Pirate Games

Minion Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for the first expansion to the 2015 release Dead Men Tell No Tales which is entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken.  Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken is designed by Kane Klenko and the artists are Jason D. KingsleyChris Ostrowski.

In this expansion, players will face the dreaded Kraken.  Adding the expansion adds a few new conditions to the game such as requiring players to kill the Kraken before they can escape the ship with their treasure and lives.  If the Kraken pulls the ship down or destroys it, the players lose.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken comes with 1 Kraken miniature, 15 tentacle miniatures, a new character with meeple and miniature, status tokens and board for the Kraken, 42 game tokens, 1 cloth bag, new cards, and 5 player aids.

The campaign also offers a set of 7 miniatures for the base game characters that can be purchased alone or as an add-on.  Finally a start board that is split apart so that it is easier to mark tiles exploded is available as an add-on.  This new start board can be used to replace older versions of the base game before the the start board was updated in later editions.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken campaign is running now and will end on February 15, 2018.  Please see the campaign page for any information on pricing.

Roar: King Of The Pride is a new board game from IDW Games, and designers Daryl Andrews (Sagrada) and Erica Bouyouris, which has players competing to be the dominant lion pride in Africa. 3-6 players must manage their food supply, expand into new territories and raise cubs to compete effectively. Be careful of other players’ secret objectives, and new more powerful threats that encroach into the Savannah. Expect Roar: King of the Pride in March 2018.

Loot Island from Whats Your Game and Aaron Haag (Yunnan) is a pirate themed card game with an interesting balance between teamwork and selfishness. 2-5 players take turns placing their map cards on the landings of Loot Island. Each location requires enough map cards to find the loot, but the loot must be divided among the contributing players, with first come first served. Do you add to the map to gain a small share, or do you withhold your information, hoping the other players fail to find any loot at all? And just to make it crazier, there is a traditional pirate curse which must be broken. Loot Island should hit stores in November 2017.

Quick Simple Fun Games has announced Muse, a deduction game for 2-12 players reminiscent of Dixit, where players use cards of insane art to guide teammates to inspiration. Muse can be played cooperatively, or at larger player counts, in teams. One player takes on the role of Muse, giving clues within the confines of their inspiration card, leading their team to their chosen masterpiece. Muse should hit stores by November 24, 2017.

winds of fortune

At first glance, Winds of Fortune from newcomer SafeHaven Games looks like Summoner Wars set in the ocean. But a number of intriguing concepts brought me back and kept me looking.

Flagships of Doom

Each player has a faction deck they use to deploy ships and effects. These ships go into one of 3 different combat lanes, 3 spots deep, and are then used to wage war on the opposing side. The target in this case is the opposing player’s flag ship, a looming behemoth at the rear of the board comprised of 3 cards from that player’s chosen faction.

I really like these flagships. Each ship is comprised of 3 different cards…fore, midship and stern. Each card has its own ability and when that card takes enough damage it’s flipped over and you lose that ability. Winning the game involves destroying all 3 pieces and I can foresee this setting up a really intense back-and-forth naval battle…with a flagship being almost sunk, then coming back with a victory out of nowhere.

Image from  Kickstarter page illustrating game play

Image from Kickstarter page illustrating game play

The campaign also claims these flagships will be more customizable as more cards are released. With more options, it will eventually be possible to cherry pick the 3 different parts to make the exact ship you want. I can see this being trouble in a tournament setting.


Doubloons are the mana of this game. You summon your ships with it, and carry out various activated abilities by spending it. You can even spend doubloons to draw extra cards, which might be pretty amazing if there’s some way to get a combo of cards to kick out more doubloons than normally anticipated.

The Art and Theme

I really hate when a game retreads over a previously used theme. Right now I am tentatively optimistic because I read the entire kickstarter and never saw the word “Cthulhu” once. Instead, Winds of Fortune has gone through the necessary struggle to develop its own story. It’s a little steampunky, a little supernatural, but with new unique elements that fit in with the nautical theme. Victorian Waterworld, perhaps? The campaign claims there will eventually be a Martian faction which I am on the edge of my seat awaiting with either excitement or dread.

