PRESS RELEASE: It’s Feline Feeding Time in Kibble Scuffle —Coming Soon!

PRESS RELEASE: It’s Feline Feeding Time in Kibble Scuffle —Coming Soon!

Hillside, NJ – January 16, 2019 – WizKids is excited to announce that Kibble Scuffle, an adorable romp through feeding time with your mischievous feline friends, is coming soon!



In Kibble Scuffle, it’s time to feed your cats! Players compete to feed their cats the most points in food cubes by the end of the game. They will send cats to Food Bowls by playing cards, and resolve the cats’ abilities as they arrive. When there are at least 5 cats at any bowl after resolving abilities, the Feeding Phase begins. Players are able to feed their cats and collect food cubes, which are worth varying amounts of points. When a player reaches 20 points or more at the end of a Feeding Phase, the game ends and the player who has the most food cubes wins.
 
There are several different kinds of feline friends to feed in Kibble Scuffle—from the generous Mama Cat, who allows another cat at the bowl to feed, to the mischievous Trickster Cat, who exchanges food cubes between bowls. The game even features four adorable Kittens, who draw their fellow kittens to the Food Bowls. Kibble Scuffle’s innovative packaging doesn’t just hold the game—the box also doubles as the game’s Cat Food Box, allowing players to have the most immersive feline feeding experience possible! Kibble Scuffle arrives in game stores soon, so be sure to preorder it at your Friendly Local Game Store or online today!

What’s It All About?

Using the game box as a cat food box to store the food cubes, players take turns placing their cats at bowls and resolving their abilities. For example, the Pounce Cat removes a cat at a bowl. The Greedy Cat eats two food cubes. The Mangy Cat forces another cat to move away from their bowl. Once there are 5 cats at any food bowl, the feeding (scoring) phase begins, followed by a new round.

Kibble Scuffle is a tactical card game of area control to try and get the best food for your feline friends. With cards like the Robo-Vac and Laser Pointer, you can use toys to strategically distract your opponent’s cats.

Once a player reaches 20 points, the player with the most value of food cubes eaten at the end of the feeding phase wins.

Components:

4 x Player Decks of 20 Cards Each
5 x Advanced Cards for Each Deck
55 x Food Cubes
3 x Food Bowl Tiles

MSRP: $19.99
SKU: 73457

SOURCE: WizKids

Investment in Game-Based Learning Sharply Up in 2018: Metaari

Investment in Game-Based Learning Sharply Up in 2018: Metaari

LOS ANGELES – Jan. 7, 2019 — Investment in game-based learning companies was sharply up in 2018, according to leading serious games analyst firm Metaari. A total of $2.25 billion went to 133 companies. In contrast, less than half that amount, or $948.2 million, was invested in 150 game-based learning companies in 2017.

While the number of deals declined slightly in 2018, funding levels were much higher and investment more than doubled. Almost 100 companies reported raising substantial funds; 17 PreK-12 academic-facing companies obtained funding in 2018; 21 corporate-focused companies producing game-based training were funded. The most attractive category for investors was educational games or educational technology products for use in K-12.
China is the education technology center of the universe, at least for now, according to Sam Adkins, Metaari.

In 2018, 51 Chinese game-based learning companies garnered a combined total of $539.3 million. Nearly 50% of all ed tech investments made in 2018 went to Chinese companies. “This is the first time in the history of the industry that China overtook the US. A stunning $7.22 billion was invested in 207 Chinese learning technology companies in 2018,” Adkins said. In July, Metaari predicted a 37.1% CAGR growth rate for game-based learning products over the next five years. That growth would mean revenues for games-based learning will more than quadruple to well over $17 billion by 2023.

Metaari produces annual reports on the global game-based learning market. The reports, available from Serious Play Events, include an analysis of the catalysts driving the market as well as both a demand and supply-side analysis, providing publishers with the ability to choose high-yielding opportunities. 


Metaari’s Global 2018-2023 Game-Based Learning Market is available for sale from Serious Play Conference here: www.seriousplayconf.com/reports

Metaari also produces reports on the Mixed Reality Learning Market and the Market for Mobile Educational Games.

Award-Winning Strategy Game Evolution Develops New Traits on Steam, Mobile Feb. 12

Award-Winning Strategy Game Evolution Develops New Traits on Steam, Mobile Feb. 12

KENSINGTON, MD. – Jan. 8, 2019 –Evolution, the strategy game of adaptation from North Star Digital Studios will flourish on PC, Mac, iOS and Android on Feb 12, 2019.

