“The world of Spyfall has been turned upside down, like sand through an hourglass. The classic game of probing questions, clever answers, and lots of suspicions is back, and it’s heading to the past…and the future! Get ready to travel to memorable eras and locations across space and time! Expose a spy in a Neanderthal Cave or a Lunar Base. Avoid spilling secrets in an Old West Saloon, Leonardo’s Studio, or a certain period of time in Spain that no one expects! Time is of the essence!”[source]
Spyfall: Time Travel is the 3rd release in the core Spyfall series. It can be played as a standalone game or combined with previous releases to add variety with 240 new location cards. Spyfall is a party game which features bluffing, accusation, devious questions, and suspicious answers. After each round, all players (except one, who receives the spy card) receives a secret card informing them of the group’s shared location. While the spy doesn’t know where (or when) they are, they try to figure out the location before their cover is blown. The spy wins the round if they escape detection, while the other players win if they catch the spy.
The Spyfall: Time Travel game supports 2-8 players, aged 13+, and plays in about 15 mins. It’s expected to release in the 2nd half of 2019.
DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth
The Cerberus Engine, which powers the DC Deck-Building Game, has been upgraded and expanded over the years, and the latest DC Deck-Building Game, based on the DC Comics Rebirth story line which reset the DC Universe, seeks to do the same to the card game’s series.
DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth adds campaign scenarios, character progression, and movement between DC Universe locations. Players will move their characters around the board (composed of cards), to acquire cards for their deck and defeat the villain. Staying close to allies allows players to play cards to help each other out. While the game features the Justice League characters from the original game, it does replace Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, with 2 new Green Lanterns, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz.
This incarnation of the game allows for 1-4 players, aged 15+, and plays in 60 mins. It’s expected to release in the Summer of 2019.
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Annihilageddon Deck-Building Game
Also built on the Cerberus Engine, this release of the Epic Spell Wars series is an all-out battle to the death for the Annihilageddon trophy between crazy mages. Over 220 new cards are added to the series, including Mayhem events, signature cards, past champions, wizards, spells, creatures, treasure, and wild magic. This game allows for 2-5 players, aged 17+, and plays in 60 mins. Its expected to release in the Summer of 2019.
2019 marks the 15th season for The Dice Tower and it’s network of gaming reviews, news, and convention coverage. The Dice Tower has grown each year to bring more content at increasing quality, but only due to the generosity of you – all of our viewers and readers! It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and give as much as we can back to the community. So it is once again time that we humbly ask for your support with the 2019 fundraising campaign.
Like the previous campaigns, this fundraiser is full of incentives ranging from gaming gear, exclusive Dice Tower products, and promos. There are decals, pins, coasters, tokens, card sleeves, component storage bins, games bags, dice pouches, and of course, dice towers. Returning in the fundraiser are dice, including a metal pair, with the Dice Tower logo. Promos for some of the hottest games of 2017 including Champions of Midgard: Valhalla, Bunny Kingdom, Onitama, Time of Legends:Joan of Arc, Fireball Island, Alien Artifacts, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Flamme Rouge, Spyfall, Suburbia, Roll Player, and so much more!
Video credits, custom voicemails, and even a custom video just for you are a couple of the unique perks to pledge. There is even an opportunity to share a meal with the Dice Tower crew at one of the conventions or to come spend a day of gaming at with the Dice Tower crew at Mac & Cheese, a gaming cafe.
There is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. If you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, news article, or convention coverage, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, we value your many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving you great content in the years to come. Thank you!
Cryptozoic has announced two new games set in the DC universe, both of which are scheduled to release in June of 2018.
The wildly popular social deduction game Spyfallgets some licensing love from DC with DC Spyfall. Now 3-8 players will take on roles other than beach-goer or cruise-ship-captain and instead fill the roles of DC superheroes in more familiar fictional locations.
In this Spyfall variant up to 8 superheroes are planning a secret meeting at iconic locations including the Fortress of Solitude, the Daily Planet, and the Batcave. The only hiccup in this plan is one of them is secretly The Joker in disguise. Using traditional Spyfall mechanics players take turns asking and answering questions to suss out who the real superheroes are and who the traitor is before The Joker figures out where the meeting is.
The Joker always has a sidekick. Harley Quinn has followed the Joker, and knows where the meeting is taking place. In each of the rounds one player might have a Harley Quinn image on the card. If that’s the case, that player needs to secretly feed The Joker information without actually knowing who The Joker is. In this case if The Joker wins both The Joker and Harley score points!
You wouldn’t be a superhero without some super-abilities. Ability cards add a new twist in the game. Special ability cards include the power to dodge a question, require answers to be three words of fewer, and many more.
