party game


The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design is proud to announce the winners for the 40th Annual Origins Awards.

The Origins Awards are presented annually by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design to recognize outstanding achievement in design and production of games and game-related products.
The winners were voted on by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design. The Fan Favorite Awards were voted on by attendees at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH on June 11-15th. The winners were announced and the coveted Calliope statues were presented at the Origins Awards Ceremony on the evening of Saturday, June 14th.
The Academy would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the jury members, GAMA staff, and everyone who submitted a product to the 40th annual Origins Awards.

Best Role Playing Game


Numenera  – Monte Cook Games, designed by: Monte Cook

Fan Favorite: Shadowrun: Core Rulebook – Catalyst Game Labs, designed by: Jason Hardy, Aaron Pavao, Adam Large, Mark Dynna, Steven “Bull” Ratkovich, Peter M. Andrew Jr., Michael Wich

Best Role Playing Supplement

nights watch

Night’s Watch – Green Ronin Publishing, designed by: Joseph Carriker, Lee Hammock, Brett Rebischke-Smith, Ian Ireland, Michelle Lyons, John Hay

Fan Favorite: DC Adventures Universe – Green Ronin Publishing, designed by:  Darren Bulmer, Seth Johnson, Steve Kenson, Jon Leitheusser, John Polojac, Aaron Sullivan

Best Board Game


Trains- Alderac Entertainment Group, designed by: Hisashi Hayashi

Fan Favorite: Trains – Alderac Entertainment Group, designed by: Hisashi Hayashi

Best Traditional Card Game

love letter

Love Letter– AEG, designed by: Seiji Kanai

Fan Favorite: DC Comics – Cryptozoic Entertainment, designed by: Matt Hyra, Ben Stoll

Best Family, Party, or Children’s Game

three little pigs

Three Little Pigs – Iello, designed by: Laurent Pouchain

Fan Favorite: Walk the Plank – Mayday Games, designed by: Shane Steely, Jared Tinney

Best Miniatures Figure or Line


Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement – Wyrd Miniatures, designed by: Wyrd Miniatures

Fan Favorite: HeroClix Wolverine and the X-men – WizKids Games, designed by: WizKids Games

Best Miniatures Rules or Expansion


Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters – WizKids Games, designed by: WizKids Games

Fan Favorite: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Vs X-men Starters – WizKids Games, designed by: WizKids Games

Best Collectable Card Game or Expansion


Pokemon Black & White Legendary Treasures    The Pokemon Company, Intl., designed by: The Pokemon Company

Fan Favorite: Pokemon Black & White Legendary Treasures – The Pokemon Company, Intl., designed by: The Pokemon Company

Best Game Accessory

space mat

Space Gaming Mat – HC+D Supplies, designed by: Andre Garcia

Fan Favorite: Pathfinder Battles: Skull and Shackles – WizKids Games, designed by: WizKids Games

Best Game-Related Publication


TableTop – Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day

Fan Favorite: Tabletop –  Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day

Best Historical Board Game


1775:Rebellion – Academy Games, designed by: Beau Beckett, Jeph Stahl

Fan Favorite: 1775:Rebellion – Academy Games, designed by: Beau Beckett, Jeph Stahl

Best Historical Miniatures Rules or Expansion

proving grounds

Fields of Fire – Proving Ground Games, designed by: Larry Yeager, Chris Brutsche, Mark Brown

Fan Favorite: Fire and Sword – Wargamer, designed by: Konrad Sosinski, Rafal

Best Historical Miniatures Figure or Line

guilds judgement

Malifaux: The Guild’s Judgement – Wyrd Miniatures, designed by: Wyrd Miniatures

Fan Favorite: HeroClix Wolverine and the X-men – WizKids Games, designed by: WizKids Games
Congratulations to all of the winners!

brian turtle

Over at the Toy and Game Conference website, they posted an interesting interview with Brian Turtle from Endless Games as their very first game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is examined.

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a party game that was published in 1997 and designed by Brian Turtle, Mike Ginelli, and Craig Fass.


While still in college in 1994, some friends (Mike Ginelli and Craig Fass) and I created the game The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. It was more of a social/“parlor” game while we were in school, but after graduating in ’95, we decided to make it into a board game. We met with the brand new Endless Games in 1996 and made The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon the very first game at Endless Games. I’ve been in the toy and game industry ever since!

You can read the entire article here.

viva java

VivaJava: The Dice Game

Just like in the original VivaJava board game, in VivaJava Dice, players take on the roles of employees at the VivaJava CoffeeCo., scouring the globe for the best beans to keep the company on top while trying to keep themselves one step ahead of the rest of the executives.

