light games

Namiji from Funforge, designed by the esteemed Antoine Bauza and illustrated by Naïade, is a spiritual successor to Tokaido for 2-5 players. Though this is a sequel, it is a standalone game that does not need Tokaido to play it!

In Namiji, players will ride on painted boat miniatures as fishers across the seas of the Japanese coast! Players will compete to contemplate marine species, collect colorful fish, an bring in their traps filled with crustaceans. Along the way, players can stop to improve their equipment and send offerings afloat to the gods of the sea!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

ion award

Each year at SaltCon,  in Layton-Utah, the winners of the Ion awards are announced. The Ion awards are given out to unpublished game prototypes that show excellence in game design.  49 entries were whittled down to just four in each category – light games and strategy games.

The award in the strategy category was given to Brian Kelley for his game Scarlet Pimpernel. In the light games category it was given to Adam Wyse for his game Cypher (not to be confused with the game already released by AEG).  Both winners are in talks with publishers so they won’t be unpublished prototypes for much longer.

Congratulations to both of them and you can read the full press release below as well as see who the judges were for the awards this year.


For Immediate Release, 2016

The 2016 Ion Award Competition was held at the SaltCON board game convention on March 3, 4, and 5 in Layton Utah. The award is for unpublished board game prototypes that show excellence in game design. We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards:

Best Strategy Game was awarded to Scarlet Pimpernel designed by Brian Kelley.

Best Light Game was awarded to Cypher designed by Adam Wyse.

It was announced that both finalists were in talks with publishers. For the last 6 years, the Ion Award winners have received publishing contracts. There were 49 total entries in the competition. Four finalists competed in the Light Game category and four in the Strategy Game category at SaltCON.

We would like to thank our finalist judges:

In the Strategy category we would like to thank Jason Grantz of Eagle-Gryphon Games, Andy Van Zandt of Tasty Minstrel Games, and Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games.

In the Light Games category we would like to thank Daniel Peterson of Mayday Games, Patrick Nickell of Crash Games, Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games, and Tim Fowers of Tim Fowers Games.

Thank you to all the entrants, and to the community for supporting the Ion Award! We are proud of the efforts of the designers and wish them the best of success in the future. The Ion Award is a game design award for unpublished games and their designers.  It is held annually, with the final judging taking place at SaltCON. SaltCON is the premier board game convention in Utah, featuring the Ion Award Game Design Competition, as well as board game tournaments, demos, exhibitors, and open gaming.  SaltCON 2017 will be March 2-4, 2017.

Past Ion Award winners can be found found by following this link.


pirate loot cards

Avast ye! Another game about pirates dead ahead, me hearties!  But this one’s got an interesting pedigree.  Pirate Loot, out today, was designed by Jason Bulmahn, notable for creating the Pathfinder roleplaying system.  It was published by Bulmahn’s own Minotaur Games.

Pirate Loot’s cannons are not aimed at deep, strategic simulation a la Merchants and Marauders.  The game is instead frenetic and jocular: perfect for raucous, rum-guzzling buccaneers. The base set includes 108 cards, and 54 more are available with the addition of the Pirate Loot 6-Player Expansion Pack, also available today.

“Betray your friends and steal their loot!” Bulmahn said.  “Pirate Loot is a light-hearted game with plenty of twists and turns to keep things exciting.  This is exactly the type of game you would expect from a band of ridiculous, cutthroat pirates!”

Gameplay centers around conscripting your own scoundrel crew of pirates and plunging daggers into your friends’ backs whenever possible.  The game plays two to four players (up to six with the expansion) in an hour and features toonish artwork by Scott Kurtz, creator of the webcomic PvP, and Dylan Maconis (Family Man).

Pirate Loot is available at hobby stores nationwide and at  Find out more about Pirate Loot and all Minotaur Games’s products here.


Cheapass Games launched a Kickstarter for Lord of the Fries.

Lord of the Fries was introduced in 1998 as the sequel to Give Me the Brain. It has had several versions since then, and now it’s out of print. We want to make the new edition better in many ways, including a second complete deck in the box: McFrye’s Coffee Shop.

If enough money is raised new restaurants, that can be played stand alone or combined with the base game, will be added via stretch goals. At first just the art for these decks will be created and made available to purchase at DriveThruCards. Further stretch goals will allow them to print the decks and ship them with the main game at which point you can add them on to your pledge.

So if you like the idea of playing a zombie working at a fast food restaurant check out the Kickstarter here.