take that game

Back in December we reported on a newly formed partnership between Steve Jackson Games and CMON in order for CMON to produce Munchkin themed board games.  Well now we have seen the announcement of the first fruits of that labor, and that is Munchkin Dungeon.  This is going to be a dungeon crawl board game set in the Munchkin universe, featuring the same classic Munchkin art, and includes a healthy dose of take that just like the other Munchkin games.  Art will be handled by Munchkin veteran John Kovalic, and the design of the game will be in the talented hands of Eric M. Lang and Andrea Chiarvesio.  In the game you will be exploring the dungeon and trying to gain the most treasure and levels, but you will have to take risks because whenever you flee you have to take shame which counts against you.  You will also have plenty of opportunities to try and through your fellow players under the bus so betrayal will be sudden and inevitable.  The person who has the most combined levels and treasure at the end will be the winner.

Look for this game to hit Kickstarter in 2019 and feature lots of Munchkin jokes, a pile of detailed minis (this IS CMON afterall), and hopefully lots of fun.  You can find out more on CMON’s website and follow their Facebook page for more updates.

Steve Jackson Games continues to roll out with the Munchkin releases, but they will soon be releasing quite a different game as well.  First up are two releases coming in August for the Munchkin CCG, Fashion Furious booster packs and Phat Packs.  Fashion Furious is the latest set for the Munchkin CCG and will feature lots of new cards to use in your decks, most likely with a focus on accessories for your hero.  The Phat Pack is a collection of booster packs to help you expand your choices even faster.  In the pack you will get three boosters from the core set, one from Desolation of Blarg set, one from the Fashion Furious set, and two additional cards unique to the Phat Pack.  These unique cards are randomly picked out of a selection of 12 and are only available in the Phat Packs.  Look for these sets on store shelves in August to help feed your Munchkin CCG needs.

Next we have two expansions for the standard Munchkin game in the form of Fowl Play and Side Quests.  Fowl Play, illustrated by the talented John Kovalic, add a bunch of new cards to the Munchkin game, all themed around fowl like ducks, chickens, and turkeys.  Expect the bird puns to start flowing when this pack is released in August of this year.  Munchkin Side Quests on the other hand doesn’t add treasure or doors cards, but adds a whole new deck of cards called side quests.  These quests have you trying to achieve a specific goal, and when completed allows you a special bonus.  These goals also change things up because if you complete three quests, the next monster you defeat wins you the game, no matter what level you are.  How will adding alternate victory conditions mess with the game?  We won’t know until the expansion releases in the fall of this year.

Last on the list is a game that might be odd coming from the house of Munchkin, and that is a reprint of Triplanetary.  Triplanetary is a hex and counter style game where you are battling it out in space in ship to ship combat.  One thing that is unique about this game is that it takes into account that you are in space when you are moving, meaning that after you accelerate, you keep going that speed until you accelerate in a different direction.  This can make things interesting as if your engines get disabled, you will keep moving in the direction you last accelerated.  Rules remain largely unchanged and this edition brings the game back into print after being out of print for over 20 years.  Look for this new edition of the game in stores in August.

Resotration Games is making a name for itself by taking old games from decades past and retooling them to modern standards.  They have had great success so far with the redone versions of Indulgence, Stop Thief!, and Downforce, all of which have gotten excellent reviews.  But now we get to the one that everyone has been talking about, that everyone has been requesting, and one that Tom has personally been asking for, and that is Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar.  Back in the day this game was more toy than game, in that it was just a roll and move game where every now and then you tossed marbles into the Vul-kar idol and they rolled along their designated paths knocking people over.  This may be entertaining for younger kids, but we want and need something more, and Restoration Games aims to deliver.

