LOS ANGELES – August 20, 2019 – Seven Board Games designed for use in education have been cited for excellence in the 2019 Serious Play Award Competition. Gold Medals were awarded to:
Complexity, a game that offers a window into the fascinating machinery of life. With mnemonics and solid game play, students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of human anatomy and health. Created by TechnoNature.
Feeding 9 Billion: The Card Game, for high school teachers to use to introduce students to basic concepts around food security, agriculture, nutrition and climate change. Developed by Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph and artist Christine De Vuono.
Silver Medal status went to:
Roots of Power, a game to help clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts. Developed by Seriously Entertaining Education.
Bronze Medal recognition went to:
Alembic, a game where players will learn chemical properties of common metals, all in the form of experimental chemistry. Created by Catlilli Games.
Critical Strengths Engine, a game set that includes four pre-written stories designed to support teens as they explore social and emotional skills such as cooperation and empathy. This engine can also be paired with a diverse range of stories and campaigns. Developed by iThrive Games Foundation.
Miner Madness: Dig into code theory, a game to help students develop critical thinking skills, logic and systematic cognition while learning code theory. Created by the EPIC Project @ KCAD.
+PLUSOUT!!: Battle Points a strategy game designed to help students improve their mental math skills, as well as their abilities to add to, take from, combine and compare numbers. The game can be customized to share across multiple grade levels. Created by Brandon Bell.
Winners are given a chance to attend Serious Play Conference Events and display their games. The locations for the 2020 conferences will be announced in November 2019.
Renegade Game Studios Partners with White Wolf Entertainment and Paradox Interactive for the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade – The Expandable Card Game
San Diego, CA – Renegade Game Studios, a premier tabletop game publisher, in partnership with White Wolf Entertainment and Paradox Interactive, creators of the immersive World of Darkness universe, are proud to announce an expandable tabletop card game set to release in 2020. Vampire: The Masquerade – The Expandable Card Game will offer tabletop gamers a new way to experience the intrigue and politics of Kindred society, as well as the hunger pangs of The Beast within.Vampire: The Masquerade and the World of Darkness in which is it set is a seminal tabletop game universe that first hit the tables of tabletop gamers in 1991. It revolutionized tabletop roleplaying games by focusing on internal and interpersonal struggles of the immortals that inhabited its world. Vampires hide their true nature from humanity while trying to control the hunger for human blood that fuels their supernatural existence while also navigating a society filled with powerful and immortal allies and enemies whose relationships have been built over centuries, all to varying degrees of success.
The World of Darkness has since become the backdrop for innumerable stories told and experienced across every medium: from tabletop stories and video games enjoyed by gamers around the world to novelizations, television shows, and new media shows consumed by gamers and non-gamers alike. The Masquerade, the challenges of controlling The Beast, the politics and intrigue of the Camarilla, and The Eternal Struggle are a rich backdrop for immersive and narrative game experiences.
“Vampire: The Masquerade revolutionized the landscape of tabletop games,” said Renegade Game Studios President and Publisher, Scott Gaeta. “We’re excited to create a new game that explores the beauty, conflict, and horror of the World of Darkness for tabletop gamers.”“Renegade Game Studios is well known for its innovative game design and high quality standards” said Jason Carl, World of Darkness Brand Marketing Manager and host of L.A. by Night at Geek and Sundry. “They are the perfect partner to bring Vampire: The Masquerade into this format. We are thrilled to be working with this award-winning team, and we know our Vampire community is going to be as excited for this new game as we are!”
Vampire: The Masquerade – The Expandable Card Game is slated for release in 2020.Make sure to join The Renegade Society newsletter and Facebook Group and be the first to find out more about Vampire: The Masquerade – The Expandable Card Game later this year!
Silver Amulet (also known as Silver, since it introduces a new line) is a card-shedding game for 2-4 players newly-released at GenCon 2019 from Ted Alspach and his shingle, Bezier Games. You can learn a bit more about the game by watching my recent 5 Quick Questions session with Ted (or read it – we are all about the options at BGB now). If that’s TL; DW, basically this is a more ‘gamer’ development of the game Cabo, which Bezier Games brought back into print earlier this year.
Since Ted is involved, Cabo wasn’t just given more interesting new elements, it’s seemingly going to grow some werewolf fur. More on that later.
Like Cabo, Silver provides players an initial set of face-down cards of which they only get to view a couple. The object of the game is to optimize the cards in front of you to get the smallest total value.
One does this by drawing from the draw pile to activate them, swapping with those cards or one from discard pile and using some special abilities. Players keep taking turns like this until they feel they have the lowest raw card value among all players. If they do, they use their turn to declare the round is over, giving each other player one last shot to optimize before comparing scores. After four rounds of this play, the player with the lowest value wins.
