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.

Many of you are home today celebrating Father’s Day, and hopefully that includes playing some games!

In our house we’ll be playing some Five Tribes, Star Realms, a LOT of the Pokemon CCG, Boss Monster 2, and maybe even some Heavy Steam. After all, what better way to celebrate being a dad than making your family play games with you! (half-kidding)

What has hit/will be hitting your table today?

Cosmic KaboomMinion Games’ Cosmic Kaboom is an unusual combination of dexterity and resource collection in a strategic space game. Players flick their space ship discs around the table, collect colored cubes by hitting particular planets, spend sets of cubes to get the space bomb, and then throw the bomb token to blow up planets and collect victory points.

Another game with a tossing element is Monstrous. In this one, the players are angry Greek gods, hurling monsters down from the heavens. The monsters (for example, Gorgon, Phoenix, and Hellhound) are represented by cards, which manifest various powers when hitting location cards or other monsters on the table. Location cards (for example, Delphi, Thebes, and The Underworld) provide victory points when hit but may also implicate the cards in a players hand, bonuses at the end of the game, or some other special rule.

The designers behind Hyde promise a live-action, horror-themed, bio-activated, puzzle maze. As players work their way through a maze of rooms in an imagined laboratory, they’re trying to solve a mystery of human experiments gone wrong. But what really makes this game special is how bio-sensors worn by the players are integrated with various controls around the maze. Among the typical escape-room puzzles are doors, lights, locks, and motors actuated by players’ breathing, heart rate, posture, and other factors. A control program also tracks players in the maze and will adjust the unfolding story depending on their progress.

With the Legendary Planet Adventure Path Legendary Games aims to create a science-fantasy meta-setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In other words, it’s background material and a series of adventures with a science-fiction flair but specifically designed as a tie-in to home fantasy campaigns. The first installment sees the player characters escaping from prison using an interdimensional portal.

Rally Round the Flag

Rally Round the Flag from Lost Battalion Games is a card-driven war game about the Battle of Gettysburg. The game includes amazing card art, standees instead of generic counters, and a deep level of historic detail. It can be played at the division, brigade, or regiment level, with game stats customized to the individual regiments based on historic research.

Tackling the business of art is The Gallerist from publisher Eagle and Gryphon Games and designer Vital Lacerda. It’s a large, complex strategy game in which the players buy and sell art, as well as promote and manage their galleries. Individual works of art are featured—paintings, sculptures, photography, and digital art.

Takenoko: Chibis

ASMTAK02US+containsAs if Takenoko couldn’t get cute enough, now you can add Miss Panda and 9 panda babies to the base game with Takenoko: Chibis. Chibis adds new objectives, plot tiles, more pandas, and new landscape features to use and make sure the pandas are one big happy family.

Takenono:Chibis will be available from Asmodee Editions in August for a retail of $29.99. The box will contain:

  • 1 Miss Panda Figurine
  • 9 Panda Babies tokens
  • 18 Objective cards
  • 17 Bamboo sections
  • 6 Plot tiles
  • 1 Rulebook

Takenoko is a game I keep meaning to pickup, but haven’t yet. Chibis may be the deciding factor in me picking it up sooner rather than later.

Super Genius

Super Genius AdditionSuper Genius is Blue Orange’s new series of educational card games based on the Spot It principle. On any pair of question and answer cards there is one and only one matching set of images. For example, on the cards from the Addition set below, only one problem on the one card has a correct solution on the other card.

Besides the Addition set, there are Super Genius card sets for First Words, Reading 1, Reading 2, and Multiplication. MSRP for each is $13.

Super Genius Addition Sample

$10,000 Bounty Placed on Game Video

Out of the Box PublishingOut of the Box Publishing has launched a Social Media Video Competition and is offering a $10,000 top prize for the first video featuring its Snake Oil game to reach 1 million views. Already challenging enough, the deadline for hitting that goal is July 15th.

There are, however, lesser challenges that are part of the competition. The first five videos to hit 100,000 views get $500 and the first three to 500,000 get $1,000.

To be eligible the videos and their creators must be registered.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThis Saturday is Free RPG Day, when participating local game shops give out free samples from roleplaying game publishers.

Chaosium is holding a Blow-out Sale to clear the warehouse of all “non-standard” items. The discount is 50% for BRP and Call of Cthulhu monographs, novelties, and accessories; licensed Call of Cthulhu products; non-English books; and Nephilim. The discount is 75% for remaining stock of Eternal Champion and d20 Call of Cthulhu. And there’s a 10% discount for everything else. Be warned, though, the discounts won’t show until you hit the shopping cart.

