PRESS RELEASE: The Quacks of Quedlinburg Wins the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres

PRESS RELEASE: The Quacks of Quedlinburg Wins the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres

Kensington, MD (August 17, 2018) – North Star Games is excited to announce that its newest release, The Quacks of Quedlinburg (known as Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg in Germany) has won the coveted 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award, recognizing it as the top strategy game for gaming connoisseurs.The Quacks of Quedlinburg

Designed by Wolfgang Warsch, and released in Germany by the publisher Schmidt Spiele, The Quacks of Quedlinburg is a delightfully strategic push-your-luck game set in medieval times. As a local charlatan brewing questionable potions, you draw from your potpourri of ingredients until you think your own special blend is just right. But beware – too much of the wrong ingredient and you may spoil your brew. Sell your potion and use your profit to buy better ingredients, making your next potion even better and earning you even more points.

“The Kennerspiel des Jahres is the absolute highest honor there is for a strategy game,” states Dominic Crapuchettes, Founder, and Co-President of North Star Games. “I am delighted to say that the potion our company has developed for finding great new games is apparently beginning to have an effect, and we cannot wait to introduce this game to the North American market!”

The Quacks of Quedlinburg will be available in stores November 15th, with a retail price of $54.99.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg: Ages: 10+ Players: 2 – 4 MSRP: $54.99

About North Star Games
North Star Games is the publisher of award-winning party, family, and strategy games. Wits & Wagers is the most award-winning party game in history, Evolution is used in the Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Oxford, and Happy Salmon has become a gaming phenomenon. For more information on these games and more, visit www.NorthStarGames.com.

PRESS RELEASE: DIZED OPEN EARLY ACCESS AND KICKSTARTER ANNOUNCEMENT

PRESS RELEASE: DIZED OPEN EARLY ACCESS AND KICKSTARTER ANNOUNCEMENT

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (Helsinki) – After a successful showing at Gen Con 2018, North America’s largest board game convention, Playmore Games’ Dized app has released in open early access on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Players can download it for free on their smart devices. Used in conjunction with board games, Dized removes the most common barrier to playing games: learning the rules before playing. Through interactive tutorials, players are guided through their play sessions without any previous knowledge of the board game, much like how video games teach players today.

Dized’s interactive tutorials differ from videos. They adapt to the number of players, seating positions (if required by the game), turn flow, and more, ensuring players are constantly interacting with the board game, each other, and the app for a learning experience like no other. Gone are the days of waiting for the designated rules reader of a group to figure out the game before playing or constantly scrubbing through a tutorial video to find exactly what you need.

The open early access gives every user access to interactive tutorials for the award-winning games Blood Rage from CMON and Kingdomino from Blue Orange Games completely free, with Brain Games’ ICECOOL premiering on the app later this month as well. Dized’s first set of publisher tools arrive this month and promises to grow the app’s content even further by allowing companies to create living rules and FAQs for their games. Future interactive tutorials and living rules are planned with fan-favorite companies like CMON, Steve Jackson Games, IELLO, Horrible Games, and more already partnered.

As part of the app’s growth plan, Playmore Games will launch a Dized Kickstarter campaign in September of 2018 that will allow the team to further their external tool sets by providing the game industry with one for creating their own interactive tutorials. Currently, tutorials are made in house, which is a significant bottleneck when combined with the app’s overall development. The campaign also allows Dized to be introduced to a wider audience through Kickstarter’s passionate community of backers supporting projects they believe in.

“Board games are all about community, and Dized wants to support that by ensuring families, friends, and all other types of game groups can come together to play more games by removing unnecessary barriers. Getting that community support is vital to accomplishing this dream, and we believe Kickstarter will help us reach that goal,” explains Playmore Games’ CEO Jouni Jussila.

Playmore Games will continue to update users about Dized’s upcoming Kickstarter project and the app on its social channels, including Facebook (@getdized), Twitter (@getdized), Instagram (@getdized), and their website (www.dized.com).

