programmed movement

For anyone who enjoys programming, deduction, and/or cooperative games, keep reading. Designed by the excellent Nikki Valens (designer of Mansions of Madness 2E and Legacy of Dragonholt), Quirky Circuits is coming from Plaid Hat Games this summer and features some of the most adorable miniatures ever created. 2-to-4 players cooperate in one of twenty-one scenarios to complete their goals before their batteries run out. Using the same scenario book system that other Plaid Hat releases such as Stuffed Fables and Comanauts have used ensures quick and easy setup to support the fast and engaging gameplay.

“Players place programming cards face down, only knowing what types of cards their friends have played – movement, turn or quirk. Quirk cards must be played before a player uses any other card in their hand and every player must play at least one card per round. Using deductive reasoning, all players will move the robo-buddy around the board, trying to complete its mission!”

“Quirky” really is an appropriate adjective in the title, because that’s precisely what I wanted to write several times during this article to describe it. Everything about the look of the design is cute, fun, compact, and to-the-point, and that’s a great advantage for this game. Not to be understated, Quirky Circuits fits an excellent niche in the market right now, being a much more accessible point of entry to teach programmed movement and deduction, in stark contrast to the long-lived Robo Rally. Moreover, this is only the second cooperative version of such a mechanic after the heavyweight Mechs vs. Minions, where the speed of setup due to Plaid Hats innovation will really shine in comparison. If you’re interested in learning more about Quirky Circuits, check out Plaid Hat’s news and product pages for updates, pictures, full rules, and availability.

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.


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

It’s kind of funny that a game known more for its amazing production values than its gameplay has made the way to a medium in which cardboard doesn’t exist. How do you recreate the utter coolness of Colt Express‘ 3D train on a 2D touchscreen? Turns out Asmodee can do it pretty well, as the newly released digital version of Colt Express looks downright amazing.

That’s right, Colt Express, the 2015 SdJ winner was released for iOS, Android, and PC today. It includes online multiplayer for maximum chaos, but it also has a single-player story mode with a 30 mission campaign. Buried within the campaign are digital-only variants to unlock which will mix up what you know about Colt Express, and you might even find a variant in online multiplayer mode as well.

If you haven’t played Colt Express, it’s a programmed movement game in which each player plays a card to a central pile. Some of the cards are face up so you can see what the other players are planning, but some are face down and these tend to screw up your best laid plans. Once all cards are played, the pile is picked up and flipped over and revealed card-by-card, and now the actions are played out on the aforementioned 3D train. It’s a chaotic, yet incredibly fun, mess. Don’t sign up if you’re looking for a deep strategic or tactical experience.

Colt Express is available right now for iOS Universal, Android, and PC via Steam. It’s $7 on mobile and $10 for PC.


In Room 25 you are a convict trying to escape some bizarre prison, and so you have to find room 25 which is rumored to be the exit.  But along the way you will run into countless other dangers and even your fellow inmates as you try to make a break for it.

Right now there is the original base game and a season 2 expansion that adds more to the game and ups the player count to 8.  So taking a page out of Queen Games’ book they are releasing an Ultimate Edition that will contain both in one box.  Also of interest is that they decided to give it some 2.0 treatment by updating some of the rules to make the game play smoother.  So if you are looking to get your hands on the base game and expansion, look for the Ultimate Edition on store shelves at the end of the month.


When the kids are away, the toys come out to play…and FIGHT! Program your toys, then watch them dominate!

Bellwether Games would like to announce their latest game currently running on Kickstarter, Windup War: the Cutest Combat Card Game.  In Windup War, players will simultaneously program their toys for battle, then “release” them into combat with each other.  Players will need to be able to anticipate the other players’ moves or risk being caught off guard.

First, each player will select one of six toys to represent them in battle.  Next, players will assemble an army of three units according to each unit’s unique strengths and weaknesses.  Players will then program 5 actions at once into their toys, then reveal them simultaneously.  Actions are carried out in order, and then those that survive will reload for the next round.

Windup War is a game for 2-6 generals (players) and has a funding date of November 14, 2016.  For more information and to support this project, visit its Kickstarter page.


Colt Express is now getting it’s own app, with some nice upgrades added in, courtesy of Asmodee Digital and Frima Studios.  Colt Express is a well regarded programmed movement game where you plan out your bandit’s movement ahead of time in the hopes of securing the most loot.  What the app will bring is a story to this game in the form of backstories to the characters, as well as giving each of the characters new skills and custom objectives tailored to that backstory.  There will also be a story mode where you can play through over 30 chapters worth of game based on the history of each character, further enhancing them.  And lastly, the game will have online multiplayer right out the gate, a feature I know many people will be wanting, and a built in friends list feature.

Look for the app to release on the iOS, Android, and Steam in November of this year.  To find out more you can read the press release on the Gamasutra website.

Robo Rally Game

The race is on for the robots of the Robo Rally automobile factory who work long, hard days at the assembly line building high-speed supercars, but never get to see them in action. On Saturday nights, the factory comes to life as the ultimate race course with treacherous obstacles and rival sabotage. In the thrilling Robo Rally Game, players move their robots through the course by speeding through corridors and dodging traps to reach each checkpoint first. Only the strongest robots survive!

Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast has announced that they will be re-releasing the classic Richard Garfield hit board game from the 1990’s, Robo Rally. This iconic “programmed movement” game will become available at retail as early as August 1, 2016.

Additionally, Robo Rally will have a presence at the Hasbro booth at SXSW, and Wizards of the Coast will be offering attendees a live demo of the game.  The game will be available in the SXSW Gaming Hall on Thursday, 3/17 through Saturday, 3/19 from 12pm – 8pm.

Here is the press release of the game description:

Enter the world of mad machines and dangerous schemes in the Robo Rally board game. Players control their robot with game cards which reveal directions on how the robots can move through the hectic Robo Rally automobile factory. Use strategy to outsmart rival robots while racing towards each checkpoint in your chosen course in numerical order. Beware of factory obstacles such as industrial lasers, gaping pits, and moving conveyer belts that can make or break the race. The first player to reach all of the checkpoints wins and becomes an ultimate race legend. The Robo Rally Game includes 6 double-sided game boards, double-sided start board, 6 robot figures, 6 reboot tokens, 36 checkpoint tokens, plastic priority antenna, 6 checkpoints, 48 plastic energy cubes, 30-second sand timer, 6 robot player mats, 40 upgrade cards, six 20-card programming decks, 6 special programming cards, 74 damage cards, vac tray, label sheet, and game guide. Available at local game stores and most major retailers nationwide.

For more information, see the Wizards of the Coast website or visit the game’s pages on