Take Mysterium and turn it up to eleven. What you get is Paranormal Detectives, scheduled for release at Essen and in the U.S. this December by Lucky Duck Games. One player is the ghost, who has died. One to five other players are detectives trying to competitively figure out (1) who did it, (2) the motive, (3) where it happened, (4) how it happened, and (5) the murder weapon.

Each detective player will have an asymmetrical way to receive a limited number of clues from the ghost. Examples include the ghost plays tarot cards, the ghost mouths one word, the ghost arranges a strand of rope into a shape, the ghost does a three second pantomime, the ghost draws with the hand of the detective, and more. Detectives can make up to two guesses for the five elements. If one of the detectives correctly deduces all five elements of the death, then they win along with the ghost player. If no detective figures everything out, then the detective that guessed the most correct information is the sole winner.

Quick Simple Fun Games is bringing a standalone expansion to their popular party game Muse, called Muse: Awakenings. In both games, up to 12 players split up into two opposing teams, and 6 Masteriece cards are laid out on the table. The Masterpiece cards have breathtaking surreal artwork, reminiscent of other picture selection games, such as Dixit or Mysterium. One team will then secretly assign one of the Masterpieces to the opposing team, along with an Inspiration card, which dictates what kind of hints their “Muse” player can use. Hints can be such things as “say a single 3 letter word” or “hum a tune”, or even “strike a pose”. With this single clue from their Muse, the rest of the team needs to decide which of the 6 masterpieces is the target. Muse: Awakenings adds 84 new Masterpiece cards, 22 new Inspiration cards, and an improved scoring system. Awakenings can be played by itself, or added to the original Muse. Look for Muse: Awakenings at your FLGS in Q3 2018.

The award-winning murder mystery board game Mysterium has been released for the iOS platform.  In this cooperative board game, one player takes on the role of the ghost of a murder victim who uses various types of cards to give clues to the other players (paranormal psychics) who will use those clues to ultimately solve the mystery of the murder.

The iOS digital version of the game features online multiplayer for up to 7 players and works cross-platform between the iOS, Android, and Steam versions. There is a solitaire and story mode as well. has written an informative article with more information on this release.  You can read it in full here.

mysterium hidden signs

An expansion to Mysterium, the 2015 Golden Geek winner from Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenkos, Mysterium: Hidden Signs provides additional characters, locations and objects for the players to discover.  These new clues must be interpreted through new vision cards passed down by the ghost player.

Just when you thought the mystery was solved, and the ghost finally laid to rest…more clues are discovered and the ghost’s presence is felt once more.  Can the psychics solve the case in time, or will the new visions only make matters worse?  Pick up a copy of Mysterium: Hidden Signs today and find out!

Mysterium: Hidden Signs comes with

  • 42 vision cards
  • 12 character cards
  • 12 location cards
  • 12 object cards

Mysterium: Hidden Signs requires Mysterium to play

For more info about the game from Asmodee click here to visit their web site.


The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:
















The winners of the 10th annual Golden Geek Awards were announced this Monday, and both the winners and runners up were outstanding titles deserving of the reward. Pandemic: Legacy, the smash hit of 2015 which swiftly climbed the top games list, collectively walked away with 4 awards, including Board Game of the Year! Congratulations for Codenames and Mysterium for winning their most appropriate categories. I’m VERY surprised that 504 did not win most innovative title, but I suppose that’s a discussion best left to the BGG forums.

Hit the link to view the full list, including the RPGGeek and VideoGameGeek winners or, if you’re curious who came close to podium finish, click here to view the full list of nominees.

as dor

While the biggest convention and awards may belong to Essen and the Spiel des Jahres, France has it’s own mega convention and awards with the Cannes Games Festival and the Golden Ace awards; and they have just released the 2016 winners.  There are three categories that a game can win in, Game of the year, Youth, and Expert, and they mirror the Spiel in weight of the game in each category.  Game of the year is the middle of the road game, something that is not too heavy but not too light, Youth are games for younger kids that are still great all-around games, and Expert are the heavier games for those seasoned players.  So without any more delay, here are the nominees for each categories and the winners:

master fox

Mystery Animal – Emely Brand, illustrated by Thies Schwarz and published by Haba.
The Game with a Thousand Names – Pampuk, illustrated by Inti Ansa and published by Oya.
Master Fox – Frédéric Vuagnat, illustrated by Catell-Ruz and published by Superlude.
WINNER — Master Fox


