Review: Time Breaker from Andy Looney and Looney Labs

Review: Time Breaker from Andy Looney and Looney Labs

Time Breaker is another wacky game from the mind of the great Andy Looney. In the game, which is perhaps a spiritual sequel to Andy’s earlier Chrononauts, players are part of the Time Repair Agency chasing a Time Breaker through time to bring him to justice. But this is not a cooperative game; players want to be the officer to bring the Breaker in, meaning that you may actually try to stop some of the other players in their pursuit.

Time Breaker
A lot of time stuff in that little Looney box…

What’s a Time Breaker, you may ask (especially with the way Avengers: Endgame recently threw out much of what sci-fi geeks ‘know’ about time travel)? The game defines it as a criminal that is attempting to cause issues in a timeline rift. Thus, the players need to chase this temporal hooligan through a game board made up of a 25-tile grid, each representing a specific spot in history. The tiles each show a previous place in history from which you can come into the space and a secondary time you can jump to from there (denoted by red and green arrows, respectively).

Players start at the center of the grid, in the Time Repair Agency spot and they are each dealt a hand of three cards. Each turn, the active player draws a card and then does one of three things: Plays a card to move their agent or the Time Breaker, uses the green arrow to jump to the next time spot, or they do a Hail Mary option of drawing the top card and doing whatever it suggests. That last option is called a Wormhole and you get what you get.

Most of the cards that allow movement do one of two things: Either let your agent move one space vertically or horizontally, or jump to a specific time tile. The Wormhole is really only for those moments when you have no other useful option.

Time Breaker
The Time Breaker is a cube of time-busting clear plastic.

Time Breaker Cards

Some cards allow players to move the Time Breaker himself. This is helpful if one of your opponents moves onto the space with the Time Breaker to arrest him. They simply need to verbalize that they are arresting him (creativity welcome) and then the Breaker will go with them when next they move. Now, if you get to the space where your opponent has actually apprehended the Breaker, you have the option of also placing them under arrest and the first player to move away from that space will take the Breaker with them. But it’s much easier to simply move the Breaker with a card.

Breaker cards are easy to spot since they are black, and most let you move the Breaker token. Some Breaker cards actually close a time gate instead. This removes the tile from the 5 x 5 grid and flips it over. Now, if you jump to that space either from a card or tile path, you are sent to the center of the board instead. This is a welcome mechanism as it pleasantly speeds up the game as you go since getting the Breaker back to the center space is the winning condition.

These closures create gaps in the board which are traversed as if they were just not there, allowing you to move directly to the adjacent space and with the added fact that the game allows for wraparound movement from one side to the other. This movement flexibility is welcome and it grows as the game board gets smaller. Players are able to immediately walk between spaces based on using the green arrow cards and move cards. This eases up one of the game’s challenges: Movement cards directly to you want to go to scarce and the real challenge of the game is figuring out clever ways to navigate to the Breaker and bring them to justice.

Forward to the Past

Time Breaker was popular with the players at our game table. They enjoyed the fast play and movement around the board and the opportunity to foil each other’s plans just as they were about to make their way back to the Time Repair Agency with the nasty Breaker in, presumably, temporal cuffs. The efficiency of play is a factor, with serious gamers perhaps ending the game much quicker. As a result, Time Breaker has a wide timeline for play, noted on the box as 10 to 40 minutes. This is a similar time commitment to the other Looney Labs games which have can wild swings of luck on the basis of card play and options that you don’t have a great deal of control over. That isn’t a slight on the game, in my opinion, because that speed works well for casual players looking for a Fluxxy experience..

Time Breaker
The tiles have a lot of art!

If we had any concern with the game, it’s the graphic design, which crams a great deal of information onto every single one of the game tiles. In an effort to allow people to use either visual or numeric cues, the individual tiles, which aren’t so large, feature both the image associated with a certain time tile and the actual date. This makes for a kind of messy tile that can be difficult for people discern. I would hope that if Looney Labs does a second edition of the game, they might simplify the tiles. Rather than helping, the visual searches slow the game a bit.

Time Breaker is for 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up. For its portability and ease of play, I do recommend the game, especially for Looney Labs fans. More serious gamers may find Time Breaker enjoyable as a quick filler and to enjoy the artwork, which is charming.

