Star Wars Galactic Connexions

Star Wars Galactic ConnexionsStar Wars Galactic Connexions is a new collectible game from Topps retailing exclusively at Walmart. The game consists of hexagonal “discs”, each depicting one of 75 different Star Wars characters.

Collectibility is enhanced by a variety of decorative styles in several rarity tiers. Common discs are grey, uncommon discs are black, and rare discs are clear, but discs of all three may appear in standard, foil, or pattern-foil variations. There are also seven types of ulra-rare discs, including translucent lightsaber red and metallic C-3PO gold.

Gameplay is a matter of placing pieces so that the number of hash marks along each edge of a piece being played is greater than the number of hash marks on all adjacent edges. The total number of hash marks on both sides is the score earned that round. Bonus points are available for relaying how the characters are connected within the Star Wars story line.

Star Wars Galactic Connexions is available in a Starter Deck with 14 discs, including one ultra-rare, for $10 and in five-disc booster packs, which Walmart online is selling in a bundle of five (that’s 25 total discs) for $20.

Star Wars Galactic Connexions Play

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Star Wars Box Busters

Spin Master is also in on the Star Wars The Force Awakens game with a product that makes me think “Star Wars Bakugan”. What you actually get with Star Wars Box Busters, though, is a simple battle game played with miniature scenes built in to small pop-open plastic cubes.

Players place their Box Buster cubes, closed, on a battle mat and roll a die. The die results include blast, double-blast, shield, and special. Each shield rolled by an opponent cancels a single blast but for each remaining blast, a player scores a hit. The first hit forces an opponent to pop open their cube. And enough hits will eventually destroy an opponent’s command center and win the game.

Also, players can save up to two die rolls. Not only can they be more useful in a later turn, but also certain combinations produce more powerful results, unique to the particular cube (for example, special+double-blast gives a player with Battle of Yavin five blasts in that one turn and special+special allows the player with Tusken Raider Attack to remove all damage from two cube areas).

In the Star Wars Box Busters series there are two two-cube sets for $16, Battle of Naboo & Battle of Hoth and Tusken Raider Attack & The Battle of Yavin, as well as five single-cube packs for $8-14, Battle of Yavin, Battle of Hoth, Endor Attack, Death Star, and Rebels TIE Fighter Attack.

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Friday marked the launch of a new crop of Star Wars toys. Based on the upcoming movie, The Force Awakens, these included lightsabers, action figures, animatronic characters, and programmable rolling droids. But what about the games?

Don’t worry! Hasbro’s got you covered…

Of course, there’s the obligatory The Force Awakens version of Star Wars Monopoly. It has a round board and replaces purchasing properties with establishing bases on planets (Coruscant, Endor, Tatooine, Hoth, and others). Player tokens in this version are miniature figures of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Finn, and Kylo Ren.

Then there’s the game everyone’s been excited about since we first got a peek at it back in April, Risk: Star Wars Edition. Not only is the board in the shape of a TIE fighter, the game comes with over 100 miniature space ships—X-wings, Y-wings, B-wings, and TIE fighters. Game play involves two opposing teams battling on three fronts—the Death Star, the shield assault, and the personal confrontation of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

Another one that looks like fun is Loopin’ Chewie. This one’s a dexterity game where the goal is to protect your storm troopers from being knocked off by a flying Millennium Falcon.

Back with strategy games, we have Star Wars Chess. The game’s the same but on one side the figures are Imperial characters and on the other side they’re Rebel characters. To help with identification, the base of each has an image of the matching traditional Chess piece.

In Star Wars Battleship one person plays with the Tantive IV, Millennium Falcon, X-wing fighters, and A-wing fighters, the other with the Finalizer, Imperial shuttle, Slave I, and First Order Special Forces TIE Fighters.

Star Wars Duels is a card game based on War. However, when played by more than two, individuals can team up to combine the strength of their cards.

For a younger crowd there’s Star Wars Hands Down. The goal with this one is to get rid of all one’s cards by being the first to slam down the card matching the image on a spinner.

And finally, there’s the word-guessing game, Star Wars Catch Phrase. Of course, the words are all from Star Wars and the electronics are housed in a little Millennium Falcon.

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Star Wars Risk

Because you were so excited by the glimpse at Star Wars Risk that Lory got in April, I thought you might be interested to see this image of the game from an upcoming Hasbro catalog.

Star Wars Risk from catalog

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Leaked images of the Star Wars Episode VII starter set for Fantasy Flight Games’ X-Wing game appeared on Reddit’s XWingTMG subreddit earlier today. Images featuring the three ships included in the base game (from the Resistance and the First Order) and quite possibly the opening crawl from the upcoming movie.

