Wizkids has announced the first English version of the popular Japanese horror game Hako Onna (“Box Woman”, or “Lurking Girl”) by designer 江神 号 (Go Ejin). In Hako Onna, one player plays the titular evil spirit, hiding in a randomly constructed house made of 9 tiles, waiting to kill the other players, who are unsuspecting visitors. The visitors have to search the house for items to help defeat the ghost, or keys to escape the house. The Hako Onna moves in secret, masquerading as an object in the room while the visitors close their eyes, except when she screams, revealing her location but allowing her to play a powerful card. Visitors on their turns use a dexterity mechanic to stack “noise tokens” while searching. If the stack falls or gets too high, the noise alerts the Hako Onna, who immediately gets a turn, much to everyone’s chagrin. For more information check out the press release here, and Wizkid’s dedicated Hako Onna page here. Expect the English version of Hako Onna to come to stores in September 2019.
Pretzel Games, the wood block experts behind Flick Em Up and Junk Art, are at it again, having just announced Men at Work, a competitive stacking and balancing game designed by Rita Modi, with art by Chris Quilliams. In Men at Work, 2-4 players try to build the best construction from wooden supports, girders, and workers (with hard hats!), trying to impress Rita the Boss in order to earn Employee of the Month. The game includes 16 wooden workers, 28 girders, 8 supports, instruction cards, safety certificates, a rescue hook, 12 beams, 12 bricks, and 3 modules for increased replayability. Games typically last 30-45 minutes, and are suitable for ages 8 and up. Look for Men at Work at Essen Spiel 2018 this October, but for more details and pictures now, check out Pretzel Games’ press release and web site.
Renegade Games is bringing Circus Puppy, the newest game from designer/artist Aza Chen (Cat Tower, Shiba Inu House), to North America. In Circus Puppy, 2-5 players draw those familiar, incredibly adorable, folded animal cards we know so well, and follow instructions stacking them on either the high or low stage to earn points. Be careful in this quick playing dexterity game not to let the growing towers falls. Circus Puppy features 45 dog cards in 17 different breeds, 5 stage cards, Shiba Inu Meeples (of course),, two stages (box and lid!), and score cards. You can read more details in Renegade’s press release or on their official webpage for the game. Look for Circus Puppy in Summer 2018.
WizKids has two interesting new games coming to shelves in February 2018.
Dark.Net is a card game set in the techno future in which 4 mega-corporations battle for dominance. Players each take control of one corporation, collecting information by intercepting transmissions. Players then use fences to buy and sell information, boosting their abilities. Reputation can be gained by gaining credits, hiring informants, extending a players network or making contact. Information on Dark.Net is limited, but click here for distributor information about this upcoming game.
Image from BGG.com
Kung-Fu Zoo is a dexterity dice flicking game in which 2-4 players take on the roles of the Elephant, Zebra, Cheetah or Gorilla. Each role has its own dice and abilities. Players take to battle on a vacuum form arena board, with each player trying to knock the opponents’ animals into cages or onto their backs.
There’s an interesting take on castle building in Castle Dukes, a new game on Kickstarter from publisher Medieval Lords and designer Dominic Michael H. Castle Dukes is a Dexterity, combined with Euro, type game for 1 to 4 players that will play in anywhere from 25 minutes (single player) to 60 minutes (4 players).
The game is played over 9 turns with each turn being comprised of 3 phases: Room, Build, and Guest phases.
On turns 4 and 7, check the top right corner of the Guest card for a Fire icon. If there is one, the Dragon has appeared and will attack everyone! Draw 5 Dragon Damage Chits from the drawbag and choose to resolve an amount of it based on one’s castle Defence/ Offence. If the Dragon did not appear during turns 4 and/or 7, it will definitely appear the following turn (turns 5 & 8 respectively). On the last turn of the game (turn 9), check for 1 final Dragon Attack.
There’s a ton of reviews up on the Kickstarter page. Even better yet, the game has already funded with only, as of the time of writing this article, 11 days left in the campaign. There’s a bunch of KS exclusive content and a number of add-ons available. You can visit the Kickstarter page here to read more as well as fund the project.
Fresh off the presses come three new releases from Cranio Creations, the Italian publisher responsible for Dungeon Fighter and Steam Park. Keeping their target audience in their crosshairs, Cranio’s 2015 trifecta are all light-to-medium games with striking artwork and manageable playtimes. Beyond that the games are quite different.
Unusual Suspect, designed by Paolo Mori (Augustus, Libertalia) is a light party-style game of deduction that explores perceptions and stereotypes. It plays in thirty minutes and features some cartoony artwork. You can find Tom’s review here.
The Tower of Monster is a quirky dexterity game with some eye-catching components, including some distinct player pawns and a four-story tower with windows to stick your fingers through. Designers Simone Luciani (Tzolk’in) and Antonio Tinto (Egizia) teamed up for this one, and it sports whimsical artwork by Valentina Moscon (Dungeon Bazar).
Finally, Council of Four is the weightiest game of the bunch: a family Euro about Renaissance-era merchants jockeying for position with city councils and attempting to situate their emporium in the most lucrative location. It was designed by Luciani e Tascini (The Voyages of Marco Polo) and the artwork is by the prolific Arnaud Demaegd (Caylus).
F2Z Entertainment would like to announce the first expansion for Pretzel Games’ Flick ‘Em Up entitled Stallion Canyon. In this expansion, horses are introduced into the game, allowing your cowboys to ride them to move faster and cross canyons.
This expansion will feature a booklet including five new scenarios and three practice fields to improve your abilities. Additionally, new components will be included such as lassos, horses, and “high shot” ramps.
A new upstart design house on Kickstarter, Secret Base Games is teaming up with Good Games – the largest hobby game distributor and game store chain in Australia – to bring you MONSTROUS, a tactical dexterity game of cunning card throwing and hand management designed by Kim Brebach. MONSTROUS is a 30 minute game for 2-5 angry gods, each trying to use their terrible monsters to drive the most people back into their long abandoned temples.
Each player takes turns choosing a monster from their hand and throwing it onto the table, trying to land the card on top of other player’s monsters or on one of the preset locations spread around the table in order to activate the special abilities of the cards. Choose carefully what monsters you play – every monster is double sided with a different power on each side – and be careful what you aim for or you might accidentally fall into one of your opponents’ traps! Once one player runs out of cards to play, all other players take 1 final turn and the player with the most faith wins. Are you ready to release the Kraken?
Tumblin’ Dice has actually been around for quite some time. For those not familiar with this fun “dexterity” game this version is being reprinted by Eagle-Gryphon Games and developed by creator Rick Soued. It’s similar to shuffleboard however, in this case, you’re flicking dice on a multi-tiered and unique wooden game board.
This new version, available to Kickstart here, will feature several new versions and has a variety of stretch goals including a variety of die, cool custom variants, and more!
So why back this version?
Unique Gameplay! – Bring the fun of yard game classics to your living room. Perfect for a rainy day or an evening in!
Get a great price! Only $55 for early backers. If our funding is successful and this game is released for sale to the public, this game will retail for $79.99.
Stretch Goals – Will be included to make your Kickstarter version of the game that much better.
Bundled Deals!–ADD-Ons with TERRIFIC prices on other Eagle-Gryphon games featuring DICE can be added to any pledge.
Tumblin’ Dice is bound to be a favorite family hit. It’s easy to learn and fun for all ages. More importantly, if you pledge within the first 72 hours, you’ll get in for $4 cheaper than everyone else. Head on over to Kickstarter here for more information about the project!