T.I.M.E. Stories

Hungry for more T.I.M.E. Stories? The Sixth expansion, Estrella Drive, is slated for a 4th quarter release this year and drops players into 1980’s Hollywood. This time of vice, violence, luxury, and celebrity is an intriguing departure from previous expansions which have focused on much older periods of time. Yet what makes T.I.M.E. Stories scenarios special is that they tend to stray far from the ordinary for their setting. There’s some paranormal-esque shenanigans afoot and it’ll take some trained eyes to get to the bottom of it. As described via the Asmodee product page:

“The location of the anomaly appears to be a luxurious villa in the California hills. Science in the 20th century was incapable of correctly identifying time alterations, so the mansion is believed to be haunted by many natives of this era. […] Take careful note of these fissures in the time stream, but remember their true source lies in the damage being done to the Time Line, not in the supernatural.”

 

While 80’s Hollywood and “ghost” stories don’t immediately sound like they mix, part of the fun of this exemplary cooperative game is showing how one strange turn can pan out in the long run. Estrella Drive‘s fresh theme, while intended for mature audiences only, is enough to make the storytelling pop for a series where storytelling has been it’s greatest strength. Fans of the series who want to continue on their journey have something to look forward to this holiday season. For more information on this release and future T.I.M.E. Stories releases, please be sure to check out Asmodee’s official product page and news feed.

It’s that time of year again, the Dice Tower has announced their nominees for the best games of 2016.  These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2016.  You can see previous winners along with this year’s nominees and their pictures on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.  And now, your nominees:

Best Game from a New Designer  (The game has to be the designer’s first or second published game to qualify for this award)

Best Artwork

  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game – illustrated by Christopher Hosch, Ignacio Bazán Lazcano, Henning Ludvigsen, Mercedes Opheim, Zoe Robinson, and Evan Simonet; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Inis – illustrated by Dimitri Bielak & Jim Fitzpatrick; published by Matagot
  • Islebound – illustrated by Ryan Laukat; published by Red Raven Games
  • Kanagawa – illustrated by Jade Mosch; published by Iello
  • Scythe – illustrated by Jakub Rozalski; published by Stonemaier Games

Best Theming

  • Black Orchestra – designed by Philip duBarry; published by Game Salute
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • SeaFall – designed by Rob Daviau; published by Plaid Hat Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Two-Player Game

Best Reprint

Best Expansion

Best Party Game

  • Codenames: Pictures– designed by Vlaada Chvátil; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Happy Salmon – designed by Ken Gruhl & Quentin Weir; published by North Star Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Secret Hitler – designed by Mike Boxleiter, Tommy Maranges, & Max Temkin; published by Goat Wolf & Cabbage

Best Cooperative Game

Best Family Game

  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – designed by Forrest-Pruzan Creative, Kami Mandell, & Andrew Wolf; published by USAopoly
  • Ice Cool – designed by Brian Gomez; published by Brain Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Karuba – designed by Rüdiger Dorn; published by HABA
  • Sushi Go Party! – designed by Phil Walker-Harding; published by Gamewright

Best Strategy Game

  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Board Game Production

  • Conan – designed by Frédéric Henry, Antoine Bauza, Pascal Bernard, Bruno Cathala, Croc, Ludovic Maublanc, & Laurent Pouchain; published by Monolith
  • The Others – designed by Eric M. Lang; published by Cool Mini or Not
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games

Most Innovative Game

Best Game from a Small Publisher  (The published must have published five or fewer games at the beginning of 2015)

  • Arkwright – designed by Stefan Risthaus; published by Capstone Games
  • Cottage Garden– designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Edition Spielwiese
  • Not Alone – designed by Ghislain Masson; published by Geek Attitude Games
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • Vast: The Crystal Caverns – designed by David Somerville; published by Leder Games

Game of the Year

  • Adrenaline – designed by Filip Neduk; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Cry Havoc– designed by Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, & Michał Walczak; published by Portal Games
  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Inis – designed by Christian Martinez; published by Matagot
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

New content is coming soon to the TIME Stories game in the form of Expedition: Endurance, an adventure that sends you back to 1914 aboard the doomed ship Endurance.  The boat has been trapped in the ice now for a while, heat and food are running low and crew’s sanity is starting to slip away.  You have to be extra careful this time out because while you haven’t endured what they have, their loosening grip on their mind is affecting you as well.  There will be a fourth stat to keep track of this time, willpower, and the adventure will constantly test your will.  If you should fail that test enough you will go insane, drawing an insanity card with some very nasty and lingering effects.  Can you fix the temporal anomaly before you lose your mind?  This new expansion will be on shelves soon, and until then you can check out Asmodee’s preview of the expansion.

international gamers awards

Each year the International Gamers Awards are given out to the multiplayer and 2 player games that are deemed the best for that year.  Some notable previous winners are games like Twilight Struggle, Agricola, and Terra Mystica.  All highly rated and well respected games, so the nominees for this year are the cream of the gaming crop.  One note is that while this is the 2016 award, the games eligible are those that have been released between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.  And the nominees are;

blood rage

GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category

Blood Rage – Eric M. Lang, Guillotine Games / Cool Mini or Not

Codenames – Vlaada Chvatil, Czech Games Edition

Food Chain Magnate – Jeroen Doumen, Splotter Spellen

Grand Austria Hotel – Virginio Gigli & Simone Luciani, Lookout Games

Isle of Skye – Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Lookout Games

Mombasa – Alexander Pfister, Eggertspiele

Nippon – Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro & Paulo Soledade, What’s Your Game?