About 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’ first app, Dized, 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.

About Playmore Games
Dized is being built by Playmore Games, founded in 2014 by Jouni Jussila and Tomi Vainikka. After a successful release of the Race to the North Pole board game, the company has been developing the smart device application. Dized has been in development since 2015 and is a registered trademark of Playmore Games.

PRESS RELEASE: 2018 Revenues for Global Game-Based Learning Market to Hit $3.5 Billion, $17 Billion by 2023; New 5 Year Report Covers Catalysts Driving the Market, Key Opps for Publishers

PRESS RELEASE: 2018 Revenues for Global Game-Based Learning Market to Hit $3.5 Billion, $17 Billion by 2023; New 5 Year Report Covers Catalysts Driving the Market, Key Opps for Publishers
LOS ANGELES –August 8, 2018 — Revenues from education and training programs based on hands on, experiential learning or “serious games” are rapidly climbing and will hit $3.5 billion in 2018, according to industry analyst firm Metaari. In fact, Metaari predicts a 37.1% CAGR growth rate for game-based learning products over the next five years, which will quadruple industry revenues to more than $17 billion by 2023.

 

Metaari’s new 2018-2023 Global Game-based Learning Serious Play ConferenceMarket report provides revenue forecasts for 7 regions, 39 countries and 8 buying segments and identifies the leading companies – more than 900 game developers competing in the 122 countries – as well as distributors and licensing companies. The report is the most granular analysis of the global competitive landscape for serious games ever published.

 

Metaari’s report includes an analysis of the catalysts driving the market as well as a five-year demand and supply-side analysis, providing developers and publishers with the ability to choose high-yielding opportunities. Buying segments analyzed in the report include consumers, three academic sub-segments (preschools, primary schools and secondary schools), tertiary and higher education institutions, federal government agencies, provincial/state/prefecture and local government agencies, and business purchases.

 

Investment starting flowing heavily into the serious game market just two years ago. Metaari identified $1.7 billion in funding for educational game companies globally in 2016 and 2017. The report identifies major 2018 investors and studios acquired.

 

Metaari’s Global 2018-2023 Game-Based Learning Market is available for sale from Serious Play Conference here.

 

Media Contact:
Sue Bohle
310 721 9083

PRESS RELEASE: ENDOGENESIS HITS KICKSTARTER ON AUGUST 8TH

PRESS RELEASE: ENDOGENESIS HITS KICKSTARTER ON AUGUST 8TH

CHARACTER-BUILDING DUNGEON CRAWLER CARD GAME ENDOGENESIS BY DESIGNER HYPERLIXIR LAUNCHES ITS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN ON AUGUST 8TH.

1st August 2018 – In an era where mixed media and genre-breaking content reigns, artist and designer David Goh (a.k.a. Hyperlixir) debuts Endogenesis, a game that promises godhood to its players and the power to dabble with reality-forging powers!

Focusing on interactivity, strategic play, and direct conflict, Endogenesis caters to gamers who enjoy competitive experiences in complex settings, offering not only 40 skills with which you can build your powerset, but also a deck of game-changing events and a horde of monstrous creatures straight out of myth and Lovecraftian-esque tales!

Wholly conceptualized and designed by David Goh under his Hyperlixir banner, Endogenesis will launch with all of its art, gameplay and graphic design completed, and consisting of 113 cards, 128 token pieces, and a gameboard featuring the geometry-intensive aesthetic of the Endogenesis art direction.

Launching on August 8th 2018, the campaign has a set goal of $4,180 with 1 available tier to get a copy of the full game set, as well as a single early bird tier available for 48 hours. With an entry price of $59 ($56 for early birds), multiple sets can be purchased in quantities of up to 4. Parties interested in larger orders may contact the creator directly through the Kickstarter page.

Running a 30 day campaign, the project will aim to surpass its goal by the 7th of September and is expected to fulfill rewards by October 2019. EU, US and SG (Singaporean) friendly shipping is provided for individuals in the respective regions and countries.

