Planetary Reign

exploding_kittensThe Exploding Kittens Kickstarter campaign has passed the one million dollars pledged mark within six hours of the campaign’s launch. The card game by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Elan Lee, and Shane Small is nearing the $2MM mark as of this writing, just twenty hours into the campaign. Exploding Kittens is a 2-4 player game with a 56-card deck which players draw cards from, trying not to draw one of the Exploding Kitten cards. Various cards force other players to draw from the deck, avoid player elimination, or avoid drawing from the deck. The game is priced at (via backer rewards) $20. The base game with a NSFW addon is $35. The five hundred dollar-level award tier sold out in less than three hours.

Matthew Inman’s previous crowdsourcing campaign, Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum, raised $1,370,461 in 2012.

A pilot for a Wits & Wagers television game show has been ordered by CBS. That news was teased, then quickly retracted by North Star Games yesterday on Twitter. Apparently, the announcement was premature, based on contractual restrictions. Confirmation and additional information may be available as early as next week.

 North Star Game Show Tweet

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThrough the 22nd, one of the books, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, in McDonald’s Happy Meals includes a small board game.

A giant-sized garden Chess set is on-sale at Amazon for 54% off.

Some other game deals on Amazon:

A collection of the two Dungeons & Dragons movies is available at Amazon for $10.15 in Blu-ray format, $8.35 in DVD. As cheap as that is, I still wouldn’t waste my money. A better bet is the complete Dungeons & Dragons Animated Series for $9.28 on DVD.

Adamant Entertainment’s Pathfinder RPG supplements are 50% off at DriveThruRPG.

Get 50% off Triple Ace Games’ swashbuckling All For One RPG products.

Geek & Sundry is giving away Stone Age from Z-Man Games.

Father Geek is giving away Last Starfleet from Wicked Grin Games.

Name The Cardboard Republic’s imagined chili recipe for a chance to win Scoville from Tasty Minstrel Games.

Specialty Toys Network is giving away The Presidential Game.

Tabby’s Pantry is giving away two games, Trouble and Aggravation, from Winning Moves.

The Care and Feeding of Nerds is giving away XCOM: The Board Game from Fantasy Flight Games.

Emotional Intelligence Game

EQtainment Board GameEQtainment’s new product line aims to teach children emotional intelligence, the awareness and control of emotions, particularly with regard to social interactions. One of those products is Q’s Race to the Top, a board game in which the players (ages 3+) move their pieces through a monkey’s tree house. Along the way, they play You, Q, and Do cards, which have the kids answering questions about themselves; advising the monkey, Q, on social situations; and practicing balance and coordination.

Q’s Race to the Top retails for $25, exclusively at Target

Cones of Dunshire

Fans of the show Parks and Recreation rejoice! The Cones of Dunsire, the game designed by the show’s Ben Wyatt, is very close to becoming reality. Now some people have been lucky enough to play a copy of the game at Gen Con, but now Mayfair is trying to produce of copy of the game for you to get your greedy, little hands on.

Want to make sure you get a copy of the game? You’ll have to pledge at the $500 if you do. Of course the game also needs to reach it’s $300,000 goal in the next 54 days, too. Something tells me they won’t have much trouble doing so.

At $500, I’ll never see a copy of the game on my shelves. Who knows. I may get lucky enough that I’ll see it at a convention one day.

Dragon issue 364Wizards of the Coast has started posting Dragon and Dungeon magazines for sale in the webstore. So far, just two Dragons and four Dungeons have been posted (at $5 each) and all are from the era of 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

I only wish we could get reprints from the 1st edition period. I can’t believe I threw mine out!

the_game_crafterInspired by the success of crowdfunding campaigns for board games, the prototyping and print-on-demand service, The Game Crafter, is launching a new feature its calling “crowd sales”. A game in a crowd sale is sold at a discount but the amount of that discount depends on the total number of copies sold over a one-week period. For example, the first crowd sale (which starts Monday), has Song Froggy at a minimum discount of 25 percent ($5.00 off its normal price of $20), increasing to 33 percent when 100 copies are sold, and 40 percent with 175 copies.

Love Letter: Batman


Being a variant of the original Love Letter, a card game by Seiji Kanai, Love Letter: Batman takes players into one of the most sought-after comic worlds. As Joker and Harley Quinn have escaped from the notorious Arkham Asylum, it is Batman’s duty to hunt these villains down with the aid of Robin and perhaps, Catwoman. To achieve this goal, players have to make use of the special effects on the cards to knock opponents out of the round, or to capture the most powerful card so as to receive Batsignal tokens.

Love Letter: Batman is a co-release from Alderac and Cryptozoic. It plays 2 to 4 players in about 20 minutes, and is expected to be released in March 2015.

Poker, Solved

pokerResearchers with the University of Alberta have developed a computer program that is unbeatable at Heads-up Limit Hold’em Poker. While not for the most popular version of Poker, the solution does provide some insight in to general strategies.

Also interesting is how the program was developed. The computer was set to play against itself for a series of training rounds, calculating after each game a level of “regret” for imperfect play. Following 2 months of practice, the computer had developed a table of strategies exceeding 10 terabytes in size.

Because of the hidden information and luck inherent in Poker, the program is not guaranteed a win in each and every hand. Nevertheless, its table of strategies is so good that it is unbeatable by a human in the long run.

The program also bluffs, usually folding but sometimes raising on a week hand!

[via Bloomberg]

TaleBlazerTaleBlazer is a software platform for the development of alternate reality games at museums, zoos, nature centers, living-history sites, and other educational institutions. Created by MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program, TaleBlazer allows such organizations to develop sophisticated location-based games using a simple browser-based scripting system.

TaleBlazer games can run on either iOS or Android devices and allow visitors to interact with virtual characters and objects triggered by their real-world locations.

At the Columbus Zoo, for example, one game has players acting as journalists studying global climate change, while with another players take on the role of detectives investigating a crime involving illegal wildlife trade.

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