December 1, 2008

Cyber Monday Board Game Sales on Amazon

CyberMondayJackson.jpgThe everything superstore Amazon has been growing in the world of board gaming the last few years. Not only have they been stocking titles of their own, but the third party suppliers have shown up in force this year.

And for Cyber Monday they have a special deal: Each of the Discounted Virtual Storefronts in Amazon's Toys & Games section has Free Shipping on orders of $50 or more.

We dug into the storefronts to find which have the best board gaming titles up for grabs:

There is some fine print: You'll have to check for items in the stores that state the $50 free shipping offer (check for the "Special Offers Available" link near the product image). Also, the deal doesn't count across stores, so you'll need to have at least 50 bucks in one store for that store to ship to you for free. Seems reasonable. Finally, the order has to ship all to the same address.. and that, too, seems like a no brainer.

That's basically it. You can checkout the full terms of the holiday shopping deal at the Main Holiday Shopping Toystore Index

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November 27, 2008

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Board Games, Strategy Games, and Card Games Galore

We know how important it is to find the right game for the right person - it's hard work. And so once again we've lovingly crafted individual guides chalk full of selections tailored for various specific of gaming styles and genres.

Rest assured that you'll find the right game for the right person for some unwrapping goodness come December. Your anchor is this page. Everything you'll need to shop for a gamer spirals out from here, linking to all of our selections for best-bet titles to gift wrap this holiday season.

And here they are:

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Shopping Guides:

If you haven't found exactly what you're looking for then please also check out our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide and our 2007 Holiday Gift Guide. They're both also chalk-full of great game ideas with staying power - we still play many of these games even years later!

Happy Holidays folks!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 24, 2008

Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Party Games

For more great gift ideas across all genres of games please see our
Holiday Gift Guide Index.

Now while we love a board and some strategy in most of our games, they're not the right fit for a social evening. That's where party games come in - they tickle the exhibitionist side of everyone, and promote social elements of gaming in a far stronger light than the cerebral mind-game of positioning and placement. Most importantly, they make us laugh our buttocks off.

We're not going to lie to you; the releases in 2008 weren't very friendly to the party gamer. Sure, you could suck it up and buy the heavily commercialized PartiniTravolta.jpg, but it's just the rehashed/ reboiled essence of decade-old Cranium repackaged under a new publisher, and we simply can't suggest that to anyone.

So for this year's guide we revisit our favorite Party Games. These titles still top our table even after numerous repeat plays, some over the span of years, and that's saying something. So as much as this is a Holiday Shoppers List, also consider these choices our Best of Party Games Eva' list, too.

ArrowContinue reading: "Critical Gamers 2008 Holiday Gift Guide - Party Games"

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November 11, 2008

WizKids Ceases Operations

HaloActionClix.jpgIn a sad bit of news in a downtrodden economy the The Topps Company announced that its gaming division WizKids will no longer be alive to compete with Upper Deck's gaming division. Unless an angelic company swoops down to pickup the orphaned properties, then the Starwars PocketModel TCG, HeroClix, ActionClix (including the Halo series) and Battlestar Galactica TCG series will probably soon go the way of the dodo.

While we commonly regarded WizKids as producing B-Side games when it came to ongoing support, quality and subject matter, they still were an important player in the gamespace. They will be surely missed.

Here's the official WizKids press release pulled from their website:


"The Topps Company announced today that WizKids will immediately cease operations and discontinue its product lines.

Scott Silverstein, CEO of Topps, said "This was an extremely difficult decision. While the company will still actively pursue gaming initiatives, we feel it is necessary to align our efforts more closely with Topps current sports and entertainment offerings which are being developed within our New York office."

Upon notifying our partners, Topps will immediately pursue strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without noticeable disruption. To that end, WizKids will continue supporting Buy it By the Brick redemptions for Arkham Asylum, and the December Organized Play events for HeroClix.

For consumer announcements, please refer to over the coming days for further information."

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 3, 2008

Dominion - A Standalone Collectibe Card Game in a Box

Dominion.jpgThose of you looking to get your hands on a TCG or CCG that doesn't require you plop down gobs of cash, then you might have found just what you've been looking for. The new card game Dominion [Amazon, Funagain] has often been lovingly described as a collectible card game in a box, and a good one at that.

The game is being published by Rio Grande Games and designed by Hans im Glück, a pairing that has brought us the delicious Carcassonne series.

Dominion is an entirely card-based game that is played in short spurts ( < 30 minutes ), which is a fantastic amount of time since the game is all about building up a small kingdom from virtual nothing, and doing it in new, unique ways every sessions.

Throughout each round players draw cards from their basic deck to both act against other players, and to aid in the purchase of even more cards to add their deck. Dominion empowers players to construct their own custom dominion (deck) throughout play. A player's decision of which cards to purchase from a set of randomly drawn cards each turn is based on many different factors -the collection of cards that are currently available for purchase (using in game cash), how do the cards complement what the player's current deck is tailored to do, what are your opponents trying to do and how can you stop them, etc. Your deck starts small, and when it's exhausted the discard is shuffled back together into a deck along with all the cards you've purchased, and play continues. Think of it as a snowballing effect - your dominion becomes more powerful as you slide new resources and prized possessions into the fold as play progresses.