Charming Art – quite Looney, too

In my view, Time Breaker is an excellent encapsulation of the Looney Labs brand, and fits well into their ludography. I enjoyed the game and expect to play it again as it becomes available in the Strategicon Library at Gamex 2019. The game is available now at your Friendly Local or Online Game Store and on Amazon.com.

Disclosure: The publisher provided a copy of this game for independent review, which is now being donated to the Strategicon Game Library.

PRESS RELEASE: ASMODEE ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF NEW FICTION IMPRINT, ACONYTE

PRESS RELEASE: ASMODEE ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF NEW FICTION IMPRINT, ACONYTE

 Asmodee is a leading global games publisher and distributor. Among its most famous and imaginative game brands are Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Arkham Horror, and Legend of the Five Rings. More recent hits have included the innovative fantasy card game KeyForge and the co-operative zombie survival missions of Dead of Winter

Asmodee’s Entertainment platform was formed in 2018 to focus on taking Asmodee’s wealth of intellectual properties into formats as varied as films and TV, comic books, location-based entertainment, merchandise, and novels. 

Asmodee Entertainment are delighted to announce the creation of their own fiction imprint. Called Aconyte, it will be publishing novels based on many of Asmodee’s best game properties. Aconyte are also actively pursuing licenses for third-party tie-in fiction, with the first of these at the contract stage. Aconyte will start a monthly publication schedule from early summer 2020, producing paperbacks and ebooks for the US, UK and export trade. 

To helm the imprint, Asmodee has appointed Marc Gascoigne, lately publisher & MD of award-winning global scifi imprint Angry Robot. He’s hired assistant editor, Lottie Llewelyn-Wells, and publishing coordinator, Nick Tyler, to join him in new offices in Nottingham. 

Andy Jones, head of Asmodee Entertainment said: “Asmodee’s stated mission is to bring the world ‘Great Games, Amazing Stories’. Aconyte is another key milestone along that path, literally creating those amazing stories and bringing further depth, intrigue, characters, and narrative to some of the best game worlds ever created.” 

About Asmodee Entertainment 

Asmodee Entertainment is a newly formed platform of games publisher and distributor Asmodee. Its mission is to extend Asmodee’s leading intellectual properties into TV/film, book and comics publishing, location based-entertainment, and consumer products, working in parallel with sister platforms Asmodee Boardgames and Asmodee Digital. Asmodee Entertainment will reach many new audiences and further delight existing fans through the creation of compelling story and character content set in Asmodee’s vibrant game universes. By establishing best-in-class partnerships across the full spectrum of opportunities, Asmodee Entertainment aims to create truly global intellectual properties and brands. 

About Asmodee 

Asmodee Group is a leading international games publisher and distributor committed to telling amazing stories through great games with over 34 million games sold in more than 50 countries. Through our portfolio of iconic game titles, including Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Dead of Winter, Splendor, KeyForge, Dobble/Spot it! and Star Wars: X-Wing, we create a dynamic transmedia experience for players across a variety of digital and physical platforms. Asmodee also creates inspiring and innovative products in partnership with leading entertainment and technology companies. Asmodee operates in Europe, North America, South America and Asia and is headquartered in Guyancourt, France. Learn more at corporate.asmodee.com. 

Review: This Game Goes to Eleven by Gamewright

Review: This Game Goes to Eleven by Gamewright

With a name like This Game Goes to Eleven, this title from Gamewright is trading on the association with the classic cult film This Is Spinal Tap. For the uninitiated, the reference is to an immortal scene in the film where fictional metalhead rocker Nigel Tufnel explains how his amps are just better because of their dials tracking to 11 instead of just 10. Trust me, it hilarious and this game’s title will inspire a smile for anyone who has seen the film.

Haven’t seen it? Go directly to your TV. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

This casual-weight game comes with 72 amp-backed cards and a guitar pick (or “plectrum,” as the delightfully erudite Mr. Mike Siggins noted on my Instagram recently) does evokes this wacky scene with some artwork as well. Playing with 2-6 players of ages 8 and up, it’s quick one, running just about 15-20 minutes. As a filler to begin or end a game night, Eleven, can succeed in filling in the game between longer games, or to appeal the very casual player.

This is a straightforward game of playing cards to get to a certain point in value in the discard pile. Players are dealt three cards of varying values from zero to 11 (no 10 because how sad would that be?). The zero and 11 cards are something special, but most of the cards simply have a number and a hue that corresponds across the same rank. On your turn, you play one from your hard to the discard pile and draw back up three afterward.

