Category Archives: Games

Talisman: The Woodland Expansion is Out Now!

Talisman The WoodlandTalisman Revised 4th Edition‘s latest expansion, The Woodland, is now available. For centuries it was closed to mortals, but now you can enter the faries’ forested home from the Outer Region of Talisman.

The Woodland features a corner board depicting a mysterious forest, governed by mischievous faeries and inhabited by all ilk of mystical creatures. You may encounter there not only mercurial faeries, but also enchanted animals that fight with Craft instead of Strength, and talking trees eager to share the secrets of the Woodland with you. Inhabitants included the infamous Puck, Baba Yaga, and more.

The Woodland also has fate tokens come into play. Those different sides, the golden and dark blue, cause different effects. The light fate token you get to reroll a die roll of your own, and the dark fate token you can reroll another player’s. Fate plays a big role, in that you can be judged by how much of it you have, another attribute you’ll need to build up if you’re to survive the woods.

The Woodland features three Path cards that gives characters advantages and disadvantages during your journey. The cards also determine your foe in the Meeting with Destiny space in the heart of the Woodland. Defeat that foe, and earn some help in the journey to the Talisman.

The game also features five new characters, including the Ancient Oak, the Leywalker, and the Spider Queen. There’s also alternate endings included in this expansion that makes the journey for the Crown of Command even more perilous.

Talisman The Woodland Contents

 

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Days of Wonder’s Five Tribes is Here

Five-Tribes-Box-enDays of Wonder has released Five Tribes, which debuted at Gen Con. The game builds on the tradition of German-style games. The game twists the “worker placement” genre, starting with the pieces already on the board. Players mus maneuver them through villages, markerts, oasis, and sacred places that make up Nagala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure.

The game features 30 tiles depicted the Sultanate of Nagala, 22 Djinn, and 54 Resource cards. It also has over 100 wooden pieces, which includes 90 meeple which represent the 5 tribes. There’s also palm trees and palaces.

The game is designed for 2 to 4 players age 13+. Games should run between 40-80 minutes.

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Cryptozoic Entertainment Announces The NHL Power Play – Team-Building Card Game

The NHL Power Play - Team-Building Card GameCryptozoic Entertainment have announced the release of the NHL Power Play – Team-Building Card Game on October 1, 2014.

This entertaining gaming experience is perfect for casual gamers who are also hardcore NHL fans. The easy-to-learn game sets up in minutes and mimics the draft mechanic of the NHL. Each game player can captain his or her own hockey team in the NHL Power Play – Team-Building Card Game. With the Captain card to guide game players, they are able to put together the best team they can with NHL players from across all 30 NHL teams.  Every card features NHL players in glorious high-resolution action shots. This family-friendly game also allows for either head-to-head or multiplayer action. No two games will ever be the same!

Paizo Announces Monster Codex for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

20 of Fantasy’s Most-Iconic Beasties Come to the Pathfinder Roleplaying GamePaizo has announced the Monster Codex for their popular Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The Monster Codex contains 20 of fantasy’s most-iconic monsters and a mountain of new rules and pre-made stat blocks to bring these creatures to the Pathfinder roleplaying experience. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex will be released October 22, but can be pre-ordered now.

A great tool for busy Game Masters, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex will provide a wide range of challenges for a variety of foes, from the nefarious drow to ruthless orcs. Each monster includes an in-depth look at its society and ecology, new rules like feats, spells, and magic items designed to complement the race, and archetypes built to give monsters a new edge. From a simple encounter to an entire campaign, the Monster Codex provides everything needed to make these monsters the center of the action.

First art peek - Drow, by artist Alexandre Chaudret.Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex includes:

  • Comprehensive chapters for 20 iconic monsters, including the boggard, bugbear, drow, duergar, fire giant, frost giant, ghoul, gnoll, goblin, hobgoblin, kobold, lizardfolk, ogre, orc, ratfolk, sahuagin, serpentfolk, troglodyte, troll, and vampire.
  • Archetypes for each entry, allowing monsters of that race to be full integrated with their class choices.
  • Over 10 new stat blocks for each monster, utilizing the new rules from their entry in the book.
  • Advice and tips for Game Masters to include these monsters in their game, and simple templates to customize the monsters in countless ways.

