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.


Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresA group from France beat out a field of 64 teams to win the Hide-and-Seek World Championship. The event was held in the abandoned town of Consonno, Italy.

In one game at the Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, Dana Reizniece-Ozola defeated the Women’s World Champion, Hou Yifan, despite being ranked 400 Elo points lower. Dana is no stranger to such lofty achievements, however. At 34 years of age, she is a longtime Chess competitor , holds graduate degrees in Translation & Terminology and Business Administration (in addition to further graduate studies in Law, International Business, and Aerospace Management), can speak six languages, and is also the Finance Minister of Latvia.

Grandmaster Timur Gareyev broke the world record for consecutive games of blindfold Chess. In fact, most of the 64 games (54 wins, 8 losses, 2 draws) he played while pedaling an exercise bicycle.

After declaring Monopoly an official sport, the Lagos State Sport Commission of Nigeria hosted a world record 1,300 people playing Monopoly at the same time in a single venue. That achievement was recorded at the state’s Under-17 Monopoly Championship, where also Elizabeth Braimoh of Top Field College took home the trophy and a NGN600,000 education grant prize (about $2,000).

Eight winners secured second interviews at an annual Mahjong tournament meant as a job recruiting event for university students in Japan.

At the Asian Rubik’s Cube Championship in Beijing, Kevin Hays of the United States solved a 6×6 Rubik’s Cube in a world record 1 minutes, 32.77 seconds.

Not for speed, Tony Fisher demonstrated in a video solving the world’s smallest Rubik’s Cube (5.6 mm on a side). To get one so small, he had a 6 mm one 3D printed by Shapeways and then filed it down further.

Among the activities that Cem Karabay of Turkey kept himself busy with during a world-record scuba dive of 142 hours, 42 minutes, and 42 seconds were underwater games of Backgammon.

Allan Silva of Brazil has won his fourth consecutive Pan American Draughts Championship.

The North American Scrabble Championship and a $10,000 prize was won by David Gibson, who in the final defeated his opponent 397-371 with words such as “drearies”, “serrano”, orcinols”, and “spelter” (none of which are recognized by my spell-checker).

Kickstarter Preview—Zombies, Run!

Six to Start’s Zombies, Run! app (available on iOS and Android), is a running tracking app with a twist: there’s an ongoing narrative as you run where you’re collecting supplies for a safe haven during the zombie apocalypse. You’re jogging along, listening to the app and suddenly moans of the shambling undead! Time to sprint! The game has over one million players who have logged in over 40 million km run.

The company also loves boardgames.

Currently, on Kickstarter, Six to Start is offering a board game version of Zombies, Run! As this goes live, they’re halfway through the campaign (13 days left) and have doubled their goal. A pledge of £26 (roughly US$34) gets you a published version of the game. Six to Start has provided us with a prototype to see what the game has to offer.

Like the fitness app, Zombies, Run! The Board Game uses an app to drive the story. Hit play and listen for audio cues. Our initial (tutorial) mission has us escaping a hospital that’s overrun. While the audio plays, there are story moments: someone is about to get grabbed by a zombie, do you grab her arm and pull her along, distract the zombie, or just run? There are decisions to be made: cut through the lobby, closer to where the zombies are, or head up to the roof and down again, which would take longer? Meanwhile: “Zombies advance,” says the app. “Two zombies detected.”

There’s a track of cards, A through E, that shows how far away zombies are. When they show up, they’re at A. When they advance, they all slide over toward E. If they slide off E, they’ve bitten you. That’s bad. Bitten and you take a Death Card face down. At the end of the mission, name one of six body parts, like “head”, “left arm”, or “naughty bits”, and flip the card. It matches? You’ve been infected. In the prototype, this is just a scoring mechanism; in the final game, there’s probably more to it.


But the main thing you’ll be doing during the mission – and where the main part of the game is – is trying to escape zombies by creating Plans. You’re assembling opportunity cards like Talking, Thinking, Running, and Sneaking in order to evade a particular zombie. Most opportunity cards have one icon on the left (the type of card this is) and another on the right (the type of card that can attached to this one). Chain cards together to create a Plan. If your Plan is long enough and ends in the correct symbol, you’ve evade a zombie. For instance, Zombie Mia requires a chain of at least 4 cards that ends in a Thinking symbol. Play six cards that ends with Thinking and you remove them and Zombie Mia from the mission.