The difference from Cabo (which is, itself, charming and enjoyable) is that Silver gives every card special powers instead of mostly just values. Different cards allow you to swap, reveal or peek at cards, or gain a power on your turn like drawing extra cards.
Shedding cards from your tableau isn’t easy, though. The main way to shed cards is to trade them for another one in a many-to-one trade. This is done by matching cards on your tableau; if I have two 6 value cards, I can trade it with the top card from the draw or discard pile, hopefully reducing my value. Be careful, however – if you flub an exchange because you try to trade a card (even as part of a set) that doesn’t match, the trade is cancelled and you take an extra card for screwing up. Boo.
Cards number from 0 to 13, but the special powers make some cards more attractive than others. For example, the Doppleganger can match the value of other cards so she’s easy to trade out. Yet, she’s the highest value card in the game so you’ll get stuck with her if you don’t trade the card away before scores are compared. Many of the game-changing powers are on higher-value cards, but even the lowly 2-rank Empath lets you view face-down cards on your tableau. The 3-rank bodyguard (and cover star) protects another good card from being swapped or discarded, so most of them are good in one way or another.
As mentioned above, the game has a Bezier Games-signature Werewolf feel. While the initial set has some of feel of those games with Villagers and Seers, we will probably have to wait for Silver Bullet (the first expansion) later this year to get actual werewolves into the game.
Ted’s Going To Need You To Vote
So if you think you’ve got the lowest value cards, you can declare the round over or ‘call for a vote’ because Werewolf. Really, this is just to compare the total values of your cards. If you called for the vote, you best be right. If not, you get not only your card total in points, you get a 10 point penalty.
However, if you do get it right, you get 0 points for the round. You also get that nice bit of metal, the Silver Amulet. This item can be used by the round-winner to protect a card from other card activations.
After four rounds, compare final totals (which you can do on the provided score pad).
Silver is a Lovely Production
Silver’s cards are gorgeously illustrated in a Pixaresque style (they feel a bit like the film Brave to me) and this immediately excited the folks who have played the game with us.
Equally exciting for game geeks like me: Bezier Games worked with Game Trayz to create an insert that fills my heart with joy. While essentially simple in design, it’s highly functional to hold the game’s cards and those from future expansions. The amulet is a pleasant additional touch, even if its ability is the least appealing part of the game for me. I’d call that a minor complaint, this little rich-get-richer element, but it’s a quick game so those kind of balancers are less important.
Silver is a Good One
I quite like Silver and it was enjoyed by everyone with whom I played it so far. My wife was already a Cabo fiend and, indeed, she dominated the first play of Silver, winning three of four rounds. I thought the need to remember the cards (you cannot keep looking at them) would throw her off but it’s not too much of a weight on the mind.
In the end, it plays in 30 minutes or so, includes some interaction when it’s not your turn because you are watching to see what other players might reveal about their hands, and the learning curve is shallow. Additionally, Bezier was clever enough to release an app of the game (previewed in my video podcast) that is completely free. This lets you try the game out in solo play mode so you can learn the game, and see it in action. While I am enjoying the solo play, it’s no substitute for in-person play and the chance to see people surprised when you somehow slipped below their total when the cards are revealed.
Some might ask: Do you need Cabo and Silver? I’d say probably not. Silver is more fun for me, as the special powers make the game. Yet, Cabo is even more approachable than Silver (and the theme is less, um, ‘geeky.’) So maybe there’s a reason why, but I’d go with Silver over Cabo any day.
We quite enjoy Silver and we’re looking forward to Silver Bullet’s Spiel 2019 release so we can add more cards to the mix this holiday season.
Silver is available NOW on the Bezier Games site and will soon be in stores near you.
Discover the Launch Trailer: As the Infection Goes Viral and Spreads Worldwide, Only Collaboration Can Stop the Pandemic!
PARIS – August 1, 2019 – Asmodee Digital, a leader in video game entertainment inspired by board games, is proud to announce the release of Pandemic on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™. In the digital adaptation of the cooperative strategy board game, players will need to combine different roles and skills in order to save mankind from the biological horror threatening its very survival. Pandemic is availablenow on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™ for $19.99.
The Launch Trailer highlights the critical stakes the players will face, mixing live action with actual gameplay to showcase Pandemic’s unique cooperative strategic game mechanics.
Between the base game and its expansions, Pandemic has become a million-selling board game. Designed by Matt Leacock, the board game’s popular success was confirmed by critics, as Pandemic received the 2009 Golden Geek “Best Family Board Game” award.
