Bananagrams, Inc., the makers of the popular word game Bananagrams, has announced a new version with larger, high contrast letter tiles. Big Letter Bananagrams was designed specifically to help bring the game to people with low vision, who may otherwise have trouble seeing the letters. Bananagrams has even teamed up with the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, and is donating a portion of the sales to help research this common visual disease. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, and affects over 10 million Americans. Additionally, when Macular Degeneration hits, so many aspects of peoples’ day to day life are affected that depression, stress and cognitive decline tend to follow. Active play in the elderly has been shown to stave off these consequences of vision loss.
You can click here to read the official press release regarding Big Letter Bananagrams, and watch their video on YouTube. For more information about play and Macular Degeneration, you can read Bananagrams’ statement here.
WizKids has two new games coming to shelves in March 2018, Spy Tricks and Letter Go!.
Spy Tricks is a new edition of the 3-4 player Japanese game Trick of Spy (2016) by designer Susumu Kawasaki (Traders of Osaka). Spy Tricks is essentially a trick taking card game, but players must use the information they gather to deduce the identity of the “secret document”, a face down card from the deck. Players then bet on what the secret document might be, trying to reserve guesses before the other players. Play rounds equal to the number of players, and highest score at the end wins.
In Letter Go!, players write words on their whiteboards, using letter cards available to all. However, the players only score their words under two conditions: They must claim letter cards before their opponents, and they must follow the rules on the changing “random ridiculous” rule cards. Letter Go! comes with 6 whiteboards, 26 double sided rule cards and 96 letter cards.
UltraPro Entertainment has three new games due for release this January.
Fightin’ Words from designer Mike Elliot (Dice Masters, Thunderstone) is a variant of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, in which 2-6 players bet on who can make the largest word. Five face up cards are common to all players, with a secret two card hand held in reserve. Cards also have western themed “suits” which can be collected for tokens and bonus points. The first player with seven or more of one token type triggers the end of the game, and the most coins wins the game. Humorous “Wanted Posters” dictate special scoring for each round.
Shadow Blocks has players putting together three dimensional tetris like pieces, trying to create an object which matches the printed shadows as seen from two angles. Challenge cards with shadows come in three different difficulties, and the game contains enough blocks for 4 players. Shadow Blocks comes with 20 blocks, 72 challenge cards and 4 player boards.
Zircles is an abstract game in which players put magnetic triangular pieces onto a board, trying to complete circles of their color. Complete you own circles or sabotage an opponent; the most points from completing circles wins the game. Zircles comes with both solo and two player rules.
Check out more details about these games on the UltraPro Website here.
In 2016 Codenames won the Spiel des Jahres, popularizing word based spy games. In 2018 Iello will release Decrypto by designer Thomas Dagenais–Lesperance, and artists Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez. Decrypto places two teams pitting against each other to correctly interpret the coded messages their partner is trying to send them while at the same time cracking the code of the opposite team.
In Decrypto two teams face off against each other. Each player has a screen with places for four words, numbered 1-4. A single word card is placed by each number. Players on your team see your four starting words, while the opposing team does not see your words.
In round one, each of the teams has one team member that takes a code card that shows a three digit code made up of a non-repeating set of the 1, 2, 3, 4 digits from the starting screen, e.g. 4-2-1. Only the one team member with the code card creates a three word code to get their team to try to guess the code. “For example, if the team’s four words are “pig”, “candy”, “tent”, and “son”, then you might say “child-mouth-tail” and hope that your teammates can correctly map those words to 4-2-1.” If your team does not guess correctly they get a black mark of failure. Two black marks and the team loses.
Following your team guess, the opposing team will note what the clues were for the opposite team and what numbers they corresponded to. In future rounds the opposing team will also have a chance to guess your numbered code without the advantage of seeing the original words under the screen numbers. If they guess correctly they receive an interception token. Two interceptions and a team wins.
The game continues until either a team has missed guessing their own clue correctly (losing the game) or intercepts twice (winning the game). The game plays with 3-8 players aged 12+ in around 30 minutes.
Box contents will include:
- 2 super cool screens
- 48 Code cards
- 110 Keyword cards
- 4 Interception tokens
- 4 Miscommunication tokens
- 50 Note sheets
- 1 Sand Timer (30 seconds)
- 1 rulebook
Decrypto will hit stores frequented by spies and game-players in the first quarter of 2018.
“What the deuce?!” A Family Guy party game you say? Well this Christmas is the release date for this opportunity to “Offend friends and family” in what seems to be a Family Guy themed take on a “Cards against Humanity” style game.
“This next release from Gale Force Nine games is a side-splitting, fast-paced word game of questionable social value…..not really suitable for anyone”
Comes complete with a spinner as you race to earn martinis but definitely not suitable for minors as the warning on the box indicates there may be some adult Family Guy shenanigans involved.
R & R Games, publisher of games like Hanabi, SpellCaster and Spike, will be releasing three new games soon.
In Caffeine Rush you and your fellow competitors are baristas who will compete to be the one barista to have finished the most orders when the game ends. You do so by grabbing ingredients and making your drinks as fast as you can. The game is for 2-6 players, ages 8+ and plays in 10 minutes.
- 162 Ingredient cards
- 36 Order cards
- 12 Special cards and player aid cards
Spit it Out
A party game where you will answer six easy questions wrong to get them right. If that wasn’t weird enough, you will have a short time limit to answer the questions your brain is hardwired to answer correctly. Each wrong answer can only be given once, but sometimes you have to give the correct answer as well. Sounds like a fun, whacky, party game for the whole family. The game is for 3-8 players, ages 10+ and plays in 20-30 minutes.
- 300 Question cards
- 2 Dice
- 1 Score pad
- 1 Sand timer
This game requires fast hands and fast reflexes. Roll the dice, quickly identify the missing colored shape and grab the matching cup. You will have to move fast since they are all up for grabs and the first to collect three cups wins the game. The game is for 2-8 players, ages 6+ and plays in 10-20 minutes.
- 9 Cup-A-Cups
- 2 Symbol dice