Modern board games are games created after 1900 or so, including early games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, to the latest games from Europe and around the world.


Carcassonne Under the Big Top

It’s a circus of Carcassonne expansions with this, the 10th, Under the Big Top, where the focus is on scoring points through interactions with adjacent tiles.

Included in Under the Big Top ($20 retail) are 40 new tiles, animal tokens, ringmaster meeples, and a wood big-top piece. Circus tiles give points both to the meeples on them and to those on adjacent tiles. Acrobat tiles score multiple meeples, with new ones stacked in a pyramid when tiles are placed adjacent. And ringmaster meeples are placed as normal but score bonus points for adjacent circus and acrobat tiles.

ASTRA 2017—Breaking Games

A recent release by Breaking Games, Aura ($25) turns four individual decks of numbered cards in to a head-to-head tactical battle game. Opponents’ cards are arrayed against each other with higher numbers eliminating lower numbers and certain cards empowered with special effects, such as trumps and blocking ability.

Coming in the fourth quarter of this year is Kawaii ($10), a Japanese/English crossover card game that’s essentially the same as Poop, except for a few extra action cards and more poop emojis.

Then just into 2018, Breaking Games plans to ship Convert ($30), a wood piece, three-dimensional abstract played in two dimensions. That is, though the pieces are blocks and when placed must be considered in three dimensions, the goal of four-in-a-row applies only when viewed from above.

Real Life Travel Bingo

In this season of long road trips, this modern variant on a family classic serves up humorous diversion with such spaces as “Someone is Carsick”, “Curse Word”, “Nose Picked”, “Weird Smell”, and “Pee Emergency”. Real Life Travel Bingo from Uncle Andy Toys retails for $10 and comes with three of the 5×5 cards, complete with the traditional little sliding windows.

 

Upper Deck’s Legendary deck-building game is getting a digital version (iOS, Android, and Steam). Legendary DXP will feature a new fantasy setting, solo and match play, and a “gauntlet” mode for 5-player competitions and weekly leagues.

Magic: The Gathering is also due for a new digital version, this time in the form of a MMORPG from Cryptic Studios.

Codename Entertainment has licensed Dungeons & Dragons for a clicker game, Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. The game will take players on a quest through the Sword Coast region and will feature at launch two characters from the Force Grey streaming series. Updates and additional features, including a tie-in to the Tomb of Annihilation, are scheduled to occur monthly.

For the hard-core board gamer, the Board Game Stats app, useful for tracking one’s collection and logging games played, is now available on Android.

Ports of solitaire favorite Friday are now available on Android and iOS.

Race for the Galaxy, already available on Android and iOS, is now also good on PC via Steam ($7). It can be played against AI or cross-platform multiplayer. Both the Gathering Storm and Rebel vs Imperium expansions are available as add-ons at $4 each.

Asmodee Digital has launched Spot It! on mobile as Spot It! Duel: A Dobble Game (Android and iOS). In this digital form, as players progress through various arenas, they collect Dobble characters, who convey special powers. Spot It! Duel is free-to-play, with in-app purchases.

The Renegade Games Companion App has been upgraded with support for Clank! Sunken Treasures. And another game from Renegade has been announced by Dire Wolf Digital. Lotus, the game about assembling flowers from individual petals, is due on Android and iOS later this summer.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesEverything is 10% off in Victory Point Games’ Summer Sale.

GameSpot’s Trek in the Tropics sweepstakes will give out five prize packages of Star Trek: Attack Wing products from WizKids, which I’m sure you want more than the Star Trek-themed cruise for two.

Free shipping on promotional items purchased direct from Portal Games, this month only.

Giveaways:

Hot Jobs

Mattel in Frankfurt, Germany has an opportunity for a Marketing Intern – Brand Activation Games to support the company at Essen Internationale Spieltage, test and proofread prototypes, plan advertising, manage social media, and conduct market research.

Wizards of the Coast is recruiting for a Senior Game Designer to join Magic: The Gathering’s R&D team. Requires 3+ years design experience, passion for MtG, ability to lead teams, and familiarity with other CCGs.

Spin Master is looking for someone crafty, outgoing, and comfortable with social media to fill the role of Sand Castle Maker. The position is a 1 year, $50,000 contract to build “imaginative creations” with Kinetic Compounds. Must make at least one video a week, with children.

CENTRA Technology, a consulting firm in Arlington, Virginia (just outside D.C.), has an opening for a Wargame Analyst. The job of the analyst is to organize and implement simulations and exercises involving such topics as space policy, military technology, cybersecurity, and regional affairs.

Goliath Games in Plano, Texas needs a Graphic Designer to design game packaging and layout instruction manuals and game boards. Five or more years of experience is required.

Andromeda Simulations International, which runs board game based training programs on business, finance, and strategy, needs a Marketing Director. The goal is to “focus on solution design and content development,” such as blogging, social media campaigns, email campaigns, and trade shows and conferences.

Cartamundi has a number of openings at its board game manufacturing plant in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Some are shift-based production positions. Others are for IT and logistics.

Four-day badges for Gen Con’s 50th anniversary event (August 17-20 in Indianapolis) have sold out. Individual-day passes are still available but are also expected to sell out shortly. Gen Con has already decided not to sell additional day-passes on-site and instead will use the hall registration space to speed up the will-call line.

For those who do have passes and perhaps consider the crowds and chaos a geeky-romantic venue, Gen Con has an official wedding planner and has set aside times (with corresponding event IDs) for vow-renewal ceremonies and actual weddings.

ThinkFun has acquired the rights to Khet: The Laser Game and is planning to relaunch it in November as Laser Chess (retail price $40). Though the Egyptian theme will be replaced by standard Chess pieces, ThinkFun says gameplay will be unchanged.

Khet was previously published by Innovation Toys, which had won a patent infringement lawsuit against MGA Entertainment for its game Laser Battle. ThinkFun also sells a laser-based challenge puzzle, Laser Maze.

ASTRA 2017—Mayfair Games

Mayfair’s latest title, Barenpark ($42), tasks players with fitting together various polyomino tiles (similar to Tetris shapes or the pieces from Mayfair’s own game, Patchwork) to build out individual bear zoos.

The challenge in this one comes not so much from fitting the pieces on the board—there are plenty of smaller two-square and one-square pieces to fill the holes—but in figuring out the best order of pieces to take and spaces to fill. Some but not all tiles come with victory points. And for some of those, as with achievements that vary each game, the victory point value decreases with each tile taken. At the same time, covering certain board spaces enables a player to draw additional tiles, take another board, or get access to higher value pieces.

ASTRA 2017—North Star Games

North Star’s next party game is Blurble. Expected in September at a retail price of $20, Blurble combines The Name Game with the difficulty of saying one word while looking at a picture of something else.

The game includes 348 illustrated cards and each time one is pulled, all the players try to be the first one to name an object that begins with the same first letter as the pictured item. The tricky part, of course, is not blurting out the name of the pictured item itself.

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