Continuing with the trend of more and more board games becoming digitized, the latest offering to be released on Steam is AEG‘s Smash Up designed by Paul Peterson.
Smash Up is a card game that takes a deck of 20 cards of a faction, and combines them with another deck of 20 cards of another faction. Each faction has a special ability associated with it, so the combinations when mixing various factions is almost endless. These cards are shuffled to make your deck, and you use that deck to attempt to Smash a base. Points are awarded for the first, second, and third most power on that base.
Smash Up on Steam is currently in what Steam calls an ‘Early Access Game’. This grants you early access to the full game in its current state allowing you to play as is, with more content added as the developer completes it. If you buy into the game during Early Access, you’ll receive a discount as well as access to additional content as it’s completed.
A link to what the developers of the game have to say can be found here.
More info on Smash Up the board game can be found here and here.
Gateway games – the fun, easy-to-learn games that suck people into the hobby, are a very important part of growing the board gaming hobby. In order to make games accessible to anyone, Calliope Games has decided to create The Titan Series. From the Kickstarter:
The Titan Series is a line of gateway games—casual, family-friendly tabletop games—being created by some of the best game designers (“Titans”) in the world. Each a legend within the gaming industry, these Titans are responsible for such wildly popular games as Magic: The Gathering, King of Tokyo, Shadowrun, MechWarrior, HeroClix, Quarriors!, Risk Legacy, and many more.
Their plan is to release nine (or more) gateway games over the next 3 years. If you back the entire project, it will average around $16 per game – significantly less than the $30 retail price that they’re aiming for. Calliope is also relying on the backers to help with the game creating – honing the rules, choosing art, and voting on names.
Currently, the first three games (coming out in year 1) are:
- A worker placement game by Zach (Golem Arcana, Got ‘Em!) & Jordan Weisman (BattleTech, HeroClix, Shadowrun) with bidding, bluffing, and deduction
- A risk management game by Paul Peterson (Guillotine, Smash Up) where you move and manage your dice along pathways
- A party game by Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, King of Tokyo) where you get points for responding the same way as other people
Calliope plans for year 2 to have games by Eric Lang (XCom: The Board Game, Quarriors!), Seth Johnson (HeroClik, Golem Arcana), and Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Axis & Allies, Betrayal at House on the Hill). Year 3 will feature Mike Elliot (Dice Masters, Thunderstone), Rob Daviau (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Heroscape, Risk Legacy), and Mike Mulvihill (BattleTech, Shadowrun). Additional games will be unlocked in the stretch goals.
If you’re interested in the Titan Series, check out the Kickstarter here.
Roll For It! Deluxe Edition
Designed by Chris Leder and first published in 2011, Roll For It is a dice rolling game where players match dice results to cards for points. This deluxe edition features artwork from Echo Chernik, 48 metallic and translucent dice, a velvet dice bag embroidered with the Roll For It! logo, and an embossed tin with hinged lid. The deluxe edition will be available during PAX Prime, August 29 through September 1 in Seattle, Washington.
Calliope Games also announced the Titan Series. This series of nine “gateway” games is a
…collaboration between Calliope and master designers including: Rob Daviau, Michael Elliott, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Seth Johnson, Eric Lang, Mike Mulvihill, Paul Peterson, Mike Selinker, Jordan Weisman, and Zach Weisman.
The Titan Series will be initially all funded through Kickstarter and delivered to backers. Afterwards, the series will be available in retail stores. The press release also reports that a “sizable discount” will be available to backers of all nine games.
Thunderbox Entertainment has teamed up with Calliope Games to bring Tsuro to the app world for Android and iOS.
“It was important to me that the soul of the game wasn’t lost in Tsuro’s transition from the table to the tablet” comments Ray Wehrs, President of Calliope Games. “Of all the developers who approached us looking to turn Tsuro into an app, Thunderbox proved to be uniquely qualified to enhance the game digitally while maintaining the feel and experience of playing around the table.”
This digital port is expected to release early 2015.
Falling: 2014 Edition
Designed by James Ernest and first published in 1998, this party and card game is getting a little makeover. All new art from Val Mayerik, a comic legend, new cards, and updated rules. In Falling, all players are falling from the skies and the objective is to be the player to hit the ground last. Falling is for 4 to 8 players, ages 12 and up and a play time of 2 minutes.
Designed by James Ernest and Paul Peterson, this is a “new classic pub game.” In this game, players will take turns drawing cards and trying NOT to score a pair. The first player to score too many points loses. The deck consists of one 1, two 2’s, three 3’s, and so on up to ten 10’s. Five cards are removed randomly and set aside and each player is dealt one face up card. On a turn, the player draws the top card and places it face up next to their other card(s). If it matches a card already face up, the round is over and that card is penalty points for the player. If the card does not match, then turn proceeds clockwise to the next player. Pairs: Single is for 4 to 8 players, ages 12 and up and a play time of 2 minutes.
Variant, themed decks have also been released.
A deck of pirates and scalawags, illustrated by Brett Bean. Contains two Pirate games, Port and Starboard.
The Barmaids deck contains exquisite illustrations of barmaids with beers, by artist Echo Chernik. Also contains the casino Pairs variant, Rocket.
The Goblin Deck contains ten “Goblins through the Ages” illustrated by Peter Venters. Also contains the variant Goblin Poker.