The Art is good. I mean, it’s really, really good. Take a look at the kickstarter just for the art and envision that art on the cards. 3 different artists have been hired, and it looks like they’ve done a good job fleshing out the bizarre imagery to its fullest extent.

The Campaign

With 26 days left to go, the kickstarter has raised almost $3,000 of a $16,000 goal. The quality of the art, as previously stated is amazing. The campaign itself seems pretty fleshed out, with both a intro video and a prototype preview from Bored Online? Board Offline!

The one thing I don’t see is a rulebook, and it would be really nice to read all about this game and get a better feel for how the action happens. But from the other elements it’s obvious SafeHaven Games does indeed have some sort of real, working game here and it’s only a matter of time before more details emerge. Right now I know it’s a 2 player game, and takes about 60 minutes to play. Includes 2 pre-built decks with extra cards to build your own custom decks, LCG-style.

I’ll be keeping my eye on this kickstarter and seeing how it develops as the month progresses.



IDW Games has announced the official release dates for two of their upcoming games.

Open Sesame, a press your luck/memorization card game about the tale of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, is expected to hit shelves on June 30th. Players take turns playing Ali Baba (attempting to steal as much treasure from the cave as possible without getting caught) or one of the thieves guarding the cave (attempting to catch Ali Baba in the act by reciting exactly what he is trying to steal). Designed by Antoine Bauza, the creator of such popular games as 7 Wonders, Takenoko, Tokaido and Hanabi, Open Sesame plays 3-5 players in about 20 minutes.

You can find more information at Boardgamegeek here.

Pirates of the 7 Seas will be in stores July 31st. In this game, designed by the team behind the innovative hit game Mysterium, players will brave all manner of perils in their quest to become the richest Pirate on the high seas. Pirates of the 7 Seas plays 2-4 players in about 45 minutes to an hour.

Check out this game at Boardgamegeek here.


Following on a successful Kickstarter campaign last fall Minion Games is finally bringing Dead Men Tell No Tales out in April.  This fun pirate themed cooperative does a nice job of pairing the hidden information aspects of a game like forbidden desert with the strategy of a game like Pandemic or Flash Point.

While the distributor of this game has announced that it will be available in April the Kickstarter page for this project does not indicate that shipments have necessarily began to backers.  This indicates that the April ship date may slip.  Based on concerns voiced by the publisher in comments for the campaign they may be facing the same shipping delays that have plagued much of the industry for the last few months.

That being said Minion Games does have a track record of taking care of their Kickstarter backers properly.  If this game sounds interesting keep your eyes peeled mid-April for it.

Publishers description below

For years you’ve been tracking Skelit’s Revenge, the most notorious ship on the high seas, and now you’ve finally taken it. Your Captain has informed you that there are treasure chests hidden on board full of the most valuable treasure the world has ever seen and now is your chance to take it all. Players take on the role of Pirates who are boarding Skelit’s Revenge for one purpose….to take the loot. They must battle the flames, the skeleton crew, and their own fatigue if they hope to make it out alive.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is a cooperative game for 2-5 players. The game uses the common Action Point system to determine what a player does on their turn….with a twist. As players work together, they can pass their Actions on to their teammates in order to best utilize the assets that they have. Players will build the board as they play, ensuring that no two games will ever be alike. As they search the ship for the Treasure, they will encounter Enemies and Guards that they must battle, along with various items that will help them in their quest…. all the while, battling the inferno that resulted when they took over the ship. Unique systems for tracking fire, enemy movement, and a player’s fatigue all combine into an interesting and unique cooperative gaming experience.

Do you and your crew have what it takes to make off with all of the Treasure and live to tell the story? Or are you going down with the ship, in Dead Men Tell No Tales…

2-5 players
Ages 13+
60 minute play time