Steam Park is a fun press your luck dice game about building a theme park for robots that was released back in 2013.  So the fact two new expansion have been announced for it this year is rather surprising, but not unwelcome.  The two new expansions are Steam Park: Play Dirty and Steam Park: Robots, both adding something different to the game.  Play Dirty adds in components for a fifth player as well as modules to help change how you play the game.  These modules include espionage dice, ride extensions, stingy visitors, and new stands to add to your park.  The Robots expansion is mostly a component upgrade as it will replace all the wooden tokens with plastic minis, plus you get some extra minis called V.I.R.  These Very Important Roboburgers will net you a lot of money, but they will only come to your park if you can make them feel special.  Those who are able to attend Essen will be able to grab these expansions, as for the rest of us, we will have to wait for their release after the fair to get them.

Last week, Fantasy Flight Games posted an obituary for Harald Bilz, a big name in the German board game market who had passed away.  Harald Bilz was the founder of Heidelberger Spieleverlag, a company that publishes the German versions of games for dozens of companies including big names like Fantasy Flight Games, Iello, and Plaid Hat Games.  Some may even know the name of the company from their King of Tokyo Promo Character they handed out at Essen in 2011.  As for FFG, they had an especially close relationship with Harald as he became a shareholder in the company when they were building capital to purchase the Star Wars license.  So understandably they are sad to see him go, but they are hopefully for the future as the company he helped build continues on in his name.

GenCon 2016 was an exciting experience had by many. Several new releases and announcements were made during the grandiose event. Several of which were made by IELLO.

monster pack

A new line of “King of” products called Monster Packs are starting the beginning of 2017. They will be $10-$15 pillow packs for King of Tokyo and King of New York containing a new monster and Evolution Cards. Each set will be a different theme, the first of which will be Cthulhu. Look for new building tiles and Madness tokens in this set!

farm friends

Following the surprising mid weight economic game Happy Pigs comes its first expansion, Happy Pigs: Farm Friends. Three new animals are introduced to the strategic farming game. Farmers will be able to mix and match the different animals utilizing the same rules as the pigs only now adding sheep, chicken, and cow tiles to the farm. This expansion is set to be released November 2016.

mysterious forest

IELLO’s highly anticipated children’s game line was announced along with the first game to be featured, The Mysterious Forest. In this light cooperative fantasy adventure game, players work together through 3 phases to help little Jonas cross the Mysterious Forest and ultimately face the Queen of the Draconias. The first phase challenges the adventurers to memorize the path, the second phase necessary equipment will be chosen wisely, and the third phase decides whether or not Jonas has what it takes to defeat the final boss. With a play time of 10-15 min and designed for 2-4 players, the Mysterious Forrest will challenge adventures everywhere come November 2016.

The designer of The Big Book of Madness, Maxime Rambourg, and artist Paul Mafayon (known for his work on Welcome to the Dungeon) are back at it with a new card game called Arena. The beautifully illustrated card game will play over the course of two phases, the biding phase and the fighting phase. Players will compete for victory in this mythological combat card drafting game. Due to be released in 2017.

WelcomeBackToTheDungeon_BoxWhile I tend to really enjoy micro games, they also tend to have a very short shelf life. There are very few that remain interesting after a handful of plays with one of the exceptions being last year’s Welcome to the Dungeon. Its combination of push-your-luck and take-that mechanisms along with a fun and nerdy dungeon crawl theme has kept it in constant rotation. In September, IELLO plans to expand the dungeon a bit with a standalone expansion, Welcome Back to the Dungeon.

Welcome Back to the Dungeon will include 19 new monster cards and 28 new tiles. It also includes a “dragon token” just in case you thought there wasn’t a good reason to pick it up. Who can resist a dragon token? As I mentioned, the game will be a standalone expansion meaning you can play it by itself or mix it up with all the goodness in the original WttD.

IELLO is releasing the game on September 15th for those who have pre-ordered and September 29 for those who couldn’t pull the early trigger. Pre-orders are available now directly from the IELLO website.


