Elzra Games

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!

Elzra Games is most noted for their Catacombs series of titles, a unique line of dexterity-based tabletop fantasy games where players flick wooden discs representing heroes, monsters, fireballs, and more. The latest in the series, Catacombs Conquest, funded on Kickstarter last year is available at retailers now.

Next in line from Elzra Games is Catacombs Cubes, designed by Ken Valles.  Unlike the other games in the Catacombs saga, players in Catacombs Cubes will build the town of Stormtryne with wooden shapes instead of flicking discs.  Not much more has released about the game at this time.  Visit Elzra Games to learn more and keep up to date on Catacombs Cubes.

Catacombs, Elzra and Dexterity Game System are regstered trademarks of Elzra Corp.

Elzra Games has just released Catacombs & Castles in North America. The game features two teams of heroes battling each other in a dexterity game based on a simplified game system used in Catacombs. Both the heroes and game boards included in Catacombs & Castles are compatible with Catacombs Third Edition to expand the adventure even further.
In this standalone game a catacomb team of heroes battles a castle team of heroes, flicking pieces around a board to simulate combat with cards and special powers defining movement and attack. Flick fireballs, shrikes and longbows on your path to victory.
Catacombs and Castles supports up to eight player competitively in a team mode and up to four players cooperatively teamed against an overseer playing in boss mode. Catacombs and Castles plays 2-8 players aged 14+ in 30-60 minutes.
What’s in the Box?
The Catacombs & Castles game includes:
  • One double-sided game board
  • 56 cards
  • 50 wooden game pieces
  • Rules

Kickstarter

Catacombs and Castles originally launched as a Kickstarter campaign, successfully raising over $360,000 from over 2,700 backers.

What’s next?

Elzra Games has additional titles in set in the Catacombs universe ready to release in 2018. Reprints of Catacombs 3rd Edition, the Cavern of Soloth expansion, and the Wyverns of Wyoemuir expansion will all be re-released in January 2018. Catacombs Conquest, a new card driven dexterity game set in the Catacombs universe, is also set to be released in 2018.

 

Coming into this week I thought I wouldn’t have much to talk about, thankfully Kickstarter proved me wrong, lets look at this week’s highlights.

First up is a board game accessory, and that is the Hex Chest Remasters from Elder Wood.  These are essentially hand crafted dice carrying cases that allow you to carry 7 dice in a beautifully made wooden chest.  As per their previous projects, the craftsmanship of these are excellent, and they come in a variety of wood colors and an even larger variety of lid carvings to choose from.  Also available in an oblong octogon to hold 9 dice, and you can even opt for inlays over engraving to give it make it really stand out.  They are even offering a flat pack option where you build your hex chest yourself, saving some money and allowing you to customize it how you want.  So if you are looking for that next great dice accessory, check out this Kickstarter page.

Next is another board game accessory and that is MOJO, the digital score keeper device.  This device boats an inexpensive price tag of $10 and while it’s main focus is keeping track of life and other counts in Magic game, it can be used as a score keeper for various other games for up to 4 players.  It also has a nifty option to flip the screen on one side so you can be playing across from someone and both have your personally score easily readable.  Is this device necessary considering the board game scoring apps out there?  The designers think so as this device is the size of a standard card, and is stand alone so you don’t have to mess with your phone or drain it’s battery.  Check out the Kickstarter page if you think you might want one, but be quick, the campaign ends on July 30th.

After that is the first offering from Spiel Press in their new premium roll and write series of games.  In this campaign you will be able to pledge for the Star Maps book and the Blood Royals book. Star Maps plays like the typical roll and write games you have played, where dice are rolled and you pick a die to fill in on your chart.  As you fill things in you will unlock bonus points and try to score the highest.  The big change however is that after that game, on the next page you will have more options to do things, and eventually even a tech tree of special abilities.  This gives the game a legacy feel as you advance through the game taking differing paths as you go.  The same goes for the Blood Royals game where you are battling your opponent for influence on the map, but as time goes on the geography changes, and alliances shift making for a different feel each time you play.  Needless to say I backed this immediatly as the concept intrigues me, if it intrigues you are well than head over to the Kickstarter page.