Endogenesis

ABOUT ENDOGENESIS

Set in a chaotic, alien universe where its guardians have turned on each other vying for ultimate godhood, Endogenesis is a competitive card game that features strategic free-for-all combat.

In this epic battle, you take on the role of a cosmic spirit with access to otherworldy realms. Collect Skills from the Realm of Knowledge to customize your character with different powers, and upgrade them with Shards that you earn by defeating your enemies.

During your turn, you’re given freedom on how you perform actions, both in their order and frequency.

With careful planning and a dash of creativity, you can set up devastating turns where you wipe out your enemies… or have your master plan backfire when an even better player counters your strategies with their Reaction Skills and Wonders!

Also joining the fray are vicious Monsters from the Realm of Chaos. The most powerful of these are called Legendary Monsters; killing them will reward its slayer with a Prism, a crystal needed to achieve godhood. Be the first to collect 3 Prisms and you win!

REALITY IS BUT A GAME TO GODS

Number of players: 3-5

Time required: 60-120 minutes

Recommended age: 13+

Endogenesis

ABOUT DAVID GOH/HYPERLIXIR

David is a passionate gamer and multi-disciplinary designer who has found his calling in the nexus of profession and passion—the ever-evolving world of game design. Loving the art of the game regardless of medium, he enjoys the study of game mechanics and their intrinsic relationship with elegant design.

RELEVANT LINKS

Kickstarter: https://kck.st/2L7vULl

Social Site: http://endogenesis.cards

Try Endogenesis on Tabletopia: https://tabletopia.com/games/endogenesis

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

PRESS RELEASE: North Star Games Doubles Down on Dude

PRESS RELEASE: North Star Games Doubles Down on Dude

Kensington, MD (July 30, 2018) – The dude arrives. North Star Games is excited to introduce its brand new game dude, now available exclusively at Target and Target.comThe game dude celebrates the versatility of a word that can be a question (dude?), an exclamation (dude!), an objection (DUDE), an expression of wonder (dooode), and many other things.

To play dude, each player has a set of cards that shows the word “dude” in 6 different ways. Everyone sits around the table saying “dude” in these different ways, all at once. You try to match with someone who you think is saying “dude” in the same way you are.

“It’s all about intonation, pronunciation, and body language,” states Dominic Crapuchettes, Founder and Co-President of North Star Games. “Is someone saying ‘dude?’, ‘dewd’, ‘dooode’ or just…‘dude’? dude simply celebrates all the beautiful ways that this amazing word can be said.”

But wait. There’s more….

If saying “dude” was not enough for one game, North Star Games is also simultaneously releasing a second game called more dude. Similar to dude, more dude also consists of saying the word “dude” over and over again, but this time players must say it as a robot, a surfer, or any other number of crazy characters shown on the cards.

dude and more dude are now available exclusively at Target Stores and Target.com for $10.99. Through August 11th, customers can get 10% off of dude here, and 10% off of more dude here, using the promo code: GENCON.

dude and more dude: Ages: 13+; Players: 3 – 6; MSRP: $10.99.

About North Star Games – North Star Games is the publisher of award-winning party, family, and strategy games. Wits & Wagers is the most award-winning party game in history, Evolution is used in the Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Oxford, and Happy Salmon has become a gaming phenomenon. For more information on these games and more, visit www.NorthStarGames.com.

Editor’s Note: Dude, we have no idea.

PRESS RELEASE: Northstar Games’ Say Anything Celebrates 10 Years

PRESS RELEASE: Northstar Games’ Say Anything Celebrates 10 Years
It’s a Birthday Party…..For a Party Game!
(editor’s note: E.R. Burgess remains a fan of Say Anything even a decade later…)

Kensington, MD (August 3, 2018) – North Star Games’ hit party game Say Anything is celebrating a milestone rarely achieved in the party game market – 10 years of sales!  Since its initial release in 2008, the game has sold almost 1 million copies and won several prestigious Party Game of the Year awards, including those from fans at the Origins Game Fair and the BoardGameGeek.com.

