Category Archives: Gaming News

Virtual Conventions

All the big conventions had to cancel their events for this year. As a replacement, the big four (Origin, Gencon, UK Games Expo and Spiel) have all moved into the virtual space.

This will mean in all four cases that the events won’t be the same as they have been, but it also means that a lot of people will have the chance for the first time to “visit” these conventions.

Here are the big four online conventions:

If you are running an event that also has moved online and you would like us to advertise it on our blog and on social media, please let me know!

Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write App

Portal Games has announced the release of the Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write app.

Portal Games is proud to announce releasing Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write App coming in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The app is based on the popular Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write game, in which players develop their empires and gain victory points by efficiently managing resources and clever engine-building. The app introduces a new twist to the base game – the points the player is earning allow him to unlock new Settlements.

(Source: Publisher announcement)

It is now available in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

Z-Man and Feuerland go separate Ways

For quite some time now, Z-Man Games has released the English language editions of hits like Terra Mystica, A Feast for Odin and Gaia Project from German publisher Feuerland Spiele. This partnership is now coming to an end:

Since 2012, Z-Man Games has worked with Feuerland Spiele to bring their excellent games to the English- and French-speaking markets, and it has been our privilege to support such beloved titles as Terra MysticaA Feast for OdinGaia Project, and more. It is with a feeling of gratitude that we announce that we’re returning the English and French rights to these games to Feuerland.

Frank Heeren, Feuerland’s founder and owner, has been a longtime partner of Z-Man Games, from our F2Z days through the present. Back when Terra Mystica was first released, it was common for regional publishers to seek out foreign counterparts to localize and import their games for overseas markets. As the tabletop games industry has continued to grow and evolve in the years since, including the rise of a vast distribution network, publishers that were once considered regional now have access to international channels to bring their games to any part of the world.

(Source: Z-Man Games website)

Hopefully, this means that the availability of the English editions will get better here in the UK. Especially getting stock for some of the expansions for A Feast for Odin or Terra Mystica was a struggle most of the times.

Forgotten Waters: remote play

Forgotten Waters is the new Crossroads game from Plaid Hat Games.

The game supports 3-7 players but it is more fun with a higher player count. To make it possible to play the game with a larger group, Plaid Hat Games has now released the Remote Assistant:

I have been blown away by the glowing reviews and positive responses to our ambitious, narrative pirate game – and this is with a large majority of games being at low player counts, missing out on the fun of playing with a larger group. This remote assistant should have you playing with your favorite gaming friends no matter where you are, with 4-7 total players.

How does it work?
To use the remote assistant, coordinate a day and time to play with a group of friends , as well as a way to communicate during the game (Google Meet, Zoom, Discord, etc). Then, when you sit down to play, one person goes to and clicks “create game,” then shares the provided link with the rest of the group!

(Source: Publisher website)

To play the game this way, only one physical copy of the game is needed, with everything else needed available to download on the Plaid Hat Games website. Enjoy!

Link: Plaid Hat Games Announcement

Spiel des Jahres Nominations 2020

The jury for the Spiel des Jahres awards has announced this year’s nominations.

For the Spiel des Jahres, the main award, these are:

  • My City (Reiner Knizia/KOSMOS)
  • Nova Luna (Uwe Rosenberg and Corné van Moorsel/Edition Spielwiese)
  • Pictures (Daniela and Christian Stöhr/PD-Verlag)

The second award is the Expert Game of the Year for the more complex games. Here the nominees are:

  • Cartographers (Jordy Adan / Thunderworks Games & Pegasus Spiele)
  • The Crew (Thomas Sing / KOSMOS)
  • The King’s Dilemma (Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva / Horrible Guild & HeidelBÄR Games)

All six games on the nomination list are usually in high demand the moment the nominees get announced. This year is no different: our remaining stock of Nova Luna sold out within one hour of the announcement. We have it on backorder at Pegasus but with no confirmed date yet. MyCity is so far only available as a German edition which is because of the Legacy element of the game of no use for us. The English edition will become available in July and pre-orders are still open. And Pictures is sold out at all distributors, with one showing the game as incoming, so hopefully, there will be some stock available soon.