Following is a new version of Catacombs simply called Catacombs Conquest.  Catacombs is a highly rated dexterity, dungeon crawl type game where you are heroes flicking yourselves to victory, while the dungeon master tries to take you out.  What Catacombs Conquest aims to do is shrink down and simplify the game so that newer players can jump right into the game without having to learn more complex rules.  In this two to four player game and on your turn you simply do three things, draw a card, play a card, and then flick an obstacle.  This simple system means you will be up and running quickly, trying to flick your opponent into oblivion on an ever changing landscape.  Plus, with a price of $24 Canadian, this game has a low cost of entry as opposed to the larger game.  So if you want in on this flicking game, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next we have a trio of games for young children called Numeracy Legends, all aimed at helping them learn different math and game concepts.  In the first game, Numeracy Legends and The Rainbow Unicorn, players are route building in order to collect ingredients to help the rainbow unicorn make their famous cupcakes.  This is to teach children graph theory by determining the best route to collect all their ingredients.  The next game, Numeracy Legends and the Zerda Fox, has kids learning about probabilities as they decide what paths they want to take, when to get more cupcakes or ice cream, and more.  And finally there is Numeracy Legends and the Gluttony Dragon, this is the final game and turns into a once versus many game with the adult as the dragon, and the kids as the heroes.  The players will be drafting equipment cards and secretly choosing battle types in order to face off against the dragon.  This teaches game theory as the kids will be working together to try and defeat a common enemy.  So if you want to get your hands on this trio of games, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Lastly we have the 2nd edition of the game Argent: the Consortium.  This is a highly confrontational worker placement game where you are all vying to be the next dean of the pretigous magic school.  To do that you need to get the most votes, but the tough part is, out of the 12 that will vote, you know how three are going to vote.  This means you will either have to use the shotgun approach and try to be good at everything, or spend time and energy learning their voting styles to tailor your strategy.  Either way you are going to be sending out your students to various tasks to get new spells, up various stats like wisdom and IQ, purchase new items, or make some money.  The confrontational part comes in with two aspects, first is that you only collect resources and such at the end of the round, not when you place your people.  Second, you can knock people out of their spots, meaning getting to a spot last may be better than getting to a spot first, and risking getting knocked out.  Either way, if you liked the first edition or are interested in this game now, check out the Kickstarter page.

Catacombs has seen a long and worthwhile campaign for a new third edition this year, and I was one of the many backers proud to make it happen. Now available at retail, the award-winning dexterity game has certainly garnered many fans and accolades while being the only stand-alone game in Elzra’s repertoire. So imagine my surprise when, in a recent update, Aron West of Elzra Games teased at future projects within the Catacombs universe. Incredibly curious, I reached out to the game designer for more information, and I am delighted to type that he graciously responded.

M: Catacombs has seen excellent success with it’s latest Kickstarter campaign. Will Elzra be returning to Kickstarter for it’s future releases in the Catacombs line?

A: We expect to, yes.

M: The teaser image in the latest update looks like an expansion, similar to Cavern of Soloth. Are all 3 products in the pipeline strictly expansions to the base game?

A: No, the first game is a card game set in the Catacombs world, designed by one of the co-designers of the original edition of Catacombs, Ryan Amos, and myself. The second is a new standalone, competitive game that uses our Dexterity Game System that is the foundation of Catacombs. And the third is an expansion to the current cooperative Catacombs game (Wyverns of Wylemuir).

M: The newest edition of Catacombs is really chock full of content. What kind of additions can fans expect in future Catacombs products?

A: New character classes (the wyverns, for example), new game boards with different obstacle types, possibly expanding the RPG / story telling element in the game. We feel there are lots of possibilities.

Color me excited! More components, options, and storytelling elements – News of new Catacombs content is fantastic enough, but a card game and a competitive dexterity game? Certainly good things to look forward to, especially when you consider the care and attention to design exemplified in the newest edition of their flagship game. There’s some big shoes to fill in for the new ventures, but knowing the heart and the community at the wheel, I believe we will be impressed.

Thanks so much to Aron West for taking the time to answer and share with all of us the exciting future of Catacombs. I for one am glad to report that we have even more adventures to look forward to.