Gamewright has been in the business of making family games for 25 years. To celebrate this milestone, Gamewright is releasing a bunch of new games at the Toy Fair held in New York City, February 16-19. Here is a quick look at the titles to be released.
Guju Guju will receive it first English release from Gamewright. In Guju Guju, a number of fruit cards are placed face up on the table and the rest is divided amongst the players. Players take turns guesses which fruit is on the card they flip over from their deck. When one guesses correctly, everyone races to discard their cards onto the matching fruit cards in the center of the table. The first player who discard all his cards first wins. Guju Guju plays 2-5 players, 6+, in 5-10 minutes. It comes with 120 cards.
Rat-a-Tat Roll is a follow up to Rat-a-Tat Cat. In Rat-a-Tat Roll, player moved around the board trying to collect low cards (cats) while avoiding high cards (rats). Players choose how many dice they roll (one, two or three) for the best chance to land on the best spots. The player with the lowest score at the end wins. Rat-a-Tat Roll plays 2-5 players, 6+, in about 15 minutes. Contents include 45 cards, 15 tokens, 4 dice, 1 figurine, gameboard, and rules.
Twin It! also gets its first English release from Gamewright. In Twin It! players quickly reveal card the cards on the table and seek to find matches before the others. Over a hundred cards with colorful designs by Tom Vuarchex (Skull) look deceptively similar to other cards, so players have to be perceptive as well as quick. Twin It! plays 2-6 players, 6+, in 5-10 minutes. It comes with 135 cards and a sand timer.
Sushi Roll is a dice version of the ever popular Sushi Go! Instead of drafting cards, players draft dice from their conveyor belt and roll to place on their tray. Menu tokens allow players to re-roll a dice and chopsticks allow players to swap dice with another player. Sushi Roll plays 2-5 players, 8+, in 20 minutes. Contents include 30 dice, 40 scoring tokens, 20 pudding tokens, 18 menu tokens, 12 chopsticks tokens, 5 conveyor belts, 5 trays, dice bag, and rules.
Bloom is roll and write game where players roll colorful dice and circle the corresponding groups of flowers in matching color in the flower field (their score pad). Players need to make the most of their field as they decide how best to collect the flowers for their bouquets for scoring. Bloom plays 2-5 players, 8+, in 20 minutes, and includes 6 dice, scorepad, and rules.
Punto is an abstract strategy game where players attempt to connect four of their cards in a row. Players play cards next to each other to make or block connections. Additionally, players can also place higher value cards on top of lower value cards, so card value during placement is very important. Punto plays 2-4 players, 8+, in about 20 minutes, and includes 72 cards.
This Game Goes to Eleven is a clever hand management game named after a joke in the film This Is Spinal Tap. Player play cards from their hand into a pile seeking to raise the pile sum to 11. If they reach exactly 11, they pass the pile to another player. If they cause sum to exceed 11, they take the pile. The first player to discard all their cards is the winner. This Game Goes to Eleven plays 2-5 players, 8+, in about 20 minutes, and includes 72 cards.
Whozit? Is a cooperative party game where player secretly pick a character from a lineup and tip off teammates by rating how well a pair of clues applies to your choice. Your team can only win by eliminating all of the unlikely suspects and correctly guessing your identity. Whozit? plays 2+ players, ages 10+, in about 20 minutes. Contents include 100 character cards, 50 clue cards, 10 number tokens, 10 number cards, a score board, clue meter, pawn, and rules.
Hello My Name Is is the latest party game from Gamewright. Each card looks like the well-known name tag but instead lists a trait. Players play a trait and race to name someone who fits the description. The player with the most trait cards at the end is the winner. Hello My Name Is plays 3-8 players, ages 12+, in about 15 minutes.
Z-man Games has announced a new game called, Miaui (MEOW-ee), from designer Bruno Faidutti. The theme is based on anthropomorphic cats fishing in a lagoon. Miaui appears to be a light, family-friendly card game for 3-6 players aged 8 and up.
“As the tide changes on the island of Miaui, it’s time for the fishing festival! Dive into the depths to catch the most valuable fish for the evening feast.”
Miaui is played over twelve rounds. Each player has a hand of cards, numbered from one to twelve. The number on the card represents how deep you are willing to dive in the lagoon when you play it. In the center of the table there are three cards which represent the available catch for a given round. The “catch” can range from valuable fish to negative jelly fish. Each round players choose one card from their hand and simultaneously reveal their choice. The highest card played dives deepest in the lagoon to get the card at the bottom, whereas, the lowest played card takes the top card.
Read more about Z-Man’s new game.
Z-man Games has announced a light, quick family game. In Party Bugs, players will attempt to control a wild cockroach disco party. Keep your party under control by shooing the big pests to your opponents’ side of the dance floor and keeping the smaller bugs close by.
Each round, players will take turns playing a card face down in front of them. Then, the cards are flipped and new bugs join the dance floor. The player with the lowest-value card will take a bug already dancing around the disco ball. Once everyone has taken a card and no more bugs are on the dance floor, the new bugs can show off their moves. Players have thirteen rounds to try and push the biggest, most annoying bugs over to their neighbors while taking the smaller, less disruptive bugs for themselves.
“Going to a costume dance party, of course, requires a costume! Costume stores for cockroaches have limited options and these party bugs grabbed the thirteen most popular for the party. Showing up to a party in the same costume is frowned upon though. If a cockroach shows up with the same costume as another, both bugs will leave the party and go home in embarrassment.”
