Well regarded Roll and Write game Sunflower Valley (2017) by designer Wouter van Strien and originally from Hobby World, has overcome initial North American publishing delays and is releasing any day from Playroom Entertainment. In Sunflower Valley, 2-5 players take turn drawing with dry erase markers to create their own mountain valley from a shared pool of dice. Players draw houses, sheep, sunflowers, or railroads by claiming the appropriate custom die, and placing it on the correct colored spot on the playing board, using up both the die and the colored location. Once all of the color locations are claimed, the round ends and the 6 dice are passed to the next starting player. When all spaces on each players’ board are filled, the game ends, and players score for each house-sheep pair, either adjacent or connected by a rail, groups of sheep (flocks), groups of houses (settlements), and mountains surrounded by sunflowers. Houses without sheep loose points, and bonuses go to players with the most sunflowers, the most villagers (earned from houses and sunflowers), and long rail lines. Sunflower Valley comes with a game board, 6 custom dice, 5 dry erase markers, 20 double sided player sheets, a first player token and rulebook.
BirdDay Party is a new cooperative card game for 1-4 players age 5 and up. Players want to help all the birds get to the party at the birdhouse, but must make sure each bird brings a gift. Players do this by matching card colors to peephole colors, encouraging memory and cooperation skills.
Three Lil Birds is another children’s cooperative game for 2-6 players. Players ages 3 and up must use simple math to progress around the board with cards depicting different numbers of colored birds.
Sitting Ducks Deluxe is a new edition of Sitting Ducks Gallery (2005) card game. In Sitting Ducks, players manipulate their line of duck cards to move the ducks down the row and avoid the line of fire. In this “take that” game, cards can target, shoot or move the line of colored ducks in various ways. The Deluxe edition plays 3-6 players and includes the “Birds of a Feather” expansion deck.
Claim to Fame (1990) has a new printing. Claim to Fame is a party game for 4 or more players that combines charades, drawing and verbal clues. Players guess five facts about a celebrity on their card, using a method determined from their space on the board.
In Costume Party Assassins, 2-6 players play assassins all invited to the same costume party. In a vein similar to AssassinCon, each player knows his own identity on the board, but not that of the other players. Try to eliminate your rivals and be the last surviving assassin at the party.
Spoiler Alert is a card driven party game for 4 or more players in which players try to get teammates to guess a title. But the clue giver cannot spoil the story, and like Taboo has a list of words they cannot say, each with a negative point value attached.
Geek Out Family is a new edition of the popular bidding and trivia game Geek Out (2013), with topic cards the whole family can enjoy.
Finally, Unspeakable Words Deluxe is a new edition of Unspeakable Words (2007), the Cthulhu themed word game. Words are scored based on the number of angles in the letters, and players must roll less than their word score on a 20 sided die to avoid going slowly insane. The Deluxe edition plays up to 8 players, contains upgraded components, a glow in the dark die, and new art by John Kovalic.
Playroom Entertainment’s best-selling party game, Geek Out!, is getting a fourth edition based on the popular comedy sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Warner Bros. Television and Cryptozoic are teaming up with them to bring this latest installment to the table with all the quality and humor that fans come to expect from both the Geek Out! series and the hit CBS show. For those unfamiliar with Geek Out!, it is at default a trivia game that asks players to list as many things that they can pertaining to a given category, such as Comic Books, Science Fiction, and Games among many others. The two editions of Geek out that have spawned from it’s original release, Pop Culture and TableTop, further delve into those particular categories. As announced in the press release, the addition of The Big Bang Theory to the series is almost a no-brainer:
“With subjects including, Comics, Games, SciFi, Fantasy and questions about Warner Bros. Television’s hit comedy series, Geek Out! The Big Bang Theory edition will be great for the show’s fans and those knowledgeable about tons of geeky subjects. […] Using the simple, yet competitive game mechanic, Geek Out! lends itself to amazing social interaction play that is perfect for fans of The Big Bang Theory.”
It’s not easy to say where the series will go from here, but it is a very entertaining idea to mix all the sets together to form an interesting challenge for those seeking to out-geek one another. It also calls to question what other franchises might we see for Geek Out! in the future…but only time will tell. For further information, check out Playroom’s and Cryptozoic’s website for updates on Geek Out! and similar upcoming products.
Looks like Ultra Pro is making their move within the industry as they just put out a press release announcing their impending acquisition of Playroom Entertainment. This will bring the entire catalog of Playroom’s under the Ultra Pro name including titles like Killer Bunnies, Geek Out!, and the Bright Ideas children’s line of games. You can read the full press release below, and then speculate as to what company they might go for next.