In the new version of the game you are tourists trying out the new attractions at a dangerous new park (sounds like a familiar dinosaur movie), and as we know, that kind of visit always goes swimmingly.  And by swimmingly, I mean nearly everyone is killed.  So your job is to snap some pictures to show you went, grab some treasure along the way, and get off the island before Vul-kar’s wrath dooms you all.  In this version of the game the dice are replaced by cards, and each card gives you a number of movement points and then a special action you can take.  Some of the special actions let you rotate trees for protection, rotate the Vul-kar idol where the marbles come out, launch some marbles, or even move other players into danger.  Once you snap at least three pictures you can call the hello-copter and get off the island.  But in the end, it’s the most points that wins so you better grab some valuable treasure along the way or you may end up surviving the trip, but losing the game.

The game itself looks epic and the toy factor is still off the charts, but at least the game will play much better and offer choices and strategy instead of just blind luck.  The base game itself comes in at only $60 plus shipping, which is actually a really good price considering.  Also available in this campaign are three expansions, each offering new gameplay elements for the game.  The Last Adventurer can be added for $25 and adds a whip wielding fifth player to the game, player powers, and gives snakes and a giant boulder to Vul-kar for his use.  Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass can be added for $40 and adds a whole new board to the game that allows you to explore a shipwreck, just don’t get shot by the cannon.  And finally Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bees can be added for $15 and adds to the danger of the island with a tiger and swarms of bees.  You can check out more on the Kickstarter page and back for your copy today!

GAMA is done and over, but the announcements continue to come for companies in attendance, one such company was Steve Jackson Games.  At the trade show they showcased a number of their newer and upcoming games, the biggest draw of which was the Munchkin CCG.  But of note here are is the new crossover that they have going with Slugfest Games to bring Red Dragon Inn items into Munchkin, and to get the Munchkin characters into The Red Dragon InnMunchkin: The Red Dragon Inn will feature many of the favorite characters and items from the game, and bring them into the munchkin universe.  Conversely, Red Dragon Inn Allies: Spyke and Flower will bring the two title characters of Munchkin into the Red Dragon Inn universe, allowing them to drink all their worries away.  Look for both on store shelves later this year.

Next we have the latest expansion for AEG’s flagship card crafting game, Mystic Vale.  This expansion is called Twilight Garden and does like more of the other expansions and adds more cards in the form of advancement cards, vale cards, leader cards, and of course a new mechanic.  This time the mechanic is curses, which can give you a boost during the game, but come the end you will have to pay the price.  Use them or don’t, but this new expansion will hit store shelves in July of this year.

Things are returning to normal in the land of crowd funding, so here are some more campaigns for you to check out.  First one the list is the latest expansion set for the Red Dragon Inn, and that’s the Red Dragon Inn 7.  This new set finally brings the tavern workers into the mix, so now you will be able to see if the servers can keep up with their patrons.  Red Dragon Inn is a game all about drinking, brawling, and gambling, with the person who is the last one standing, while stilling having some gold, will be the winner.  Each round you will be playing cards to get people to drink, gamble their hard earned money, or just try to beat the tar out of each other.  But be careful, if your fortitude ever meets your drunkenness, you pass out and are out of the game, or if you run out of gold then the bartender tosses you out.  The expansion will come with everything you need in order to play the game, plus promos or metal coins depending on the pledge level you go for.  A copy will run you $40, but if you have Red Dragon Inn 5, you can opt for an ECO option and they will send just the contents to you without the box for $5 cheaper.  You can check out the Kickstarter campaign now to pledge for your copy.

Next up is a new worker placement and deck building game all about launching your new cafe in the diverse city of Berlin, called Seize the Bean.  In this game you are trying to hit a certain level of good reviews, but to do that you need to be able to consistently serve your customers.  You will first have to build up your cafe through worker placement, getting ingredients, attracting customers, and upgrading you cafe to make your actions more powerful.  At the end of the round you will shuffle up your customers and draw some, then using your collected supplies you will try to satisfy their orders in order to get their good reviews.  Components for this game are excellent, art for the game is also good, and the written reviews on the tokens are funny as well.  So if you have a passion for coffee or the unique city that is Berlin, check out the Kickstarter campaign, a base pledge costs you only 39 euro.

