GMT Games is working with HexWar Games on digital versions of Commands & Colors: Ancients and Commands & Colors: Napoleonics. Ancients will launch first in this summer, followed by Napoleonics in the fall or winter. At launch, the games will support PC and Mac. A couple of months later, there’ll be support for iPad. Android support will come eventually, probably.
The previous implementation of Dominion online is no longer. It has been replaced by one from Shuffle iT. Accounts, though, were transferred, supposedly with usernames and passwords intact.
Victory Point Games’ Hunt: The Unknown Quarry recently launched on Steam. It’s a “deductive combat game” for 3-6. One plays a monster trying to escape. The others are hunters. A whole group can play with just one purchased license.
Online accounts for Fantasy Flight Games, Days of Wonder, and Asmodee have been merged. If you had an account, you should have received an email.
Beirut, Lebanon has two escape room locations, Exit Beirut and Escape the Room Lebanon, each with two individual rooms to escape. Also recently opened in Beirut is the game, pop-culture, and comic shop, Multiverse.
On Kickstarter, Keiran Franklin is raising money for a game cafe in Brighton City Centre, UK. At 8BitBoards, customers will be able to play both board games and retro console games.
Game Kingdom Games & Hobbies in Bullhead City, Arizona does sell some board games but is primarily a public play space for tabletop and video games.
Milwaukee-area retailer, Board Game Barrister, is opening its fourth location March 1st in the Mayfair mall. It’ll be a relatively small location for the chain but will still have play space.
Opening soon in Rochester, Minnesota with 1,900 square feet of retail and play space is D6 Games.
BlackWater Roasters and Gaming Cafe opened on the east side of Cleveland last week. It serves pastries, sandwiches, fresh roasted coffee, and of course, board games.
After running pop-up shops, convention booths, and special events, B&E Games recently opened a retail location in San Jose, California.
Back in November I had posted about the release of Asmodee’s Mysterium in the digital realm. I’ve had some time to play the game, and I’m more than impressed!
Let me start off by saying that I had never played Mysterium until recently, so I wasn’t familiar with how great of a game it already way. Asmodee Digital made sure that even complete novices can jump right into the game with a story mode that introduces the elements of play a bit at a time. That, combined with an excellent interface, really makes playing Mysterium a pleasure. Another note here is that I’m playing the PC version through Steam. I haven’t tried the iOS or Android versions of the game.
For those who aren’t familiar with Mysterium is has players taking the role of psychics trying to figure out the person, place, and weapon used to kill the ghost player, who also player controlled. The ghost player can give hints through abstract artwork and the other players have to make their best guesses. Once all the psychics have guessed correctly (each has a different set of “correct” answers) then all the players try to figure out which combination is the correct one with a final round and paintings. It’s a clever game that feels like a mixture of Clue and Dixit.
The digital version of Mysterium let’s you play on either side, though the Story mode dictates what side you play on as it progresses. As with many other table-to-digital games, there’s the usual multiplayer options available to play locally or online, and leader boards to compare yourself to other players.
The Steam version of the game is $9.99 and I highly recommend it. I’ve become a bit addicted to the game, which is part of the reason my review of it is going up later than it should have. If you’d rather carry around the game in your pocket you can snag the iOS and Android versions for $6.99. As of this time you can also grab the Potions expansion for the mobile versions, but not the Steam version.
A Steam copy of Mysterium was provided free for review by Asmodee Digital
Surprising the market, who’s lower expectations for the company were based at least partially on weaker performance by Mattel, Hasbro on Monday reported a 13 percent net revenue growth in 2016. That put the company’s total year revenue over $5 billion for the first time. Following the news, Hasbro’s stock hit a new high and closed up 14 percent.
The company’s performance in the games category was strong. Led by sales of Pie Face and Magic: The Gathering, revenue grew 9 percent year-on-year.
Hasbro’s strongest growth was in its partner brands category, which was up 28 percent on the success of Disney Princess, Disney Frozen, Dreamworks’ Trolls, and Yo-Kai Watch.
On the subject of the company’s largest individual game brand, CEO Brian Goldner reported that 2016 was the 8th straight year of growth for Magic: The Gathering. He also suggested that consumers would start seeing some results from the Magic Digital Next initiative before the end of the year.
Magic Digital Next, which has been an investment for a number of years, and will continue to be a bit of an investment this year because of course late this year you’ll start to see some of the evidence of what the team has been working on as they begin to put that platform out to the market.
Hasbro also revealed an interesting change in its approach to financial reporting:
Beginning with the first quarter, we will no longer report revenue along the boys, games, girls, and preschool categories. Instead, we will provide a revenue breakdown of franchise brands, partner brands, Hasbro Gaming, and emerging brands. We believe this is a more relevant and appropriate view of our business.
