Out of the Box Publishing- Toy Fair 2012 Press Release

 

Out of the Box Publishing to Expand it’s Best Selling Lines at Toy Fair 2012! 

Windsor, Wisconsin– In their 14th year of exhibiting at American International Toy Fair in New York City, Out of the Box Publishing will debut expansions to two of it’s best selling games, Faux•Cabulary and Word on the Street.

Out of the Box publishing will be exhibiting in booth 1031 on the upper level of the Javits Center.Appointments can be made now through the beginning of the show. Press samples and high res images are available upon request.

FauxCabulary®
The Outrageous Game of Wild New Words
First, a crazy definition is read to the group. Next, players use the wacky word parts to create wildly funny new words to fit the definition. Each new word is read out loud, and the “Wordmeister” picks the best one! Faux•Cabulary—it’s where new words come from!
Ages 13 and up, 3-7 players, $29.99 suggested retail.

FauxCabulary® Expansion 1 and 2 – NEW!
Contains 12 brand new cubes and 120 new definitions to expand the FauxCabulary fun! Add these cubes to your original game for more than 9 million word combinations!
$15.99 suggested retail, available April 2012.

Word on The Street®
The Fast and Furious Tug of Words
On each turn, one team flips over a category card. Then, before the time runs out, they must agree on a word that fits into that category and pull each letter of that word one lane closer to their side of the street. But, if they don’t get it off the street, the other team might pull it back. The first team to pull eight letters off the street wins the game!  Ages 13 and up, 2-10 players, $27.99 suggested retail.

Word on The Street® Expansion 1 – New!
Add these fresh, new categories to your Word on the Street game to keep the fun rolling.
Includes 432 new categories, additional cardholder and timer.
$15.99 suggested retail, Available March 2012

About Out of the Box Publishing
Since 1999, Out of the Box Publishing has created family games that can be learned in minutes, played in less than an hour, and enjoyed for a lifetime. Headquartered in Windsor, WI, Out of the Box produces a gamut of games. From single-player to party games, from quick and light games to engaging strategy games, Out of the Box games are designed to please the entire family. Inspiring fun has always been our mission, and happiness can be found…right Out of the Box!

 

 

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Victory Point Games Press Release – Objective: Odessa released!

Victory Point Games Press Release – Objective: Odessa released!

Romania’s Contribution to Operation Barbarossa: June-August, 1941

http://victorypointgames.com/details.php?prodId=197

As part of Army Group South’s effort in Operation Barbarossa, the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies were tasked with covering the right flank of the offensive, clearing the area between the Dniester and Bug Rivers, and occupying the port city of Odessa. Axis planners hoped the badly outnumbered Soviet garrison in this area would collapse quickly, but the hastily assembled Independent Coastal Army managed to withstand 73 days of siege before being evacuated to the Crimea by the Black Sea Fleet, effectively gutting the cream of the pre-war Romanian Army in the process.

The Objective: Odessa expansion kit includes a map extension and additional units to cover the added area and forces that participated in this region during the campaign.

Note, Objective: Odessa is not a ‘stand alone’ game. You must own a copy of Objective: Kiev to use this expansion kit.

Click here for all the details and to order Objective: Odessa.

Review – Dicey Curves from Matt Worden Games and The Game Crafter, LLC

Review – Dicey Curves from Matt Worden Games and The Game Crafter, LLC

Designer and Art – Matt Worden

note – thanks to Matt Worden for providing a copy of this game

In March, I had a chance to play and review Matt Worden’s game, Jump Gate which I really enjoyed and Matt has been very busy designing new games, the latest of which is called Dicey Curves,. This game is a bit more earth-bound and is essentially a dice-driven car racing game for 2-8 players age 12+ with the main object, of course, to win the race.

Unboxing

Dicey Curves isn’t going to be an extravagant all sining, all dancing game with top of the line components. Matt Worden publishes his own games and there will always be limitations with what a small publisher can do but as Matt showed with Jump Gate, small companies can still produce nice games and components. Everything comes in a nice cloth bag for starters. I imagine that this is a cost decision over a box but this is fine. Inside, you will find –

8 race car pawns

10 Dice

40 Control chips

36 Track cards

The cards are of a good quality and should stand up to numerous plays (well they better as the race takes place on the cards…). They are colourful and give a sense of terrain but the terrain has no impact. The “roads” that the cars follow are dotted lines with diamond shapes where the cars are placed. Each card is labeled according to the type of road i.e. Straight-away, Gentle Curve, etc. A number of the cards have gates indicated which present you with choices as to which path you will take depending upon the cost.

