Dastardly Dirigibles Takes to the Skies!

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Dastardly Dirigibles steampunk airship card game

TDastardly Dirigibles steampunk airship card gamehe splendiferous day has arrived! Dastardly Dirigibles, our steampunk airship building card game, is now available everywhere!

Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, famed airship builder, is retiring and you are an engineer competing to inherit the Hornswoggle factory! Dastardly Dirigibles steampunk airship card game airships

Each airship is made of seven cards, each representing a different part of the airship, such as the nose cone or lift engine.

Whenever a player adds a part to their airship, ALL players MUST add the SAME part, even if it means replacing an existing part. The first player to play all seven parts and complete their airship ends the round, but there’s a catch. Players only score the suit they used the most in building their airship!

Dastardly Dirigibles steampunk airship card game building

Dastardly Dirigibles steampunk airship card game Smoke Bomb promo cardNormally when a new ship is launched it’s tradition to break a bottle of champagne over the bow of the vessel. As much as we’d love to celebrate in that way, nobody likes a wet, sticky card game. Instead we encourage you to visit your local game store or head over to our shop and pick up a copy. And right now, if you get your game from our online shop, or a participating retail store, you’ll get the exclusive Smoke Bomb promo card free with your purchase!

So strap on your goggles and start twirling your moustache, it’s time to become the master of those Dastardly Dirigibles!

The Dark Titan Wins Origins Award!

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Origins Award Winner

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Origins Game Fair was last week and it was a blast! We had a booth in the Main Exhibit Hall and ran demos of Here, Kitty, Kitty!, Dastardly Dirigibles (releasing July 6), and Star TrekTM Panic® (available now!). Our booth was so busy and we got to see so many familiar faces and make some new friends.

We had the designer of Here, Kitty, Kitty! in the booth playing with attendees and the artist, Tony Steele, was back in the art area drawing cats on boxes for anyone who picked up a copy and asked nicely.

Star TrekTM Panic® received lots of attention and we had demo after demo of excited gamers devouring the latest variation in the Panic Line.

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Saturday of the show happened to coincide with International Panic Day and it was fun to see Social Media explode with posts from Friendly Local Game Stores around the country hosting events in-store to celebrate the day, while we played the latest variation with attendees at the show.

The biggest thrill of the show was at the Origins Awards ceremony Saturday night when it was revealed The Dark Titan, the second expansion to Castle Panic®, was the winner of the Fan Favorite award for the Gaming Accessory category! Thanks fans!

Anne-Marie De Witt, our CEO, accepted the award on behalf of Fireside Games because Justin De Witt, the designer and Chief Creative Officer for the company, was back at home in Texas working on the THIRD expansion. You can expect more news on that game to be coming VERY SOON!

Castle Panic and the first expansion, The Wizard’s Tower, were both Origins Awards Nominees in their respective release years, so you know the whole line is good. Fans really love the toughness of Agranok in The Dark Titan and we appreciate all the support and dedication to this line you, the fans, bring every time you see us at a show or a local game store.

Thanks to all of you for making Origins Game Fair 2016 such a success and so much fun. We’ll see you there next year. And remember… Just PANIC and Play Games!

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Panic Line Bundle with Exclusive Promos

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Have you been considering picking up the Panic Line? Want to try all the different variations for the unique experiences they provide, but don’t know which one to start with? Well, we’ve got you covered with the special Panic Line bundle coming June 18!

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The Panic Line Bundle will include one copy of each of the Panic Line variations currently available from Fireside Games: Castle Panic®, Dead Panic®, and Munchkin® Panic®.* Each of these variations offers a different set of objectives and gameplay twists for a variety of game play experiences each time you sit down at the game table.

As a special bonus to this bundle (which is already being offered at a great value of $99.95 MSRP for all three games), each game comes with an EXCLUSIVE promo piece only available in this bundle!

You can get the “Laser Sight” for Dead Panic®, the “Potion of Mwahahahaha” for Munchkin® Panic®, and the special “Promo Tower” for Castle Panic® that was only available in 2015 as part of TableTop Day!

These bundles will be available starting on June 18 to help celebrate International Panic Day and will only be available through brick and mortar retail game stores. Let your Friendly Local Game Store know you want one so they can put in their orders today!

A little Panic can be a good thing, and A LOT of Panic can be a GREAT thing… when it comes to games, that is!

Find a Friendly Local Game Store near you with our handy Store Locator map!

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*Star TrekTM Panic® is not included in this bundle. It will be released by USAopoly in late June. For even more ways to Panic, check out these expansions to Castle Panic®: The Wizard’s Tower, and The Dark Titan.

