February 5, 2011

News, News, and More News - Critical Gamers Feb 5, 2011

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Coming off the great success of 2010 such as Forbidden Island, Rory's Story Cubes, Hansa Teutonica, Washington's War, and Dominion: Prosperity, 2011 is also off to a great start for the analog gaming industry. With New York Toy Fair, Game Summit '11, and PAX East just around the corner, us fans of the gaming space can be sure to catch plenty of release announcements, prototype demonstrations, and product releases in the next coming months. To help get the ball rolling on all the awesomeness that is bound to hit us, here is a sample of what to expect in 2011.

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February 3, 2011

Conquer the West with Dakota from Nexus Games International

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Conquer the Wild West in Nexus Games Internationals' latest release of Dakota. Created by author Piero Cioni, Dakota is meant for 3-5 players, aged 10 and up, and will take approximately 60-90 minutes to colonize the west. Dakota is now available in Europe and will be available mid to late February in the states.

Here is the official press release:

Take part in the epic history of the Wild West colonization, leading a group of settlers or a tribe of natives: NG International announces the release of Dakota, an "euro-style" board game for 3 to 5 players with linear mechanics inspired to the conquest of the West, created by Piero Cioni and published by NG International in Italian and English languages, with partners for the German (Heidelberger) and Japanese (Hobby Japan) editions. Dakota is now available in Europe and will arrive in America by the end of February.

In Dakota, each player belongs to one of the two factions, settler or native, and tries to achieve his objectives by making alliances from time to time with the others, independent of their parties, thanks to a game mechanic that allows to play in a balanced way even with a different number of settler and native players. The settlers try to exploit the territory in order to make it productive for industry and agriculture, while the natives must make all efforts to keep the territory virgin as long as possible, while at the same time using its resources for the prosperity of their own tribe.

Nexus Games International is most known for their Wings of War series which ran from 2004-2007 and their award winning War of the Ring game, based off the J.R.R. Tolkien novel, where you could play as the Free Peoples or the Shadow Armies.

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January 31, 2011

Hasbro to Give Game of Life Modern Makeover

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Hasbro has announced that the Game of Life will be receiving a modern face lift and a renaming to be released before Christmas of this year. Milton Bradley's first game was created in 1860 and has been republished many times in the past, however the latest update will bring the game into the 21st century.

The new version of the game will be called Game of Life: Adventures Edition. Some of the changes that we can expect include a new transportation method, an airplane, to replace car, separate islands focused on the career paths, and spaces that change as the dial spins.

The Game of Life is a classic and a favorite of many board gaming families throughout the last 150 years. Can Hasbro continue to update this wonderful game and bring it through another 150 years? Only time will tell, but the latest edition feels like a step in the right direction.

Thanks to Ben for sending us this tip.

Via Pocket-lint at Game of Life

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January 27, 2011

Victory Point Games Releases TC Tennis

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Here's something not seen everyday: A release announcement for a game that combines sports and strategy in a card game package. Well, Victory Point Games decided it was time for one. Today they announced the release of TC Tennis, their first ever sport strategy game. While known for their historical military games, VPG has branched out this time. While it appears to be similar to
En Garde in terms of strategic card playing, TC Tennis aims to score an ace in a seldom used genre for the card and board game industry.

Here are the official details:

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January 24, 2011

White Goblin Games is about to Get Nuts!

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Whether it be something in the brownies or that they are just plain insane, Netherlands' White Goblin Games is about to 'Get Nuts'. WGG has just announced their latest card game will be released this quarter.

So what does going nuts get us? Here is information from their press release:

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January 20, 2011

Gamewright Gives Us a Sneak Peak Into 2011 Product Line

In anticipation of the 2011 American International Toy Fair taking place in New York this February, Gamewright has given us a sneak peak into a few of their 2011 games that will be debuted at the conference. Ranging from kid friendly board and card games to adult and family friendly games, Gamewright is sure to have something for everyone.

Here is a quick look at what to expect from Gamewright this year:

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Splish Splash!

The Game That's Swimming With Fun!

2 - 4 players * Ages 4+

Jump right into this lively game that's sure to make a splash! Roll the die and then drop the wooden pebble into the pond. Did any colorful shapes splash out? If so, match them up to your playing board. Be the first to fill up your board and then dry off with a win!

Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011

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Mermaid Beach
A Very Splashy Card Game
2 - 5 players * Ages 6+

Soak up the fun down at Mermaid Beach! Swim along with Swirly Shirley, Betsy Bubbles, Rip Rider, and a colorful cast of undersea characters as you try to collect the most seashell cards. Watch out for sneaky waves and icky seaweed along the way. Most of all - don't get caught holding the sea monster at the end of the game!

Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011

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January 18, 2011

AEG Announces Stand-Alone Expansion to Thunderstone

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AEG announces Thunderstone: Dragonspire, stand-alone expansion to Thunderstone, to be released in February 2011!