Everyone is scrambling for these cards while under pressure, and that’s where the tension of the game comes from. You’re looking over the zombies closest to catching you, trying to determine how to link three cards together to end in Sneaking while everyone is also grabbing cards, and the supply is dwindling, and ONE ZOMBIE DETECTED, and the person replenishing the cards just covered up the one card you needed with more draw cards, and maybe you should just use your cards to reload the shotgun, and ZOMBIES ADVANCING, and now you’ve got the shotgun loaded and can shoot a zombie over there or maybe you can wait for them to get closer when you can shoot more, and TWO ZOMBIES DETECTED, and oh crap that’s an incredibly tough zombie that just entered maybe you should just chain a few more cards together to take him out instead, and can we please please please just survive long enough to get to the police station?

zr-mapAnd there’s the map.

As you’re running to your destination, you might pick up a distress call asking for help. You might see a flare shooting off to the north. You might rescue a survivor that heard of a cache of supplies in town. Do you change your destination? Because you totally can. The map is 100 square kilometers, with a city, several towns, parks, woods, lakes, highways, roads, trains (including a tunnel that I’m never taking my survivors to), power lines, and even a castle. It’s a fictional slice of Britain that’s yours to run around in.

Oh, and because it’s an app, it remembers choices you’ve made: did you free that person handcuffed to a hospital bed? Did you go get those supplies? Did you find out what’s up with that flare?

Do I like this?

Oh yes.

Lots of short bits of pressure with the whole card combination planning. The puzzle of building those is simple enough to not overwhelm, but the pressure from the game makes it challenging. When I opened the package from Six to Start, there were all these envelopes, all these deck boxes to open. “Oh, it’s a legacy game,” I thought, but no – those were step-by-step instructions for the tutorial. But then there’s the map and the app that remembers what you’ve done. So yeah, it’s a legacy game.

Zombies, Run! The Board Game is a game for 2-4 players (well, you can play with one but that ramps up the difficulty) and plays in as little as 15 minutes, depending on the mission you’re taking. Recommended ages: well, there are zombies eating people and the voice actors use the s-word about as frequently as you’d hear it in a PG-13 film, so keep that in mind.


A prototype copy of Zombies, Run! The Board Game was provided free for review.


Reddit user Luke_Matthews makes some amazing chipboard boxes for his cards games. Not only that, but he detailed the process of making said boxes around 4 months ago in this reddit thread. It’s certainly more than I could handle, not being crafty at all myself.

Luke’s primary reason for making these boxes was to better organize his shelves. Frustrated by the fact that publishers don’t adhere to any strict box sizes for games, he set out to great his own that would be more uniform, easy to store, and easy to find on the shelf. A lot of these games come in boxes with an odd footprint, a tin, or have a box that can’t support the cards if they’re sleeved.

The outcome of his efforts is pictured below.

I’m envious.



Screen Games

Ready for a board game origin story on the big screen? Not one about a plucky inventor. Instead, Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a tale of 1965 Los Angeles and how “a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home.” In theaters October 21st.

Recently released on Netflix is The Dwarvenaut, a documentary about the founder of Dwarven Forge and the company’s Kickstarter campaign.

Disney’s Queen of Katwe, based on the true story of Ugandan Chess player Phiona Mutesi, is in theaters now.

It appears that the Jumanji remake replaces the board game with a video game. On the other hand, star Dwayne Johnson claims it’s not a remake but rather a sequel.

A new Clue movie is in the works, being developed by 21st Century Fox. Unlike the 1980s Clue, this one will be a “worldwide mystery” action-adventure story.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThere’s a free Ghoulie Bag (paint, miniature, and candy) in it for orders of $40 or more from Reaper Miniatures.

Answer Lombardy Studios’ survey for an entry in to the company’s multiple-prize drawing.

Two steampunk-inspired bundles are running at Bundle of Holding. One reprises an earlier Victoriana deal, the other brings together a variety of Steam-Powered products.

A bundle at RPGnow fundraising for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe features $573 of RPG ebook products for just $40.

A new Hasbro mini-game is on-sale for AU$3.50 with the NT News each day October 15-28.

sushi-go-iphone-screenGamewright’s Sushi Go “pick and pass card game” has been adapted to iOS. It works on both iPhone and iPad and can be played locally against AI or online via Game Center.

Online multiplayer has finally come to one of my favorite games, Splendor (Android, iOS, Steam).

Tiny Epic Defenders has broadened its horizons and is now playable on Tabletop Simulator via Steam.

