dexterity game

With the new year comes new game announcements, and AbacusSpiele isn’t holding back on theirs.

First on the list is the next game in the 3 Secrets line, this time called Crime Time.  In the 3 Secrets game there is one person who is the informant and knows the truth behind the crime, and it’s up to the rest of the players to question them to get clues.  Get enough clues and you can reveal the 3 secrets and solve the case!  Not much has changed with this new one except for the setting, which this time has you playing time traveling cops, going back in time to solve the mysteries of the time.  This game will be available in February of 2019.

Pearls is a new hand management style game where you are divers trying to dive for the most valuable pearls.  But the more valuable the pearl is, the fewer there are, and when you surface you only score the cards showing the same number and color.  But don’t just chuck the lower value pearls, those can be combined into necklaces for bonus points, helping you getting closer to victory.  Do all this within a 10 card hand limit and you just might win the game.  This game will be available in March of this year.

Next we have the latest in the Deckscape line, and that is Deckscape: Behind the Curtain.  In this version of the game you are the recipient of tickets to see the final magic show the great Lance Oldman.  As the show goes on you start to figure out the tricks behind his magic, but then the show takes a surprising twist!  Now you have to uncover all the magician’s secrets if you want to escape.  Look for this to be available in February of 2019.

Next we have a re-implementation of the game Dancing Eggs, called Crazy Eggz.  This is a fun kids game where you will be grabbing and trying to hold on to a bunch of eggs, but where you have to hold them is determined by the roll of a die.  Will you they be between your knees?  In the crook of your elbow?  Will you have to cluck or be silent?  You will have to roll the dice and do what they say until you can hold 5 eggs and be crowned the winner.  This is the latest release they announced so far with it coming out in May of this year.

And finally we have a trio of Sherlock games called Death on the 4th of July, Last Call, and The Curse of the Qhaqya.  These are deduction games similar to 3 Secrets, but this time no one knows the truth and so you will all have to figure it out together.  Everyone will have a hand of clue cards and on your turn you will decide if you want to play it out on the table, or discard it.  Played out cards are clues that you have collected and can help you solve the case or, if they end up being irrelevant, lose you points at the end.  You are free to talk about any of the cards you have in your hand, but while they are in your hand the information you can give out is incomplete and may not give the full picture.  Solve the case and catch the killer before he gets away!  Look for all three of these to be available in February of 2019.

Dexterity games always catch my eye, and especially any that do something new. The beauty of dexterity games, and by extension the board gaming hobby as a whole, is it’s still a relatively dense yet not-fully-explored design space, meaning there’s a lot of room for innovation. That’s why Kickstarter projects like Stonehenge and the Sun warrant our attention, because it engages hand-eye coordination on multiple levels due to it’s unique use of gravity. This, my friends, is a competitive game for 2-4 players where not only will you be stacking blocks to increase tension and difficulty, you’ll be forced to swing a literal metal wrecking ball across the table trying not to bash anything over, for the person who knocked over the fewest pieces will be the winner.

     “”Stonehenge and the Sun” is a game where you can enjoy the physical presence of gravity. The defining feature of the game “a metal ball hanging from the ceiling” is a characteristic that is unprecedented in the tabletop game world. To bring this game concept into realization is the goal of our campaign.”

The “wrecking ball” descriptor I used above is an easy way to illustrate how the game plays, but it actually does a disservice to the visual appeal of the game. The name of the game, Stonehenge and the Sun, plays homage to the way the stones at the world wonder were built up and collapsed over thousands of years, with the metal ball careening across the table a visual representation of the sun passing in the sky. It’s creates a really cool, deeply thematic, unique and pleasing table presence, it’s beyond easy to learn and plays very quickly, but what else would you expect from the people that brought us Tokyo Highway (which Tom recently reviewed). If you’re interested in learning more about Stonehenge and the Sun, check out Itten’s Kickstarter page for videos, rules, FAQs, and community updates!

Pitchcar is a very popular dexterity game and one of Tom Vasel’s favorite, so much so that he has a “World Championship” every year at Dice Tower Con.  There have been several expansions for the game already adding in things like long straight aways, ramps, hazards, race track crossings, and more.  But they haven’t been able to add one thing to the game yet, and that is a full 360 degree loop, that is, until now.  Pitchcar Expansion #7 finally brings in the loop, using a specially made flexible material that allows not only standard loops, but loops that turn 90 degree, loops that come back in the same direction you went in, and even a corkscrew.  This will add a whole new dimension to your Pitchcar races so you will want to grab it while you can.

