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!

Here_Kitty_Kitty_Teaser_Announcement

Titans, and Witches, and Bears! Oh My!

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This week we’re at the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Trade Show in Las Vegas. We’re really excited to take this opportunity to officially announce our 2015 product releases!

We have three new products scheduled to hit store shelves this year.

Castle Panic: The Dark Titan Box CoverOur first release this year is The Dark Titan, the second expansion to our popular cooperative game Castle Panic. The Dark Titan features new Monsters, new cards, and new support tokens. The main threat is Agranok, the Dark Titan who has escaped exile and returned to exact his revenge on your Castle. The Dark Titan requires Castle Panic (2009) to play and takes approximately 1 hour. The game supports 1 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, and retails for $14.95. It is also compatible with The Wizard’s Tower (2011) for an even greater challenge. The Dark Titan releases April 1 and is currently available for pre-order.

Keep calm and roll on this summer when our fast and furious dice game Bears! (2011) gets its own expansion. Bears!: Trail Mix’d gives you 6 new rules for the original game to really mix things up. This expansion features a die that is rolled before each round, changing up the rules that affect pairing and scoring for even more versatility and unexpected results. It accommodates 2 or more players, is recommended for ages 7 and up, and retails for $4.95. Bears!: Trail Mix’d is available in June 2015.

This autumn you’ll fall under the spell of our brand new game, The Village Crone. Immerse yourself in the medieval village of Wickersby as you vie with other witches for the venerable title of Village Crone. Worker placement and resource management are key as you use your familiars to gather ingredients and cast spells on the villagers to achieve goals and score victory points. The Village Crone features a modular game board for a new experience every time. It retails for $49.95, accommodates up to 6 players, ages 13 and up, and features a solo play option as well.

We hope you’re as excited about these titles as we are. We’ll be updating the product information pages as we get closer to release dates for each. Stay tuned for more gameplay information, including component images, unboxing and how to play videos, and more!

Share our Press Release and tell us which game you are most excited about in the comments.

Burgers & Boardgames – What Do Dining and Gaming Have in Common?

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Emerald Tavern Game Cafe Austin TX
Emerald Tavern Game Cafe in Austin, TX

It looks like the world at large is catching on to what we’ve all known for years. Games are fun. And places you can go to play games are fun places.

Aside from our go-to places to play games with friends and strangers, such as libraries, hobby game stores, and our friend’s house for game night, there is a new growing trend with Game Cafes. Take the coffee shop idea and add board and card games to the mix and you get a place you can meet friends for a sandwich or cup of joe AND a game of Castle Panic. And you don’t even have to bring your own copy.

The Atlantic recently shared an article about the spread of Board Game Cafes around the world and spoke to the possible reason for their growing popularity: “the rapid proliferation speaks to something deeper: the need to connect with people in a public/private space, the need to have a meaningful interaction that doesn’t use emoticons, and perhaps the need, in an increasingly complex world, to work with friends and family toward a clear goal.”

Fireside’s CEO, Anne-Marie, was just discussing this same topic (why board games are drawing in new fans) on her podcast interview with The Gaming Careers‘s resident interviewer Steven Ruduski. She cited smartphones as a possible trigger for the recent increase in board game popularity.

“I actually think it’s because of smartphones. People are turned back on to gaming again because games are so easy to find and play on their phones and it has kind of really reminded people of how fun games are to play. I think the nice thing about table top games is they are significantly more social than playing an app on your phone. So I think that has really reminded adults that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy games.”

Ruduski seconds that sentiment saying, “It’s that social aspect.” He goes on to explain that he is a big RPG fan, but as an adult it is hard to get a group of friends together who have 12 hours for a campaign. “But a board game, you capture a lot of that same social interaction with predefined times, a time packet of 40 minutes, 90 minutes, and then you get to go home.”

The idea that modern tech has spurred a resurgence in good old-fashioned hanging out is echoed by Devon Trevelyan in a recent article by The Daily Free Press. “Online gaming has taken such a turn, [to the point] where you can communicate with people across the world. I like that, but I think there is a real quality about face-to-face interaction and laughing with your friends when they’re in your presence.”

Trevelyan runs Knight Moves, a gaming cafe in Boston, MA, that champions the casual, comfortable feel of European cafes and strives to pair it with the social community that gaming imparts.

