party games

Indie Boards & Cards has three new releases this summer. First is Conflicting Legends, which Indie Boards & Cards has picked up to publish a second English edition. Conflicting Legends is a fast-paced strategic card game based on rock-paper-scissors.  The artwork on the cards depict a variety of historical science, culture, and military personalities. Each card has a unique ability. Conflicting Legends plays 3-6 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on May 15.

 Next is Among Thieves, a game of deception and greed. Players are criminals and blackmailers working together to steal from the Dystopian Universe mega-corporations. Each round, one player is the Heistmaster who chooses which other players to take on the heist.  Each player negotiates to get in on the action and partake in the loot.  However, no agreement is binding and players may choose to be dishonorable and take a larger share. Players win by having the most money but risk elimination if they lose too much honor. Among Thieves plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 30-45 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

Lastly, Finger Guns at High Noon is sure to be a fast-paced and hilarious game of a western shootout. Its everybody against everybody unless players can convince others to join in or they lasso up an ally Actions are played simultaneously by counting down to draw finger guns. Different hand gestures show everyone’s actions and targets. Use pistols, dynamite, and power shots to eliminate other players, heal yourself at the saloon, organize a posse, or lasso up an ally. Once eliminated, players are still in the game as ghosts who have fewer actions but can thwart the plans of the living players.  Last player standing is the winner—unless the ghosts eliminate everyone.  Finger Guns at High Noon plays 3-8 players, ages 14+, in about 20 minutes, and will be released on June 26.

Genius Games, the masters of good, entertaining science games, have a new Kickstarter Campaign for the party word game Nerd Words: Science by designers John Coveyou and Eric Slauson. Genius has hit it out of the park in the past with science based board games, such as Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game (2017), Subatomic: An Atom Building Game (2018) and most recently Periodic: A Game of the Elements (2019). Nerd Words is a team based word game, in which a clue-giver picks a science term from two given clue cards. Clues must be a single word, and start with a letter from the original word, although the first letter of the original word is off limits until the final clue. Additionally, the clue giver may bet up to 4 points, if they think their clue is really extraordinarily good. I had a chance to look at an early copy of Nerd Words at GAMA Trade Show, and the game continues to succeed at Genius Games’ trademark ability to present real, sometimes complex, educational ideas in an elegant, simple manner. Nerd Words comes with dry erase boards for clue giving and guesses, and additional themed card packs are planned for the future, including Space Science, Earth Science, Medical Sciences, and Advanced Biology. The Kickstarter for Nerd Words: Science continues through April 11, and the game is expected to deliver in April 2019.

Gamewright has announced they are bringing the fast frantic party game Guju Guju (2015) to western shores. Originally a Taiwanese game from
publisher GeGe Co. Ltd. and designer Ariel Yi Chi Chang, Guju Guju is a speed game for 2-5 players. Players are each dealt 20 of the whimsically illustrated round cards in a face down deck, each card depicting 1 of 4 types of fruit, then 13 of the cards are placed face up on the table. On a player’s turn they announce a fruit, then cover one of that type of card on the table from their face down deck. If they happen to play the fruit they predicted, every player races to cover all the cards with that named fruit as fast as possible. The first player to empty their personal deck wins. For more details and images, check out Gamewright’s web page on Guju Guju here.

If I told you there was another social/party game on Kickstarter, you might not be too excited.  But, what if I told you the game was co-designed by award-winning designer, Wolfgang Warsch?  Designers Wolfgang Warsch (The Mind, Illusion and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), Alex Hague and Justin Vickers have teamed up on a new game called, Wavelength.

Wavelength is a team based guessing game, whereby, a hidden target is established between two points.  One member of the team is trying to get the other players to guess where the target, or bullseye, is located.  They do this by drawing a card which presents opposites end of a spectrum, for instance, hot and cold or rough and smooth.  A clue is given in attempt to relate the location of the bullseye within that spectrum.  Players then discuss how they think that clue relates to the position of the target between those extremes, while the opposing team can “suggest” how they think the clue relates in an effort to make them second guess themselves.  The active team then turns a dial (7.5″ rotating wheel) to select a spot on the spectrum.  Varying points are awarded based on how close they are to the target.