A pledge for a single loop will run you $52 plus shipping, but order two and you get a discount with the pair only costing $99 plus shipping.  You also have the option to add on some other items like additional cars, slide powder to reduce track friction, 1 meter of foam rail, and the epsilon pieces.  The foam rail is special because it is sticky on one side and is meant to be put anywhere on the track, allowing for you to customize your guardrails for even more variability.  And the epsilon pieces add in yet another feature to the track, and that is the ability to split the track into two and then merge it back into one.  So if you want even more crazy combos out of your Pitchcar set, check out this Kickstarter today.

Catacombs is back again, this time bigger and better in almost every way. The positively excellent dungeon crawling dexterity game is now on Kickstarter, this time featuring a bigger box, new insert, updated rules, better border walls, and most important of all – double-sided cloth playmats! Now the game is more streamlined, sturdier, with an improved premium feel and more attractive look, and it will all fit on a standard Kallax shelf. There’s also a new Wydlands expansion to boot, along with all the old expansion content available as add-ons, which means if you’ve missed the train on this exemplary flicking game you’ve got the chance to dive into the action.

     “The surface of the playmats are a very fine cloth weave, which is smooth to the touch. This allows the wood discs to glide across with impressive precision, making every shot satisfyingly consistent. We removed the obstacle holes from the play surfaces, replacing them with obstacle icons, just like in Catacombs & Castles. This allows us to have different obstacle placements between the two sides. With no holes, you can even use your awesome new playmats with your other games!”

For those who already own the 3rd edition of Catacombs from previous campaigns, there’s an upgrade option on this campaign that offers all the new content descirbed above, including the bigger box and new expansion, so you won’t need to buy a whole new copy. As designer Aron West has said in commentary – this is the way Catacombs is meant to be played, as once you play on mats you won’t want to go back to the old boards. This is truly a one-of-a-kind game deserving of evergreen status in many collections, and this is just the kind of deluxe treatment it deserves. If you’re interested in learning more about this upgraded version of Catacombs 3rd edition, check out the Kickstarter campaign, which has successfully funded, for more information, visuals, FAQ, updates, and stretch goals!

Renegade Game Studios has announced a monstrously cute,  real-time dexterity game called Slap It! The game is designed by Kane Klenko and illustrated by Mr. Cuddington.

Dangerously cute monsters from another dimension are popping into our world through a portal! Don’t let it get through! Slap It!

“In Slap It!, players race to be the first to slap the correct monster, but that’s not always as easy as it seems. With new monsters coming out of the portal, and the dice changing the rules, you’ll need to stay on your toes and be lightning fast. And, if you see a monster coming… Slap It!”

Whoever has slapped the most monsters at the end of the game wins!

Slap It! will be on retail shelves at the beginning of January 2019. It can be pre-ordered now.

In the box:

  • 1 Double-Sided Portal Tile
  • 2 Large Dice (1 Monster Die, 1 Direction Die)
  • 20 Monster cards numbered 1-20
  • 1 Rulebook

Number of players: 2-8
For ages: 7+
Playing time: 5-10 min
Game type: Real-time, family

Valentine’s day is still a bit away, but it’s never too early to start thinking of ideas for gifts or experiences for that special someone on Valentine’s Day, so Renegade Games decided to help you out.  Come January in 2019 they are releasing a Valentine’s Day version of Kitty Paw with an included love note right on the box that you can fill out for that special person in your life.  The game on the inside is the same recognize and react came that you love, but with an even more lovable packaging.  You can check out the love note in action on the Renegade Game’s website, and look for it in time for Valentine’s Day next year.

Wizkids has announced plans to release Fistful of Monsters, an expansion to their 2016 Dungeons & Dragons Game Rock, Paper, Wizard. Like the original game, the expansion allow 3-6 players to spend around 30 minutes to try and grab the most gold possible from a dragon’s hoard. The expansions is currently scheduled for an October 2018 release.

You have once again bested a dragon in its own lair and now comes time for your party to split the foul beast’s hoard accordingly… Can you deal with these Wandering Monsters and still come away with the most gold? Maybe that stash of magic items you left by the cave entrance will prove helpful…

Like the original game, the expansion is designed by Josh Cappel, Jay Cormier, and Sen-Foong Lim with artwork by Josh Cappel.

In this new expansion for Rock Paper Wizard, dastardly wandering monsters add a new threat. Each new wandering monster has a unique ability capable of forcing a wizard to move around the board, lose gold, end up injured. New magical items, used in combination with spells, might help players gain even more loot however.

