family game

dungeon busters

Mayday Games is known for their commitment to family friendly, filler games like Click Clack Lumberjack and Get BitDungeon Busters is the next game in the line and brings with it the fun of looting a dungeon, or the peril of making your opponents pay for their greed!

In Dungeon Busters, the players take the role of heroes exploring dungeons and defeating monsters in search of treasures. In order to defeat a monster, every player simultaneously plays a card face-down then all reveal. If two or more players play the same value, they are all ignored. If players are defeated, the player who played the lowest value should return some treasures as a penalty. If players defeat the monster, players divide rewards but the player who played the lowest card gets the best reward!

dungone busters cards

Dungeon Busters shares an element with Get Bit but the semi-cooperative nature is sure to create some exciting and unexpected outcomes.  There are videos reviews and rules explanations on the Kickstarter page.  With only five days left, this game has funded well beyond its goal and is currently knocking out stretch goals.  Be sure to check it out and see if it’s a fit for your family.

r&r 150

We have 3 new R & R games releasing in October 2015.

gobble stones

Gobble Stones

Players are hungry little goblins, trying to gobble up as many stones as possible to score points. Be a clever goblin and eat up the most valuable stones, but don’t be too greedy…. a stuffed goblin is a slow goblin! The more stones you gobble, the bigger you get, and the fattest goblin wins!

Gobble Stones is family strategy game. It plays 2-4 player and it’s for ages 10 and up. It will take 30+ minutes to complete a game.


Rome: City of Marble

Influence and direct new construction of the expanding metropolis through shrewd development of the city’s districts. Construct various civic buildings: Temples for worship, Baths  for health, Theaters and Arenas for arts and entertainment. The more you build, the more you gain Imperium, the measure of real power and influence in Roman society.

This a tile-laying game for 2-4 players, ages 14+, and it will take around 60 minutes to play.



Trading goods reaped from your plantations, you acquire shares of companies based in Mombasa, Saint-Louis, Cape Town and Cairo. However, the value of a company is only as good as its sphere of influence. So expanding into new territories is vital if you want your investments to pay off. Players start with an identical hand, but acquire new and more powerful cards from the rotating display throughout the game.

Will you collect diamonds or opt for clever bookkeeping? Will you play aggressively by expanding companies and pushing back others, or will you sit on the fence and jump in at an opportune moment? Perhaps a little of everything!

This is billed as a tense Euro-style strategy game which plays 2-4 players, ages 12+ with a 90 minute play time.


On August 28th, Ares Games announced they will be publishing the english edition of the game Quickpick – Island of Monster Masks.  This is a family style game meant for ages 4 and up where you have arrived on an island inhabited by strange creatures, so in order to fit in you start to wear big masks.  But over time you have forgotten what everyone looks like and so you have to try and figure out what masks people are wearing.

Gameplay is simple where the current player, called the mime, draws a cards from the deck and then makes a face to match that card.  Then everyone else has to figure out which mask his face matches and grab it.  If they grab the correct mask then both that player and the mime get a mask and then the next player becomes the mime.

Expected release is in October 2015 with the plan of it being available at the Essen Spiel.  Below is the full press release from Ares Games.

Ares Games to publish the English edition of Quickpick – Island of Monster Masks

The new family game, the first one in partnership with Chinese publisher Planplay, will be launched at Essen Spiel 2015, in October

August 28, 2015 – The Italian games publisher Ares Games announces a license agreement with the Chinese company Planplay to publish the English language edition of Quickpick – Island of Monster Masks, a new game for three to eight players, age 4 and up. The English edition will be published simultaneously with the Chinese edition, and will be released at Essen Spiel 2015 (October, 511th).

QuickpickIsland of Monster Masks is the first game of a new line presenting innovative gameplay based on the ability of choosing and taking actions quickly, using different perception skills, such as recognition of expressions and sounds. In the Island of Monster Masks, players arrive at an island inhabited by strange creatures and began to fit in by wearing big masks themselves, but then they can no longer recognize one another among the island inhabitants.