Making Star Trek Panic

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Star Trek Panic Box Cover50 years ago, the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise took us on voyages to strange new worlds. This summer the latest variation in the Panic line, Star Trek Panic, will beam down to your game table to continue the adventure. Read the entire behind-the-scenes story of how the game was created, straight from the designer, Justin De Witt.

 

Growing up, I was a huge Star Trek fan. I had a model of the original Enterprise and the Galileo shuttle hanging from the ceiling in my room. As a kid, I remember dragging the big chair to the middle of the living room, right in front of the TV, so I could watch the original series (in syndication by then) from my own “Captain’s chair.” I have an (almost) complete set of Micro Machine spaceships from every series, and a well-worn Technical Manual from The Next Generation. I was a Trekkie before they were called “Trekkers,” so it’s both amazing and a little surreal that I’ve been given this chance to work on a piece of Star Trek history.

 

First Contact

The project has its roots at GenCon 2014 when Anne-Marie met with Maggie Matthews, the Vice President of Licensing at USAopoly. In addition to their original games like Telestrations, USAopoly is famous for creating licensed versions of everything from Monopoly and Risk to Yahtzee. The year before, USAopoly had licensed Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games and combined it with the Adventure Time license from Cartoon Network. Maggie and Anne-Marie talked about what it was like working with Steve Jackson Games (great!) and compared stories about the process of licensing the games. Munchkin Adventure Time had been a great success. They were looking to combine even more hobby games with some of the licenses they had, and we agreed it might be interesting to work together in the future.

Munchking-panic-Flat-cover-artLater that year at BGGCon, Anne-Marie and I were being interviewed about Munchkin Panic in a quiet room away from the crowds. It was a common space set aside just for exhibitors, and at that time there were just a few other publishers in there. After we wrapped things up, we struck up a conversation with Andrew Wolf, the Project Manager for New Business at USAopoly, who had overheard the interview. As we talked with Andrew over dinner, he asked if we would be open to a similar arrangement for Castle Panic with one of their licenses. We agreed we might be, but whatever the license was, it would have to make sense for the game. While I knew we could be flexible with a lot of the mechanics, the Panic line’s core gameplay is about surviving a siege and fighting off attackers. I would want to make sure that whatever we paired it with was a good fit for both the gameplay and whatever theme the license brought. Andrew agreed, and we decided that he would take this info back to their office and see what they could work out.

Not too long aftStar-Trek-Panic-50th-deltaer GenCon, we heard from Maggie that their team was excited to work on a Castle Panic variation, and they already had some ideas of licenses that would make good pairings. One of the first questions we were asked was if we would be okay using photos instead of illustrations in the new game? We were, but that really sent our minds buzzing. What could it be? What license would only use photos? We had a lot of fun playing the “what if?” game in our office, and it went to some crazy places. A few weeks later, Anne-Marie met with Maggie and Luke Byers, head of Creative Development for USAopoly, at New York Toy Fair, and they asked, “How does Star Trek Panic sound to you?” It sounded unbelievable, but somehow Anne-Marie was able to contain any squeeing and assured them we were interested. What really sealed the deal was when we learned that because 2016 was going to be the 50th anniversary of the original series, CBS wanted this game to be set in that timeline. That meant we were going to get the chance to retell the stories of Kirk, Spock, and the whole crew in a new medium.

One key detail was that even though USAopoly would manufacture and publish the game, we weren’t going to be content to have this be just a reskin of Castle Panic. To that end, it was determined that I would do the initial concept and design, pushing the envelope of what we’ve done with Panic games in the past while playing on the strengths of what we could do with this license. Andrew and I would take that initial design and refine it before he finalized the design work to create the finished game. It couldn’t have been a better arrangement.

 

Star Trek Panic—Where No Panic Has Gone Before

As Anne-Marie started negotiating the details of the contract, I started brainstorming ideas for what the game could be. The first step? Get reacquainted with an old friend. Part of my job for the next few weeks was to watch every episode of the original series. (I know. It’s a hard life.) I camped out on the couch taking copious notes as I binged on the entire series start to finish and running with every wild idea they inspired. It was a hoot to go back and see all the classic adventures again. I have to say that overall, it’s still an amazing achievement. The good episodes are really good, and the themes and messages of that 50-year-old show are still very relevant today.

Star Trek Panic research
Getting started on Star Trek Panic required some very serious research. Now pass the popcorn!

As I made my notes, I had lots of inspiration on how I would convert the Panic mechanics to fit the world of Star Trek. I really wanted to capture as much of the Star Trek feel as I could, so I thought about different core game ideas. Maybe the center of the board would be a planet the players were protecting and the Enterprise could be a token that was moved around the board, similar to the Cavalier in The Dark Titan? Maybe there could be a space station in the center that warded off attacks, like Deep Space Nine? Cool, but that’s the wrong version of Star Trek . . . No, it really made sense to make the center the one thing Kirk and the crew always wanted to protect the most, their home, the Enterprise.