Inspired by the award-winning tabletop gameEvolution retains the elements which made the analog edition so popular with more than 1.6 million players worldwide, but offers a swift pace and features only possible in a modern video game. Meticulously designed so even those who are completely unfamiliar with the original board game can jump in right away, the digital release features a learn-while-you-play tutorial, exciting campaign mode with “Apex Species” to test your wits against, and cross-platform multiplayer that effortlessly matches players with others of similar skill. 

Create new species and adapt them for survival in an ever-changing environment, brought to life with a beautifully hand-painted, watercolor art-style and an earthy, contemplative original soundtrack. Combine different traits rooted in science, such as a long neck or a defensive shell, in limitless combinations to help creatures thrive in the fight for survival over scarce food resources and defense from deadly predators. Develop symbiotic relationships or even evolve carnivorous traits and feast on foes in this addictive turn-based strategy game.


Evolution brings stunning new artwork, animated cards, lush environments, distinct enemy A.I., and more than 24,000 possible species to the virtual table. The campaign presents varied scenarios and smart “Apex Species” requiring careful planning and strategy to survive.

Take the fight for survival online and square off against live opponents around the world in fully cross platform, skill-based matchmaking. Rank up from a field researcher all the way to a Nobel Laureate in the progression system. Test yourself against others in the ongoing seasonal tournaments. Turn-based and simultaneous play options allow for fast and fluid multiplayer games in under ten minutes. 

“The original Evolution tabletop game has developed a fanatical following among players since its release in 2014,” said Scott Rencher, president and co-founder of North Star Digital Studios. “With the Evolution video game, we’ve gone all out to make this not just a great board game adaptation, but a fantastic strategy video game in its own right.” 

Evolution will be available in English on PC and Mac via Steam for $14.99 on February 12, 2019. The game will also be released as free-to-try on iOS and Android with a full version available for $9.99 on the same day. Those who purchase the game in the first week will receive a 20% launch sale discount.

For more news about Evolution and other projects from North Star Digital Studios, follow them on Twitter and Facebook or visit the official website.

About North Star Digital Studios
North Star Digital Studios is a digital board game development house based in Kensington, MD. Founded in 2014 by parent company North Star Games’ Scott Rencher and Dominic Crapuchettes, the company is devoted to adapting North Star board games into digital versions that capture the heart of the originals while taking full advantage of what video games have to offer. Evolution is the studio’s first release.

PRESS RELEASE: Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition and some comments

PRESS RELEASE:  Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition and some comments

Hillside, NJ – November 26, 2018 – WizKids is thrilled to announce that Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition, the most comprehensive version of the critically acclaimed strategy game ever createdis coming soon to a friendly local game store near you! 

In this game of exploration and conquest, up to four players don the mantles of Mage Knights, warriors who must conquer the cities of the Atlantean Empire in the name of the mysterious Council of the Void.

This Ultimate Edition of the classic game designed by Vlaada Chvatil is packed with content, including all three of the game’s expansions, The Lost Legion, Krang, and Shades of Tezla, along with 5 all-new cards. Combining elements of RPGs, deck-building, and traditional board games, the Mage Knight board game captures the rich history of the Mage Knight universe in a self-contained gaming experience.

A game of epic exploration and conquest that mixes character development, intrigue, and the clashing of swords, Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition allows players to revisit this exciting setting or experience its thrilling adventures for the first time! Pre-order Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition at your Friendly Local Game Store or online today!

To learn more about Mage Knight: Ultimate Editionclick here.

Editor’s Note: I have never played Mage Knight, one of the few Vlaada Chvatil games I’ve missed. I bought it once but sold it when I heard this edition was coming. I’m going to be seeking a review copy from the folks at WizKids in hopes of reviewing it here for you to give you a sense of the game. I believe we now have too many adventure games but Vlaada’s unique take on the genre intrigues me and I’m hopeful it will be the thrilling experience I usually get from his titles. More to come once I get a hold of this monster-sized new version.

5 Quick Questions About Arcane Alley with Corwin Riddle

5 Quick Questions About Arcane Alley with Corwin Riddle

Arcane Alley is a new game from Strange Space Games, now on Kickstarter until November 29th.

Editor’s Note: As a kind of content geek, I try new formats. People seem to love our interviewette for tabletop designers that is a quick read. We promise no TL;DR. Let’s see how Corwin Riddle, designer of the new game Arcane Alley does, shall we?

BGB: Attention is money, my friend! What is the elevator pitch for Arcane Alley?

Corwin: Oh boy, this combines my two biggest fears—heights and answering under pressure. I assume it’s too late to hit the STOP button?

