Meeples


Pathfinder card creator

There is this idea floating around about customized cards made by fans. The idea being that anyone can create a card for a favorite game and fold it right into the deck. If that sounds too fictional to be plausible, think again.

DriveThruCards.com now has a Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (PACG) card creator that anyone can use to build a custom made character, armor, weapon, or whatever card to add to the core deck. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Gear Trading Card Game

Topps Top Gear Turbo AttaxNew in a long history of licensed games for the property is a Top Gear TCG from Topps. The over 200 cards in Top Gear Turbo Attax will feature mostly cars but also show hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

Assuming it’s anything like Topps’ other Attax games, play is pretty much choosing and comparing stats.

[via Toy News]

El Grande Big Box

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The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of El Grande, one of the most influential strategy and area control bestsellers. To celebrate this special occasion, a Big Box Edition will be released in Dutch, German and English languages.

Aside from the base game, the Big Box also includes all previously published official expansions, including:

  • Grand Inquisitor & Colonies;
  • Grandissimo;
  • King & Intrigant;
  • King & Intrigant: Players’ Edition;
  • King & Intrigant: Special Cards;
  • Anniversary Extension (details TBA).

The English version of El Grande Big Box will be published by Z-Man Games in 2015, according to W. Eric Martin on BoardGameGeek.

Toy Fair 2015—tonni-co

ToyFair15Horizontaltonni-co, LLC was at Toy Fair with TAG: the art game, a game that has all the players creating a collaborate piece of art.

The game is played with a color wheel, cards, dice, and art supplies. The color wheel is spun at the start of the game to dictate what colors will be used when the die is rolled. Gameplay is simple.

  1. Roll the die. Match the number on the color wheel. This is the color you’ll use this turn.
  2. Draw a location card. This will show you where on the paper your art will go.
  3. Draw an action card. This will tell you what to place in the location.
  4. Draw a medium card. This will tell you to either draw, paint, or make a collage.
  5. Play continues until the “Finished?” card is drawn. Players can choose to end the game there, or keep going.

It’s a cool concept, with some really cool results. Their booth was filled with art pieces created by playing the game.

TAG: the art game is available now in several different packages. There’s a full set that includes art supplies for $39.99, an Educational Edition that just has the game components for $19.99, and a Classroom Edition that has 3 sets of the game components for $39.99.

Toy Fair 2015—Twizmo

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twizmo_games_logo_homeI had never heard of Twizmo before Toy Fair this year, and now I’m glad I have. The only game they were showing off this year was tak•tak, and abstract strategy game for two players ages 8+. The game’s rules are fairly simple. You move your pieces forward either straight or diagonally. You can attack other player’s pieces by moving of of yours with the same number or color on top of the opposing piece. You now control that stack. Of course your opponent can stack on that, and so forth. The game ends when one player has no more pieces in the center section of the board. The winner is the one with the highest numeric score in the opposing player’s Safe Zone.

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It’s quick, easy to learn, and has a good amount of strategy to it. tak•tak ships in April of this year, and has an MSRP of $16.95.

Toy Fair 2015—Smart Zone

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ScanEvery time I meet the fine folks at Smart Zone they’re always quick to pull me right into a game. This year that game was The Hidden Code, by Dave Cousins. Still wrapping up production, the game has pieces that look like a Chess Rook cut in half. Each half has either a color or a number, and the two halves can stick together magnetically. The goal of the game is to guess a player’s color and number. You do this by asking them questions like, “Do you have 4 Red.” If the player you asked has either Red or a 4, they must answer “Yes.” The last player standing wins.

It seemed simple at first, but being a novice at the game I was quickly overwhelmed by the two gentlemen I played with. I found out using dirty tactics, like asking for colors that didn’t exist to make finding a number easier, are perfectly OK and are extremely clever.

HexadicThis story falls under the “Why didn’t I think of that” category. Wired recently interviewed musician Ben Chasny of the band “Six Organs of Admittance,” because he created what he calls the Hexadonic System for writing music using playing cards.

I’ve heard of musicians experimenting with lots of different random patterns to compose songs, like earthquake activity or fractals. But, I’ve never heard of using a deck of playing cards.

After reading the description of how the system works, I can’t believe no one has thought of it before. It is fairly simple.

The first thing Chasny did was assign notes, timing, and structure to each playing card. For example, he lays out 36 cards on the table and assigns them to the frets on his guitar, covering three octaves.

Then, he shuffles the cards and draws six hands, which represent six different scales. Another card is drawn, which is used to represent the timing and order of the notes.

There is a bit more to it than that, but what a great idea. Chesny’s band made an entire album out of this method of songwriting, aptly named Hexadic.

I love random pattern musical experimentation. It is incredible the kinds of sounds that can be produced by such chaos in nature.

I’ll bet one could perform a similar musical experiment using a six-sided die. All you would have to do is assign each number to a chord and then let it role. I think I’m going to try it out right now.

Never Have I Ever

neverhaveieverNever Have I Ever – the Card Game of Poor Life Decisions is a social card game where players get to relive the less-poised aspects of their life. All your mistakes, poor judgements, and awkward moments in life will score you big and push you towards victory. It’s been featured on Ellen with both Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow playing the game.

The box includes 485 Never Have I Ever Play Cards, 65 Rule Cards, and instructions. It’s currently available for $25.

Toy Fair 2015—Buffalo Games

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For adults—complete with “Parental Advisory” sticker—Buffalo Games will have later this year an officially licensed Urban Dictionary Game (August, $25). The box comes with challenge cards and definition cards. Most of the challenge cards are fill-in-the-blank but some require that turn’s judge to act out or draw something. Then the other players submit definition cards and the judge chooses a favorite.