Converting walls to shields made sense, and treating hull sections of the Enterprise as towers followed naturally, but I wasn’t sure how we would show damage to the ship. We couldn’t just take chunks off without it being weird. What would happen if the only piece left was an engine pylon? That just wouldn’t make sense. I liked the idea of possibly showing a damaged ship underneath and covering it up with shiny, new ship pieces. That way when you removed a ship section, you would leave the banged up, burned out section in its place. I wasn’t sure if that would be done with just artwork on the board, but it would be really cool if we could make some kind of 3D model of the Enterprise! The downside was that it might make it a little difficult to handle having to load up the model with “good” pieces as part of setup. As part of my playtesting, I ended up building a prototype that showed a complete Enterprise and creating tokens that were placed on top of the sections, covering them up to indicate when a section was destroyed.

Star Trek Panic early Enterprise prototype
The very first playtest version of the Enterprise!

When it came to damage, I also wanted to expand the Brick and Mortar idea from Castle Panic and turn it into a system that would actually let players repair the Enterprise. This was kind of a big deal since that’s essentially the same thing as letting players rebuild towers in Castle Panic. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would work and I knew it was going to need balancing, but considering how many times Scotty saved the day at the last minute with a quick bit of repair work, I knew it needed to be in the game.

I was starting to create a pretty big list of ideas I could put into this game, and I knew that not everything was going to make the final cut. However, there were some concepts that I felt were pretty much a sure thing. The enemies would be Klingon, Romulan, and Tholian spaceships. These enemies wouldn’t just approach the Enterprise harmlessly like they do in Castle Panic, I wanted them to shoot, doing damage as they got closer. After all, what’s space combat without some pew-pew? I wanted some ships to be able to cloak, making them temporarily invisible. I wanted to include the idea of boarding parties. (There were always troublemakers getting on board the ship!) I knew I wanted to have the crew be actual characters in the game. Players would get to pick who they wanted to be, and each character would bring their own skills to the game that related to their area of expertise on the show. That’s an idea I’ve been waiting to introduce to Castle Panic for a while now, and I knew it would work great here.

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TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

One of the biggest additions I knew had to be in the game was events that were based on episodes of the show. I wanted the players to be terrorized by NOMAD, face off against the Doomsday Machine, and deal with everything from transporter accidents to rapid aging diseases. The original idea for implementing this was split between Mission cards that would be the victory conditions for the game, and Event cards that players would draw at different times and would present challenges that the players would have to overcome together. (These eventually were combined into the Mission cards that you see in the final game.) These events would have to be dealt with in addition to surviving the waves of enemies that the game would throw at the players, so while they needed to be somewhat challenging, they would have to be balanced out so the game didn’t feel overwhelming. A lot of the episodes dealt with the crew having some kind of countdown they were working against, and I wanted to reflect that with a timer that provided a time crunch to some of the missions.

Experimenting with missions led to another new mechanic I wanted to introduce called “Command Points.” Some of the most powerful cards in the game would feature the same Division icons the characters wore on their shirts. Cards with these Command Points would act as a currency the players would need to pay in order to complete some of the missions. The cost would be higher than any 1 player could pay on their own, so the team would really have to work together toward the common goal. The catch was that a player could either use the card for its powerful ability or spend it toward completing the mission, but not both!

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TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

As I spent a few months turning rough ideas into playable concepts, there were a few ideas that ended up being dropped from the game. I had really wanted to include planets and away teams, where players would beam down for a separate mini-game that would have generated resources. Scotty always seemed to be dealing with equipment that broke down right when the crew needed it, and I had created a system that would gum up players’ hands with Malfunction cards that had to be repaired to simulate that engineering challenge. I’d even experimented with the idea of the characters being injured and losing abilities until they could be healed in the Sick Bay. As fun as these ideas were, the added complexity didn’t fit with the simpler goal for this game so they had to be cut. We’ve talked about including them as expansions so who knows, they may return!

 

Ahead Warp Factor One

Before long we arranged to fly out to California and meet with USAopoly for our kickoff meeting. I spent the days before the meeting turning my pages of notes into a readable design document before we packed up and headed out. Meeting the crew from USAopoly was great. They even had a fantastic Star Trek Panic welcome banner on display right when we walked in the door! We met with Maggie, Andrew, Luke, and the rest of the staff, got a tour of their very cool office, and then got down to some very intense days of work. The first day we covered everything from contracts and production schedules to going over all the various Panic games with a fine-tooth comb. We dove into my design document which, while it was stuffed with a ton of ideas, was still very much a work in progress.

