike in team-building games, the stuff that makes for memorable get-togethers with friends and family. The one-and-done genre of Escape Rooms meant to challenge groups to muster wits and overcome puzzles will be available in a swath of tabletop titles and live-event rooms at the fair. In addition, the instantly popular Codenames: Pictures and Captain Sonar will certainly be drawing large crowds.

sola fide

This year also marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and there are games to recognize it. Notably, two new releases come thematically celebrating Martin Luther and the historic religious change he ushered: Stronghold Games’ Sola Fide and Zoch Verlag’s Mea Culpa. There will also be family-friendly events and quizzes in various locations, topping the already broad, educational, and heatlhy range of activities the fair has to offer.

fields of green

Let’s not forget the big releases rolling over from Gen Con, which will certainly see the same kind of fervor that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Seafall and Scythe are two of this year’s most anticipated titles and I can imagine the European public wanting to get their hands on copies all the same. I feel obligated to draw attention to a few more titles that will probably be incredibly popular as well. Artipia Games will have their newest Kickstarter title and spiritual sequel to Among the Stars, Fields of Green,  available for demo and backer pickup. Hobby World will have Spyfall 2 there, which will add more locations, higher player count, and two spies! Finally, Bombyx will have Legendary Inventors on hand, a game that I played in prototype form and was highly impressed with how deep yet accessible it is.

If you’re interested in seeing more games confirmed to be available at the 2016 Spiel, please check out this preview thread at boardgamegeek.com. Many thanks and much respect to Eric Martin for working diligently to compile all of that for the community. For more gaming news and images regarding the upcoming Essen Spiel, please check out our new Instagram page that joins our news, twitter, and video coverage.

Codenames: Pictures, the follow up to the hit party game Codenames, is going to be in stores very soon.  While those that have traveled to GenCon will have had the opportunity to obtain it ahead of time, for the rest of us we will just have to wait a bit longer.  Codenames: Pictures, for those who don’t know, takes the gameplay of the original game and instead of trying to get them to pick words, they are pictures.  The same rules apply in that you can only give a single word clue and then how many cards it applies to, but there in lies all the fun.  Trying to figure out how obscure you can go with it or using some inside info to get them to guess the right cards.  The original was great fun, and no doubt this one will be too, look for it on store shelves on September 30th.

The winners of the prestigious Spiel Des Jahres and Kennerspiel Des Jahres have been announced.

Codenames by designer Vlaada Chvatil published by Czech Games Editions won the Spiel Des Jahres (German for Game of the Year).  This team party game has seen great success thus far having one a number of Dice Tower Awards as well.  Having already picked up placement in Target stores this award can only aid in its uptake with the non-hobby gaming public.  This win was not overly surprising as a result of the overwhelming popularity seen by the aforementioned items.

Isle of Skye: From Chieftan to King by designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister Published by Mayfair Games/Lookout Games won the Kennerspiel Des Jahres (German for Connoisseur Game of the Year).   This game has received critical acclaim from many within the gaming community.  This win was more surprising as a result of the competition it received from both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E. Stories.

For more information you can visit the Spiel Des Jahres awards pages for Codenames here and Isle of Skye here.

sDTAwards

The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher

stockpile

Stockpile

Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork

ashes

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Origins in now over, and with that we now have official winners for the Origins Awards for board games, and they are as follows:

codenames

Game of the Year:
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil
Origins Award Winners:

Board Games
Star Wars: Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying

Card Games
7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions) Designed by Antoine Bauza , Bruno Cathala

Collectible Games
DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light (WizKids) Designed by Mike Elliott, Eric M. Lang

Family Games
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil

Game Accessories
Terrain Tiles (Lost Battalion Games) Designed by Becky Siebe

Miniatures Games
Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by James Kniffen Christian T. Petersen

Role-Playing Games
Star Wars: Force and Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Jay Little

FAN FAVORITE WINNERS:

imperial assault box

Board Games
Star Wars: Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying

Card Games
7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions) Designed by Antoine Bauza , Bruno Cathala

Miniature Games
Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by James Kniffen Christian T. Petersen

Collectible Games
DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light (WizKids) Designed by Mike Elliott, Eric M. Lang

Family Games
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil

Game Accessories
Castle Panic: The Dark Titan (Fireside Games) Designed by Justin De Witt

RolePlaying Games
Star Wars: Force and Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Jay Little

Spiel-des-Jahres-Logo_x3hycg

The committee for the Spiel Des Jahres or “game of the year” has announced this years nominations for the three awards they issue each year.

Spiel Des Jahres

The nominees for the main award are fairly diverse.  Codenames the hit of Gen Con 2015 is a surprise to almost no one who has been paying attention.  Having already infiltrated the mass market stores it is hard to deny that this clever little deserves to be on this list.  Imhotep just came out in Germany in March of this year and has not had an English release yet.  Looking to provide a family weight game involving strategy and a little bit of take that has it fitting in nicely.  Karuba the final nominees is game maker HABA’s first foray into games intended for older audiences.