IELLO announced today that this September we can expect to see the next installment in their very popular Tales & Games line hitting shelves:

Tales & Games: Aladdin & the Magic Lamp, will see players take on the role of Aladdin himself in a fantastical quest to find the magic lamp of the genie.  During your journey through a cave you can press-your-luck to try and get the most treasures from the chests you find while avoiding the sorcerer cards that end the game.

Tales & Games: Aladdin & the Magic Lamp is playable by 2 to 5 persons, ages 8 and up, and takes about 20 mins.  There are 3 phases played simultaneously by all players in which you will choose a number of treasures from the chests, entice the genie out with your quick decisions, and if you’ve not pressed your luck too far, draw even more treasures while avoiding some of the nasty critters you encounter.

Game Contents:

  • 5 Treasure boards
  • 5 Dice
  • 78 Chest cards (3 types of chests: bronze, silver, and gold)
  • 25 Lamp cards
  • 1 Magic Ring token (My Precious variant)
  • 8 Starting cards (representing precious stones)

If you’d like to learn more about the many great games IELLO has to offer, please visit their website by clicking <here>.

With Origins passed and GenCon close at hand more game announcements are being made, and here are several that are coming soon from iello.

Being released at GenCon is a new game from Antoine Bauza called Oceanos, a game where players are submarine captains exploring the ocean depths.  You will draft cards to build out the area of the ocean you are exploring and then score that line, scoring points for different animal types, upgrade your sub, and if you have the most eyes of the kraken, taking a penalty.  Player with the most points wins.

Next is Schotten Totten from Reiner Kinizia, a reskining of the classic game Battle Line where you are trying to play sets of cards to different areas to try and control them.  The theme is no longer ancient armies battling to rival clans trying to expand their land so expect some light-hearted art typical of iello.  Look for this game at GenCon as well.

The last game being released at GenCon is another reskin and that is Rent A Hero, a reskin of the game Seventh Hero.  In Rent A Hero you are trying to recruit heroes to fight against the hordes raiding your village and pass of heroes your don’t want to other players.  The game play is simple with heroes being passed around and players deciding if they want them or not, asking for more info to make a decision and using powers to try and figure things out, first player to have a full set of heroes is the winner.

Next is a game being released at Essen called Bunny Kingdom, a game where you will be drafting cards and playing them in order to establish your kingdom on the board.  You will harvest things like carrots, copper, wood, and spices and build cities which will multiply the points that you can acquire from these fields.  Art is very nice and extensively bunnized so look forward to this game.

The last game being released at Essen is Kanagawa, a game by Bruno Cathala that is all about creating the most harmonious painting that you can.

“It’s 1840: In Kanagawa, the great bay of Tokyo, the Master Hokusai decided to open a painting school to share his art with his disciples. You are one of these disciples, and more than anything, you want to prove yourself worthy of the “crazy, old artist”. Follow his teachings to expand your studio and paint your preferred subjects (Trees, Animals, Characters, Buildings), all while paying attention to the changing of the seasons in order to make the most harmonious print… the one that will become the work of your lifetime!”

gama logo

The Game Manufacturers Association, commonly known as GAMA, has elected two new board members, Stephen Brissaud as the new Vice President and Marie Poole as the At-Large Director.  Stephen Brissaud is the current COO of IELLO and so will bring his knowledge and experience from 25 years in the industry to help grow and expand GAMA and the hobby as a whole.  The first step he says is to first “strengthen the bridges that we have built between our association and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)“.

Marie Poole is the current CEO of Lone Shark Games and will be bringing her experience from the five years in that position along with her 25 years of board experience and degree in non-profit management.  With the election of these two to the board I imagine GAMA is on course to keep growing and expanding in the future and to continue improving the hobby.  You can read the full press release from GAMA below.

Columbus, OH – June 28, 2016 – The Game Manufacturers Association’s Publisher/Manufacturer members elected Stephan Brissaud as the new Vice President during the Annual Membership Meeting at Origins Game Fair. Marie Poole was also elected to an At-Large Director position. The new positions are effective immediately.

