If you like take-that style games, tile laying, wild treasure hunting adventure, and/or mazes, Centershaft: Fallen Elements could be a game for you, and it’s seeking funding right now on Kickstarter. Designed by George and Hattie Anthony, with art by Tyler Johnson, this game pits 2 to 4 players against one another in a rat race to find four elemental gems and leave via the hub tile. Yet this maze is dangerous, as it’s filled with dangerous natives, guardians, and is constantly being twisted and trapped by everyone involved. Featuring excellent hand-crafted illustrations, premium components, and miniatures,

     “The four opportunists must venture, not fully aware of the dangers, into a subterranean labyrinth. Seeking what they believe are rare gems, they soon discover the stones contain elemental powers. Threatened, they find themselves maneuvering quickly through warp portals, battling natives, and avoiding traps in an ever-changing maze. […] Be mindful. Opponents enamored with obtaining the power of the gemstones will stop at nothing to take what you’ve got. Remember to journal each elemental landmark and track your steps wisely… the path back to the Centershaft may not be as easy to return!”

There’s a lot of familiar elements within this game that remind me of another fan-favorite, maze-crawling, take-that game – Fantasy Flight’s Wiz War. I have a lot of fond memories playing it many years ago, laying traps to stifle people, threatening the game state by picking up a treasure nobody expected, and rotating tiles to alter the maze in zany ways. Centershaft echos a lot of those things, but with a much more dynamic tile-driven grid filled with suspense and external threats that can shift and evolve in many more organic ways than Wiz War could have imagined. If you are interested in learning more about Centershaft, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for plenty of video previews, complete rules, FAQs, and updates!

Image from Legal Career Path

Image from Legal Career Path

Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law has inflamed tensions on both sides of the debate and while the Dice Tower does not comment on political issues there is a bit of this issue that is relevant to gaming. And by a bit I mean a $50 million bit.

Gen Con is either the largest or second largest (depending on if you believe Gen Con promoters or the promoters for Germany’s Essen gaming convention) gaming convention of its kind. Last year it drew 56,000 attendees and annually generates a total economic impact for the area estimated at $50 million dollars. Now Gen Con CEO Adrian Swartout could be looking to give it a new home. Prior to the signing of the Indiana religious freedom bill Swartout had indicated she would look to move Gen Con out of state should it indeed become law.

Proponents of the law say it protects business owners from being forced to engage in business with those living a lifestyle contrary to their belief system. Opponents say the bill is designed to discriminate specifically against the LGBT community.

“Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds,” she wrote. “We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention.”

Now that the bill has been passed 37 Washington state senators and representatives have signed a document encouraging Swartout to relocate the convention to the state that brought us grunge and $8 coffees. As it turns out Swartout is a Washington state native which could potentially sweeten the deal for her.

The catch? Gen Con is currently contracted through 2020 in Indiana. Gen Con spokeswoman Stacia Kirby indicated there are no current plans to break the contract. However, she went on to say that current events will affect future plans.

Since signing the bill Indiana lawmakers have scrambled to pass a “fix” for the bill which they hope will better clarify the bill as being inclusive rather than discriminatory. The question remains as to whether this adjustment will be enough to keep Swartout and Gen Con in the Hoosier State.

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