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!

2015 Holiday Gaming Recommendations

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2015-holiday-gaming-headerThe weather outside can be as frightful as it wants to be when you have hours of entertainment at your fingertips (and no, we aren’t talking about your smartphone).

‘Tis the season for gathering with family and friends and being thankful for the time you have with them. What better way to engage with those you love than over a board game?

Here is a brand new list of gaming recommendations for you to share with your nearest and dearest this Thanksgiving and on through the holiday season.

2015 Holiday Gaming Recommendations

the-resistance-game1. The Resistance – Indie Boards & Cards
Great for larger groups, this game of deduction and sabotage can accommodate 5-10 players. Work together to complete missions while trying to discover the spies hiding in your midst. This one was an alternate for last year’s list and is always brought up when we talk to other gamers, so you know it has to be good!

chopstick-dexterity-mega-challenge-30002. Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 – MayDay Games
Play it like a Japanese Game Show for the maximum fun. Flip a token, find out what shape and color you are vying for, and try to move all the matching pieces from the main bowl into yours using only your mad chopstick skills. Get a family member to commentate and let the chopsticks fly!

the-village-crone-game3. The Village Crone – Fireside Games
Slinging spells around the dinner table seems like a fun way to spend the holidays. This one is ideal for the families who love telling stories. It can be played with up to 6 players, so no one gets left out. Command your Familiars, collect your Ingredients, and compete to be the town witch. You might just find yourself making up little spells for all the dishes you cook up.

graveyards-ghosts-haunted-houses-game4. Graveyards, Ghosts, & Haunted Houses – Rather Dashing Games
Create the board as you lay your tiles trying to connect the longest run of your color and thwarting the other players’s paths. Watch out for the special tiles that let players rearrange the layout or the tokens that can block your path. This one is a mind puzzle, so you might want to lay off the eggnog while playing.

hanabi-game5. Hanabi – R&R Games
Put your communication skills to the test in this cooperative game. Work with the other players to put on the best fireworks display by playing your cards in proper order. The catch? You can’t see your own cards. You must take clues from other players to lay the right card or watch your chances of winning go up in smoke!

lanerns-harvest-festival-game6. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival – Renegade Games
Compete to be the most honored artisan at the Lantern Festival by laying tiles to create the best display. Lay your tiles strategically to earn bonuses or block other players. This one plays in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect while you wait for the turkey to settle before digging into some pie.

space-cadets-dice-duel-game7. Space Cadets: Dice Duel – Stronghold Games
Picking sides at the holidays is always tricky, but add in the threat of annihilation and it gets downright frantic! In Space Cadets, you must protect your spaceship from the other team by performing your crew member tasks and launching counter attacks. There are no civilized turns in this game, just instinctive action to survive. Get in the spirit with your best Star Wars jokes.

codenames-game8. Codenames – Czech Games
Work in teams to decipher the clues and claim the right words on the grid for your team. Choose wisely or you may uncover the other team’s words for them. This one’s really popular this year so if you don’t already have a copy, you might have to wait and break this one out at Christmas after the next print run arrives in early December (we asked).

splendor-game9. Splendor – Asmodee
Strategy is the key in this game of Renaissance reputation. Collect chips and cards to expand your gem mines and shops all to increase your prestige and become the most prominent purveyor of jewels. This one has won many awards and is fairly easy to pick up for those non-gamers in your crowd.

double-feature-game10. Double Feature – Renegade Games
This one’s for the cinephiles and pop culture junkies. Earn points by naming a movie that marries the themes from two different cards. One round you might have to name a movie that involves “Gorillas” and “New York” and the next you might have to name a “Black and White” “Cowboy” movie. You’ll have fun and you might even discover some new Must Watch movies.

There are so many great games out there, we’re sure we’ve missed a few you would have added to the list. Tell us your favorite games to share with friends and family in the comments below!

Want more recommendations? Check out our 2014 Thanksgiving Gaming List and our Independence Day List.

Find a Friendly Local Game Store near you to pick up a few of these titles!

An NYC Legend, the Bermuda Triangle, and a Portal

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The Something Wicked Tour rolled along over the weekend with three more stores in two states and some crazy traffic!

sarges-logoOur visit to Sarge’s Comics and More in New London, CT was short and sweet. While setting up for the event I noticed they had this copy of the old Bermuda Triangle game. I haven’t seen that since I was a kid!