For Cartographers we are expecting a small delivery tomorrow. The Crew has arrived today, but our stock has sold out to pre-orders with more stock expected for the end of the week. And The King’s Dilemma hasn’t been widely available in the UK for some time now. The initial delivery sold out quite fast and so far we haven’t received any restock.

A closer look at Pandemic: Hot Zone

With regular new releases coming back to the UK from next week, I’m taking a closer look at some of the games we can expect to arrive soon.

Box cover

The start is making Pandemic: Hot Zone, a smaller and more accessible version of the co-op classic Pandemic:

Based on the bestselling Pandemic, Pandemic: Hot Zone features the same nail-biting cooperative experience as you play against the game itself, but in a smaller form that you can take anywhere and play in a shorter amount of time. Every game is a challenge that you’ll tackle together, working to contain outbreaks and making strategic choices as a team. Can you discover all three cures in time?

(Source: Publisher description)

With the game getting released next week, Z-Man Game has published an article about how the game came to be and what the ideas behind it are:

Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America was first leaked back in February as COVID-19 had started to become a truly global crisis. That was the first chance that anyone outside the company had heard of Hot Zone’s existence, but the game’s story actually began all the way back in April 2018. Today, Matt and I would like to take you behind the curtain and provide insight into how Hot Zone became a reality.

Just over two years ago, Adrien Martinot, Head of Studio at Days of Wonder, had a brilliant idea to create a Ticket to Ride demo game for stores. With a smaller board, shorter train routes, and a quicker playtime, players could walk up, play a full game, and get a taste for the Ticket to Ride experience. The concept worked, and the demo game gained a lot of traction among retailers.

(Source: Article on Z-Man Games website)

New game from Vladimír Suchý

Vladimír Suchý, the designer of Underwater Cities, has announced his next project: Praga Caput Regni is an action-selection game based around building projects in medieval Prague.

Box Cover

Charles IV has been crowned King of Bohemia and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. From his castle in Prague, he oversees construction of new fortifications: a bridge across the Vltava River, a university, and a cathedral rising within the walls of the castle itself. Prague is already among the largest cities in Europe. King Charles will make it the capital of an empire!

In Praga Caput Regni, players take the role of wealthy citizens who are organizing various building projects in medieval Prague. By expanding their wealth and joining in the construction, they gain favor with the king. Players choose from six actions on the game board — the “action crane” — that are always available, but which are weighted with a constantly shifting array of costs and benefits. By using these actions, you can increase your resources, improve the strength of your chosen actions, and build “New Prague City”, the Charles Bridge, or city walls. You can possibly gain additional actions or even participate in the construction of St. Vitus Cathedral.

Clever players will discover synergies between carefully timed actions and the rewards from constructing civic projects as all of the mechanisms mesh together. At the end of the game, the player who most impressed King Charles wins.

(Source: Publisher description on BGG)

The planned release for this game is this year’s Essen board game show (if it happens), but hopefully it will make it’s way to retail before Christmas 2020.

Two new Solo Modes

During the lockdown, a lot of designers and publishers have released solo play rules for their games to support the community. Two new rule sets have been now released:

Setup example

If self-isolation has you wishing you had more ways to enjoy your favorite board games minus the company, look no further for a little magic from this week’s Wizarding Wednesday! Our esteemed designer Kami has provided us with new solo play rules for an installation in every Potter fan’s game closet—Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle!

(Source: Publisher website with link to rules)

The second game with a new solo mode is Deep Blue, the push-your-luck diving game. The new rules allowing 1-3 players to play an AI Captain. There are no extra components or PnP required.

Traintopia Preview

Traintopia, a new tile-laying game from Board & Dice, will get released next week. Just in time for the release, Dale Yu has posted a preview for the game.

Box cover

Traintopia was an upcoming summer release that I was looking forward to – I am a sucker for tile-laying games, and usually a train theme is also enough to make me want to try a game… Put them together, and it’s an irresistible siren call.  

Given everything that has been going on, Board & Dice has decided to fast forward the launch of their game, now slated for an early May release.   Depending on where you happen to be, you may or may not be able to host a game session now – for example, I cannot – but Traintopia is now near the top of the stack of games awaiting our next meeting.  The game has a nice mix of drafting and tile-laying.

(Source: The Opionated Gamers)