ULTRA PRO TO ACQUIRE PLAYROOM ENTERTAINMENT
Commerce, Calif. – September 12, 2016 – Ultra PRO International LLC (“Ultra PRO”), a leading manufacturer of tabletop games and accessories, has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Playroom Entertainment (“Playroom”), a publisher of board and card games of strategy, party and early learning genres.
Playroom is a well-recognized publisher of the Killer Bunnies game line, the Geek Out! party game series, the Bright Idea Games children’s educational line and several other popular toys and games.
“We have some tremendous plans for the games currently in our catalog and have a wide range of new titles that we can’t wait to bring to market. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be focused on 2017 planning for these great brands and the future additions to the line. With Ultra PRO’s global reach, incredible resources, and valuable relationships with manufacturing, licensing and marketing partners, this is the start of an exciting next level for Playroom. This is truly a great culmination of our efforts from the past 17 years and I’m very excited to embark on this journey with a well-known brand like Ultra PRO.” said Dan Rowen, Founder of Playroom Entertainment.
With the recent purchases of Jolly Roger Games, TableTopics, and exclusive rights to Stone Blade Entertainment’s portfolio, including the highly acclaimed Ascension deck building games, the acquisition of Playroom continues Ultra PRO’s strategic plans to deliver, along with popular accessories, premium content to the global toys & games, and geek & pop culture markets.
“Playroom Entertainment has a long history of developing successful brands and licenses that have had an indelible mark across various markets. This will truly complement the existing titles and our overall Ultra PRO Entertainment portfolio. Together, we feel extremely confident about bringing consumers, retailers and our vast distribution network the best games yet from Playroom Entertainment.” said Sean Lashgari, Senior Director of Ultra PRO’s Entertainment Division. “With this acquisition, we now have a solid, diversified foundation in our Entertainment Division, and we plan to leverage our global distribution network and expand our market reach to accelerate growth.”
Ultra PRO’s immediate post-closing plans include investing in new inventory to ensure deep stock levels of its top product lines along with pursuing the numerous projects that are in development. Mr. Rowen will join Ultra PRO as the Director of Playroom Entertainment and continue to manage Playroom’s product portfolio on a day-to-day basis.
This acquisition coincides with the launch of several new Playroom Entertainment titles, including Pass the Pandas, a social game geared towards all ages, the Family edition of its popular Geek Out! trivia game, and the releases of Sitting Ducks Deluxe and Cthulhu-themed Unspeakable Words Deluxe.
About Playroom Entertainment Playroom Entertainment is a publisher of a broad range of tabletop games. Its flagship Killer Bunnies title offers a fun and casual strategy game experience with a unique sense of humor, full of puns and pop culture references. The Geek Out!line of party games challenge players to bet on their knowledge and answer geeky trivia from a wide variety of popular topics. The Bright Idea Games portfolio presents specialty and mass market retailers with a full array of educational games that introduces and reinforces math, deduction and pattern recognition skills in children ages five and up. Playroom Entertainment also offers a wide variety of other titles and specialty products including licensed hobby games such as The Hobbit: The Defeat of Smaug and Lord of the Rings: the Battle For Middle-Earth card game from the popularLord of the Rings series, and other family and party games, seasonal holiday gifts, and arts and craft kits.
About Ultra PRO International Ultra PRO International LLC is the leading manufacturer and supplier of memorabilia, collectibles and tabletop gaming accessories, photo and scrapbooking albums and pages, Ultra Sleeves™ disposable, protective sleeves for computer tablets and school and office folders. Ultra PRO’s Entertainment Division is a publisher of strategy board games for mass retail and hobby markets. Ultra PRO’s TableTopics Division offers a wide variety of conversation starter cards designed to create stimulating conversations and social experiences. Ultra PRO is a privately-held, family-owned company with head offices near Los Angeles, California and a secondary warehouse in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For more information please visit www.ultrapro.com
Playroom Entertainment has launched their latest Kickstarter project: a new edition of their classic game of avian anarchy, Sitting Ducks. Originally released in 2005, Sitting Ducks is a line manipulation game designed by Keith Meyers in which players try to shoot their opponents’ ducks out of the water. It plays in 20 minutes for 3-6 players, though the campaign currently includes stretch goals to take the game all the way up to 8 players. The deluxe version will also include brand new unique ducks and action cards illustrated by Randy Martinez and some new gameplay mechanics as well.
Los Angeles, CA – (April 8, 2015) – Playroom Entertainment® launched a Kickstarter for its new Sitting Ducks Gallery™ Deluxe Edition on Monday, April 6th, and the campaign funded in 24 hours. With tons of great new images by famed illustrator, Randy Martinez, this award-winning game by renowned designer, Keith Meyers, has fans flocking to scoop it up. Sitting Ducks is a stick-it-to-your-neighbor, line manipulation game originally released to rave reviews in 2005. Various editions of both the board game, card game and even the Deluxe have been licensed out by Playroom and published all around the world. International versions include German, French, Spanish, Czech, Chinese, Russian and more. The fun game play of Sitting Ducks Gallery has garnered numerous awards, including recognition from Games Magazine Games 100, Boardgamegeek.com’s Golden Geek, Fairplay Magazine and Major Fun. Now, Playroom is thrilled to take Sitting Ducks to the next level with the Deluxe edition, which will feature additional Action cards with new mechanics, new themed ducks, upgraded components and more! With the reproduction of the Sitting Ducks Gallery Card Game and the new Deluxe version going into print, which is sure to have extras added through stretch goals, there will truly be something for everyone! Playroom recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for its Unspeakable Words Deluxe game, which was extremely well-received and also had run a campaign for its Killer Bunnies Deluxe. So far, this is Playroom’s third successful Kickstarter campaign and all have been for specialized deluxe editions of their popular titles. Dan Rowen, President of Playroom Entertainment, said, “Playroom has always loved Sitting Ducks and the fun that everyone has while playing. Randy Martinez did a fabulous job with the illustrations and we are very excited to get this new content released. While the Sitting Ducks card game has recently been unavailable, we are so happy to have this opportunity to bring that back as well. We are very proud to have Sitting Ducks continue to be a part of our product line.” Rowen also mentioned that “since we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the games release, we wanted to thank the community who has supported us and offer something really cool to add to the game. Kickstarter has again proven to be the perfect place to do this!” Playroom Entertainment’s Kickstarter for Sitting Ducks Deluxe (MSRP $40.00) has a special Kickstarter price of $35.00. About Sitting Ducks Gallery: In Sitting Ducks, you are trying to be the last player with ducks in the pond. Reminiscent of the midway-style shooting duck galleries, players use Action cards to take out their opponents’ ducks while attempting to keep theirs from getting eliminated from the game. The social interaction encouraged while playing leads to a lot of hysteria and players find themselves making deals, forming alliances, backstabbing their neighbors and causing havoc. Feathers will fly in this light-hearted “quacky” family game. About Playroom Entertainment: Playroom Entertainment, based in Sherman Oaks, California, is a leading marketer of original board, card and dice games for all ages. The company was founded in 2000 on a commitment to produce high-quality games from the best designers in the world and bring them into homes for families to enjoy together. Led by the phenomenal success of its Killer Bunnies® and Geek Out!™ series, Playroom currently boasts an award-winning line-up of over 75 products that have been individually honored and brand recognized including Sherlock™, Catch the Match™, Slangology™, Say What You Meme™, The Hobbit® Board Game, The Lord of the Rings® Card Game, and more. Playroom’s wide range of party, fast-paced, strategy, educational and family fun games are sold at specialty toy, game, gift, educational and book retailers nationwide. For more information on Playroom Entertainment products visit www.PlayroomEnt.com.
You are an intrepid researcher, unearthing words man was not meant to spell…
So begins Unspeakable Words, an incredibly unusual party game designed by James Ernest and Mike Selinker. This game was already gaining steam when it was picked up for use in the second season of Wil Wheaton’s web series Tabletop. Now publisher Playroom Entertainment is running a Kickstarter to finance a “deluxe” edition, with cool new multi-colored pawns and special artwork by none other than John Kovalic.
In the game, you and your opponents will attempt to form words from the letter cards in your hand. Each letter is worth points – the amount of points is determined by the number of angles in the letter (where the hounds of Tindalos are lurking!). You may try to make the highest scoring word possible, but… you’ll have to test the strength of the word against a roll of the 20-sided die. Roll equal to or higher than the value of your word and you’re safe… but roll less than the value of your word and you lose a precious piece of your sanity, represented by an adorable Cthulhu pawn!
For owners of the current version, the Kickstarter notes that the deluxe edition doesn’t completely replace the base edition. Instead, the base edition can be combined with the deluxe edition to create a super edition of unspeakable proportions.
Check out Unspeakable Words on Tabletop here. Read the rest of the Kickstarter here.
Geek Out! Pop Culture Party is the game of mind-altering fun that finds out once and for all which player is the most knowledgeable about your favorite pop culture subjects! You don’t have to be a geek (but it helps!) to win this amazing social interaction and bluffing party game!