In celebration, North Star Games is partnering with Target to launch a special Say Anything 10th Anniversary Edition.  This special edition includes updated components, refreshed graphics, and 180 new questions for you to answer as ridiculously as possible.

When originally released, Say Anything offered a breath of fresh air to the stale party game market.  Many party games came with pre-printed cards that players submitted as answers to questions.  Say Anything broke new ground in the genre by allowing players to answer questions in their own words.

“The game has succeeded because it’s like jet fuel for creativity.  Say Anything is uniquely good at giving players the platform to open up,” states Dominic Crapuchettes, Founder and Co-President of North Star Games.  “So no matter who you are, you can be funnier or weirder than you imagined you were, and it feels good.  We’re proud of that.”

Say Anything 10th Anniversary Edition is now available exclusively at Target Stores and Target.com for $19.99. Through August 11th, customers can get 10% off Say Anything 10th Anniversary Edition here, using the promo code: GENCON.

Ages: 13+; Players: 4 – 8; Play Time: 30 minutes; MSRP: $19.99.

About North Star Games
North Star Games is the publisher of award-winning party, family, and strategy games. Wits & Wagers is the most award-winning party game in history, Evolution is used in the Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Oxford, and Happy Salmon has become a gaming phenomenon. For more information on these games and more, visit www.NorthStarGames.com.

iOS Review: Hardback by Tim Fowers

iOS Review: Hardback by Tim Fowers

Hardback is the delightful sequel to Paperback, the deckbuilding word game from always-interesting designer Tim Fowers. This is a sequel worth having 

As a second-generation bibliophile, I do love games with a book theme. I had the pleasure of playtesting Tim Fowers’ delightful Paperback (which originally had a longer title that might have gotten him in trouble with The Beatles’ record company) so I knew this excellent twist on the deckbuilder genre was going to be a hit.

While I like the physical game, in iOS form, Paperback is one of my most-played games. The game captures the wonderful feel of Scrabble with the clever mechanisms of deckbuilding optimization. This is a tight design that delights this wordsmith. I really enjoy coming up with the best word for the letters I’m dealt.

With that in mind, I was delighted to hear that Tim decided to return to the concepts of Paperback with a sequel. The game takes the deckbuilder concept and refines it to give the game a different, more open feel.

Hardback versus Paperback

Hardback plays like Paperback on a basic level. You are building words with the cards you draw in deckbuilder-style (if you’re reading this blog, I’m going say, you get it.) Points are scored by playing letter formed into words that give you enough money to buy additional letters that may have special powers. While the letters are in rows (Ascension-style), you can also buy victory point cards that act as wild cards and big words get you a bonus card once in a while. Also appealing: your change can be used to ‘Buy Ink.’ This lets you flip cards without losing their benefit. No more leftover change with no value, which was a gripe with Paperback.

The difference is that Hardback lets you turn every card into a wild card if you would like to do so. This gives you a lot more opportunity to come up with the words you really want to create. But it’s not a free-for-all or something. Turning the individual cards into wilds actually sacrifices the benefits of the card, which may be gaining cash to buy more cards or it might be awarding victory points.

Hardback

Genre Cards

Hardback also includes Genre cards, much like the faction cards in Clank!, are cards that interact with each other when you have more of them. Thus, having more Horror or Mystery cards in your word will get you some bonuses, as stated on the cards. So, instead of a restriction based on only the letters you have, your choices are about what you sacrifice to get the right combination of letters and benefits. As much as I love Paperback, this is a really interesting implementation of the original concept.

Hardback played solo has the same addictive quality of Paperback. As much as I can enjoy the game in person with other players, like Dominion, it’s really competitive solitaire. Thus, they both work better (for me) as solitaire experiences. The gameplay is compelling and it’s one of those peanut games (i.e., you can’t play just once).