Andrew and I broke out into our own design meeting along with Rick Hutchinson, the Senior Creative Designer at USAopoly, and we started really tearing into the game. Ideas flew fast and furious as concepts were refined, edited, and refined again. It was an amazing day and a half, and some of the most fun I’ve had while still getting paid.

One of the coolest things we figured out was how to make the transition away from the castle and walls setup to a 3-dimensional Enterprise model! Inspired by an idea from another game USAopoly was working on, it involved die cut chipboard pieces that are put together via tabs and slots to build the classic hull, saucer section, and nacelles of the famous ship. This would allow damage tokens to hang off of the ship the way the fire tokens work in The Wizard’s Tower. Now instead of just being a static pile of towers and walls in the middle of the board, the Enterprise would be built on a base that the shields were attached to and the whole thing could now be rotated as one piece to its facing.

Star Trek Panic 3D Enterprise
TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

Star-Trek-Panic-making-of-Phaser-cardHaving the model of the Enterprise on its own movable base let us run wild with the idea of maneuvering the ship. We modified the ring and arc arrangement to be more like Dead Panic, using 3 rings instead of 4 (removing what would have been the Forest ring). The next big change was that we removed the use of colors. The Enterprise is aligned on the board so that its front faces 2 arcs, each side aligns with 1 arc, and its rear faces 2 arcs. We changed the Archer, Knight, and Swordsman cards to Phasers of Long, Medium, and Short range, limited each one to 1 particular facing of Front, Side, or Rear. Now, instead of playing cards to hit enemies anywhere you wanted to, the hit cards became directional, based on the facing of the Enterprise. The Phaser cards are not color-specific as Hit cards are in Castle Panic, and only let you hit a target that matches both the range and facing. Finally, we gave the players the ability to rotate the Enterprise one arc clockwise or counter-clockwise during their turn, while they were playing cards. This meant the players might be able to attack a target they would otherwise be unable to hit after they rotated the ship to change its facing. We were actually restricting the use of the cards, but giving the players even more tactical flexibility by maneuvering the ship.

We applied this idea of maneuvering to tokens outside the ship for the concept of moving “forward.” Obviously, the Enterprise couldn’t actually move on the board, so instead when players maneuver forward it brings all tokens in the 2 front arcs one ring closer to the ship. Tokens to the side and rear were unaffected. While it may not have been completely accurate from a physics point of view, it worked really well and allowed us to include maneuvering as a fun requirement for some of the missions.

 

Boldy Going

When the dust settled we had a pretty good idea of what the game would be and how it might play. We said our goodbyes, and I took this new version of the game home to make some adjustments and start playtesting to see what worked and what didn’t. Within a few days, Rick had created a mockup of the 3D Enterprise that was nothing short of amazing, and they shipped me a version of it to include in my playtesting. I can’t say I didn’t run around the house with it making spaceship noises, but you try not playing with this thing!

Star Trek Panic early prototype
An early version of the game with many placeholder components.

The mission cards now became the focus of the game and how players would win or lose. I knew we weren’t going to keep the same end game condition as Castle Panic, where finishing off the last enemy ends the game. Instead it was going to focus on the famous “5-year mission” of the original show. I had played with idea of having the game last for 5 “years” with each year being a certain amount of turns, but that didn’t feel right. I experimented with a point tracker and even making the missions worth different amount of points. In the end though, simpler was better and we decided to have the goal be to complete 5 missions before the Enterprise was destroyed. At first, mission cards were drawn when certain tokens were encountered, but because of how unpredictable the token draw can be, it was cleaner to have mission cards drawn as part of a turn, so that players were always facing a mission and never waiting for one.

As I continued testing and having phone meetings with Andrew, the core ideas became Star-Trek-Panic-making-of-Dilithiummore refined. Enemy ships fire after moving, damaging the Enterprise from a distance, adding damage tokens to shields and hull pieces before eventually destroying them. The ability to repair the ship evolved into a 3-way system involving Tritanium and Dilithium cards. Playing a Tritanium card on its own removed a damage token from the hull, where as playing a lone Dilithium card would remove a damage token from a shield. Play them both together however, and a player could rebuild a shield or hull section that had been destroyed. While this was a powerful (and incredibly satisfying) ability for the players, they would need it as the Enterprise is constantly taking damage from alien attackers.

Star Trek Panic Security Team card TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.
A group of redshirts, ready to sacrifice themselves!
TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

Enemy ships that reached the Enterprise would become Boarders and cause the players to eject cards from the game permanently. The Security Teams found their use in fighting off these intruders. When an enemy ship becomes a Boarder, any player can play Security Team cards from their hand to reduce the amount of cards lost to Boarders. These Security Team cards are discarded in an homage to the famous red-shirted crewmen from the original show. It’s a fun way to work together, but it involves balancing the cards in your hand with the immediate and long-term threats on the board.