What do you think? Is there is a connectedness people have been missing with all the tech in their lives? Do boardgames help fill that need?

We’d love to hear about game cafes in your neighborhood! Tell us your favorite place to hang out and play games in the comments below.

Sources:

How Board Games Conquered Cafes” by Hana Schank for The Atlantic.

“Boston Restaurants Offer Diverse Culinary Experiences” by Heather Goldin & Ayush Kumar for The Daily Free Press.

The Gaming Careers podcast with Anne-Marie over at thecompanybard.com.

The Cardboard Vault Reveals Secrets About The Dark Titan

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At BGG.Con 2014, Anne-Marie & Justin sat down with Phoebe Wild from The Cardboard Vault to discuss Munchkin Panic and the just-announced Castle Panic expansion The Dark Titan.

Phoebe catches Justin in a sharing mood and gets him to reveal some secrets about The Dark Titan.

In the video interview Justin gives more detail on how the new Support Tokens work and what some of the new Monsters bring to the game. He also shares some info on how Agranok’s adjustable levels of difficulty work, giving you control over how hard you have to play.

Attention then turned to Munchkin Panic. Anne-Marie explains how Munchkin Panic upends the expectations of Castle Panic players, adding Treasure and Backstabbing to the familiar cooperative style of play.

She goes over how a turn plays out and some of the variations in how you slay Monsters by using Treasure cards and how you use Curses to boost your advantage over the other players. You’ll want to watch this video if you still aren’t quite clear on how the games differ as it gets to the heart of why Munchkin Panic is such fun and how it offers you a new play experience.

Check out The Cardboard Vault’s YouTube Channel for loads of interesting videos from BGG.Con 2014 about all your favorite games.

Anne-Marie Talks the Business Side of Games on The Gaming Careers Podcast

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ROI and the Business of Gaming on the Gaming Careers Podcast

Steve Ruduski over at The Company Bard recently interviewed Anne-Marie for his Gaming Careers Podcast. They covered origins stories for Fireside Games and how we grew from a part-time, when-we-have-time venture into a thriving and quickly-growing small company.

They also get into the nitty gritty of what it means to be a designer/publisher of boardgames and how the business side of things works. It isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes you have to knuckle down and do the boring (but very necessary) tasks required to run the business. You have to weigh your decisions carefully and balance your goals with your cash flow. And, yes, sometimes you have to take that leap and hope you will sprout wings. Continue reading Anne-Marie Talks the Business Side of Games on The Gaming Careers Podcast

The Dark Titan Cometh – New Product Announced!

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The world of Castle Panic just got a bit bigger and a whole lot tougher! We are pleased to announce the next expansion to Castle PanicCastle Panic: The Dark Titan.Castle Panic: The Dark Titan Box Cover

Our heroes find themselves facing a new threat to the Castle’s survival, The Dark Titan Agranok. He was once banished but has escaped his former exile and is back with a vengeance! He brings with him a supporting cast of stronger, elite Monsters to challenge you in new ways. Thank goodness you’ve found reinforcements and clever new defenses!

Among the new Monsters laying siege to your Castle, you will find the Dark Sorceress, Elite Monsters, and a Boom Troll. You will fight back using Boiling Oil, the Cavalier, and Support Tokens.

Agranok himself will pose your greatest challenge yet as an 8-point Monster! You can choose to adjust his strength to match your abilities and to customize your play experience.

The Dark Titan releases in March 2015 and will retail for $14.95. It can accommodate 1-6 players, ages 12 and up, and play time is approximately 1 hour.

The Dark Titan requires Castle Panic to play and can also be played with The Wizard’s Tower for those among you brave enough to try.

Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter and check The Dark Titan webpage for more information and updates to come!

Bags and Boards Interviews Anne-Marie & Justin About New and Future Games

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Anne-Marie and Justin sat down with Lance McFarlin of Bags and Boards on KXTR Radio 100.7 out of Stephenville, TX to talk about gaming, BGG.Con, and Halloween costumes.

It’s a fun conversation covering topics from design challenges for mixing two hit games into a new game (Munchkin Panic) to how to juggle new game development while keeping up with the demand for current games (Castle Panic) and their expansions.

Want to know what’s coming in 2015 from Fireside Games? Justin and Anne-Marie drop a few hints in this interview, so pay attention for a little advance teaser!

