The Cosmic Citizenship Council has announced it will allow two new alien species to join its ranks, but they forgot to make two copies of the filing form — which means that only one species can join! Now, the two candidates must battle for control of the planets to determine who deserves the right to become a Certified Civilization.
Cosmic Encounter Duel is a competitive standalone two-player game in the Cosmic Encounter universe in which you and your closest frenemy race to be the first to control five planets. Each of twenty-seven alien species comes equipped with its own unique abilities that play with the game mechanisms in some way, offering you an edge in the fight, e.g., the Cheater, who can reserve an additional tactic that they can put toward any fight in the game — as long as their opponent doesn't call out how they're trying to "cheat". How your game of Cosmic Encounter Duel plays out will inevitably be affected by which powers each dueling species has and how they play off of one another.
In addition to your unique species and its ability, you have twenty spaceships to traverse the cosmos and maintain control over the five planets you need to become a Certified Civilization. As long as you have a ship on a planet, you have control of it, even if your opponent also has ships there and you must share control. You can deploy these ships to fight in duels, use them to act as reinforcements, or draw them back for a tactful retreat. Just don't lose them to the Warp or let them be claimed by the black void between the stars and end up lost in space forever!
To play, players draw and resolve Destiny cards, which come in three types: Discovery cards, Event cards, and Refresh cards. Discovery cards have you and your opponent discover a planet and duel for control, while Event cards ask you both to test your mettle against a variety of challenges and cosmic calamities, and Refresh cards offer a respite in which you can recover ships, gather allies, and ultimately prepare for another clash.
At the start of a duel, you and your opponent secretly decide how many ships to send to the planet, and once they have been deployed, you can call upon any befriended envoys. To plan your attack, you secretly choose a card from your hand and a standing tactic from your collection to either guard your ships or blast your opponent's ships, then you fight, sending ships to face-off for control of the planet until the winner claims their prize while the loser retreats. After you and your opponent resolve a Destiny card, you check the icon on the bottom of the card to determine which deck to draw from next, then the race continues.
Staff Pick: Zach:
You are explorers, navigating your way through an uncharted island. Naturally, the island is FULL of riches of many kinds, and you want to collect as much as you can before you have to leave. However, while exploring the island you will face monsters who each have a unique skill you must defeat. Use your turns wisely, because the end of the game comes before you even know it.Let me assure you that this game is one you learn and play very quickly. On your first turn, you have a very clear idea of what your goal is and how you can achieve it. The problem is that you only have 5 turns to do it, and that is not even close to enough. This game is a perfect example of resource management, where you allllllllmost have enough of what you want, but only enough to do everything you need. Unless you plan accordingly, and thus begins the competition. There is a reason this won "Game of the Year in the 2020 Board Game Quest Awards!" It's popularity means it has been out of stock until now. Get them while you can!
On an uninhabited island in uncharted seas, explorers have found traces of a great civilization. Now you will lead an expedition to explore the island, find lost artifacts, and face fearsome guardians, all in a quest to learn the island's secrets.
Lost Ruins of Arnak combines deck-building and worker placement in a game of exploration, resource management, and discovery. In addition to traditional deck-builder effects, cards can also be used to place workers, and new worker actions become available as players explore the island. Some of these actions require resources instead of workers, so building a solid resource base will be essential. You are limited to only one action per turn, so make your choice carefully... what action will benefit you most now? And what can you afford to do later... assuming someone else doesn't take the action first!?
Decks are small, and randomness in the game is heavily mitigated by the wealth of tactical decisions offered on the game board. With a variety of worker actions, artifacts, and equipment cards, the set-up for each game will be unique, encouraging players to explore new strategies to meet the challenge.
Discover the Lost Ruins of Arnak!
Under Falling Skies is a solo game with a multi-mission campaign. In each mission, you take charge of defending a besieged city.
Your actions are powered by an innovative dice placement mechanic. When you choose an action, you are also choosing which enemy ships will descend. Bigger numbers give better effects, but they also cause ships to descend faster.
Expand your underground base to gain access to more powerful actions, allowing you to shoot down enemy ships or deploy robots to increase your workforce, but don't forget to work on your research and watch your energy supply.
The mothership draws closer every round, ratcheting up the tension.
Can you complete your mission before your base is destroyed?
Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant is a singularly unique trading and negotiation game for 4-9 players. Over the course of the game, each race must trade and negotiate with the rest to acquire the resource cubes necessary to fund their economy and allow it to produce goods for the next turn. Scheming, dealing, and mutually beneficial agreements are key to success. While technically a competitive game, Sidereal Confluence has a cooperative feel during the trading phase as no race has the ability to thrive on its own. Trade well, and you'll develop technologies and colonize planets to form a civilization that is the envy of the galaxy.
Each player chooses one of the nine unique and asymmetrical alien races that have come together to form a trade federation in their quadrant. Each race has its own deck of cards representing all the existing and future technologies it might research. Some races also have other cards related to unique features of their culture. These cards represent portions of the culture's economy and require spending some number of cubes to use, resulting in an output of more cubes, ships, and possibly victory points. Since each culture's outputs rarely match their inputs, players need to trade goods with one another to run their converters to create the resources they truly need to run their society most efficiently and have an effective economy. Almost everything is negotiable, including colonies, ships, and all kinds of resources.