7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala, illustrated by Miguel Coimbra and published by Repos production.
T.I.M.E. Stories – Manuel Rozoy, illustrated by David Lecossu, Benjamin Carré, Pascal Quidault and published by Space Cowboys.
Pandemic Legacy – Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, illustrated by Chris Quilliams and published by Filosofia.
WINNER — Pandemic Legacy


Game of the Year
Mafia de Cuba – Philippe des Pallières and Loïc Lamy, illustrated by Thomas Vuarchex and published by Lui-Même.
Who Pairs Wins – Stephen Glenn, illustrated by Jessica Lindsay and published by Le Scorpion Masqué.
Mysterium – Oleg Sidorenko and Oleksandr Nevskiy, illustrated by Igor Burlakov and Xavier Collette, published by Libellud.
WINNER — Mysterium

One thing to note, not all games listed will be available in the US as this is a French award and so the games just need to be released in France.

IMAG0805Day two started out fresh, having rested and recouped from an exciting day 1. The Dice Tower crew grouped up to start a very busy day. I had the pleasure of getting to visit with Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise. Many of you know Chaz from either his board game reviews or his Board Game Breakfast segment (Head in the Clouds with Chaz Marler). I’m here to tell ya, he’s a great guy, a hard worker, and just a ton of fun to hang around.



Upon entering the convention, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Patrick Nickell, owner of Crash Games. Patrick is well known in the board game community and just a great guy. He’s located at booth 2828 and is demoing several games in his line-up, including his newest release, Dead Drop. You can learn more about the successfully Kickstarted game here. I personally own a copy of Yardmaster and it’s one of the few games I can get my wife to play with me.

One of the hardest games to get your hand on over at the Asmodee booth is Mysterium. Mysterium is an English version of the Polish game Tajemnicze Domostwo. It’s a cooperative game where one player takes on the role of a Ghost trying to describe where he/she was murdered via giving out various clues while others try to deduce the location – all done via Dixit-style cards. It’s a gorgeous game and their demo booth is a must grab for anyone remotely interested in the game.


Another game that had a TON of hype around the convention was Pretzel Games’ fun dexterity game, Flick ’em Up. Pictured above is the upcoming expansion, Stallion Canyon, which features ramps, horses and about 5 new scenarios. Players will have to rope in wild horses using a lasso and then use those horses in further scenarios. Keep your eyes on this one, it’s sure to add to the fun of the base game.


A huge hit at the Arcane Wonders booth was Board Game Theatre’s Kevin and Matti in their Sheriff of Nottingham regalia. Come by Arcane Wonders’ booth at 1:30 to get a look!!


Don’t forget to come by the Dice Tower booth, located at booth 3030. You can pick up a free fortune cookie and Dice Tower badge sticker. Stop by at 10am to meet Tom, Eric, Zee, and Sam!! There’s still plenty of promos left including 3 Mage Wars, 2 Sheriff of Notthingham, Spyfall, Robinson Crusoe, Core Worlds, and Nothing personal promo packs. We have t-shirts, dice towers, various dice and the Arcadia Quest Tomrick mini If nothing else, stop by to say hi!





Picture of Snakes & Lattes in Canada

Picture of Snakes & Lattes in Canada

There’s something about the board game hobby that solicits compulsive acquisition. Many of us are able to tame those impulses through sheer force of will or financial necessity, but for the rest, learning about, commenting on, obsessing over, and ultimately acquiring board games is more than just a hobby.

Small World caught my eye

Small World caught my eye

Falling Through the Ice

My introduction to board games happened only a few years ago. I was already interested in roleplaying and comic books, and was a regular at The Source Comics & Games in Roseville, MN (highly recommended if you find yourself in the Twin Cities). Despite the floor space that board games occupied in that amazing store, I hardly noticed as I perused comic book back issues and the latest Pathfinder sourcebooks. I remember at one point Small World caught my eye for its whimsical fantasy art, but one look at the price tag and I was right back to the comic book bargain bin. I was sure those big pricey boxes just weren’t for me.

Like so many before me, it took just one great board game experience to open the floodgates. One of my good friends, someone I met though comic books and roleplaying incidentally, invited me over for an evening of board games. We played Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights, and I was utterly mesmerized by the clever designs and interesting decisions. It’s funny that neither of these games are really my cup of tea today, but at the time, I was truly spellbound.

Shortly thereafter, I moved away from Minnesota and found myself in a new city: Portland, OR. For some strange, wonderful reason, that evening of deckbuilding and storytelling stayed with me. Wanting to meet fellow geeks like me, I signed up for a local board gaming meet-up group and quickly got deeper and deeper into the hobby. Hours perusing BoardGameGeek lead to me to discover The Dice Tower and it’s wonderful network. I watched countless reviews and top 10 lists, obsessively consumed podcasts and articles, and began filling online retailer shopping carts with a dazzling array of games (Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights among them).