 

The Final Frontier

Within a few months I had a version of the game that was playable and felt very thematic. There were still a lot of details that needed to be worked on and a great deal of balancing, but at this point, I was ready to hand the game off to USAopoly. As progress continued, Andrew and I had multiple meetings where we would compare notes, discuss trouble spots, and work on solutions. The biggest challenges were in balancing the missions so that they were tough, but not too tough, and then refining the various methods used to complete these missions. We ended up including a timed element with every mission and even removing a few missions entirely from the game when they were too complex or unclear.

The Command Point mechanic was renamed Division Credits and we adjusted the distribution of these credits throughout the deck to better fit the desired tension. Character abilities went through several evolutions as we fine-tuned their effects on gameplay and ensured they reflect the character they belong to. Sulu, for example, can maneuver the Enterprise twice on his turn, whereas the other characters may only make one maneuver.

The cloaking ability of enemy ships took a lot of tweaking as well. It went through many incarnations, eventually settling on a system by which cloaked ship tokens will alternate their movement phases between cloaking (flipping over to be upside down, revealing just a starfield) and attacking. Players can’t attack a ship when it’s cloaked, but they can see where it is. The catch is that when a ship uncloaks, it’s movement is determined by a die roll and it immediately attacks. This means the players will only have a general idea of where a cloaked ship will appear and attack them from. It adds a great sense of tension and uncertainty, just like in the famous “Balance of Terror” episode.

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TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

Andrew and the USAopoly team continued to playtest and refine the game. We had many fun phone conversations about tension and theme, modifying smaller and smaller elements as the game settled into its final incarnation. After a few months, I had switched from design work to reviewing artwork and components. Using stills from the show wherever they could, USAopoly crafted a really great-looking game that is drenched in the look and feel of the original Star Trek.

In the end, I’m incredibly happy with the game we’ve created. As a fan of Star Trek, it’s important to me that this game stand on its own and remain true to what made the show such a classic. I think we created something enjoyable by fans of both licenses. If you’re a fan of Castle Panic, you’ll find an entirely new way to challenge yourself that will still have familiar elements. If you’re a Star Trek fan, you’ll reconnect with the original crew in an exciting, engaging way that you’ve never done before. Good luck to you all as you explore the Final Frontier. Live long and prosper!

-Justin De Witt

As Seen on TV! Orphan Black

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If you are a fan of Orphan Black, you may have recognized a few familiar “faces” in the new Season 4 set location, Rabbit Hole Comics.

In episode 2, “Transgressive Border Crossing,” formerly separated clones Sarah and Cosima are reunited in a secret lab in the basement of a Comic shop. When Sarah and Mrs. S enter the shop we get a good little “geek out” when they pan the shop and there is an eye-catching display of our favorite games.

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We caught this quick picture to show off a little. Forgive our proud little hearts. :)

Games shown: Bears!, Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower expansion, Castle Panic: The Dark Titan expansion. You can even see a bit of Bloodsuckers and The Village Crone if you look closely!

Here, Kitty, Kitty! Review Round Up: Part Deux

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As if you needed more reasons to covet your very own copy of Here, Kitty, Kitty!… but here you go! Another group of reviews have been rounded up and it was way easier than herding cats.

“Start channeling your inner cat lady, because Here Kitty, Kitty!, by Fireside Games, is a kitten collecting frenzy of quick playing fun.” – Gameosity

here-kitty-kitty-Cat-HerdingOver at Blog Critics they found the gameplay “lively with laughter atop its solid base of scheming, making it a perfect game for cat-lovers and game enthusiasts alike.” To put it another way, “fun gameplay that is light enough for casual gamers while still giving more hardcore players opportunity to analyze strategy.” It’s nice to know we achieved our goals with this one!

Matt Quiett, from Nerd’s Domain, says, “I give Here, Kitty, Kitty! a 4 out of 5 stars… It’s fun, light and enjoyable.”

Jess from Gameosity couldn’t agree more. “The game is fast, fun, and light, with a good dose of silliness thrown in. Each card has hysterical illustrations that really bring the game to life.”

Of course, what is a review round up for a cat game without a few good cat puns? Special thanks to Kentucky Bored Gamer who supplied a healthy dose of them in his review:
“The game play is fast and furr-ious. The rounds go quickly and there is a lot of fun to be had… So, Should you buy this game? YES! Not only is this game a GREAT family game in general, the cat theme is purr-fect for any cat lover or gamer that is new or old to board gaming.”

