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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Toy Fair 2015—Pressman


While part of the Goliath family now, Pressman is still being maintained as a separate brand. And it’s products are distinct enough that I thought they deserved their own report.

In terms of new products, Pressman has a license for Shopkins games. Out already is Shopkins Pop ‘N’ Race, with Shopkins Supermarket Scramble ($20) following soon. The former is a version of Trouble, the latter a simple spin-and-move game of collecting characters from each section of the grocery store.

Other than that, Pressman is bringing back some out of print titles.

Lucky Ducks (fall, $24), formerly a Milton Bradley title, is a cute matching memory game with a little added challenge. The plastic ducks, on the bottom of which the various shapes are printed, are constantly in motion, circling around the board.

Wheel of Fortune ($20) returns for a fourth edition in the fall with 90 puzzles included.

And for the game’s 50th anniversary, there will be Tri-ominos Junior (summer, $15). What makes it kid-friendly is the inclusion of some wild-card pieces and the addition of colors corresponding to the matching numbers.

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Toy Fair 2015—Goliath Games


Goliath’s products are always good for a few laughs and leading in that role this year was Who Tooted? (fall, $24). A game about farting—complete with whoopee cushion buzzers and electronic sound effects—you know it’ll be a hit with the 6-12 year old set.

Really more of an aid in performing magic tricks, there’s also Magic Mindreader (fall, $20). It’s an interactive plastic skull that can do such things as guess the card a person picked or lead participants through simple number tricks.

Sands Alive! (fall, $15) is a game played in a mini sandbox. Players draw cards that allow them to build certain structures in an effort to connect one side of the box with the opposite side.

In Fool the Frog (fall, $24) one player wears a mask of frog eyes that open and close at random intervals, while the other players pass back-and-forth a fly. The frog player, then, tries to guess who’s holding the fly.

Slap (fall, $24) is a trick trivia game with a special device to figure out who gave the first answer. It’s trick trivia because questions are designed to confuse players (for example, “What does a cow drink?”). And the device works because the players have to write their answers on the end of its spring-loaded arms, and then when they let go, the arms slap down on top of each other in to the center.

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Toy Fair 2015—Buffalo Games


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.

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Toy Fair 2015—Winning Moves

Winning Moves is bringing back in their classic styles this year the counting game, Hi-Ho! Cherry-O, and the deduction game, Guess Who?.

But the company is also bringing to market Connect 4 Twist & Turn, which takes the slotted playing-field and wraps it around a cylinder. No right or left edges and rows that turn independently make for a game much more interesting than the original.

Winning Moves’ other new game for 2015 is Fish Fish Squish. It’s a matching game with a unique reward element. A player that finds a match in the grid of cards gets to squish the fish their opponent molded from dough.

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breaking-games-logoBreaking games, a new publishing division of AdMagic, had a great booth packed with indie games. I spent a lot of time there checking out each game, talking to the developers, and having a real blast. It’s always great talking to folks from small press, as they’re always so full of enthusiasm and pride for their games.

Hogger Logger – $15 – Ages 7+

I previously previewed Hogger Logger while it was running on Kickstarter. Finally getting to see the finished product was great, as the game has real polish that I didn’t get to see in my prototype version. What really impressed me is how their Kickstarter finished in September and they’re already shipping backers their copies. It was also kinda nice to see a quote from my preview on their table. Currently taking on Pre-Order.

Mobscenity – $15 – Ages 17+


Hot on the tail of games like Cards Against Humanity, Mobscenity is an adult-themed party game with horrible, horrible potential. Not outwardly as crass, the game’s cards are pretty mild. It’s when you combine them with the right group of people that morality takes a nose-dive into the ground. Every round the current Master plays two cards, each with one word on them. Then the rest of the players must come up with a definition. The best definition wins the round. Some combos I quickly saw at the booth were Donkey Crack, Chocolate Spank, and Cream Dragon. Available now.

Funemployed – Ages 13+


Another party game, Funemployed has players using a hand of 3 cards to come up with a resume for a job posting. Cards can be swapped out with face-up cards on the table to help come up with a better story. We played a quick round and the results were pretty amusing. If I recall I had come up with a french-speaking male consort who was currently trying to get a job as a school nurse. The game is currently up for pre-order.

What the Food – Ages 8+


What the Food is a card game about a high-school food fight. Players take the role of different characters, each with their own special ability, in a huge food fight where you’re trying to get out with the least mess on you. The more you’re hit, the more humiliation points you gather. The person with the least humiliation wins. The game has a programming element to it where you’re stacking your moves ahead of time, and seeing how everything plays out. There’s also special cards in the deck that can have positive or negative effects depending on your current standing in the game. Currently available for pre-order.

Letter Tycoon – Ages 10+


A word game with an economy. Building words earns you money. Money you can use to buy letter patents that earn you more money each time other players use those letters. Fast paced, and a really cool idea overall. Players must work get to patents, stocks, and money to come out victorious.

Billionaire Banshee – Ages 18+ (though certain cards can be removed for younger play)

CameraZOOM-20150215171736727A game about dating with 8-bit art and a sick sense of humor. Combinations of traits are put together, and you need to guess if the other players would actually date the character with that set of traits or not. There’s some strange stuff in there, and most of it is pretty hilarious…and filthy. Available for pre-order.

