family games

On July 3rd, Days of Wonder announced the upcoming release of Deep Blue, a family-weight push-your-luck and engine building game designed by
Asger Harding Granerud & Daniel Skjold Pedersen (co-designers of 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, Copenhagen, and A Tale of Pirates).

Having acquired a fabled map pointing the right way to the most ancient, legendary, and extravagant underwater wrecks, players in Deep Blue will take risks and compete to become the most wealthy diver. They will do so by collecting the right crew of divers, sailors, and archaeologists, racing to the best wreck sites, and searching the seas to discover new wrecks.

According to the game designers, “Deep Blue is one of those games that took 6 years on and off, to get just right. It is a passion project and a game we are immensely proud of. And we are very happy to announce this as our first partnership with Days of Wonder, one of our grail publishers.”

Days of Wonder expects Deep Blue to be available in Europe and North America in October. To find more information about the game, including the full rule book, visit the game’s official site here.

The newest installment in the popular EXIT: The Game series of one-time use escape room style games, The Catacombs of Horror, is coming soon from Thames & Kosmos by returning designers Inka & Markus Brand (Village, Rajas of the Ganges, The Rise of Queensdale) and Ralph Querfurth (also worked on EXIT: The Game – The Sinister Mansion and The Mysterious Museum).

In the Catacombs of Horror, you and up to 3 of your friends will scavenge the puzzling catacombs of Paris, searching for clues within the gloomy crypts in order to try and solve a mystery surrounding the disappearance of one of your friends.

The Catacombs of Horror will be 4.5/5 in the EXIT difficulty scale, and is a double-sized edition presented in two separate parts.

For more information on this upcoming release, click here.

Indie Boards & Cards has launched their Kickstarter campaign for Kodama 3D, designed by Erica Hayes-Bouyouris (Bosk) and Daryl Andrews (SagradaCity of GearsBosk), and featuring artwork from
Kwanchai Moriya (Dinosaur Island, Cryptid, and Catacombs). Kodama 3D, a follow-up to the popular award-winning Kodama: The Tree Spirits, takes familiar elements of the original game but introduces a three-dimensional game space and new twists on mechanisms and gameplay.

The game will include tree trunks for up to 4 players, 38 goal cards, 64 branch tiles, 8 Kodama player tokens, and exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign is a stretch goal promo pack. The campaign also has the option for add-ons including a neoprene playmat and a promo pack from past Kodama Kickstarter campaigns.

Find out more details by visiting the official Kickstarter campaign page here.

Coming in June from WizKids is Andrew J. Smith’s Palm Trees.

For 2-6 players ages 10 and up, this card game has 78 cards made up of fronds and coconuts, all of which have a specific way you must hold them; for example, by the thumb and pinky only. Players will pick cards for their opponents in the hopes that they will drop the cards. The best tree will win. In the teams of two version, one player will grow the palm trees in their hands, and their partner will try to place the cards into the “trees.” The first team to place 6 cards in each tree will win. The game also includes trunk tattoo sleeves for players to wear on their tree-arm.

The game has a playing time of 20 minutes and looks to be a family game.

Calliope Games has announced a new Tsuro game, Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, coming in 2019. Tsuro (2004) by Tom McMurchie, and its followup Tsuro of the Seas (2012) by Tom McMurchie and Jordan Weisman are well regarded abstract family games, in which 2-8 players take turns placing tiles in a grid. Each tile continues several curving paths. Each player has a token on one specific path, and must move along the path as it grows. Therefore, new tiles have the possibility of moving a token off the board, and eliminating that player. Little is known about the details of Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, except that it will be featured soon during PAX Unplugged, November 30 through December 2.

Fun Fast Games is a collection of quick, easy to learn and (most importantly) fun games from Asmodee UK. They are travel-friendly games that the whole family can play together. Each of the games in the range can easily be taught and understood by players at all levels of experience. Here’s just some of the games in the line-up.



A simple card game of speedy observation – find the one matching image between two different cards. Features five exciting mini-games that will test players’ ability to spot it quickly! Dobble on BGG (also known as Spot It!)

Cobra Paw

Roll the dice to get a pair of colored symbols and quickly spot and grab the tile with the matching symbols. The first player to claim six tiles wins! Be careful though – tiles that have already been claimed can be snatched away as well. Cobra Paw on BGG

Who Did It?