The digital experience stays true to the core identity of the couch cooperative turn-based strategy game. Developed by Z-Man Games, Pandemic is a mainstream cooperative game that can be enjoyed by a wide audience, even during short game sessions, while rewarding the best decision-makers.
Acting as disease-fighting specialists, players engage in a race against time to contain four epidemics threatening to wipe out different regions on the globe. Players can choose one of the seven specialist roles: contingency planner, dispatcher, medic, scientist, researcher, operations expert, or quarantine specialist. Each role features unique abilities that players will need to combine as efficiently as possible in order to overcome the 5 difficulty levels.
Pandemic differs from a lot of games as it rewards cooperation rather than competition. Players must join their efforts, using their complementary skill sets, in order to discover the cures before it’s too late for mankind.
The game can be experienced as a single player, by managing multiple characters, or with friends, using local cooperative multiplayer. The latter allows up to 5 players to play together using the couch cooperative mode for both Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™.
In late September, players will be able to activate a free DLC on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™:
On the Brink – Virulent Strain will spread a new kind of virus into the world.
On the Brink – Roles & Events will offer players new roles add new events to help save mankind.
In October, Pandemic will be featured in the growing library of great games available through Xbox Game Pass, along with other acclaimed Asmodee Digital titles, including The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game and Munchkin.
Become a Monster, Eat Villagers in Puzzle-Solving, Tile Placement Game for 1-4
Tasty Humans is the latest board game from Pangea Games. In this puzzle-solving tile placement game for 1-4 players, insatiable monsters fill their bellies with unsuspecting villagers. Gameplay will feel familiar to fans of Azul and Sagrada.
Tasty Humans is coming to Kickstarter soon to secure funding for printing. It is a joint project from Brandon Rollins, Tyson Mertlich, and designer Ryan Langewisch.
The game began life as the winner of the 2018 Pangea Games “Panjam”, a 48-hour board game design contest. Players take on the role of fantasy monsters competing to satisfy their hunger by feasting on the local citizenry. Food comes in the form of tiles labeled peasant, archer, wizard and so on, each with unique effects. When eaten, these tiles form unique shapes of body parts which drop to the bottom of the player board stomachs in Tetris-like fashion. At game end, whoever has satisfied their beast best takes the win.
As Tasty Humans players seek to maximize monster satisfaction and score, players face a compelling puzzle with difficult choices. Designer Ryan Langewisch explains, “Each bite leads to difficult decisions with tradeoffs that impact the whole game. These choices also vary game by game as each monster has unique goals and unique leader tiles change up scoring.”
Tasty Humans is launching on Kickstarter on Tuesday, June 25 with copies of the game available for a $25 pledge plus shipping. With crowdfunding veterans behind the project, Tasty Humans debuts following rigorous playtesting and careful development. In addition to art and other assets being established before crowdfunding, the game has been available for months as a print-and-play game and is available on Tabletop Simulator.
Living by their tagline “big worlds in small boxes,” Pangea Games aims to bring compelling experiences to the tabletop. With previous crowdfunding experience, including War Co.: Expandable Card Game, Pangea’s team is familiar with the unique challenges of crowdfunding and bringing games to market.
Editor’s Note:As an avowed content geek, I try new formats. People seem to love our 5 Quick Questions interviewette for tabletop designers that is a quick read. We promise no TL;DR. Let’s see how Ted Alspach, founder of Bezier Games and game designer responsible for Castles of Mad King Ludwig, SDJ 2019 nominee Werewords, and the newly-announced card-shedding game Silver, does, shall we?
BGB:Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for Silver?
Ted Alspach: We are so excited about this one, we’ve been working on it for two years and we are finally launching it here at Gen Con (2019). Silver is a surprisingly interactive hand management card shedding game. The concept of card-shedding doesn’t happen too often; there are some small games like Golf, Cabo and Rat-A-Tat Cat and little games like that. Silver is its own unique thing in that it’s a littler heavier, more for gamers.
In Silver, each card has a number of werewolves on it. And you start with five face down; you note just two of them at that point. Your goal by the end of the games is to have as few werewolves as possible by trading cards with higher numbers for those with lower numbers. However, each card also has a special ability so you try to shed as many as possible until someone says they have the lowest value.
There’s this great amount of tension because at any time, someone can call for a vote and say they have the lowest amount of werewolves. Everyone else gets a turn at that point, because there are interactive cards and they can screw with someone or drastically reduce their cards. But if they can maintain, they get zero points, which is good since you want the fewest points, they also get to go first the next round and they also get this special silver amulet of protection to use on the next round.