The game has been received extraordinarily well by gaming community. For more information checkout this great Dominion user review on BGG. And - as always - here are the game's official details:

" You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn't be proud, but your grandparents, would be delighted. Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The game comes complete with roughly 500 cards. You select 10 of the 20+ Kingdom card types to include in any given play -- leading to immense variety."

Dominion is now shipping and available from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 14, 2008

Game Table Online becomes Free Gaming Service

10DaysInAfrica.jpgGame Table Online has been alive and kicking for a while, but as an online subscription service only. Today Game Table Online has opened its doors to everyone for free. All you have to do is register and you'll have access to their suite of their online board games.

Their collection includes the classics such as Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, the works, but also includes some Eurogames to boot. The site hosts an online adaptation of the award winning Tigris & Euphrates, 10 Days in Africa, New England, and the 1965 classic Nuclear War. They also has some card games like Condottiere, a modern - and importantly, fun - adaptation of the classic War card game we grew up on.

All you need to do to start playing with your friends is to register your email address, and you're in. Enjoy!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2008

WoW TCG: Hunt for Illidan Preorder Deals

HuntForIllidan.gifIt's the eve of July first, and truck fulls of the WoW TCG set expansion The Hunt for Illidan [Amazon, ToyWiz] are on the verge of shipping to excited card players across the world.

Now - a box of boosters is MSRPed for 96 bucks at the official Upper Deck Store. No offense Upper Deck, but that's crazy talk.

We were about to write to you about a sweet deal at StarCityGames where a box of boosters was at $59.99. Unfortunately that was when they still had 250 boxes in stock. Now that they've sold off 200 of them the prices has shot up to 69 bucks. Still not to shabby when comparing to some of the other mainstream stores out there - like this deal at or at ToyWiz.

Thankfully we ran into a similar deal at They're selling boxes of Hunt for Illidan boosters for 59.95, and at price like that then it's probably for the short term. Get on it!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 16, 2008

Ticket to Ride Card Game Review

TicketToRideCardGame.jpgPublisher Days of Wonder has once again brought another solid release to the approachable gateway gaming franchise Ticket to Ride, with Ticket to Ride the Card Game [Amazon, Funagain]. Set within the traditional American rail frontier, this installment takes Ticket to Ride to a few new places while holding onto many good aspects of the successful line of board game predecessors.

But without the colorful & fun train pieces, and the classic scramble to claim routes on the board to lock your opponents out of cities, does the Ticket to Ride card game bring enough strong new experiences to the table to warrant your purchase?

The general answer is... Those of you new to the Ticket to Ride line of games should probably start with one of the board game varieties - we suggest Ticket to Ride Europe.

If you're already a fanatic of the Ticket to Ride line of games, then be forewarned: Ticket to Ride the Card Game leans heavily on the use of your memory. If you don't mind that then there's plenty of gaming to enjoy in this new, clean and fun installment.

ArrowContinue reading: "Ticket to Ride Card Game Review"

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May 19, 2008

Lost Cites for Xbox Live - Walkthrough

Sierra Online, the publisher of the recently releases Xbox Live Arcade version of Lost Cities for the Xbox 360, has released this walkthrough video of the Lost Cities gameplay. Anyone wanting to checkout the rules of Lost Cities, or to see the quality of the digital adaptation, should look no further!

The video comes via For more information on Lost Cities for the Xbox Live checkout our Lost Cities release story.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 23, 2008

Lost Cities Board Game on Xbox Live

LostCitiesCover2.jpgLost Cities [Amazon, Funagain] is one of the best 2 player games around, and now you can enjoy it with friends and strangers alike through those newfanged electronic devices.. The Xbox live microphone and the optional camera staves-off the socially sterile game play normally associated with online board games, and the ability to play at home any time means you can enjoy some Lost Cities from the comfort of your own couch butt grove. Pants are optional without the camera, but they're highly recommend. Think of the children.

Even better, this Xbox Live version lets you play in mano e mono e mano (that's 3-player games)..we're not quite sure how well it works, but pants are still for the best. (edit: it's not 3-player, but some weird wording for 3 other players in a 2v2 match.)

Here's the Company Line:

"Risk it all on the expeditions of a lifetime in the award-winning card game Lost Cities™ as it comes to life on Xbox LIVE® Arcade. Draw from a pool of cards to amass the most points, play your cards wisely, take chances with your money, and create the best strategy to outwit your opponent on the road to victory.

  • True to the original: All of the fun and strategy of the original card game has been faithfully translated for the console audience.
  • Easy to learn: Jump into a game and start devising strategies within minutes.
  • Exotic locales: Manage prosperous expeditions through the lost cities of the frozen Himalayas to the sandy deserts of Egypt, and even the Brazilian rain forest.
  • Online play: Play with up to three of your friends over Xbox LIVE.

You can read more about the game at the official Live Arcade website, and you can purchase Lost Cities from the Xbox Live Marketplaces through your Xbox360. The game sells for 800 Microsoft points, and with oil at 117 bucks a barrel that equates to 10 dollars American, or one 5 lbs sack of green coffee beans. Enjoy!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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