standalone expansion

The latest expansion to Villainous, Evil Comes Prepared, offers three new Disney villains for players to control: Scar from The Lion King, Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove, and Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Each villain comes with their own unique colorful plastic character icon, custom illustrated cards, and player board. Like the previous expansion, Wicked to the Core, it can be played on its own or with either the Villainous base game or the other expansions.   Disney Villainous: Evil Comes Prepared plays 2-3 players, ages 10+ in 45-60 minutes. Looks for Evil Comes Prepared in stores now.

Update: Originally this article reported that this International Edition would be an improved version of the original available everywhere. This is not the case, as told by Ravensburger the International Edition will be it’s own product under the new name El Dorado distributed only in regions outside of Ravensburger’s current reach. This has been corrected below.

Prolific and renowned designer Dr. Reiner Knizia announced via twitter that his hit deck-building design, The Quest for El Dorado, will be getting an International Edition. It will be distributed under the new name El Dorado later this year in regions Ravensburger does not currently serve and will have all new art by Vincent Dutrait featured on large format cards. Understandably there were many concerns about whether this would cause compatibility issues with future expansions and those concerns were quickly addressed. The new International Edition will stand apart from the English version of the game and will not interfere with expansion content that is still planned for release from Ravensburger. As tweeted by Ravensburger:

“This international edition of the base game will not be published by Ravensburger, but by other publishers selling into areas we do not cover. Future Ravensburger expansions will be compatible with the Ravensburger base game.”

The Quest for El Dorado is a deck-building racing game where 2-to-4 adventurers cut through thick, unexplored jungle to reach the legendary city. Each turn players will buy more cards that will help their deck run more efficiently, make travel across specific terrain types easier, or help with buying even better cards. The game made such a splash when it released in 2017 that it already has one expansion, adding heroes and hexes, and there’s a standalone expansion is on the way. It’s easy to see, from the pedigree and it’s following, why El Dorado deserves wider distribution and it will be awesome to see this on shelves in many more countries by the end of the year.

A new entry in the Stone Age series, My First Stone Age – The Card Game is coming soon to impress both families and collectors alike. Following last years’ release of My First Stone Age, The Card Game version is set to come out later this year to distill the experience into a card and memory game. However, that’s not it’s only trick in it’s cardboard sleeve as it also acts as an expansion for it’s predecessor. As described by Z-Man Games’ announcement:

“Following in the footsteps of the 2016 Kinderspiel des Jahres Award winner, My First Stone Age — The Card Game returns kids and families to the dawn of civilization while they join Martin the mammoth and Guff the wolfhound on a quest to build a village. […] To complete their huts, players must locate the fish, arrowheads, berries, and other goods they need along a path of goods cards. Finding the right combination of goods to build a hut can be difficult. Luckily, Martin and Guff can help them along the way.”


The game uses an array of cards representing resources that can be kept or passed, but passing a card leaves it available for players face down so that those who remember it can seek it later for completing a building. The game encourages development of both memory and resource management skills, but the small box does more than that. For those who own 2016’s My First Stone Age, this newest addition acts as an expansion with the tiles being added to the original game and the tokens adding additional strategic options for gathering resources. This flexibility with the product is outstanding both for value and practicality, as it allows the newest edition to gain more legs as it’s outgrown the potential of it’s own merits and effectively add depth to a bigger game. If you’re interested in My First Stone Age – The Card Game, be sure to check out Z-Man Games’ website and social media accounts for more information.

Aeon’s End, from Action Phase Games, found fast popularity in 2016 as an excellent co-op deck-building game. Now it has a standalone expansion on the way which has surpassed it’s funding on Kickstarter. War Eternal adds a variety of similar, but different, content including new mages, new nemeses, and a bunch of cards. There’s also a healthy amount of extra content available, including a small expansion, The Void, an accessory pack, and an upgrade pack for the original game. As described via the campaign page:

 “Featuring a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack and deck management rules that require careful planning, War Eternal can be played alone or combined with other Aeon’s End content for a game experience like no other. “

Like all deck-building games, Aeon’s End will not shy away from more cards to keep the game fresh, but the dynamic use of nemeses and their respective cards means that any additional content will have inherently more mileage than typical expansions within the genre. Fans of the game have a lot of incentive to back the project now, given the very welcome accessory pack and the upgrade kit. Even if you don’t own the original game, the standalone nature of War Eternal gives an easy and attractive entry point for anyone interested in a new and well-received cooperative experience. For more information, visit the campaign page and keep tabs on the ever growing list of unlocked stretch goals and updates.


Shadows of Brimstone, a popular cooperative dungeon-crawl series from Flying Frog Productions, has a new standalone expansion available now on Kickstarter. Forbidden Fortress is set in an alternate history Feudal Japan, which is a dynamic change from it’s prominently western predecessors in the series. Demons and devils have emerged from a great cataclysm during the tumultuous time of Japanese history, and players must work together to storm the eponymous fortress in order to quell the evil within. As described on the campaign page:

 “For new players, Forbidden Fortress will make a great introduction to the world of Shadows of Brimstone, and for veteran players, it adds a ton of new content, including two brand new Worlds to explore – the Japanese castles and temples of the Forbidden Fortress and a living world inside a massive creature in the Belly of the Beast. It also includes a brand new set of Heroes and Enemies to add to your games.


The Kickstarter is doing exceedingly well, to the point of bursting through stretch goals at an incredible pace – 1342% of their funding goal at the time of writing this article. For fans of the series, this is an excellent way to add new and intriguing adventuring possibilities, and the Kickstarter has a wealth of stretch goals to make the early investment worth the price-tag. Check out the Kickstarter page and the Flying Frog Facebook page for more information and updates as the campaign surges on towards production.

WelcomeBackToTheDungeon_BoxWhile I tend to really enjoy micro games, they also tend to have a very short shelf life. There are very few that remain interesting after a handful of plays with one of the exceptions being last year’s Welcome to the Dungeon. Its combination of push-your-luck and take-that mechanisms along with a fun and nerdy dungeon crawl theme has kept it in constant rotation. In September, IELLO plans to expand the dungeon a bit with a standalone expansion, Welcome Back to the Dungeon.

Welcome Back to the Dungeon will include 19 new monster cards and 28 new tiles. It also includes a “dragon token” just in case you thought there wasn’t a good reason to pick it up. Who can resist a dragon token? As I mentioned, the game will be a standalone expansion meaning you can play it by itself or mix it up with all the goodness in the original WttD.

IELLO is releasing the game on September 15th for those who have pre-ordered and September 29 for those who couldn’t pull the early trigger. Pre-orders are available now directly from the IELLO website.

ascension x

Ascension X: War of Shadows is a new standalone expansion to the beloved deck building series. Coming this July and available for order on May 27th, this newest entry to the Ascension series follows the trend of it’s predecessors of adding in a new twist to the otherwise time-hardened mechanics of the long running series. As described via press release:

New dual-cost Heroes and Constructs require players to use both resources to acquire them and receive incredible power! As the balance between Light and Dark shifts, cards gain additional powers depending on whether it is Night or Day.

Containing 177 new cards, more honor tokens, and a new board, Ascension X is ready for both new and loyal fans. Dual-cost mechanics are a welcome addition to the characteristically rich environment of Ascension, and I imagine the new cards will have power worth their investment. As a fan of the original game, it’s always a pleasure to see the series grow and evolve. One can tell the pride that Stoneblade has in their product and it’s lineage – look at that cover art! It’s gorgeous! Stoneblade is really putting something special in this box, and eager fans can get their hands on it soon!