Push Your Luck Games

Grail Games is stepping up the releases with the previously reported Knizia reprints and three more games coming later this year.  First is a push your luck style party game called Hang 12.  In the game players will be asking other players simple true/false, A or B type questions, and it’s their job to guess your answer.  If you guess right then you get to catch a wave, then the push your luck part of the game starts.  You can keep answering questions to increase the amount of points you will get, and if you reach a certain threshold you could get bonus points.  But the downside is that if you get something wrong, you lose all the points you built up that round.  So, do you know your friends as well as you think?  Look for this on store shelves in mid-2017.

Next is the Kickstarter game Doughnut Drive-thru, a worker placement dice style game all about those tasty treats.  The main goal of the game is to serve the most value in doughnuts to your customers.  To accomplish your goal you will be using 4 different actions, prepare, learn a recipe, serve, and coffee breaks.  Each action has a normal and improved version of the action that depends on how many workers, read doughnuts, you place on the card.  Learning a recipe lets you draw cards from the deck and then keep one recipe, discarding the others.  Prepare has you rolling a die to try and prepare a doughnut, with more valuable doughnuts needing higher values on the die.  Serving works the same way, and if you succeed you flip the card over and it will be scored at the end, plus each served doughnut can be used for +1 on a roll.  Lastly you have coffee break, which is how you will refresh used ability cards as well as get your doughnuts back from any single card.  Most tips at the end determines the winner.  Look for this on store shelves in April of 2017.

Last is the card game version of the Kinizia classic, Medici the Card Game.  This takes the big box bidding game and turns it into a small box push your luck style game using just a deck of cards.  On your turn you will turn cards over until you have drawn three cards or get what you want, taking at least one card into your hand.  The next player gets to draw some more cards and take cards from what they drew or what you drew.  Play will continue around like this until you get either five or seven cards (based on player count) in your hand.  You will then score your hand, called a boat, and put any cards you can keep into your warehouse.  You will do this again for two more rounds scoring your boat and then your warehouse as well.  As the end of the third round, whoever has the most points is the winner.  Look for this on store shelves in May of 2017.

Clank! is the hot deck-building game right now that utilizes a push your luck type mechanic as well as utilizing a board to good effect.  So to not let a good thing go to waste, Renegade Games is releasing an expansion for the game in March called Clank! Sunken Treasures.  This expansion will include an all new board that has a partially flooded dungeon, meaning in some rooms you will have to contend with flooding as well as the normal dangers.  Can you make it out with your loot of will you drown while trying to carry it all?

Look for this expansion on store shelves in March, and if you are going to PAX South at the end of the month you can check out Clank! at the Dire Wolf Digital booth.

Fireside Games and Justin De Witt, the publisher and designer behind the Castle Panic game, are designing a new game all about fighting forest fires called Hotshots.  Hotshots is going to be a push your luck style game where you will take on different roles in the effort to fight a raging forest fire.  Roles like the Crew Boss, Swamper, Sawyer, and Spotter will each have unique abilities as well as home tiles, and you will lose those abilities if you home tile gets destroyed.  On your turn you will roll dice to try and fight the fire on the tile you move to, manage to match enough symbols and you will beat back the fire, don’t match enough and the fire will spread instead.  Then at the end of your turn you will draw a fire card which indicates how the fire spreads and if there are gusts of wind that blow around the embers.  Manage to put out the fire and everyone wins!  Look for this game on store shelves at the end of May.

Celestia is the highly popular push your luck style game where everyone is a passenger on an air shop traveling through troubled skies.  You will stay on hoping to get farther in to score more points, but stay on too long and you might go down with the ship and get nothing!

The expansion, Celestia: A Little Help, aims to bring some cooperative and asymmetrical elements into the game with additional cards and player powers.  The player powers will allow you to manipulate the die results, the cards in your hand, even who the captain for the round is.  Also included are additional cards added to the draw deck with more special abilities, the cards you can give to the captain, and double symbol cards to help you be more card efficient.  Overall if you like the base game, I think this is going to be a must buy, so grab it at your local game store this week.


Medici is one of Reiner Kinizia’s classic designs, and it recently got a reprint through Kickstarter courtesy of Grail Games.  Well now they are back to fund the card game version of the game, aptly called, Medici: The Card Game.  This takes the bidding mechanic of the full board game and turns it into a push your luck mechanic with drawing from a central stack of cards.  On your turn you will draw up to three cards from the deck, always drawing at least one, and then deciding if you want more than just the last card you drew.  This goes around until someone reaches seven cards in hand, play then stops and the day is scored, giving out points for what you are holding and what is in your warehouses.  After scoring you take the cards in your hand and put them into your warehouses for scoring in later rounds.  At the end of the third day, whoever has the most points is the winner.

While the tight bidding of the board game kept me away, turning it into a light push your luck card game will definitely get me interested.  It also helps that the art is stunning and done by the highly regarded Vincent Dutrait, so I am definitely backing this game.  If you want to join in then head on over to the campaign page to snag a copy for yourself.


Hope City is the first game from Dux Nova and is a fully cooperative game of trying to save your city from corruption.  In the game you will be gaining resources from a bag, and taking actions either good or bad in nature.  Take the good action to do one thing, take the bad action to do something better, but also risk taking corruption and breaking bad.  If you turn bad you still help everyone towards the main goal, but now you have character flaws that will bring the whole team down.  So collect resources, achieve different objectives, resist punks and keep chaos from reigning in your city as you rebuild.  If you manage to build and hold onto three new city sites by the end of the game, you win.


