If you've seen the movie Aliens, you've got a pretty good handle on the setting for Death Angel. While not related to the film, the game is set in the Space Hulk universe, which involves human marines in mechanized armor fighting back swarms of alien creatures known as Genestealers. Space Hulk has previously been released as a 2-player board game, most recently in a deluxe version from Fantasy Flight Games just two years ago, but Death Angel is a departure from the franchise's main product, as this is both a card game and a co-operative experience that can accommodate up to 6 players at once.

Just the Facts:

Players: 1-6
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Age: 13 to adult
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
MSRP: $24.95
Release: Q4 2010

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Pamplona: Viva San Fermín! is a light strategic game that recreates the annual running of the bulls during Pamplona's seven day San Fermín festival. Players not only get to guide a runner to the finish line, but they also take control of bulls to gore and trample their opponents. As the first major release from upstart Canadian game publisher Tartan Grizzly Productions, will Pamplona get them started off on the right foot? Read on for the full review:

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Age: 8 to adult
Publisher: Tartan Grizzly
MSRP: $39.99
Release: Q2 2011

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In preparation for the release of The Struggle for Catan (a new 2-4 player Catan-themed card game) and in celebration of The Settlers of Catan's 15th anniversary, Mayfair Games has revised and relaunched its original 2 player game, The Rivals for Catan. But 2 player games are notoriously hard to make competitive and engaging. Does this one provide enough of a Catan experience to make it worth your while? Read on for the full review:

Just the Facts:

Players: 2
Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
Age: 10 to adult
Publisher: Mayfair Games
MSRP: $20.00
Release: Q4 2010

The Gameplay:

The focus in Rivals for Catan, much like Settlers of Catan, is to collect resources that allow you to expand your principality in pursuit of victory points. These points can be achieved by building new settlements, upgrading existing settlements to cities, growing your army, or expanding your trade capability.

After a brief setup phase, both players have a nearly-identical principality set up on opposite sides of the table, with various draw stacks of common cards dividing the table down the middle. Read More...

Welcome back to another review from Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line of action figures! Today we’re looking at the latest offering to hit the Matty Collector website in the form of the brightly-hued Sy-Klone! The “Heroic Fist-Flinging Tornado” was one of those vintage Masters figures that, while not necessarily our most beloved character, was always a part of our epic battles that took place in the bloody battlegrounds that our imaginations turned out backyards into. Does the Classics version of Sy-Klone hold up to our rose-colored memories? Let’s take a look, starting with his bio:

Protector of the Legacy Stones and the Last Defender of Anwat Gar, Sy-Klone joined the Masters of the Universe after the Stones were destroyed and his mission completed. He wears the last remaining TECH vest armor created by his Gar ancestors to terrorize Eternia after the Great Wars. Its built-in wind rockets allow the user to create powerful vortexes of spinning energy as a defensive weapon or to fly through the air. Sy-Klone has upgraded his armor to also include cosmic radar which lets him sense the physical presence of evil long before others. Sy-Klone’s wind powers and radar chest make him combat ready.

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Cartoons and profanity are two things the people just can’t get enough of, and South Park being syndicated all over the airwaves and coming back for a 15th season on Comedy Central is proof of that! Like the animated series, Mezco Toyz’ line of South Park figures are coming back around in syndication-like waves of the fan favorite figures from the original line. Stick around while we check out Mezco Toyz’ figures from South Park Classics Series 1.

All three figures in the first series are constructed from what appears to be vinyl, while their accessories are constructed of a more rigid plastic. This gives them, along with their height, the same feel as a lot of designer art toys that we have from companies like Kidrobot and the Disney Filmation series. The figures are mostly molded in their appropriate colors, but where paint has been applied, it is very cleanly done. They each feature articulation (all swivels) at the neck, shoulders, and waist. Also, Cartman and Butters feature articulated eyebrows which lets you get a whole different range of expressions out of the little guys.

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Are you tired of dry, abstract deck-building card games? Do you long for the chance to sink your teeth into a game with rich theme? Thunderstone may be the perfect choice for you, with its diverse cast of heroes, monsters, weapons, and items.

Nearly two years after the original Thunderstone and several expansions later, Thunderstone: Dragonspire has been released as the first fully stand-alone expansion in the series. The original has its fair share of flaws, so Dragonspire sets out to be a second chance at life for the game. But are the game mechanics strong enough to keep this title on the table? Read on for the full review:

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Age: 12 to adult
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)
MSRP: $44.99
Release: February 2011

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Sometimes, you don't want to go through the hassle of building out a 60-card deck to enjoy Magic: The Gathering. Keeping up with the latest cards and strategy can be difficult for some, so Wizards of the Coast has been publishing a series of pre-built duel decks that boil the game down for casual players. Take a break from the war between Mirrodin and Phyrexia to check out the latest offering, a classic fantasy themed battle between Knights and Dragons.

Just the Facts:

Players: 2
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
MSRP: $20.00
Release: April 1st, 2011

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On May 6th, Marvel’s Mightiest Avenger makes his thunderous debut in theaters! While Chris Hemsworth plays Thor in the film, Hasbro is making sure that you can get in on the action yourself with their line of movie-inspired Thor action figures and roleplay items. Today, we’re taking a look at Sword Spike Thor from their 3 ¾” line of figures; or as we like to him – Regular Badass Thor! This is the figure’s bio, which is really more about the humongous sword included with the figure:

Thor is the master of nearly every weapon in Asgard’s arsenal. The dwarves created Thor’s Power Sword to allow him to channel his otherworldly abilities and defeat any for that dares to cross his path. The unusual blade hums with divine might as Thor charges the internal spike with the power of his lightning.