Its all pretty functional and clear so no problems in understanding the information. I guess that the artwork isn’t what I’d hoped as I’m spoiled by the likes of Rallyman’s looks. Having said that, the art works for me in any case.

The cars are colourful, small and thin but need to be as the game area is on cards so thats fine. The chips and dice are standard.

Gameplay

A folded set of six pages of rules lays things out and I hope you like dice rolling.

Players will control a different amount of cars subject to how many players there are. In a game where players control 1 car, the winner is the first to cross the finish line. If players control more than 1 car, then the total points scored for each car crossing the finish line determines the winner.

The players take turns rolling dice and forming combos (doubles, triples, etc.) to move the cars. A key feature which I really like is the “Exploding Dice” aspect where rolling 6’s allows you to create chances to do more in a single turn.

There are 2 options for setting out the track – through a set number of cards with a start and a finish or in a circular pattern (or I guess whatever pattern you’d like where the star and finish cards are adjacent.

The turn process is as follows –

ROLL DICE

You start with the 5 white dice then. For each “6” that is rolled, you then can add 1 green die and re-roll the 6 and the extra green die. This can continue until all the green dice are added or no 6’s are rolled.

Control Chips can be played (each player starts with 2) to

add a green die and set it at whatever number desired or to

re-roll any number of dice.

MOVE CARS

Cars are moved from spot to spot consecutively. Dice are used to move, not according to the numbers on the dice but how you set them up as combos. Doubles can move a car 2 spots, triples can move cars 3 spots, etc. Single die, when individually played will end a turn. You will also need to stop at any gate and play another combo to move beyond it. So you need to think how you best want to optimize how to move your cars to get into a good position or to block other cars, get past gates, etc.

Control Chips can be used to –

continue playing dice after a Single,

“Juke” which allows you to switch positions of 2 cars that are side-by-side on connected Spots, or

Control another Player’s car during a turn.

Additional rules let you gain Control Chips by trading in Combos and you can also make a Turbo Pass if you are stuck behind other cars waiting to pass a Gate.

The rules are simple, written in a clear manner and are supported with examples. The mechanics work well and the game moves along pretty quickly.

Did it work for me?

Dicey Curves is a nice little game. Matt Worden has put together a clever, fun race game that doesn’t take a long time to play, is easy to teach and pick-up, doesn’t need a lot of space, etc. The package and materials are relatively basic but professional and functional and of a good standard. The Exploding Dice mechanic is very good, forcing you to manage your resources of dice effectively and adds a lot to the tension and choices you have to make. Strategy comes in the choices of which combos to play and in what order, when to speed ahead, when to block, and when to trade in for Control Chips and then use them. A nice amount of choices to keep you interested but not take too long.

If you like racing games and rolling dice but with a difference, Dicey Curves is a nice buy.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10

Family friendly?

I would say this would work with children 10 + and be good family fun.

For more information go to – http://www.mwgames.com/?page_id=949 and https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/dicey-curves

Review of IceDice from Looney Labs

Review of IceDice from Looney Labs

Designer – Andrew Loney

note – many thanks to Looney Labs for providing a review copy of this game

I’d heard about the Looney Pyramids games but never had a chance to play them so I was very pleased to have the chance to do so. In a creative departure from their card games, Looney Labs have created colourful plastic pyramids that are used in some of their games.

As with a number of their games, IceDice is a quite simple game for 2 players age 14+ (although I reckon you can play this easily with children 8+) and it only takes 5-10 minutes. So a definite very filler. But is it fun?

Unboxing

Or un-bagging more like…

IceDice comes in a bag and comes with 2 specialised dice and 2 sets of 15 coloured pyramids in sets of 3 sizes. The rules come on a small 4-page pamphlet. The plastic pyramids are well made, solid and dureable as are the dice. The presentation is very appealing. See? Pretty aren’t they!

Gameplay

IceDice is very much a “push your luck game” and the object is to be the first to collect 3 monochrome Trios of pyramids. Again, a very simple game that takes a few minutes to play, each player sets out their pyramids by size and colour in their bank as shown above.

On your turn you roll the 2 dice. 1 shows a colour and the other the type of pyramid you can place in the counter area. Then you can store the pyramid in your vault area or press your luck and keep rolling to add more pyramids. However, if you roll the same colour a second time, you “Bust Out” and all the lovely pyramids that you have carefully stored in your counter area go back to the bank. So tough luck.