Multiverse decks have the superheroes in eight different locations, rather than one unified location, but players won’t know if they are in a Multiverse until the end of the round. Sounds like the makings of a wild round with incoherent answers, just like The Joker likes it.
The final twist – all Jokers. In this round all the questions and answers are based on no information at all. It’s the makings of a house of mirrors!
If you are Darkseid, you seek to conquer New Genesis…but so do your fellow Super-Villain players. The Super Heroes, conversely, compete to conquer Apokolips.
A new keyword has also been added to the game: Protector. Reveal the protector card to attempt to thwart an invasion on your Homeworld.
Instead of Super-Villain stacks, two new stacks of Homeworld cards have entered the game. Each Homeworld has a special ability that any player can take advantage of. If the Level 3 New Genesis or Apokolips is conquered the game ends and the player with the most victory points wins.
Both the DC Crossover 7 expansion and the DC Spyfall game are scheduled for a June 2018 release.
Big Potato has released their two latest games, OK Play and Chameleon, and both are exclusive to Target stores. The first is Chameleon, a social deduction game in the same vein as Spyfall where you are trying to find the chameleon. To start you shuffle up the code cards and the chameleon card and give one to each player, then you will flip over a topic card and roll two dice. From those two dice and the code card it will indicate which topic, there are 16 on a card, the players will be talking about. At that point you will take some time to think of a word associated with the topic, something specific but not too specific. The chameleon’s job is to either blend in and not get outed, or if that fails, to figure out what the topic is. Everyone else’s job is to make it hard for the chameleon to figure out the word, and try to sus out who the chameleon really is. Tom Vasel give it a Seal of Excellence in his video review and so if you like games like Spyfall, give this one a look.
The other game is OK Play, a simple abstract game where you are trying to get 5 of your colored pieces in a row. Gameplay is super easy in that all you do on your turn is place a piece, or move a piece if they are all out, and whoever gets 5 in a row first is the winner. With quick and simple gameplay like that, Big Potato took the time to make sure the game is playable anywhere, and I think they accomplished that. The pieces are nice plastic tiles and the carrier for them keeps them all contained in four nice stacks, allowing for easy travel with this game. Tom give this game a Seal of Approval in his video review and so if you like simple abstract games like this, check it out. For more info you can read the two press releases below.
The Chameleon – Big Potato Games
Big Potato are back with a brand new game called The Chameleon. The indie games company will be releasing its game as an exclusive at Target this summer and the game is out now across all stores and on-line.
It was recently crowned the ‘Best Party Game’ at the UK Games Expo which is the third largest games convention in the world, and was awarded The Dice Tower’s reputable ‘Seal of Excellence’.
The Chameleon is a family-friendly, social bluffing game, devised by legendary board game inventor Rikki Tahta, creator of Coup. If you are the hidden Chameleon, your mission is to stay undetected and work out the secret code word. If you aren’t the Chameleon then you must track down that elusive Chameleon without giving away the secret word. If the wrong person is accused, the real Chameleon escapes. If the Chameleon is caught, they have one last chance to escape by guessing the secret word.
Games are short and sweet, and full of flying accusations, quick-thinking and Sherlock-like deductions.
For more information, visit www.thechameleongame.com.
• Ages 14+
• 3 to 8 players
• 10 minutes to play
OK Play – Big Potato Games
This summer, indie board games company Big Potato is releasing its new family-friendly travel game called OK Play. Big Potato is the only board game brand that is exclusive to Target and the game is out now across all stores and online.
OK Play is super-simple to learn but tricky to win. It’s like an off-road Connect Four but for 2-4 players and to win you’ve got to sneak a straight or horizontal line of 5 tiles in a row. There’s no board to stop the game going off in random directions and if you run out of tiles, you get to re-position old ones.
With toughened plastic tiles and a handy carabiner, OK Play is made to travel. Don’t leave home without it.
For more information, visit www.okplaygame.com.
• Ages 8+
• 2 to 4 players
• 15 minutes to play
About Big Potato
After the success of their trivia card game Linkee, founders Ben, Dean and Tris decided to set up their own business. Big Potato was set up in 2012 as an independent board games company. With all of the products created and designed in-house, Big Potato offers a variety of board games ranging from family games to adult party games. The Shoreditch-based company sell through UK retailers both large and small. Last year, they successfully entered the U.S. market through an exclusive deal with Target.
The party game that has garnered a lot of buzz and popularity is getting a sequel, that you could also use as an expansion, Spyfall 2. Spyfall 2 will feature the same gameplay you have come to know and love, but with a few additional twists and improvements that come with new versions like this. First is an up in player count with each deck of cards being 12 instead of 8, allowing for up to 12 people to play at once. Second is the addition of additional spy cards, so now when the party gets bigger or the spy hunters get better, you can add an extra spy to keep things interesting. Last, and what makes this edition like an expansion, is that there are 20 brand new locations in the box, so mix this set with the previous and you will have 50 different locations to choose from. So look for this new addition to hit stores in January of 2017.
