May 7, 2011

Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War Now Available for Preorder


Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War is now available for preorder on the Stronghold games web store. The game can be bought in two different offerings: a non-packaged deal and The Robert Abbott Special, which includes Confusion and Code 777. If you hurry and are one of the first 500 preorders, the game will cost $38.97, which is 35% off the MSRP price of $59.95. If you purchase the Robert Abbott Special, you will get 35% off both titles which is a pretty sweet deal. If you want to know more about Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War, check out Jeremy Salinas' (Drakkenstrike) Components Breakdown Video Review in HD at the bottom of the post. Jeremy does a great job of breaking the game down into its components, mechanics, and then gives his thoughts on it.

Also, if you are a Survive: Escape from Atlantis fan, Stronghold will not disappoint you as well. They have also announced that they will be taking orders on the 5-6 player mini-expansion and the Giant-Squid mini-expansion is also back in stock. However please note, that any orders made in conjunction with a Confusion preorder, then the order will not be shipped until early June, according to the site.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 13, 2011

Be the Envy on the Block with Laser Cut Catan Tiles

Catan Laser Cut.jpg

It's pretty cool to own Settlers of Catan, one of the games that began the Eurogame craze in the United States but it's pretty amazing to own a version with laser cut tiles. Thanks to jmne over at Thingiverse, you can make your own set. You supply the material (wood, acrylic, aluminum, etc.) and the laser cutter, they supply the printer files. Check out the red acrylic version, pretty sweet.

At Thingiverse

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

ArrowContinue reading: "News, News, and More News - Critical Gamers Feb 5, 2011"

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 2, 2011

Can you Control the Spread or Will There Be a Pandemic??


Pandemic is a two to four player cooperative game designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man games in 2008. Pandemic is a truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose. With many strategic options there is tons of replay value and only takes 45-60 minutes to play. The game pits a team of specialists from different fields together to cure 4 different deadly diseases and stop a pandemic outbreak before they wipe out mankind. Players must work together to build a strategy of eradication before they become overwhelmed and the diseases overcome the world.

At Pandemic

Pandemic: On the Brink expansion adds a fifth player and tons of additional challenges. While the expansion requires the base Pandemic game in order to use, it adds depth and complexity, six new roles (plus 1 revised OpEx and a Bio-Terrorist), 8 new special events, and several optional challenge kits to increase the difficulty of the game. Two of the challenges are the Virulent Strain challenge which makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways and the Mutation Challenge which adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.

At Pandemic: On the Brink

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

January 28, 2011

Ticket to Ride: A Must-Have for Any Board Game Enthusiast

Ticket To Ride.jpg

Since entering the scene in 2004, Ticket to Ride, designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder, is a favorite of many board gaming fans. Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars and then use those cards to purchase routes between two locations on the board. The player continues to purchase routes in an effort to connect two specific locations determined by destination cards drawn at the beginning of the game.

Ticket to Ride is meant for 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, and takes about 30-60 minutes to play. It has won many awards including the 2004 Game of the Year in Germany. With the five official expansions (Mystery Train, USA 1910, Europa 1912, Switzerland, and Dice Expansion) and four spin-offs (Europe, Märklin, Nordic Countries, and Ticket to Ride: Card Game) there is plenty of variety to keep any board game fan entertained!

At Ticket to Ride

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 28, 2010

Risk: Factions Quick Look on Giant Bomb

We were traditionally computer gamers before we got sucked into the awesome world of board gaming, and so we keep our ear to the ground on the latest of computer and video games, too. This is especially true when computer games blend seamlessly with table top board games. Risk: Factions (Xbox Live Arcade) is looking to do just that. It sports the baseline fundamentals of Risk, but then adds layers onto it that way a computer game can easily do.

Features like controllable structures like barracks and cities that produce extra troops each turn. Or varying AI generals with different special powers. Hilariously tragic battle animations, involving robot armies, etc. There's also a short campaign that strings a series of different custom map challenges together, each map sporting themed mechanics and objectives.

For instance the quick look (above) includes footage of a short ranged controllable rocket barrage. If you can wrest enough control structures from your opponent then you direct direct attacks on your offensives, providing an extra die roll when attacking neighboring territories.

It's the little things like this that spice Risk up nicely without diluting the original core game. That's exactly what we look for in a computer game adaptation of board games, that and the multiplayer from the couch.

