Breaking Games’s catalog is diverse, with abstracts, Euros, and party games. For me, the highlight of the bunch at NY Toy Fair was We’re Doomed ($35, March), a game that combines resource collection with a kind-of social bluffing or auction mechanism. The idea is that the players must work together to build a rocket to escape a doomed planet. They must cooperate and contribute the necessary resources to get a functioning rocket but at the same time, they compete with influence to claim available seats. Also factors in the game are a 15 minute time limit and unique abilities for each player, representing a certain type of government.

Another title, It Dies With Me ($25) has one player writing a personal secret on a slip of rice paper. Then on every turn, each player chooses a number on a die and hides it under a coffin. When all are revealed, the player with the highest unique number gets to move their token one space up the board and the player with the lowest number draws a card. The first to claim four cards or move to the end of the board claims the secret, which they get to read but then have to eat.

Trellis ($25), a more casual game. has players laying hexagonal tiles, and for each pair of matching-colored vines, one of their own flower tokens. The first to put out all of their flowers is the winner.

Hypo Thetically Fun ($20) is mostly a deck of conversation-starter cards in five categories: ponder, silly, story, imagination, and you.

Carl Spies ($15) is a set of cards with pre-set I Spy game conditions.

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Gen Con 2018—Breaking Games

Making their way in to retail over the next month from Breaking Games are Rise of Tribes and Expancity.

Rise of Tribes ($50 + $25 for a deluxe component upgrade) is a somewhat abstracted civilization building game that plays in about an hour. Four actions are always available on a person’s turn: grow, move, gather, and lead. But how effective those actions would be are determined by dice rolled by the player at the beginning of their turn, as well as dice held over from previous players’ turns. Points are scored by completing goal cards and building villages. The first to 15 is the winner.

Expancity ($60) is a city building game with a striking table presence. Players add tiles to the city both as locations for new buildings and as modifiers for adjacent buildings. The buildings are made by stacking plastic pieces vertically and then capping them off to score. The result is a table that looks like a downtown area packed with high-rises.

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ASTRA 2017—Breaking Games

A recent release by Breaking Games, Aura ($25) turns four individual decks of numbered cards in to a head-to-head tactical battle game. Opponents’ cards are arrayed against each other with higher numbers eliminating lower numbers and certain cards empowered with special effects, such as trumps and blocking ability.

Coming in the fourth quarter of this year is Kawaii ($10), a Japanese/English crossover card game that’s essentially the same as Poop, except for a few extra action cards and more poop emojis.

Then just into 2018, Breaking Games plans to ship Convert ($30), a wood piece, three-dimensional abstract played in two dimensions. That is, though the pieces are blocks and when placed must be considered in three dimensions, the goal of four-in-a-row applies only when viewed from above.

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Real Life Travel Bingo

In this season of long road trips, this modern variant on a family classic serves up humorous diversion with such spaces as “Someone is Carsick”, “Curse Word”, “Nose Picked”, “Weird Smell”, and “Pee Emergency”. Real Life Travel Bingo from Uncle Andy Toys retails for $10 and comes with three of the 5×5 cards, complete with the traditional little sliding windows.


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Second Look—MoonQuake Escape

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Breaking Games has been a roll lately not only with great games but getting those games into retail. One of my favorites of theirs to hit store shelves? That’d be MoonQuake Escape, now on over 650 Barnes & Nobles store shelves.

In MoonQuake Escape each player plays a convict on the prison planet of Zartaclaton. A major quake has put the plant into a tailspin, freeing the prisoners and having them all scramble to try and use the last escape pod to get outta dodge before everything goes bottom-end up. It’s not a straightforward race for freedom, though. The planet’s surface is constantly shifting, making it difficult for the convicts to make their way to the pod. Toss in a prison guard that’s still operational and they’ve got quite the task to accomplish.

MoonQuake Escape’s board is made of several rings that are stack on each other so they can spin. This represents the unstable nature of Zartaclaton. Each turn players will get a certain number of charges to make various actions: moving, playing cards, peeking at other player’s cards, escaping hazardous territory, etc…  Players keep played cards, except equipment, face down. One of these cards is their alien convict. The only way to move and eventually escape is to keep this card hidden. If it’s revealed you’ll have to take some penalties and get it hidden again to progress through the game. This makes bluffing very important. Have a shield card? It may be too obvious to protect your alien, but placing it elsewhere may open you up for discovery.

Overall the game is a great time. It’s silly fun with a good mix of chaos and strategy. It’s more than just a cool gimmick. It’s a solid family game that I know I’ll keep coming back to with my kids.

