Fireside Games

First released in 2009, Justin De Witt‘s Castle Panic has been a mainstay of the tower defense genre, spawning successors Dead Panic, Star Trek Panic and My First Castle Panic. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this classic game, Fireside Games has announced the Castle Panic Big Box, a compilation of the original game with it’s expansions The Wizard’s Tower, The Dark Titan and Engines of War, all in one box. Additionally, the Big Box will come with 12 promo cards, which include all the previously released promos, as well as some new ones just for this edition. Firesidehas also rewritten the rules to make integration of everything more seamless. Look for the Castle Panic Big Box in stores in July 2019, and for more information, check out Fireside Games’ website here.

Fireside Games has announced a new addition to their popular line of Castle Panic games, My First Castle Panic by designer Justin De Witt, targeting kids aged 4+. This new version of Castle Panic has 1-4 players trying to catch monsters advancing on the castle, and features gorgeous art from Cam Kendell (Dungeon Dice). The new play style requires no reading or heavy counting, instead using color and shape matching on cards. On their turn, each player draws a card, then either plays one card from their hand, or asks another player for help. To catch a monster, players must play a card with the same shape and color as a space containing a monster. After playing, the monsters advance one space along the clear path to the castle, and a new monster token is drawn. Monster tokens can denote special monsters, such as runners that move more quickly. Players win cooperatively if all the monsters are caught, or lose together if the monsters manage to knock the castle flat. My First Castle Panic teaches problem solving, matching skills, and taking turns, all in the framework of a cooperative (everyone wins or loses!) game. Look for My First Castle Panic in stores March 2019.

Fireside Games (Castle Panic, Kaiju Crush) has announced Grackles, an upcoming abstract strategy game for 2-4 players, designed by John Shulters and Sarah Graybill. In Grackles, players take turns placing tiles with colored spots, or using their bird tokens to matching spots on telephone lines. The game continues until the board consists of 5 by 5 tiles, and the player with the most birds on telephone wires is the winner. The game will come with 25 tiles, 45 bird tokens in each of 4 player colors, rotate tokens, and player aids. You can read more about Grackles on Fireside Games’ website here. Expect Grackles at your FLGS in August 2018.

Fireside Games, makers of Castle Panic, announced their new releases for 2018 at the GAMA Trade Show this week.

Remnants is designed by a trio of experienced game designers: Matthew O’Malley (Between Two Cities), Ben Rosset (Brew Crafters and Between Two Cities) , and Justin De Witt (Castle Panic).

Remnants takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Each player builds a compound and fights to survive Raiders and mutant creatures.  Players send survivors and specialists out into the badlands in to gather resources determined by die rolling. Players spend those resources to buy weapons, defense, and special development cards to strengthen their compounds to withstand assaults by raiders. After the final attack, the game ends and the player with the most victory points is the winner.

Remnants plays two to four players, ages 13 and up, in about an hour.


  • 1 Game board
  • 16 Custom Dice
  • 45 Resource tokens
  • 5 Bonus tokens
  • 4 Player boards
  • 12 Loot tracking cubes
  • 1 Dread track cube
  • 15 Victory Point tokens
  • 37 Development Cards
  • 2 Survivor/Training Cards
  • 22 Survivor tokens
  • 15 Specialist tokens
  • 9 Badlands Cards
  • 6 Dread Cards
  • 3 Boss Cards
  • 6 Boss Power Up Cards

Look for Remnants on 27 June, 2018. Read more about Remnants at Fireside Games.


Grackles, designed by Sarah Graybill and John Shulters, is a lightly themed abstract strategy game where players try to line up as many of their own colored birds in rows on telephone wires. Each turn, players can do one of four actions: place a tile with 4 colored spots on telephone wire, connect 2 of their colored spots with their matching birds, extend a line of birds they laid down, or rotate an unoccupied tile. Contents include 180 acrylic, debossed bird tokens. Grackles plays 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, in about 30 minutes.

Fireside Games also announced their 3rd Annual International Panic Day, a Castle Panic game event hosted by independently owned game stores around the world on June 2.  To support the event, Fireside Games is offering Castle Panic Event Kits to hosting stores. Each kit supports 16 players and offers 3 different game formats: casual play, team play, and scenario play. Casual play is noncompetitive and offers new players the opportunity to learn to play the game. Team play provides a group competitive experience in which teams add up slain monsters to win prizes. Finally, scenario play pits two teams in head-to-head competition in Nightmare Mode, throwing their slain monsters into the forest of the competing team. The goal is to have the last tower standing.

Event Kits contain promotional and event material, including two demo copies of Castle Panic and rewards for participates. Promo cards are available for each participant.  Exclusive suede Monster bags go to team and scenario play winners as well as the Event Coordinator, while Monster-eye game totes go to Runners-up. And Defender of the Realm pin is awarded to the person who most contributes to the spirit of the event.

Learn more about The 3rd Annual International Panic Day and the event kits at Fireside Games.





Fireside Games has announced Kaiju Crush, a light strategy monster combat game from Tim Armstrong and Justin De Witt (Castle Panic). In Kaiju Crush, 2-4 players pick from 4 Kaiju, each with special abilities, and each turn move on the board of city tiles, either with their own movement card or with a shared movement card. Players then crush the city tile (building) they are on and replace it with one of their territory markers. Combat between Kaiju on adjacent spaces, or in dispute over a territory marker, uses a unique 5-symbol rock-paper-scissors method of comparing attacks on drawn combat markers. The game ends when Kaiju cannot move on their turn. Points are generated from combat, territory held, and completing patterns of territory shown on shared objective cards. The player with the most victory points reigns supreme.