The Power of Eleven

When the values of the cards in the discard pile hit 11 or more, the entire stack is given to a player to add to their points pile in front of them. In this way, the game plays like a variety of other cards card games including Reiner Knizia’s Escalation and Poison (now ‘Friday the 13th‘ from iELLO).

Rocker and librarians and amps, oh my…

Who takes the cards? That’s determined by whether the active player hit the number 11 exactly or if they exceeded it. Hitting 11 exactly is the goal; if so, the active player gets to choose who takes the stack of cards that added up to the total.

If the active player exceeds 11 in the discard stack by their play, they are forced to take those cards. That’s the basic game. Once the cards have been passed to the appropriate player, play continues with the next player. However, there are a few additional rules that had some interest to the game.

Librarian Versus Rocker

First off, there are those zero and 11 cards. The 11 card, which features artwork of what looks like a Motley Crue reject, directly sets the current stack at 11, giving the active player the opportunity to be able to handover the cards to whomever it is they want. Rock on, indeed.

The zero card has a picture of a Librarian and she will shush the value of the current stack down to a zero. She also has the power of being able to be played out of turn to cancel an 11 rocker card. What the designers were thinking when they figured that a librarian can shush a loud hair metal rocker, I don’t know. But that doesn’t give the Librarian a great deal of power in the game. The Librarian can also make for prodigiously large stacks of cards which ended up getting handed over to a player in a single go.

Split Stacks

One more interesting rule is that players may not play a card of the same rank directly on top of a card of the same rank. If you do opt to play a card of the same rank on top of one that matches it, you will split the stacks. For example if the stack currently has a five on top of it and you opt to play five card, rather than adding the five to the total that is currently in the discredit pile you will make a new discard pile.

This option is probably the most interesting part of the game since you can use it to avoid exceeding 11 on your turn. Instead, you start a new second discard pile that is also being played to 11 or more. I am fond of this rule since it reminds me of the under-appreciated Adlungspiele game Lowendynastie, which allows you to create a secondary trick with a split matched ‘marriage’ card. Eleven isn’t as intriguing as that game, but this little flash of an intriguing rule is welcome.

Winning

As you may have surmised at this point the game is going to end when you get through the stack of cards and the player with the fewest cards is going to win. Thus, it helps to simply avoid cards there’s no real difference there and it makes for a simple goal that all players can understand. The value of the cards themselves or any of the special cards like a librarian and the guitarist don’t have any special significance, at the end again it’s just about how many cards you have. While it lacks the ladder-climbing feel of Escalation, the intrigue of the three stacks and shoot-the-moon scoring options of Poison, This Game Games to Eleven fits the bill nicely of a six player game you can play with just about anyone.

Plectrum Variant: A must for us

Pick this variant…

One more note: the plectrum included with the game isn’t just for amusement, it provides a variant that I like. The plectrum is giving to the starting player and, when someone hits exactly eleven on the discard stack, the one with the plectrum gets the pile of cards. Some will say this make for less strategic options, it does dial down (pun intended) the ‘take-that’ feel of the game. This variant doesn’t change anything about the active player getting the cards if they exceed that number and I think it makes for some interesting choices when you need to minimize card intake while possessing the plectrum. For our group, this option is a lot more appealing as we are not terribly aggressive players and liked the idea that the game was instead more evenly distributing the cards and allowing us to make the difference in the skill of play.

If you are a local, this copy of the game will be showing up in the Strategicon Game Library in time for the Gamex 2019 convention in May. Play it there to get your rock and roll on.

This Game Goes to Eleven
The whole shebang.

Final Word

This Game Goes to Eleven was liked by our casual gamers and if that’s your audience, this is a winner. Serious games can enjoy it as a lighter version of fare they normally play and it’s a charming filler that can round out theme nights, too.

Asmodee Digital Launches Zombicide on Mobile Devices

Asmodee Digital Launches Zombicide on Mobile Devices

Based on the Popular Adventure Board Game Franchise, the Solo Tactical Squad-Based Mobile RPG Showcases an Untold Story Based on the Post-Apocalyptic Universe

PARIS – April 23, 2019 – Today, Asmodee Digital, a leader in digital board game entertainment, has launched Zombicide, a solo tactical squad-based mobile role-playing game (RPG) based on the incredibly popular board game franchise that has raised more than $18 million since 2012. Featuring an untold story set in the familiar over-the-top post-apocalyptic zombie universe, Zombicide delivers thrills and chills on iOS and Android devices, starting today.