The deck-building word game, Paperback, has launched on iOS.

Big Potato’s new app (Android, iOS) provides timers, extra questions, sound effects, and other enhancements for several of the company’s games.

Academy Games’ 1775: Rebellion, a game of the American Revolutionary War, has been released on Steam.

Nocturnal Media has plans for a single-player computer RPG based on the 7th Sea tabletop game and is raising funds for the project on Kickstarter.

Lew Pulsipher’s Doomstar has been in-development 20 years as a tabletop game but made it out first via Steam.

Pathfinder Adventures, the digital version of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, now works on smartphones (Android, iOS).

waroftheringAres Games will be opening pre-order sales for the Deluxe Rules, Strategy Guide, and Gameboard for War of the Ring: Second Edition today at 3pm UTC. Pre-orders will remain open until October 5th at 6PM UTC. These items are meant for those who missed out on the War of the Ring Anniversary Release or for collectors who are just interested in these items on not the prepainted minis.

For $69.90 you’ll get an extra-size War of the Ring gameboard (two boards, each 64 x 88 cm) with UV and hot foil printing, the deluxe edition of the Game Rules (56 pages), and the Strategy Companion written by Kristofer Bengtsson (104 pages). Each of the two books is hardbound, with quarterbinding in cloth paper. These two volumes will be enclosed in a deluxe slipcase with a hot-foil imprint, and they are complemented by a set of updated game summaries, printed on textured heavy cardstock.

Delivery will be in December of this year, the same time as the War of the Ring Anniversary Release.

Kodama 2nd Edition

63829d867fad87a1942287dde8743e19Indie Boards & Cards, along with Action Phase Games, is releasing the second edition of Daniel Solis’ Kodama in November of this year.

I’m a huge fan of the game and am glad to see it getting another printing even if I’m not a fan of the new box layout.

Kodama will be priced at $19.99 and is perfect as a holiday gift, or if you missed out on the original printing.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTo celebrate the release of its 100th product, Schwalb Entertainment has everything for Shadow of the Demon Lord 20% off at DriveThruRPG.

Also at DriveThruRPG, Apocalypse World and Dungeon World titles are 40% off through the end of the month.

Polygon’s “big board game giveaway” is for Portal and open-box copies of Ghostbusters, Star Wars Risk, and Catan.

Tell Passport Games what you wish for a superpower. The wish judged the best gets the person who submitted it a copy of the company’s new game, 3 Wishes.

Subscribe to Osprey Games’ newsletter for a chance to win Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.

Osprey Publishing’s September sale is 25% off aviation series books.

Casual Game Insider is partnering with Tasty Minstrel Games to offer free 1-year digital subscriptions.

The Cardboard podcast is giving away Covert from Renegade Game Studios.

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away Wits & Wagers Family Edition from North Star Games.

Everything Board Games is giving away Dr. Eureka from Blue Orange Games and a package of Super Hack Override and Ice Cool.

Giveaways by Sahm Reviews:

CT FIG—Looting Atlantis

CT FIGShoot Again Games was at CT FIG showing off two new games: Looting Atlantis and Conspiracy. Of the two I only had a chance to play a quick game of Looting Atlantis.

The premise of the game is simple. Atlantis is about to be buried in lava, so you and the other players are trying to loot as much advanced technology before escaping to a different, less advanced civilization where you’ll live your life out as a wizard, or some other such person of power.

Each turn you’ll add lava to the board, having it creep slowly to the outer edge. Piles of cards encircle the board at every space. Each color card has its own way of scoring at the end and its own special power. After advancing a line of lava you’ll have to actions you can use to move and take cards. You can also play a card as a free action to use its power. Some cards let you take more actions, some protect you from other cards players might play to hinder you, and some cards are used to score higher points with other cards. When the board is filled with lava and each player has escaped then the points from all the cards are added up.

3d_la_box_mock_up-finalIt’s a simple enough game to play. The real trick is making sure you’re grabbing cards that will score you the most points. Some cards will only net you a large score if you have a lot of them. Some cards are worth a meager amount of points unless you have a card that greatly increases the score for each in your possession. You also need to take into account the special powers of the cards. Sometimes it’s worth using a card and losing it to gain a card or cards that will improve you score even more.

At first glance, the game looks really chaotic with its piles of cards wrapped around the board. Once you get the hang if it, it’s not so bad. Then all you need to worry about is getting the best groups of cards that you can.

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