A nice rule allows you to steal pyramids from the other player’s vault which can be mean but also a good “take that” element. Another nice element is the Rainbow Bonus which says if you collect 5 colours without without Busting Out, you can store them safely in your vault and carry on rolling the dice. Very hard to do and risky, but with a nice reward.

Did it work for me?

This is a lovely, clever, yet simple game. Great for non-gamers, very nice to play with children. IceDice is a nice diversion between heavier games which is luck driven with good tension as you push your luck and nice interaction with the stealing element.. It is a very nice game even if you don’t like luck based games because it is quick and the pyramids are a nice, attractive alternative in components. I couldn’t really ask for more from what it is meant to be. It works a treat and ias good, simple fun. Get a second set and a good bash with 4 players!

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10

Family friendly?

Yes, even for young ones. I recommend purchasing 2 sets.

For more information go to – http://www.looneylabs.com/

Review – Gold Mine from Stratus Games

Review – Goldmine from Stratus Games

Designer – Chris James

Art – Andy Kurzen

note – thanks to Stratus Games for providing a review copy of this game

Having recently read an article about the top 10 selling family board games which includes the extremely tired, old “classics” such as Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Game of Life, CluedoSorry, etc. I find myself feeling very frustrated that there are a lot more family board games out there that just aren’t being brought to the awareness of the public as they should.

Folks, listen… There are loads of new and different family board games out there beyond what you might find at the supermarket, the department store or Toys R Us. With just a little bit of effort, check on the internet and you will find local board game retailers such as our sponsor Rules of Play or online retailers, that can provide you with a wide selection of games that  breath life into your family gaming.

Here is a game that you may find fun and interesting called Gold Mine from Stratus Games.

A tile-laying game for for 2-6 players age 8+ (you can probably play with younger children actually), the object of the game is to collect gold nuggets.

From the Stratus Games website –

Gold Mine is a unique tile-laying game in which players build a maze of mine tunnels and control miners that traverse the mine collecting gold nuggets. Players race to be the first to collect enough gold to exit the mine and stake a claim. It may sound easy, but the greedy miners have several tricks up their sleeves in order to gain an advantage—including sneaking through secret passages, fighting for gold, and scaring away other miners with bats.

Unboxing

Opening the box, you will notice that that Status Games has produced a quality product. The tiles are sturdy and have very nice colourful art depicting the different sections of the mine that you can put together. The plastic miners are very nicely done as are the gold nuggets. The Bat Challenge and Gold Challenge tokens are also of good quality. It all looks  and feels very nice indeed so immediately I was keen to play.

Gameplay

There are 2 aspects to playing Gold Mine – Collect the required number of gold nuggets and exit the mine before any other player and prevent other players from getting rich instead.

There are different amounts of gold nuggets required to win depending upon the amount of players – •2 Players: 10 Gold Nuggets •3 to 4 Players: 7 Gold Nuggets •5 to 6 Players: 5 Gold Nuggets

The game flow is as follows:

I. Development mining- Place 20 tiles randomly to start the mine. The random placement means no 2 games will play exactly the same. The tiles are placed in alignment with other tiles to make sure that the mine pathways are connected.

II. Production mining Repeat for each turn:

(Each player places his Miner at the base of the ladder on the Mine Entrance tile, takes a turn (see Turns), and play continues in a clockwise direction)

A. miner movement may do one of the following:

1. Place 1 tile to build more of the mine (there are specific placement rules to ensure the tiles are placed correctly) and move to an adjacent tile

2. Roll a die and  move up to the number of tiles indicated

3. Traverse Secret Passage – Roll both dice and if you roll doubles or a 7, you can move from one Secret Passage til to another anywhere in the mine

4. You can Pass and not take any action

B. Miner action may do either/both of the following:

1. Collect Gold Nugget – Gold Nuggets are placed on the center of all Gold Chamber tiles immediately after they are played and players can collect them if they end they’re turn in the same space. Once a Gold Nugget is collected from a Gold Chamber tile, no more Gold Nuggets may be placed on the tile, except as the result of a Gold Challenge. So this makes for a real challenge as players will look to place the Gold Chamber tiles to their own advantage and to the disadvantage of the other players.