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If anything, the political climate is worse than when I first covered post-truth games in February, and apparently the game market has noticed.

Breaking Games’ Fake News ($25) is now available direct from the company. In it, players try to outdo each other writing outrageous headlines for a selection of image, phrase, and audience cards.

Available June 1st is Fake News/Real News ($14) from License-2-Play. This one takes politics on more directly. Included are cards with caricatures of people in the current administration and cards with 300 outrageous quotes, some of which are real and some of which are fake. Each round, players try to guess whether a selected quote is real and who said it.

Playroom Entertainment has in the works a similarly named Fake News or Real News? by Reinhard Staupe. Modeled on the designer’s True Stories, the game presents players with a series of weird but true news stories, each represented by a question and multiple-choice answers. The goal of the players, of course, it to correctly guess which of the strange answers correctly completes the story.

#AlternativeFacts ($10) from UltraPRO (not to be confused with Frog God Games’ Alternative Facts, which I mentioned last time) has players contributing noun, verb, and adjective cards to a jointly developed headline. When the second card with a Hot Button icon is added, the player who’s card had the highest Clickbait Strength wins the round.

One more, on Kickstarter, is also titled Fake News. Publisher Zag describes it as word Poker. That is, each round the current judge (dealer) puts out two word cards. Then the other players combine those cards with word cards from their own hands to produce, they hope, the best headline.


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Breaking Games keeps on racking up the retail shelf space, this time scoring a deal with Barnes & Noble. Starting April 9th, 650 B&N stores across the nation will have Game of 49, Game of Phones, Boomtown Bandits, Keep Calm, and MoonQuake Escape on their shelves.

While we may be living in the golden age of technology, when people come home from work and school, they crave human interaction. That’s why the board game market has risen for seven consecutive years to become a billion-dollar industry,” said Shari Spiro, CEO of Breaking Games. “Breaking Games produces tabletop games that are highly engaging, interactive and entertaining. We couldn’t think of a better like-minded partner than Barnes & Noble to help us share the joy of board gaming with five of our most popular titles. There is something for everyone!

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Post-Truth Games

The current political climate in the United States hasn’t escaped the notice of game publishers. Breaking Games recently applied for a trademark on the term “fake news” with regard to board and card games. No details on game-play are available yet, just a Fake News Game website to sign up for a mailing list. Partnering with Breaking Games, however, is Cards Against Humanity, so I wouldn’t expect anything easy-going.

Another game in the making is Alternative Facts from Frog God Games.

You win [Opinion Points] by assembling sets of matching Alternative Fact cards from your hand. A matching set is called a “Trick” in most card games, but we don’t like that word. It sounds deceptive. Instead, we call a matching set of Alternative Fact cards a “Truth.” A valid Truth can be made up of 3 or more identical cards — after all, the more you repeat something, the truer it is.

This one’s about half funded on Kickstarter but…

We began accumulating awards for Alternative Facts before even writing it, and expect to generate many more awards if necessary.

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A little while ago I had posted about how Breaking Games got The Game of 49 on Target shelves. Now they’ve got two more headed to the major retailer: The Game of Phones and POOP in a Bag.

GoP4Game of Phones is a card game that brings smartphones to the party. The game is available at Target starting August 1, 2016, for an MSRP of $20. Play the game with three or more players, ages 12 and up.

The game revolves around challenges that players have to complete using only their phones. “Find the best selfie;” “Take a photo of another player;” and “Show your worst or funniest text” are some of the examples given.

POOP Cards (4)POOP: The Game was created by a father for his son to learn math in new and creative ways. POOP In A Bag holds two different editions of POOP, the base game and Party Pooper. The game is also available at Target starting  August 1, 2016, for an MSRP of $20. The game plays from two to 10 players, ages 6 and up.

I reviewed POOP a while back ago, and had a great time with my kids. We haven’t gone on a camping trip since where the game hasn’t come along.


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game-of-49-box_fb16e7fc-141a-474d-94ac-5d0cb1eb120d_grandeBreaking Games is a fairly new company, only about a year and a half old. This week they hit a major milestone. The Game of 49, a bidding/bluffing 4-in-a-row game, just hit Target shelves. This is a major win for Breaking Games, and hopefully will open the door for more of their great games to be picked up by the retailer. I’ve heard some rumors that Poop may be hitting shelves soon.

The Game of 49 should be well stocked, and I was able to check and find that most Targets within 25 miles of me had at least 5 copies in stock. It’s a great game, and well worth the $25 and drive to Target.

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