Fantasy Flight Announces Lords of Nal Hutta for Star Wars: Edge of Empire

SWE11_book_leftFantasy Flight Games has announced Lords of Nal Hutta, a new sourcebook for the Star Wars: Edge of The Empire Roleplaying Game that allows you and your friends to escape the oppressive rule of the Empire and engage in devious schemes with the galaxy’s slimiest and most notorious gangsters: the Hutts.

In the 144 pages of Lords of Nal Hutta, game masters are given all the information they need to bring the most corrupt and lawless stretch of the galaxy to life. You get information on over a dozen planets, the history, culture, and points on interest in them.

There’s also new options for character creations with four more species options:

  • Sakiyans are unparalleled killers in the galaxy. Their predatory skill is unmatched, but protecting and defending their families and prides are their top priorities. While most show little to no interest in leaving their homeworld, Saki, those who do leave quickly become renowned as bounty hunters and assassins, finding their skills in high demand among the Hutt kajidics. Sakiyans are also noted for their distinct lack of humor as well as their intellectual and problem-solving abilities; they rarely take kindly to being proven wrong.
  • Niktos are hardy, stoic creatures known for being slaves to the Hutts. Reptilian humanoids with tough, leathery skin and standing roughly the height of an average human, the Niktos are a product of the environment of their harsh home planet, Kintan. All five of the Nikto sub-species are commonly found throughout Hutt Space and the Outer Rim. Most of them operate somewhere between illegal and immoral–doing dirty work for their powerful and devious employers.
  • A feared and mysterious species of mercenaries in the employ of the Hutts, the Ganks are among the most bloodthirsty killers in Hutt Space. Fur-laden carnivorous bipeds, they are clad from head to toe in high-tech battle armor, and are rarely seen in the flesh by non-Ganks. At their best as faceless thugs and enforcers, Ganks are almost exclusively bounty hunters, assassins, and bodyguards for Hutts and others willing to pay cold, hard credits for their unseemly services.
  • Hutts are large, slow-moving, long-living gastropods with remarkable physical and mental strength. Hutts can be found in nearly any profession, though the most infamous Hutts in the galaxy tend to be gangsters and crime lords. The massive slug-like creatures live for hundreds of years, and though they are slow, they are still physically powerful in their own right. Hutts also retain a great deal of societal power from the influence of the Hutt kajidics.

Because the Hutts are tied into black markets, the book also provides profiles for a wide range of new weapons, armor, gear, and even exotic weapons. If you’ve got the credits, you can get it all!

The book also has five modular encounters that run anywhere from thirty minutes to a full session perfect for game masters to run.

The book is scheduled to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Review: Soccer Physics

I can’t say enough that mobile gaming is so fascinating. Apple’s App Store is filled to the brim with a constantly updated cavalcade of bite-sized, unique video games. Another piece of fun added to the collection is Soccer Physics, a goofy and simple arcade sports game from developer Otto-Ville Ojala. It’s a ton of addictive, hilarious fun that only gets more enjoyable as more players are crowded around whatever mobile device is being used.

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Soccer Physics functions on a 2D plane, giving players a single button to control the movements of two soccer players. Thirty seconds of playing around with the one button is enough to inform players of how the bizarre controls function. No matter how much one plays, the controls never really make sense, but the magic of Soccer Physics is that this is funny rather than frustrating. The controls are constantly difficult to deal with, but they’re difficult for everyone and consistent, so it’s not problematic. Watching the nonsensically-animated soccer players flail around hopelessly is an infinite pleasure.

Just enough is done to make Soccer Physics constantly fresh and fun. After each goal is laboriously squeezed out, randomized, silly changes are applied to the game. One match, players may find themselves without heads, while another match the heads will be attached but they’ll want to be yanked off in frustration over attempts to get a beach ball into a shrunken goal. The voice-overs after goals had me and my friends cracking up over the ridiculousness, and the game’s cute visual style matches well. It’s a nice touch that the ethnicity of the players is switched up after each goal; the genders don’t switch, which is unfortunate, but one can’t have everything. The game is always able to elicit a laugh and a smile.

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The game can be played single player against an appropriately intelligent computer, which is a fun time apt for quick, solitaire downtime. However, if two or four players can join together (preferably on a tablet for obvious reasons), the game gets much more entertaining because there are human beings to have a laugh with. There is an optional mode that gives two buttons to each team, each button controlling a respective player, opening the game up to more precise two-player gameplay or chaotic four-player fun. The game is most enjoyable when players have to struggle with just one button for two players, and crowding four people along one side of a horizontal tablet (or, God forbid, a phone) is a chore, so the one-button two-player mode is really where it’s at.

It’s a great game that I always have a great time showing people. It’s the kind of experience that would stay shackled to the niche realm of flash games if not for Apple’s popularization of mobile gaming. Huzzah for that.

This piece was originally posted on “The Gaming Groove.”

To check out Matt’s about.me, click here

Little Details Makes Smash Demo Shine

On September 12th, “select” Club Nintendo Platinum Members got their hands on four codes each for the Super Smash Bros. demo on Nintendo 3DS. Why just select members for an intangible good with infinite quantity? Who knows!? My conspiracy theory of choice is that Nintendo didn’t want an abundance of traffic breaking the eShop, because the mustachioed video game company doesn’t think it can handle the business of its most loyal customers and their buddies at the same time.

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Let’s not be too negative, though! It’s a Super Smash Bros. demo, and everyone will be able to download it on September 19th. Heck, everyone will be able to buy the full game on October 3rd! I wasn’t able to get codes emailed me, since I was too forgetful and lazy to redeem enough of my codes for Platinum Status last time around, but I was still able to able to snag two codes for me and my friend. We both loved the demo. It’s a nice little tease at what is sure to be a delightful time.

The demo is very bare-bones; players can only battle locally or against CPUs on the standard “Battlefield” stage in a two-minute points-based match, using Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager and Mega Man. This does, however, allow for hours of solid fun that shows off a lot of new quirks that seasoned Smash Bros. players will salivate over.

There are welcome changes to both Link and Pikachu specifically. Whenever Link goes into a running standard attack, he lunges at his foe, just like in the actual Zelda games. This animation is so much cooler than the bland slash of his sword from past games. Something I’m a huge fan of with Pikachu is the big-time nerfing that has been done to his down special attack. In past Smash games, spamming of Pikachu’s lightning bolt from the sky was a constant annoyance, but now, it is less powerful and lasts for a shorter amount of time. No more will you have to worry about that one annoying friend of yours who only plays as Pikachu in the most irksome way possible. Mario seemed just about the same as he was in Brawl to me, but he still gets to take advantage of a change every character gets: whenever a devastating hit is landed on a foe, there is a flashy visual effect around the character, increasing the satisfaction in a simple way.

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Capcom’s Mega Man and Animal Crossing’s Villager are both interesting characters that don’t quite feel like any other Smash combatant, especially the former. Mega Man’s standard attack, standard running attack, and side smash attack are all projectiles, which is an odd thing to get used to. Having a projectile-based smash attack offers a big one-up over your opponents, making fully-charged hits much easier to land. Not having a melee attack to use while on the ground, however, is pretty inconvenient. Mega Man is checked and balanced in a neat, fair way, making him a fun and unique character.

I was interested to get past the meme-laden hype and give Villager a shot, and he did not disappoint. I prefer playing as Villager, a more mechanically standard character that is aesthetically strange. Riding atop a rocketing gyroid into rivals is a blast. His down special, which is a four-button process that eventually sends a tree into opponents for huge damage, is a creative mechanic that works best in four-player battles. While not as cool as Mega Man’s, which calls forth every version of the blue bomber for a big cooperative laser blast, Villager’s final smash is a cute callback to the Animal Crossing games, featuring that dastardly Tom Nook building a seemingly explosive-filled house for Villager’s foes.