Someone’s pet has left an unwelcome – and stinky – surprise on the carpet, but whose animal is at fault? Players try to pass the blame onto other people’s pets in this fast-paced game of memory and deduction! Who Did It? on BGG


HABA USA is looking to add a new game to its lineup is hosting its 2nd Annual Game Design Contest from now till July 20th.  Submitted games must be family weight games, allow for 2-5 players, play between 15-45 minutes, and fit into the HABA line of games. Also, submitted games must use at least three items from the HABA design kit, which contains random and unique pieces from discontinued and/or current HABA games.  Game design kits can be purchased directly from HABA online.  Any remaining available kits can also be purchased at HABA’s booth at the Origins Game Fair and the Dice Tower Con.   Only 200 kits are available and there is a limit of one kit per designer.  While there is no guarantee that the game will be published, the top 3-5 games will be presented to HABA for consideration and winning designers will receive a HABA games bundle.  Can you design a family game for HABA? See contest rules and details here.

Days of Wonder has announced plans to release Ticket to Ride: New York. The new release is a stand alone Ticket to Ride game and features a shortened version of the game using taxis instead of trains.

Welcome to the Big Apple! Enjoy the sights from Times Square to Brooklyn, and all over NYC. Admire the stunning view from the Empire State Building or take a walk through scenic Central Park!

Designed for 2 to 4 players, Ticket to Ride: New York features a much smaller map then previous Ticket to Ride games, and with fewer starting pieces the game will play in just 10 to 15 minutes.

The game features Alan Moon‘s familiar Ticket to Ride rules including scoring points for completed tickets and for connecting cities, with bonus points given for connecting popular tourist destinations. The game ends when one player has two or fewer taxis left in their supply. Starting with only 15 taxis at the beginning of the game, players will find themselves down to two and ending the game much sooner than in a traditional game of Ticket to Ride.

For players eager to prepare for their first game Days of Wonder has already released the rules. Players can also take a look and hear Tom’s thoughts on the game by checking out his video here.

The game will include:

  • One board map of New York City
  • 60 plastic taxis
  • 44 Transportation cards
  • 18 Destination Ticket cards
  • 1 rule leaflet
  • 1 score pad
  • One pencil

Ticket to Ride: New York will be released July 2018 in the U.S. exclusively through Target stores.

Ticket to Ride
Designed by Alan Moon, the original Ticket to Ride game was released in 2004 and is considered a staple entry point into the board gaming hobby. The game won the coveted Spiel des Jahres, along with many other awards including:


DLP Games has announced a new family card game for release in Spring 2018.

In Moorea, players are inhabitants of the South Seas island trying to build the most impressive buildings and collect the most valuable treasures. Do you build canoes to travel around and gain seashells for the longest chain, or do you invest in tools, wood, and bamboo to construct buildings?

Moorea is a family game designed by Reiner Stockhausen with art by Klemens Franz with 165 cards and is intended for ages 8 and up.

In addition to Moorea, DLP will be releasing some new tiles for Orléans. This small tile pack will contain three new buildings: Opera, Cathedral, and Statue.

Both Moorea and the Orléans tile pack are scheduled to be released in Spring 2018, though no specific release date has been set yet.

You can find more information on the DLP site.

Blue Orange Games, well-known for publishing games for all ages, has announced its slate of 2018 releases. In all, sixteen games are coming out throughout the year.

“It’s a new year, and you know what that means- new games! This year we are excited to be publishing a diverse lineup that includes high-energy dexterity races, adorable cooperative games (a Blue Orange first!), playfully packaged smaller games, and unique brain teasers.”

Both Mindo and Mindo Zen are solo brain teasers that come in compact boxes so you can take them with you on the go. You flip double-sided tiles trying to recreate the pattern that’s on the challenge tile. Since the tiles will only fit one way, you will have to puzzle it out.

In the Family Game area, there’s Shaky Manor. This is a game where players are entering a spooky manor in search of a treasure that legend says exists hidden in it somewhere. Players will move their character and treasures into certain rooms that are on the challenge card by shifting and tilting the box around.  When you succeed, more creatures will be added to make it even tougher to get your  next treasure (and yourself) to safety.

In the Preschool Game category, there’s Happy Bunny, a cooperative game where players are trying to pick the best carrots out of the box for the bunny. Bitten carrots go to the bunny while the others will go to the farmer. This game will teach teamwork, motor skills, and simple counting.

Finally, in the Fun-Sized Games category, which consists of easily portable games, there’s Clouds. Clouds is a matching game where players turn over a card and then quickly try to find the matching halves that complete the picture. It can be played as a race with your friends or as a solo challenge. It even comes in a cloud-shaped pouch!

Details on these and all of the other upcoming releases can be found on the Blue Orange web site.