Graphic Design Challenges

If I have a complaint about Hardback, it’s that the digital version is rough on the eyes. While I admire the excellent artwork of Ryan Goldsberry, whose delightful visions have appeared in all of Tim Fowers’ games, Hardback feels like a slight misfire from the logo page onward. While his development of the snappy style of Paperback takes the feel backward in time, it has also gained an ornate look that makes it hard to read.

Capturing the mood of the different book genres with different fonts is a good idea. Yet, in practice, it makes the game look less appealing. Some of the genre fonts (the Romance font is probably the worst) are hard enough to see on my iPhone 7 Plus that I’ve bought a different letter just to avoid it. The flashy letters are even less appealing when contrasted with the tiny size of the iconography (including the Flip spot).

The cards aren’t the only problem. The game has so many fonts elsewhere that are hard on the eyes as well, including the Submit button that is on a kind of flag or something and the various stylized but oddly large card names elsewhere. Worse, the score marker is so subtle that I didn’t notice it at all my first game. When you do notice it, it’s hard to tell numbers – you can just basically say you are winning or losing. That’s fine for me, but players with a more pointed need for precise will suffer at the colorful and perhaps overly-stylized score tracker.

The Final Word

Hardback is a delightful offshoot of the original Paperback that absolutely deserves a spot on your shelf. As a solo game players on you mobile device, it’s a winning title that well suits my ask that games be playable in a 5-8 minute timeframe. This is about as long as I want to really hold the device while playing. Longer games are fun but I need to use the iPad for them.

Lovely but squinty art aside, Hardback is a winner. The game is definitely worth the money to add this compelling little word game to your digital collection. Here’s hoping that Softcover, eBook, or perhaps Limited Edition is the name of the inevitable third game in Fowers’ trilogy.

Hardback is available now for download to your iOS device.

Boardgame Babylon Rating for Hardback

BIN (Buy It Now) PIN (P)lay It Now TIF (Try It First) NMT (Not My Thing)

Disclosure: A complimentary copy of the app was provided by the publisher for independent review.

PRESS RELEASE: Role Quest Launch on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: Role Quest Launch on Kickstarter

London, UK, July 2018

 

Hercules Game Studios proudly announces Role Quest, a social roleplaying card game of guessing an improvisation set in a fantasy town.

About the Game

In Role Quest players take the roles of fantasy characters and roleplay normal or peculiar situations. They must act their hidden personalities well in order to collect goblin heads (victory points) to win the game. Player curses and actions make the game challenging but also hilarious.

 

Role Quest has been playtested in over 100 sessions, and it will launch on Kickstarter with the full art and design completed. The Kickstarter campaign will feature the game for the price of £15 ($20), plus shipping.

 

Players: 2-6        Time: 25 min        Age: 12+

 

Further Information

Hercules Game Studios have released photos and videos of the game for media usage on https://www.after-london.com/media.

“We are thrilled to release this game after overwhelmingly positive reaction”, says Game Designer of Hercules Game Studios, Phoebos Stergiou. “It’s a light and quick game with a lot of replay-ability, that is very versatile and appeals to a wide range of gamers.”

To learn more about Role Quest, check them out online:

 

About Hercules Game Studios

Hercules Game Studios is a UK based company focused on designing innovative and fun board games. They are the designers of Role Quest and After London.

Review: Thanos Rising by USAOPOLY

Review: Thanos Rising by USAOPOLY

Thanos Rising is a winning cooperative game for 2-4 players that has garnered BGB’s highest rating. Read on to learn more:

Gamers, both video gamers as well as board gamers, have been disappointed for so many years so many times when a great movie or TV show gets turned into a terrible play experience.

As somebody who worked in the video game industry for many years and made games for many Disney properties, I know that there are additional challenges that are faced when you have to work with a licensed product. Sometimes you don’t know the exact story and you still have to make a game anyway. At other times there are restrictions put into place by the IP holders. Yet sometimes it’s just a lazy publisher or designer figuring they don’t need to work that hard because the property is so popular. This happens A LOT, particularly with one publisher in particular.

