Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is a card game that eschews the typical take on fantasy, gruesome orcs and grizzled knights, in favor of more lighthearted characters. Much in the way that Shrek gave families a fantasy movie with cross-generational appeal, Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! aims to be a satisfying gaming experience for players of all ages, not just the adults who consider gaming their hobby. With Father's Day coming up this weekend, it's time to spotlight a game that dads can play with their geeks-in-training.
As a crowdfunded game, Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! doesn't exist yet on store shelves, but that's just a matter of time. The project is already well past its Kickstarter funding goal, and is set to be published by Game Salute. The project is still running through the weekend though, so there is still time to hop on board if this preview gives you the urge.
Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! is a card game that walks a fine line between artistic and competitive design. That doesn't make it a bad game though, just one that is given a boost by its style. Just take a look at some of the card artwork:
Mark your calendars for this Saturday, June 16th, and get to your local game store.
Comic book fans aren't the only ones who get free stuff, roleplaying game players have their day too. But unlike comics which just require someone to open a book to get involved, RPGs have a much higher barrier to entry. You have to convince a whole group to play, and someone has to put extra work in to actually run the game!
Roleplaying games can also carry a bit of a stigma, as they can evoke the most negative of geek stereotypes in outsider's mind. Check those judgements at the door. Self-identifying gamers owe it to themselves the experience of having tried an RPG at least once in their lives, and Free RPG Day is just the way to do it. Read More...
It's that time of year again. Magic: The Gathering is about to receive its annual core set upgrade, with Magic 2013 comprising a 294-card mix of new and reprinted content.
Core sets are released each year to tweak the basic strategy of Magic. Some cards return, others do not, and this new mix serves as a base for the year's three-set expansion block. In October, that new block will roll out with the first set Return to Ravnica, bringing back themes from the Ravnica setting last seen in 2005-2006.
Since Standard-format Magic tournaments mandate use of the most recent sets only, it's tempting to read into the tea leaves of early spoiler cards and try to guess what strategies will rule the Pro Tour scene. I would resist that urge with today's card, "Worldfire," which is the best example of a "nuclear option" for any Magic player with their back against the wall.
"I always have way too many ideas, with no way to pursue them all. I’m constantly thinking of what I should prioritize, what game I should work on next. All day I’m thinking about games, my brain is just wired that way. " - Touko Tahkokallio, designer of Eclipse.
It's hard to understate the success that the board game Eclipse has experienced since its release in late 2011. Yet in an industry where the designer's name can significantly impact sales, gamers have been left with a common question: who is Touko Tahkokallio? In his own words: "A 30 year-old Finnish board game designer, who also works for a digital game company as a primary job." I recently had the opportunity to chat with the rising-star designer about his history as a gamer, the experience of Eclipse's reception, and what the future holds.
After riding a wave of buzz from the Essen Spiel 2011 trade show, Eclipse became the talk of the industry as it went on to scorch the charts at BoardGameGeek.com. The website maintains a massive database of board game info, but of particular note are their rankings (generated by an algorithm that accounts for user ratings among other factors). Fans place particular emphasis on the "Top 100" here, and Eclipse has made quite a splash. Out of nearly 60,000 games, Eclipse now ranks at number 6 with an average user rating of 8.35/10.00.
Players of Eclipse have spoken, and made their judgement of the game well known in the process. But what are they actually doing after trying the game out? Snatching up copies wherever possible. Eclipse's initial print run is completely sold out, and even with a reprint due to arrive later this month, would-be owners seeking a copy are still bidding upwards of $200 on eBay. With an audience not afraid to vote with their wallets, it has become impossible to deny that Eclipse is red hot.
Over the past two years, Wizards of the Coast has produced numerous Dungeons & Dragons-themed board games, but none quite like Lords of Waterdeep. Past efforts were well received but undeniably played things safe, serving as distilled versions of D&D 4th Edition or re-themed war game designs. Now, Wizards has thrown their hat into the ring of European strategy, where games are judged only according to their traditional definition: as a test of skill.
It's out of character to say the least.
Euro strategy games are often bemoaned for their lack of theme, challenging players to lose themselves in the worlds of crop farming or resource bartering. The Forgotten Realms of D&D are a world apart from these bland experiences, but will strategic gamers appreciate the setting? Can thematic gamers embrace an economic competition? Read More...
At last year's Gen Con, Star Trek: Fleet Captains from WizKids was one of the show's highlights. Featuring 24 sculpted ship figures, Fleet Captains let Trek fans conduct tabletop space battles between the Federation and Klingons using WizKid's popular HeroClix system.
Yet even though there is a large well of source material to pull from, fans of Star Trek: Fleet Captains have been unsure if the game would ever receive additional content. With a $100 price tag, it was no certainty that Fleet Captains would sell well enough to finance the release of another fleet, but those questions have now been answered. WizKids has announced the upcoming release of the Romulan Empire expansion.