The gameplay combines pattern recognition, dexterity, and simultaneous action mechanics. The mime draws a Mask card and imitates the face shown, while the other players try to guess which Monster he is acting out. If a player guessed correctly, he and the mime collect a Mask. The winner is the player who collects most masks during the game.

Quickpick is a great addition to our Family Game line, bringing an easy, funny, and original game, suited for players of all ages, including very young ones, and at an affordable cost,” said Roberto Di Meglio, Director of R&D of Ares Games.

“We started to work with Ares Games in 2011, distributing their games to China – not just because they do great games, but because they support and care about their partners. We are really honored to now add a new dimension to this partnership, starting withQuickpick – a game we have a lot of confidence in. We choose to publish Quickpick for kids and families, but it proved to be so funny during the playtests that we found out it was welcomed by “hardcore” gamers,’ too. The fun has no limits!” declared Daniele P. Correale, product manager of Planplay.

In the past, Planplay has published the Chinese editions of several Ares Games’ titles, including War of the Ring Second Edition andInkognito

Quickpick is designed by Martino Chiacchiera and Benedetto degli Innocenti, and is illustrated by Xin Mao. The game is expected to release in October 2015, launching at Spiel 2015, the huge game show at Essen, Germany.

For more information, visit the Ares Games website.

About Ares Games

Ares Games is an Italian board game publisher established in 2011 to create quality hobby products for the international audience. Ares Games is the publisher of the award-winning “War of the Ring” board game, “Wings of Glory” range of airplane combat games and miniatures recreating aerial warfare in WW1 and WW2, and more recently, the tactical ship-to-ship miniature game “Sails of Glory,” and the cooperative tactical Sci-Fi miniatures game “Galaxy Defenders.” The Ares Games’ catalog also includes Family Games and Euro Games. For further information, visit the website and the Facebook page –

About Planplay

Jinan Planplay Co.,Ltd is a board game publisher and distributor mainly focused on the Chinese market, but with an office in Italy. Beginning in 2010, Planplay has been engaged in the distribution of Chinese language board games for the Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong markets, and in English versions to all emerging markets of Southeast Asia. To learn more, visit the website  

Stone Blade Entertainment, the publisher of the Ascension deck-building game, has announced the release of a new family-friendly card game, Bad Beets.

Bad Beets, designed by Justin Gary (Ascension), is a short bluffing game for 2-5 players, where players need to finish their beets (through eating them, feeding the dog, etc) before leaving the table.

To read the full article, see here.

bullfrogs banner

Thunderworks Games has announced that Bullfrogs will be coming out next month.  In this great little abstract strategy game you will be fighting for control of the lily pads in the pond.  You win those by having the most strength on a filled lilypad.  Designed for between 2-4 players this looks to be a title that will allow for some fun strategy paired with a fairly unique theme.

Marketed for ages 8 and up you can bet that this will be popular among the family crowd that is looking for something new to help their children develop higher level thinking.  Not only is there strategy in how unites are placed on the board but there is also a fair bit of strategy to realigning a board after a scoring opportunity forces moving of pieces.  What might have been viable strategy before can truly float away from you.

They have put out a good how to play video that gives you a decent taste for how the game is played.

Publishers description below video.

“Just as water retains no constant shape, in warfare there are no constant conditions.”

– Sun Tzu

Weapons clash, water splashes and the booming battle cries of armored bullfrogs ring out across the moonlit swamp. Amphibian armies leap from lily pad to lily pad in their desperate struggle to win control of the pond.

Suddenly, a shout of triumph rises up. Enough warriors have finally entered battle on a lily pad to dominate the fight and assure victory for their side. Overloaded, the lily pad sinks into the swamp.

Frogs scatter from the sinking lily pad to the surrounding ones, coming to aid their allies or sabotage their foes, their weight causing the lily pads to drift away across the cold, glittering water. The winning commander must understand the ripple effects of every move, and avoid acting to win a single battle at the cost of losing the war.

In Bullfrogs, players take control of warring frog factions and battle for lily pads by deploying, sabotaging and jumping units on an ever-changing battlefield.  Position your troops on the safety of the log card it the center of the pond or setup a large cascade to swing the tide of war in your favor.  Choose your tactics through cunning and wit to lead your frog battalion to victory!