The new items included in this demo are all fantastic. Some of my favorites are the Ore Club, Bullet Bill, Galaga Boss, and Special Flag. The Ore Club, pulled from Kid Icarus: Uprising, allows for walloping hits that are follows by big tornadoes that push foes off of platforms. Allowing players to rocket off in the direction of their choosing and packing a solid punch is Super Mario Bros.’s Bullet Bill. The Galaga Boss lurks around in the area, scooping players up off the stage if they land in its abduction ray. Pulled from Rally-X, the Special Flag gives a player an extra point (or stock, once those kinds of matches are eventually available to the masses) if they hold in the standard attack button long enough; this is unlike any other item in Smash Bros. thus far.

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The game looks and feels great. The graphics are about on-par with Brawl as is expected. The flat art for all of the characters in the menus are great-looking, taking advantage of a detailed and dynamic style. The 3D looks great, with multiple layers to it and occasional pop-out effects. It doesn’t control as well as it does on a GameCube controller, but it works about as well as it can on this system.

It’s the little things that made me most excited for this game to finally come out. It really says something about the popularity of game whenever slight variations in animation is enough to get fists pumping, and Smash Bros. is one of those games. October 3rd, dudes.

This piece was originally posted on “The Gaming Groove.”

To check out Matt’s about.me, click here

Transformers: Age of Extinction Update Adds New Levels, A New Boss, Live Events and more

iOS_icon_TF4_1024DeNA has launched the first major update for Transfomers: Age of Extinction – The Official Mobile Game. To date, players have won more than 4.7 million boss battles, cleared over 100 million objectives, and defeated more than 1.8 billion enemies. The free game update features new iconic levels from the film including Hong Kong and Lockdown’s Ship, a new challenging boss, Stinger, the epic assault feature, the Chain Attack, and the introduction of Special Events Series to the game.

The Hunted Survival Missions is the first in the series of Special Events in theTransformers: Age of Extinction game and promises big in-game rewards for high scoring players. Tied to a unique series of stories, each Special Event will be available for a limited time and will have players testing their skills as they take on waves of enemies in an attempt to survive as long as possible and score the highest on the leaderboards. The Hunted Survival Missions run through Wednesday, September 17th.

It’s been five years since the Battle of Chicago. The Autobots are in hiding and being tracked down by the bounty hunter Lockdown and his minions. The chase is on, survive as long as possible in this endless runner and be victorious against Lockdown and his cronies!

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Fantasy Flight Announces Their 2015 Store Championships

FFG-Logo-BlueFantasy Flight Games has announced Store Championships, the first major tournament season of their 2015 Organized Play schedule. Stores have until October 3rd to apply to take part and host games.

The 2015 Store Championship season will run for three months, starting January 1st through March 31st. This allows stores more flexibility in their scheduling, and also gives players a chance to play in larger local events.

Store Championships began in 2014 as part of Fantasy Flight Game’s Organized Play Program. They use the same structure as events such as Regional, National, and World Championships. And brought a competitive level to local events, allowing players to vie for the title of Store Champion. The winners of each event receive one bye at a Regional Championship of their choice. Players that finish high enough also receive a playmat, set of tokens, or other prices depending on their standing. The top 32 players will each receive an alternate art card.

Each store that is approved to host a Store Championship will have the opportunity to purchase an event kit containing prizes and support for hosting their event. Check out the links below to see what those kits are and get more information on each game.

Players who want to take part should encourage their store to apply! These exclusive items and alternate art cards in the kits are only available for the 2015 Store Championships.

For stores interested, applications close October 3rd at 23:59 CST.

DC Dice Masters Justice League Dice-Building Game

29621DCDiceMasters_1_LGIt should be no surprise at all considering Wizkids‘ past history with the Marvel and DC properties and their game systems. Today the company has announced the DC Dice Masters Justice League Dice-Building Game. The game will be released March 18, 2015, the game will initially be released with a Starter Set to retail for $14.99, and Foil Packs for $0.99.

The two player game will feature 30 heroes and villains, allowing players to customize their epic dice battles.

The DC Dice Masters Justice League Starter Set comes with 44 custom dice, 38 cards, 2 dice bags, and the complete Dice Masters rulebook. This is more than enough for two players to get started. Each DC Dice Masters Justice League Foil Pack contains two cards and two dice that players can add to the DC Dice Masters collection.

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