Paralyzed by the Cold

I definitely overextended myself in those early days. My collection grew more quickly than my discipline to make informed decisions about what sorts of games I really liked. It was all about theme then, and plastic bits. Some of those early purchases are still in my collection today, but the vast majority never even got a chance at my gaming table.

On top of pining after new games, I had discovered a hard truth: there were some really good games that came out long before I had even a passing interest in the hobby, and that some of those games were *gasp* sold out! Never to be reprinted again. I was devastated; my compulsive need to acquire could not abide something so tempting being so desperately out of reach. Game like Merchant of Venus and Fury of Dracula were the sort of theme-rich experiences I craved, but even on the secondary market, they were just too difficult or costly to attain.

My list of grail games grew long and longer: Endeavor, Age of Discovery III, Fief, Starcraft, War of the Ring: The Collector’s Edition, Kremlin, Dune, Glory to Rome: Black Box edition, and so many others. Occasionally I would get lucky and find one of these enigmatic lost treasures through a geeklist auction or a local seller, but more often than not, I was left to dream and lament my limited funds.

Fury of Dracula is being reprinted by FFG

Fury of Dracula is being reprinted by FFG

Swimming for the Surface

At the height of my frustration, I remember an episode The Dice Tower podcast in which Tom Vasel emphatically encouraged the board game community to be patient when it comes to difficult-to-find games. Whether they were out-of-print, temporarily sold out, awaiting domestic distribution, or missed Kickstarters, there were mountains of other available board games that deserved our attention. He was completely right, of course, and the last several months have really proven him out. For example:

It’s incredible how much previous editions of some of these games commanded on the secondary market, only to be replaced with, in many cases, superior versions. As Tom implied in that wise podcast segment: patience is a virtue.

Breathing the Air

Patience is exactly what helped me overcome my compulsive acquisition. I began making more considerate decisions about the games I order, and awaiting sales so that I could pay less even if that meant trying out the new hotness a few months later. I parted with a lot of the games in my collection that just weren’t good fits for myself or my game group (again, Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights among them), and began removing games from the grail list knowing that the cream of that crop would see life again in one form or another.

It’s not that I did something other gamers didn’t. In fact the bell curve of my board gaming addiction is very reminiscent of the stories I hear from my fellow game group collectors. They ramped up quickly only to learn that quality meant more than quantity, and that being part of this hobby isn’t a competition. I still get excited and place the occasional preorder, but I’ve gotten much closer to finding a balance and if you think you compulsive acquisition is out of control, you can too.

Grey Fox Games has a new project up on Kickstarter called Deception: Murder in Hong Kong from designer Tobey Ho. Deception is a reimplementation of a game called CS-Files by Jolly Thinkers and has 4 -12 players trying to solve a murder in a game of deduction and deception. Similar to the game Mysterium one of the players can not talk but will be giving the others clues to a murder they need to solve; a murder committed by a player at the table that  is part of the investigation!

At the start of the game role cards will be dealt to each player, they will either be the Forensic Scientist, the Murder, an Investigator, or depending on the number of players an Accomplice or Witness. The Forensic Chemist will be the only player to reveal themselves as they will be the one handing out the clues but unable to speak. The rest of the players will have cards that will have possible murder weapons as well as clues dealt face up in front of them. While everyone else closes their eyes the murder will indicate which of the weapons in front of them were used in the murder and which of the clues were left behind by them. Then the Forensic Scientist places a ’cause of death’ tile in front of them as well as other various tiles. These tiles contain random words that are used as clues that the Forensic Scientist tries to use to indicate who is the murder and what weapon they used. They do this by placing markers one on each tile next to a word that they think will help players determine the specifics of the crime. After a each player has a short time to speak their thoughts the Scientist draws a new tile, replaces one of the tiles that was previously in front of them, and places the marker next to a clue on that tile. At any time a player may make an accusation. After each player makes an accusation if no one correctly identified the murderer, weapon, and clue the murder and their team wins.

Deception appears to take the best mechanics from games like The Resistance and Mysterium and twists them into a new and different game. Both of those are great games and I would predict Deception will be right up there with them. Also it already has the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence awarded to it and the project page includes a review by Tom Vasel. This new version also has some terrific new artwork by Tommy Ng and Ari Wong and will be made with high quality components like the other games in Grey Fox Games’ lineup. So if you are a fan of deduction/deception games or haven’t tried one yet you should head over to Kickstarter and investigate Deception: Murder in Hong Kong before it’s too late