March 30, 2011

Can You Be the One to "Spot It" First?


While at PAX East, I was fortunate enough to play Spot It, from Blue Orange Games. This extremely fast paced matching game was a total blast to play. There were 3 of us playing at PAX and 2 more joined later, but the game is meant for 2-8 players and a round can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to play. The game comes with 55 cards with 8 images on each card, and according to the publisher, "there is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any 2 cards." While I haven't spent the time to verify this, there was never a time where there wasn't a match somewhere. Each of the 4 different game variations will have you testing your visual perception and matching skills, while also verifying that you can be quick on the draw. The game comes in a small cylinder that is great for traveling and is a great way to have some family fun with the kids. For $10, it makes a great gift, stocking stuffer, or reward for a good report card.

At Spot It

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March 27, 2011

Gary Games Announced June Date for Ascension:Return of the Fallen


Gary Games has announced a June store date for the Return of the Fallen expansion. Return of the Fallen is the first expansion for the hit deck-building game Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. The expansion will add 65 new cards to the Center Deck, the new Fate mechanic, and adds expanded gameplay for 1-6 players when added to the base set. With deck-building card games gaining more traction and additional titles in 2011, Gary Games is looking to get a head start on what appears to be an expanding market in the near future.

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Rio Grande Games Provides Insight into 2011 Plans


Rio Grande Games has released their first newsletter of 2011 and has some great news for us gamers. Here is the latest information about what we can expect in 2011:

Dominion continues to grow in popularity and size: by the end of 2010, we had sold over one million copies of Dominion in its various langauges and expansions. And, we have two more expansions and another promo card planned for this year.

In 2011, we plan to begin releasing our line of new designer games. These are the result of several design contests we have sponsored in the past few years and our attempt to encourage new game design in the US. Of course, we will continue to support our existing game lines and partnerships with new products. For example, this spring we will release Dominion: Cornucopia, Carcassonne: 10 year edition, Carcassonne Dice game, and Carcassonne translucent follower pack (with rules for their special use). We are also very close to completing Arctic Scavengers, our second deck-building game. In the next few months we will release Rails of New England, Heavens of Olymous, Cavemen, Airlines: Europe (Alan Moon's latest take on Airlines/Union Pacific), Carcassonne: the Castle Falcon expansion, Carcassonne: City 2 (same insides as Carcassonne: the City, but in a cardboard box), Those Pesky Garden Gnomes, Rattlebones, Credit Mobilier, Mogul, Monster Factory, and several others.

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March 17, 2011

Newsapalooza - Critical Gamers 3/17/11


So what does Olivia Munn choking a chicken have to do with board and card game news you ask? Well, nothing really, I just wanted to get your attention and until I come up with a nice Critical Gamers news picture, randomness will have to do for now. It's been a few weeks since we have done a Newsapalooza post, so there is some catching up to do. Let's do this!

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March 6, 2011

Castaways of Deadmans Bay - Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me!


If you have never heard of Ian Volkwein, then I suggest you remember his name. Ian has accomplished something that a lot of others have been unable to do; that is self-publish a mechanically sound, high quality, fun and exciting pirate themed card game. Castaways of Deadmans Bay is the first game published by the newly founded PonderZombie Games. I think I see a meme trend here. Pirate themed game card game and Zombie named company, all thats missing is a Ninja based board game and the trifecta will be complete.

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February 28, 2011

Newsapalooza - Critical Gamers 2/28/11


It seems like this might be turning into a somewhat consistent thing here at Critical Gamers. We are getting so much awesome news that if we don't post multiple times a day, we would never get it all out there. Why not just grab a bunch of the best articles and toss them together into a massive news update?

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February 21, 2011

Expand Your Domain with Dominion


One of the most highly played games since its release in 2008, Dominion, from Rio Grande Games, is still a go-to game three years later. With four expansions, Intrigue, Seaside, Alchemy, and Prosperity, Rio Grande has added over 1200 cards, significant new strategies, and even new mechanics. Dominion is for 2-4 players (up to 8 if used in conjunction with Intrigue or Seaside) and takes about 30 minutes to play. Dominion is considered a tactical card game and not a collectible card game as there is no reason to build a deck outside of the game itself.

At Dominion

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February 18, 2011

In-depth Look at WoW TCG's Latest Raid - Assault on Icecrown Citadel


First thing, the Lich King looks badass. However, we expect nothing less from Blizzard. Secondly, it appears that there will be 93 cards in the raid. While not called out explicitly in the article, the writing is on the wall, so to speak, well on the card at least. We will have to see how that plays out. Third, if you check out the article, it appears that the Lich King will be the only Boss Hero in this raid. Those familiar with the MMO will be quick to point out that this is not the case in the 10 and 25 man versions of the raid. However, Drew Walker, Creative Content Lead for WoW TCG and Lead Designer for Assault on Icecrown Citadel, has pointed out that Lord Marrowgar, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, Lady Deathwhisper, and the other raid bosses will still exist in this raid. Just their purpose will change a bit. Instead of taking them on individually, the Lich King, will be able to summon them throughout the battle.

Fans of the Grand Alliance have not been left out of this raid either, you will be able to play Lady Jaina Proudmoore, Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, and Highlord Tirion Fordring. Each of the three iconic heroes also have their own weapons, Staff of Antonidas, Deathwhisper, and Ashbringer, respectively. Also, each hero comes with their own 61-card tournament legal deck. So if you have friends that don't have their own full decks, this raid will provide them for you. You can also replace Tirion, Jaina, or Sylvanas with a tournament legal hero of your own and those same friends can use the decks in a tournament. Pretty sweet.

Check out the press release for more details.


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February 16, 2011

Newsapalooza - Critical Gamers 2/16/11

With the 2011 Toy Fair in New York nearing its end, news abounds among the analog gaming and toy industries. Instead of devoting an individual entry per news article, we are just going to give it to you lottery style, one lump sum (minus the ridiculous taxes). Please feel free to comment about the articles in the comments fields below. We are looking for input on the types of articles you are interested in so we can keep the content relative and fresh. Any input would be greatly appreciated and we at Critical Gamers thank you for your patronage.

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February 5, 2011

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

SNL Weekend Update.jpg

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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