Pairs: The Princess and Mr. Whiffle
The Princess and Mister Whiffle contains characters from the not-for-children children’s book by Patrick Rothfuss, illustrated by Nate Taylor.
Illustrated by Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright, the Muses are a set of ancient courtly clanks from the Girl Genius universe. Contains the variant game Regent.
Pairs: Shallow Ones
John Kovalic illustrates this extremely cute set of baby Cthulhu and his friends. This deck contains the Pairs variant Monster.
Pairs: Professor Elemental
Chap Hop rapper Professor Elemental is the subject of this whimsical Pairs deck, illustrated by Cheyenne Wright. Contains the Pairs variant Venture.
Pairs: The Kingkiller Chronicles 1: The Name of the Wind
Based on the works of Patrick Rothfuss, the Name of the Wind deck features characters from the Kingkiller Chronicle, such as the Tinker, the Amyr, and the Ruh. Art by Shane Tyree. Contains the bonus game, Sweep.
Pairs: The Kingkiller Chronicles 2: Modegan
The second deck in the Patrick Rothfuss universe, the Modegan Deck features artwork by Shane Tyree and a new game variant, Blackstone.
Pairs: The Kingkiller Chronicles 3: Faen
The third in the Kingkiller Chronicles / Patrick Rothfuss set of Pairs decks, this deck contains illustrations of the Faeries of Four Corners, by Nate Taylor. Contains the variant game Hawthorn.
Smash Up: Monster Mash
We were working the lab, late one night… then we made Monster Smash! This expansion to Smash Up brings you four new creepy decks to scare your opponents to death! or at least beat them to 15 points. Vampires drain power from their victims. Mad Scientists construct bizarre creations of great strength. Werewolves go berserk with power. Giant Ants swarm their victims. It’s enough to make you run out of the theater in terror!
Smash Up lets you bring together various groups from Geekdom to create decks that will smash your opponents! Combine Wizard Pirates, or Ninja Dinosaurs, or Robot Vampires! Fight to score the most points and win the game.
– Four all-new factions for Smash Up!
– Great monster/halloween theme for this fall!
– All new token bonuses adds a new strategy to Smash Up
Contents: 4 new factions with 80 cards, 8 base cards, 1 VP Token sheet, rulebook
Ages: 14 and up
Players: 2 players (up to 4 with additional sets)
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Trains: Rising Sun
Welcome Aboard, Again! Trains returns with all-new cards and strategies for you to build the best rail system in Japan. Trains: Rising Sun not only features all new cards, it includes three entirely new boards. Two of the boards are designed specifically for 2 – player games, while the Nagoya map is a new challenge for 2 to 4 players. This standalone game can mix easily with the original Trains game for even greater replay possibilities! Trains: Rising Sun also introduces Route Bonus Cards, allowing you to score additional points for being the first to connect specific stations. Route Bonus Cards are included for the original Trains game as well!
The railways of today are amazing things and bullet trains, freight trains and more keep entire countries running. From transporting the populace to carrying essential materials, trains play an integral part in a nation’s power and economic development. You will start with a small set of cards, but by building a more effective deck throughout the game, you will be able to place stations and lay rails over the maps of Japan. Gain enough points from your railways and you will ultimately manage the most powerful railroads in modern Japan!
– Can be played independently or mixed with the original Trains release for even greater replay possibilities
– Features new rules and game mechanics including Route Bonus cards that offer players additional ways of scoring points during the game.
– Features new cards including new rules for Attacks and Reactions.
– Features two new maps that are ideal for 2-player games.
– Over 500 cards, dividers, double-sided game board and rulebook
– 20 route markers
– 84 wooden rail tokens, and 30 wooden station tokens
Ages: 14 +
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Thunderstone Advance: Into the Abyss
Battling to the heart of Doom’s kingdom, surrounded on every side by Undead, new powerful Doomknights, and countless monsters of the Abyss, can the heroes finally put the ancient evil to rest?
Thunderstone Advance: Into the Abyss continues the story of survival in the forsaken realm.
This set showcases a blend of 381 cards from the first six Thunderstone releases, together with some new heroes, spells, items, villagers, and monsters. It also incorporates alternate uses for experience tokens and fourth level heroes for this set and the companion set, Worlds Collide.
This set is an expansion and requires a Thunderstone Advance base set (such as Worlds Collide) to play.
381 cards plus experience tokens and a rule sheet
Number of Players: 1-5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Ages: 14 & Up
Smash Up – Big Geeky Box
For some time Smash Up fans have cried out, “Give us a better storage box! The cardboard awesome is overflowing from this incredibly well-designed and amazing game* your wonderful and generous company** created.”
And we heard you! This summer you’ll be able to buy The Big Geeky Box! This oversized box features three long trays for holding your Smash Upfactions, as well as high quality dividers for sorting. It also comes with the really cool foam spacers that people loved in Thunderstone and Nightfall. Organization was never this hot!
Not only that, but the box comes with a bonus faction, the Geeks! Featuring Geek and Sundry, this deck will allow you to geek out like never before. Geek Dinosaurs, Geek Spies, you name it! Look for the box and the cards this fall.
* OK maybe we exaggerated that bit.
** And that bit too, but you get it.
20 Minion & Action Cards
2 Base cards
27 Dividers Token Sheet
Expected release for both expansions is August 2014.