Next is a simple and strategic card game called Home on Lagrange, where you are trying to build the best space station among the other players.  You will be doing this through multi-use cards, which can be played for effects, used as currency, or used as resources in the modules.  Modules are what you will be going after because once someone finishes an entire station with the four different modules, the game will end.  Each of these modules by themselves will score a certain amount, but if you can stack one, two, or three resources on them you can increase it’s score.  Plus the action cards give you special actions to help you get a leg up on the competition.  So be careful with your building, if you don’t pay attention to the scores you may end up triggering the end game without having the winning hand so to speak.  You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and a copy of the game will run you £25.

And finally, we have a family friendly deduction game called Noises at Night.  In this game each of the players will be a different character like the boogeyman, a rat, dad, mom, ghost, and so forth, trying to score the most points.  You will score points in three different ways, one is by having your icons scoring on the cards being played, second by playing cards to your secret location, and finally by guessing who everyone else is.  Play is simple in that on your turn you will play cards out onto the board, trying to maximize your points without giving away who and where you are.  After everyone has played out cards you will go into a guessing phase where you can guess who other people are.  Get it right and you get some bonus points, get it wrong and they get the points instead.  After ten rounds the player with the most points is the winner.  So if you are a fan of deduction games, and this family weight one seems your speed, then head on over to the campaign page to check it out.  A pledge of only $19 will get you the base game and any stretch goals they unlock.

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, that means it’s the first official week of Christmas shopping, so lets see what else there is to spend your money on.  First is a new story telling “game” with some fun and interesting art, simply called StoryWorld.  It’s a simple game which is all about creativity, adaptability, and good story telling.  Each player will have a hand of cards consisting of characters, objects, places, actions, and some wild cards.  At the start a theme card will be flipped over telling you the overall theme of the story, like fantasy, comedy, and so on.  Then starting with the first player, they will play down one of the cards in their hand and tell a part of the story based on that card.  The next player will then get to play a card but must continue the story from the previous card, building on what was played.  This keeps going around, building and continuing the story with each card until everyone has played their cards.  And that’s it, so while it’s not so much a game, it would be a fun activity with kids as the art is very fun and whimsical and helps get the creative juices going.  You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.

Next up we have a very pretty looking deduction game called Prismal, the first game in a newly created universe called the Kingdoms of Isempar.  In this game you are trying to figure out what the value of the face down cards are in the middle, given that every card is dealt out and that only one of each number exists in each suit.  From your information and the information given by other players via their played cards, you have to play down a number of cards in front of each hidden card equal to that hidden card’s value.  Play is extremely simple with only two options, play a card out in front of the face down cards, or discard a card face down.  You will always know how many cards of each suit are in play as they are clearly shown on the back, but it’s the value of these cards that you will have to figure out or make educated guesses on.  At the end you will flip over all the cards and figure out how many you succeeded on and how many you failed.  If your successes out weight your failures, you win.  To find out more information you can check out the campaign page here.

After that we have a new dice worker placement type game called Living Planet, designed by Christophe Boelinger.  In this game you are exploiting resources from a new planet and using those resources to build and trade your way to greatness.  They call it a dice worker placement style game, but you don’t roll and place the die, instead you will be playing cards which show different values of the dice.  On a turn you will play one of these cards and place your die in one of three zones, actions, production, or cataclysm.  On the production space you will produce resources on all the factories and resource spaces you have that match that die value.  On the cataclysm space if you match the color and value of a die on any hexes on the board, you trigger a disaster for that hex, which one is shown on each hex.  On the actions space you will get to perform two actions, with each action being modified or defined by the value of die you put on that space.  With the actions you will be able to explore more of the planet, build buildings, move units, get money, and so on.  Turns will keep happening like this until everyone has had 12 turns, then you will count up victory points and see who the winner is.  To read more about the game and to back for a copy, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

And finally, we have the random entry of the list, and that is the Animator vs Animation card game.  The game’s art and concept come from the stick figure battle animations you can see online, and with the same goal, to win the battle.  The game consists of picking a character, and then doing battle with the other characters as the animator.  Each round you will play different action cards on the characters, moving them, turning them, and clicking on them to do damage.  You will also be able to equip them with different items or use special abilities to modify the outcome of battle.  As you damage your opponents you will start collecting their cubes, and each cube will be worth one point.  When someone gets to 16 points they are immediately declared the winner.  So if this kind of silly take that style card game is your thing, check out the Kickstarter page.

