Jack the Ripper

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThinkFun is giving away a prize pack of Code Master, Math Dice, and other stuff.

For an extra 20% off clearance items from Toys “R” Us, use coupon code “CLEARANCE”.

DriveThruRPG is running a sale on Cthulhu mythos titles.

The Cardboard Republic is giving away Vast: The Crystal Caverns from Leder Games.

Purchase issues 83 or 84 of Compass Games’ Paper Wars magazine, or subscribe for issues 85-88, to get 35% off any in-stock game with coupon code “PAPERWARS”.

Cryptozoic is giving away a bunch of Batman stuff. Among the stuff are Batman Fluxx, Batman Love Letter, DC Comics cad sleeves, a full set of DC Comics Mighty Meeples, and Batman vs. Joker Rivals DC Comics Deck Building Game.

The latest Bundle of Holding is for Tribe 8, the post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG from Dream Pod 9.

Courtesy of Game Salute, WashingCon (an upcoming convention in D.C.) is giving away free games to the first 1,000 attendees. I’ll be at the show on Sunday. Maybe leave one for me?

Actualol is giving away a copy of Dead of Winter: The Long Night from Plaid Hat Games.

Mox Boarding House and Card Kingdom, local shops in the Seattle area, are holding their annual Labor Day Sale with discounts of 15-75%.

Tiffany is going to give away “games and accessories and what-not” when she reaches 4,000 followers on Twitter and 800 on Instagram.

Wizards of the Coast is taking suggestions for Magic: The Gathering Cube lists. Selected submissions get four complete digital non-premium sets of Kaladesh and 1,000 play points in Magic Online.

Geek Fever Games Avoid the Void Crowd Sale

287ded728b0e5afd244bb33d40629404c679915aYou may remember me posting about Avoid the Void, Geek Fever Games’ chaotic sci-fi game, shortly after PAX East this year. It ended up falling a bit short on its Kickstarter campaign, but Geek Fever has another way to get the excellent game into players’ hands. Avoid the Void is now currently up for Crowd Sale on The Game Crafter. For the next 7 days you can pre-order the game starting at $42. The more people who pre-order it, the lower the price gets. If 100 people pre-order, the price will only be $30.

I’ve enjoyed all the games I’ve played from Geek Fever, but Avoid the Void is one of my favorites. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, so I’m hoping more people will to knock my out-of-pocket down a bit.

If you’re on the fence you can check the game out for free on Tabletop Simulator. Just head on over to the Steam page to subscribe to the module.

Gen Con 2016—Cryptozoic

Gen Con 2016 logoRecognition for best demo of the show, maybe ever, goes to Sharang Biswas in the Cryptozoic booth for his simultaneously hilarious and very informative run-through of the game he co-designed, Mad Science Foundation ($25). It’s a game about evil geniuses collaborating on the allocation of resources—cryptomium, lasers, dark matter, and sharks—as they build their dastardly inventions. Each turn, one player divides the resources in to bundles that the other players choose. Along the way, special minions can be recruited to help, such as the Sassy AI, the Spy, and the Truckload O’ Cash.

The next demo at Crytozoic’s booth was Poker Assault ($20) a head-to-head battle game played with poker hands. The cards are pretty much standard playing cards but each player has their own themed deck—vampire court, wolf pack, alien invaders, or rocket patrol—and certain cards provide thematically appropriate special powers.

Cryptozoic was also showing two new games based on the animated series, Rick and Morty. The Total Rickall Card Game ($15) takes on an episode where parasites manifest as fake memories. The Mr. Meeseeks’ Box O’ Fun Game of Dice & Dares ($40) is a dice allocation game with an action element. That is, players roll dice to complete certain patterns but if they’re unable to complete a pattern they can draw a Meeseeks card for help or even a out-of-game dare card (e.g., call a friend) for additional points.

Internal Affairs ($20) is a kind-of hidden-role deduction game previously released overseas that Cryptozoic has brought to the United States. The goal is to out two players from either the police or triad team, where a player’s team is determined by the majority of three Identity cards in front them. To get them to turn over an Identity card, though, requires other players to guess one of the numbered code cards in front of them. Various special action cards are also involved, including some that allow players to switch teams by exchanging Identity cards.

Kickstarter Preview—Underlings of Underwing

Alisha Volkman’s Underlings of Underwing won The Learning Game Challenge from The Game Crafter earlier this year, earning it the right to be considered for publication by The Pericles Group. It’s a worker placement game where you’re trying to hatch dragon eggs using colored crystals. TPG is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund publication of the game.

I’ve gotten a chance to play Underwing and, even though it’s a light worker-placement game, I was surprised how meaty it actually felt. There’s plenty of choices to make on how you want your workers spending their time. Workers can be placed in the fields to collect gems each turn, moving forward on the track if left to their own devices. Workers can be placed in the tower to get a White gem, but must return to the break room after, effectively taking them out of a round. Workers can also be placed on an egg to claim it for a player for points and a positive buff when it hatches.

That brings me to another cool part of the game. Dragons can be hatched in the wild, meaning no one has claimed them when their gem slots are filled. These dragons stay on the board blocking the space they’re in and triggering a negative action. If the board fills up with wild dragons it’s game over. Sometimes these wild dragons will cause other wild dragons to hatch, setting off nasty chain reactions with heavy consequences.

Hatching isn’t a simple as it seems on the surface. Each dragon requires gems to hatch. Gems come in 8 colors: primary colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue, secondary colors: Orange, Green,  and Purple, and Black and White. Primary colors can be mixed to create gems of secondary colors. One of each primary color or secondary color can be mixed to create a Black gem. White gems can only be obtained through a random draw from the gem back, or from placing a worker in the tower. This mechanic gives players a lot of flexibility when infusing eggs, but requires careful planning with your workers to be effective.

The game ends after a set number of rounds depending on the number of players. At the end of the game dragons are scored to determine the victor.

My kids and I really enjoyed Underwing, especially my 9-year-old daughter. The game states ages 12+ on the box, but my 6-year-0ld had no trouble playing after a few rounds with a little help. I’m really looking forward to what a full, professionally printed copy will look like, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Until then, I’m sure we’ll wear out this prototype copy that I have.

There’s a lot of game in Underwing’s tiny box, and a $29 pledge will guarantee you once excellent game when the project funds. There’s only one mystery stretch goal right now, but I have a feeling we’ll see that revealed soon. There’s also an add-on play mat, which I don’t currently have, that looks amazing.

If you’re interested in learning more about the game, check out the Kickstarter page or watch the How-to-Play video below.

A prototype version of Underlings of Underwing was provided free by The Pericles Group for this preview.

scarytailsThe second game in Asmodee’s StoryLine series, Scary Tales, will be hitting shelves in time for Halloween this October. Scary Tales will be a stand-alone game, but is fully compatible with StoryLine: Fairy Tales. This new boxed set includes 30 new narrator cards and 100 new illustrated story cards, all with spooky themes like vampires, mad scientists, mysterious swamps, haunted chapel, and more.

I had a blast with Storyline: Fairy Tales with the kids, and can’t wait to get Scary Tales mixed in for a little holiday fun.



Final Act

Final Act designer Sharon Katz was a tank commander. On a challenge from a gamer buddy, he came up with Final Act, a tactical tank game with simultaneous play, no dice, and no charts. The game is pretty much laid out bare on the Kickstarter page if you’re looking to see how it’s played.

I don’t know how I didn’t hear about this one sooner. It looks great, both physically and mechanically. The campaign only has a few days to go, and still a bit before it’s funded.  $40 will get you the game if it reaches its goal,  and higher pledges will get you multiple copies of the game, or a copy of the designer’s previous game, Elementos.

Downtown Dice & GamesLas Vegas’ version of a game cafe is Milk Teaze, where the tea, juice, and board games are served by women in lingerie.

Good Games, a chain of game shops with 25 locations in Australia, is opening its first in the United States. The store will be located in downtown Indianapolis, just around the corner from the convention center.

Retailer Downtown Dice & Games opened last month in Great Falls, Montana.

Molino Lounge, part of the Loungers chain, is opening up in the restored Old Town Hall of Oldham (Manchester area, UK), with an alcohol license but a family-friendly atmosphere, including newspapers, a book-swap, and board games.

Pawns and Pints, a game cafe planned for Kansas City, has already singed a lease in the Crossroads area but is raising money on Kickstarter to stock its board game library.

While looking for a location for Meeples Cafe and Games, a husband and wife pair are hosting Thursday night game events at Toolry in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Black Rabbit bar in Brooklyn has some of its own board games but also encourages patrons to bring their own and occasionally hosts tournaments.

Boards to Bytes

Ascension VR screenshot

Ascension VR (Steam, Rift, or Gear VR) allows play of the deck-building game in a three-dimensional virtual environment with avatars representing the moves (and head motions) of other players.

Indie Boards & Cards’ bluffing game, Coup, is now available for Android. It can be played online cross-platform or in practice mode against AI.

Czech Game Edition expects to release a digital version of Codenames this year with online play available at launch.

A PC version of Ogre is in development by Auroch Digital. Steve Jackson’s game of nuclear-powered, armored combat should hit Steam in late 2017. It’ll be a hex and turn-based adaptation.

Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG, is now available on PlayStation 4.

Ubisoft has new Battleship and Risk games for XBox.

Ubisoft is also doing a version of Uno for XBox One, Playstation 4, and PC with voice and video chat.

The new The Game of Life 2016 Edition, available on iOS and Android, has full and fast-play modes.

Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy, already on iOS, will soon be available for Android and PC.

New Pokémon TCG Sun & Moon Set Introduces GX Cards

While Pokémon Sun & Moon will be out in November for the Nintendo 3DS, Pokémon TCG players will have to wait until early 2017 to get their hands on the new set that features the all-new Pokémon.

It may be well worth the wait, as it was announced today that the new set will introduce Pokémon-GX cards. Pokémon-GX will have new attack and devastating attacks that can alter the game. The trick is that a player can’t use more than one GX attack in a game. Not one GX attack per Pokémon. One per game.

Each Pokémon-GX has a devastating GX attack that can instantly reverse a player’s disadvantage or create an early-game advantage. A player can’t use more than one GX attack in a game, so deciding which GX attack to use and when poses a strategic challenge. Other than that GX Pokémon are similar to EX Pokémon. They have high HP, powerful attacks, and earn the player that defeats them two prize cards.

The Legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala, who appear on the covers of the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon  games, will be featured in the Sun & Moon expansion as Pokémon-GX.


The Sol Burst-GX attack allows a player to attach up to 5 Energy cards from their deck to their Pokémon in any way they like, making it a powerful attack that’s useful for super Energy acceleration.


The Lunar Fall-GX attack lets a player immediately Knock Out any of their opponent’s Basic Pokémon

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