Batman Fluxx

LOO-067+cardsA lot of people are excited about Adventure Time Fluxx, which hits shelves on July 31st. How is it that I didn’t hear about Batman Fluxx until just now? Coming out August 7th, this version of Fluxx is based off the best incarnation of The Dark Knight yet…Batman: The Animated Series. Put out by both Looney Labs and Cryptozoic, the artwork I’ve seen already has me pining for the day of my youth.

Mark Hamill will always be my Joker. Kevin Conroy, my Batman.

This is a version of Fluxx that will most certainly be added to my shelves. Even at $20, which seems a bit high for Fluxx, I’ll still snag it just for the theme.

Second Look—Dimension

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I was really excited when Kosmos reached out to me and offered to send a game to review. With the current lineup that I saw at Toy Fair, my mind was buzzing with what game they were going to send me. When I received Dimension I thought, “OK. Not what I would have chosen, but at least I haven’t played it before.”

I kind of wish I didn’t play it at all.

As a puzzle game, it’s not too bad. That’s all there is to it. It’s multiplayer solitaire, and I’m just not a fan of this type of game. Cards are drawn which dictate the rules to how your colored balls have to be placed, and you have a specific amount of time to stack them and follow the rules. Points are scored based on now well you follow the rules, and the amount of balls you use.

Overall it just felt kind of flat as a multiplayer game, though it kept my kids busy when I set out a set of cards and set them to the task by themselves.

I’ve found the game for around $30 at it’s cheapest online, and I’m not sure if its really worth that price.

A copy of Dimension was provided free for review by Kosmos.

Crowdfunding Highlights

It is natural to think of Kickstarter when hearing “crowdfunding”, especially for people who love to play games. As a platform to raise funds for a project, Kickstarter is great, but what if you want to support a creator in his or her ongoing work? For that, we turn to Patreon. At the site, creators can list what they’re creating and what they’ll be paid for. Patrons choose how much they’ll give per work created, which is paid monthly, and can cap their monthly patronage.

3d printed archwayBrent Newhall is creating 3D printable miniature files. Each release includes at least “one 3D-printable miniature as an STL file” that can be used to produce the miniature(s). The files will be released free to download and edited by other 3D modelers. Don’t have a 3D printer? At the $5 per miniature patron level, Brent will print and mail you miniatures.

James E. Shields is creating stock art for RPGs. In this Patreon, he’ll draw quarter-page illustrations based on submissions suggestions from his patrons. Once created, the artwork is available for use, royalty-free. All of James’ listed patronage levels include the ability to suggest subjects for future illustrations.

Daniel Solis is creating vector icons for use in board game and roleplaying game design. He releases a set of black and white icons in .eps format under a Creative Commons CC-BY license allowing you to do what you will with the icons. (“Be free, icons!”) Daniel suggests a $5 patronage level, but at $20, he provides access to several “tips, tutorials, and templates to make your layout jobs a bit easier”.

daniel solis game icons

Tracy Barnett is creating small games and stories. With a goal of 2-4 creations a month (“microgame, short story, or collection of a few flash stories”), Tracy also provides audio files to support the creations: actual play recordings and audio commentary tracks. Also included is a look at the development of the Patreon’s creations. Tracy suggests a $2 per creation patronage level.

Starlit Citadel is using Patreon to fund their board game review series. The video series comes from a Canada-based online game store and has become rather popular as a gaming review series. However, that’s worked to their disadvantage as the majority of viewers (85.7%) are outside of Canada, and “the amount of sales the videos have generated for the store does not justify the expense of the videos.” Rather than end the series, the store turned to Patreon to fund a season four. While the company has reached its funding goal of $450 per episode, any additional amount pledged will go directly to improving the series by purchasing better equipment, arranging for a special episode with a guest star, or being able to improve the production values. They offer a $1 patronage level.

Are you a Patreon creator and would like to let us know about your project? Contact thomas@purplepawn.com and tell us about it!

Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresMonopoly

At the Australian National Monopoly Championships, the winner was student Tony Shaw, who says that being a nice guy in negotiations was key to his success.

Scrabble

From the 55 teams of 4th-8th graders competed in the North American School Scrabble Championship at Hasbro’s headquarters in Rhode Island, it was Noah Kalus of New Paltz, New York and Zach Ansell of Los Angeles, California who claimed the trophies, computers, and $10,000 prizes. They won their final game 587-331. Noah and Zach were introduced by their common coach and played together online before teaming up together for the first time at last year’s championship.

Rubik’s Cube

Powerhouse Cuber Feliks Zemdegs, on the way to winning the Canberra Autumn, broke the world record for a one-handed solve of the 3×3 cube in 6.88 seconds.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesNoble Knight Games’ Spring Sale means everything is discounted a minimum of 10%.

At Amazon:

Passport Games is giving away Kingsport Festival and Provincia Romana.

The Review Wire is giving away Cauldron Quest from Peaceable Kingdom.

Mama Smith’s Review Blog is giving away Crazy Cereal from Education Insights.

Go da Cheese

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In a large mansion, a team of mice is prepared to feast on the cheese in the fridge. The cats are excited to go after their prey, blind to the fact that the dogs are lurking behind…

In this quick mini card game just introduced at the Game Market Tokyo by OKAZU brand, each player leads a team of mice, cats and dogs to sabotage one another’s mission of scoring the most victory points. The cheese cards are placed in a circular fashion on the table, and players take turns to place animal cards next to the cheese, with some of these cards being placed face-down. The player who catches the most foes and eats the most cheese (no pun intended) wins.

Go da Cheese plays 3 to 5 players in about 15 minutes. It is now available at a retail price of 1,800 Yen (before tax).

Pokémon TCG: Mega Latios Collection

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The Mega Latios Collections hits store shelves in July, and is what we’ve come to expect from these collections. It’ll include:

  • 1 detailed figure of Mega Latios
  • 4 Pokémon TCG booster packs
  • 1 never-before-seen foil promo card featuring Latios
  • 1 code card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

I’m a big fan of these collections, as they make great gifts for any Pokémon TCG player. With a retail for $19.99, they’re great to snag the special card, and still get enough cards where the price is totally justified.

dc-comics-logoCryptozoic Entertainment’s superhero deck building game set in the DC universe is getting a new expansion pack this summer. The Legion of Superheroes Pack #3 will feature founding members of the original organization, including Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy and more. Villains will include the likes of Time Trapper, Emerald Empress, and the Persuader. Plus, find new equipment, super powers, and locations to increase your options.

The 22-card set includes a new game mechanic called “Time Travel” that can be played in the line-up or on the Super Villain stack at the cost of discarding a card.

The expansion pack includes the following:

  • 22 game cards (eight Super Villains and 14 main deck cards)
  • 6 oversized superhero cards
  • 1 Rules card

The DC Comics Deck Building Game: Crossover Pack #3: Legion of Superheroes will retail for $10 and is expected to ship this July.

MegaGames in North America

May 23, 2014: The day the world discovered the Megagame.

Megagame from DigitalTrends.com

Watch the Skies, mid-game.

That day, the crew at Shut Up & Sit Down posted a slightly NSFW video of them participating in a daylong game that was a blend between a LARP and a boardgame. The game in question was Watch the Skies, designed and developed by Jim Wallman. Think Model United Nations and throw in an alien invasion: teams of players are various national powers, an alien force, or the global media. What do the aliens want? What will the various nations do to achieve their goals? Since Shut Up & Sit Down’s video recap of their time as Japan went live nearly a year ago, the video has been watched over seventy thousand times, inspiring Megagame events all around the world.

The games themselves originally were run by Megagame Makers, a small group of friends who began creating and running these games for large groups in the 1980s. Eighteen designers have developed over 110 different scenarios since. Yet it was Watch the Skies that seems to have led the invasion into the United States. Derek Porter launched Maine MegaGames to host a Watch the Skies game. He says that while many of the participants hadn’t heard of the SU&SD review, what really generated interest was the XCOM premise. For his inagural event, thirty-two people attended mostly from the greater Bangor area, which has a population of nearly 154,000. “The main reason that these events are able to bring in decent crowds is largely due to the established gaming communities in Maine,” he says. “There are several large groups that are all somewhat interconnected, in large part to the SnowCon convention and, oddly enough, the Magic: the Gathering communities.” He has received messages from interested players across New England and expects between forty and fifty players for this summer’s game.