Party Bugs is a 15-minute party game for 2-6 players ages 8+. Z-Man Games is taking pre-orders for this zany incect-palooza now. The game will be released in late 2018.
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
Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:
“In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”
I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!
Newt Scamander’s fantastic beasts have escaped from his magical suitcase and it’s your job to catch them before they create too much chaos. In USAopoly’s Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit enter the realm of the supernatural and save Newt’s magical creatures. Play as Newt, Tina, Jacob or Queenie to collect sets of dice to take actions that open up abilities. Shield the creatures from the watchful no-maj eyes, draw cards and most importantly get them back to safety in the suitcase.
Fantastic Beasts is meant for 2-4 players age 8 and above and can be played in around 45 minutes.
The contents are: 4 Player Boards, 4 Sets of 15 Token Pieces, 30 Insight Cards, 12 Beasts Cards, Beast Marker and the Rules.
It will be available in August 2018.
Z-MAN Games announces Mesozooic, a real-time card game where you take on the role of a zoo director planning and constructing a dinosaur zoo that will surpass all others. Once built, fill your zoo with dinos and attractions that bring in the crowds.
Mesozooic takes place over three rounds. During each, you first draft the most desirable features into your hand. Choose to customize your zoo however you like. While the highlight of the zoo is, of course, the dinosaurs themselves – you can also add attractions, monorails and topiary to your layout as well.
After drafting, you will race against time, frantically sliding the cards one at a time to match up features and optimize your zoo’s layout. But watch out – things don’t always go as planned. Once you have a working zoo, you also need to keep it running smoothly. Remember, attractions need to be regularly maintained to be scored.
Finally, players will score their zoo layout to see who has created the best family attraction. The zoo with the best layout scores the most points and wins!
Perfect for parties and family game nights, Mesozooic is available for pre-order via Z-MAN Games or your local retailer!
Recommended age: 8+
Game time: 20 minutes
Designer: Florian Fay
Contents: 110 Cards, 1 Sand Timer, 1 Scorepad, 1 Rulesheet
Released in 2012, CGE now takes Pictomania and dresses it anew with its second edition! With a brand new design and at a lower price point, families will get to enjoy the fast paced game of drawing and guessing at the same time with this brand new edition!
Pictomania gives each player a certain word or phrase, then, simultaneously, everybody tries to draw it. Are you an artist? Do you draw bad? It’s fine! This game evens out talent by being a real-time game! Everybody draws and guesses what the other players’ drawings are, giving out points to everybody who finishes fast and guesses correctly.
Curious to know when this game will come out or what the changes are? Head on over to their website here for more details.
Crusader Kings and Crusader Kings II are some of the heaviest strategy computer games on the market. They are built to swallow you up into a medieval pit and if you know how to swim in those dark waters you are rewarded with some of the best brain-tingling challenges that gaming can offer. Every inch of the crusades is explored, the turbulent time spurned on by indulgences offered by the church to take back the holy land and the families that devoted everything to the cause for societal, spiritual, and political expediency. Yet even this intricate design and storytelling mirrors some aspects of modern board gaming mechanics and so it is great to see this series make it to tabletop via Kickstarter. As described via it’s campaign page:
“Crusader Kings – The Board Game captures the essence of the Crusader Kings experience, in a physical tabletop format. This is a strategy game at heart, but with a special focus on characters, intrigue, and juicy medieval drama. To win, you will need to groom your family, build mighty castles, develop your dominion, be shrewd in the realm of diplomacy and intrigue, and use your vassals wisely to grow your wealth and military power.”
3-to-5 players will have the chance to develop their own dynasty into one for the history books, leveraging every resource and person at their disposal, waging conflict on the battlefield as well as within the privacy of their own homes and territories. I have no doubt in my mind at all that this adaptation, while probably losing a bit of depth by necessity, will still be a rich experience in it’s almost legacy-like emergent gameplay at least. At the time of writing this, the game is already well-funded and has broken most available stretch goals, meaning that I am definitely not the only one who believes so as the support and community is certainly there. If you are interested in learning more about Crusader Kings – The Board Game, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for the rules, FAQs, reviews, previews, and updates.
Kingdomino: Age of Giants! is the first expansion for both Kingdomino and Queendomino, but it is actually several expansions in one.
First, there are the Giants! Certain dominoes cause a giant to appear on your kingdom. Those giants stand on crowns in your kingdom and prevent you from scoring them at the end of the game. Other dominoes allow you to get rid of the giant in your kingdom and send it over to an opponent’s kingdom.
Second, there are Quest that can be played with The Middle Kingdom rule. Quests allow your middle kingdom to score additional points if the surrounding squares or the four corners of your middle kingdom fulfills the quest conditions. This expansion is played separate from the Giants.
Lastly, Kingdomino: Age of Giants! adds a fifth player.
A nice addition with the expansion is the distribution tower to hold all the dominoes.
Contents of the expansion include 3D castle, 1 distribution tower, 2 brown wooden kings, 1 starting tile, 29 dominoes (12 Giant dominoes, 17 Quest tiles), 6 “Giant” meeples, and a score pad.
Learn more about Kingdomino: Age of Giants! from Blue Orange Games. Kingdomino: Age of Giants! is available for pre-orders now and will be in stores in August 2018.
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