Breaking Games just released 4 the Birds, a 2-6 player game that was a finalist in season 1 of Tabletop Deathmatch. It’s a 4-in-a-row (or 4 square) game with twists like a “Pecking Order” among birds, hawks that scatter birds, and action cards to effect the board.
The game is aimed at families, and is touted as a “gateway” game for kids. The game’s designer, Steve Ewoldt says. “I initially created 4 The Birds so my son and his friends could play it together, but as I was developing the game, the whole family was enjoying it. I realized that this was something adult gamers could get into as well.”
You can get 4 the Birds in stores now for $40, or off the Breaking Games website.
Launching at this year’s Gathering of the Juggalo (July 20th) is an Insane Clown Posse deck-building game, Into the Echoside. Illustrated entirely by Tom Wood, the game has players assembling armies to beat back the horrors of the Nethervoid.
Passing through the widening rift, you have heeded the calling of the Dark Carnival to embark on a perilous quest. With little more than the aid of a few Ninjas, you will try to gather more powerful allies in order to face the horrors of the Echoside, the Nethervoid’s sick arrhythmic heart, to strike a definitive blow against the ancient evils causing the rift to form. You must be beyond resilient, however—for others have been summoned to the cause, but there can be only one!
Into the Echoside comes with 230 cards (including Dark Carnival, Psychopathic, Juggalo, Ninja Starter, and Hound Dog Starter cards), a game board, and a 12-sided die. Designed for 2-4 players, the game’s MSRP is $40. Preorders through HatchetGear will get three promo cards: Wizard of the Hood, Blahzay Rose, and Inner City Posse.
[via Kill Screen]
GameWire is giving away a new copy of Codenames from Czech Games Edition each week in June.
University Games is giving away something new each week for the whole summer.
Tasty Minstrel Games is running a photo contest with the prize being a copy of Guilds of London.
7LandHand is giving away Dice City from AEG.
Place a deposit with Geek Chic by June 30th and get a free gift plus 2 cup holders.
In honor of Father’s Day, Columbia Games is offering free shipping through the 20th.
The Giveaway Geek is giving away Star Wars Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games. Signing up for Thundergryph Games’ newsletter is required to enter.
SnitchSeeker is giving away “sets” of Harry Potter Clue from USAopoly. How many sets is not clear.
Enter Educational Insights’ Go Play Giveaway for a chance to win $125 in product.
Zulily has CSE Games at a discount.
Order a Munchkin Guest Artist Edition or Munchkin comic from Steve Jackson Games’ Warehouse 23 and the company will throw in two Munchkin posters for free, while supplies last.
Privateer Press may have quit producing the Monsterpocalypse Battle Miniatures Game but it appears the game still has fans in Hollywood. Movie rights to the property saw a bidding war by several studios. Warner Bros. came out on top.
Hasbro is working on an integrated universe for its various properties, including G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., ROM, Micronauts, and Action Man. Specifically excluded on the movie side will be Transformers. No mention yet about the various board game titles, Dungeons & Dragons, or Magic: The Gathering, though I suspect it’s safe to assume the two WOTC properties will remain separate. In comic books, IDW will have a five-part crossover series, Revolution, which will include Transformers.
Liev Schreiber has signed on to the My Little Pony movie. Not as one of the ponies, but still, I’m not sure my mind can reconcile Ray Donovan with Friendship is Magic.
Beyond the Gates, a indie horror film premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival, is centered on a VCR board game that serves as a hellish portal trapping souls.
The Dark Horse is a biopic about Maori Chess champion and youth Chess coach, Genesis Potini. A review in the Boston Globe calls it a “Winning Portrait”, while at the same time finding the two main story lines formulaic: genius is driven to madness and the underprivileged defeat the privileged at their own game.
Current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is the subject of the documentary Magnus, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and will hit home-country screens in Norway this September.
Opening this fall in Japan is Satoshi no Seishun (“Satoshi’s Youth”), a biopic about Satoshi Murayama, a 9-dan Shogi player who died 18 years ago at the young age of 29.
Managing to Win: The Story of Strat-O-Matic Baseball starts shipping today on DVD. Available only direct from the company, the film tells the story of the game’s development by Hal Richman and the early struggles of the company.
In Singapore, 605 people broke the world record for the most people playing Monopoly at the same time in a single venue. They were, though, allowed to stop playing after 30 minutes.
At 10 years and 9 months old, R. Praggnanandhaa of India is the youngest ever to qualify for the International Master title in Chess.
Li Chao of China postponed his wedding to accept a late invitation to the Norway Chess tournament. He was asked to fill in for Sergey Karjakin, who withdrew to begin preparing for the World Chess Championship.
These guys played Jenga Giant while the blocks were on fire!
Already the top professional Go player in Europe, Fan Hui has improved his game by 300 points since he began practicing against Google Alpha Go computer program.
Webster University’s fourth consecutive win of the President’s Cup (also known as the Final Four of College Chess) ties the previous record set by the University of Maryland Baltimore County 2003-2006. It’s also the sixth consecutive win for the team’s coach, Susan Polgar, who before Webster worked with Texas Tech University.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the tremendous successes of Nigerian Scrabble players, attributing it in large part to a “surprising strategy of playing short words.” Slate, responding directly to that article, pointed out that the importance of short words has been recognized by avid Scrabble players for many years.
Taking three straight games in the best-of-five final round gave Adam Logan his fifth win of the Canadian National Scrabble Championship.
King of Tokyo is getting a new, fresh look, along with a clearer rulebook. The new edition comes with King of Tokyo veteran monsters: The King, Gigazaur, Meka Dragon, and Alienoid, along with Space Penguin (up until now only available at tournaments) and Cyber Kitty.