“Creating tactical games is a huge part of Asmodee Digital’s DNA, and the introduction of Zombicide on mobile platforms is a testament to our commitment to bringing engaging universes and experiences to players worldwide,” said Pierre Ortolan, CEO of Asmodee Digital. “Zombicide is a beloved board game franchise, so bringing this title to mobile with a brand new storyline, as well as an immense level of care, quality and polish, is a great next step for the IP.”

With its intuitive but deep combat system, 40 campaign missions, ambient soundtrack, dazzling special effects and cadre of rich characters with unique abilities, Zombicide’s zombie-infested universe presents a colorful gameplay experience. The game features brisk 20 to 30 minute turn-based gameplay sessions, challenging players to eliminate zombies and survive as long as possible. The higher the danger level rises, the more zombies emerge in search of human flesh.

Zombicide follows a group of survivors who are forced to work together in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Faced with danger, bonds eventually become stronger as the team works together to unearth the deadly secret behind the undead horrors in their hometown.

Zombicide will be available on iOS and Android devices starting today.
For more information on the game, feel free to visit:
https://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/zombicide/

More information about Asmodee Digital on: Web, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Asmodee Digital
Asmodee Digital, a fully owned subsidiary of the Asmodee Group, is an international publisher and distributor of digital board games with operations located in Europe, North America, and China. Asmodee Digital manages the creation, design, development, publishing, and marketing of board and card games on leading digital platforms – spanning mobile, PC, Mac, virtual reality and consoles – for Asmodee studios as well as for third-party publishers. The current Asmodee Digital catalog includes best-selling digital games such as Catan VR, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Agricola, Mille Bornes, Pandemic, Small World 2, Mr. Jack London, Colt Express, Mysterium, Potion Explosion, Onirim, Jaipur, Spot It! Duel, Abalone, Ticket to Ride First Journey, Catan Stories, Talisman, Fighting Fantasy Legends, Smash Up and digital versions of many other well-known board games. http://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/

About CMON
CMON Limited is a fast growing hobby games publisher. Originated in 2001 as www.coolminiornot.com, an online community website, CMON now publishes several hit tabletop games, such as the Zombicide series, as well as Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest and more! We actively leverage crowdfunding to bring new and innovative titles to the tabletop games market, and have proven asset-light business model.

About Playsoft
We’re Playsoft, a mobile game development company of 50 passionate games professionals. We create top-grossing mobile games with selected market-leading publishers. We create outstanding products fast in a data-driven, player-centric way.

PRESS RELEASE: Promenade – The Game of Impressionist Art is live on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: Promenade – The Game of Impressionist Art is live on Kickstarter

Become the most prestigious collector of paintings in a 2 to 4 player economic deck-building game filled with impressionist art.

Los Angeles, CA – April 9, 2019 – Sunrise Tornado Game Studio, publisher of the hit game Cat Rescue, has just launched a new strategy game called Promenade that combines gorgeous artwork and a unique take on the deck-building genre.

Promenade brings players into the art world, where they can purchase paintings for their collection to score points. Artwork gains in value based on a simple but intriguing market system, and by placing art in the right museums. The winner will be the one with the most valuable art and prestigious exhibitions in the finest galleries.

“As a painter and great lover of Impressionist works in particular, I wanted to design a game celebrating this style and offering players the chance to collect and speculate in the art world,” says designer Ta-Te Wu.

Promenade features original art and unique deck builder mechanisms in a game that plays in about an hour.

Featuring over 15 gorgeous pieces of original artwork, mostly painted by the designer himself, Promenade is an excellent and approachable game for 2-4 players that plays in under an hour. Early reviewers are already championing Promenade for its innovative and quick play:

“I enjoyed Promenade greatly. The design is clever and engaging. Your turn never comes round quickly enough and there is wonderful suspense as we calculate the game end holdings…Highly recommended.”

Mike Siggins of Ludememike (also know as Sumo)

“If you’re a fan of economic games and deck builders or just love games about paintings, check out Promenade.”

Meeple Lady

“It must be asked. Another deck builder? Does Promenade offer anything new or exciting? Is it worth playing? Yes. Yes and HELL YES!”

Jay Bernardo of Cardboard East

The Kickstarter for Promenade offers a unique $1 pledge level where players get something for their buck. To show appreciation for the support, Sunrise Tornado is including print and play games to all people who agreed to spread the word about Promenade. Cat Sudoku and Kiti-o-Tiki are both fun, quick games that will be made available to all supports at the $1 level.

The game is now live on Kickstarter:  bit.ly/2Ut8bKrand runs until May 12th.

About Sunrise Tornado Game Studio

Sunrise Tornado Game Studio is designer  Ta-Te Wu and his collaborators. STGS is responsible for over a dozen board and card games. Working with publishers like Z-Man Games and Cross Circle Games in the early days, Sunrise Tornado Game Studio now primarily publishes games through crowdfunding, having launched several successful titles on Kickstarter like Cat Rescue, Kung Pao Chicken, Di Renjie, The Battle of Red Cliffs, and Glory of the Three Kingdoms. Learn more at:  sunrisetornado.com/

Connect with us on Social

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PromenadeGame/

Instagram: Ta-Te Wu (@tatewu) • Instagram photos and videos

Twitter: @tatewu1

Press Contact

BGB Tabletop Media – bgbtabletopmedia@gmail.com

Travel Back Through Time In Time Chase

Travel Back Through Time In Time Chase
If you’re a fan of our small-box trick-taking game The Fox In The Forest but want a game you can play with more than 2 people, you will love Time Chase! 

In this game that accommodates 3-6 players and can be played in 30 minutes, you’ve cracked the code to unlock time travel, but some nefarious colleagues are trying to use your invention to travel back in time and take the credit for themselves!

With the technology of time travel in hand, you’re allowed to travel back in time to previous tricks, known as events, and change their outcome. The first player to control three events in the timeline wins!

We’re really excited about this game, and we’re not the only ones: Dan of Game Boy Geek called it one of his most anticipated games of 2019!

Thankfully you won’t have to wait too long: Time Chase will be available in August at your friendly local gaming store.

3 Rapid Reviews of iOS Board Games: Evolution, Castles of Burgundy and Doppelt Ganz Clever

3 Rapid Reviews of iOS Board Games: Evolution, Castles of Burgundy and Doppelt Ganz Clever

Who has time for full-blown reviews anymore? If you want them, you can find all you want – a sea of them. But if you want something quick, here you go – quick, hot takes on recent games I’ve played. Nah, I didn’t play them seven times. I won’t explain the rules in excruciating detail. I won’t give you the path to victory based on countless plays. I’ll give you the gist, something I find interesting, and what I think. Here we go:

Evolution: The Digital Edition

The Gist

Evolution is a gorgeous app from the get-go.

Evolution was the first ‘serious’ game that came from North Star Games, who were first known for their hit (and wonderful) party game Wits & Wagers. Since Evolution ended up feeling like, wait for it, North Star itself evolving, I was intrigued even though my first play was with a rough playtest copy that I demonstrated at Strategicon. Yet, the game was immediately compelling to just about everyone I met; the concept of multipurpose cards where one can create species and grow them with the ultimate goal of feeding (food = VP) appealing immediately to gamers. Bringing the game to mobile gaming seemed like a no-brainer to me and it’s finally here, allowing for AI and asynchronous play. The game is full of sparkling graphics, lots of flavor text, a solid (if sometimes overbearing) tutorial, and a complete port of the gameplay that made Evolution so popular.

What’s Interesting

Evolution on your phone takes care of some of the administration and card-reading. One knock on the original game is how much information you need to track. Can my carnivore eat any of the available animals? I need to read cards to confirm. The app just highlights which species I can snack on now, which makes life wonderful. Sure, you still need to look sometimes, which is easy enough with a click on the cards (easier on a tablet, and a choice to display all cards on a species would be cool). “Auto-feed” is also nice, quickly letting the species mack down on the available food as they would appropriately chose to do.

My Take

The game moves well with the smart UI.

Evolution is a good game that has a unique feel. I am quite fond of the app version because of the ease of administration and how it is giving me a chance to play the game more frequently so I can become more familiar with the rules. That way, when next I get it to the table, it’s all the easier to play the game quickly. The chance to explore the strategy of a game more is the key thing I seek in a longer iOS game (not the 3-5 minute chunk games like Doppelt Ganz Clever below), and Evolution: The Digital Game delivers that in spades. If you like Evolution, it’s an insta-buy. If you’re new to Evolution, you can find no better way to learn it.

Castles of Burgundy: The Digital Edition

The Gist

This is before the magic robot table yanks your player board into some underground storage chamber.

Castles of Burgundy is the finest game Stefan Feld has designed and it is one of my favorites of all time. Haven’t played it? Stop reading and go play this cardboard wonder. Back now? Okay, let’s continue.

It’s a perfect dice manipulation game. COB effectively makes good use of a wild list of different tiles in a way that isn’t quite as successful in Feld games like Bruges and Macao. I was thrilled for the iOS version to come out. Unfortunately, my first response to the game was that it was overproduced. I have been generally happy with Digidiced, the company behind this release. Yet, it felt like they had stacked this layer cake just a little too tall.

COB received criticism for the component quality when it was originally released, but no one took issue with the art. It’s not sacrilege to replace it with similar looking art, but the original work is recognizable for those of us who have played many, many games of COB. So, it irked me a little bit that the digital edition adds new, less appealing art. Add that to the fact that the game has a 3-D look and a quirky trick where in the game shows the current player’s board on their turn. I find the implementation overwhelming.

What’s Interesting

Once I started to play, I realized Digidiced had sensibly given players a number of choices as to how it is they might select certain pieces to take their turn. For example, you can select the die you want to play in order to start the process of selecting a tile to claim or take. You can also simply select the pieces. The game does a pretty solid job of being able to anticipate what it is that you’re going to do. Not rocket science but it’s still welcome that when I select a shipping tile that has a three on it, the game understands that I’m probably meaning to select a die that has a three on it or one that is pretty close for which I can use a worker to modify. As a software designer, I can appreciate the fact that the company made some good choices as to use ability in these cases. Kudos, Digidicers.

My Take

How does the game play on iOS? Pretty much like COB tabletop does, with a lot of the administration handled for you. That’s welcome, as the game does require a bit of set up each round. My experience so far has primarily been playing against the computer and the AI is a serviceable but the real joy is being able to have some asynchronous play with friends. And while I was initially frustrated with the art, I have grown accustomed to the different look. I still think that there is some lost definition with some of the building tiles in particular but that’s a small complaint against the joy of being able to have more COB in my life.One final note, The game is priced at $8.99 for the iOS version and a dollar more for Android. This is a significant increase from most of the games that come out these days which are starting to trail up into higher costs. While I understand the desire to make some amount of money from the mobile games, as well as the versions that are available on Steam, I do think that for gamers that have already invested in the game in physical format, it does seem like a bit high. Maybe I’m just naïve, and something of a cheapo when it comes to how much money I’m willing to pay for an iOS version of a game that I’ve already bought in physical form, not to mention the Card Game and the Dice Game, both of which are passable versions of the original. For me, $4.99 is an upper limit for these games when you play them on your devices like an iPhone or iPad. But if you love COB, and you should, pick it up when the sales hit…

Doppelt So Clever: The Digital Edition

The Gist

“Twice As Clever” may be true. Some people are flummoxed by this sequel.

Ghost-pepper-hot designer Wolfgang Warsch keeps dropping these excellent games on us. In the case of Doppelt So Clever, he’s following up Kennerspiel Bridesmaid Ganz Schon Clever (which missed out on the award because his other nominee won), a roll-and-write wonder that delights gamers and may intimidate the uninitiated.

The themeless dicey puzzle game allows for clever interaction between rolls in various categories and the forced limitation of lower die rolls. I find it a great app for the 5 minute iOS experience I tend to seek instead of longer games that will take an extended period of time to play. Doppelt ups the ante by introducing even less obvious interactions into the mix. The gray section in particular has baffled some players but the way you set up various rolls to give you extra rolls and placements is key (Blue and Pink, folks!) It’s a heady answer to the simpler roll-and-writes out there flooding the marketplace and I really enjoy it.

What’s Interesting

A fresh board is a delight. What strategy will I go for this time?

What’s truly interesting is the game. If Ganz Schon Clever kept me addicted for a few months as I worked my way up to scoring in the 300’s, Doppelt was knocked over a lot faster. While I think Doppelt’s strategy is more subtle, experience with GSC helped me a lot. Not that it plays the same way, in fact, you need to unlearn some things that GSC teaches you. The interplay of the Yellow section is more intriguing than Blue in GSC. Green can be a points powerhouse. Pink can deliver so much if you get in early. There’s plenty to explore and enjoy for the cost of this app.