“Some people are wondering about what’s going on with [Star Wars: The Force Awakens] and what’s going on with that is I can’t tell you anything about it,” Christian Petersen, CEO of Fantasy Flight Games, joked at the Inflight Report at Gen Con 2015. “The secrecy and the level of death imposed upon me, if I tell you anything about [Episode VII] is enormous.” While he was speaking at the end of July, finished product was being shipped to the FFG warehouse. Reportedly, forum threads at FFG’s site that point to the leaked images are being deleted almost as soon as they are created.

Ship cards indicate that the “Blue Ace” T-70 X-Wing has a 1 Hard Turn Boost ability built in, plus a slightly better base statline (3/2/3/3), and a 3-green straight. The First Order TIE has four actions on its bar: Evade, Barrel Roll, Target Lock, and Focus.

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Star Wars Force and DestinyFantasy Flight Games has been working on a new story for the Star Wars role-playing universe. Force and Destiny takes place decades after Vader and Emperor Palpatine overthrew the Jedi Order and committed genocide on every Jedi they could find.

Players take on the role of a Force sensitive that is either a survivor of the slaughter, or a Younling that never even knew the Order existed. You may be able to use the Force to protect weaker planets, or rise to prominence in the Rebel Alliance.

The Core Rulebook will include the “Lessons from the Past” adventure, which sends players to search the wreckage of a lost Jedi starship that might still contain precious artifacts.

The Beginner Game, which includes an Adventure Book, Rulebook, character folios, a foldout map, custom dice, and destiny and character tokens, costs $30 and will be available soon at your local game shop.

The Core Rulebook, which includes comprehensive detailed information on the gameplay, including race, class, politics, galactic geography, Jedi and Sith Orders, starships, weapons, and the “Lessons from the Past” adventure, costs $60 and is scheduled to launch later this month.

The Game Masters Kit, which includes a GM screen, supplemental information, and a complete stand-alone adventure is scheduled to launch in May, but is still in the development stages at the time of this writing.

Three Adversary Decks, Citizens of the Galaxy, Imperials and Rebels, and Scum and Villainy, which each come with 20 cards representing various NPCs to extend your gaming options, cost $7 and are already available in stores.

There is also a Star Wars Dice App, which is compatible with X-Wing Miniatures Game and all Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars role-playing games, available for iOS and Android for $4.99.

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Return of the Jedi Play for Power Card GameYesterday, I attended a local mini Star Wars convention, where I came across the 1983 Parker Brothers card game, Star Wars Return of the Jedi: Play-for-Power. I had seen dozens of copies of the 30-year-old game at Star Wars Celebration VII, but none were still unopened. The game I found in my hometown still had sealed decks inside, and was only $5, to boot. It was a deal I just could not pass up.

The Return of the Jedi Play-for-Power card game is actually five games in one. Four of them are variations on traditional card games, like solitaire and War. The most complicated game is similar to poker, but with winning cards instead of winning hands.

Alien Adventure supports three to four players and is the most complex of the card games. Players choose their strongest card to battle against opponents. The player whose card has the highest point value wins.

Jedi Apprentice and Jedi Master support two to four players and is very much like War, but with a few variations on the rules.

Creature Concentration is simply a game of Concentration. Players lay out a deck of cards onto the tabletop and must try to find their match. Like the others, this game also includes a few variations on the play to make it interesting.

Super Solitaire is similar to the single-player game of Canfield solitaire with a special deck.

Upon researching ROTJ: Play-for-Power card game, I discovered that this vintage card game is fairly easy to find, and is reasonably priced between $10 and $15. So, on Star Wars day, why not treat yourself to a good, old-fashioned Jedi-themed card game. May the Fourth be with You.

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For latest news on all the Star Wars games see: Star Wars The Force Awakens Board and Card Games.

Star Wars RiskI had the privilege of attending Star Wars Celebration VII in Anaheim, CA this past weekend and one of the many awesome things that caught my eye while wandering the rows and rows of vendors in the exhibitor hall was Hasbro’s upcoming revamped version of Star Wars Risk.

In this asymmetric version of Star Wars Risk, the Rebel player is trying to get the shields down on the Death Star in order to destroy it while the Empire player is trying to destroy the Rebel fleet.

The game is designed for tow to four player ages 10 and up. Gameplay takes approximately 25 – 40 minutes.

Star Wars Risk from Hasbro will launch this fall for $29.99 for the standard edition and $49.99 for the special Black Series edition.

Star Wars Risk 2

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Patch ProductsFor me, the highlight of Patch’s booth this year—a highlight of the show even—was Chrono Bomb (July, $25 in box or $35 in case). It’s one of those games that has kids playing through the house, turning rooms in to part of the story.

With Chrono Bomb, strings attached to sensors are meant to imitate those laser-detection systems you see in all the spy action movies. Kids are supposed to stretch those strings across halls and doors making a sort-of obstacle course for their friends. Then object cards are spread through the course, a mission is chosen (indicating the specific objects that need to be retrieved), and a timer set.

In addition to simply playing the Chrono Bomb game, I could definitely see kids challenging each other with tougher courses or using the devices as an alarm system against their younger siblings entering their rooms.

Yeti in My Spaghetti (August, $18) has a certain similarity to Pick-up Sticks. Players take turns pulling noodles and hoping that the yeti won’t drop in to the bowl.

For children starting at 2 years, Patch is launching the Smart Start line in July. Sparky ($25) teaches shapes and colors with a cute light-up insect. When someone presses the button on top, Sparky says a shape and his tail lights a matching color. Cheese Dip ($20) is a letter recognition and spelling game. Children use the tails of their mouse pieces to pick up letters made with holes like Swiss cheese. Puppy Up ($25) is for numbers, which it teaches with a scale. On one side go a number of puppy figures, on the other matching numerals.

5 Second Rule Junior (fall, $20) includes a board for scoring, as well as questions easier for kids (for example, “Name three things dipped in ketchup”).

Stack Attack (July, $12) combines dice, fast-play, and dexterity elements. Players, all at the same time, stack their dice on a single tower. To place a die, though, it has to be showing a number either one more or one less than the last die at the top. Points are scored for dice that remain should the tower fall and for getting rid of all one’s dice.

A travel version of The Game of Things (March, $10) will include 107 new cards.

All In (fall, $25) is a get-to-know-you type game. Players wager on whether a fact about the reader is true or false. That wager, though, need not be all for one or the other. Each player must bet all his chips but can hedge by distributing them between true and false. The winner—because getting to know people is only fun if it’s a competitive process—is the last player with chips remaining.

You Bet Your Ass (fall, $25) plays the same as All In but features risque questions and donkey betting tokens.

In the Perplexus line of three-dimensional mazes, fall will see release of a micro series featuring thematic designs, including Q-Bot and Drakko (both $10). Also a Star Wars Perplexus Death Star ($40).

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Besides the Marvel, Jurassic World, and Magic: The Gathering games we’ve covered in separate articles, Hasbro’s Toy Fair reveals included news of Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Minions, Star Wars, Disney Princess, My Little Pony, and preschool games.

For Monopoly’s birthday, Hasbro has already released a Monopoly 80th Anniversary Edition with wood houses, as well as licensed Coach to produce a high-end, New York-themed edition in leather. Through March 4th in partnership with BuzzFeed, the company is collecting votes to select cities for the next Monopoly Here & Now U.S. and World editions.

Scrabble will see two new versions in 2015, Scrabble Junior (spring, $15) and Scrabble Twist (fall, $20). The former has a two-sided board. On one side, children ages 2-4 match letter tiles to words that are already filled in. The latter is a handheld electronic game where the goal is to quickly find the word among five mixed-up letters, and then press the buttons in the right order.

A new version of The Game of Life just out replaces some of the careers with video game designer, singer, and secret agent, among others. The Game of Life Junior (spring, $15) is about collecting stars while having adventures, like at the beach or zoo.

In May, ahead of the upcoming Despicable Me Minions movie, Hasbro is launching the Minions Challenge Card Game. It’ll be sold in $3 blind bags containing one Minion figure and five battle cards.

Deploy your battle cards against your opponent and keep playing until your Minion reaches the top of this score card to win!

Sounds vaguely War-like.

For Star Wars there was only one game, Loopin’ Chewie (fall, $25), but it’s one that’s generating a fair amount of excitement. Though we already wrote about it, at Toy Fair we got some pictures.

A Disney Princess Candyland isn’t new but an update this year (fall, $15) adds Princess Frog.

In the fall, Hasbro will release My Little Pony Poppin’ Pinkie Pie ($20), an inverse hot-potato type game. Players attach balloons to a birthday cake and when Pinkie Pie pops out, that player is the winner.

For the preschool crowd, Mashin’ Max (March, $10) has kids moving pawns around the board to collect berries. Max in the middle, though, spins around and smashes his fist down to capture the players’ pawns.

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