Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesEnter for a chance to win one of Shape magazine’s gift bags given to celebrities on Hollywood Game Night. The bag includes Bananagrams and Pictionary Frame Game.

Children’s charities can get Play Connects grants of up to $10,000 from the Toy Industry Foundation.

Lock ‘n Load Publishing is running a Tax Break Sale.

Funagain Games is running a Spring Cleaning Sale.

Second Look—Mezmo

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.A while back ago I had posted about Mezmo, a tile laying game by Walter Sharrow. I’ve had the game for a while now, and have been meaning to get this Second Look up for some time. The game is very interesting, as the game solely relies on the players playing it.

The game handles from 3-11 players, and has them laying tiles down and then has everyone judging how well that piece fit into the “feel” of the board. If the piece is accepted, it stays on the board. If it’s rejected by a majority of the other players, it goes back into the hand of the person who played it. That player must also take another tile from the bag. Play continues this way until one player runs out of tiles to play.

It’s pretty laid back, though judgements can get a bit intense. Everything is subjective, and without the right players, the game falls apart. I tend to have better games of this one with my kids than I do with older players.

It’s a tough game to rate, since so much rests on the players. I’ve had a few great sessions with it, and a few where it fell completely flat. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s a game I’m glad I have in my collection

A copy of Mezmo was provided free for review by Walter Sharrow.

Citadel Tool Set

citadeltoolsetThis is absolutely beautiful. This gorgeous set of tools contains all of the new Citadel Tools; Fine Detail Cutters, Knife, Drill, Moudline Remover, File Set and Sculpting Tool Set, and comes complete with spare blades for the knife and alternative drill bits for the drill.

Everythign comes packaged in a canvas wrap, with pockets for everything plus extra brushes and such.

The set has not been released yet, but will be soon for $150. Each tool will also be sold separately for between $17 and $30.

PAX East 2014: Part4

paxeast2Game Salute

Game Salute is always a great place to visit at a convention. The wide variety of games they publish/manage means there’s something for everyone. Their latest game is Ruse, a murder mystery game set in a steampunk Victorian era. The cool part is that you actually get a standalone card game, standalone dice game, and a 100 page novella in the box. I didn’t get a chance to see it in action, but I hope to very soon.


Dice Rings. Lots of Dice Rings. CritSuccess had a booth with Dice Rings in all sorts of varieties, from classic polyhedral dice counterparts to life counters and rings with multiple die faces. They spin super smoothly, and just look way damn cool. I got sized for a ring at the show, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival at my doorstep.

Drinking Quest

Touted as the original drinking RPG, Drinking Quest is supposed to play like a stripped down version of D&D, but with lots of real-life drinking. There’s currently 3 different version of Drinking Quest: Drinking Quest 1, Drinking Quest 2, and Drinking Quest 3. Each is stand-alone, and contains 4 quests. There were beers at the booth, but I don’t think they were handing any out! This one’s on the way to me, also, so look for a review in the near future.

paxeast2High Heavens

Ryan Lesser, known in the video-game world for Guitar Hero, Rock Band. Beatles:Rock Band, and Dance Central, was demoing High Heavens at a small booth tucked away in the corner of the tabletop space. His wife, and game’s artist, Jennifer, started the game’s demo with me until Ryan was able to run the rest of it to completion. The game is a tactical one where you take control of a set of mythological gods and battle it out, trying to destroy the other gods’ home base. In this demo I played the Norse gods, while Ryan played the Greek Gods. Each turn players take 3 actions. This can be summoning a god, moving a god, attacking another god/base, or playing cards that effect the board of miniatures on the board. The coolest mechanic of this game IMG_0598are the stackable rings that each god sits upon. These rings signify health, armor, extra attack power, poison, stun, etc… The more health an armor you have, the higher your character sits on the board. Rings like armor can be dropped when a god is downed, and then picked up by another god who passes next to them.

High Heavens is super simple to learn, and offers a great bit of strategy when it comes to managing your gods, powers, and protecting your base. I’m hoping to get a more in-depth review of this one once it’s out. While I saw a bit of this game at Connecticon, PAX East is where it was officially previewed.

SFR, Inc

SFR surprised me a bit, because they’ve been putting out a product I thought was long-since dead. Dragon Dice. I haven’t played Dragon Dice since I was in middle school, and just looking at all the stuff that’s come out since then got me drooling a bit. So many cool dice! TSR originally had published the game 1995, only to be bought out by Wizards of the Coast. Wizards put the game on the back burner after a while, and SFR bought the rights in 2000 and has continued to keep the game alive ever since. Several new army packs were available to check out at the show, as well as an entire new dice game. Demon Dice.

