Google Search Playing Cards

google-playing-cardsGoogle’s version of playing cards show suits but, reminiscent of online search, require players to fill in the blank for face values.


[via Search Engine Roundtable]


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Crowdfunding Highlights

brailleThere are only hours left in the Braille RPG Dice kickstarter campaign by 64 Oz. Games. Backing at $10 gets you one 3D-printed polyhedral die, while a $50 pledge will be rewarded with a full set of seven dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and percentale — that’s a d10 marked in tens). This the company’s second kickstarter, following up on their “Board Games: Now Blind Accessible” braille-printed transparent sleeves for several popular hobby games. Stretch goals for Braille RPG Dice include allowing 64 Oz. Games to purchase a CNC router and a plastic thermoforming machine, which will be used on future manufacturing projects.

secret-hitlerI’ve played several social bluffing hidden role games, but Secret Hitler looks like it’s a game that I’d want to bring out more than any other. Just launched, the game takes place in 1930’s Germany with two teams, the Fascists and the Liberals, trying to take control of the government. Similar to Werewolf and The Resistance, the rounds move rapidly. If I had a regularly-meeting large game group — you’ll need between 5 and 10 players for Secret Hitler — I’d throw down a $25 pledge to get a game of this as a reward.

Oh man, I am a sucker for a well-designed playing card deck and this week, I’ve got three that I’d like to showcase. First up is the Red Scarab and Blue Scarab decks, from Scott King. The Red deck is shaded line art on white while the Blue deck is more painterly on black. Jackson Robinson (from the Wasteland 2-inspired deck) has a set of limited edition Black Diamond Tally-Ho decks available. These cards are black with foil print. And lastly, Elite Playing Cards has a glamorously golden deck called Bicycle Chic.

chic cards

Oh yeah, board games! Do you like Catan? Game Night Geek, LLC., offers up a Magnetic Catan Border. It’s six pieces of oak plywood (other types of wood available for upgraded costs) connected by those strong neodymium magnets to keep the tile island of Catan together while playing. It’s one of those so-simple-why-didn’t-I-think-of-it game accessory. But someone did, and these are rather affordable, starting at a $12 pledge level.

I’ve been using black foamcore to create custom component storage for some of my boardgames. However, these lasercut MDF Board Game Inserts by The Game Doctors are awfully tempting… What you do is pledge 10 Euro or more in shipping windows (all full right now, but they’ll be opening more slots as the campaign goes on) and when it’s over, you convert those pledges into whichever types of game insert you desire. I’m looking at the “Card” design to store my ever-growing Android: Netrunner collection (14 Euro + 5 per 10 additional dividers) or “Robi” for the Robinson Crusoe box (16 Euro, includes space for the Voyage of the Beagle expansion) or maybe “Dead” for my Dead of Winter game (18 Euro).

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Cartamundi has three new James Bond 007 products for the UK market. One is a James Bond movie poster deck of playing cards (retail price £3), another a Spectre deck (£4). The third is a James Bond Luxury Poker Set (£100).

River Horse has acquired a license produce a board game based on The Hunt for Red October, the movie version. Expect the company to make it a Kickstarter project.

Kung Fu Panda The Board GameKung Fu Panda: The Board Game is coming from Modiphius Entertainment under license from DreamWorks Animation. Scheduled for release next fall, Kung Fu Panda will be a cooperative adventure game where the players take on the role of Po or one of the other Furious Five, complete quests, earn Kharma, upgrade their abilities, and work to defeat Tai Lung and other villains.

At the Fall Toy Preview show in Dallas, Wonder Forge premiered Matching and Surprise Slides games based on the children’s books of Eric Carle, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Masterpiece Mystery Motive for MurderHitting retail this week is Mystery Motive for Murder from Mayfair Games. Based on the Masterpiece Mystery series on PBS television, the game doesn’t hide the location and weapon used in a murder but rather asks the players to figure out the culprit and motive.

Releasing November 10th is a Fallout Collector’s Edition of Monopoly from USAopoly. It’s a Gamestop exclusive.

Solitaire Comes Full Circle

Solitaire Cards

Once upon a time, people played Solitaire with cards. Then they played it on their work computers while their bosses weren’t looking. Now it can be played with cards again without sacrificing the aesthetic of the computer game.