Poop – $10 – Ages 6+


Ah, Poop. A game about…poop. Developed by the designer and his son, Poop has you doing your business while trying not to clog the toilet. Players play numbered cards under the current toilet card, trying not to go over the number listed. If 3 cards of the same color are played then a courtesy flush is performed, clearing out the current toilet. There’s also cards that have you perform certain actions, like making fart noises. Simple, quick, and a sure-fire hit for any children players. Available now.

49 – $25 – Ages 10+


49 is a game that takes a bit of brain. You start off the game with $49 and some chips. Players need to bid for numbers on the board to try and get 4 of their chips in a row. Of course it’s not as easy as it seems with Payoff cards and other actions to mix things up. Available now.

Twirk – Ages 7+


Twirk, aka The Game I Am Most Bad At, is a word game where you need to quickly spell words using the cards in your hand and a dice rolled on the table. The tricky part is there’s a letter limit, and a time limit. I swear I sat there looking at a hand of cards for like 5 minutes trying to figure out a word while the designer pumped out words and tried to convince me I really wasn’t an idiot. I blame my performance on the heat of the show floow, dehydration, and anything else I can get away blaming it on. This is a game I could see my 9-year-old utterly crushing me at. Available for pre-order.

The Appalachian Trail Game – $25 – Ages 8+


And educational game about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Players learn to identify plants along the trail, low-impact camping skills, and the 10 most important things to have on a hike. The first player to hike the entire trail wins. One of the coolest parts of the game is the board is printed on the same material as trail guides, so it’s super rugged and almost impossible to rip. This is one I’d love to play with my Cub Scout Pack. Available now.

Funny Mix – $16 – Ages 4+


One of my favorite games of the show, Funny Mix is game that helps children read. The game is full of super heroes who’s names are real words, and also describe the power that hero has. Using cards that have a printed piece and transparent sections, kids put together their heroes while sounding out the letters and forming words. There’s a bunch of ways to play, and heroes with both 3 and 4 letter words to use. I’ve got a 4-year-old who’s currently learning to read, and this would be absolutely perfect for him! Available now.

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Toy Fair 2015—The Santa Maria Group


smackitThe Santa Maria Group is actually a delightful husband and wife team who have found a good amount of success with their first card game, Smack it! Having initially printed 4000 copies of the game, they quickly moved every copy on Amazon is about 40 days. Priced at $9.99 and for ages 6+, Smack it! is a card game that mixes War and Slapjack. Cards are divvyed up between all the players, and players take turns playing cards to the center of the table. If a Challenge card turns up then each player plays a card and the highest number takes the pile. If a Smack It card comes up, then whoever slaps the pile first gets the pile of cards. Players are eliminated from the game if they run out of cards, but in a twist can still slap piles to remove the cards completely from the game. Last player standing wins.

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.The game is simple, quick, and my kids really seem to enjoy it. It’s easy to carry around, play a few rounds, and toss it back in your bag. So far it’s already taken the place of several of my kids’ other, similar card games. The frantic nature of waiting to slap, along with the “highest card wins” aspect of the Challenges, really seems to just click with them. Smack It! is by no means a gamer-game, or even a gamer-filler, but it just doesn’t matter. Fun is fun, and my kids are really having a blast with it.

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Toy Fair 2015—JUNURI


JUNURI was a booth I almost missed while walking through the game isles at Toy Fair this year. It was Nuricube that caught my eye, and I’m glad it did. Brian and Sue are wonderful people, and you can tell they have a real passion for games! My pictures from the show came out pretty awful, so I’m just including the promotional images provided in the press kit.

Nuricube – Ages 6+

nuricubeThis is what attracted me to the JUNURI booth. A visually pleasing game where you’re trying to create the longest line of your color by rolling and placing cubes on the board. Simple, yet a lot of fun.

Nuricube The Little Shape Book – Ages 3+

This is a cute little set of solo puzzles for little ones using Nuricubes. There are cards with shapes to be made by using the cubes. Make the shape, then place the colorful overlay on top of the cubes when you’re done!

Spy Wars – Ages 6+


A cool little family game that uses strange Dice Sticks. The goal is to get all your spys back home. To do this you toss the Dice Sticks into the air to “roll” them. If they land on green spys, you can move. Red spys are bad guys, so provide no movement. It’s quirky, but I can see kids having a blast chucking the stick around.

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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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New Marvel games from Hasbro include:

  • Monopoly Avengers Edition (spring, $20)—with hero cards that grant each player unique abilities.
  • Operation Marvel Super Hero Adventures Edition (fall, $20)—where players remove debris from Iron Man’s suit.
  • Hands Down Marvel Super Hero Adventures Edition (spring, $10)—in which the goal is to earn the “Ruler of Justice” title by being the first to get rid of all character cards.
  • Thor’s Power Hammer Game (spring, $20)—featuring an electronic toy hammer that when struck on a flat surface measures a strength score against various villains.

WizKids has coming out in April Marvel Avengers Age of Ultron HeroClix and the Marvel X-Men Mutant Revolution strategy board game.

From Wonder Forge expect:

  • Marvel On the Go Dominoes (spring, $6)—which is just Dominoes but with the pips replaced by pics.
  • Marvel Matching (spring, $6)—a basic matching memory game with hexagonal pieces.
  • Marvel Avengers Age of Ultron Party Game (fall, $10)—in which teams compete at using paddles to keep balloons in the air.
  • Marvel 6-in-1 Games (spring, $15)—which includes Dominoes, Crazy Eights, Go Fish, Four-in-a-Row, Matching, and Bingo.

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