The new box included with Fistful of Monsters features a deeper box so both the expansion and the original game can all be stored in a single box.

In the base game, Dungeons & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard, a dragon has been slain, leaving behind a pile of treasure players will fight over.

A shared spell book will be placed on the table, with hand gestures representing various possible spells. Players will will choose spells simultaneously, moving a player closer or further away from the loot or affecting the game state in other ways. Players will need to carefully manage the chaos in an attempt to be the first to grab 25 pieces from the dragon’s hoard and win the game.

The Spiel des Jahres awards are the premier awards for board gaming each year, with awards for Family Game of the Year, Strategy Game of the Year, and Kid’s Game of the Year.  Each year the Kid’s Games of the Year is announced in June while the rest are announced later in July, and today we have found out who the winner of the Kid’s Game of the Year is.  That game is Dragon’s Breath by HABA Games.

Dragon’s Breath is a cute little game for ages 5 and up, and in it you will have four young dragons and one dragon dad, trying to get the most gems out of a ice column filled with them.  That ice column in the game is represented by a stack of rings filled with plastic gems.  Each round the young dragons will pick a gem color that they think will come out of the ice when the dad melts it.  Once they have all picked the dad will pick up the top most ring, allowing some gems to fall off the tower to be collected by the young ones.  There is also some holes in the board that if a gem falls in there, it goes to the dad and he may win.  After all the gems that fell have been collected, the young dragons pick again what color they will collect and the next ring comes off.  This will continue until all the rings are gone and then whoever has the most gems is the winner.

As you can tell the game is simple, but with the fun theme and unpredictability of the gems in the ice, means everything isn’t always going to go as you think.  This is definitely a game for kids as it’s mostly luck with what gems will fall, but still has a element of strategy as they have to evaluate what gems they think will fall.  Dragon’s Breath is available now so if you are looking for a good kids game, go check it out.

Dungeon crawls are usually more serious affairs and can get rather involved with games like Gloomhaven, Descent, and Massive Darkness.  But what if you just want to have a silly time dungeoning in a short time span?  Then Fungeon Party is here to save the day.

Fungeon Party is a light dexterity, party game that plays in only 3 minutes, and can support up to 4 people.  In the game you will pull 6 quest cards from a quest deck, and it’s these quests that you have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Each player will pick a class like barbarian, cleric, ranger, or others, with each class having their own special abilities to accomplish quests, and stats that can increase over time.  But two questions remain, what do you do on these quests and how does it play in only 3 minutes?  Well to answer the time question is simple, you get 30 seconds to complete each quest for a total time of 3 minutes.  As for what quests you will be doing, you will be doing things like stacking dice on your forehead, knocking down a meeple surrounded by dice, balancing a meeple on a stick, bouncing dice into the box, and more.  Manage to complete all six quests and you win!

Fungeon Party is a random and frantic game that while may not exactly scratch that dungeon crawling itch, it would definitely be a fun opening game before the heavy stuff.  Look for it in stores in June, but you can go and pre-order the game today.  Check out Wizkids’ webpage for more information.

Two new games that have been recently announced include an English edition of the game Catch The Moon from Surfin Meeple, and the second edition of a game from Twilight Creations called MARTIANS!!!Catch the Moon is a easy to learn and play dexterity game where you are stacking ladders to be the first one to reach the moon.  On your turn you will roll a die which imposes some kind of placement rule like it has to touch only one ladder, it has to touch two ladders, it has to be the highest point, and so on.  Then you take a ladder and try to stack it according to the rule, if you can’t then you have to take a tear, but you also still have to place the ladder.  When you run out of ladders or tears the game ends, and whoever has the fewest tears will be the winner.  This amusing little dexterity game will be available in stores in June of this year.

MARTIANS!!! is another game in the ZOMBIES!!! line that Twilight Creations is known for, and pits the humans against a horde of martian invaders.  One person will play the martians, trying to take over the Earth, and everyone else will be playing the humans who are trying to beat back their advance.  The game itself is easy to play as on your turn you will roll dice to determine your movement speed, then if you stop on a space with a martian, you fight them!  Combat is also just as easy because you just roll a die and on a four, five, or six you kill the martian and add it to your collection, if not then you either need to spend bullet tokens to obtain a winning roll, or lose a life.  Manage to make it to the mother-ship with the components you need to blow it up and the humans win, else the tide of martians engulfs the land.  Of note for this release is that it’s a second edition, meaning all the usual updates and tweaks are included to make it look and play better than the original.  Look for this new edition on store shelves towards the end of April this year.