The OP

Codenames, the wildly successful party card game designed by Vlaada Chvatil, is getting yet another theme applied to it, following in the footsteps of Codenames: Disney and Codenames: Harry Potter, to name a couple. The new edition of the game is Codenames: The Simpsons.

Codenames: The Simpsons uses both words and pictures as up to 8 players (split up into teams) work together cooperatively to locate secret agents hiding among many of their favorite Simpsons characters including the entire Simpson family, Mr Burns, Krusty the Clown, and a host of others. The game will be available during the 2019 holiday season.

If you are interested in the latest Codenames incarnation, check out the information on OP’s website here.

It’s funny, I was getting ready to title this article as “Gen Con Day 2” as it’s been my second day here…but today actually marked the first official day of the convention!

Today, I was able to get a round a bit more and spend some time at a variety of other booths. First on my trip was Calliope Games (booth 1901)!

Ship Shape, which has probably turned into my favorite game thus far, is a fun drafting, tile laying game that is quite unique. Each person has a pirate ship hold, made up of a 9×9 grid. You draw tiles that have certain areas of the grid missing from the tile and you are tasked with laying them on your storage hold so that as you look down onto the hold, whatever the top visible icon can be seen is what you score. Couple that with some fun drafting rules and you have a fun filler game that plays in about 30-40 minutes.

White at the Calliope booth I was able to also demo SpyMasters which was a bit of a welcome surprise for me. It is a “I pick-you choose” game in which you are agents trying to solve different missions around the board. It had a “Pandemic”-y feel to it only in that you had actions to take place that your cards you choose help to determine. You’re tasked with moving around the board and completing missions. This was quite a fun game that surprised me.

My next stop took me by the Funko demo room (141). Ever since Origins, I had heard quite a bit of buzz regarding the new Funkoverse system. There were several 4 character and 2 character sets (combinable) available for sale. Two DC sets, two Harry Potter sets along with a Golden Girls set and a Rick and Morty set were all available. Each sported the Funko figures that have become quite popular but the games sported some unique gaming qualities that were really intriguing.

Each turn, you select one of your characters and perform two actions. Each character has access to basic actions like moving and challenges as well as several unique abilities that may be performed only by spending ability tokens. Funkoverse uses an innovative “cooldown” system — the more powerful the ability, the longer it will take for the ability token to become available again — so players have to spend their ability tokens wisely. Each character in Funkoverse is unique, so players are encouraged to try out different combinations of characters and items in order to discover their favorite synergies and powerful strategies for all four game scenarios.

There are already new packs in the works scheduled to be released next year. There’s plenty available now to provide tons of fun and this game will definitely appeal to young and old alike. Having 9 children myself, I’m real anxious to get this to the table to get some quality time spent with the family!

Yet another stop took me to the USAopoly (The OP) booth (137). New this year and getting quite a bit of hype was their Die Hard game. However, what excited me quite a bit were several upcoming games they were demoing – namely Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising and a Toy Story deck-building game. For those familiar with Thanos Rising, you’ll see many similarities with this game however this game ramps it up a bit with Voldemort interacting more with the Death Eaters and making it quite a bit more difficult. This, too, is a cooperative game that is sure to appeal to any Harry Potter fans.

A game that I was most excited about was the Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures. This game is the spiritual successor to Harry Potter: Hogwart’s Battle in that it will be a deck-builder with similar evolving additions/boxes to the game over time.

Keep your eyes peeled for more Gen Con fun!!

Have you seen all the live action remakes? Do you know the words to all the songs? Well, the trivia game Geek Out! is getting a new version that will let you show off your Disney expertise.

The family party game pits individuals or teams of any size against each other. Each round, a prompt will be randomly selected from five categories.

After the prompt is read, bidding begins for the most examples a player or team can provide for it, e.g. “characters from Aladdin”, “sports played in Pixar films”, or “films in which a character makes a wish”.

The OP press release

If the highest bidder successfully provides the number examples they bid, then they receive one point. If they fall short, then they lose two points. First to five points wins. Geek Out! Disney will be available to settle disputes over who the biggest Disney fan is this fall.

The OP (formerly known as USAopoly) has announced that it will be releasing another popular IP-themed game in Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising. Death Eaters Rising is a cooperative card and dice game based on the fifth film (or fifth book, if you prefer) ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ and is scheduled to arrive in stores and Diagon Alley this fall.

In Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, each player assemble a team of allies from the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army and Hogwarts to face off against the growing power of the Dark Lord. Players can start off with familiar heroes such as Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Sirus Black, and Dumbledore and may be able to recruit otheres such as Snape, Ginny Weasley, Alastor Moody, and Hagrid. Players then must battle Death Eaters such as Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfroy for control of key locations, like the Ministry of Magic, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village, before finally facing off against You-Know-Who himself.

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is designed for 2-4 players ages 11 and up with an estimated playtime of 45-60 minutes. In addition to being the third Harry Potter-themed game from The OP released this year (which includes Scrabble: World of Harry Potter and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defense Against the Dark Arts), this game appears to be the third installment of an unofficial ‘Rising’ trilogy of games that include the earlier released Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars: Dark Side Rising.

The OP (USAopoly) announced on June 12th that they will be releasing two Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story-licensed games this coming fall: a cooperative deck-building game, and a collector’s chess set.

In Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures, 2-5 players (ages 8+) will take on the role of iconic toys from the film (Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and Rex) as they work together to overcome hazards and progress through a progressing storyline. The game will come with six boxes of cards, which will each be based off of a different movie in the IP. As boxes are unlocked, elements of each respective movie or short will then be introduced into the game and bring new characters, antagonists, and challenges for players to explore.

The OP also revealed a Toy Story-licensed Collector’s Chess Set featuring full-color figures of both familiar and new characters alike.

For more information on the games, visit The OP’s official site here.

The OP, also known as USAopoly, has announced Astro Trash, a new real time dice rolling game reminiscent of the classic game LCR. Astro Trash has 3-5 players acting as intergalactic janitors, trying to clear their personal planet of trash, by either moving it to another player’s planet, or by flinging it into the sun.

“Thanks to a sanitation spacecraft gone haywire, a collection of debris has been released into the vast universe, covering once inhabitable worlds with disruptive litter! Cleaning up all the Astro Trash calls for one quick-acting champion to literally take the matter into his or her own hands.”

Players frantically roll their three dice in real time. The numbered die dictates how many pieces of trash can be moved, the colored die says what type of trash can be moved, and the direction die says whether they are moved to the left, the right, or incinerated in the sun. If a players’ personal planet is cleared of all trash, they proclaim “Clean!” then take a Trash Trophy. The first player with 3 trophies wins the game.

Astro Trash comes with 5 player mats, 15 custom dice, 50 trash pieces in 6 colors, an oversized playmat and 11 Trash Trophies. For more details about Astro Trash, check out The OP’s press release, or the official web page for the game.

Fans of the classic Stephen King novel, 1990 miniseries, and recent 2017 remake alike will be pleased to discover that Pennywise and the Losers’ Club are making their way to the tabletop space with IT: Evil Below, coming this fall from The OP (USAopoly).

IT: Evil Below is a 2-7 player cooperative game in which players take on the role of the Losers’ Club as they traverse their neighborhood in Derry, ME, tempting fate in numerous encounters and using their character-specific abilities to take down the menacing clown and stop the child abductions once and for all. But if just one player runs out of health, the objective fails and Pennywise continues to wreak psychological havoc upon the citizens of this quaint New England town for years to come.

For more information on the game from The OP, click here.

Cooperative Game Scheduled for Fall Release

There has been a disturbance in the Force as a rare, non-FFG Star Wars-themed game has been announced today. USAopoly (who also goes by the name ‘The OP’) and Disney Consumer Products UK have publicized the pending release of Star Wars: Dark Side Rising, a new cooperative card and dice game that is set during the events immediately prior to and during Star Wars: A New Hope. The game is designed for 2-4 players for ages 10 and up and has an estimated game time of 45 minutes.

In this light strategy game, each player will lead their own Rebel cell, led by their starting Team Leader (either Captain Cassian Andor, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker or Hera Syndulla), as they work together to recruit other iconic characters (such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Admiral Raddus) and prevent the construction of the original Death Star to thwart the Empire’s overall plans for domination of the galaxy. A custom-sculpted 3D Darth Vader bust is featured on the game board that commands the Imperial forces trying to either wipe out the Rebels or make the Death Star operational. The Rebels win by defeating enough Imperial agents before the Empire is able to either successful bring the Death Star online or eliminates too many of the Rebellion’s assets.

The game will be released in the European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) regions in the fall. It is unclear from the announcement whether this game will be exclusive to the EMEA regions or will receive a North American release at a later date. However, The OP has stated that Star Wars: Dark Side Rising was designed specifically for EMEA.

Admittedly, the look of the game from the images released and the described game-play sounds very similar to The OP’s earlier board game Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War. The shared use of the term ‘Rising’ in both titles also suggests that Star Wars: Dark Side Rising may be the latest entry in a unofficial board game series begun with Thanos Rising.

Star Wars: Dark Side Rising will also be showcased at the UK Games Expo as well as DISTOY 2019 in London.

More information about this release is available here.

It seems like every board game publisher is providing their spin on the roll-and-write genre. The OP (formerly USAopoly) has partnered with Matagot to bring Dungeon Academy to the North American market.

Dungeon Academy looks like a roll-and-write crossed with a dungeon dive game. The game has 16 six-sided dice with different sides representing things like monsters and potions. The dice are rolled and arranged into a 4×4 grid which represents a floor of the dungeon. The floor is revealed to the players which then race to draw a path through the dungeon level. The game is played over four rounds/levels.

“Simultaneous play begins as students race to draw the most favorable route in, through, and out of each Level, taking hits to their energy from encounters with Monsters, while restoring it with every potion. If any player’s Health or Mana is depleted before their path is resolved, they fail the test and forfeit points, or Glory. The student with the most Glory after the four Levels earns the coveted Adventurers diploma to win!”

Each player has a hero which provides them with a special ability during the game. Loot cards provide bonus treasure which players can choose from once they’ve completed their route through the level.

Dungeon Academy is for 1-6 players, ages 10 and up, and will be available later this year. You can read the announcement from The OP here, as well as, learn more from the game’s product page on the publisher’s website.