MIND-The Fall of Paradise

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.

Nestlē Candy Games

nerds-dancin-dice-gameNestlē’s candy brands will be getting the game treatment via license with Intex Entertainment. Look out this fall for games based on Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, SweeTARTS, Butterfinger, and more. One of those planned is Nerds Dancin’ Dice Game, which looks to be something like Pass the Pigs, with little plastic Nerd figures replacing dice and the goal to roll them in to certain positions.



Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresNeil Scallon of the U.K. claims a world-record collection 2,500 copies of Monopoly but also says he hasn’t played a board game in 20 years.

Sota Fujii, a 14 year-old middle school student from Aichi Prefecture, Japan, has achieved 4th dan status, breaking the record for youngest professional Shogi player ever.

Brett Smitheram of the U.K. took home the trophy, a €7,000 grand prize, and a kiss to the feet at the World Scrabble Championship in Lille, France. His win was secured with 176 points from the play of “braconid” (a species of wasp) for a bingo on a triple word score.

Londoners commemorated the Great Fire of London with the toppling of 23,000 dominoes strung through 4 miles of city streets, markets, pubs, gardens, and a church.

With a win at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis (and its $75,000 prize), Wesley So of the United States is nearly assured of also taking the top prize for the entire Grand Chess Tour. That is, unless maybe Magnus Carlsen decides to step back in for the London Chess Classic in December after finishing the World Chess Championship.

The winner of the 40th World Chess Solving Championship (a tournament of solving Chess puzzles) held in Belgrade, Serbia was Zaur Mammadov of Azerbaijan. The second place winner was also from Azerbaijan.

Draughts also finished a World Championship of Problems recently, with Alexander Moiseyev of the United States in first place.

The winner of the 2016 Magic: The Gathering World Championship, Brian Braun-Duin of Virginia, was described by WOTC as having taken the “everyman’s journey to the top.” “Grinding” through tournament tours, he had set himself a goal of Grand Prix Master for this season but managed to trump that, going home with the big trophy.

At the 2016 World Championship Domino Tournament hosted by the Andalusia (Alabama) Rotary Club, the winner, Jerry Baker, was from nearby Ozark, Alabama. In fact, all the winners were from the Southeast United States.

A world record for the largest circle field of dominoes (76,017 toppled) was set in Westland, Michigan, along with the U.S. record for total dominoes toppled (242,518). A team of 18 spent 10 days setting up the feat.

Three retirees from China finishing on top of the 11th Austrian Mahjong Open was seen as something of a comeback after an embarrassing showing at the Open Mahjong Championship 2 years ago in France, where the highest placed competitor from China came in 30th.

It was an Austrian, Wolfgang Leitner, who won the 2016 FISTF World Cup in Belgium, where 500 competitors gathered to play table football (Subbuteo).

In first place at the 41st Backgammon World Championship was Jörgen Granstedt of Sweden.

At the European Rubik’s Cube Championship, Feliks Zemdegs of Australia set seven world records, including one for solving a 7×7 in 2 minutes, 20.66 seconds. At the PSU Open, August 28th in Novopolotsk, Belarus, Roman Strakhov of Russia set a world record by solving a 5×5 Rubik’s Cube, blindfolded in 5 minutes, 1.40 seconds. Just a few days later, however, at the SPB Championship, September 4th in St. Petersburg, Roman bested himself by finishing the 5×5 blindfolded in just 4 minutes, 55.63 seconds.

And the winner of the Pentamind World Championship was Andres Kuusk—his fourth time! The Pentamind is a meta-event, incorporating multiple games of one Chess variant, Scrabble, Go, Poker, and Backgammon.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTwo sales are currently running at DriveThruRPG. The first, leading off a series of system sales, is on 13th Age titles, including 40% off the 13th Age Core Book. The second is on Raging Swan 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons products, which are all 20% off.

Eagle Games is running an Oldies But Goodies Sale, including such classics as Incan Gold, Can’t Stop, and Sleuth at about 25% off.

Amazon deals:

The newest deal at Bundle of Holding is for Dragon Warriors, a British fantasy RPG with easy gameplay but a tough life for characters. Also running are two for Mutants & Masterminds. The first covers the core rulebook and early supplements. The second features most of the more recent books.

Submit a short video (up to 3:00 minutes) related to Subbuteo, the tabletop football (soccer) game, for a chance to win up to 400€ in Subbuteo product. Winning videos will be chosen by public vote (YouTube likes).

Sahm Reviews is giving away Rollers from USAopoly.

Mail4Rosey is giving away two copies of Melvin & Simon from Funnybone Toys.

Nine to Three Thirty is giving away Logo What Am I? from Drumond Park (UK residents only).

Disney Tsum Tsum Bubble Fever

Disney Tsum Tsum Bubble FeverBased on the cute, stackable stuffed toys, Disney Tsum Tsum Bubble Fever from Wonder Forge is a fast-play card game in the same vein as Ligretto or Dutch Blitz. As with those, a major part of the game is to throw down cards on matching stacks. What’s different with Bubble Fever, though, is that the goal is to accumulate cards, not to get rid of them. To claim a stack, players use their bubble cards.



Releasing December of this year, Element is a strategy game for 2-4 players where each player is trying to surround their opponent’s Sage using Element stones. Each element has unique properties to block opponents in different ways, and elements on the board can  be changed into different elements using a Rule of Replacement. Learning the strategies behind each element type, and when to replace or sacrifice stones, is the key to victory.

Elements will retail for $34.99, is for 2-4 players, and plays in around 30 minutes.


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.

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.

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