Pandemic Legacy – Rob Daviau & Matt Leacock, Z-Man Games

Quadropolis – Francois Gandon, Days of Wonder

T.I.M.E. Stories – Peggy Chassenet & Manuel Rozoy, Space Cowboys

7wonders duel

GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category

7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza & Bruno Cathala, Repos Productions

Patchwork – Uwe Rosenberg, Lookout Games

Raptor – Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti, Matagot

Star Wars: Rebellion – Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games

Trambahn – Helmut Ohley, Lookout Games

Interesting fact, 9 out of the 15 titles being nominated are in the top 100 of games in the entire BGG database.  To see the list as well as previous year’s winners you can head on over to the International Gamers Awards website.

 

sDTAwards

The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher

stockpile

Stockpile

Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork

ashes

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

risk legacy

Christorpher Chabris, at the Wall Street Journal, wrote a piece on narrative games, with a special notice of both the games Pandemic Legacy and TIME Stories.  He noted that there are many reasons why we play games, and one of those reasons can be to tell a story, and you can’t find that experience more central than in the two previously mentioned games.  While I haven’t played TIME Stories yet, I have played Pandemic Legacy and I wholeheartedly agree that the story experience is like no other, and that is what makes it so great.  You can read the whole story on the Wall Street Journal website.

asmodee

Asmodee released a news update, which includes several items of note:

  • Two games and one expansion were released:
    • Histrio, a game in which players tour the kingdom to recruit actors skilled in either comedies or tragedies, forming an acting troupe to hopefully please the King.
    • StoryLine: Fairy Tales, a storytelling game in which you and your friends submit and select cards in order to tell a fantastic tale.
    • Under The Mask, the third expansion to the wildly popular narrative adventure game, T.I.M.E. Stories.
  • Two new family games were announced:
    • Loony Questa wild and fast-paced game in which you briefly glance at a level of obstacles and traps and try to draw a safe voyage through them from memory.
    •  The Little Prince: Make Me A Planeta turn-based planet-building game, in which you collect items and characters from The Little Prince universe in order to construct the most balanced and beautiful planet.
  • Two new expansions were also announced:

For more information on these releases and upcoming titles, you can view the full news update here.

Spiel-des-Jahres-Logo_x3hycg

The committee for the Spiel Des Jahres or “game of the year” has announced this years nominations for the three awards they issue each year.

Spiel Des Jahres

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

Kennerspiel Des Jahres

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

Kinderspiel Des Jahres

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.

Honorable mentions

dtawards

The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:

BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS

BEST CO-OP GAMES

BEST FAMILY GAMES

BEST GAME ARTWORK

BEST GAME EXPANSIONS

BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER

BEST GAME OF THE YEAR

BEST GAME REPRINT

BEST GAME THEMING

BEST PARTY GAME

BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME

BEST STRATEGY GAME

BEST TWO PLAYER GAME

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME

as dor

While the biggest convention and awards may belong to Essen and the Spiel des Jahres, France has it’s own mega convention and awards with the Cannes Games Festival and the Golden Ace awards; and they have just released the 2016 winners.  There are three categories that a game can win in, Game of the year, Youth, and Expert, and they mirror the Spiel in weight of the game in each category.  Game of the year is the middle of the road game, something that is not too heavy but not too light, Youth are games for younger kids that are still great all-around games, and Expert are the heavier games for those seasoned players.  So without any more delay, here are the nominees for each categories and the winners:

master fox

Youth
Mystery Animal – Emely Brand, illustrated by Thies Schwarz and published by Haba.
The Game with a Thousand Names – Pampuk, illustrated by Inti Ansa and published by Oya.
Master Fox – Frédéric Vuagnat, illustrated by Catell-Ruz and published by Superlude.
WINNER — Master Fox

pandemic_legacy2_qvci6f

Expert
7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala, illustrated by Miguel Coimbra and published by Repos production.
T.I.M.E. Stories – Manuel Rozoy, illustrated by David Lecossu, Benjamin Carré, Pascal Quidault and published by Space Cowboys.
Pandemic Legacy – Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, illustrated by Chris Quilliams and published by Filosofia.
WINNER — Pandemic Legacy

mysterium

Game of the Year
Mafia de Cuba – Philippe des Pallières and Loïc Lamy, illustrated by Thomas Vuarchex and published by Lui-Même.
Who Pairs Wins – Stephen Glenn, illustrated by Jessica Lindsay and published by Le Scorpion Masqué.
Mysterium – Oleg Sidorenko and Oleksandr Nevskiy, illustrated by Igor Burlakov and Xavier Collette, published by Libellud.
WINNER — Mysterium

One thing to note, not all games listed will be available in the US as this is a French award and so the games just need to be released in France.