We have some interesting Kickstarters this week on the eve of Essen, so lets get down to it.  First on the list is along the same lines as the White Box Kickstarter in that it is more for board game design as opposed to an actual board game.  It is simply called the Board Game Creative Kit, and is specifically designed to allow for you to create a high quality prototype of your game.  Included in the box is first, the box, and to be more specific, a blank white box in the standard square size, allowing you to design your box cover art on it.  Inside the box you will find punch board after punch board of tokens in every shape, dice in multiple colors, player pawns in multiple colors, wooden tokens, and even several different sized boards and player screens.  Basically anything your could possibly need is most likely inside this box.  There are also stretch goals that add more players in the form of additional tokens, and even additional player colors can be added like pink.  So if you need some supplies to prototype your next game, check out this Kickstarter.

Next we have a quick and quirky little card game called The Mennonite Game Card Game.  The Mennonite game is a game about connections, more specifically how can you connect one person to another?  An example example is finding out that someone was your ” brother’s roommate’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s high school teacher“.  So in this card game you will be doing the same thing by playing out cards to create various character connections to you in your bid to create a tree of 10 different connections before anyone else.  In the game you will be drawing connection cards and event cards, with the connection cards being the currency you use to purchase the character cards to add to your character tree.  Event cards are cards that give you one time use special abilities allowing you to break the rules here and there to give you an edge.  You will draw 4 cards and play as many as you want to build out your tree, first person to be connected to 10 characters is the winner.  The fun in this game will definitely lay in the people you play with as the connections you form on the table will be crazy and weird, to find out more information check out the Kickstarter page.

Up next is the 236th version of Munchkin, and that is Munchkin Starfinder, based on the fast selling new RPG of the same name.  If you have played Munchkin before then there is nothing new here other than the theme.  For those not in the know, Munchkin is a game where you are racing to get to level 10 first, but there any many, many ways for your opponents to mess with you so expect heavy resistance in levels 8 and 9.  This card game is the epitome of take that and so if you don’t enjoy inflicting pain, or are able to take it, then you might want to look elsewhere.  For those who can handle it, or just want to expand their Munchkin collection, check out the Kickstarter page.

Following that is a new cooperative, bag building game called Tabula Rasa from Kid Loves Tiger Games.  In Tabula Rasa you are champions fighting back the malevolent forces of the world and trying to complete quests and increase your power and reputation to be able to eliminate the evil.  As was previously mentioned, this is a pool building game where you are going to be drawing crystals from a bag, and it’s those crystals you will use to perform actions.  You will use these actions to move around the board, collect treasure and power-ups, fighting the minions of the boss, and synthesizing new crystals to be able to more effectively use your powers.  And it’s those powers that bring in some asymmetry, each player has a power associated with each gem, and having those different powers means each character will play slightly differently.  Once enough quests are completed or the threat becomes too high, the final showdown begins, if you are able to defeat the final boss then you win.  So if a cooperative bag building game sounds your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.

And last but not least, we have the dice, worker placement game Monster Lands.  In this worker placement game you are trying to gain the most glory in order to be crowned the new king, but to do that you are going to have to defeat monsters and re-conquer the land.  You will have to build up your clan to be fighting fit, by recruiting warriors, equipping them with weapons and items, and sending them off to do battle.  Your dice pool is going to be determined by your clan strength as well as the mercenaries that you have hired, and it’s these dice you will roll and use to acquire everything you need.  Place on the main board to get items items or more mercenaries, get some more gold to pay those mercenaries, or send a mercenary fully loaded out to battle.  As you defeat monsters you will gain more glory and your clan will become stronger, be the strongest after 6 rounds to be the winner.  You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.