They have additionally give five honorable mentions

Kennerspiel Des Jahres

Nominations for the Kennerspiel or connoisseurs category is filled three massive hits from this year.  With Both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E Stories being in the top 30 games of all time on Board Game Geek it is not surprising that either of those was nominated.  The first nominee Isle of Skye is only ranked 250 on BGG but has a solid pedigree behind it.  Having been released by Lookout/Mayfair Games this highly strategic tile laying game provides a lot of opportunity for very intricate strategies to come into play.  Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 shot up to the number one spot on BGG within 2 months of its release.  Widely regarded as one of the best implementations of the legacy concept by designers Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock and being widely regarded as one of the best selling games within the last year this was an obvious nomination.  Finally we have another legacy style game with T.I.M.E Stories which has already had three expansions released and more announced this promises to be a great cooperative legacy game which can be played in decent sized chunks.

The three honorable mentions were quite well regarded as well

Kinderspiel Des Jahres

The Kinderspiel which often is the category that surprises the most has fewer surprises than normal this year.  With at least one title that is a reimplementation of a well known game for the older crowd in this group.  Leo Muss zum Friseur which as already won the Austrian children’s game of the year for 2015 is a great little press your luck game.  Stone Age Junior is a clever reimplementation of the older game Stone Age designed by Marco Teubner.  Finally is Mmm! which is a great little cooperative game well suited for introducing a child to the cooperative genre.

Honorable mentions

dtawards

The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:

BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS

BEST CO-OP GAMES

BEST FAMILY GAMES

BEST GAME ARTWORK

BEST GAME EXPANSIONS

BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER

BEST GAME OF THE YEAR

BEST GAME REPRINT

BEST GAME THEMING

BEST PARTY GAME

BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME

BEST STRATEGY GAME

BEST TWO PLAYER GAME

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME

pandemic_legacy2_qvci6f

The winners of the 10th annual Golden Geek Awards were announced this Monday, and both the winners and runners up were outstanding titles deserving of the reward. Pandemic: Legacy, the smash hit of 2015 which swiftly climbed the top games list, collectively walked away with 4 awards, including Board Game of the Year! Congratulations for Codenames and Mysterium for winning their most appropriate categories. I’m VERY surprised that 504 did not win most innovative title, but I suppose that’s a discussion best left to the BGG forums.

Hit the link to view the full list, including the RPGGeek and VideoGameGeek winners or, if you’re curious who came close to podium finish, click here to view the full list of nominees.

b and n banner

Throughout the month of March, Barnes and Noble bookstores will be hosting Casual Game Gatherings put on by Publisher Services Inc. (PSI), supplier of games, toys, books, and collectibles.

Each Thursday night in March, Barnes and Noble employees will be facilitating game nights for new players and fans alike, featuring one light strategy game each night.  Promotional items for four of the featured games will be given to participants wile supplies last.

These Gatherings are positioned as casual game meetups for customers who want to come in, play games, share a coffee from the café and demo the featured game. Local game groups, board game meetups and gaming clubs are also invited to join in the fun.

Game nights will begin at 7:00 PM and will last until the store’s posted closing time.

The gaming schedule will be as follows:

  • King of Tokyo (3/3/16) – Participants Receive Promo pack of 11 Power Cards
  • Sheriff of Nottingham (3/10/16) – Participants Receive Promo pack of 6 Contraband Cards
  • Splendor (3/17/16) – Participants Receive one Splendor Play-mat
  • Codenames (3/24/16)
  • Lanterns: the Harvest Festival (3/31/16) – Participants Receive a pack of 4 Lanterns promo tiles

Below is the official listing of all participating Barnes and Noble stores:

ALASKA – Anchorage ARIZONA – Tempe ARKANSAS – Fayetteville
200 East Northern Lights Blvd

Anchorage, AK 99503

United States

2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy #1032

Tempe, AZ 85281

United States

Northwest Village Shopping Center

4144 North College Avenue

Fayetteville, AR 72703

United States

CALIFORNIA – Dublin CALIFORNIA – Glendale CALIFORNIA – Redlands
Hacienda Crossings

4972 Dublin Boulevard

Dublin, CA 94568

United States

The Americana at Brand

210 Americana Way

Glendale, CA 91210

United States

Citrus Plaza Shopping Center

27460 Lugonia Ave

Redlands, CA 92374

United States

CALIFORNIA – San Diego CALIFORNIA – San Jose CALIFORNIA – San Jose
Mira Mesa MarketCenter

10775 Westview Parkway

San Diego, CA 92126

United States

Stevens Creek Blvd

3600 Stevens Creek Blvd

San Jose, CA 95117

United States

Almaden Plaza

5353 Almaden Expressway Bldg. B

San Jose, CA 95118

United States

CALIFORNIA – Anchorage CALIFORNIA – Santa Monica CALIFORNIA – Torrance
200 East Northern Lights Blvd