Kaiju Crush is expected in stores on November 1, 2017.

Fireside Games had previously announced the release of Hotshots, a new cooperative wildfire fighting game from Justin De Witt, who previously brought us Castle Panic.  Initially scheduled for release this spring, the game has been delayed due to manufacturing setbacks and is instead scheduled to hit stores this summer.  Fireside Games estimates the manufacturing process to be completed this month.

As a reminder from Fireside:

In Hotshots, crews of 1 to 4 players take on the roles of wildfire fighters (Crew Boss, Spotter, Swamper, and Sawyer) with special abilities and roll dice on burning terrain tiles to match the combinations shown on the tiles. The more faces they roll, the better they fight the fire. Players can choose to cut Firebreaks, which protect tiles from embers blown by wind gusts, or push their luck to reduce Flames and possibly even generate Reward Tokens. If players bust and fail to match at least 3 of the 6 symbols on the tile, the fire grows. Another option is to maneuver Vehicles (Air Tanker, Helicopter, and Brush Rig) to save the forest.

Flame tokens are added at the end of each player’s turn by the draw of a Fire card, which can bring about light or strong wind gusts, increase the strength of the flames on certain tiles, and start fires. Too many Flame tokens will cause a tile to Scorch and be lost. Losing a terrain tile could also affect the game play. Some tiles are tied to crewmembers’ special abilities, while others help the firefighters and still others cause the fire to spread in unique ways. If 8 tiles or the Fire Camp Scorches, the game is over and the forest is lost. But if the intrepid crew can extinguish the fire, the team wins together.

The press-your-luck mechanic with ratcheting rewards creates a lot of great tension, and the variety of ways to fight the fire makes for interesting choices. The modular tile layout and Fire cards bring high replayability to the game, and the beautiful acrylic Flame tokens provide an enticing table presence.

Look for more press on this game as its release looms closer this summer.  In the meantime, you can visit the publisher’s website for more information here.

Fireside Games and Justin De Witt, the publisher and designer behind the Castle Panic game, are designing a new game all about fighting forest fires called Hotshots.  Hotshots is going to be a push your luck style game where you will take on different roles in the effort to fight a raging forest fire.  Roles like the Crew Boss, Swamper, Sawyer, and Spotter will each have unique abilities as well as home tiles, and you will lose those abilities if you home tile gets destroyed.  On your turn you will roll dice to try and fight the fire on the tile you move to, manage to match enough symbols and you will beat back the fire, don’t match enough and the fire will spread instead.  Then at the end of your turn you will draw a fire card which indicates how the fire spreads and if there are gusts of wind that blow around the embers.  Manage to put out the fire and everyone wins!  Look for this game on store shelves at the end of May.


Are you a fan of castles? Do you enjoy panicking? What about building machines for war? If the answer is yes to any of these three questions, then you’ll be excited for Castle Panic‘s third expansion: Engines of War.

Designed by Justin DeWitt, Engines of War expands on Castle Panic‘s cooperative castle defense game play by introducing an Engineer to the game. The Engineer can shore up your castle’s defenses with Catapults, Ballistas, Barricades, Spring Traps, and Walls! To level the playing field, the monsters can bring along their own contraptions like the Siege Tower, War Wagon, and Battering Ram. Additionally, new monsters such as the Shaman, Breathtaker, and Goblin Saboteurs join your enemies’ ranks to heal your opponents and mess with your hands.

This third expansion can be played with just Castle Panic or be combined with the game’s first two expansions: The Wizard’s Tower and The Dark Titan. The expected release date is November, 2016. For additional information, check out Fireside Games’ website!

star trek panic

June saw the release of Star Trek Panic from USAopoly and Fireside Games. This game continues the cooperative tower defense style play seen in Castle Panic and Dead Panic, both from Fireside Games. In this version, each player takes on the role of one of the members of the bridge crew from Star Trek: The Original Series. Enemy ships will advance and fire on the Enterprise each turn. Players will have to mitigate these threats by firing back and repairing damage, while committing cards to successfully complete five missions before being destroyed.


  • 31 Threat Tokens
  • 62 Enterprise Cards
  • 18 Mission Cards
  • 7 Character Cards
  • 1 Enterprise Model (Assembly Required)
  • 6 Shields
  • Damage/Destroyed Indicators
  • Custom Game Board

Fans of the Panic series of game and fans of Star Trek should check out this game. Read full product detail on USAopoly’s site here.

Origins in now over, and with that we now have official winners for the Origins Awards for board games, and they are as follows:


Game of the Year:
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil
Origins Award Winners:

Board Games
Star Wars: Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying

Card Games
7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions) Designed by Antoine Bauza , Bruno Cathala

Collectible Games
DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light (WizKids) Designed by Mike Elliott, Eric M. Lang

Family Games
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil

Game Accessories
Terrain Tiles (Lost Battalion Games) Designed by Becky Siebe

Miniatures Games
Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by James Kniffen Christian T. Petersen

Role-Playing Games
Star Wars: Force and Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Jay Little


imperial assault box

Board Games
Star Wars: Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Justin Kemppainen, Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying

Card Games
7 Wonders Duel (Repos Productions) Designed by Antoine Bauza , Bruno Cathala

Miniature Games
Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by James Kniffen Christian T. Petersen

Collectible Games
DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light (WizKids) Designed by Mike Elliott, Eric M. Lang

Family Games
Codenames (Czech Games Edition) Designed by Vlaada Chvatil

Game Accessories
Castle Panic: The Dark Titan (Fireside Games) Designed by Justin De Witt

RolePlaying Games
Star Wars: Force and Destiny (Fantasy Flight Games) Designed by Jay Little