PieceKeeper Games

PAX Unplugged is in the rear view mirror now and that pretty much marks the end of the major convention season, so lets see what we can get this week on Kickstarter to boost our spirits.  First up is the next game from Piecekeeper Games and that is Gearworks, a card based puzzle game for up to four players.  In the game you will be laying out cards onto a grid in order to gain parts and build contraptions which are worth points at the end of the game.  The grid you are placing cards in have some rules though, you can only have one color per column, and the numbers have to be in ascending order going down the row.  There are also some rules on gaining sparks based on the card you place, and these sparks give you special abilities like placing over cards or playing a second card.  After you play you will rotate gears to indicate where you placed cards, and then acquire parts based on gear orientation across the board.  And it’s these parts that build the contraptions, which at the end of the game are worth points and will win you the game.  While this sounds complicated, if you have played Sudoku before you will find the rules similar and easy to pick up.  So if you are looking for a puzzly card game requiring a bit of mental umph, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is the latest in the long line of storage solutions for board games, and that is the Boxthrone.  What sets this system apart from others it two fold, first is it’s all metal construction, making it tough and durable.  The second is that the system is meant to house a single game on each shelf by making shelf height highly adjustable so you can fit one game in each slot, helping reduce box damage from too many other games being stacked on top.  It also includes a fair bit of customization in that you can mix and match how you set up the shelves to be able to fit however many, and however oddly shaped, games you want.  They even have the option of adding clear acrylic shelves if you want to display miniatures or other items along with your game.  Thus if you are looking for something more than just another Kallax, check out this Kickstarter today.

From the makers who brought you Dragoon we have another game from the folks at Lay Waste Games, a social deduction game based on time travel called Human Era.  In the game humans have finally discovered time travel, and like usual someone uses time travel to screw everything up, now it’s up to you and your friends to fix it.  There are three teams you might play as, the humans who are trying to fix history, the robots who want the chaos so they come to power, or the cyborgs who play for both teams essentially.  After everyone is dealt their identity cards the captain will then roll the die to see what era you will be traveling to.  Once there they will pick a team of players for everyone to vote on as the ones who try to repair time.  If the vote succeeds then the players will pass cards to the captain, if the vote fails then a random card is placed.  Based on what cards are showing on the board at the end of the round will determine the score.  You will do this rolling, voting, card placing process for ten rounds, and at the end of the 10th round the final score determines who wins.  For the humans to win the score has to be 4-6, for the cyborgs to win the score has to be 3-5 (which means they can win WITH the humans), and for the robots to win the score has to be 2 or lower.  There are other rules that go along with the game, but suffice to say, if you are intrigued by social deduction games, check out this Kickstarter project.

And finally we have a new engine building card game similar to Chain Reaction called Space Race – Interkosmos.  This game is all about the space race, and so each player is playing a different country trying to make their way into the cosmos and explore it.  How you will do this is through blind bidding and engine building with your cards, and cards you acquire from the main row.  In each round there will be a display of cards up for auction, you will bid on these cards using control cards, each with a type and value associated with them.  Win or lose that is the only time you get to use the cards to choose wisely.  Once winner are determined then the cards are added to their tableau in front of them, and this is where the engine building happens.  On each cards are four different lines, that as you put cards next to each other will form a string of actions that happen whenever you activate that line.  This is the second part of the control cards you use because after bidding, you then use the card to activate a line on your cards to take those actions and hopefully explore space and get more cards.  In the end, whoever has the best space agency and has explored the most impressive stellar objects will be the winner.  There is much more to the game including a campaign mode, so if the games sounds interesting, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page.

Ultra Pro’s break into the board gaming market through acquisitions continues, and their latest is a licensing agreement between them and PieceKeeper Games to publish their popular Flag Dash game.  They intend to release the game with some minor game and component improvements in March of 2017, and even goes so far to mention expansions and other game improvements down the road.  You can read the full announcement below, and look forward to the game on store shelves in the new year.

Under the partnership, Ultra PRO will handle publishing and marketing, and PieceKeeper Games will design further additions to the Flag Dash brand.

“We are extremely excited to work with Ultra PRO Entertainment. Having been a loyal customer of Ultra PRO for years, I can attest to their high quality products and am honored to have Flag Dash join their ranks,” said Kirk Dennison, CEO of PieceKeeper Games. “This partnership will enable us to build a stronger brand for Flag Dash, share the fun of the game with many more players, and develop new content for the game sooner and more frequently.”

“Ultra PRO Entertainment is proud to bring Flag Dash, by PieceKeeper Games, into the fold. PieceKeeper Games’ founders Kirk and Emily Dennison are a fantastic team and Flag Dash is a perfect fit in our portfolio for family and social gaming,” said Sean Lashgari, Senior Director Entertainment Division, Ultra PRO. “Our goal is to follow through on the amazing reception Flag Dash received at the 2016 BGG Con this past month, and continue with production estimated to be in stock by March 2017 in time for Spring / Easter sales. The new inventory from Ultra PRO Entertainment will incorporate some minor packaging and component upgrades, and down the road we will focus on expansions and other game enhancements.”

Flag Dash
A brilliant board game for all ages!

In Flag Dash, you play as one of several childhood friends who promised to play their favorite pastime again after they “grew up.” Secretly plan your moves to outmaneuver the opposing team in an exciting game of capture the flag! Will your opponents ruin your plans, or will you return home victoriously with the flag?

Choose from 6 fun characters with unique player powers and beautiful illustrations, including the Wanna-be Ninja, Modern Cowboy, & Crazy Cat Lady! No two games are alike since there are many gameplay variations.

For 2 to 4 players ages 10+, with average play time of 30 to 45 minutes. For card sleeving use 1 pack of Ultra PRO Standard American Board Game sleeves.

HIGHLIGHTS & KEY POINTS

Upgraded packaging box, rules and more
Tactical planning, guessing, and teamwork
Simple to learn but great depth of gameplay
Wooden game pawns carry wooden flags
Family friendly board game of capture the flag
Movement programming mechanic
High praise from reviewers, including Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower