Boom Boom Balloon makes a game out of popping balloons. The box includes balloons printed with a face, a vice-like device, long blunt-ended pins, and a die. You blow up the balloon, put it in the vice, and roll the die. The die will show a number 1-3, which is the number of clicks you have to press in the pins. The goal, of course, is to keep the balloon from popping as long as possible. It’s really amazing how quickly the tension builds.
With Storage Wars the Game you can pretend to be part of A&E’s reality TV show about buying abandoned storage lockers. Not surprisingly, the main focus of the game is on the auction, but there’s some very interesting mechanics that come before and after, as well. To start off with, it’s the players themselves who fill the lockers with goods. Each gets four tokens representing goods of various quality—for example, a +$500 antique or a -$100 clothing—and secretly places one token in each of the four lockers. Thus each player knows something about the value of each locker, but not everything. After the auction, the total value of a purchased locker may be adjusted according the character played by the person who purchased it. For example, collectibles are more valuable to Barry and furniture is more valuable to Jarrod.
A special version of The Hobbit Stratego should be available in the fall for $20. It will include a two-sided board—one side with the classic Stratego grid, the other with an “Escape from Mirkwood” configuration for a more linear adventure.
Another new licensed property for Spin Master is Monsters University, for which the company is producing a Who’s Behind the Door? character guessing game, a Look-a-Likes matching game, and the LCR dice game in a one-big-eye Mike Wazowski package.
And then there’s the series of variations on Spin Master’s earlier games. Headbanz Act Up requires players to act out what’s posted on each other’s foreheads. Instead of focusing on corporate trivia, Logo Party is more interactive than the original, for example, having players draw the logos. And Fact or Crap Celebrity concentrates the game on stories—true and not—about famous people.