What's a publisher to do when a once-popular title is replaced by a newer version, even though there is still some life left in the original? For Alderac Entertainment Group and their Thunderstone card game, the answer is simple: give the old version away. Starting today, Thunderstone is available as a free print-and-play downloadable card game.
Taking a tabletop game from store shelves to a free download could be as simple as uploading a few PDFs, but AEG chose to first make some upgrades to the set. The original Thunderstone has now been given a complete facelift. The card layout has been revised and new artwork added to help Thunderstone match the style of its successor, the newly released Thunderstone Advance.
"The original Thunderstone for us was a great success," AEG Senior Brand Manager Todd Rowland told me. "It was reprinted and sold out many times over (at least 6 from my recollection), and built a very large playerbase for the game. We thought it would be fun to give the player's a lot of added value to their new Thunderstone Advance game," Rowland explained.
Wizards of the Coast needs your help. The Dungeons & Dragons publisher famously handed down an early death sentence to
This new system has been evolving over the past year under the working title "D&D Next," and there is still a long road to travel. With such ambition comes inevitable missteps, ones that can only be flushed out with round after round of playtesting. That's where you come in. Public playtesting began last week, and after some initial hiccups, the D&D Next playtest rules are available for download.
Each May, a panel of German game journalists convene to nominate nine games for the country's "Game of the Year" awards. The average American has almost zero chance of knowing these titles, yet hobby gamers clamor for the news. The nominated titles won't mire in obscurity for long, so these gamers use the Spiel des Jahres (the award's name) new to get a glimpse into the future.
But why do gamers latch on to this specific award? The simple answer is that Germany was there first, and America hasn't been able to field a compelling award of its own. In fact, the award's popularity has played a big part in the modern board gaming boom.
While board game design had largely grown stale in the late 20th century, great titles were still being published in Europe. Germany's Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) awards put a spotlight on the best-of-the-best, allowing gamers worldwide to identify those titles and import them. The fame that early winners such as The Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne received was a major factor in lifting the board game industry to its current levels of popularity.
According to Scott Tepper of BoardGameNews, a nomination alone is good for 10,000 sales, and a winner can expect their game to sell several hundred thousand copies. These are huge numbers in an industry where games rarely reach such totals. In any case, this year's nominations are in, so read on for a look at the potential winners.
Opportunities to have an established game designer critique your prototype don't come along very often. They also don't typically come in such a unique form. Richard Garfield, the man behind Magic: The Gathering, Robo Rally, Netrunner, King of Tokyo, and more, has put himself up on eBay.
As you can see by the bidding in the recent screenshot above, you may be able to score Garfield's services at a bargain-basement price.
Dr. Henry Pym's screw-ups far outweigh his successes, what with that whole spousal abuse rep, and by creating the Ultron A.I. which is pretty much on a course for one day ruling the entire planet. However, there's no denying that Pym Particles are pretty cool and using them for growing to enormous sizes has advantages, and now NECA and WizKids are showing how useful that can truly be-- in the realm of Heroclix, at least! Yep, hot on the heels of the Marvel Galactic Guardians set of Heroclix, comes Chaos War with the advance SDCC-Exclusive Colossal Heroclix figure being none other than Henry Pym a.k.a. Giant-Man!
Read on for all the info and photos of Giant-Man!
There's a lot of time between now and August, but don't let that distance keep Gen Con off of your radar. Individual event registration for one of the world's largest gaming conventions starts this Sunday at noon, so get your badge, and get ready to plan out your perfect con weekend.
Gen Con runs a bit differently than most geek conventions, where a badge gets you in the door and you are free to experience all the con has to offer. Since many games require significant prep time and are dependent on the number of players, Gen Con sells tickets to specific games and events. In total, there are almost 7,500 entries in the schedule, so how's a con-goer to decide?
It’s OK to be offended. For many of you, the card game Tentacle Bento will provide such offense in spades. The concept of gamers using tentacles to snatch up schoolgirls is an uncomfortable one to say the least, but if you weren’t quite sure how you felt about the game, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out. Tentacle Bento has had a successful Kickstarter project cancelled after a campaign of protest was launched by Brandon Sheffield of insert credit and furthered by Luke Plunkett of Kotaku.
While a game's theme can provoke an immediate moral judgment, a more nuanced ethical dilemma also presents itself: When should the power of the media be used to call an audience to action? Surely, journalists encourage their readers to support Kickstarter projects on a daily basis, but it’s not often we see attempts to have a project killed.
The art of the retcon may have been perfected in the comic book industry, but board games can occasionally get in on the fun too. When it was first announced that the Battleship movie would feature an evil alien race, the internet snark machine started firing on all cylinders. "But there aren't any aliens in the Battleship board game!" the commenters decried, so what was Hasbro to do? For starters, they've gone back and re-made the original Battleship with added alien ships. Happy now?
The new movie edition has replaced one fleet with a set of five alien ships: the flagship, heavy ordnance craft, red storm stinger, blue shredder stinger, and the small assault ship. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume these names will make more sense once you've seen the movie.