2. Initiate Challenge – This is where players can really interact with each other to prevent the other players from succeeding. Players can attempt to steal a Gold Nugget for from others by issuing a Gold challenge. Another way to make things difficult for other players is to issue a Bat challenge which gives you the chance to send bats in their direction to move them from their current position. Each player has a small amount of tokens to issue challenges so you need to be thoughtful as to when you use them.

Younger children may struggle initially with seeing these actions as “fair” so its an opportunity for parents to teach about interaction in games that can be done in a fun way.

The rules are written well, are easy to understand and have good illustrations to help with learning the game. There are also optional rules to add a layer of complexity and challenge for more experienced players.

Did it work for me?

Gold Mine, is a well designed game with an easy to understand and play mechanics system. It looks really nice and is fun and has a really good layer of interactive play where you can really get at each other in a fun way. The challenges are fun if luck based with the die rolls and thats fine in a family game.

Gold Mine is not meant to be a heavy strategic game and there is a fair amount of randomness but families should certainly enjoy it.

I have 2 issues though. First, with a lot of players, it just takes too long and I would recommend that a maximum of 4 players would be best. It all works well enough but it seems to take a long time for a game of this level of simplicity. Alternatively, perhaps a goal of 3 nuggets for 5-6 players would be better. Also, you can get trapped in dead end areas when using the secret passages which is a risk you take, but relying on the die rolls to escape can mean a long, boring wait. I would suggest a range die rolls would be less frustrating rather than doubles or a 7 which are rare.

Otherwise, I was happy with the experience of playing Gold Mine and would suggest it as a nice alternative to the typical games which are all too readily available.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10

Family friendly?

Yes, this is a family game

For more information go to –http://www.stratusgames.com/games/gold-mine 

Review – Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game from White Goblin Games


Review – Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game,  from White Goblin Games

Designer – Mark Chaplin

Artist – Chechu Nieto

Thanks to White Goblin Games for providing a review copy of this game

Revolver, is a non-collectible card game for 2 players, playing Colonel Ned McReady or bandito Jack Colty, set in the wild west. Not the glamorized and pretty sanitized wild west of John Ford/John Wayne films (of which I am a big fan, however), but more like the gritty, nasty wild west of Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood films with unsavory characters on both sides of the law. Refreshing to have a self-contained non-collectible card game as well instead of yet another game system that sucks your life and funds away. Yes, I’m looking at you FFG!

Fyi, this is a reboot of Mark Chaplin‘s previous game, Aliens: This Time It’s War so if you like that game, purchase of Revolver should be a no-brainer.

Revolver is a no-holds-barred game for 2-player age 10+ (I would say that 13+ is more appropriate) where the players battle it out in a series of gunfights across 5 locations or “battlefields” which are arranged in columns, where cards are played as each gunfight takes place. There aren’t that many games set in the wild west so another take on the genre is welcome.

Unboxing

White Goblin Games have taken to producing a number of their card games in tin boxes and Revolver is no exception to this trend. Very nice it is too! Each player has a deck of 62 cards which include Firepower, Row-blocking and One-shot effect cards. Other cards are also included for other things such as characters, the 5 battlefields, etc. as well as tokens for tracking effects and information. The card and component quality is very good and durable.

The rules and cards are clearly laid out but of course, you will need to learn the card effects which is helped with use of icons. The artwork is quite evocative and very nicely done by Checho Nieto

  

and there is a nice amount of flavour text in the rules which fleshes a thematic storyline that the players will follow as they try to effectively use their cards to take each other out. The backgrounds of McReady, Colty and his gang members bring the game to life. There is a variety of cards with various thematic events and special rules to be played for each player.

Gameplay

To win the game, a player must meet one of the following conditions:

♦ The Colonel McReady player wins if every member of the Colty gang is killed

♦ The Colty gang player wins if Jack “The Crow” Colty reaches and survives the 3:15 Express from Rattlesnake Station battlefield turn space “4”

♦ The Colty gang player wins if he manages to remove all twelve tokens from the Mexican Bordercard

The set-up has you setting out the five “battlefield” location cards where the drama will unfold.

The Bank at Repentance Springs, Whiskey Canyon, Buzzard Point, Rattlesnake Creek, and 3:15 Express from Rattlesnake Station. You also place the Place the Derail the Train card beside the 3:15 Express from Rattlesnake Station as there is a chance to do this action. True grit and power tokens are set out. The Colty gang player the sixteen bandit character cards, takes the Mexican Border card, and put twelve tokens on the card and places a token on the “Skinny” Landell card. Then both players shuffle their specific decks. Each deck is specific to each side which makes things very interesting.