While each die represents units in Dragon Dice, each set of dice in Demon Dice represents one demon. Each die is a part of the body. Players take turns rolling against their opponent’s previous roll to try and damage the other player, and eventually knock out all their dice from play. It seemed a little complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it you realize it’s really not. I’ve got a starter set on hand, along with an extra set of dice, to review and report back here in a bit.

Attack the Darkness

IMG_0593The name of the game brings back memories of the Dead Alewives “Dungeons and Dragons” bit from a long time ago. An impressively large and hefty box filled to the brim with cards and tokens is what initially caught my eye. Attack the Darkness is a dungeon crawl game with RPG elements and deck building/drafting mechanics. The cards make up the random dungeons, characters, and pretty much everything in between. It plays up to 1-8 players, and can be played with or without a game master. While I didn’t get a chance to play it, it should be on the way to my doorstep very soon. I really liked what I saw, and can’t wait to dig in.


Purple Pawn’s 2013 Game Industry Survey is now online.

I collected information from nearly 300 companies from over 20 countries and from 40 US states. Of those companies that didn’t close, the overwhelming majority are doing fine or better than last year. 13% report doing worse than last year (down 2% from last year’s survey); this percentage doesn’t take into account companies that closed.

More than half of responding publishers use, or plan to use, a crowdfunding source such as Kickstarter to publish their games.

Among responding retailers, Hasbro’s Magic: the Gathering CCG, Game Workshops’ Warhammer miniatures and rules, Mayfair Games’ Catan board and card games, and Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG products were at the top again this year, as they have been for the last three years. Rio Grande Games’ Dominion games sales dropped; its place in the top five was taken by Konami’s perennially popular Yu-Gi-Oh CCG.

Pathfinder products outperformed Wizards of the Coasts’ Dungeons & Dragons products by 2.5 to 1 – even more than last year – while players wait for D&D 5th edition to be released later this year. Gaming accessories, such as card sleeves, and items consumed by gamers, such as soft drinks, continue to be strong dependable sellers. RPG and miniature products from smaller publishers were included in the bestselling product lines of some retailers.

Strong new sellers this year include Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars X-Wing miniatures, Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars Edge of Empires RPG, and basically all Fantasy Flight Games’ living card games (LCGs), especially Android Netrunner (many retailers simply listed “Fantasy Flight Games” as their best selling products).

Another big new seller at responding retailers is Cards Against Humanity, a perverse alternative to more traditional and safe party games. Amazon already listed this game as a top-seller during most of 2012, but the survey respondents are now catching up.

An ad from Caterpillar ups the ante on giant Jenga:

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe Order of the Iron of the Crown is Iron Crown Enterprises volunteer program. Participants can earn points toward ebooks and branded products. For example, running a demo session and having two people sign up for the ICE forums as a result will earn $5 off an ICE product at DriveThruRPG.

paxeast2StoneBlade Entertainment

The creators of Ascension Chronicle Of The Godslayer have just put a new electronic CCG for the PC and iOS devices called SolForge. The game is a line-based battle CCG with Richard Garfield on the design team. It’s free-to-play, but you can purchase more cards and tournament vouchers as in-app purchases. I was able to fool around with it for a bit, and even try a draft tournament out. It’s very solid, with great art and gameplay. As you use cards they’re discarded, leveled up, and eventually brought back into your hand later. Combining this deck-building mechanic with traditional CCG play is a great combination.

Mantic Games

2493.1.368.368.FFFFFF.0One of my favorite games at the show that I saw was DreadBall from Mantic Games. DreadBall is a sci-fi sports games where players are trying to get a 200mph, weapons-grade ball into one of three goals. There’s a bunch of teams available to purchase and play, and an in-depth set of rules that can scale up or down depending on how complex you want the game to be.

There’s a couple ways to get into the game. There’s the base set, or you can buy one of the rulebooks and a few teams to get started.

I’m by no means a sports fan, but I can’t deny how much fun I had demoing this one.

Mayfair Games

IMG_0581Mayfair had a few things to show, but most has been seen before. What new game I did get to see and demo was Mad City. It’s a light game where you’re drawing 9 random tiles from a bag and trying to group the colors of the city pieces together to score the largest chains before the minute sand-timer runs out. There’s also bonuses for large parks and the longest road. It almost feels like speed Carcassonne where you’re only scoring the farmers. A single round plays and scores in 2-3 minutes, which makes this a great filler game.


Sails of Glory Scenarios Contest

sailsofglroyAres Games is holding a Sails of Glory Scenarios Contest where you can win 12 new ship models. Entries will be accepted untilMay 10th, 2014, and have to conform to the scenario format found in the Sails of Glory Starter Set rulebook and in the Historical Scenarios PDF booklet. Everyone can submit up to 3 scenarios.


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