Risk: Factions is currently available on the Xbox 360 Arcade Marketplace. Enjoy!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 30, 2010

Advanced (Skirmish) Wars Board Game

SWAT.jpgWe love strategy war games, be them on the table top, on your desktop, or even on handhelds, and Advanced Wars for the Nintendo DS is one of the classics. It mixes the best of the old school Panzer General games and makes it fast, fun, and colorful.

Some loyal fans of that series of games has taken it upon themselves to produce downloadable kits for you to print and create your own version of the game, this time designed for your table top. The project called "Skirmish Wars" can be downloaded here. And the rules for the game on on the Skirmish Wars Advanced Tactics Wiki.

We just heard of this title via Kotaku, so we haven't printed it out and taken it for a spin yet (normally we like to test the waters before posting about games), but from what we see the materials look top notch.

You might want to court an artsy-fartsy friend who has the equipment to print on cardboard because who really wants to play this with slips of paper? Luckily we have such a art-savy techno-dork on hand. He only has a certain amount of stock, so, uh get your own.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 27, 2009

Settlers of Catan Coming to iPhone

Catan4thEdCover.jpgA small blurb of an Annoucnment on has word that the Settlers of Catan will be heading to a front pocket near you, and sometime this Summer to boot. Now there has been a generic Catan Clone on the iPhone app store for some time, but this is the real license thing... hopefully with a bit more polish.

Of course that remains to be seen -- details on the official Catan port are pretty light:

"This summer the official version of the board game classic "The Settlers of Catan" will be released for Apple's iPhone. The game is being developed by Exozet Games in collaboration with Catan designer Klaus Teuber, and published by United Soft Media. More informations and screenshots will follow soon!"

Sadly, that's it. We'll keep you apprised of the concrete details once they're announced.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 16, 2009

Carcassonne Coming to Nintendo DS in 2009


Word is circulating the Video Gaming Blogs (#1 | #2) that the classic tile laying Eurogame Carcasonne will soon be making it's way onto the Nintendo DS.

Like the Xbox Live version pictured above, Carcassonne DS will feature the original game along with the Rivers expansion. Featuers will also include 3 different 'worlds' - you got us what that means - as well as multiplayer and a story mode. This should push the feature set beyond the limited bounds of the the Xbox Live model, which is great. We hope the graphics are just as bright.

Carcassonne for the Ninendo DS should ship later this year -- we're thinking near The Holidays.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 4, 2009

Magic the Gathering Injects Itself into Xbox Live June 17th

MTGXboxLive.jpgIt's that time of year again: The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is in full swing in Los Angeles, and with it comes gobs of news of all sorts of games. We're most interested in the extension of board games and cards games, of course, and once again there's some great news to be had.

Now we all heard before that MagicThe Gathering was heading to an XBox near you, but it was a general "sometime" announcement without much detail. Well now the details are out (in this press release) and sometime soon is actually now really soon: June 17th.

It appears the game centers around 7 pre built decks that seed your collection, and then you unlock more cards as you play. Multiplayer is included, included the Two Headed Giant fiormat for 2v2. There are even tournaments planned soon after release: one on June 20th and antoher June 27th where you can players will be able to compete against Magic the Gathering League members and Developers of the game.

The game sports a slick trailer showing the game in action ( a must-see if you found the Magic Online interface a complete travesty ) More details can be round at the Magic the Gathering Duels of Planeswalkers website, and in the product's recent press release from E3. Here's a snippet from that:

Developed by Stainless Games, Ltd., Duels of the Planeswalkers, rated T-Teen, lets players simulate the Magic: The Gathering trading card game through lush interactive 3-D environments. The arcade-style game takes players on a journey through a vast Multiverse of unique worlds where they are deemed Planeswalkers, powerful mages who battle others for glory, knowledge and conquest.

