target

Netflix meet Asmodee.  Now that the introductions are over, it looks like Asmodee will be publishing Black Mirror: NOSEDIVE, a game based on the show’s episode of the same name.  Not many details are available about the game itself, only that it is a social game which also integrates with a smartphone app.  NOSEDIVE supports 3 to 6 players, ages 13 and up.

“NOSEDIVE features light social and strategic gameplay that is engaging, interactive, and accessible for new players.”

NOSEDIVE will be available at Target stores starting on November 25th.  The press release only indicated that the game launches at Target stores and Target.com, so it is not clear if NOSEDIVE will only be available through Target, or if this is just a timed exclusive.

Target are making a strong investment in board and card games and have signed up 95 exclusive releases to draw in hobbyists and the casual audience alike. They plan to fill shelves with over 130 new board games.

“There’s something special about breaking free from screens and spending real, face-to-face time with family and friends—and that’s why our guests are loving the ever-growing board game trend. We’re out to make Target their go-to destination for great games, so over the past couple of years, we’ve more than doubled our assortment and we’re constantly working with the nation’s leading game makers to create even more unique, exclusive games for our guests to enjoy with those they love.” -Kelly Caruso, senior vice president of Hardlines, Target

Some “Throwback finds” aimed at the more casual market include Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart, Superfight ’90s Deck, The Golden Girls: Any Way You Slice It, and Target exclusives, MacGuyver: The Escape Room Game, and The Brady Bunch Party Game.

The entry level hobbyists can find what they call “brain strainers” such as Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, Hackathon, and Target exclusives, Ticket To Ride: New York, Ryan and Majorie Lauket’s Megaland, and The Oregon Trail Game: Journey To Willamette Valley.

More casual, party games (dubbed “family face-off” games) include Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition, Spin Off, A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King, and Target exclusives, Blank Slate, YeahNOPE, and Rustic versions of Sorry! and Battleship.

Kids games include Chow Crown, Pie Face Cannon, Yeti Set Go, and Target exclusives, LOL Surprise: The Water Surprise Game, and Tic Tac Tongue.

With a growing list of exclusive titles it shows that Target sees enough potential in the board game market to make it worth drawing hobbyists to its stores.

Upon hearing of the announcement of the title This Game Goes to Eleven, likely many fans like myself  of the film This Is Spinal Tap (1984) expected to see a licensed IP game from the film, similar to the more than five games out in the last five years from The Princess Bride (1987). Alas, this is not the case, and instead the game is loosely based on the general idea from the film’s iconic joke. But before you write the game off completely, it is being published by Gamewright, who have had several notable and successful games in the past with hits like Sushi Go Party and Forbidden Desert.

This family-weight game features 72 cards and a guitar pick, and allows 2-6 players (ages 8+) to have rocking time adding cards to the center pile to 11 in a quick 15-20 minute play session.

This Game Goes to Eleven had its sneak peek at GenCon 2018, and is out in the US as a Target store exclusive, similar to recent titles such as Megaland and Ticket to Ride: New York. More info on This Game Goes to Eleven can be found at Gamewright’s website.

Hopefully this games lives up to the classic joke from character Nigel Tufnel, and BoardGameGeek ratings will have to follow IMDB’s rating scale for the movie This Is Spinal Tap and will have to max out at 11 when the page is created.

New games from USAopoly tend to pop up with the seasons, but now they’re turning up the heat so-to-speak. Super Mario Brothers: Power Up Card Game (Underwater Edition) and Blank slate were both recently announced and will be headed to different specific retailers this summer! Of course the Super Mario Brothers: Power Up Card Game already exists, but this new edition transforms the whole thing into the infamous world 2-2 underwater level. The gameplay is the same, just now there’s a lovely aquatic look to all the cards, bloopers to worry about, and a reason to hum this theme song instead while you play. While the original game is available at most retailers, Walmart has the exclusive right to sell the Underwater Edition so you’ll need to head to the notoriously blue store for this new blue version.

Blank Slate, on the other hand, is Target exclusive and an all-new word association party game. A cue card shows a word and a blank, and everyone must quickly fill in the blank on their personal dry-erase boards. The goal isn’t to be particularly funny or devious, but rather to pick what you believe is the most common word associated with the cue card because, after revealing everyone’s boards, only the players with matching answers will score points. It’s very intriguing to have two games come out exclusive to each of these retailers, yet it’s indicative of their rivalry and both USAopoly and gamers benefit from this sort of competition. If you’re interested in either of these titles, be sure to check out your local stores or their websites soon.

Pandasaurus Games has announced they will be bringing the 2015 Spiel des Jahres nominated card game, The Game, to Target stores in August.  This will be an exclusive version for Target and will feature new box and card art from acclaimed illustrator Kwanchai Moriya.

You can learn more about this variant of The Game and see some of the new artwork on the Pandasaurus website and Facebook post.

One of the recent trends in board games has been for big box stores, such as Target and Walmart, to claim their share of exclusive titles from within the hobby board gaming world. Several of these exclusives have been noteworthy; we have seen Target obtain Bob Ross Art of Chill Game, and Walmart is the exclusive seller of Fog of Love. The most recent participant, Red Raven Games, has announced an exclusive game with Target, Megaland. Ryan Laukat‘s newest creation Megaland has the look and feel of his previous masterpieces, bringing up images of Near and Far or Artifacts Inc. Megaland is a push-your-luck game set in a video game universe, where players fight monsters to collect coins and build up their world. 2-5 players can use coins to improve their character, build bowling alleys or arcades, and delve deeper into each new level. But players who push too hard are likely to come home with nothing. The player with the most coins at the end wins.

Megaland is due to come out in Fall 2018, exclusively at Target stores.

Game designers looking for an opportunity to pitch their game design to a company may have that opportunity at the upcoming 115th North American International Toy Fair, 17-20 February, in New York City.   Thanks to Target’s Open Innovation Project, designers may be selected to present their game design directly to Target executives.  Designers can apply by completing an online Request for Proposal form by Wednesday, January 17th.

Designers will be required to identify the game’s target audience, the void the game is filling, and what makes the game different from others currently on the market.  Designers will also have to answer a variety of other questions such as whether any market research, utility patent searches, engineering plans, cost analysis, and any prototypes have been completed.

Games are not the only category considered.  Dolls, activity sets, pre-school toys and imaginative play products are other categories also considered in Target’s Open Innovation Project.

Notifications for those who are selected to meet with Target will be sent by February 1.   Those selected in Target’s Open Innovation Project will present their ideas to a panel of Target Toy Buyers and get feedback from experts in Mass Retail at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center throughout the day on Saturday, February 17th.

Target is quickly seeing the benefit of offering better and more varied games on their shelves, and by benefit I mean they are making good money on them.  So in order to stay ahead of the game they are continuing their method of getting boat loads of exclusive games that will only appear on their shelves.  So this past weekend saw the addition of over 50 of those games ranging from 90’s themed games, party games, and rustic editions of classic games where they made games like Risk completely out of wood.  Some of the titles you will see now include:

  • Exploding Kittens Party Edition, an exclusive expansion pack to the mega-popular Exploding Kittens
  • Sunken Sailor, a Pictionary-type game from Finland with a distinctive Scandinavian design and a wooden box
  • Pling Pong, a Kickstarter game similar to beer pong in that you are bouncing balls into cups, but with no alcohol involved and is much more colorful
  • Deer Lord, a party game where players are challenged to do crazy things without being called out on them.
  • Coding games from Think Fun: On the Brink, Rover Control, and Robot Repair

And this is just a small selection of the games.  You can read more about these additions on the Forbes website, or just browse the game aisle of your local Target today.

With August having come to a close, Calliope is reminiscing on the excellent August they had between GenCon, and one of their games being picked up by Target.  That’s right, now included in the dozens of games recently announced as Target exclusive, the new editions of Roll For It! purple and red are now among those exclusives.  Changes in the new edition are mostly cosmetic with inclusion of a drawstring bag, new colorful opaque dice, and a viewing window on the box.  So if you are looking for a quick and fun dice chucking game, you only have to go as far as your local Target to find it.

ticket to ride journey

Ticket to Ride by Alan R Moon from Days of Wonder has introduced a great many people to the hobby of board games. With Days of Wonder’s big announcement, a path has opened up for younger players in Ticket to Ride First Journey.

This shorter game, with a 15 – 30 minute play time, has simplified rules and shorter routes, marked with kid-friendly illustrations making finding your route easy for even the youngest players. When a player completes a route on a new version of the North America board, that player must slap the ticket down on the table, loudly announce “Ticket”, and draw a new ticket. This new mechanism alone is enough for my kids to want to play immediately.

For 2-4 players ages 6+, this is a great family-friendly introduction to the Ticket to Ride series. Sold exclusively at Target stores, expect to see this in America as early as July 31st.

Ticket to Ride First Journey includes:

  • Map of North American Train Routes
  • 80 Custom Plastic Trains (20/player)
  • 72 Train Cards
  • 32 Ticket Cards
  • 4 Coast-to-Coast Bonus Cards
  • 1 Golden Ticket