Of course, if they miss it, everything goes awry and they get not just the sum of their cards but also ten points, and that’s rough for them. So that happens four times here and then whoever has the lowest score wins.
BGB: Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?
Ted Alspach: So, a couple years ago I played tons and tons for game called Cabo, which is, in a lot of ways, a predecessor to Silver and it is basically you work at getting rid of cards, reducing the cards in your hand. I did like it but it is really light and I discovered there’s this whole genre of these hand management and card shedding games. Looking into those again was looking for something a little more meaty with some interesting decisions. I didn’t see anything, so I started working around some ideas. No one has taken it to the level that I thought gamers would want, with each card doing something special. So, it’s balancing that aspect and it’s really a lot of fun. And, as a game designers, you are looking for these special abilities to balance with the points on the cards. While we were looking into it, we thought we should contact the people who did Cabo to see if they were interested in a more involved game and they ended up letting us publish a new copy of the game since they did it like 10 years ago, which we did and it includes some rules updates based on our play testing with Silver. So, Silver is a result of all that playing these other games and seeing what we could do to develop it into this big beast!
BGB: There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?
Ted Alspach: It’s a middleweight filler, 30-45 minutes and it fills that spot. It is just as easy to learn as Cabo. Silver isn’t any more difficult to learn. You don’t need to know everything just to play the game, so it’s really easy to pick up. And we’re doing an expansion called Silver Bullet that can switch out with cards from the original. (ed. note: This is also available for pre-order and releasing at Gen Con 2019).
BGB: This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?
Ted Alspach: Okay, I have two exclusive things for you. I’ll tell you one and then I will show you something else. So, NEWSFLASH: We have four other Silver decks that are under development for Silver and we plan to release them in the next couple of years. We also have about a dozen original cards to fit into it. One of the cards in the upcoming decks is the Mad Bomber. So, points are bad in Cabo (ed. note: and Silver) and if you have the Mad Bomber, everyone ELSE gets points. (Ed. Note: To see the other secret, check out the video version of the podcast here):
BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Silver. Let’s wrap up with the key specifics (play time, number of players, and the link to the game) and also, since I think you can tell a lot about a person by understanding their sense of humor, what’s a good joke to close this interviewette?
SEATTLE — June 18, 2019 —Acquisitions Incorporated, the first-ever official third-party property Dungeons & Dragons sourcebook from Penny Arcade and Wizards of the Coast, invites adventurers to maximize their plentiful profits and enhance their awe-inspiring exploits today. Due to a recent surge of deceased workers open positions, Acquisitions Incorporated is currently offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create Fan-chises™. The Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook, compatible with the Forgotten Realms or anywhere else in the Multiverse, has everything a budding replaceable cog valued employee needs to keep themselves both profitable and alive1.
This manual contains 224 pages of insider secrets including a never-before-seen adventure for characters levels 1-6. Franchisees can learn the ropes with this gripping tale that is 100%2 safe. Discover completely new content including new spells to master, an introduction to an all-new race, and our patented character positions to help anyone join the company and push us well into the black.
“Seeing our Acquisitions Incorporated campaign enter the canon of the Forgotten Realms is a dream come true,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade. “The book is stuffed with content for Dungeon Masters and players alike, and I can’t wait to hear about their adventures.”
1. We at Acquisitions Incorporated are not responsible for any bodily harm that may occur when using the manual. 2. 60% of statistics are 100% made up on the spot.
The Acquisitions Incorporated book is available now for $49.95 and can be purchased from the Penny Arcade store, Amazon and hobby stores. For more information on Acquisitions Incorporated, the D&D sourcebook, please go to the official webpage. For more information on Acq Inc, please visit the official website.
About Penny Arcade Penny Arcade is a webcomic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. With over 3.5 million readers, it is the most popular and longest-running gaming webcomic online. Penny Arcade is also responsible for the Child’s Play Charity, the PAX gaming expo in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Melbourne, multiple video games based on the brand, and multiple online video series.
Munich, Germany— June 14, 2019. Board game publisher Playford Games is raising funds for a mass-production version of the Ancient World Multi Game System, a collection of social abstract strategy games. Following the launch of the premium wood version at the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL in Essen, Germany last year, Playford is preparing a lower-cost version of the Multi Game System by using an alternative material.
“Our goal has always been to offer the Ancient World Multi Game System at a more affordable price for players. Sourcing the right material, however, took time. So I was very pleased to discover the printed chip. Not only are they very durable and light weight, the printing on foil produces brilliant images and a smooth finish. And of course, the price is also right!”, says Dave Stennett, President and Founder of Playford Games.