VivaJava Dice puts a quick, new twist on the crucial decision of the game: the choice between blending beans or research. Players may now use the dice in their pool to blend – using the beans to create a best-seller for quick points, then deciding whether to press their luck in subsequent rounds for bigger points but fewer dice as the blends degrade. Or they can choose to research, which involves using their valuable beans to gain an ever-changing variety of dice-manipulating abilities, new ways to score, and paths that lead to aiding a competitor for a later payoff or hindering that competitor for immediate gratification. VivaJava Dice also offers a unique system of cooperative dice-rolling that can help you rise to the top, but at the price of someone else riding your coattails.

With an astounding mix of plug-and-play research abilities, subtle social play in semi-cooperative mode, and the chance to hog all the glory and blend the best for yourself, VivaJava Dice is all about choice, making each game fast and furiously different.

  • 1-4 players
  • Ages 13+
  • 30-45 minute play time

belle of the ball

Belle of the Ball

It is the eve of Carnivale on the magical Victorian isle of Ludobel, and you are all invited to the fantastical festivities!

In the card game Belle of the Ball, players take on the roles of party hosts, seeking the best mix of guests to make their gala the greatest by the end of the night. In order to ensure that they stay one step ahead of the other hosts, players will have to carefully watch the growing line of guests at the door, inviting those in that seem to share passions with partygoers already inside, all the while handing out their precious stash of Regrets to those who should seek refuge elsewhere. Of course, other hosts may find it advantageous to invite a rejected guest inside just to collect their accumulated Regrets for later use.

belle of the ball cards

Hosts may also choose to ignore the competition for guests and instead try to earn the favor of the Belle of the Ball herself, whose charms can make or break any party.

2-4 players

Ages 8+

30 minute play time



  • 60 Guest cards
  • 27 Belle cards
  • 3 Double-sided score cards
  • 8 Wooden Scoring discs


OTONTIN: Warriors of the Lost Empire

In OTONTIN, players are ferocious Aztec Warriors forming and destroying alliances as they rise to power within the Empire.

Each turn is played in three phases: Campaign, Strategy and War. During the Campaign phase, players roll dice to determine their wealth and military strength. They then negotiate with other players during the Strategy phase, secretly joining alliances or giving Attack or Defense orders via Tactic Cards that are played faced down.

During the War phase, Tactic Cards are revealed and battles commence! The game ends when a player’s stronghold is worth 20 cocoa beans.

OTONTIN is a volatile card game for 3-8 players, ages 10 and up.

duel betwixt us

A Duel Betwixt Us

A Duel Betwixt Us is a two-player card game designed to test your manly worth through the ancient and sacred art of violence. Your heroic feats will earn you the love of fair maidens, and sturdy men will join your ranks in admiration of your combative prowess.

You will send this fanclub to work in the mines, where they will toil tirelessly in your name. The fine ingots they pull from the earth will provide you with an economic and military edge in the series of spectacular duels which will unfold betwixt you and your nemesis.

Who will be the finer specimen of Man? Will you gain the Gentlemanly Satisfaction you demand? Only time will tell…

Beyond being good for a laugh, Duel is a serious strategic blend of resource management, tough investment trade-offs, and sneaky combat tricks.

Each player begins with 5 miners. Each turn, assign one idle miner to either the copper, silver, or gold mines. One miner can dig out a single copper, whereas two are required to mine a silver and three for a gold. Spend resources on strategic events or nefarious tricks, or use them to craft weapons and armor. At the end of each turn, you may declare DUEL on your foe to attempt to win either the fair maiden’s favour or the adoration of more fans (who you will inevitably send to work in the mines).

  •  2 players
  • Ages 10+
  • 45 minute play time

blackwater gulch

Blackwater Gulch: Secret First

The Blackwater Lines Railroad employed many Asian workers and laborers, but once the railroad was finished, many were simply laid off with no place to go. Some left town, others stayed but found it hard to get by on their own in a town full of people who didn’t understand their language or culture. Soon after, many banded together to form the Secret Fist and now run the Oriental Quarter to protect other citizens of their kind.


Five unpainted 30mm metal figures


In Carmarace, everyone on your block just won the chance to pick up a limited edition collectable at the convention being held on the other side of the continent. There is only one of these collectables up for grabs and the first person there gets it! The problem? None of you have a car…As players hit the streets, sky, and tracks, they will hop into different vehicles with different “Karma” values.  You might get really lucky and have a nice open road in front of you…or you might get a giant boulder, which can slow you down. In this race, what goes around comes around. You’ll run into speeding tickets, road blocks, jet fighters, trains, cars, planes, old ladies, and more! 

In Carmarace, you’ll need to strategize which cards to hold, and which to discard. Do you want to advance further into the race? Or deal out some bad Karma to the others in front? Which path should you take? Will you risk the high road and take a plane? Bluff your way past the others? So many choices to choose from.