Arcane Alley is a light tableau and collection card game for aspiring wizard merchants trying make a fortune on the black magic market. Sell sets of infamous enchanted items for gold while keeping an eye on the competition and getting rid of any evidence before the alley is inspected.

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

Corwin: For the mechanics, my friends and I were playing a lot of 9-card Golf and just wished it were more complicated, while still keeping some of the set collection and the idea of not wanting your cards, which is pretty unique in tableau games.

At first, I tried really hard not to make a new game! I was adding mechanics to the existing game, and then more, and finally I threw my hands up in frustration, cursed the heavens, and shouted: “Fine! I’ll become a game designer!” I didn’t witness it personally but I can assume there was almost immediately a thunderous bolt of lightning somewhere, in the distance.

As for the theme, once I knew these things (cards) would be unwanted and removed during the game, it made sense to have them be some kind of illegal goods. I went through a few different “normal” black market ideas, and one day my friends and I were just joking about it being wizards—these powerful, enigmatic, educated masters—selling their enchanted collections for gold in a back alley, and that was that.

I called it “Wizard Wares” at first, going so far as to have a logo for it, but there are too many things with the word “wizard” in it on the internet, so here we are in Arcane Alley.

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

Corwin: This fills the hole of having a great game for groups with varying levels of gaming experience.

It works for any group, but if you have a few casual gamers and a few heavy gamers all together, and you don’t want to play Catan or a party game, then we’ve got your fix. Plus, it plays up to 6 players (up to 8, if we hit some stretch goals) and scales really well, so you can bust it out in larger groups if you’re tired of social deduction games and want a strategy game that doesn’t take forever.


It’s light and easy enough for casual players to learn without feeling overwhelmed, while being deep and interesting enough to keep serious gamers engaged. You can go for sets and not worry about maximizing every part of your storehouse, or you can plan turns ahead and set up combos to make the absolute most of every play.

And the art is beautiful! Think of how gorgeous it would look, sitting on your shelf. Until the inspectors arrive and confiscate it, of course. But until that moment—what a beauty!

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

Corwin: I spent easily half the time designing it working on the flavor text and visual jokes on the cards. The game is good, I promise, but now you know where my real priorities are.

BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Arcane Alley! 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?

Corwin: Here you go:

Number of players: 2-6 (adding 7-8 players is one of the stretch goals)
Time: ~45 min
Ages: 10+
Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/strangespacegames/arcane-alley?ref=78e9rh

BGB JOKE TIME

And I don’t know about good, but this seems fitting:

Q: What kind of tests do wizards take in school?

A: Final HEX-ams

…that joke is banned in the alley and rightfully so. (Editor’s Note: Agreed.)

Want to read more of these 5 Quick Questions articles? Sure you do.

PRESS RELEASE: A Plus – A Game for Children with Autism Launches on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: A Plus – A Game for Children with Autism Launches on Kickstarter

Alhambra, California – November 6, 2018 – Sunrise Tornado, the creative team behind the recently published Cat Rescue, presents A Plus, a project from the bottom of our hearts that will be ready to ship in time for Christmas. The campaign is just two weeks long so your early support is vital to help us reach our goal and get this game to families in time for the holidays.

A Plus is a 2 to 4 player cooperative card game designed to be a fun way to reinforce the value of social skills for children on the autism scale. With the help of an adult, players work together to complete a series of activities. At end of the game, players receive an A+ if they completed all six activities.

Designed by game designer Ta-Te Wu, a former teacher and psychology major, A Plus is a labor of love constructed with the ideas of helping children with autism through play. Ta-Te’s passion for education is strong, as he continues to teach painting and game design at various venues.

A Plus is available exclusively through this campaign. There is no plan for a retail release at this time. As a bonus, Sunrise Tornado is also offering some exclusives with the campaign. Fans of Cat Rescue, which sold out in one day at Essen Spiel 2018, can get a small expansion called The Carrier, with the basic A Plus pledge. More exclusively, a couple of copies of Ta-Te Wu’s upcoming game Promenade, are up for grabs for the first couple of people willing to pledge for this 2019 release.

A Plus

The modest goal of $1,000 and a quick two-week run to raise funds hopefully increases the chance the project will reach its goal so as to ensure that families that would enjoy and gain value from A Plus will surely get their copy in time for the winter holidays.

You can even see an early review from Team Nerd Church just below.

For more information, check out the campaign here and please consider sharing the campaign through social media to support this modest project with the hashtag #gamesforgood. Thank you for your support!