The app itself is a port from Brettspielwelt, which are generally not too strong. Like Friday and Doppelt’s sister game, they are buggy and sometimes slow to respond. I won’t bore you with the technological reasons why I believe these apps don’t perform but it’s a thing. That said, I want BSW to make tons of money because I’ve spent MANY hours on their servers delighting in board game goodness.

My Take

These games are lovely puzzles but once you have solved them, they lose some appeal. I’d also suggest that solo play is just as appealing because adding other players doesn’t meaningfully change the game except when they are going to trip you up by refusing you a die you want. I don’t find that appealing anyway so the “Clevers” are perfect for iOS (dare I say, maybe even better than the physical copy). Give them both a buy.

What iOS board games do you love? I’d enjoy hearing about your favorites in the comments section. I think I have most of them out there but I am always looking for my next iOS addiction.

Disclosure: A code to download Evolution: The Digital Edition was provided by the publisher for independent review.

PRESS RELEASE: Hunters Entertainment Rolls The Dice With Altered Carbon Tabletop Role-Playing Game

PRESS RELEASE: Hunters Entertainment Rolls The Dice With Altered Carbon Tabletop Role-Playing Game
Skydance teams up with award-winning game publisher
for officially licensed tabletop games starting in 2020
Los Angeles, CA (March 29, 2019) – Skydance Media has reached a multi-year licensing agreement with Hunters Entertainment to produce tabletop role-playing games set within the stunning sci-fi universe of the hit Netflix series, Altered Carbon.

Based upon the best-selling novels by Richard K Morgan, Altered Carbon is set centuries into the future when the human mind has been digitized and the soul itself is transferable from one body to the next. Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite interstellar warrior known as an Envoy who has been imprisoned for 500 years, is downloaded into a future he’d tried to stop. Netflix recently renewed Altered Carbon for a second season, with Anthony Mackie (Avengers) becoming the new Takeshi Kovacs as the series continues to explore his journey spanning hundreds of years across many different bodies and planets.

The long-term agreement calls for an ongoing series of tabletop RPGs drawing from the full scope of the Altered Carbon series, with direct tie-ins to the highly-anticipated second season from executive producers Alison Schapker (Fringe), Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel) and James Middleton. David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Marcy Ross serve as executive producers for Skydance.

“Altered Carbon is such a rich and expansive universe,” says Ivan Van Norman, CMO and Co-Founder of Hunters. “We look forward to producing an equally ambitious and inspired line of games for years to come.”The games will begin with a crowdfunding campaign for the core RPG manual later this year, with plans for print and digital releases in 2020 through their global publishing deal with Renegade Game Studios.

The Skydance-Hunters licensing deal was brokered by Joe LeFavi of Genuine Entertainment, who will manage the license on behalf of Hunters and serve as an editor on the game itself. LeFavi is no stranger to tabletop, as he is currently managing the master tabletop gaming license for Frank Herbert’s Dune with Legendary and Gale Force Nine. Skydance Media is represented by Evolution.

ABOUT SKYDANCE MEDIA
Skydance is the diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high-quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company brings to life stories with immersive worlds across its feature film, television, interactive and animation divisions. Recent feature films include Mission: Impossible–Fallout and Annihilation.

Skydance’s upcoming feature films include 6 Underground, Gemini Man, Terminator: Dark Fate, Top Gun: Maverick, The Old Guard, and Ghost Draft. Skydance Television launched in 2013, and its current slate includes two Emmy-nominated series, Grace and Frankie and Altered Carbon, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Condor and Foundation. Skydance Interactive launched in 2016 to create and publish original and IP-based virtual reality video games; its library includes the mech-shooter game Archangel: Hellfire and the upcoming 2019 title The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners.

In 2017, Skydance formed an animation division to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series. The first slated movie is Luck, which comes to theaters March 2021. Visit: www.skydance.com.

ABOUT HUNTERS ENTERTAINMENT
Hunters Entertainment LLC specializes in the creation of tabletop games and engaging customers via Actual Play series, many of our products are featured in shows on platforms such as Geek & Sundry, VRV, Pluto, and Project Alpha. Responsible for the popular tabletop games: Outbreak: Undead, Kids on Bikes, and Overlight in which they carry the digital rights with Renegade Games, we also are also a licensee of Dungeons & Dragons with our children’s book The ABCs of D&D. Visit www.huntersentertainment.com for more information.