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We gave overviews of The Village Crone to several customers and made many people happy with a free piece of Silver, which came in handy as an actual coaster as well.

StratLogo2On Saturday we braved Manhattan traffic to visit legendary NYC store of The Compleat Strategist.

For years we have heard about this amazing store deep in the heart of the Big Apple. It’s known around the world as “the” place to come see if you are a gamer in New York. It lives up to its reputation.

Not only is the store absolutely packed with games of every type, style and size, the owners Mike and Danny do a great job of matching customers to the perfect game they are looking for.

Something_Wicked_Compleat_Strategist_Aisle1

We were warmly welcomed and quickly setup right at the front of the store to show off The Village Crone. Within minutes we had people asking how to turn Villagers into Frogs, or what the binding rings did. In between giving overviews, we talked all kinds of business with Mike and Danny and learned a lot about what it takes to have run a game store since 1975!

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Before we knew it we were signing copies of games and wrapping up the night. It was a great event for us and a very cool opportunity to see one of the most unique game stores in the U.S.

portal-logoA sunny, fall Sunday in Manchester, Connecticut saw the Fireside Games minivan pull into The Portal’s parking lot and unload all our goodies. We made our way inside and grabbed a long table in the board game area to setup The Village Crone.

Sunday’s are board game day and before long it was standing room only in there and we had our first game up and running. 5 witches battled it out and we saw one of the best uses of scattering happen, sending almost every Familiar back to the Village Green! In the end it came down to just a few point spread, but we had our winner at 13 points.

Something_Wicked_Portal_Crowded_Green

In between games we took a few minutes to explore the store. In addition to a great selection of games and a ton of play space, The Portal has a massive demo game library! Hundreds of games stacked into bookcases mean that you can come here and play anything from an old classic to a brand new release. The hardest decision will be picking which game to try!

Something_Wicked_Portal_Game_Start

Our next game started up and was a quick 2-player battle that resulted in one of the most crowded Forges we’ve seen and to top it off, it gets Bound so no one can leave! The best part was that while 4 Villagers were in the Forge the other 2 had been turned into frogs, so that was all there was!

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We had a great time and met a lot of great gamers there. If you’re anywhere near the Manchester area and are craving a game, The Portal is definitely the place to go!

We’re only halfway through the Something Wicked tour, so stayed tuned for many more store visits in another 3 states!

Knight Moves Cafe, Pandemonium Books, & Compleat Strategist Boston

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Over the weekend Anne-Marie and Justin made the first two store visits for the Something Wicked Tour.

Knight-moves-cafe-logoWe have started this tour in Boston and the surrounding boroughs and our first stop was at Knight Moves Cafe in Brookline, MA. Knight Moves is a game cafe that focuses on providing a friendly hangout for gamers (both new and veteran) to have a snack, a drink, and a good time playing games together.

We arrived early and the shop was relatively quiet. That would change as the night went on when it was standing room only and we got in several games of The Village Crone and earned some new fans for the game
The owner, Devon, was very helpful and kept directing gamers to our tables as well as serving delicious drinks and snacks all night long.

Their demo library is made of multiple bookcases that are literally overflowing with games. If you want to try out a game in the Brookline area, this is the place to do it!

While they don’t sell games at Knight Moves Cafe, they do work with Eureka Puzzles & Games, a game store down the street, to promote gaming in the Brookline area.

 

pandemonium-books-logoOn Sunday evening they ventured to the Harvard University area to visit Pandemonium Books & Games in Cambridge.

We played with all the local board game night attendees, squeezing in 4 games over the night.

The first game of the night had a tremendous finish with one player scoring all three of his Witches Schemes on his last turn in an amazing combination of spellcasting!

Thanks to all who came out!

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On Tuesday night we visited the Compleat Strategist in Boston.

Unfortunately we lost the video for this event, so we only have a few photos we grabbed while we were there. Must have been some of those ghosts we met earlier on the Trolley Tour!

Something_Wicked_Complete_Strat_Boston_Sign

We met some local gamers and showed them what it takes to become The Village Crone. They were pretty good at being witches as it turns out since Justin got trounced soundly!

Up next is our visit to Sarge’s Comics in New London, CT on Friday (6–10pm) and then we will be visiting the legendary New York store of the Compleat Strategist this Saturday from 1pm to 5pm!