PRESS RELEASE: DIZED is Live on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: DIZED is Live on Kickstarter

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 (Helsinki) – Dized, the premium tabletop companion app, is now live on Kickstarter. The smart device application brings tons of helpful content to gaming sessions. The fully-voiced, interactive Tutorials are able to react to what’s happening in the game and players are able to learn as they go, turn by turn. Thus, Dized allows the games to start immediately, straight out of the box. And Rules are like fast, searchable FAQs able to respond to all the questions players might have while playing a board game.

With the success of a previous crowdfunding campaign, Dized is already available in Early Access and has a selection of handpicked pilot projects available. The reach of the Kickstarter campaign will help the company both develop the app further and widen its audience and community, which will in turn attract more publishers and content to the application.

One of the many features the company is looking to develop with a successful campaign is Adaptive Profiles for Tutorials, which is a highly requested feature. While some players might want to have full depth explanations and examples, others might not. Since every group wants to learn at their own pace, the Adaptive Profiles allows learning to happen based on the skill level of that group. 

Also, to help expand the content in the app, the company has built and just released a toolset that allows publishers and freelancers to create Dized content themselves. The easy-to-use tools already allow the creation of Rules and Interactive FAQs to the app. Dized Rules are especially valuable to returning players, who know how to play games but want to either brush up quickly on the rules, find information quickly regarding a specific rule, or ask questions about the rules. The similar tool for Tutorials is already under development, and when finished, it will expand the Tutorial content rapidly. A successful campaign will help in the production of these tool immensely. 

The Dized Kickstarter launched on the October 16th, 2018 at 11AM EDT and will run for 30 days.  

Find the Dized campaign at https://www.dized.com/kickstarter.

About  Playmore Games and Dized
Founded in 2014 by enthusiastic players and game designers Jouni Jussila and Tomi Vainikka, Playmore Games’ goal is to show there is a better way to learn and enjoy board games together. While the board games industry is booming, a significant obstacle remains: learning rules is a slow and tedious process. Playmore Games’ Dized app will offer smart tutorials, setup guidance, a blazing fast rules lookup tool and other exclusive features to make the board game experience all about fun.

PRESS RELEASE: Sheeple Comes to Kickstarter on October 23rd

PRESS RELEASE: Sheeple Comes to Kickstarter on October 23rd

A Smith Games (designer of Old World New World) is launching our first Kickstarter campaign, for SHEEPLE: The Best Game in the Ewe-niverse on October 23rd.

Over the last eight years, I’ve had the game played hundreds of times with different groups of people of various ages, with different types of tastes in games.  Children fall in love with the game, and it’s a blast to play with adults as well.

The game is art and design complete.  The campaign will ask for $25 a copy, with free shipping to the US, international-friendly shipping, and bulk discounts.  The campaign will last 24 days, starting October 23rd, and ending November 16th.  All backers can expect to receive their games by May 2019.

About SHEEPLE

In the game, you’re a sheep who’s trying to become a sheep-person.  You start at the E-lamb-entary School, and the first player to graduate from the Ewe-niversity wins!  
Each turn, a player picks a category, and each player has a minute to write down as many items as they can think of.  They, they compare answers.  You only score points if other players also put them down.  So to win, you must Think like a Sheep!  
However, if answers are a little unique (only two players match), they score double points, so SHEEPLE encourages both inside-the-box and outside-the-box thinking.  As a natural creative, I wanted game this to stimulate the creative side of the brain.  It turns out that rapid brainstorming for a full minute is a little difficult – most people go brain dead after thirty seconds.

Fun for Sheeple of all ages!

However, SHEEPLE pros are able to continuously generating new ideas, while keeping in mind answers that their friends are likely to put down.
Sheep puns are very key to the SHEEPLE world.  The game contains around 80 sheepish puns, with a special game mode available where players score extra points for incorporating sheep puns into their answers.
I’ve had a lot of fun marketing this.  Here’s a SHEEPLE Rap Video I made, as well as a Star Wars Parody at the San Diego Comicon.  Running around dressed like a sheep at Gen Con was a hoot as well.  I even ran a Matrix-themed giveaway with secret sheep-themed messages.
Stretch goals will include new characters and cards, and Spot UV for the box, with Kickstarter backers being able to vote on the stretch goal they would like to see next.

The Details

Number of players: 4-10 (it plays fine with 3, but 4 or more is better)
Time required: 30-45 min
Recommended ages: 8+ (though children as young as 5 may play if they team up with an adult)

Expansions: I really want to include all types of players.  There’s an NSFW expansion for people who enjoy Cards Against Humanity, and a Christian expansion available for people who want something to play with their youth group.

