Digital Boss Monster going to be a reality

Boss Monster card game

The Boss Monster card game is going digital.

A few months ago we posted a card game review for Boss Monster, a dungeon-delving game from the bad guy’s perspective. In the game you build out deadly dungeon rooms to lure and defeat the heroes from the village. Defeat the most valuable heroes and you’ll win the game.

All the artwork in the game is old-school, 8-bit video game style – just like the side-scrolling dungeon delving games from yesteryear.

Well, now it’s going digital!

That is, as long as the Kickstarter campaign is successful.

And from how the numbers are looking today, we’re pretty sure the funding goal will be reached.

Boss Monster card game digital

Boss Monster development looks to be coming along nicely.

The publishers of Boss Monster, Brotherwise Games, set the funding goal at $85,000 for the project and with just 2 weeks to go, the pledge level is already over $78,000.

Close to 3,000 people have pledge support to bring the project to life. And for as little as $5, you can join in as well and get a copy of the game when it’s released. Of course, there are also more pledge levels that include additional game elements that you may want thrown in – like the Power Up Pack.

Check out the video preview on the Kickstarter page of what the digital Boss Monster edition is going to look and play like.

Have fun building your dungeon and capturing those pesky heroes.


Star Wars Imperial Assault – count us in!

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game box

We can already tell Star Wars Imperial Assault is going to be awesome!

Just over a week ago, the largest board game convention in the US set another attendance record – 56,614! Representing a 14% increase from last year, it keeps getting more popular every year (4 years of +10% yr/yr growth). While we have yet to make it to GenCon, it’s definitely on my ‘must do’ list.

But even without going to the convention, we can enjoy what comes from it – great games!

For one, we were excited to read more details about King of New York – that we wrote about before GenCon. It’s going to be great.

The announcement from GenCon that we’re most excited for came from Fantasy Flight Games about Star Wars Imperial Assault.

With so many Star Wars related board games and card games, what makes Imperial Assault so special?

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game map

It’s easy for the excitement to build with pictures like this.

Because the format of the game is just like another hit board game that the boys and I love playing – Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition.

Descent is set in a fantasy world where a group of heroes ventures out on a series of quests against a mighty overlord. As the campaigns progress, our characters and abilities become more powerful and we enjoy a lot of great strategic battles in dynamic quest maps.

So when we heard we’ll soon be able to battle in a similar manner in the Star Wars universe, how could we not get excited!

Check out what’s in store:

Imperial Assault casts you and your friends into the climatic events following the Death Star’s destruction above Yavin 4, and offers two full game experiences within the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game tiles

50 double-sided map tiles!

The first game included in Imperial Assault is the campaign game, which allows up to five players to enter the Star Wars universe through a narrative story composed of over 30 possible linked missions. Every mission in Imperial Assault is constructed using some of over fifty double-sided interlocking map tiles, depicting a massive range of Star Wars environments, from the jungles of Yavin 4, to the dusty wastes of Tatooine, to the metallic corridors of an Imperial base. One player commands the limitless forces of the Galactic Empire, while up to four others play as heroes of the Rebellion, engaging in covert operations and missions. Both the forces of the Empire and the Rebel heroes gain new skills and items throughout the campaign, allowing characters to develop and grow as the story unfolds.

As the campaign progresses, your available missions can change dramatically based on the outcomes of past missions. With the variety of side missions included in Imperial Assault, you’ll never encounter the same campaign twice. You may be captured while investigating an Imperial base, or an old friend may suddenly call in some favors. Whether your mission is stealing data from encrypted Imperial consoles, silencing an Imperial distress beacon, or helping Han Solo settle his debts, every mission puts you in the center of the action in the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game cards

And of course we already love the theme.

Imperial Assault offers a completely distinct game experience in the skirmish game. Skirmish missions allow you and a friend to compete in head-to-head, tactical combat. You’ll muster your own teams of Imperial, Rebel, and Mercenary forces, and build decks of Command cards, which you can play to gain an unexpected advantage.

In a standard skirmish mission, you and your friend separately assemble teams of soldiers with iconic heroes and villains from the classic Star Wars films, and build decks of Command cards to give your warriors unexpected advantages in battle. Between choosing heroes, villains, and squads from three distinct factions, and building a command deck out of dozens of possible command cards, you’ll have plenty of options for customizing your strike force.

During the mission itself, you and your opponent battle over conflicting objectives. Whether you’re racing to escape with a deadly T-16 Skyhopper, or collecting contraband for the Hutts, you’ll find high stakes and tense, tactical combat in every Imperial Assault skirmish mission. You’ll be able to learn more about the skirmish game in future previews of Imperial Assault.

Star Wars Imperial Assault board game vader

And a Darth Vader figure and Villian Pack!

Now you can see why we’re so excited!

(Of course, I have a bad feeling about this…that most often I’ll be controlling the Galactic Empire forces while my boys team up to bring me down – just like they try to do in Descent.)

Let the waiting for the release in “early 2015″ begin…

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Game Design Merit Badge in action!

Game design merit badge

It’s time to dive in with our scouts.

Regular visitors to our site will know that our family is involved in scouting. Trevor, Jaden, and I (dad) are Eagle scouts and I’ve been involved as scoutmaster for a number of years. In addition to all the camps, we’ve also worked on plenty of merit badges.

And we’ll admit that some merit badges are more fun to work on than others.