The nominees for the main award are fairly diverse. Codenames the hit of Gen Con 2015 is a surprise to almost no one who has been paying attention. Having already infiltrated the mass market stores it is hard to deny that this clever little deserves to be on this list. Imhotep just came out in Germany in March of this year and has not had an English release yet. Looking to provide a family weight game involving strategy and a little bit of take that has it fitting in nicely. Karuba the final nominees is game maker HABA’s first foray into games intended for older audiences.
They have additionally give five honorable mentions
Nominations for the Kennerspiel or connoisseurs category is filled three massive hits from this year. With Both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E Stories being in the top 30 games of all time on Board Game Geek it is not surprising that either of those was nominated. The first nominee Isle of Skye is only ranked 250 on BGG but has a solid pedigree behind it. Having been released by Lookout/Mayfair Games this highly strategic tile laying game provides a lot of opportunity for very intricate strategies to come into play. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 shot up to the number one spot on BGG within 2 months of its release. Widely regarded as one of the best implementations of the legacy concept by designers Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock and being widely regarded as one of the best selling games within the last year this was an obvious nomination. Finally we have another legacy style game with T.I.M.E Stories which has already had three expansions released and more announced this promises to be a great cooperative legacy game which can be played in decent sized chunks.
The three honorable mentions were quite well regarded as well
The Kinderspiel which often is the category that surprises the most has fewer surprises than normal this year. With at least one title that is a reimplementation of a well known game for the older crowd in this group. Leo Muss zum Friseur which as already won the Austrian children’s game of the year for 2015 is a great little press your luck game. Stone Age Junior is a clever reimplementation of the older game Stone Age designed by Marco Teubner. Finally is Mmm! which is a great little cooperative game well suited for introducing a child to the cooperative genre.
Dice Tower Con 2015 has come and gone and so we now look forward to Essen and the flood of games coming out then. But before that, we have the winners of the Dice Tower Awards for games released in 2014 to announce:
The board game industry goes through cycles just like any other entertainment industry. With the recent influx of new gamers thanks to the hobby gaining mainstream appeal, new tastemakers are leading the industry in interesting directions. While not all of those directions are particularly healthy, the recent resurgence of party games is most certainly a tick in the win column.
Why are we seeing a party game boom? I think there are a few different reasons. The first, and probably biggest contributor to this shift, is an increasing crop of casual gamers. That mainstream acceptance I mentioned earlier brings with it new faces who’s entry point might have been simple social and party style games. It also seems to me that we’re coming out of a period of rapid heavy game adoption. Where there are peaks, there must come valleys, and even the most hardened gamer needs a bit of a laugh every once in a while.
None of that would matter if the games on the market were junk. I give a lot of credit to companies like Blue Orange Games and R&R Games for publishing some really great quality party games. The market created demanded, and these casual game stalwarts answered it. Did the people bring the games or the games bring the people? Whatever it is that has given rise to this party game-friendly confluence, it’s a really encouraging change of pace. Let’s take a look at some of the recent highlights.
But Wait, There’s More! builds on the grand tradition of Snake Oil by asking players to sell increasingly ridiculous products to the other players. It starts innocuous enough with just a thing and a feature, but when additional features are added into the mix pushing players to really stretch their sales pitches, the game gets really fun. It’s easy to talk about a vacuum cleaner that can be used in 18 different ways, but now it cures acne as well?! There are already several minis expansions that add more cards, support for additional players, and even new games modes.
Love it or hate it, Cards Against Humanity is a perennial favorite among adult party gamers. The game revels in unabashedly off-color humor reaching into the deepest depths of offensiveness, so if your crowd is into that kind of comedy and isn’t easily offended, this Apples to Apples clone might be for you. In Cards Against Humanity, one player is a judge that draws a black card and reads it to the other players, normally with one or two blanks. The players have a hand of white cards with a myriad of soul-scarring phrases that they select from. The judge then shuffles and reads the responses, declaring one the winner and scoring that player a point. The judge’s role then shifts to the next player and on it goes often with alcoholic beverages in tow.
Concept is a clever deduction game in which one player draws a card with a series of words or phrases ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. That player then selects a word and uses the central board and a variety of tokens to illustrate their word or phrase nonverbally. The board contains a myriad of images and icons representing both concrete and nebulous concepts. By assigned the marker for the primary and secondary concepts, and using cubes to mark additional clues, players can deduce the word or phrase and score points. It’s a great set up for what boils down to board game charades. Will your teammates guess the word before time runs out or your sense of shame gets the better of you?
