Zombie Dice

First on the list of news in the board game app world is that Zombie Dice on iOS, after being dormant for nearly 7 years, has reanimated and been updated for modern devices.  Now if you are running the latest version of the iOS on your phone or tablet, you will be able to have some fun rolling virtual dice as a zombie now.  You can head over to the App Store now and download the new version for free.

Next a new expansion was announced to the popular Terra Mystica app, and this expansion brings in all the goodies from the Fire and Ice expansion of the board game into the app realm.  This means you will be able to play with all six of the factions in the expansion, from the powerful Yetis to the rule breaking Shapeshifters.  Also being included in this expansion will be a new level of AI, hard level, giving experienced players new challenges in the game.  Expected release for the expansion is the first quarter of 2018, so expect to see it available in the app soon.  You can download Terra Mystica and preview the new factions on the DigiDiced website.

Last, and by no means least, an old series of gamebooks is being converted into an app called Fighting Fantasy Legends.  The book series was called Fighting Fantasy, and was a creation of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone that was published in the 80s.  The books themselves were a mix of choose your own adventure and role playing where you would be choosing the path you would go, but would also be rolling dice for things like combat.  The books were very popular and although they have gone through several publishing companies, they are still available today.  Now, however, Nomad Games has decided to adapt some of these books, City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Citadel of Chaos, into an app.  In the game you will exploring the different areas and using cards and dice to perform actions and do battle while deciding who you will help.  As you level up you will improve your dice making you stronger, and with tons of choices to be made in a single game, each play to be different than the last.  So if you were a fan of the original books, check out the Youtube trailer and then head on over to the Days of Wonder blog for links to purchase the game in your preferred app store.

Although Steve Jackson Games does not have any shareholders (other than Steve Jackson himself), it does have a lot of people that take part in its success.  The company refers to these folks as stakeholders and their annual report is directed towards them (employees, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, volunteers, and people who play their games).  The annual Stakeholders Report gives a transparent look at some of the inner workings of Steve Jackson Games.

Munchkin and Zombie Dice, the evergreen games of the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) lineup, dropped to $5.5 million (down $500,000) from last year. Even with the drop in sales of these titles, SJG anticipates a break even or slightly profitable year. Due to the decline in sales, SJG plans to try and keep the top ten Munchkin games and expansions available at all times, but everything else will see out-of-stock times with the possibility of going away for the immediate future.

SJG is making slow progress with their employee manual and acknowledges the need to finish this to have more established processes in-house.  Additionally, the company is having a hard time meeting deadlines without involvement from upper management.

Those were the low points of 2017, but there were some high points, too.  The Fantasy Trip, a roleplaying game, is being worked on for Kickstarter.  This is Jackson’s first RPG from 1977, published by Metagaming.  When Metagaming went out of business, the rights to the game were in limbo, but SJG has since secured the rights.

Munchkin still receives a lot of attention from SJG and Munchkin Shakesphere, Munchkin Spell Skool, and the Munchkin Gift Pack all did well in 2017.  The Munchkin Collectible Card Game is set to go on sale on February 21, 2018, as well and is receiving a lot of attention due to the collaboration from Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson.

Steve Jackson Games also partnered with CMON and Asmodee Digital.  Their partnership with CMON allows CMON to create Munchkin-themed board games.  Their partnership with Asmodee Digital is aimed at bringing a Munchkin video game to fans.

In addition to all of these exciting things, the Ogre Video Game launched in October, Munchkin Valentines sold well, the forums remain active, and GURPS added on-demand printing to Amazon.

SJG saw mixed success/failure with the Ogre Miniatures Set 1 (behind on delivery), Ogre Reinforcements (slow sales), and Ghosts Love Candy (reprint was stopped).  SJG changed their staffing structure to try to focus the creative team on making games, but it didn’t work out as planned and the company is exploring new ideas.

Steve Jackson Games saw failure with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (took a lot of time from upper management and is costly, but selling well), Port Royal (cheaper European copies are outselling SJG copies), and sjgames.com (it’s an old site that requires a lot of attention).

SJG’s priorities for 2018 are to support the Munchkin CCG, complete all outstanding Kickstarter commitments, maintain support of the original Munchkin games with a new tuck box expansion set and two or three new base games, and launch a successful new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter with a 2019 or 2020 delivery date.

There’s more covered in the Stakeholder’s report, but this gives a glimpse at 2017 for Steve Jackson Games.

Steve Jackson Games just released a newsletter detailing several of the company’s releases for this July.

Munchkin Zombies: Armed and Dangerous adds 112 new cards to Munchkin Zombies, including trained attack flies and a prehensile tongue. The expansion also contains brain-hungry pawns, and requires Munchkin Zombies to play.

Munchkin Halloween Monster Box can hold over 2000 Munchkin Cards, plus some swag such as the Dungeons and Seals, and has box art by Len Peralta. As a bonus, the Halloween Box comes with 12 holiday themed Munchkin cards to add to any game.

Zombie Dice Horde Edition is coming in July, and contains the original award winning Zombie Dice along with the two expansions Double Feature and School Bus. Additionally, the Horde Edition comes with a score pad and a cloth bag.

Steve Jackson Games seems to be on a roll with getting their games into stores other than game stores, and this time it’s their latest dice game.  Batman: the Animated Series Dice Game has just been released and plays like a variation of the Zombie Dice or Martian Dice games of matching symbols to try and get the most points.  The game will be available through the usual channels, but you will also be able to find the game in Hot Topic stores as well.  This means next to all the other apparel and items associated with the latest DC Comics movie, you will be able to find this dice game.  One thing to note is that this is not happening in every store, so head over to the Steve Jackson Games website to see if a store near you is listed.