Here are the official details:


"The Doomgate is open, and Doom has been released into the world! The forces of destruction stalk the lands, destroying all they touch. There is but one dim flicker of hope: the Thunderstones, scattered at the dawn of time. Two lie hidden deep within the Dragonspire.

Will your heroes be the first to reach them?

Dragonspire is a stand-alone expansion to Thunderstone. The cards within can be played with any or all of the past Thunderstone sets, or can be used by themselves as a fully playable set. Dragonspire adds a fresh crew of new heroes, along with new spells, villagers, and weapons all ready to help your stand against the darkness. They will be needed, for within new terrors have awakened: bloodthirsty undead, blistering elementals, wrathful dragons, and mighty giants! Dragonspire also includes brand-new dungeon settings, campaign rules, and an entirely new way to face Doom alone!

* New Dungeon Board
* Over 500 cards with all-new art
* New plastic XP tokens
* Eleven new heroes and seven new monsters, plus new village cards
"


For more information, visit the Alderac Website.

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January 3, 2011

Monopoly Mapped to Modern Games

Scott Nicholson of ex Board Games with Scott fame has put together a video that really rings true with us. It tackles the game Monopoly, the classic monolith of board gaming from our youth. Now, we roll our eyes at this title mainly because it has numerous outdated mechanics. Things that - if you think about it - really rub you the wrong way and have been since fixed by the evolution of new mechanics that emerged over the last decade through the Renaissance of board gaming.

Scott has put a list of his own often groan-worth Monopoly mechanics, and the good mechanics, and recommends new games that emulate and fix these elements. It's a great primer for those of you looking to get back into gaming, or for a shotgun blast of interesting titles that have refined games that you may look fondly back to.

Nice work Scott! Especially since you just retired? :) Maybe the videos were posted out of order.

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December 30, 2010

Battlestar Galactica Exodus Rules Posted

Thumbnail image for BattlestarGalacticaExodus.JPGWe've been drooling over facets of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica board game expansion "Exodus" for the past few months. Specifically we're looking forward to the optional overhaul to the ship combat system. New Viper types, new Cylon launch rules, and a Cylon armada that continues to build even after the Galactica hits warps speed. Any ship you leave behind will amass on a separate Cylon fleet board, only to resurface the next time the robotic fleet catches up with with the squishy flesh bags. Oh the humanity!

Now, veterans of Battlestar Galactica already know that it's a game that places the Humans in dire straits right off the bat, so FFG isn't just going to toss more ships at you and call it a day. Nope, they aim to give you new tools for you to fight back against the increased threat. To that end the expansion provides new viper abilities which, in part, allow you to escort Civilan ships home. There are alsao new zippier Viper VIIs (if you fix them by taking out their cyclon susceptible network computers) to mix in with your older Galactica Viper Museum Relics, new rebuildable nuclear warheads, and a new CAG officer who's seriously adept at coordinating viper patrols.

All this is just one of the expansions three optional addons. Other options include a new Final Five Cylon mechanic, which seems reasonable and more interesting that the super Cyclon boss mechanic from Pegasus, and a new Ion Nebula Human Trauma / Exploration of Ship to Find Allies But Watch Out for Landmines mechanic. This final one sounds WAY too complicated for us. The rules even suggest you don't play it until you've played with the other options numerous times. For us, that probably means never, especially considering we thought the previous Pegasus Expansionseriously screwed the pooch on the complexity level.

Checkout the full rules on the FFG website. We'll let you know when Battlestar Galactica Exodus hits shelves.

JUMP!

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December 23, 2010

Thunderstone: Doomgate Legions Expansion Released

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The deck building hit Thunderstone has just received its second treatment. Thunderstone: Doomgate Legions [Amazon, Funagain] adds more monsters, more items and heroes types to the deck building dungeon romp formula. Additionally new treasure card types reward plays for defeating monsters in the dungeon.

Now, while we would like to have a new game mechanics that would spice up the the players' decisions about whether to delve into the dungeon or head into town (it's currently just a math formula of 'can I kill a monster?') , we wouldn't shrug away new variable and intriguing content, either. The theme of this game is still stellar.

Here are the official details:


"Hiding away in secret for centuries, the order of the Doomgate Legion have guarded the Stone of Avarice from friend and foe alike. Their cult-like existence known only to a few, the Legionnaires dedicate themselves to the secrecy, protection, and worship of the stone. They are its champions. Its sentinels. Its vanguards.

It is up to you to defeat them.

The second expansion to Thunderstone adds more to the game of "deck-building with a purpose." Doomgate Legions introduces the Cult of the Doomgate, who have guarded the Stone of Avarice for centuries. This cult, along with a sect of evil druids and other all-new monsters await your heroes as they race to secure the third Thunderstone!

Doomgate Legions features two all-new card types: Mercenaries and Treasures! Mercenaries are henchmen for hire in the village who bring all new abilities to the dungeon. Treasures are found after defeating monsters, providing powerful new benefits for your party! Mystic amulets and legendary armor will take your deck to new heights. But beware: the cultists have been at work on strange and horrifying new Diseases that will pose major hurdles for your heroes!"


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