Thank goodness this didn’t happen with USAopoly’s enjoyable, thematic Thanos Rising.

Thanos Rising
What’s the big deal, scrotum-chin? I’m holding them in my BARE HAND.

I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that Avengers: Infinity War was a great cinematic experience. I’m baffled by the naysayers (presumably DC fanboys and people who just hate fun). I call myself a fan but not raging fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of the films are fantastic, others definitely fall short of that description. I was never a serious comic book reader but I’m impressed with the way Marvel has put out fairly consistent films in the last 10 years and Infinity War is probably the best of the lot. So I came to this game wanting to enjoy it and, frankly, a little fearful that it would fall short. I’m glad to say that didn’t happen.

Taking on the Mad Titan

Thanos Rising is a cooperative game that plays in about 45 minutes with 2 to 4 players playing on a three space board around an awesome Thanos statue. Players take on the role of a leading Marvel character who’s responsible for gathering at team of heroes and defeating villains (your pick of Captain America, Black Panther, Gamora or Dr. Strange). Thanos himself is far too powerful to actually defeat so you aren’t going to be asked to actually take down the mad titan in the game. Instead, you win the game by defeating seven or more of his villains while working to save and recruit other heroes to your team.

Thanos Rising

That’s the only way to win the game, but there are three different ways you can lose. First, Thanos can defeat 10 heroes in the game with his strikes that happen before each player around. Two, he can defeat any one of the players entirely by wiping out their team. Lastly, he can collect all six of the Infinity Stones. I am fond of the deep theming here and how it adds tension to the game.

Roll For The Multiverse

The narrative of the game is created through a series of die rolls each turn, in the style of many cooperative games where the players and the game each get a turn. In Thanos Rising, the big purple baddie goes first, with two die rolls determining his progress on collection of an Infinity Stone and some other element. For the stones, he needs to roll that same one five times and then he gets the stone, making future rolls for that stone cause grief for the heroes. The latter die has him an attack heroes, activate villains or make another step towards acquiring a stone.

Player turns are quick but provide simple options about how to contain Thanos. You deploy to one of the places on the board and then get your own dice to roll and act. You begin with a few dice depending on your character and you can improve your dice pool by acquiring other heroes. In this way, the game borrows a bit from Quarriors, a game I thought was a good idea that never really worked as well as I would have liked. To acquire a hero, you need to roll the right icons on your dice.

We Have A Hulk

Bigger heroes like the Hulk or Iron Man are tougher than pushovers like Hawkeye, so it behooves you to acquire the easier ones first. With three cards in each vector, there is bound to be someone who can help, especially since many of the characters are complementary. This is maybe the heart of the design working; USAopoly’s design team didn’t cop out and just say, “They’ll want to acquire Black Widow because Scarlett Johansson is on the card.” Instead, they made the abilities make sense for the character. This is not too much to ask, but it is often overlooked by lazy people who spend a lot of money on licensed games.

Back to it – so, if you recruit heroes, they add to your team in the future, offering you their special ability. These can range from extra dice to special powers to affect the collection of the Infinity Stones. It is definitely worth adding to your team and discussing with the other players which hero should join which team.

There is another reason to recruit heroes. When Thanos hits a vector, he hits all the heroes there waiting to be recruited. If they die, they are out of the game and that helps Thanos win. If you recruit damaged villains, you get them back at full power. Thus, it makes sense to let them take a little fire and then pull them out before they are defeated…if you can do it. I really like this factor that makes you take chances with the heroes’ lives.

Say Goodbye To The Villains

The other main option is to defeat villains from Thanos’ team (since you can’t just knock Thanos Risingout the guy himself). Similar to the way you recruit, you use your dice to roll enough to defeat the villains. Some are generic villains you can knock off with one or two rolls. Others need enough firepower that you had better recruit some help before you go. There is a very real gameplay reason to defeat them, too. When they activate, their abilities range from annoying to devastating. So, that element may play into which ones you target. You also get bonus tokens when beating villains, which helps motivate their defeat (against endlessly adding to your team).