“One of the really unique things about Wavelength is that it’s played entirely IN THE BOX. The cards, dial, and score tracker all slot into the box’s tray, and you just…pass it around.”

The Kickstarter campaign for Wavelength has a single pledge level of $29 for a copy of the game.  The campaign is being run by Alex Hague, who has completed several successful campaigns for the game, Monikers.

Greater Than Games has just announced their new party game Medium, by designers Danielle DeleyLindsey Sherwood, and Nathan Thornton of Storm Chaser Games. In Medium, 2-8 players pair off into teams of 2, and each player in a team receives 5 word cards. Each player selects one of their cards, then link psychically and try to come up with a single word that ties the two words together. The pair then countdown and say their connecting words at the same time. If both members of a team manage to say the same connecting word, they win. If the pair are not yet mentally linked, no fear – they can draw new cards and try again. Medium is scheduled to come to retail in the second half of 2019.

CGE definitely has their holiday release schedule ready enough as-is, but as they’ve proven within the past few years – there’s always room for more word-based party games. That’s not me complaining, though, because CGE has been knocking it out of the park in that category, so it’s with great pleasure to share with you a few more coming quarter four of this year. The most exciting of the two releases is the all-new Trapwords – a party game inspired by the team vs. team play of Codenames with a slight twist thrown in. As described on CGE’s product page:

“Trapwords is a fun and fast-paced party game for two teams, who simultaneously prepare their lists of trapwords. The simple task of giving clues for your word is made fiendishly difficult by not knowing which words you can’t say. If you succeed, you advance to higher levels with more trapwords and additional challenges. Includes a set of regular words as well as a set with a fantasy theme.”

Codenames, on the other hand, does not need any introduction, but it’s still awesome to also announce that it’s Pictures version is getting the same XXL treatment that the base game has already gotten. There are no gameplay changes at all, just a giant version of the game this time featuring it’s unique and puzzling artwork on much bigger tiles. With this next step it is within reason to expect that Duet will receive the same treatment in the future, but I’m curious if the themed versions, such as Deep Undercover, Disney, and Marvel, will as well. We’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about these, and other, upcoming CGE releases, be sure to check out their website for updates.

If you’ve ever wanted to pitch your bad movie idea, now is your chance! Now on Kickstarter, Pitchstorm by Skybound, the publisher behind Superfight and Red Flags, takes their party game mechanic to the movies.

Each player is a writer trying to pitch their idea to a movie executive, via character cards and plot cards they draw. Each writer will choose either type of card from their hand to start their pitch, and must draw one of the others at random and come up with their idea on the fly and have 45 seconds to pitch their movie to the acting executive. At any point during the pitch, the acting executive can stop the timer and interject with their own card, executive notes, that the writer must work into the pitch no matter what. After every writer has pitched their movie, the executive chooses their favorite and play continues, with a new executive.

The game can also be played with 6-12 players, acting in teams of two as the writers and executives, but the pairs cannot know anything about the other’s card until the moment the pitch begins.

There are also several expansions that can be added on, depending on Kickstarter level, such as Creature Feature, Date Night, Awards Season and NC-17. A So Bad It’s Good expansion deck has also been unlocked.

Find out more about the Kickstarter here.

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.

Gamewright have announced their line-up of family games for the year. Many of their new games will see release at the New York Toy Fair in February, 2018.

Trash Pandas

The Game of Raucous Raccoons

Trash Pandas has players take on the role of raccoons. Well that doesn’t make sense does it? If you’re playing a raccoon, why is it called Trash Pandas? Seems this game’s theme is based on a meme from a Redditor in 2014 who coined the term and the idea got mainstream exposure in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Gameplay revolves around players diving into a dumpster looking for good leftovers. There appears to be some dice involved which dictate how many turns you get but you have to avoid the Doggos who stand guard. I guess some people’s trash is a racoon’s treasure? The raccoon who stashes the most trash is the winner. Supports 2-4 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 20 minutes.

