MIND-The Fall of Paradise

This category includes posts about games that don't fit into the other categories - such as about alternate reality games - as well as general game discussion and related news, such as TV shows and books.

Smash Up Hits Steam Early Access

headerYou can now snag the Early Access of Smash Up on Steam for free. You’ll have access to the Dinosaurs, Ninjas, and Geeks in the standard version, while you can purchase the Zombies and Aliens separately for $2 each. There’s also a Start Pack for $9 that includes the Zombies and Aliens for now, but will add 4 more factions later once they’re released.

I’m at work right now, so I haven’t had a chance to give this a shot. I’ll make sure I post a bit more once I have a chance to really dig it.

Toy Design Reality TV

MattelABC Television and Mattel are partnering on a new competition TV series, The Toy Box, scheduled to premier in the 2016-2017 season. The show will feature toy designers developing their inventions through a series of trials. Judges on the show will be children.

Mattel says it’ll have the winning toy design in stores for the airing of the final episode.

[via Broadway World]

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesUniversity Games is running a speed contest for Rubik’s Race, remote via recorded video. The contestant who submits the fastest game wins a prize package of Rubik’s stuff.

Buy something from Len Peralta’s web store or contribute to his Patreon campaign and he’ll enter you in to a drawing for a bunch of Munchkin games that he’s illustrated.

Paizo is selling some Titanic Games at steep discounts, including for example, Key Largo at 88% off. Indications are, though, that the sale may be just for today.

The prize for October in Game Salute’s monthly giveaway is  a copy of Black Orchestra. To enter, tell the company what historic event would make a good basis for a game. But beware, try to come up with something unique. Duplicated suggestions will be disqualified.

Tokens in Australia’s The Advertiser and Sunday Mail starting October 15th can be used to purchase mini versions of Hasbro board games, and a collector’s box, for $3.50 each.

Get free tombstone and coffin tokens with the purchase of Bring Out Yer Dead from Upper Deck.

Get a free Halloween Munchkin Monster Box with a purchase of $125 from Steve Jackson Games’ Warehouse 23.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away Clank! from Renegade Game Studios and three copies of Oh My Sheep! from Canvas Studio.

NSKN is giving away copies of Shadowscape, some to visitors at Essen and some to those at home.

Sign up for a Toys “R” Us credit card and get 15% off the first purchase and then 10% off in-store every Thursday.

Running at Bundle of Holding is a deal for Penumbra, the d20 fantasy setting from Atlas Games.


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).


The National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play has announced 12 finalists for potential induction in the class of 2016. The finalists are:

  • Bubble Wrap
  • Care Bears
  • Coloring Book
  • Clue
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Fisher Price Little-People
  • Nerf
  • Pinball
  • Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
  • Swing
  • Transformers
  • Uno

Final selection of inductees will be made by a national advisory committee and the results announced November 10th. Usually 2-3 are chosen. Criteria include:

  • Icon-status—the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered.
  • Longevity—the toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations.
  • Discovery—the toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play.
  • Innovation—the toy profoundly changed play or toy design.

English Burst LogoWe’ve known it’s been coming for a while, but Hasbro has finally announced the launch of Beyblade Burst. The new line has already been released in Canada, with a US release hitting shelves in January of 2017. The Beyblade Burst app for iOS and Android has been released in both territories, and is free to download. Launches for Europe, Latin America and certain other markets to follow in 2017.

The new animated series is created by production company OLM and includes new characters, stories and dramatic battles. The series will air in Canada beginning Saturday, September 10 at 3pm on Teletoon with other broadcast deals to be announced.

Beyblade Burst features a new “bursting” element to Bey battles where a Bey can burst apart during play. Having played with the Takara Tomy imports for about a year or so, I can say it’s a very exciting game mechanic.

More info to come as I get it.

Already way above its funding goal, Thornwatch: Eyrewood Adventures, bridges the gap between narrative RPGs and board games. The game was originally envisioned by Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins and is co-designed with Lone Shark’s Mike Selinker, Chad Brown, and Rodney Thompson. In the game players take on the roles of the Protectors of the Eyrewood, the Thornwatch, playing through a sort of choose-your-own adventure run by the a player designated as the Judge.

The game looks breathtaking, and you can even get a quick taste of it with a free print-and-play.

A pledge of $78 gets you a copy of the game, with all sorts of amazing things available at higher tiers. The stretch goals, most of which have already been met, provide you with additional characters, stories, and even a comic.

Elderwood Academy Scroll and Codex

UPDATE: Their Kickstarter is live.

Elderwood Academy, creators of the awesome Spellbook Game Boxes, are ramping up to Kickstart a new gaming accessory, the Scroll and Codex. They’re currently working on garnering some intersest, but hope to launch a campaign in mid-September. From the pictures they’ve sent, these look really amazing. The Scroll and Codes are a dice tower and tray that are meant to look like their namesake, both made from wood and leather.

Check it out in action:


If this object of beauty interests you, you can follow Elderwood‘s progress by signing up here.



Toy of the Year Awards 2017For its next Toy of the Year Awards, granted annually at New York Toy Fair, the Toy Industry Association is eliminating gender categories. No more Girl Toy of the Year or Boy Toy of the Year. For 2017, the categories will be:

  • Action Figure of the Year (new)
  • Active/Outdoor Toy of the Year (formerly Outdoor)
  • Activity Toy of the Year
  • Collectible of the Year (new)
  • Construction Toy of the Year (new)
  • Doll of the Year (new)
  • Game of the Year
  • Infant/Preschool Toy of the Year (formerly two separate categories)
  • Innovative Toy of the Year
  • License of the Year (formerly Property)
  • Rookie [Company] of the Year (new)
  • Specialty Toy of the Year
  • Tech Toy of the Year (formerly e-Connected)
  • Vehicle of the Year (new)
  • People’s Choice Toy of the Year
  • Toy of the Year

In addition to the new categories, a new streamlined selection process in being implemented. Also worth noting, public voting this year will result in a separate “People’s Choice” award for Toy of the Year.

Toys R Us President of Play

Toys “R” Us is looking for a child 9-13 years of age to be its President of Play. The role will involve testing toys, including some not yet available to the public, talking about toy trends to the media, and representing Toys “R” Us at public events.

Toys “R” Us estimates eight appearances for 80 hours and a contract value for the position of $5,000.

To apply, kids are asked to submit a 1-2 minute video “that lets their playful personality shine, as they tell us all about their favorite toy, doll, gadget or game.” The deadline for that is tomorrow. By the end of the month, the company will choose a group of semifinalists to interview, and from them three finalists to participate in a public debate. The winner of the debate, and President of Play, will be chosen by public vote.

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