The Ancient World Multi Game System consists of double-sided game tiles which can be used to play up to 23 different social abstract strategy games. Each game draws its theme from a different civilization or event in the Ancient World, from Egypt and Rome to the Silk Roads of China. Awarding it the Seal of Approval, Father Geek and his team of child, parent and gamer geeks praised this collection as, “Good quality, outstanding rule book, and endless play… a great mix of abstract games that seemed to have something for everyone.”
The Ancient World Multi Game System launches on Kickstarter Tuesday, June 18th to raise €16,000 for its first printed-chip production, to be delivered by the end of 2019. Backers can choose from four pledge levels, plus special offers for retailers and game cafes.
About the game
The Ancient World Multi Game system is for ages 8 and up and plays in as little as 20 minutes for 2 to 8 players. It was designed to maximize fun while minimizing its storage space. Each game comes with 2-4 sets of interchangeable tiles to play 12 with the Base set and 11 more the Oracle expansion.
Number of players: 2- 8 Playing time: 20 + minutes Recommended age: 8 +
First Gameplay Reveal Went Live on Twitch Last Week, Viewed by More than 110,000 Viewers
PARIS – June 11, 2019 – Asmodee Digital announced Gloomhaven will start its Early Access on July 17th. For the first time, the gameplay was revealed last week during a four hour-long exclusive stream on Twitch. This special event, hosted by Sam Dempsey, Social Media Manager at Asmodee Digital, with special guest Craig Oman, CEO of Flaming Fowl Studios, was followed by more than 110,000 viewers on Twitch.
As a board game, Gloomhaven has raised $4.4 million on Kickstarter thanks to more than 45,000 backers. Acclaimed by both board game players and critics, the Gloomhaven board game achieved the highest rating on BoardGameGeek and won 6 Golden Geek awards including “Board Game of the Year” in 2017.
In the digital adaptation of Isaac Childres’ ultimate strategic board game, developed by Flaming Fowl Studios, you play as a squad of 2-4 mercenaries, in a world of darkness and trials. Gloomhaven is a balanced mix between Tactical, RPG and dungeon-crawling. Its legendary unforgiving difficulty rewards only the best strategic-thinking players. Gloomhaven will be released in Early Access with the same gameplay as the board game, adding a new exclusive roguelike mode. The campaign mode will be available at the official launch of the game.
The VOD of the gameplay reveal stream is available here.
For more information about the game, feel free to visit:
Exclusive Trailer Showcased During Microsoft’s Inside Xbox Pre-E3 Event
PARIS – June 10, 2019 – Asmodee Digital, a leader in digital board game entertainment, is pleased to announce The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game will be released on consoles on August 8th, 2019.
The first adventure card game set in the quintessential fantasy world of J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game offers solo and cooperative adventures based on card battles. The game combines a strong immersive narrative experience with in-depth strategic challenges that will put players’ tactics to the test.
Adventure card gaming: Players can experience the only solo card card game that puts them in the shoes of an adventurer in Middle-earth. They will craft their own stories in the rich world of Tolkien by engaging in solo card-based battles or in collaborative campaigns with a friend in co-op mode.
A new story in Middle-earth: Gamers can craft and discover new stories in the world depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. They can build a fellowship of heroes from some of the most iconic characters and wage battle in the most famous locations of the Third Age of Middle-earth.
A unique way of delivering new content: Players can obtain boosters that provide both new cards and new solo quests to play them in, forging their adventures in Middle-earth.
Unique game mechanics: Players build a deck of 3 heroes and challenge themselves along with friends to complete quests & defeat the forces of Sauron. They can use will points to solve quests and progress in their story. Growing their Fate Pool will allow them to trigger contextual abilities during battle, while Sauron is also growing a Threat Pool to throw up roadblocks at their strategies.
Thanks to the feedback provided by players during its Early Access phase, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game features a finely tuned UI, tutorial, as well as refined gameplay mechanics. Staying true to the J.R.R. Tolkien universe and inspired by the physical card game, Asmodee Digital will welcome players to live the most immersive, yet challenging, adventures in Middle-earth.
Facts & figures
More than 150 cards to play with.
20 planned heroes to combine in your fellowship.
3 campaigns for +35 hours of gameplay.
Additional campaigns to be released post-launch.
2 Free Encounters available and additional Encounters to be released post-launch.
The premiere trailer was featured during Microsoft’s pre-E3 Inside Xbox event, and can be viewed here.
The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game will be available on August 8th on the Xbox One family of devices, PC (Steam), Sony PlayStation®4 and Nintendo Switch™.
The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game will be featured in the growing library of great games with Xbox Game Pass, along with other acclaimed Asmodee Digital titles, Pandemic and Munchkin.
For more information about the game, feel free to visit: