Brooklyn Indie Games is merging with Galileo Games The Brooklyn Indie Games brand will continue as an imprint under the Galileo Games label. Brooklyn Indie Games owner Tim Rodriguez will be joining Galileo Games as Vice President, Galileo Games’ Brennan Taylor will remain as President. Between the two of them, Brennan Taylor and Tim Rodriguez bring over 30 years of game design and production experience to the merged company.

Galileo Games plans to expand more into the hobby game market with this merger, formerly just producing fiction and RPGs.

Brooklyn Indie is excited to join with Galileo Games,” said new Galileo Games Vice President Tim Rodriguez. “They’re a significant player in the industry, having been around since 1995, and Brennan is personally responsible for many innovations that help the indie games industry run as smoothly as it does today.

In 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity the game of Mongolian Knuckle-Bone Shooting. The game is played by flicking sum (tiles made from deer horn) along khashlaga (wood guides) to knock down khasaa (dice targets made of sheep bones). The khasaa are stacked in a stage-like backdrop called aravch. Another common tool for the game is the havchaakhai, a crossbow-like device that elderly players can use instead of flicking. Instead of free-form cheers and jeers, a regular system of songs and chants exists, with players from all teams, even competitors, joining-in for specific tunes based on a shooter’s performance.

To help maintain cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region, UNESCO in Bangkok has collected a catalog of 90 traditional children’s games with advice on how to use them in an educational setting.

In Djibouti, a UNESCO project, “Safeguarding Traditional Games of the Afar and the Somali People in the Horn of Africa“, worked with local authorities in 2007-2008 to survey the games of regional nomadic societies. Kits were produced for three traditional board games—Bub, Riyo ka dhalis, and Shax—and distributed in three languages to all high schools and ministries in the country. A national tournament series was even held, with over 300 hundred participants.

More recently, UNESCO has begun working with Chinese IT company Tencent to create a digital library of traditional games.

UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program has additionally recognized the Sportimonium, a museum in Belgium, for its cultivation of “ludodiversity”. Much of the institution is focused on the preservation and study of sports artifacts but it also pays significant attention to traditional tabletop and garden games, which are on display, as well as available for borrowing.

The German Commission for UNESCO maintains its own Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, on which it lists the Chess traditions of Ströbeck village and the playing of Skat. Chess in Ströbeck goes back to the year 1011. The village for much of that time played its own variant with 96 squares called Courier Chess, has mandated Chess education in primary schools since 1823, has held games of living Chess since 1688, and requires grooms to play Chess against the mayor in order to win their bride. Skat is a trick-taking card game for three players (or four with one sitting out each round) originating from 1813 and now popular across Germany.

Game Night on the Big Screen

Board game nights are set to get the studio big screen treatment in a murder-mystery comedy appropriately titled, Game Night. No release date has been scheduled for the movie from New Line Cinema. However, it’s said to follow a group of couples gathering for a regular game night when something goes horribly wrong. Signed on to star so far are Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman.

Classic D&D Modules Reincarnated for 5E

Wizards of the Coast’s next Dungeons & Dragons adventure product is to be an anthology of classic modules updated for Fifth Edition. Tales from the Yawning Portal will include in one 248 page hardcover volume:

  • Against the Giants
  • Dead in Thay
  • Forge of Fury
  • Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
  • Sunless Citadel
  • Tomb of Horrors
  • White Plume Mountain

Despite the title’s tie-in to the Forgotten Realms—the Yawning Portal is a tavern in that setting’s city of Waterdeep—also in the book will be tips for placing the various adventures in other classic D&D campaign worlds: Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and Eberron.

Tales from the Yawning Portal will hit general retail on April 4th, priced at $50. Hobby game stores should have it a week-and-a-half earlier, on March 24th.

While I may not be a huge fan of Monopoly in general, but my kids are. Not only are they fans, but they really like licensed versions of the game. USAopoly’s MONOPOLY: The Legend of Zelda Collector’s Edition as been a huge hit in our household for quite some time.

How excited was I when Hasbro said they had mailed me out a copy of USAopoly’s MONOPOLY: Pokémon Johto Edition? Not as excited as I knew my kids would be. Pokémon is huge in our household, and my kids were in even more of a Pokémon froth with the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon.

So how is it? Really well made. It’s colorful, dripping with Pokémon artwork and theme, and has really nice Pokémon tokens that the kids constantly fight over. It’s hours upon hours of Pokémon MONOPOLY fun.

Seriously, though. If you like MONOPOLY, and you like Pokémon, this edition of the game is for you.

Asmodee Swallows Three More

German publisher and distributor Heidelberger Spieleverlag is merging with Asmodee. Post-merger, it’ll continue operations out of Walldürn as Studio Heidelberger, developing new products and producing localized versions of Fantasy Flight Games titles.

The same is happening with two other European board game companies, publisher EDGE Entertainment (Spain and France) and distributor Millenium (Spain).

Legendary: Marvel: Noir Expansion.

Hitting shelves in February for $19.99, Legendary: Marvel: Noir will have you playing though the Marvel Noir storyline. The game will feature 5 new heroes, 2 Villain groups, 2 New Masterminds and 4 new schemes. Players will be able to use the Noir versions of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Angel.

Marvel: Noir will be the 12th expansion to Legendary: Marvel, and will contain 100 new cards with Noir artwork.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesIn the Hunan province of China, a mother allegedly locked her 3 year-old son in a dog cage so she could play Mahjong undisturbed. The woman admits she put her son there because he was being noisy but says she wasn’t playing Mahjong and someone else locked the cage. The person who found the boy said, “I don’t know who his parent is. After I shared the news on social media, I hurried to get someone to open the cage.”

In Hong Kong, a 62 year-old man is under arrest for allegedly stabbing to death the friend with whom he often played Mahjong. Police suspect there was a debt involved.

The Japan Shogi Association, which had previously banned 9th-dan-ranked Hiroyuki Miura for possible cheating (noting that he had left his seat an unusual number of times during a tournament), has now apologized for the action and reinstated the player. A third-party investigation found no evidence of cheating. The association’s three executives also promised to take a 30 percent pay-cut for 3 months.

Someone broke in to All Aboard Games in Kamloops, British Columbia and stole X-Wing Miniatures figures. The getaway was caught on video.

A man who robbed a Mahjong parlor at gunpoint in Zhengjiang, China claims that he intended to get caught. Police traced his getaway vehicle and in his home found the 10,000 yuan he stole, as well as the gun he used, which turned out to be fake. The man then told police that being sent to jail was the only way he could figure to avoid a 300,000 yuan debt to a loan shark. The money he borrowed, by the way, he used to finance his own high-interest loan. It was after his debtor failed to pay up that he concocted this brilliant plan with the fake gun.

The government of Venezuela raided the warehouse of toy distributor Kreisel, confiscated its inventory, and then promised to give the toys away free to the public. As explanation for the action, the government claims that the company was hoarding toys during a period of rapid inflation.

In 2012, professional Poker player Phil Ivey, along with a woman, Cheng Yin Sun, who had learned through many hours of study to spot subtle variations on the backs of certain playing cards, managed to win $9.6 million playing Baccarat at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Relying on the same skill, they later also did well at a London casino. The London casino, though, withheld their winnings and a British judge ruled their actions cheating. After hearing of that case, the Borgata sued to recover its money. Now, a U.S. federal court judge has ruled that what they did in Atlantic City wasn’t fraud because it didn’t break the rules of Baccarat. However, the judge did find them to have violated New Jersey’s Casino Control Act “in complete contravention of the fundamental purpose of legalized gambling” and he’s ordered the pair to return their winnings.

Military police in Phuket, Thailand raided a townhouse that was set up to host illegal gambling on Mahjong. Eleven people were arrested.

After a Lords vs. Commons Chess match several MPs in the U.K. are resurrecting efforts to have Chess recognized as a sport and, therefore, exempt from VAT. Some say they would accept the alternative of defining Chess as a “mindsport”, so that it would not conflict with the Council of Europe’s Sports Charter.

Someone stole the Franklin Mint Civil War Chess set that a woman inherited from her grandfather. It was taken from the trunk of her car as she was preparing to move out of West Jordan, Utah. About a week later, after the theft was reported on local TV news, the set was anonymously turned in to local police.

A 39 year-old man is under arrest in South Carolina for showing up at his girlfriend’s house drunk, throwing her board game to the floor, and flinging the pieces around the room—also for allegedly putting her friend in a hammerlock when she asked him to pick up the mess.

A Bristol, UK jury has cleared a man of sexual assault charges. A woman had claimed that he attacked her during a game of Scrabble.

Giants’ Split Personality

Assault of the Giants, the next Dungeons & Dragons-derived board game from WizKids, is scheduled to hit retail in February. When it does, expect to see two versions. Both are meant for 3-6 players, with each controlling a particular clan of giants (hill, frost, fire, etc.). Both have players working simultaneously on a general war and the pursuit of goals unique to each clan. Both use the same map board and cards.

What’s the difference, then? One, the Standard Edition for $80, features 14 plastic miniatures molded in different colors. The other, the Premium Edition for $130, features the same miniatures but individually painted.

Renegade Game Studios is releasing Honshu, a game about map making in feudal Japan, in February 2017.

A game of Honshu is twelve rounds were players were map tiles are played in a trick. The player who played the highest valued map card gets to pick first from the cards played. Players’ maps are then expanded using the cards they have to raise their score. As with most trick-taking games, manipulating play order will be very important.

MSRP will be $25.00.

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