Over at Toys Bulletin they had a blast playing it, “…it is an enjoyable game experience from start to finish.” And the Bizarre Brunette declares, “If you are a crazy cat lady like myself, this game must be in your closet.”

And the art? Well, of course it is still getting lots of love:here-kitty-kitty-Adoption

“The art by Tony Steele is bright and entertaining, featuring cats in all kinds of poses…make the deck so entertaining that players may have to work to focus on their game.” – Blog Critics

The art for this game… is beautiful and fitting to the theme. It’s playful and a bit of a “cartoony” look which is nice and really does fit the theme and game play.” – Kentucky Bored Gamer

“Complements are also in order regarding the artwork and illustrations shown on the game cards…they were superb and made you smile every time you examined a card.” – Toys Bulletin

If that’s still not enough to convince you to visit your Friendly Local Game Store and nab a copy of your very own, how about this?

Troy Stegner for the El Paso Herald Post expresses his approval while inventing a new rating system. “I give this game 4 out of 4 cans of tuna.”

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Review Round-Up for Here, Kitty, Kitty!

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here kitty kitty game coverTomorrow you’ll be able to get your own copy of Here, Kitty, Kitty! at a game store near you. And it is already getting high praise. Let the early reviewers tell you what they love about it and convince you to adopt one of your very own!

The artwork and theme win big with this one. Of course, you probably already guessed that, since who can resist a bunch of adorable kitties?

“It’s silly fun and the artwork on the cards is really excellent…” says Go Fatherhood.

I love the artwork. This game pulls no punches on any of the humor,” raves Rick Perez of Let’s Level Up. “The artwork in this game is tremendously humorous. There are just so many funny cards that I just got a good chuckle at, which I think should be commended because I think that the artwork is fantastic.”

What about game play? This game is so much more than just a pretty face. While it is simple to learn, there is a depth to the game that leaves players desiring another go to hone their strategies and grow their hoard of kitties.

GeekDad declares, “Here, Kitty, Kitty! is a fun little family game. It’s easy to learn and plays quickly.

“We all had a great time with this fast, simple game, so much so that when we finished, they immediately both asked for us to play a second game,” comments Go Fatherhood reviewer, Dave Taylor, about playing this game with his kids.

Tricia Victor from Golden Distribution was delighted by the added intricacy in the game. “My favorite part of Here, Kitty, Kitty! was the depth of strategy that was involved… It was fascinating to watch everyone’s strategy to obtain kittens evolve from one game to the next. Here, Kitty, Kitty! is competitive without anyone realizing how much movement, placement & area control happens with the neighborhood cats.”

Let’s Level Up agrees, “There’s plenty of room to be strategic, both on the offensive side and the defensive side, and there are a lot of important decisions that you make while you’re choosing your two actions. There are a lot of opportunities to think outside of the box.”

Here, Kitty, Kitty! is simple to learn, and will be a great filler or light game for your next game night. You can play it with an emphasis “…good old fashioned fun…” (InternetvsWallet), or take it a little more seriously like Perez did, “If you’re a fan of ‘take-that’ games, Here, Kitty, Kitty! is amazing in that regard.”

Final Verdict

Well, we’ll just let them tell you…
“…a fantastically fun game… I think it’s fabulous and ‘purrrfect.‘” – Rick Perez, Let’s Level Up
“It is a family friendly, lighthearted game… that will keep everyone coming back to the table for more.” – Tricia Victor, Golden Distribution
Buy this game. You and your family will love it.” – Internet vs Wallet
“Definitely recommended and a game I’m sure will move onto the active shelf.” – Go Fatherhood
“It’s easy to learn, appropriate for families, and features adorable plastic miniature cats.” – Ryan Morgenegg, Deseret News
“… it is AWESOME!.. this one really is the cat’s meow…” – Third Eye Games

You can watch Let’s Level Up’s full video review below, or choose any of the links above to view the full reviews shared in this article.

 

Star Trek™ Panic® Coming May 2016!

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Star Trek Panic Cover

Star Trek™ Panic® will launch in May 2016 and we couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with USAopoly to take Panic boldly where no Panic has gone before!

We’ve been keeping this hush-hush as all the details were finalized and now we can’t wait until May to defend the Enterprise and play as Spock or Captain Kirk!

Check out the official announcement from our friends at USAopoly for more details:

Star Trek™ Panic® Launching In May 2016!

star-trek-panic-3d-box-leftStar Trek™ Panic® will be available only in the US and Canada. Retailers and distributors will order this product through USAopoly’s product lines.

PANIC and the PANIC logo are registered trademarks of Fireside Games®. © 2016 by Fireside Games.
TM & © 2016 CBS. ARR.

 

Dastardly Dirigibles Coming Summer 2016!

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Happy Birthday, Jules Verne! In honor of a man whose imagination and fantastical inventions on the page have inspired amazing technologies to be born in the real world, we are excited to announce another new release coming your way in 2016! Dastardly Dirigibles are coming to airspace near you this summer.

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Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, famed airship builder, is retiring and you are an engineer competing to inherit the Hornswoggle factory!

Build your airship from different parts of 9 beautiful suits. Each time a part is added, ALL players MUST add the SAME part–which may replace an existing one. dastardly-dirigibles-3D-box-left

Use Special cards to your advantage or to thwart your opponents. The round ends when the first airship is complete. But you score only the suit used most in your airship. The player with the highest score after 3 rounds wins!

Dastardly Dirigibles is a game full of surprises and visual delights. The tarot-sized cards feature gorgeous Steampunk artwork. You will have a hard time choosing a favorite airship suit! This card game will hit stores in July 2016. It plays in an hour, accommodates 2–5 players, ages 8 and up, and has an MSRP of $19.95.

Dastardly Dirigibles joins Bears! and Here, Kitty, Kitty! as part of our line of fun, friendly competitive games priced $25 and under.

Share our official press release with your favorite mad scientist or engineer!

3D Printer Files for The Village Crone

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Happy Holidays! If you received a copy of The Village Crone for Christmas, you might be interested to know we have created 3D printer files for all the components in the game that you can download for FREE for a limited time!

Download the 3D Printer files for The Village Crone components

PLEASE NOTE: Some printing services and/or programs may require you to enter the dimensions for the item to be printed. Please consult the ReadMe.txt file included in the download for a chart of proportional dimensions for all the pieces to fit your game appropriately.

Castle Panic Downloads Pack!

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We’ve been compiling a nice array of downloadable accessories for the Castle Panic fan in your life and now we have finally put them all together in one place!

You can click on the “Download the Pack!” button below to enhance your Castle Panic experience.

But what is included? We’re so glad you asked!

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The Oracle – Remember those “cootie catcher thingies” from grade school? We made one that gives you some added player interaction to pull out when playing the game. Print it out, fold it up, and Presto! you have your own Castle Panic Companion Oracle.

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Master Slayer Tracker – We put this together for International TableTop Day, but you can use it all year to keep track of who has been the Master Slayer the most times or with the most points. It’s a great way to settle arguments over who won the last time. Provided in color and in black and white.

 

Monster & Hero Coloring Pages – These will keep the kiddos busy when you need a little quite time before you break out the game for an evening of Monster slaying. It’s a great way to include younger players who aren’t quite old enough for the game yet.

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Castle Snowflake Template – Who says gaming can’t be festive for the holidays? Use the template to make a few strategic scissor cuts (under supervision for the little ones, of course!) and watch the magic unfold to reveal a snowflake made of towers and walls with a token surprise in the middle!

 

 

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If you have an idea for a printable accessory, let us know! We’re always looking for fun ways to add to your gaming experience.

Let Fireside Games help you bring fun ho-ho-home this holiday season!

German Language Castle Panic

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Back in October Castle Panic made its German language debut at Spiel Essen. We received some images of this version (published by Pegasus Spiele under license) and thought it would be fun to share them with you.

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The tokens don’t come pre-punched, so if you like punching out your own bits and pieces you would enjoy this version. The board and box are also slightly larger than the English version to fit Pegasus Spiele’s standard box size.

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It is fun to see the cards in a different language, as well. A little strange, but definitely cool.

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What other languages would you like to see Castle Panic published in? If you are interested in a copy of the German language version, you will have to look for German retailer. It doesn’t appear to be available through online sales.

The Village Crone Review Roundup!

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Witches aren’t just for Halloween anymore! Find out why YOU should be playing The Village Crone through recommendations from gamers like you in this Review Roundup for our newest game (released September 30).

Dave Banks at Geek Dad flatters us with his comments on the components and gameplay quality, “I really appreciate Fireside’s devotion to quality, both in gameplay and components. Everything looks and feels top-notch, making for a great gaming experience… …I think Fireside is great at coming up with little twists that affect gameplay positively…”

“The game is easy to learn and play, but offers enough depth to keep players interested,” according to Mike N. over at Nerds of a Feather in his recap of the best games at GenCon.

Caylie Sadin from Nerdy But Flirty fell in love with The Village Crone when she first saw it at GenCon 2015, “The game is really fun to play, the art is beautiful, and the theme is awesome.”

She really likes the thematic use of spell-casting in this one: “One of the mechanics that makes the game super enjoyable is that every time you cast a spell, you have to say the incantation too. It helps players get into the spirit of the game.”