Two previously serving At-Large Directors, Larry Roznai and Mike Webb, retained their seats for a further 2-year term. Aaron Witten was re-elected GAMA Treasurer.
Brissaud, the COO of IELLO, USA, has 25 years of experience in the hobby industry and was elected to the GAMA board in June 2015 as an At-Large Director. He succeeds long time Vice President Jamie Chambers, who chose to not seek re-election this year.

“It is an honor to have been trusted by GAMA to uphold the function of Vice-President,” said Brissaud, “I am looking forward to working with our President Justin Ziran, the GAMA board, and volunteers from our membership to implement the many systems and services that GAMA needs to propel itself to the next level. I also plan to strengthen the bridges that we have built between our association and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). One important project is to follow up and support the TIA lobbying effort regarding toy safety and other legislation relevant to our industry.”

The GAMA Board also welcomed Marie Poole, the CEO of Lone Shark Games. She will fill the At-Large Director position left by Brissaud’s promotion. Poole has been a leader at Lone Shark Games for five years and in the business and accounting industry for many more. She also brings with her a strong commitment to volunteerism along with 25 years of board experience and a degree in non-profit management.

“I’m very proud to work in an industry that creates so much engaging content that thousands of communities have been built around it,” stated Poole, “I look forward to being of service to our membership and by extension, our fans. I think I can accomplish this best by listening to what our membership has to say. It is my goal to see that people who are new to the industry can receive the benefit of knowledge from our long-time members, hopefully through strong membership, education and mentorship initiatives.”

Brissaud and Poole join the existing GAMA Board: President Justin Ziran, Secretary Brian Dalrymple, Treasurer Aaron Witten, Directors At-Large: Joe Hauck, Larry Roznai, and Mike Webb, Distributor Chair Bob Maher, Retail Division Chair Travis Severance, President Emeritus Rick Loomis and Director Emeritus Michael Stackpole and Director Emeritus Will Niebling.

The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to serving the tabletop game industry. GAMA strengthens and supports all industry professionals by advancing their interests, providing educational programs and opportunities, and promoting unique forms of quality social entertainment. For more information, visit or follow @GamaOnline on Twitter.

Coupled with the announcement of the King of Tokyo reprint, iello has also announced that the King of New York: Power Up expansion is on it’s way.  Set for release in October the Power Up expansion will do the same to the King of New York characters as the Power Up expansion did in King of Tokyo, give each character unique evolutions and powers making each character play differently.  Also another character will be added to the game in the form of Mega Shark, a giant shark wielding an electrified trident among other things.  But the best part about this expansion is that there are two evolution decks for each character, one for play in King of New York, and the other for King of Tokyo, meaning you can now take characters like Sheriff or Captain Fish to Tokyo and start laying waste to a new city!  You can pre-order the expansion now at your local game store or online at iello’s site.

iello gaes

IELLO has released an announcement that affects the way their preorders operate from this point forward.  Effective immediately, IELLO will be shipping out preorders for their products two weeks in advance of regular orders.  Additionally, new releases will not be sent to mass market or online retailers until after this two-week advance preorder period to allow brick-and-mortar retail stores the first opportunity at sales of these new releases.  This will be coupled with the company’s promo promotions as well.

For more information about this announcement, visit the news release on IELLO’s website.


Over on Benoit Forget’s Facebook page, an image has popped up showing a series of games based on classic novels. Moby Dick, Oliver Twist, and several others are serving as teaser of the fact that Purple Brain Creations will be publishing a storybook series of games.

The series of games will focus on these more adult novels and will have a targeted audience that is a little older than what we’ve come to see from Iello’s book series.  This will all be kicked off with their publishing of a revamped edition of Hare and Tortoise being themed around the book Around the World in 80 Days.  Although David Parlett is shown on all the boxes this is just place holder and more info will be released as time goes on, so look forward to that.