You can also check out Bags and Boards’s Munchkin Panic review that aired a few days prior to this interview.

Get more board game news with the Bags and Boards crew by tuning in to “Listen Live” Wednesdays @ 6 PM CST at www.KXTR.net. or on TuneIn Radio.

Castle Panic named to “Best of 2014” by Toys Bulletin

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Toys Bulletin recently released their “Best of 2014” List and we are thrilled that Castle Panic was included on the list.

They curate their list from toys and games they reviewed over the previous 12 months. So, although Castle Panic is not new this year, it qualified for consideration.

In their July review of Castle Panic they state, “Castle Panic is a very clever game indeed, and it certainly lived up to the hype.”

That’s high praise for our little gem and we thank Toy Bulletin for the kind words as well as all the fans of the game that spread the love and recommend it every chance they get. We couldn’t do it without you.

BoingBoing article puts Castle Panic on list of “Best Ever Cooperative Boardgames”

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Color us flattered when we saw this article on Boing Boing the other day!

We scrolled down the article to see some familiar friends and fun games on this curated listed and lo and behold, there it was! Castle Panic! On a list of “Best Ever Cooperative Boardgames”!

This article was an excerpt from a new book Unbored Games: Serious Fun for Everyone by Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Joshua Glenn. We take fun seriously, so it is nice to be included in a publication all about serious fun!

The book is full of information and recommendations for awesome games you should be playing. Look for the book at a bookstore near you, and pick up a copy of Castle Panic at your Friendly Local Game Store for a seriously good time!

Update to the Kickstarter Situation

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After a review with our intellectual property attorney, we have determined that despite the graphical similarities, the game promoted on Kickstarter by Queen Games is a “reasonable adaptation” of both Castle Panic and Dead Panic. Although Queen Games has known about Fireside Games for some time (at one point briefly discussing the possibility of licensing Castle Panic for foreign distribution), no formal connection exists between our companies. It is our hope that any subsequent printings of their game will include changes to help differentiate their product from ours in the marketplace and that consumers will understand that their game is not part of the Panic line we have worked so hard to create. We thank you all for your support and look forward to gaming with you at the next opportunity.

The Kickstarter Situation

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The situation on Kickstarter has come to our attention, and we are taking it under consideration. In the meantime, we greatly appreciate the support from the gaming community and will continue to be focused on bringing you great games that you can be proud to share with your friends and family.

Board with Life Interview

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Back in March when we attended T.A.B.L.E. we had the chance to sit down with Donald from Board with Life. We talked about game design, our influences, what got us started, how we created Dead Panic and Munchkin Panic and embroidering. That’s right embroidering. It’s a great interview and a fun chance to peek behind the curtain and see how our brains work.

Rue Morgue Magazine calls Dead Panic “fast-paced and fun”

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Photo of Dead Panic review in Rue Morgue

Photo of Dead Panic review in Rue MorgueIn the latest issue of Rue Morgue Magazine (Issue 144), a publication dedicated to the horror genre in culture and entertainment,  Dead Panic gets a trial and some really nice compliments.

Dead Panic is given a half-page review in the Play Dead feature in which Mike Beardsall talks about the mechanics of the game, comments that “strategy and communication are key…”, calls it “fast-paced and fun” and ultimately gives it 3.5 out of 5 skull & crossbones.

He found the rules a bit complicated at first, but later states, “While the rules may take several play-throughs to master, the sense of panic you feel when an army of zombie tokens closes in around you certainly makes the learning curve worthwhile.”

That cinematic feel is exactly what Justin was aiming for when he designed Dead Panic, so we call that a mark in the Win category!

You can purchase Rue Morgue Magazine Issue 144 at your local newsstand or bookstore. It’s got Godzilla on the cover! (Hint: There’s a coupon code inside for a discount on Dead Panic through our newly updated web store!)

 

Dead Panic featured in SciFiNow Magazine!

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Wow! Look what we found when flipping through the latest issue of SciFi Now Magazine! We’re so proud that Dead Panic  is getting so much love. You can read more about Dead Panic on its dedicated web page via the link above. If you don’t get SciFi Now magazine, buy it online or check your local bookstore for a copy. (We snagged a copy at our local Barnes & Noble. It’s in issue 91.)

SciFi Now Magazine feature on Dead Panic