GenCon 2015: Post-Show Wrap-Up

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Another Gen Con has come to an end. We came, we played, we conquered.

This year had record attendance, according to the official count from Gen Con, and the sea of people around the booth indicated they all made it through the exhibit hall at some point. Things went very smoothly for us this year, thanks to our awesome volunteers and staff!

Our demo tables stayed full with barely a lull. Players were scrambling to get in one more round each night at closing time and were snagging chairs minutes after the hall opened each day. Many thanks to everyone who came by to play with us, you made the con such fun for us!

The calm before the storm…
The booth in full swing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Village Crone debuted at this year’s Gen Con and we are thrilled so many people came by to demo, get an overview, and take an advance copy home with them. If you missed Gen Con this year, never fear. It is now available for pre-order on our website or through your Friendly Local Game Store. If you need help finding a game store near you, check out our Store Locator Map.

Some serious spell-casting going on in The Village Crone

You can also download the special 3D printer files we created for The Village Crone components on the product information page. They are FREE to download until the end of the year, so get them now and use them later!

Anne-Marie De Witt, designer of The Village Crone, signs a couple copies for fans

We are already brainstorming about how to make next year even better and we have several new games that will be coming your way in 2016. So, go get some sleep. Recuperate and rest assured there are big things coming your way at Gen Con 2016 and we invite you to join us for the fun.

Dead Panic got a lot of love this weekend as well. Who says zombie games aren’t still popular?

What were your favorite moments from GenCon? Tell us in the comments below!

10 Games for Summer Holiday Fun!

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The July 4th Holiday weekend is upon us once again and what better time to introduce your friends and family to some new games?

Here is our list of 10 fun, portable, family-friendly games perfect for the picnic table:

1. Bohnanza (Rio Grande Games) – Plant your bean fields and harvest your crops to sell them at market for top dollar. The art is playful, the theme light-hearted, and it’s easy to teach to non-gamers. Plus, it’s fun to declare yourself the Stink Bean Mogul.

 

2. Sushi Go (Gamewright) –A pass and play card game with deliciously adorable art and fast-paced rounds, this game becomes addicting and will surely be a go-to game for future family gatherings.

 

3. Red Hot Silly Peppers (Rather Dashing Games) –In this silly game of salsa-making, more is better. Play card combos to make the hottest salsa, but watch out for other players using more ingredients and stealing your points!

 

4. Telestrations (USAopoly) – Pictorial telephone is the way of this game. Illustrate your clue and pass the book, taking turns drawing and guessing what the clue is. At the end of the round reveal the hilarious interpretations from the group.

 

5. Gravwell (Renegade Games) – Use the elements to escape the blackhole and boost your spaceship closer to the safe zone. Watch out for dead ships and other players using the forces of gravity to advance their own ship past yours. There’s actual science behind this one, so go ahead and geek out a bit.

 

6. Bears! Trail Mix’d (Fireside Games – hey! that’s us!) – Add this die to your existing copy of Bears! for crazy mixed up fun and new ways to stump your fellow campers and survive the bear attack. (Don’t already have your own copy of Bears!? What are you waiting for??)

 

  7. Roll for It (Calliope Games) – Roll your dice and stake a claim to the cards that match your rolls. Go all in to score big, or go for the sure bet and watch your winnings stack up steadily.  Play as many rounds as you like with this portable, easy to learn, dice game.

 

8. Bang! The Dice Game (Da Vinci) – The Wild West is alive and well in this dice game of hidden identities and flying bullets. Roll the dice and play them against the bandits or the Sheriff, depending on whose side you’re on. Careful, there’s the quick and then there’s the dead, so stay on your toes to survive this standoff.

 

9. Citadels (Fantasy Flight Games) – Fortune and city-building, with some good old-fashioned intrigue, this game requires a balance between long-term strategy and short-term opportunity. Choose your identity carefully each round to secure the wealth needed to build your city with an and come out on top.

 

10. Mag Blast (Fantasty Flight Games) – Who needs diplomacy when you have laser-blasters? Captain your own fleet of inter-galactic ships, using your cards strategically to take out your opponents before they reduce you to space junk.

 

What are your favorite games to break out at the family picnic? Share in the comments below!

 

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!)