ABOUT RENEGADE GAME STUDIOS
Renegade Game Studios is a premier developer and publisher of original award winning board and roleplaying games, including Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, Overlight, and more. Our mission is to publish games that are fun, challenging, and unique. We believe that gaming is for everybody and that everybody is a gamer; you just have to find the right game!Visit www.renegadegames.com for additional product information.

ABOUT GENUINE ENTERTAINMENT
Genuine Entertainment is an award-winning producer and paladin in genre entertainment, specializing in strategic licensing for entertainment franchises and fandoms that demand quality and authenticity in equal measure. It’s our mission to build brands by cultivating worlds and fan communities, making meaningful contributions with premium content and consumer products that extend intellectual properties beyond their core markets and genuinely connect with fans across multiple categories.

Recent collaborations include such genre greats as Altered Carbon, Avengers: Infinity War, Blade Runner 2049, Dune, Game of Thrones, and World of Darkness. To learn more, please visit: www.genuineent.com.

ABOUT EVOLUTION USA, LLC
Evolution has the expertise to fully monetize all forms of intellectual property through licensing and merchandising, digital monetization, promotions, location-based entertainment, retail development, and brand management on a global basis. Evolution is also adept at managing manufacturing and distribution, which enables it to develop intellectual property from concept to the retail shelf. Visit www.evomgt.com.

5 Quick Questions About 5×7 Dungeons with Dan Smith

5 Quick Questions About 5×7 Dungeons with Dan Smith

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 Dan Smith, the L.A.-based artist and game designer of such games as Battle of the Bands, King of Crime and many cool RPG-like experiences, plus the recently Kickstarted solo game 5×7 Dungeons, does, shall we?

BGB: Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for 5×7 Dungeons?

Dan Smith: Got no friends? No worries, now you got game!
(Seriously) You have a few minutes to kill, why not have fun? 1 card/1 marker/2 dice and you are good to go… into the 5×7 Dungeon!

BGB: Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?

Dan Smith: I test myself. I give myself a premise and then I cripple myself to see if I can overcome the limitations in play. This one was: I have 1 card. Make a game using 1 card. I worked my way up from a basic playing card to 8×11 size, but that was like the one-page dungeon format and not wanting to reinvent that wheel, I cut the size in half. You do need a couple of d6s and an erasable marker, but 1 card is all you need.

All you need on a single card. Brilliant. – ed.

BGB: There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?

Dan Smith: This game should go into your car. It’s the time waster you can use while you’re waiting at the dentist, in line at the drive thru, waiting for your other friends to show up for the function. Waiting for your significant other to get ready? 5×7 Dungeons has you covered. (Ed. note: This will be a lifesaver for me on this last point.)

BGB: This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?

Dan Smith: It’s an easy game mechanic, once you get the game, you could make your own dungeons… but that’s what a brain is for. I would love to see what others come up with using the mechanics…

BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about 5×7 Dungeons. 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?

Dan Smith: Playing time 5-10 minutes per card. 1 player. We’re live on Kickstarter until April 29th. (ed. note: and this game is VERY reasonably priced! PDF available or get the real thing if you hate printers like I do.)

JOKE TIME

What is long, brown and sticky?

A stick.

For more 5 Quick Questions, check out this link. I didn’t realize we’ve done quite a few…

PRESS RELEASE: IBC Launches Potemkin Empire on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: IBC Launches Potemkin Empire on Kickstarter
Indie Boards and Cards brings you: Potemkin Empire
Russia: 1787. Empress Catherine the Great is taking a surprise trip down the Dnieper River to survey her new kingdom. This will take her directly past your old, unremarkable village. You don’t have the time or money to make your village impressive, but with a few pieces of timber and some strategically placed facades, you could certainly make your village seem impressive. 
In POTEMKIN EMPIRE, up to five players attempt to impress Empress Catherine by convincing her that they have the most prosperous village in the land. You don’t have much time or money, so you’ll just have to set up empty building facades along the river to make your town look impressive.

Draft and assign interior cards to decide which of your buildings are real or fake. Score points by exposing your opponents’ fake buildings, or by passing off your fakes as real. Each building you can add to your town has a unique ability, so choose the buildings you construct carefully. Some will earn you points whether they’re real or not, but beware of your enemies’ spies!

Thank you for your support. We couldn’t make great games without you!