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.
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.
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 announcedAstro 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.
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.
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.
There is an endless war between the celestials of Heaven and Hell, and the only way to stop it is to unite the forces of the dead in the Underworld to defeat the celestials restore balance in the universe and accomplish your own ulterior motives in the process. In Court of the Dead: Mourners Call, players are Mourners, an allegiant of Death, seeking to gain influence among the three factions – Bone, Flesh, and Spirit – and gain control of the strongholds and guilds in the Underworld. Players will need to spend Elthera, a power within mortal souls, to build their influence among the factions, but Elthera is also needed to pay tribute to the celestials. Mismanaging the Elthera risks arousing the suspicions of celestials and invoking the Dreadsgrip, a destructive force that may weaken a Mourner’s influence in the Underworld. Meanwhile, Death has a few tasks he needs his Mourners to accomplish. The game is a balance of cooperation and hidden objectives, area control and condition management. The player who contributes the most to the goals of the Underworld wins and serve as Death’s right hand in the conflict with the celestials.
Court of the Dead is a new rich and immersive setting developed by Project Raygun, a designer collectibles division under USAopoly. The world in the Court of the Dead has undergone development over the past couple of years. As Project Raygun developed the world, they created history, storylines, central figures in the world. Large vinyl statues were built to bring the central characters to life. Numerous comics and graphic novels told stories about the world. More about this world of the Court of the Dead can be found here.
Court of the Dead: Mourners Call plays 2-5 players, ages 14+
in about 90 minutes. Contents include Game Board, 48 Guild Figures, 1 Death
Figure, 1 Malavestros Figure, 40 Guild Mover Bases, 14 Court Cards, 27 Mourner
Cards, 36 Wallows Cards, 12 Objective Cards, 4 Reference Cards, 4 Player Boards, 50 Etherea Pieces, 45 Unity Tokens, 12
Faction Tokens, 1 Dreadsbane Token, 24 Wooden Trackers, 14 Tracker Pieces, 4
Dice, and Rules. The game is available
for preorder now or look for the game in your friendly local game store in
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.
USAopoly, in partnership with FOX Consumer Products, have announced their planned release of Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game. The Die Hard movie, which originally debuted in 1988, has never had a licensed board game so this would be the first for the franchise. It will feature asymmetric gameplay where one player is John McClane who needs to rescue the hostages from the thieves, played by the rest of the players, in the Nakatomi Plaza high-rise (which was featured in the original movie).
“Die Hard’s influence over the action-thriller genre is staggering, so we were beyond excited for the opportunity to harness the movie’s expert blend of action, intelligence and drama into a unique tabletop experience. We are developing a game that will deeply resonate with Die Hard enthusiasts, incorporating even the slightest details to create a rich and entertaining experience that properly pays tribute to arguably the greatest action movie of all time.” – Pat Marino, Lead Game Designer, USAopoly [source]
“The Die Hard board game from USAopoly provides an engaging touch point for fans seeking a nostalgic trip back to Nakatomi Tower and, three decades after the film’s release, allows a new generation of fans to play a unique game experience showcasing this incredible property.” – Federico San Martin, Vice President of Global Toys and Hardlines, 20th Century Fox Consumer Products [source]
Die Hard: The Nakatomi Heist Board Game will be available in the Spring of 2019 in select retailers. Check the USAOpoly website for more information. Now fans can debate whether this can be classified as a Christmas game!
USAopoly have partnered with Warner Bros. Consumer Products (on behalf of DC Comics) to bring Talisman: Batman – Super-Villains Edition to life. The game allows players to be one of Gotham City’s Super-Villains who sneak and fight through 2 floors, and the central tower, of Arkham Asylum. The first evil-doer to subdue Batman and release the other, dangerous inmates, wins the game.
In true Talisman fashion, players upgrade the Health, Strength, and Cunning of their characters before they face off against their ultimate objective, Batman, in the center of the map. While there can be only one winner, players can cooperate as they make their way to their foe. The game features artwork from the “New 52” era, 13 plastic character figures, more than 100 Encounter cards, six-sided dice, and character boards.
Talisman: Batman Super-Villain Edition allows for 2-6 players, aged 13+. Expect it’s release in June of 2019. For more information, visit the USAopoly website.