A turn is divided into four phases:

1. Advance turn marker (only Colty gang player)

At the beginning of his turn, the Colty gang player, advances the turn marker one space forward. If the turn marker already reached the last number on a battlefield, place the turn marker on space “1” on the next battlefield. This marks the progress of the game story line.

2. Draw two cards

3. Play cards

You may put any number of cards from your hand into play on your side of the current battlefield card (the card with the turn marker on it). To play any card from your hand, you must pay the indicated cost by discarding that number of other cards from your hand.

There are 3 types of cards:

Firepower cards: These cards have a white or black poker chip in the top left corner of the card. The number in the poker chip indicates the firepower (attack) value of this card. Firepower cards are placed at your side of the playing area.

♦ Row-blocking cards:These cards have an orange border and are placed at a battlefield in your opponent playing area (maximum of 2 row-blocking cards per battlefield).

♦ One-shot effect cards:Follow the instruction on the card and place it on the discard pile.

The Colty Gang player has a three card limit. This means he can place a maximum of three firepower cards at each battlefield. The Colonel McReady player has no such limit.

Many cards have special rules described in their text. All text takes effect immediately when this card is p p These rules are applied to the current battlefield.

4. Attack (only Colonel McReady player)

During each turn that the Colonel McReady player takes, he can try to kill a bandit using his firepower. Each turn (not only in this phase) that the Colonel McReady player fails to kill a Colty gang character, remove one token from the Mexican Border card.

Revolver is a real challenge for the players in terms of which cards to play and when to play them to best effect. I do like the progressing through the 5 battlefields which l gives Revolver the sense of playing through a western film.

It’s basically kill or be killed to win the game. Or at least, stopping the Colty gang from crossing the border into Mexico. No mystical, magical missions here. No elves, dwarves, aliens or whatnot. Its all about how hard you are and how good you are with your six-shooter. This is a straightforward, in your face confrontation.

Each player has to consider how best to employ the different dynamics of strengths and limitations in their cards to deal an effect blow. The Colty gang has 16 desperadoes, all with a background story which adds to the theme and the Colonel ned player needs to take them on in increasing difficulty. It is very interesting to see how the different decks are used. There is loads of replayability here and the background stories of the characters, the changing card availabilities, the strengths and weaknesses of each deck all add to my be very intrigued as to how things will play out.

The strategy comes from using your cards to best effect as they become available. No grand master planning here. Everything is very much in the moment and means you need to stay on your toes to make effective choices. The theme is good and comes through nicely. My only quibble would be that I would have liked a few more battlefields that could be used to freshen things up.

Did it work for me?

Revolver is certainly a challenging and really fun game, especially if you are a fan of westerns, and a nice change from the usual fantasy/sci-fi card games out there. It is great to have fixed decks and a complete game as well and the great backstory really brings the game to life beyond the mechanics which are pretty solid and easy to follow. The whole package looks excellent and again adds to the atmosphere. The rules are clear, the mechanics and structure effective and the journey consistently strong. The variety is enough to keep your attention and the turns of fate both frustrating and exciting in equal measure. The decisions about how and when to deploy your resources and firepower will keep you in the thick of things, trying to outsmart the other player. And, it plays pretty fast too.

For me though, the best part of the game is the tense storyline as the game progresses through the 5 battlefields. Essentially, you have a series of gunfights with the Colty Gang losing members of their gang as they race for the 3:15 Express from Rattlesnake Station or the Mexican Border. The Colonel Ned McReady player is under pressure to utilize attacks well and quickly kill off the Colty Gang members before they can get away. It all comes together and works very well.

Revolver is fun, easy to play, (although there is a bit of initial reading including backstory to get through) interactive, action packed, dripping with theme and a jolly good romp through a spaghetti western. It is limited to 2 players and not everyone may be interested in the theme but it is a well designed, strong addition to the 2-player card game category.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 8 out of 10

Family friendly?

Not intended for families

For more information go to – http://www.whitegoblingames.com/

The G*M*S Magazine Podcast Episode 25 – Christmas Shopping with Michael Fox! Source: G*M*S Magazine

The G*M*S Magazine Podcast Episode 25 – Christmas Shopping with Michael Fox! Source: G*M*S Magazine 

This time we have, as a very special guest, Michael Fox, of the Little Metal Dog Show fame

http://www.gmsmagazine.com/podcasts/the-gms-magazine-episode-25-christmas-shopping-with-michael-fox