As I said, this is also how you win the game and you can set the difficulty of the game for between 7 and 10 villains to defeat to win. Experienced gamers will want to set it high for a real challenge. I like the easy variability of that setting, which calls back to Pandemic, one of the classics in the genre of cooperative games.

We have played Thanos Rising a half dozen times and it has been tense and fun each play. The richness of the character collection weighing against the villains containment and the stone gathering is just right for a game that plays in 45 minutes. Like the best thematic games from films (looking at you, Star Wars: Rebellion), Thanos Rising unfolds like your own version of a story you enjoyed. We expect to play it for many years to come.

End Game

Look, if you are a Warner Brothers apologist that tries to convince your friends that the DC movies aren’t THAT bad just because Gal Godot is magnificent as Wonder Woman (she really is), you may not like Thanos Rising for reasons that have nothing to do with this very fine game.

But if you’re one of the zillions who loved Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, this is a worthy addition to your game collection. Thanos Rising is snappy cooperative game that will engage with both theme and nice design touches that keep the game clean. This is on a shelf with go-to games this year. I expect it to make my dime list for sure.

The components are solid, with quality cards and all but it is that massive, cool Thanos figure that makes this production. We love it so much, it’s on a coveted shelf in our game library.

Thanos Rising

Thanos Rising has been a huge hit with our gaming group, from casual gamers to serious folks that saw it as a pleasant super-filler. The game has staying power, I’m sure. Here’s hoping that USA-opoly gives us an expansion when Avengers: End Game comes out.

Boardgame Babylon Rating for Thanos Rising

BIN (Buy It Now) PIN (P)lay It Now TIF (Try It First) NMT (Not My Thing)

5 Quick Questions about Raccoon Tycoon with Glenn Drover

5 Quick Questions about Raccoon Tycoon with Glenn Drover

Editor’s Note: As a kind of content geek, I try new formats. So, here’s an interviewette for tabletop designers. We promise no TL;DR. Let’s see how Glenn Drover, the legendary designer of hot new game Raccoon Tycoon (published by Forbidden Games), shall we?

BGB: Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for Raccoon Tycoon?

Glenn: Raccoon Tycoon is an easy to learn (and teach) game of commodity speculation, auctions, set-collection, and tableau building set in the gilded age in Astoria (a land of anthropomorphic animals). The artwork by Annie Stegg is insanely beautiful, and together with the shallow learning curve makes the game appealing to a wide demographic: families and non-gamers, while the multiple strategies and challenging decisions will make it appealing to core gamers.

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

Glenn: My wife finally played Catan with friends last year and hated it. This shocked me, so I asked her why. She told me that she was frustrated by having to wait for her turn, and then often not being able to do much or anything if her numbers didn’t come up. That night I decided to design a game that would appeal to Catan fans (Gateway à Gamers) with commodities, low luck, and where you could ALWAYS do something interesting on your turn. Raccoon Tycoon was born.

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

Glenn: The game that you will play with non-gamers or casual gamers who you want to bring into the gaming world…or anyone who likes Catan or Ticket to Ride and is ready for the next great Gateway Game.

Raccoon Tycoon
Editor’s Note: I have never heard of this publication.

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

Glenn: It used to have a really annoying mechanic where you had to draw a bunch of cubes every turn to change the price and supply in the market. Dan Vujovic suggested that a card mechanic would be cleaner. After months of resistance (I really like the perfect supply/demand impact of the cube draw), I relented and created the Price/Production cards that drive the market now. They not only worked better, they gave the player another interesting (and sometimes agonizing) decision.

BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Raccoon Tycoon! 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?

Glenn: Time: 60 – 90 minutes, Players: 2 – 5, Learning Curve: 2/5, Strategy: 4/5

Joke

What’s the difference between a dead Raccoon in the road and a run over copy of Monopoly?
A: There are skid marks in front of the Raccoon.

The game is now LIVE on Kickstarter