You can check out Caylie’s interview with Anne-Marie De Witt, the designer of The Village Crone, over on the Nerdy but Flirty website.

The Domestic Geek echoes Nerdy but Flirty with her praise, “I can’t get enough of this game.” You can watch Brittany’s Unboxing Video and her Video Review over on her blog or YouTube channel.

village-crone-theology-of-gaming-quoteJeremiah from Theology of Gaming enjoys the thinking aspects of the game:

“The interaction is great, the board is constantly shifting, and there’s a lot of guessing who’s doing what and trying to block them, or at least trying to stop other players from moving the pieces you need out of the ares in which you need them. You’re right, it is very much puzzle-like. And I like that a lot!”

The praise for this game is summed up nicely by Ryan Morgenegg over at Deseret News, “The Village Crone has a great theme and beautiful components.”

There you have it, folks! The Village Crone is a worker placement, resource management game with a puzzle-like quality and continually shifting landscape. Learn more about The Village Crone on our information page and pick up a copy at your Friendly Local Game Store today!

Catch Cat Fever with Here Kitty Kitty – Coming Spring 2016

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It is National Cat Day, and Fireside Games is pleased to take this opportunity to announce Here, Kitty, Kitty!, a new game that will be releasing in Spring 2016.

In this crazy cat-collecting game your neighborhood has a cat problem. The problem is they don’t all belong to YOU! Everyone in the neighborhood wants to claim those adorable kitties for themselves.

Outwit your fellow feline fiends as you lure cats onto your property, move cats into your house, and steal cats from your neighbors. All is fair in love and cat-collecting!

Here, Kitty, Kitty! will include 40 covetable cat miniatures. You will have a hard time picking a favorite! The game retails for $24.95, accommodates 3-6 players, and plays in approximately 30 minutes.

Designed by Kris McCardel Ware, a self-proclaimed “crazy cat lady,” this game is full of thematic jokes and cat puns. There are no blenders or explosions in this game, but if you use your “Catlike Reflexes” and avoid “Stray Dogs” and “Hairballs,” you might just “Land on Your Feet!”

Get ready for some feline fever this coming Spring with Here, Kitty, Kitty!

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How to Play The Village Crone – Videos!

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The Village Crone releases next week (September 30) in Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS) everywhere in the US. We invite you to immerse yourself in the medieval town of Wickersby and learn about the gameplay with our Official How to Play videos!

Not only do we have a general gameplay overview video, but we also have some break-out videos on casting Spells, moving Familiars, and Witch’s Schemes. Check them all out on our YouTube Channel. You can share the entire playlist for The Village Crone, or just video you think your friends will find useful.

Want to know what different Spells you’ll be casting in The Village Crone? Check out this video that teaches you what the Spells do, what you need in Ingredients to Cast them, and the special incantations you need to give voice to your witchy desires!

What happens when too many Familiars congregate in one place? Watch the video on Movement & Scattering, to see what happens to Villagers and Familiars when the party gets too big! You can even use Scattering to your advantage if you are clever.

Check out our Something Wicked Tour in the New England area if you want to learn to play from the designer, Anne-Marie De Witt. And be sure to visit the game’s webpage for the FREE 3D Printer Files for all the components if you want to add minis to the game!

If you order directly through our website you get the exclusive Silver coaster promo you can use in the game, or ask at your FLGS, they may have snagged a few of this promo at a recent show!

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As you prepare to get your very own copy of The Village Crone, be sure to download the Book of Spells patch for the Unbinding Spell error in the first printing.

Happy Spell-Casting!!

Get ready for The Village Crone! Releasing September 30

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Best laid plans often find themselves at the mercy of fate, and a customs hold on our shipment of The Village Crone has put us a bit behind so we are sliding the release date to September 30.

We have confirmation it has been released by customs and is in the warehouse. We need some time to get it logged into inventory and prepped for outgoing shipments, but we will definitely make this new release date.

In the meantime, we invite you to view our How to Play video for The Village Crone, and put in your pre-orders with us or your Friendly Local Game Store.

You may also want to meet up with us on the road as we start the Something Wicked Tour this weekend in Brookline, MA at Eureka Puzzles & Knight Moves Cafe on September 19. You can see the entire tour schedule with dates and venues in our tour announcement blog or by viewing our Calendar.

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Don’t forget you can download the 3D printer files for the game components and make your own minis on your personal 3D printer, and if you pre-order through our website, you will get the exclusive Silver promo coaster! (Ask at your FLGS, as they may have gotten a few of these at recent retailer shows.)

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We’ll be sharing more game play videos and game reviews as they come in and stay tuned for fun updates from the Something Wicked Tour!