Boards to Bytes

Baseball Highlights 2045Strat-O-Matic is adding a new option to the digital versions of its card game baseball simulator, one that will update player stats on a daily basis.

A different sort of baseball card game, Baseball Highlights 2045 by Eagle-Gryphon Games, is now available for iOS devices.

Duels, a new feature of digital Splendor, is a competitive version of Challenges, which are supposed to be more puzzle-like and up until now were single-player. Duels are played against the AI. Still no online multiplayer.

Exploding Kittens’ new iOS version is not just a simple port. Nope cards are gone, others are in their place, and there’s a probability meter that shows how likely the next card is to be TNT.

Pathfinder Adventures, the digital version of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, is due in March.

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The team behind Kickstarter-phenomenon Exploding Kittens promised to deliver a surprise in the box to backers. And so they did! When opened, the game box meows—yes, the sound of a cat.

The sound-producing packaging was provided by AdMagic, which has applied for a patent and is offering similar products through Other sound contraptions (e.g., musical greeting cards) typically trigger with the pull of a tab. AdMagic’s sound-boxes are triggered by exposure to light.

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Second Look: Exploding Kittens

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.In January, I pledged the Exploding Kittens Kickstarter and have waited (im)patiently for the past six months for my hilarious card game of kittens and explosions to arrive.

It was worth the wait.

The game reached its level of fame as the most-backed board game on Kickstarter due in part to one of the game’s creators, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal. Just as you would imagine, each card is lovingly drawn with hilarious wit and witticism.

The goal of the game is to not be the person who draws the Exploding Kitten from a 56-card deck (or, 112 if you combine the basic deck and NSFW deck). How you achieve not drawing the card is all part of the strategy.

Exploding Kittens 1If I had to compare it to an existing popular card game, I would say it is most akin to Uno. Players draw cards from a deck and use those cards to either cause havoc for their opponent, or create a cushion of safety for themselves.

There are eight different types of cards, each with hilarious illustrations and flavor text to make you spew milk out of your nose. You can cause trouble for your opponent by playing an Attack card, which forces him or her to play two turns (thus drawing two cards from the deck) or a Favor card, which means you get to take a card from your opponent. You can also make things easier on yourself by playing a See the Future card, so you can check to see if one of the top cards is an Exploding Kitten, or play a Shuffle card, which allows you to reshuffle the deck. Skip cards allow you to end your turn without drawing. A Nope card negates the action of an opponent’s play. The elusive and all-important Defuse card stops a kitten from exploding.

Exploding Kittens 2With a few additional rules about the game, you can get started right a way. Action cards have text right on them to describe their abilities. You can get through a game in a few minutes, or take as long as 20 minutes, depending on the number of players and cards, as well as where the Exploding Kitten is shuffled into the deck.

I played this game with a fellow Oatmeal fan and we both laughed many times at the cards we played (especially the NSFW deck). While a two-player game was certainly fun, I can tell that it would be much better played with at least four. The strategy and card play would be more action-packed with more players. But, really, it was loads of fun with just the two of us.

While shipping for the Kickstarter campaign pledges has only just begun, you can sign up for the Exploding Kittens pre-order mailing list to receive information when the game will be made to the general public.

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Monolith Board Games’ Conan is the most funded non-video game on Kickstarter for at least the next eight days. With $3,327,757 pledged, the miniature-based game is currently $2.6 million short of Exploding Kittens, from Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Elan Lee, and Shane Small, which will become the most funded game in Kickstarter’s Game category on Thursday, Feburary 19, 2015.

The Kickstarter campaign for Conan reached its initial funding goal in five minutes and thirty-seven seconds, with the game overfunding by 4,159%. Jamie Johnson of Monolith Board Games LLC, thanks the backers of the project: “When we set out to make Conan, it was to give life to a saga that we all loved, to make a game that would remind us of just what it meant to be a gamer and a lover of high adventure….As for what lies ahead for Monolith, well, you guys have blown our expectations out of the water. All bets are now off as they say but one thing is sure, you have given us the means, the encouragement and the determination to take this ball and run with it.”


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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.

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