New from Areaware is a deck of playing cards with artwork by Susan Kare, designer for the original solitaire game included with every Windows 3.0 operating system. Card faces in  the deck even have jagged pixelated images.

The retail price on a deck of Solitaire Cards is $14.

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Dale-of-Merchants-contentsReaper Miniatures launched their third Kickstarter campaign for their Bones miniature line this morning. The Texas-based company originally held their first campaign for the miniatures in August of 2012, raising nearly $3.5 million to fund the miniature molds and move production of the line from China to the United States. The first campaign’s Vampire level at $100 originally included 100 miniatures but stretch goals took that over 225 miniatures. (I still have only a third painted!) Bones 3 is only running for 18 days, ending on July 25th at 8 PM EDT.

Dale of Merchants: The Guild of Extraordinary Traders by Snowdale Design (above) looks crazy cute. This deckbuilder has the players taking on the roles of animal (why? because.) merchants setting up stalls in a marketplace to showcase their wares and join the guild. The playthrough videos and artwork shared look fun (the campaign features a series of Rahdo Runs Through videos for you to check out). Game-level rewards start at $24. The campaign ends on July 31st.

map-throne-room-smallOn Patreon, Dyson Logos is creating cartography for fantasy roleplaying games. With pledge levels starting as low as five cents, it’s easy to support this mapmaker. All of his maps are available for free at his blog, Dyson’s Dodecahedron, but pledging $1 per map or adventure gets you 300 dpi versions of the maps before they make it to the blog. A $5 per work pledge unlocks the PDF versions of any forthcoming book and the Dyson’s Delves I & II books. Dyson’s stuff is really fantastic. (Currently, the Patreon is just under $25 in pledges from unlocking another milestone: releasing the back catalog of maps under a commercial open-license.)

Oh man, I do love me some fantastic playing cards, and this month there’s some great-looking ones on Kickstarter. Let’s start with the Wasteland 2-inspired Wasteland Playing Cards, illustrated by Jackson Robinson. This has already blown past the funding goal and will be funded on July 31st. $12 for the basic deck of cards ready for the Apocalypse (seriously — I’d love to find a way to hack the Apocalypse World RPG to use this card set). Or perhaps you’re a fan of the golden age of piracy? Well, in that case, check out the Seven Seas Master Collection by Brain Vessel Creative. Pirates, sea creatures, and two different ship-themed decks await, with individual decks starting at $12.

z-in-game-playAnd look what I just stumbled across! 9 Kingdoms Publications are in their final days of a Kickstarter campaign to produce an expansion to ApocalypZe. (That’s the original game on the right.) You might recall a while back I reviewed the zombie survival card game (tl;dr: it’s pretty darn good). The original game came with pre-constructed decks and extra cards to build out your own deck. This expansion adds two more decks and six additional cards, and they’ve revisited the graphic design of the cards so they’re easier to read. In addition to the expansion, they also have booster packs to beef up your decks on offer. $25 gets you the expansion, the base game (plus the extra stuff from that game’s KS) is a $40 add-on. Or just go $75 for everything (base, expansion, and boosters).

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.

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The Family Arcana Card DeckWhat do you get when you mix a ghostly novella with a deck of cards? You get “The Family Arcana,” which is a deck of 52 cards (plus two Jokers) that can be played as any traditional card game, like Go Fish, Poker, Old Maid, or whatever.

The uniqueness comes with the fact that each card includes a snippet of a the life of an excruciatingly dysfunctional family, as told by the children living inside the decomposing farmhouse.

As you play the game, you read the snippet aloud. It doesn’t matter what order they are in. It doesn’t matter what the rules for reading cards are. Snippets consist of secrets, confessions, accusations, and other independent pieces of the story.

Author Jedediah Berry created his family from a dream. He regularly wrote ideas for this unfolding family tale on index cards. He soon discovered that he could shuffle the pieces and still manage to make a somewhat comprehensive story out of it.

Thus The Family Arcana came to be.

You can preorder a full deck for $12 from Ninepin Press’ Kickstarter campaign with additional gifts included at higher pledge levels. The campaign ends on March 19 and shipping is expected by August.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Playing Cards

Recently released by Dark Horse, is a standard deck of cards with art from Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Dragon Age Inquisition Playing Cards

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Poker Art

An art installation made from playing cards for the offices of a poker website:


Click the pic for more info and other views.

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