Anchorage, AK 99503

United States

3rd Street Promenade

1201 3rd Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401

United States

Del Amo Fashion Center

21500 Hawthorne Blvd

Torrance, CA 90503

United States

COLORADO – Boulder COLORADO – Colorado Springs COLORADO – Ft. Collins
Crossroads Commons

2999 Pearl St

Boulder, CO 80301

United States

1565 Briargate Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO   80920

United States

4045 S College

Ft. Collins, CO 80525

United States

COLORADO – Glendale COLORADO – Lakewood COLORADO – Lone Tree
960 S Colorado Blvd

Glendale, CO 80246

United States

Denver West Village

14347 West Colfax Avenue

Lakewood, CO 80401

United States

Shoppes at the Meadows

8374 S. Willow Street

Lone Tree, CO 80124

United States

CONNECTICUT – Milford DELAWARE – Newark HAWAII – Honolulu
1375 Boston Post Road

Milford, CT 06460

United States

340 Christiana Mall

Newark, DE 19702

United States

Ala Moana Center

1450 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 1272

Honolulu, HI 96814

United States

INDIANA – Mishawaka KANSAS – Wichita KENTUCKY – Lexington
University Park Mall

6501 N. Grape Road

Mishawaka, IN 46545

United States

1920 N. Rock Road

Wichita, KS 67206

United States

Hamburg Pavilion

1932 Pavilion Way

Lexington, KY 40509

United States

MASACHUSETTS – Burlington MASACHUSETTS – Framingham MASACHUSETTS – Millbury
98 Middlesex Pkwy

Burlington, MA 01803

United States

1 Worcester Rd

Framingham, MA 01701

United States

The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley

70 Worcester Providence Turnpike #5

Millbury, MA 01527

United States

MICHIGAN – Grand Rapids MICHIGAN – Grandville MICHIGAN – Portage
Woodlands Mall

3195 28th St SE

Suite B116

Grand Rapids, MI 49512

United States

River Town Crossing

3700 Rivertown Parkway Ste. 2058

Grandville, MI 49418

United States

Southland SC

6134 South Westnedge Ave

Portage, MI 49002

United States

MINNESOTA – Duluth MISSIOURI – Springfield NEVADA – Reno
Miller Hill Mall

1600 Miller Trunk Hwy. #L25

Duluth, MN 55811

United States

3055 South Glenstone

Springfield, MO 65804

United States

Meadow Wood Court

5555 S. Virginia St.

Reno, NV 89502

United States

NEW MEXICO – Albuquerque NEW YORK – Albany NEW YORK – New York
Coronado Mall

6600 Menaul Blvd NE

Albuquerque, NM 87110

United States

131 Colonie Center Suite 355

Albany, NY 12205

United States

82nd & Broadway

2289 Broadway

New York, NY 10024

United States

NEW YORK – New York NEW YORK – New York NORTH DAKOTA – Fargo
150 East 86th ST & Lexington Ave

150 East 86th Street

New York, NY 10028

United States

Union Square

33 East 17th Street

New York, NY 10003

United States

1201 42 St SW

Fargo, ND 58103

United States

OHIO – Akron OHIO – Columbus OHIO – Columbus
4015 Medina Road

Akron, OH 44333

United States

1560 Polaris Parkway

Columbus, OH 43240

United States

 

Easton Town Center

4005 Townsfair Way

Columbus, OH 43219

United States

OREGON – Beaverton OREGON – Portland PENNSYLVANIA – Pittsburgh
Tanasbourne

18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy

Beaverton, OR 97006

United States

Clackamas Town Ctr Mall

12000 SE 82nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97266

United States

South Hills Village

301 South Hills Village

Pittsburgh, PA 15241

United States

RHODE ISLAND – Warwick SOUTH DAKOTA – Sioux Falls TENNESSEE – Chattanooga
Warwick Centre

1350-B Bald Hill Rd

Warwick, RI 02886

United States

3700 West 41st Street

Sioux Falls, SD 57106

United States

2100 Hamilton Place Boulevard

Chattanooga, TN 37421

United States

TEXAS – Frisco TEXAS – San Antonio TEXAS – Webster
Stonebriar Mall

2601 Preston Rd Unit 1204

Frisco, TX 75034

United States

Northwoods Shopping Center

18030 HWY 281NSuite #140

San Antonio, TX 78232

United States

Baybrook ll

1029 W Bay Area Blvd

Webster, TX 77598

United States

UTAH – Orem VERMONT – S. Burlington VIRGINIA – Fairfax
University Crossings Plaza

330 East 1300 South

Orem, UT 84058

United States

102 Dorset Street

S. Burlington, VT 05403

United States

Fair Lakes Promenade

12193 Fair Lakes Promenade Drive

Fairfax, VA 22033

United States

VIRGINIA – McLean WASHINGTON – Seattle WASHINGTON – Silverdale
Tysons Corner Center

7851 L. Tysons Corner Center

McLean, VA 22102

United States

Northgate Mall

401 NE Northgate Way #1100

Seattle, WA 98125

United States

PO Box 250

10315 Silverdale Way NW

Silverdale, WA 98383

United States