I am a sucker for a good cooperative game, and the combination of push your luck and a bit of bag building makes this game very intriguing.  You can check out the game and pledge for your own copy on it’s campaign page.


Steam Park is a fun press your luck dice game about building a theme park for robots that was released back in 2013.  So the fact two new expansion have been announced for it this year is rather surprising, but not unwelcome.  The two new expansions are Steam Park: Play Dirty and Steam Park: Robots, both adding something different to the game.  Play Dirty adds in components for a fifth player as well as modules to help change how you play the game.  These modules include espionage dice, ride extensions, stingy visitors, and new stands to add to your park.  The Robots expansion is mostly a component upgrade as it will replace all the wooden tokens with plastic minis, plus you get some extra minis called V.I.R.  These Very Important Roboburgers will net you a lot of money, but they will only come to your park if you can make them feel special.  Those who are able to attend Essen will be able to grab these expansions, as for the rest of us, we will have to wait for their release after the fair to get them.


Herbaceous is the latest game from Pencil First Games up on Kickstarter from the mind of Steve Finn, of Dr. Finn’s Games, and the brush of Beth Sobel.  Herbaceous is a very beautiful looking card game that plays as a distillation of the push your luck mechanic.

On any given turn you will first be given the option to plant herbs in pots, with each pot having different requirements for what you can put in them for points.  One gives points based on how many of one type you put, another for how many unique types, another for how many pairs you put, but the last one is special.  In the glass jar you can put as many herbs as you want, but this is also the only pot that can take the special herbs that give bonus points.  After choosing to pot plants or not, you must draw an herb card and choose if it will go in your garden, where only you can use it, or the community garden where anyone can use it.  After making that choice you draw a second card and are forced to plant it in the opposite garden.  The push your luck aspect of the game is when you choose to pot the herbs, do you do it now for some points, or hope it’s there for another round and get more points?  Will you pot early to grab special herbs in that hopes of getting the bonus biscuit card, or try to maximize points to offset those lost bonus points?  Push your luck far enough without going bust and you may score enough points to emerge the winner.

herbaceous comp

As I mentioned already the art is stunning and that alone is worth a look at the game.  As a bonus for being a backer you get some flavor cards which act as events when they are drawn, affecting the game in different ways.  If this game sounds interesting to you then head on over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy.

rollers components

A new family weight, push your luck style game has been released by USAopoly called Rollers.  In Rollers you have a board with sets of numbers from 1 through 5 which you are trying to cover up in order to score your board.  On a turn you will roll 6 dice, 5 of them have numbers and a wild and the last one has numbers and a zap.  You get to roll three times and keep what you like between rolls, unless you roll the zap, the zap will prevent you from saving any dice from that roll.  At the end of the third roll you cover up the spots you can by having saved the required sets of numbers.  You’ll want to close the sets as quickly as possible because instead of playing the number to your board, you can use it to collect chips from other players.  You will always collect the value of the die from anyone who has not closed that number, so those 5’s can get you lots of chips.  Once someone has finished their board the round ends and scoring happens.  If you were the one to fill in your board you get 2 points, and the person with the most chips will get 1 point.  The game ends when someone gets to 3 to 5 points, depending on the length of game you want to play.

Rollers looks good and has a simple enough concept that I can imagine playing this with my family and enjoying it.  The only thing I am not a fan of is the zap die, mainly because you could roll it three times in a roll and thus invalidate you entire turn.  But for a mass market, push your luck type game, I think this one could do well.  You can read the announcement on the USAoploy site and pick up the game now at your local Target.

russion roul

The folks who brought you the party game Two Rooms and a Boom are Kickstarting their next project, World Championship Russian Roulette.  In World Championship Russian Roulette you are a team of competitors in the final championship round of Russian roulette, the ultimate game of chance where if you lose you die.  In the game you will have a team of “athletes” and if your team is completely eliminated you are out. Each round is played in six phases, pocket, spin, bidding, challenge, trigger and then points.  In the Pocket phase you will pick one of your six cards to put in your pocket (5 blanks and 1 bang card), you can put any card including your one bang card, but that is considered cheating and if you are caught you face a penalty.  In the spin phase you take all your remaining cards, shuffle them, and place them face down in front of you.  Next you bid on how many cards you can flip over without hitting the bang card, and then comes the challenge phase, this is where if you suspect that someone is “cheating” you can call them out.  If you successfully call someone out you get 3 action cards, which allow you to break certain rules, and they lose a teammate, if you are wrong than the accused gets one action card and you get an extra bang card shuffled into your deck.  Now comes the nerve racking part, you flip over the number of cards you bet to see if you survive, if you aren’t shot then you collect points based on how many blanks you flipped over, if you are shot you get nothing and lose a teammate.  Whoever gets to 15 points first or is the last one standing is the winner.

russian roul comp

This game is designed by Anthony Burch, who has a good pedigree when it comes to video games and helps on some notable Youtube shows like Hey Ash Whatcha Playin.  Art is done by Weberson Santiago who also did the art for the recently Kickstarted Coup Brazilian Art Edition so everything looks great.  If you are interested in the game then you can head over to the campaign page to pledge for a copy.