Sheeple Components

Kickstarter Campaign

Preview: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/asmithgames/1408187028?ref=469692&token=f75e6b1d

Website: https://www.sheeplethegame.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asmithgames

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asmithgames

Twitter: https://twitter.com/asmithgames

BoardGameGeekListing: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/259009/sheeple-best-game-ewe-niverse

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Arcade to release THE MAGIC HOUR, a travelogue-style web series featuring Magic: The Gathering

PRESS RELEASE: Penny Arcade to release THE MAGIC HOUR, a travelogue-style web series featuring Magic: The Gathering

REDMOND, WA – Sept. 17, 2018 – Penny Arcade will debut the first episode of THE MAGIC HOUR, a new show where Penny Arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins meet companions old and new over friendly games of Magic: The Gathering, on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. 


Over the course of six 15-minute episodes, Mike and Jerry greet, befriend, and compete with special guests, including media presenter Anna Prosser-Robinson, Twitch streamer DisguisedToast, games media personality Morgan Webb, WWE Superstar Tyler Breeze, and more.THE MAGIC HOUR focuses primarily on how players can find and build relationships over a game of “MTG,” while featuring new and/or unreleased cards and expansions from the massively popular game. 


The show will air exclusively on Penny Arcade’s YouTube channel and release content weekly on Thursdays, alternating between the full 15-minute episodes and bonus content pieces or “minisodes” featuring the guest from the previous week.

About Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade is a web comic 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 Penny Arcade gaming expos (PAX) in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Melbourne, multiple video games based on the brand, and several online video series.

About Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is a fantasy trading card game published in eleven languages and sold in 70+ countries. Tens of millions of fans around the world collect cards, build their own decks with them, and play as a powerful spellcaster in casual and competitive events. 

About Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS), is the leader in entertaining the lifestyle gamer. Wizards’ players and fans are members of a global community bound together by their love of both digital gaming and in-person play. The company brings to market a range of gaming experiences under powerful brand names such as Magic: The Gathering,Dungeons & Dragons, and Avalon Hill.

PRESS RELEASE: THE FOURTH PLACE (GAME NIGHT READY)™ LIBRARIES LAUNCH WITH INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

PRESS RELEASE: THE FOURTH PLACE (GAME NIGHT READY)™ LIBRARIES LAUNCH WITH INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

ENFIELD, NH, September 1, 2018 – Geek culture startup The Fourth Place is launching the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a line of Game Night in a Bag and Game Library in a Box (and vice versa) collections selected and accessorized to be ready for players and businesses to go straight to hosting successful game nights.

Game collections featuring popular and critically-acclaimed games upgraded to be (Game Night Ready)™ come paired with an Init Gear Gamefolio Vault Duffel Bag, a complete Gamefolio System, or a The Fourth Place premium library box. The games inside are repackaged with premium and hard-to-find card protector sleeves, lamination for fragile papers, ‘ex libris’ name labels, and other accessories like zip-lock bags, to be ready to play— and to survive game night— right out of the box.

The Fourth Place

The seven titles in each starter kit are expected to include Avalon Hill Games’ hugely popular Betrayal at House on the Hill, Leder Games’ asymmetrical indie hit Vast: The Crystal Caverns, Czech Games Edition’s accessible Codenames: Pictures, and Atlas Games’ flagship card game Gloom. Each library will include games diverse in skill level and complexity, cooperative versus competitive play, length of game, age of players, number of players, and genre. Subscription boxes will follow, to build on these collections with new games and expansions on the core set.

Versions for businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, dorms, bars, public libraries, and B&Bs include a “success kit” with promotional materials, additional accessories, and guides for both players and owners to ensure successful game nights. Versions for individual players will have lower price points, but still include game accessories, plus extras like stickers.

The libraries sell for the MSRP of the games and Init Gear bags, plus the wholesale cost of other upgrades, with free shipping within the United States. Total cost generally comes out cheaper than even the typical online retail cost of all included games, bags, and accessories.

The Fourth Place founder, Ian Struckhoff, says, “I’ve been passionate about creating geek spaces for decades, and on my birthday in July, I finally realized how I can help players and businesses jump right into hosting successful game nights! I haven’t stopped rushing towards this moment since! Please let me sleep!” (editor’s note: Sleep is for the weak!)

The Fourth Place

The Indiegogo preorder-based crowdfunding campaign runs from September 1st through midNovember, and can be found here. The Fourth Place can be found on their website and on Facebook.

The Fourth Place creates spaces where geeks feel at home, and everyone feels welcome to play with our cool toys. The startup sells individual (Game Night Ready)™ games and complete Game Libraries, all selected and accessorized so players and businesses can host successful game nights!