Later Monday afternoon, Hasbro announced the appointment of John Frascotti as President of the company—he was previously President of Hasbro Brands. Brian Goldner remains with the company and will serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Play Fair, which began as an open-to-consumers auxiliary event at New York Toy Fair 2016, is moving to a fall show and will take place this year on the weekend of November 4th and 5th. It will remain, though, at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
At the inaugural event last year, 20,000 people attended Play Fair. Among the exhibitors already signed on for this year’s Play Fair are LEGO, ALEX Brands, K’Nex, Snazaroo, SCS Direct, VTech, Mattel, Hasbro, and Safari.
Play Fair is hosted by the Toy Industry Association and LeftField Media.
Our initial exposure to Magic Digital Next came a little over a year ago in a presentation by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. At that time, we saw it only as a new Magic: The Gathering product, albeit a sophisticated one for a range of players. From a new article posted online by Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks, we now learn, though, that Magic Digital Next (though not specifically named in the article) is just one part of a more comprehensive digital strategy update being pursued by WOTC.
Cocks describes “adjustments to and increased investments in our digital teams” as the “biggest move” currently underway at the company. WOTC has created a new Digital Games Studio with significant new outside talent, the existing Magic Online team, and digital art and game design staff.
But these changes don’t pertain just to Magic. Rather, WOTC is looking to apply a digitally integrated experience to all its games (including Dungeons & Dragons), incorporating such elements as augmented-reality games, MMOs, tournament organization, home game management, and other “unexpected settings, genres, and platforms.”
We are reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games… We will bring our characters and worlds to other games and experiences… We will make your Wizards experiences more efficient, connected, and convenient.
Perhaps we might hear more about this initiative from Hasbro leading in to New York Toy Fair.
Back in November, I had posted about the digital release of Colt Express for Steam, Android, and iOS. I finally got a chance to sit down and give the Steam version a try and put it through its paces.
What hit me right off the bat was how thematic the digital port is. Just like the tabletop version, the digital version is just oozing with that western train robbery theme. Initially, you’re brought into the tutorial which pretty much covers anything you need to know about playing the game, all while getting you familiarized with the interface and how things work. Everything is extremely streamlined and easy-to-follow.
Colt Express gives you pretty much what you’d expect in a digital tabletop port. You can play the game against other people, play online, and play against the computer in Classic Mode. What really makes the game shine is its Story Mode, a single player campaign with 6 playable characters and over 30 different missions. It’s a bit more rewarding that just playing the game over and over with bots.
It seems that digital tabletop adaptations are getting better and better, and Colt Express really shines. It’s certainly not a hastily thrown together port, but a finely crafted, polished game that’s worth every cent. If you’re a fan of Colt Express, there’s no reason for you not to snag this now. If you’ve never played Colt Express, I can’t think of any better way to give the game a shot and familiarize yourself with it.
If you’d like to see how the game actually played, I recently streamed myself through the tutorial.
A Steam copy of Colt Express was provided free for review by Asmodee Digital.
New fellowships are available for research at the The Strong’s National Museum of Play. The idea is to support researchers accessing the museum’s library; collection of toy, doll, and game artifacts; and video and electronic game resources. The G. Rollie Adams Research Fellowships will provide academic professionals, independent scholars, museum scholars, and advanced graduate students at the masters or doctorate level with $500 per-week stipends. Applications are due April 20th.
The latest RPG deals at Bundle of Holding include Cthulhu Britannica (Call of Cthulhu scenarios set in Great Britain from Cubicle 7), Cubicle 7 Worlds (Qin, Keltia, Kuro, and Yggdrasill), and Family-Friendly RPGs +2 (Lone Wolf, Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, and No Thank You, Evil).
Modiphius Entertainment is giving away a package that includes the core rulebook of every one of the company’s games: Achtung! Cthulhu, Mutant Chronicles, Symbaroum, Mutant: Year Zero, and more.
Mama’s Mission is giving away three sets of four games from Wonder Forge: Stick Stack, Suspicion, Really Bad Art, and Dr. Seuss Whirly Fun.
When it’s too late to ship in time for Christmas, that’s when the digital products go on-sale:
For 25% off purchases from Breaking Games, use coupon code “NEWYEAR”.
Everything Board Games is giving away two copies of Undermine from Gizco International and one copy of Demon Espionage 5tails Studio. Also giving away a $50 game gift card but really a gift, meaning it goes to someone nominated by the person entering the giveaway.
Renegade Game Studios is giving away Snow Tails.