Players can choose to battle against the computer or compete online against real-life opponents using Microsoft's Xbox LIVE Arcade. With numerous game play scenarios, including multiplayer game mode, Duels of the Planeswalkers offers an unrivaled depth in which each game is different from the last. Wizards of the Coast is supporting this release with an exclusive promotional card, which includes brand new artwork, making Duels of the Planeswalkers a game that both new and existing Magic players will enjoy.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 10, 2009

Zoloretto Coming to iPhone and IPod Touch


The 2007 Spiel des Jarhes (German Game of the Year) winner is coming to your jeans' back pocket, and within just a few weeks to boot. SpinBottole Games has announced that they're porting Zooloretto to the iPhones and iPod Touch. The title includes the standard Zooloretto Board Game, but also includes these following other features:

  • Use the touchscreen to drag and drop animals and vending stalls into your zoo

  • Drag the "roller blind" from the top to gain an overview of your zoo and the zoos of the other players

  • Unlock new player characters and future add-ons in the integrated shop

  • 3D-view for zoos, animals and vending stalls

  • Animations and sounds of the animals makes you feel like you are in a zoo

  • Learn exciting details about all animals from the game in the encyclopedia

  • Play against the computer or up to 4 other players (Pass'n Play)

iZooloretto is slated for release in "April 2009", which is sometime between now and the next 2 weeks -- we worked that out for you in case a panda accidentally ate your calendar. So look for the game to soon appear in your Grocer's Freezer (ala the Apple App Store)

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 24, 2009

Empire Total War Demo Debuts on Steam

EmpireTotalWarRedCoats.jpgLong time readers know that we're avid fans of Creative Assembly's Total War Franchise for the PC. Well in just over a week's time, the new installment Empire Total War [Amazon] hits shelves, and we'll be knee deep in marathon sessions of Imperial Age warfare - both on tactical and strategic levels - from the very moment the game is released.

Those thirsting for some of the tactical action right right must no longer wait: the Empire Total War Demo is now available on the Steam download service. It includes two battles: the American Revolution Battle of Brandywine Creek, and the naval Battle of Lagos.

The naval battles is a new feature for the Total War games, and though it depicts an English fleet against a mass of French vessels, the demo's scenario still lacks certain acoutremonts to bring the system to life. We would like to hear more atmosphere to bring us into the battle: sailer calls, marine gunfire, and the crack of opening sails, but perhaps we'll have to just wait for someone to mod the game a bit after launch. The naval warfare also lacked some strategic depth at first -- at least until we figured out the whole broadside mechanism. Toy a bit with the round cannon buttons in the lower right and you'll soon be on your way to kicking some scurvy butt. Unfortunately you can't roll as the French in the demo.

The demo's land combat scenario is everything a Total War game is and more. The engine really has come a far way since Medieival II Total War, and that's saying something 'cause that game is still gorgeous.

Soon we'll have our hands on the full version and constructing our Austrian empire from the ground up. The game is slated for release next week (March 3rd), and if you can't wait and you're hankering for more Empire Total War coverage then checkout these quick battle walkthroughs from some of the game's AI Programmers:

1:Empire: Total War Superior Tactics Walkthrough
2: Empire: Total War Superior Tactics Walkthrough Part II HD

They're a bit over produced and has too many quick-cuts for its own good, but it has great examples of what makes Total War battles so great: the scale of the fights is unparalleled.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 17, 2009

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 is Upon Us

DawnOfWar2SpaceMarine.JPGThe second iteration of the incredible PC adaptation of the Warhammer 40K franchise hits shelves tomorrow, and we're wicked excited. That's not New England sarcasm, either. Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2 [Amazon] is another title in a long lineage of Real Time Strategy releases by Relic Entertainment, a company who has produce hit after hit in the RTS gaming world. They made the amazing Dawn of War, that introduced some crazy terrain deformation, and limb tearing robots, our beloved Company of Heroes WWII real time tactical strategy game, and their classic flagship Homeworld.

Warhammer 40K Dawn of War 2 is destined to be another classic RTS, despite the fact that it's a game about tactics. Base building in this game is deemphasized. Instead your customization comes in how you outfit and upgrade your handful of squads under your control. And when the guns start firing, and the body parts start flying, the game doesn't enter into a tug of war of economies, but instead rests on the ability for you to tactfully command your forces on the front line. Skirmishes erupt with some of the most vivid animations in a strategy game to date. See for yourself:

In the singleplayer campaign, players following their customized squad of Space Marines from map to map as they take on the forces of the Orks, the Eldar, and the vicious instectoid Tyranids. In a slick feature somewhat new to the RTS genre, your friend can team up with you to play through the entire campaign cooperatively. Or, if you'd rather, fight against your friends online in skirmish battles where you can control any of the other factions. We're pretty excited to implale and dismember some Orks with the sword like limbs of cluster of Tyranids ourselves.

We'll see you planetside.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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