family game

great dinosaur banner

If you are looking for a game with a unique theme, look no further than The Great Dinosaur Rush, a game about the great dinosaur rush, also called the bone wars, in the late 1800’s as paleontology exploded.  In this game you are taking on the role of one of these paleontologists as you are digging up bones to build your masterpiece of a dinosaur.  In the game you can take several actions between digging up bones, sabotaging your opponents dig sites (called notorious actions), or modifying the desires of the museum of what they want to see in your dinosaur.  Building your dinosaur is the interesting part in that they give you a guide on the general shape and where different bones have to go, but you design and build your dinosaur on your own, letting your creative side show through.  At the end of the game you will score based on what bones are on your dinosaur with what the museum wanted determining the points for each collection of bones.  You also can get points from notorious actions you take during the game, but if you were the most notorious, those bonus points become a penalty.

The game sounds excellent and looks like it will be a hit with families, look for it in stores come September and you can pre-order it directly from the Ape Games site and get a few bonus bits in the process.

fourthebirds comp

Breaking Games, who have published games like The Game of 49 and Letter Tycoon, have released a new family game called 4 the Birds.  This game take the classic 4-in-a-row win condition and adds some interesting twists so it’s not just a game of who messes up first, these come in the form of action cards, a pecking order, and non-player pawns.  To play you will roll two dice of your choice, there are d10s and d8s, and whatever the result is you can either place or move a bird to that coordinate, alternatively you can play an action card to modify things to a better outcome.  The pecking order comes in when you try to move into a space that is already occupied, then you check handy rock, paper, scissors type wheel on the board to see who comes out on top.  And last are the non-player pawns, one is the hawk which causes birds around it to scatter, and the crow which has priority over everything in the pecking order so you can’t move into a space occupied by a crow.  First person to get 4 of their birds either in a straight line or a 2×2 square is the winner.

The game sounds interesting enough and was a finalist on Tabletop Deathmatch so it can’t be all bad, you can check out the game on the Breaking Games site.

once upon a time

Now available from Asmodee, StoryLine Fairy Tales is a collaborative card game in which players construct fairy tales by contributing objects, places, actions, and features to a narrator who chooses one to add to the story.  The narrator changes players each turn, allowing everyone a chance to impact the growing story.  When a player’s card is selected by the narrator, they earn a point.  At the end of the story, the player with the most points wins.  From the product announcement page:

StoryLine: Fairy Tales is a great game for storytellers in need of inspiration, children learning to read, or your friends and family game night! Try to tell as close to your favorite tale, or make up a wild adventure of sick genies, poisoned beans, and foul-mouthed crows. Create characters, stories, and memories in this playful game experience of trials, triumphs, and tales!

This game is sure to be a hit with families and has great educational qualities as well.  Look for it in your friendly local game store now.

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.