2-4 players
Ages 8+
30 minute play time


  • 1 Rulebook
  • 49 Cards
  • 64 Markers


Maranda Enterprises, publisher of games like Sneaky Statues and Eternas announced:

double take

Speedy Recall: Double Take!

This takes the first Speedy Recall and gives it a twist with the Double Take card. Like the first Speedy Recall game you flip over the letter cards and category cards. The combination of letter and category cards may have you naming a fruit that starts with the letter “B”, or animal that starts with the letter “D”. Now you must consider the Double Take card which may make you include an answer that includes the letter “T”. This game is for 2-6 players for ages 6+, and it plays in 5-10 minutes.

  • 41 Letter cards
  • 41 Category cards
  • 7 Double Take cards
  • 7 Make-your-own-category cards

chitag logo

The 2014 Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) was another big success this year. Hitting in late November, this Chicago Navy Pier event is a destination for kids, adults, and families.

This year, ChiTAG featured some of the biggest names in the toys and gaming industry: Hasbro, Mayfair, and Ravensburger just to name a few. There were a myriad of events as well, including a tournament for Rummikub and Settlers of Catan Championship pre-qualifiers.

“If you’ve never been to the fair, there are huge companies like Spin Master and Hasbro all the way down to little companies who have only one game and are just getting started — plus everything in between!”

knock down barns

What about the games? The Game Aisle took a look at a few choice selections from ChiTAG 2014 including Selfie (USAopoly), Knock Down Barns (Emerald Den Games), Loud About (Keji Inc.), The Game of THINGS 10th Anniversary Edition (Patch Products).

Head over to their blog to get the scoop on these ultra cool family and party games.

friday 13th

Friday the 13th

First published in 2010 in China and Germany, this Reiner Knizia (Through the Desert, Ra, Tigris & Euphrates) family, card game will get treatment for English, French, and Dutch.  Friday the 13th has also been distributed under the name Poison and Baker’s Dozen.

Bad omens are all around you! Whether it’s black cats walking in front of you, walking under ladders or breaking mirrors, you will want to play your cards smartly to avoid all the bad luck or risk gathering as much bad luck as possible to pass the curse on to your adversaries and ruin their hands! And watch out for the “13th” cards because they are always bad luck!

friday 13 cards

In a round, each player gets a hand of cards, with the cards coming in three suits that have values from 1 to 7 and a fourth “joker” suit in which all the cards have a value of 4. On a turn, a player discards a card from her hand onto a pile of the appropriate color (with jokers being playable on any pile) and gives the sum of all cards now in that pile. If the sum is higher than 13, then the player must first take all of the cards already in the pile, leaving only her card behind.

The round ends once all the cards have been played, then players compare how many cards they have in each of the three suits; whoever has the most cards throws them away, while everyone else scores 1 penalty point per card. Each joker is worth 2 penalty points. Whoever has the fewest penalty points after each player has started a round once wins!

Components include 50 cards.  Friday the 13th is for 3 to 6 players, ages 8 and up and a play time of 30 minutes.

zombie 15

Zombie 15’

Designed by Guillaume Lémery and Nicolas Schlewitz, this real time, cooperative, zombie-themed game is expecting to release August 2014.

Zombie 15′ is a frantic, scenario-based survival game in which time is scarce and cooperation is key.  Set in an apocalyptic world where anybody that could have watched a NC-17 movie has been turned into a zombie, each player is a 15 year old teenager working as a team with the other players to survive.  The game comes with a 15 minute soundtrack that provides ambiance and timing and a 15 scenario campaign, Death at Your Heels.

zombie 15 pieces

Other components include 32 double-sided tiles, over 100 figures, over 100 cards, and a plethora of tokens.  Zombie 15′ is for 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up with a play time of 15 minutes.

Twin Tin Bots

Designed by Philippe Keyaerts (Small World, Evo) and originally published by Flatlined Games last year as a multi-lingual edition, Twin Tin Bots will be brought to the U.S. by IELLO.