Steve Jackson Games has announced their upcoming release schedule for the month of September.  The first two entries are Munchkin Shakespeare and a demo pack called Staged Demo.  Munchkin Shakespeare  will be the same as the one that was Kickstarted not too long ago, just minus the Kickstarter expansion which was exclusive to the campaign.  So you will get the deluxe box, custom die, game board, and all 168 cards included in the Kickstarter copies.  Allowing you to play Mucnhkin with some theatrical flair

Staged Demo is both an expansion pack and a demo kit.  This pack takes 17 cards from the Munchkin Shakespeare Deluxe game with alternate art done by Lar deSouza.  The cards included are all that you need to do a short demo of the game for your friends, and then you can take the cards and add them to any Munchkin game you currently own.

Last we have Muertoons, formerly known as Muertoons Mix-up, a short little card game based on the cartoon of the same name.  Gameplay is similar to those like Crazy Eights or Uno where you are playing down numbered cards, and the first person to get rid of all their cards is the winner.  A simple game with a cartoon-y theme that would be great for younger kids.

To read more about this game and the others, you can check out the Daily Illuminator post from Steve Jackson Games.

Smirk and Dagger Games has posted a teaser announcement for the 5th Cutthroat Caverns Expansion, Death Incarnate. Cutthroat Caverns (2007) is a popular take-that card driven dungeon crawl, where players gain prestige by being the last one to deliver the killing blow to a series of monsters – “Without teamwork, you will never survive. Without betrayal, you’ll never win.” During the battle, however, you can feint, annoy and divert attacks, while using your fellow players as meat shields. Death Incarnate will add all 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, and Death himself. Expect new monsters, events, relics and treasures. Smirk and Dagger has posted that a new double sided adventure book will be included as well. Death Incarnate is expected in stores August 2017.

First up is a new release which teams up USAopoly and Steve Jackson Games, and that’s Munchkin X-Men.  This continues to add to the plethora of re-skins for the Munchkin game, but if you are into X-men and don’t mind Munchkin, this might be a good buy.  The will feature tons of iconic people and items from the X-men universe including Lady Deathstrike, Colossus, Wolverine, and Magneto’s Helmet.  So grab your gear and ready those mutant powers, Munchkin X-Men is out on store shelves now!

Next was a tease from IDW Games at this year’s GAMA Trade Show called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Showdown.  The theme seems normal enough as the turtles are running through the city sewers being chased be Bebop and Rocksteady and so they have to figure out how to fight them.  The interesting part is that this is going to be done in the confines of a tile laying game.  I will be interested to see how they plan to pull this off, but we won’t know more until later this year as IDW Games releases more information about it.

Then we have a new card game coming out of Greenbrier Games called Overseers.  This is a drafting style game where you are collecting sets of cards in order to score the most point, pretty simple, but it does have some extra bits added on.  First is that each player has a special power they can use that allow them to break the rules, like keeping two cards instead of one during a draft.  Second is a voting system once everyone reveals their cards on who people think has the highest score.  Whoever gets the most votes then has a choice, admit they have the highest score or deny it.  If they admit it then they discard a card, if they deny they don’t have to discard anything.  However, during scoring if they denied and do have the highest score, they lose two of their highest scoring cards.  Most points at the end is the winner.  Look for this game on store shelves in April.

Last is a slew of upcoming release from Flying Frog productions for both Last Night on Earth and Shadows of Brimstone.  On the Shadows of Brimstone front they have tons coming with the Hellfire Succubi Mission Pack, the Feral Vampires Mission Pack, the Derelict Ship Expansion, and six new ally, enemy, and XXL enemy packs.  Most of these were KS extras so it will be good for them to hit general distribution later in the year.  Also they showed off posters for the upcoming 10th Anniversary Edition of the Last Night on Earth game, with no doubt all the bells and whistles you expect from such an edition.  Keep looking here as we find out more information as the year goes on for these releases, and check out Flying Frog’s Facebook page for pictures and information.