The rules are still the same, as are the deck of power cards. This is just a visual refresh, and a great looking one at that!
The main reason for the makeover? There’s a digital version of the game coming out, and the new look will carry over into that.
King of Tokyo arrives July 14th in the US, and at the end of the year everywhere else. Also, a special edition containing Baby Gigazaur will be exclusive through Target for 1 year.
Also, a quick note about expansions. Since the older power cards will have different card backs than the new ones, they can’t be used unless sleeved with an opaque back. IELLO will be releasing their own sleeves in the near future.
Mayfair announced today that it has purchased a controlling interest in Twilight Creations, creators of the much-loved Zombies!!! series of games. Kerry Breitenstein remains on board as VP of Design and Production, while Mayfair’s Loren Roznai will be taking over as President and control day-to-day operations. Mayfair will also be taking over all sales and logistics, though there will be no change in distributors.
You’ll be able to see Zombies!!! at the Mayfair booth at Origins this year, while at GenCon there will still be both a Mayfair Games and Twilight Creations booth.
Is this deal a “no-brainer?” We’ll have to see how well it plays out in the future.
The on-screen power struggles of Game of Thrones may be finding their way to the real-life world of the board game business. HBO appears ready to stake a claim on product names beginning with “Game of…”. Asserting likely “confusion, mistake, or deception”, HBO has filed its opposition to the registration of a trademark for a board game called “Game of Monarchs“. The game’s publisher, B&B Biz Corp, declined my request for comment but did file an answer with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, stating its belief that the “marks are dissimilar.” [OK, neither of those is much of an argument.]
The cable network, having requested an extension, looks set to do the same for the Game of Phones card game, and has already filed against the Game of Trolls video game registration submitted by DreamWorks Animation. A settlement over a “Game of Drones” saw that registration withdrawn in February, however, a new one by a different entity was submitted just last month.
Will “Game of Quotes” or “Game of Clones” be next?
Designed by Andrew Parks, the new Dungeons and Dragons board game, Assault of the Giants, is a giant in its own right. The game will contain 14 Giants miniatures, measuring from approximately 4” to over 5 ½” in height, and has up to six players controlling giants to attack settlements and obtain resources.
I’m sure we’ll see more details arise in the next few months.
Assault of the Giants will carry a giant price tag, too, coming in at a $99.99 MSRP.
Back in March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent and Trademark Office decision that game rules that use a standard deck of cards are an abstract idea ineligible for patent. Now the owner of the rejected patent has asked the court to reconsider, claiming that the decision puts the whole casino industry at risk.
Game rules have also been found by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to be ineligible for copyright protection. That decision came in DaVinci Editrice vs. Ziko Games, a case in which both sides agreed that Ziko’s Three Kingdoms game is a straight-up copy of DaVinci’s Bang, with a change in theme. Nevertheless, the court found that:
Unlike a book or movie plot, the rules and procedures, including the winning conditions, that make up a card-game system of play do not themselves produce the artistic or literary content that is the hallmark of protectable expression.
The shape of a Rubik’s Cube can not be trademarked. So says an adviser to the Court of Justice of the European Union in a case that has a German company challenging the toy’s three-dimensional trademark registered since 1999.
On the Lower East Side of New York, a woman renting an apartment discovered that her landlord had been hosting Mahjong games in the front room while she slept in the back room.
A company that makes facial recognition software claims that it can identify from images likely terrorists, pedophiles, and the best Poker players. At a demonstration tournament, the company picked four players out of 50 amateurs by comparing photos to a database of professional Poker players. Two of the players that the company picked were among the three that made it to the tournament’s final round.
In downtown Athens, Georgia, a man was arrested for public intoxication after disturbing a group of people playing a board game on the patio of a local establishment.
A binder of proof cards was stolen from Magic: The Gathering artist Winona Nelson at Grand Prix Charlotte.
Green Lake Games in Seattle was broken in to overnight. The store was ransacked and $15,000 of Magic: The Gathering cards stolen.
Alleged irregularities in election procedures for the Bangladesh Chess Federation had the National Sports Council obtaining an order from the Supreme Court to postpone the voting for 3 months.
A public school Chess coach in Chicago broke ranks and came in to lead practice on a day his union called for a strike. The team went on to win a national championship and has been invited to the White House. The union is considering whether to kick him out and garnish his wages from that day.
Bestbet Jacksonville and state regulators are going to hearing over the legality of “player-banked card games” in Florida. These are supposed to be games in which players wager only against each other rather than the house. However, in Bestbet’s card rooms the bank at each table is provided by employees of unlicensed, independent companies who pay the facility fees of $30,000-50,000 and then sometimes don’t stick around play in the game they’re financing.
Small stakes gambling on home and community center based card and Mahjong games is now legal in Maryland. The change was prompted by a police bust of a retiree Poker game in Annapolis, an event which lawmakers considered a waste of resources. Restrictions in the new law include prohibitions on advertising and internet-connected electronic devices, a $1,000 per week wager limit, and participants must have a preexisting social relationship.
Two Maryland teenagers, one of whom allegedly shot a man in the head during a dice game, were captured after fleeing to West Virginia.
Following a lawsuit by Magic: The Gathering judges against Wizards of the Coast, volunteers for Emerald City Comic Con have filed a similar class-action lawsuit, claiming back-pay and benefits.
CBS Broadcasting and Folkmanis have settled their lawsuit over Bert the Farting Hippo, a stuffed animal that’s made repeated appearances on the television show, NCIS. Folkmanis was making for CBS to sell a special version of a hippopotamus toy for which the company had earlier registered a copyright. That is until, Folkmanis claims, CBS started importing the toy directly from China, racking up an alleged $733,000 in profits.