Each players controls two harvester Bots trying to harvest the most crystals and bring them back to base. The Bots are programmed using simple orders but communications are limited.

Components include a dual-sided game board and crystal track, 18 plastic crystals, 12 plastic robots, 6 bases and programming boards and 6 x 6 order tiles for each player.

Twin Tin Bots is for 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up and a play time of 50 minutes.

Heroes of Normandie Expansions

Heroes of Normandie designed by Yann and Clem and published with Devil Pig Games, is a World War 2, strategy miniature game minus the miniatures.  Two players control armies and assign tokens for initiative and bluffing.  The base game is required for all of the following expansions.

normandie scenarios

Heroes of Normandie: Scenario Pack D-Day

This is the first expansion for Heroes of Normandie.  It adds three new scenarios (which can be combined for a complete landing campaign) and a new Landing-Scenario-Generator.  New recruitment options include US Engineers and German Festungskompanie.

Components include two new platoons with units, 6 double sided boards, and more counters.

normandie river set

Heroes of Normandie: Terrain Pack – River

A minor expansion for Heroes of Normandie.  This pack introduces rivers to the base game.

Components include 5 double sided tiles and ruins and explosive counters.

normandie rifle

Heroes of Normandie: US Rifle Platoon

Another minor expansion pack that incorporates a Rifle Platoon onto the battlefield.

normandie rangers

Heroes of Normandie: US Rangers

Another minor expansion pack that incorporates US Rangers, a close combat unit, onto the battlefield.

normandie panzergenadier

Heroes of Normandie: German SS Panzergrenadier

Another minor expansion pack that incorporates the SS troops and an evil leader, Heinrich Von Kamptz.

normandie extra units

Heroes of Normandie: Extra Units (US and Germany)

Another minor expansion pack that incorporates more weapons and vehicles to gameplay.  Duel weapon and multi-player rules can be found here.

normandie box german

Heroes of Normandie: Army Box German

This army box has a counter tray that helps to bring order to your collection and has extra components for the Panzer-Lehr-Division.  It includes 3 new units Panzergrenadiere, Sturmpioniere, Panzergruppe High Command (Artillery, Airstrike, Smoke, Directives), 3 new heroes, 15 wooden order tokens, and 2 dice.

normandie box us

Heroes of Normandie: Army Box US

This army box has a counter tray that helps to bring order to your collection and has extra components for the Fourth Infantry Division.  It includes 3 new units: Recon Platoon, Sherman Platoon and Weapon Platoon High Command (Artillery, Smoke, Directives), 3 new heroes, 15 wooden order tokens, and 2 dice.

ghosts love candy

Ghosts Love Candy is a new family game up on Kickstarter from 5th Street Games.  It’s currently met over 1/2 of its $7k funding goal with a variety of stretch goals.

Here’s what will ship in the box:

ghosts box

It’s a game that can play in only 20-30 minutes and the Kickstarter page (linked above) contains numerous embedded video rules as well as a link to download the rules.


Each jumbo 1” cube has 6 images or icons, with a total of 54 all-different hand-inlaid images that can be mixed in over 10 million ways. You roll all 9 cubes to generate 9 random images and then use these to invent a story that starts with “Once upon time…” and uses all 9 elements as part of your narrative. 

Play it as a game for one or more players, or as a party game for three or more. Or play it as an improv game where each player contributes part of the story, picking up where the last one left off. Win award points for speedy delivery, inventiveness, imagination, drama and humor.

Full instructions include several other ways to use the cubes to solve problems, break up writer’s block, enhance your imagination and heighten your ability to find unifying themes among the diverse images. Interpret or get at the meanings of your answers more quickly. Let your imagination roll wild! Tell some really big stories! 

This special edition features jumbo versions of the original best-selling Rory’s Story Cubes. Perfect for classrooms, large groups, or for anyone who wants a larger set of cubes. Let the images spark your imaginiation and you’ll be guaranteed a grand time!

  •  1+ players
  • Ages 8+
  • 15 minute play time


  • 9 jumbo story cubes
  • Rules