Chill Out!

A Refreshing Game of Ice and Dice

This is a game for pre-school kids with dice which look like ice. Players scoop their “ice cubes” out of a tray matching the color result of a die which they’ve rolled. They then drop them, one at a time, on the board and hope to land some in their cup to make their float. Its a good game to improve pre-schoolers’ dexterity and reinforce knowledge of colors. Supports 2-4 players, aged 5+, and plays in roughly 15 mins.

 

Long Cow

An Udderly Ridiculous Card Game

This game comes packed in a milk carton which “moos” like a cow. While we’ve seen a similar idea with another combustible cat based game this one is a lot more family friendly. Players build cows by collecting their heads, tails, and middles from the deck. Ok, that sounds more crazy scientist friendly than family friendly but bear with me. Longer cows score more points. Ever wanted to build a Franken-cow? Or maybe a robot cow or a holy cow? Best do it soon as you might run afoul of hurricanes or aliens abducting your odd bovines. The game supports 2-5 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 20 mins.

Zoinx!

The All or Nothing Dice Game

In this game players secretly predict how many dots you will roll on your dice. As long as you meet a target set by the game you get to keep rolling those dice. If you push too far though you lose everything and the players who bet against you score points. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 15 mins. It’s already shipping and should be in retail soon.

Squirmish

The Card Game of Brawling Beasties

Squirmish is a battling card game in which players draft an odd squad of warriors then position them into melee and roll dice to attack. There are over 70 warriors to choose from and the game has ample humor and strategy but has an element of luck to it. Players have to knock out all opposing warriors for theirs to be the sole survivor who becomes the Beastie Boss. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 10+, and plays in roughly 30 mins.

Cahoots

The Cooperative Hint and Sync Game

A colorful, cooperative card game in which players play cards to one of four piles matching either color or number. The players have to complete a series of goals without saying what’s in their hand by working together as a team. Players are racing against the clock to win so they’ll need to be in cahoots. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 10+, and plays in roughly 20 mins.

Say It!

The Game of Crazy Combos

This is a party game which has players draw a combination of cards and has players say the first thing which comes to mind matching the description of the cards. So if the cards “Something sticky” and “that you find in the couch cushions?” is drawn then players will shout out “a forgotten banana” or “earwax” and the person with the most entertaining answer is declared the winner. The game supports 3-8 players, aged 10+, and plays in roughly 20 mins.

Sneaky Cards 2

Play It Forward

The game expands on the original Sneaky Cards with 54 new missions. Players spread joy and craziness on an unsuspecting public where players have to fulfil the missions on the card in order to score points. It’s sort of a “Truth or Dare” in public without any “Truth” to it. Give a stranger flowers! Or challenge them to a dance off! Once the mission is completed you hand the card to an unsuspecting accomplice for them to play it forward. Definitely not a game for the shy but can be really fun if you’re willing to bring joy to the world! Supports 1-infinite number of players, aged 12+.

Picture from popularmechanics.com

It’s coming to the end of the year, and what does that mean, lots of people putting out their Top X for 2017 lists.  The Dice Tower does this themselves as they have already released their Top 10 Games of 2017 and Top 10 Pop Culture of 2017 on Youtube.  But not to be left out, Popular Mechanics has now released their list for the Top 50 Games of 2017.  What is interesting about their list is that they are a lot of great games on here from across the spectrum, from party games, to micro games, to heavy strategy games, and even Kickstarter games.  Although like any list, some maybe are not as great but get by on notoriety, but strangely also some games not from 2017 make the list.  Some of those games on the list include Star Realms, Quantum, and Codenames, which are great games, but odd choices for being included on a 2017 list.  Either way, check out their list to see the top 50 “new” board games for this year of 2017.