The game at the heart of Monikers is actually pretty old. It’s been published as Celebrities and Time’s Up! most recently, but goes by a variety of names and forms. None of those versions are as attractive and broad as Monikers. Regardless of the edition, two teams of players draw from a pool of cards that all feature people or personas.
Image from BGG
These can range from historical figures to fictional characters to celebrities and more. In the first round, players attempt to describe as many of their cards as possible, in the allotted time, without using the cards’ name. Sounds easy enough. In the second round, that same deck of cards is used again but this time they must be described using just one word. Round three ramps things up even more by requiring that no words are used at all, only gestures. I won’t spoil what happens in rounds four and five, but suffice to say, it’s about as funny as party games get.
The classic social deduction game, usually referred to as Werewolf or Mafia, has been streamlined into a shorter experience representing just one night of werewolves hiding among the innocent townfolk. Aided by a tremendous vocal track by the Dice Tower’s own Eric Summerer, players are assigned roles in secret and attempt to use their guile to uncover the werewolves or to throw suspicion on the humans, whatever the case may be. Add to that a whole pile of different roles with unique motivations, ensuring endless replay value.
Probably the newest game on the list, Spit It Out! is a deceptively simple game. The box comes with a whole bunch of cards and two regular dice, and all you have to do to win is answer some very basic questions correctly. Huh? Well there’s a twist. Those two dice are rolled to determine which two of the six questions must be answered incorrectly. Those answer not only need to be wrong, but they have to be in the same ballpark as the correct answer. What color is the sky? You can’t say that sky is “firetruck”, you have to answer with another color. It sounds easy, but with a timer ticking down and the conscious effort it takes to trick our own brains away from the correct answers, it’s great fun.
Spyfall is a social deduction in which players are given secret roles and a secret location. One of those roles is the spy and unlike their fellow payers, the spy doesn’t know the location. Obviously not a very crafty spy. In any case, players take turns asking each other questions.
Image from BGG
The non-spies are trying to determine which one is the spy, and the spy is trying to figure out the location. The fun comes from the ridiculous questions. Knowing there’s a spy, the players will be pretty dodgy not wanting to reveal too much information. All the while, the spy is all-but grasping at straws trying to piece together the subtle clues found in the other questions. Though it rarely happens, if the spy can outwit the other players, it’s a pretty amazing win.
This is just a small slice of the party game pie, and you really can’t go wrong with any of these selections as long as your group is a good fit. Throwing a party game night is a great way to introduce non-gamers to our hobby. It’s also a nice way to break up your regular game events with something a little unexpected. Next time you plan a game night, consider shelving the heavy euros just this once for a night of goofball fun.
One of the most talked about games to come out of Essen last year was Spyfall from Hobby World and designed by Alexandr Ushan. Unfortunately it wasn’t available in North America and was very difficult to obtain anywhere else. But now Cryptozoic Entertainment has picked up the rights to this fantastic little game and is set to release it on June 10th.
Spyfall is a simple game with rules that should only take a minute or two to learn but it will provide you with hours of entertainment and laughter. In the game players are dealt a card with the location all the players share, except one person’s card only says Spy and they have no clue what the location is. Players then ask one other player a question that must be answered. The goal of the game is to figure out who doesn’t know what the location is and therefore must be the spy.
Spyfall is played over several rounds, and at the start of each round all players receive cards showing the same location — a casino, a traveling circus, a pirate ship, or even a space station — except that one player receives a card that says “Spy” instead of the location. Players then start asking each other questions — “Why are you dressed so strangely?” or “When was the last time we got a payday?” or anything else you can come up with — trying to guess who among them is the spy. The spy doesn’t know where he is, so he has to listen carefully. When it’s his time to answer, he’d better create a good story!
Once per round the players get to vote on who they think the spy is, if the spy is caught then the all the other players get a point, if the spy escapes detection then they get a point. At the end of a set number of rounds the person with the most points wins.
Spyfall plays 3- 8 ages 15 and up and comes with 30 different locations in the box each with different illustrations from Sergey Dulin and Uildrim. There is even an advanced game mode that has you take on the unique role printed on each card that will make your answers more interesting.
With simple rules and compelling game play Spyfall is sure to be a hit with gamers and non-gamers alike so if you’re interested head over to your FLGS/OLGS any time after June 10th to pick up your copy.
The Dice Tower released their 2014 Gaming Award nominee list. Here’s the official press release:
April 21, 2014
The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2014. A jury of more than fiftyy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2014, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.
The winners of each category will be announced on June 26th, at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to all the publishers and designers who were nominated, and we hope that gamers will have a list of truly excellent games to seek out and play.