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Two weeks ago, I reviewed Automobile, a recent Mayfair Games release from famed board game designer Martin Wallace. Since then, I've had the opportunity to play a few rounds of London, another game from Wallace published earlier this year. Both games have several common qualities: they are deeply strategic, have a strong historical theme, and contain some signature Wallace play mechanics. That's pretty much where the similarities end, though. London takes Wallace's style of gameplay in new directions as a card-driven game, but does it work? Read on for the full review.

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Age: 13 to adult
Publisher: Mayfair Games
MSRP: $55.00
Release: January 2011

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Deck building card games have often been pitched as the low-cost alternative to Magic: The Gathering and other CCGs, but the mechanics have not always matched up. More often than not, your standard deck builder turns into simultaneous games of solitaire where the best player snatches victory before anyone really gets a chance to do anything with their decks. They scratch only one specific itch from the desire to play CCGs, but Nightfall seeks to change that with its focus on direct combat and damage dealing. In a rapidly evolving genre, this game takes multiple original steps, but do they form a complete game? Read on for the full review.

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Age: 12 to adult
Publisher: AEG
MSRP: $39.99
Release: March 2011

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"What are you, Batman? Chicken?"

The best villains are the ones that can work themselves into the head of the hero and break his defenses from within. That’s why we’ve always liked Scarecrow. While he’s not much of a fighter, anytime this macabre creature rears his head in the Bat-books, you just know there’s going to be a huge pile of insanity on its way! Today we’re reviewing the figure of Scarecrow from DC Direct’s line of Batman: Arkham Asylum toys, based on the hit videogame. Let’s make this review what it should be – a lesson in fear!

Jonathan Crane specializes in the study of psychological fears and uses his biological research to create fear-inducing toxins that can drive even the sanest person mad with fright! He has taken on the guise of the Scarecrow and has generally terrorized Gotham City for years, thanks to one scheme or another, which inevitably puts him at the ass-kicking ends of Batman’s boots. In the Arkham Asylum game, Scarecrow is one of the many inmates released by the Joker to help defeat Batman. The player encounters Crane multiple times – usually in a hallucinatory state in which Scarecrow towers over everything and screams threats while raking his syringe-covered fingers in your direction. Fantastic!

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After a limited 2009 release, famed game designer Martin Wallace's Automobile has been picked up for wide distribution by Mayfair GamesAutomobile is a highly strategic economic game, though the subtitle "Wheels to Wealth" is a bit of a misnomer. As a manufacturer of cars in the early 1900's, you and your competitors will produce plenty of wheels over the course of this game's play, but the wealth is never guaranteed. The theme plays perfectly into such unforgiving economic gameplay, but how does Automobile stack up against other deeply strategic euro-style games? Read on for the full review:

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 120 minutes
Age: 12 to adult
Publisher: Mayfair Games
MSRP: $50.00
Release: February 2011

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Before last fall's Castle Ravenloft board game was even available, Wizards of the Coast had already announced that their second D&D Adventures game, Wrath of Ashardalon, was near completion. This raised plenty of questions: How much different could it actually be? Would Wizards have enough time to incorporate feedback from Ravenloft? What is an Ashardalon anyway? Take a deep breath, gamers, as this game does make solid improvements over its predecesor (and Ashardalon is a dragon from D&D 3rd Edition’s Bastion of Broken Souls). Read on to find out just exactly what has changed in the full review:

Just the Facts:

Players: 1-5
Playing Time: 90 minutes
Age: 12 to adult
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
MSRP: $64.99
Release: February 15th, 2011

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Alvin is an alien riding in a flying saucer. Dexter is a rampaging dinosaur. Together, they form the oddest expansion for Ticket to Ride produced to date. What was once a peaceful game about businessmen buying up railways in early 1900's North America has been injected with a dose of monster mayhem. The surprise here is that the result is actually quite fun to play. Read on to find out why.

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 30-50 minutes
Age: 8 to adult
Publisher: Days of Wonder
MSRP: $13 (requires base Ticket to Ride game to play)
Release: February 2011

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After touring NECA’s booth at this year’s Toy Fair, our yearning to own their figure of the Nanosuit 2 from Crysis 2, was just too much. Practically moments after the show was over for the day, we made our way to the Times Square Toys R’ Us and began scouring the shelves for this super-articulated piece of awesome! He was hidden away in the video game section (fitting we suppose), and we came away from that den of plastic one alien-killin’-badass richer!

This figure is based on Alcatraz, the main character in Crysis 2. He’s a member of Marine Force Recon and is assisting in driving out the alien invaders from the Big Apple. The suit allows for augmented strength, speed, and cloaking; while, the helmet gives various fields of vision and upped hearing. This version of the suit is an upgraded version of the one worn by Nomad in the first Crysis game.

The sculpt on this figure looks spot-on with everything we’ve seen from the game. From the helmet’s opaque lenses to the joints on the gloves, NECA has made sure the Nanosuit 2 is extremely accurate. Every fibrous element of the suit is here and it looks as if it belongs right there in the heart of New York City, gunning down mechs and ripping the throats out of alien soldiers!

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