But I don’t think I’ve anticipated working on a merit badge with as much enthusiasm as I have for the one we began tonight – Game Design!

Boy are these scouts in for a treat!

The Boy Scouts of America added the Game Design merit badge to the mix in March 2013. And I’ve been waiting for a chance to work on it with our scouts ever since.

As a troop, we have a regular cadence of working on certain merit badges to help the boys progress in their rank advancements. But we also make sure to schedule in merit badges that they have extra interest in. For some it’s Reading, for others it’s Photography.

And for others it’s Game Design!

Read more »


Travel the world with Expedition: Famous Explorers

Expedition Famous Explorers board game

Ready to travel world?

As we draw to the close of summer, many families are fondly looking back on their fun family vacations. Others are still trying to cram in a trip in the last weeks before kids head back to school.

Whether it’s still to come or just happened, family vacations can be a blast.

With a couple family reunions and our own special family vacation this year, we’ve had some great times together and have seen some great places.

In June we reviewed some fun family board games about traveling – the 10 Days series (10 Days in the Americas & 10 Days in Africa). And now we’re wrapping up summer with another fun family board game about traveling.

But this time we’re setting off on expeditions around the world with Expedition: Famous Explorers.

See how to play and what we think of the board game in Caleb’s video review:

Can the whole family enjoy Expedition: Famous Explorers?

Read more »


King of New York – Can’t Wait!

King of Tokyo board game

King of Tokyo is a fun game. We’re pretty sure King of New York will be likewise.

King of Tokyo has been a big hit family board game. It’s also been a huge hit at our Guys Game Nights.

And it seems everyone we’ve introduced it to has rushed out to buy a copy of their own.

Actually, “rushed” isn’t the right word for one of our neighbors. He borrowed our copy for a Thanksgiving weekend with extended family and says they played it about 100 times that weekend… Then he bought a copy of their own.

Needless to say, it’s a very fun king-of-the-hill game.

So when we heard the game publisher, iello, was going to make King of New York, we immediately added it to our “games we can’t wait for” list.

Read more »


Card Game Preview: Dead Man’s Draw

Dead Man's Draw card game

Ready to press your luck and plunder some loot?

Earlier this summer we had a chance to play a soon-to-be-published, press-your-luck, card game that we think families will enjoy: Dead Man’s Draw

We say soon-to-be-published, because within the first couple days of being up on Kickstarter it reached it’s funding goal. So that means it’s a done deal. It WILL be published.

Now we watch to see how many stretch goals will be reached before the final day of the Dead Man’s Draw Kickstarter campaign. And considering there’s almost 4 weeks to go in the campaign, I’m sure it will surpass all the levels Mayday Games has set.

So if you want the game, jump on over and pledge. Because once a Kickstarter campaign reaches the funding goal it’s essentially a pre-order system.

Dead Man’s Draw Game Play

So what’s the card game all about?
Read more »


Board Games and Appendix

It’s not often you see a family board game blog with “Appendix” in the title. But our board game family of 6 is now short 1 appendix.

Let’s just say it was quite the memorable 4th of July this year.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Fun family reunion
A couple of posts ago, we wrote about our upcoming family reunion and the tough choices of which family board games to take along. I’m happy to report that the choices were a success.

Pandemic board game

Pandemic hits the table again.

As expected, with 32 game in tow it wasn’t likely that every game would be played. But as long as we had options for whatever mood people were in, then it would work out well. And it definitely did that.

With a big family gathering, it was pretty clear that our first night together, Telestrations was going to kick off the fun. And it didn’t disappoint. In fact, Telestrations never disappoints.

Rather than run down a play-by-play of the rest of the week of activities and games played, we’ll jump right to the list of which family board games made it to the game table and which one was the big hit.

Total number of different games played = 21!
(a number of them were also played multiple times)

Read more »


Best Games of 2013 – The Dice Tower Awards!

The Dice Tower Awards 2013The best board games, card games, dice games, family games, and party games of 2013 have now been awarded!

With more than 3,000+ new games published in 2013, there were a ton to choose from.

But the 40+ top board game reviewers around the world were up to the challenge.

And once again, we were happy to be a part of the selection and judging group.

Every year, The Dice Tower gathers recommendations from around the globe. Those reviewers then whittle the lists down to the nominations. From there the final votes are cast and The Dice Tower Awards are announced!

Best Board Games of 2013

Caverna: The Cave Farmers board game

Caverna is awarded the Best Board Game of the Year 2013!

Of course, as is typical, we didn’t have a chance to play every game that won this year. But even so, from talking to those that have, it’s hard to go wrong with the board games on this winning list.

Forbidden Desert board game

Forbidden Desert is a great family board game.

We heartily agree with Forbidden Desert winning as Best Family Board Game of the Year. It’s a great cooperative game that family members of all ages can enjoy playing together. The game that won for Best Cooperative Game of the Year is one that we just recently reviewed – Freedom: The Underground Railroad – that’s a tough challenge with a well integrated theme.

The Dice Tower Awards for best games of the year packs in a great list of recommended board games to play with your friends and family.

Check out the top board games from years past:
2012 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Star Wars: X-wing Miniatures Game
2011 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Eclipse
2010 – Best Game of the Year Winner: 7 Wonders
2009 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Smallworld
2008 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Dominion
2007 – Best Game of the Year Winner: Race for the Galaxy

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