The Texas Flood Relief Bundle at RPGNow represents an 87% savings, and the money collected goes to the Texas Red Cross.

UK residents have an opportunity to win Stratego: Battle of Waterloo (published by Jumbo Games) from Culture24.

Five people will win Twister and three pairs of socks from Extra TV.

Travel toys and games are on-sale at Amazon.

Everything in Cubicle 7’s webstore is 25% off in the company’s Summer Salesplosion. Just use coupon code “SUMMERP25″ if paying in pounds or “SUMMERD25″ if paying in dollars.

RAINN Studios is giving away War of Kings. Tweet and follow required.

Game Night, a novel that I loved and reviewed a while ago, is currently on-sale in Kindle edition for 99¢.

For free shipping from on Jurassic World games and toys, use promo code “JWSHIP”.

Talisman: Digital Edition and selected expansions are on-sale across platforms.

A 15 day free trial is available for the Pathfinder Online MMO.

The Steam Summer Sale includes BattleLore: Command from Fantasy Flight Games at 60% off. Or from sister company Days of Wonder the Ticket to Ride Complete Pack is 33% off and includes Small World 2, the Small World 2 Complete Pack is 38% off and includes Ticket to Ride, and the Ultimate Pack includes all of both for 25% off.

Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop is 30% off through Steam or direct. Add-ons (adventures and such) are discounted 10% or more.

Barnes & Noble’s Summer Clearance Sale begins on Monday, June 22nd. According to a B&N employee, several boardgame titles including Battlestar Galactica, Android: Netrunner, and Pandemic: In The Lab will be moved to red dot clearance tables at 50% off, then drop a few weeks later to 75% off, and then for $2 a few weeks later. Like previous clearance sales, actual titles will vary by store.

Blog giveaways:

Spin Master LogoSpin Master is planning to go pubic. The company has filed with Canadian authorities for a proposed initial public offering of subordinate voting shares. No pricing was yet revealed.

The company is currently held by Ronnen Harary, Anton Rabie, and Ben Varadi. Harary and Rabie founded Spin Master in 1994. Varadi, a business school classmate, joined later that year.

Spin Master’s first product was Earth Buddy, a head formed with a nylon stocking and sawdust and covered with grass seed that grew to look like hair. Since then, Spin Master has released a wide range of toy and game products, most notable among them Air Hogs and Bakugan. It’s latest hot properties include Paw Patrol and Zoomer, and the company is in the process of acquiring Cardinal Industries for US$50 million.

According to the preliminary prospectus, Spin Master’s gross sales in 2014 were US$812 million, which puts it roughly in fifth place among toy companies worldwide, behind Lego, Mattel, Hasbro, and MGA Entertainment. The prospectus quotes Euromonitor as placing Spin Master also in fifth place for market share in the U.S., after Mattel, Hasbro, Lego, and Hallmark.

Spin Master IPO Prospectus Sales and Product Lines

3D Game Art for Your Wall

Over on Etsy, John du Bois is offering shadow boxes assembled from board game components. The games include Carcassonne, Monopoly, Clue, Ticket to Ride, and Catan, with boxes ranging in price $50-65.

Carcassonne Shadow Box

According to the four color map theorem it requires no more than four colors to fill in any map while making sure that no adjacent areas share the same color.

Working off a similar principle is the newest release announced by Gamewright. In Rolling America, each player attempts to fill a map of the United States with the numbers rolled on a set of colored dice. The challenge, though, is that the numbers in adjacent states may not differ by more than one. Any time a player finds it impossible to write a die’s number in a state with a matching color, they must instead fill one of those states with an “X”. At the end of the game, the player with the fewest Xs is the winner.

Rolling America is based on a similar game previously released in Japan and is scheduled to hit retail this fall at a suggested price of $11.

Rolling America

HSBB2606We’ve already talked quite a bit about Magic The Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers. The wait for the Heroscape-inspired game is in sight! The game will be hitting store shelves on August 1st for a retail of $29.99.

The full box contents are as follows:

  • 5 Planeswalker figures (Gideon, Jace, Liliana, Chandra, Nissa)
  • 30 Squad figures
  • 6 Cardboard terrain boards
  • Two 3-Hex sand tiles
  • Two 1-Hex sand tiles
  • 2 Ruins
  • 4 Glyph
  • 30 Damage markers
  • One 20-sided die
  • 10 Combat dice
  • 15 Army cards
  • 60 Spell cards
  • 1 Turn marker
  • 1 Game guide

I’ll be sure to post my thoughts once I get my hands on the game. This is one I’ve been waiting for since the first whispers of it.

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