game releases


Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has finally released Orléans into mass market in the Americas.

Orléans, designed by Reiner Stockhausen, is a “bag building” game in which players will throw tiles into a bag and draw them out randomly to do various things. Players use worker placement elements to try and score the most victory points from a long list of available options. Many elements of the game such as Scholars, Knights and Craftsmen, must be combined in the best possible way to meet your strategy for victory.

“One thing I like is that, while the core of the game is reasonably complex, it’s not gussied up with lots of extra little bits. Each of the eighteen rounds of the game is very simple: reveal an event tile, quickly assess the farmer track, then everyone draws their tokens and plans their actions. After that players take turns performing actions, then the event is resolved. Obviously given how popular some games are that have ninety-two different phases in each round my view is in the minority, but I still think a nice clean system is a plus.” – Dan Blum, Opinionated Gamers


Orléans was first published by dlp games in 2014. It achieved immediate acclaim, getting nominated for three Golden Geek awards and the Meeple’s Choice award for 2014. After its Kennerspiel 2015 nomination, Orléans has become an incredibly sought after product. Getting the game outside Europe was difficult.

Earlier this year, TMG picked up the game for a deluxe Kickstarter version with high quality, larger components (reviewed by Tom Vasel here). TMG also gained the distribution rights to publish in the USA, Canada and Australia. Their retail version of the game has finally arrived and is in stores now. According to their most recent mailing list update, TMG has sold out of all their first print run of the game, so act fast if you want to get a copy!

“Orléans by nature is an engine-building game because you are trying to get your machine working. What workers you get is what makes your game extremely interesting. Let me start out by saying I really enjoyed this game. Wow. Yes the theme is the same old get resources, get workers, blah blah blah. I don’t care about that, I focus on this game straight up on the mechanisms because they were so clear on how they worked. …The fun I had playing this. This is amazing. It’s one of the few times where the theme wasn’t relevant to me because I had so much fun just getting my engine together and working. … High thumbs up for me, this is a game that I enjoyed quite a bit and look forward to playing many more times over the coming years.” – Tom Vasel, Dice Tower. Revew by the Dice Tower can be found here.

The edition now on sale will be the standard edition. There are a few changes to the game, most notable the bathhouse tile (which is often listed as being too powerful and has a few suggested fixes put out for it). TMG has said in the past that there are no plans to put the deluxe edition out for sale to the mass market. You can pick up Orléans here.

Iello has announced two new releases set to release this March: Steam Torpedo: First Contact and The Grasshopper and the Ant!


steam torpedo

Steam Torpedo: First Contact is a game that takes place in post-World War I in an alternate reality, where land travel has become nigh impossible and sea travel vital due to vast portions of territories having become a toxic no man’s land.  In the game, players attempt to balance the need for oxygen, speed, and torpedoes while their crew defends against the enemy ship.  Each player begins by building his or her own submarine by selecting ten tiles to comprise the different sections of the vessel.  Players win by destroying the control room of the opposing submarine or by eliminating all opposing crew members.

The First World War has lasted for ten years without any country taking the upper hand and no one can foresee how it shall end. Telin gas, an experimental weapon developed in secrecy, has been used by all armies, either to threaten or to punish and a dangerous game of cat and mouse has ensued…

A a non-collectible booster pack will also be released for the game that includes ten new submarine compartment tiles, allowing players to build new submarines and create new strategies!

Steam Torpedo: First Contact is for 2 players ages 13 and up and plays in about 30 minutes.

For more information about this upcoming game, click here to watch an informative video.


The Grasshopper and the Ant is the fourth title in Iello’s “Tales & Games” series, and, like the others in the series, will come in a book-shaped box.  In the game, players are alternating between the role of the ant and the grasshopper as they attempt to store up food for the coming winter.  The game is played on landscape cards laid out in a 4×4 grid as the ant and the grasshopper work to score path cards.  The first player to score 4 victory points wins.

The Grasshopper and the Ant is for 2-4 players ages 8 and up and plays in about 30 minutes.  The game box includes:

48 Round path cards

8 Pawns with stickers

12 Choice tokens with stickers

1 Game board

20 Cubes

14 Provisions cards

6 Power cards


More information coming soon to Iello Games’ website!

DV Giochi has announced three new releases which will be available at the Essen Spiele Game Fair this October.  They will be at booth3 – E106.  They have announced firm dates for European availability being starting at Essen.  But US dates are slated to be somewhere around December-January for Dark Tales and they haven’t specified dates for BANG! The Valley of Shadows.  Both releases look rather promising.

Additionally they have announced:

As usual, in Essen we will also show the winner of the Lucca Comics & Games contest “Best Unpublished Game 2013-2014”: Playa Pirata.

dark tales

Dark Tales

Dark Tales is a card game for 2-4 players, ages 14 and up. This game is inspired by classic fairy tales, retold in a dark style. The land of Dark Tales is populated by disturbing creatures and sinister characters. The interaction between cards and magic items is the key to success: a character, an event, or a sword used at the right time can determine the fate of the game! Thanks to the many setting cards, the items you collect change their power from game to game.

The cards are tarot-sized and perfectly emphasize the gorgeous illustrations of Dany Orizio—an Italian illustrator already well-known and appreciated in Italy and abroad.

Designer: Pierluca Zizzi
No. of players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Artwork: Dany Orizio

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 48 playing cards
  • 6 setting cards
  • 8 gold coins
  • 4 swords
  • 4 armors
  • 4 magic wands
  • 66 victory points tokens
  • rulebook

Dark Tales – Snow White Expansion

The first expansion, Dark Tales – Snow White will be released at the same time as the base game.

With Dark Tales – Snow White, you will experience one of the greatest classic fairy tales. From the spooky Prince to the mysterious Dwarves, from the Glass Coffin to the infamous Poisoned Apple: in the world of Dark Tales, new characters and special items appear to create new and unexpected combinations. By adding this expansion to the base game, you can explore different plots and unexpected endings!

Designer: Pierluca Zizzi
No. of players: 2-4
Age: 14+
Artwork: Dany Orizio

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 24 playing cards
  • 2 setting cards
  • 2 gold coins
  • 2 laced bodices
  • 1 comb
  • 1 poisoned apple
  • 2 burning shoes
  • 33 victory points tokens
  • rulebook.

The Valley of Shadows

BANG! The Valley of Shadows

To all BANG! fans: BANG! The Valley of Shadows is finally coming!

By popular demand, the long-awaited English edition of Udoli Stinu—an exclusive expansion released last year in Czech Republic only—will be available in European shops starting in October. Rattlesnakes, tornadoes, ruthless “bandidos”… new characters and surprising new cards will join those fearless gunslingers who would dare enter the Valley of Shadows.

Designer: Emiliano Sciarra et al.
No. of players: 4-7
Ages: 8+
Artwork: Alberto Bontempi

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 8 character cards
  • 16 playing cards
  • rulebook.