2-6 players

Ages 8+

90 minute play time


In Wanted, you take on the role of an Outlaw or a Sheriff, rolling dice to get the best poker hand to buy the items on the table. When the last card is drawn you find out if you are a wanted criminal or promoted to the town sheriff. Once you know who you are you must sell, negotiate, trade, and make favors to get rid of the items you don’t need before the timer runs out and you are stuck on the wrong side of the law.

wanted stuff

 You will find a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment when you play Wanted and you will want to play it again and again! This game has a good pace and keeps everyone participating until the end of the game. It is full of strategy, player interaction and is a great game to add to your collection.

 The closing date on Kickstarter is May 15, 2014, the current pledged amount is $240 cad and the funding goal for the project is $30,000.  Pledge $45 for a copy. Canada and US shipping free. The estimated delivery date is Jun 2014.

last banquet

At GAMA this past week, Fantasy Flight announced The Last Banquet, an upcoming party game.  The Last Banquet will support a group of six to twenty-five players in this game of intrigue.

Players are given a role and divided into teams and seated around the table. Each role, or character card, has an ability that will manipulate seating order in some way. Character cards also have detailed information to aide in a little role playing as teams work to accomplish their goals. Assassinate the king or queen or rescue the princess, Last Banquet will come with six scenarios for players.

Last Banquet is expected to release third quarter of this year.

northstar games logo

From North Star Games…

Kensington, MD – North Star Games, publisher of blockbuster party games such as
Wits & Wagers® and Say Anything®, proudly releases a new party game designed specifically for kids: Happy Birthday!
happy birthday

Happy Birthday! is a hilarious game where players of all ages take turns giving each other surprising gifts. Some gifts are great, some gifts are not so great, and most gifts are down-right hilarious.”We designed Happy Birthday! so kids can start playingthe moment they open the box.” said Dominic Crapuchettes, North Star Games’ founder.  “Players take turns giving each other fun gifts. It’s that easy. In fact, if your kids have ever given someone a gift, they already know how to play!”

happy birthday cards

The goal is very simple: win as many points as possible. Points are given to players that give the best gift, and to players that give the worst gift. This is where the game shines. Finding the best (or worst) gift for another player always results in a room filled with laughter.

Kids love parties and kids love games. Happy Birthday! now makes it easy to do both!

About North Star Games
North Star Games’ board games inspire laughter through social interaction rather than through complex rules and fierce competition. They pride themselves on bringing innovation to a stagnant party game market that relies on Hollywood licenses instead of fresh game ideas.
For more information on North Star Games, visit  

personally incorrect

Personally Incorrect!

Appropriately Inappropriate Hilariously Fun to Play Again and Again The Most Fun You Will Ever Have While Being a Terrible Human Being! Unlike other lame comparison games that try to be cleverly ‘edgy’, Personally Incorrect was designed specifically so that every round will offend people! Why play a tiring game that makes generic statements? Personally Incorrect attacks the people you are playing with – and no one is safe!

One player reads a Question Card out to the group, replacing “Insert Name” with the name of a person at the table. The other players then pick a highly-offensive answer card from their hand to give to the reader. The reader then reads the card again, one-by-one, filling in the blanks with the provided answers. Once everyone is done pissing their pants laughing, players then vote on the answer they want to win! No dictator B.S. here; every one of the terrible people playing the game gets a say!

greenbrier games

Ninja Dice

ninja dice

In Ninja Dice, a push-your-luck dice game with a Japanese theme, players compete to see which of them is the greatest Ninja.

To play, each player rolls House dice to create unique combinations of challenges. Players roll their Skill dice to come up with ways to beat these challenges. Players can also roll special Fortune faces that boost dice, but only if the dice they are boosting lie in specific positions on the table, a system that is new and unique to games of this kind.

Releasing with the base game is the Location Cards expansion.

ninja dice cards

Normally, in Ninja Dice, the House dice are rolled to create the House and its challenges for you to play against in your turn (while all the other players frantically try and stop you). These Location cards represent unique places with additional challenges, special rules, and thematic artwork to really enhance your Ninja experience. Choosing to use these Location Cards in a round adds to the difficulty of the round but increases the reward if you succeed. Sometimes there are more Guards, harder Locks, or new rules entirely!

happy birthday

Happy Birthday! is the hilarious game where players of all ages surprise each other with outrageous and cool gifts. Players give each other gifts from their hand, when the gifted player choses which gift is the best, the player who gifted it receives points. The player who gives the best gifts and scores the most points wins!

So easy and fun kids will start laughing as soon as they open the box, turning any event into a party. Happy Birthday! is ideal for kids’ birthday parties too!

Happy Birthday! will be released next month.