For the kids, Buffalo has three-dimensional plans. Raptor Run (August, $18) is a dinosaur-themed board game with a single track running back-and-forth up the slope of a volcano. The volcano also works kind of like a dice tower. Through its top players on their turn drop a die, which serves two purposes. First, it simply tells them how many spaces up the track to move their dinosaur pieces. Second, as it drops, the die may knock some of those pieces off the track, forcing them to start the trek over.

Two more vertically oriented games are the Princess Adventure and DC Super Friends 3D Floor Puzzles ($15). As you might infer from the name, the boards are large and must be pieced together before play. After that, they’re pretty straightforward cooperative spin-and-move games—either collecting keys and racing a wizard to the top of the castle or racing against the Joker to rescue the baby octopus.

Toy Fair 2015—USAoploy

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usaopolylogoUSAopoly surprised me at Toy Fair. I mostly know them for their licensed versions of Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Yahtzee, etc…, but a handful of original titles filled their booth this year. Before I get into those, I’m going to post a gallery of all the licensed products that are new.

OK! There’s a lot of material to cover above.

Monopoly

The Legend of Zelda version is new as of last year, and has been an excellent seller. New to the scene are Mass Effect, Pokemon, Jurassic World, Doctor Who: Villains, Firefly, and Penny Dreadful.

Yahtzee

There’s Back to the Future (the Flux Capacitor case lights up!), Firefly, The Legend of Zelda, and new versions for The Avengers, Age of Ultron. These I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of, but the dice come in either an Iron Man or Ultron head.

Clue

Doctor Who. It rhymes.

BANG!

It was really cool to see that there’s a Hereos of the Storm version, and a comic book Walking Dead version. Also, Halo.

Munchkin

A Walking Dead expansion for Munchkin Zombies was shown, as well as Adventure Time Munchkin. I actually took a copy of the latter home from a Steve Jackson party, and it’s pretty sweet. USAopoly did an excellent job of capturing the feeling of the show and fitting it in with the equally zany world of Munchkin.

Puzzles

Two beautiful Legend of Zelda puzzles. One is of the Hyrule Map, and the other is a colorful piece from The Wind Waker.

Risk

I wasn’t able to take pictures of either Risk title I saw, but they’re both very exciting. The first is an Avengers: Age of Ultron version that comes with little painted miniatures of the Avengers. The packaging said something about “collect them all,” but the rep showing me around didn’t know what that was about. It could be a pretty interesting mechanic if there were an element of randomness to the figures in the box.

The second, and by far one of the most exciting licensed products, was the Game of Thrones version of Risk. This thing was huge. It comes with 2 giant boards depicting Westeros and Essos, and the game is played over both maps at once. The pieces were amazing in their detail, and the box was minimal and beautiful. This is one I’d go out of my way to purchase.

 


 

OK. That horizontal line above is where we break from the licensed copies of classic and well known board games and get into original titles USAopoly is putting out.

TacDex – $9.95

TacDex is a newer game to the USAopoly line, and is a War-style card game developed by Richard Borg. Already having a Pirates! deck, they’ve now added a Super Mario Brothers deck, Walking Dead deck, and Halo deck. I was told you can mix and match the decks, if so desired. Right off the bat I’m interested because of Richard Borg’s involvement.

Rollandia

Rollandia is a really cool looking game where you’re rolling dice to try and build your castle. You need to roll groups of numbers to build each piece, and there’s a component of using your already-claimed numbers to effect other players. The whole look and feel of the game caught be totally by surprise after seeing such a huge amount of licensed Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee, etc… games. Nothing against those, but it’s always nice to see new and innovative titles hit the market.

Nefarious – $29.95 – Ages 13+

Nefarious

Rollandia was really cool looking, but one look at Nefarious and I had already moved on. In Nefarious you’re playing evil scientists trying to take over the world. You do this by inventing devices, performing espionage, and doing research. Visually stunning, designed by Donald X. Vaccarino, and slick looking game play make this one to keep an eye on.

Pass the Blame : The Party Game for Irresponsible and Telestrations 8: After Dark  – $29.95 and $19.95 – Ages 17+

Two adult games following the new trend in the wake of Cards Against Humanity. Both party games involve compromising situations and foul thoughts. Pass the Blame has situations cards that players must write excuses for. Not as filthy as Telestrations After Dark, but it can get a bit dicey. Telestrations After Dark has you playing a game of Telephone, but with sketches. One player sketches a phrase, the next guesses what the phrase is and tries to draw it again, and so on. This one is a bit more intentionally dirty with terms like “doggie style”, “human centipede”, and more.

Wonky

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Wonky comes with a box of mostly-cube-like pieces and cards that tell you what color cubes to place and where. Players have to follow the directions on the cards and build a tower as high as they can without it falling. A quick, easy, family game.

Tapple

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A word game with an interesting twist. A card is drawn with a category, after which each player takes turns naming something in the category and tapping down the letter the word started with. Once a letter is tapped down it can’t be used again. Players who can’t think of a word are knocked out.

Lift It

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This one had a pretty cool hook to it (pun intended.) Lift It has you trying to build certain structures with the pieces provided, but you must do in within a time limit, and by only using your hook on a string to pick up and place pieces. Some challenges are even cooperative, where 2 players need to each hook pieces and work togehter to build something. I gave this a shot, but was met with an almost insurmountable challenge trying to get my shaky, carpal tunnel ridden hands and wrists to do as I asked.

 

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