Global News Regina

The Alien delegation prepares to address the nations of the world.

Watch the Skies has been played across North America: Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, Orono (Maine), Portland (Oregon), and Regina (Saskatchewan); and upcoming games — with scenario changes to allow for repeat players — in several of those same locations. Sengoku, a political game featuring several clans vying to ensure their survival and possibly dominance in 16th century Japan, has been played in Sacramento, CA, and will be played in Saratosa, FL, on July 26th.

Sengoku is available as a free download from the Megagame Makers website. Watch the Skies, Lost Youth (a game based on the Vietnam War), and Crisis in Brittania (the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD) are available for purchase at PastPapers.co.uk.

The popularity of these large-scale LARP-like board games have inspired others to create their own. The Cleveland Megagame Council created a Cold War scenario called “A Good Understanding” which had 52 players (6 Control) attending. Maine MegaGames is planning on creating original megagames, “including one based loosely on Game of Thrones.” New York-based MegaGame Society is developing an even bigger Watch the Skies titled Watch the Stars, an even based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and games based on H. P. Lovecraft’s and Jane Austen’s writings (two separate games here, but a mashup would be fantastic). After playing a version of Watch the Skies in a high school game design class, the students at Hargrave High School in Huffman, Texas, designed their own game, ALLIANCE: World Wide Crisis.

sengoku

West Coast Megagames’ Sengoku map

Megagames in North America, roughly east to west:

Maine Megagames is gearing up for their second Watch the Skies event this summer (June 13, Orono) and are developing a Game of Thrones-like event.

Boston event this weekend! MegaGames United will be running Watch the Skies at Knight Moves Cafe, Boston’s first boardgame cafe, on May 24th. Another Watch the Skies event will be held in late October. (Reddit discussion.)

Sarasota, Florida‘s The Dark Side (a comic book and game store) will be running Sengoku on July 26. (Facebook event page.)

A cryptic alien note from MegaGame Society's Watch the Skies game.

A cryptic alien note from MegaGame Society’s Watch the Skies game. What can it mean?

The MegaGame Society is running two Watch the Skies events this summer new players. One on June 27th in Brooklyn, NY, and one on July 26th in Long Island, NY. They also have an instructional video about organizing and running a megagame in your own community. The organization will also run Watch the Skies in Chicago on June 6th. (Reddit discussion of Chicago event.)

Cleveland Megagame Council ran A Good Understanding last year and are planning “the next exciting Cleveland game event”. A “friend of the council” in the Cleveland area is developing a Prohibition-era game, currently looking for playtesters. (Details in CMC’s newsletter.)

In March, SaskGames ran Watch the Skies in Regina and was featured on Global News Regina (Video: Mentioned in the opening with coverage beginning at the 4:56 mark.)

West Coast MegaGames, formerly Sacramento Megagames, has run Sengoku in January, and are planning on re-running the scenario and Watch the Skies this year. They are currently looking at additional cities in California, Oregon, and Washington to host their next games.

Additional Links:

Shut Up & Sit Down play Watch the Skies (NSFW: “contains megaswars”) 

Shut Up & Sit Down play Watch the Skies 2 (two-parter, 300 players!): Part 1, Part 2

Megagame discussion on Reddit

Megagame Makers

(Images in this article are from West Coast MegaGames, Global News Regina, DigitalTrends.com, and MegaGame Society.)

Dark Future was a post-apocalyptic automotive-combat board game that Games Workshop published in the late 1980s. It also represents the latest GW property to be adopted for PC. The game is being developed by Auroch Digital for release sometime before the end of the year.

A turn-based strategy game with real-time action, Dark Future: Blood Red States will have players running Sanctioned Ops agencies, customizing their vehicles, and executing contracts.

Dark Future Blood Red States

[via Game Debate]

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