Each game round contains an open trading phase in which all players can negotiate and execute deals for cubes, ships, colonies, even the temporary use of technologies! Players with enough resources can also research technologies, upgrade colonies, and spend resources on their race's special cards during this phase. Once complete, all players simultaneously run their economies, spending resources to gain more resources. The Confluence follows, starting with players sharing newly researched technologies with all other races and following with bidding to acquire new colonies and research teams. Researching a new technology grants many victory points for the prestige of helping galactic society advance. When one race builds a new technology, it is shared with everyone else. Technologies can be upgraded when combined with other technologies.
The ultimate goal is victory points, which are acquired by researching technologies, using your economy to convert resources to goods, and converting your leftover goods into points at the end of the game.
The game is almost all simultaneous play.
Sidereal Confluence: Remastered Edition features the same gameplay as the first edition of the game from 2017, but features an updated card layout, a teaching guide, and an improved rulebook for easy set-up and learning with more visual examples and clear key terms.
The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance is a cooperative storytelling card game that lets you and your friends build your own stories in the world of The Adventure Zone. It’s accessible and easy to learn, even with zero previous experience with fantasy roleplaying games or The Adventure Zone. No need for a DM: all you need is an hour or so, a few friends, and a little creativity. 2-5 players, 60-90 Minutes, 13+ up
TAZ: Bureau of Balance uses a modular system to dynamically generate missions. One night you may find yourself fighting sarcastic specters as you make your way through haunted caverns, while your next mission might pit you against cunning gerblins on a train racing towards a perilous destination. With 12 decks of double-sided cards as a foundation, TAZ: Bureau of Balance provides players with over 120 hours of unique challenges.
Within the charming valley of Everdell, beneath the boughs of towering trees, among meandering streams and mossy hollows, a civilization of forest critters is thriving and expanding. From Everfrost to Bellsong, many a year have come and gone, but the time has come for new territories to be settled and new cities established. You will be the leader of a group of critters intent on just such a task. There are buildings to construct, lively characters to meet, events to host—you have a busy year ahead of yourself. Will the sun shine brightest on your city before the winter moon rises?
Everdell is a game of dynamic tableau building and worker placement.
On their turn a player can take one of three actions:
a) Place a Worker: Each player has a collection of Worker pieces. These are placed on the board locations, events, and on Destination cards. Workers perform various actions to further the development of a player's tableau: gathering resources, drawing cards, and taking other special actions.
b) Play a Card: Each player is building and populating a city; a tableau of up to 15 Construction and Critter cards. There are five types of cards: Travelers, Production, Destination, Governance, and Prosperity. Cards generate resources (twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries), grant abilities, and ultimately score points. The interactions of the cards reveal numerous strategies and a near infinite variety of working cities.
c) Prepare for the next Season: Workers are returned to the players supply and new workers are added. The game is played from Winter through to the onset of the following winter, at which point the player with the city with the most points wins.
Forgotten Waters is a Crossroads Game set in a world of fantastical pirate adventure. In it, players take on the role of pirates sailing together on a ship, attempting to further their own personal stories as well as a common goal.
The world of Forgotten Waters is silly and magical, with stories designed to encourage players to explore and laugh in delight as they interact with the world around them. It's a game in which every choice can leave a lasting impact on the story, and players will want turn over every rock just to see what they find.
Forgotten Waters features five scenarios and a massive location book that provides players with tons of choices wherever they go.
A battle for life and death on the high Lucidian seas!
In the tactical game Uk'otoa, factions of sailors vie to be the last claimed by the raging sea leviathan Uk'otoa. As the ship slowly falls into the ocean, you have to run, push, and sacrifice others to win!
Uk’otoa is the first official board game developed by the Darrington Press team—a fast-paced, enthralling game of thrilling nautical adventure from the world of Exandria (as seen on the webseries Critical Role), for gamers everywhere.
Build a Unicorn Army. Betray your friends. Unicorns are your friends now.
Unstable Unicorns is a strategic card game about everyone’s two favorite things: Destruction and Unicorns!
From the back of the box:
Learn how unstable your friendships really are.
You start with a Baby Unicorn in your Stable. SO CUTE!
But don't get too attached, because even Baby Unicorns aren't safe in this game! There are over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect, and each has a special power. Build your Unicorn Army as fast as you can, or be destroyed by one of your so-called friends! Seek revenge or protect your stable using your Magic! Sound easy? Not so fast. Someone could have a Neigh Card (Get it? Neigh?) and send the game into MADNESS! The first person to complete their Unicorn Army shall hereafter be known as The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical... at least until the next game. Good luck.
Contents: 135 cards and rule book
Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you're wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.
On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card—in order to make sure you get it, or, why not, your opponents don't get it—you place it in front of you face down for later building; this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.
All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.
Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Admit it. You love it.
Munchkin has been a runaway hit for the last 10 years,
with international sales of more than a million Munchkin
games - plus lots and lots of supplements! Compete with
your friends to kill monsters and grab magic items. Wear
the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield
the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody
Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon . . .
And it's illustrated by John Kovalic! Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin will make
your group laugh out loud.
And while they're laughing,
you can steal their stuff.
Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of their meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.
During a game of Carcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: "Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete their project and score points?" Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.
You are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest in which the smaller creatures of the woods have created a civilization hidden away from predators. This new land is small and the resources are scarce, so you take what you can get and never say no to building materials. Cleverly plan and construct a thriving town, and don't let it fill up with wasted resources! Whoever builds the most prosperous tiny town wins!
In Tiny Towns, your town is represented by a 4x4 grid on which you will place resource cubes in specific layouts to construct buildings. Each building scores victory points (VPs) in a unique way. When no player can place any more resources or construct any buildings, the game ends, and any squares without a building are worth -1 VP. The player with the most VP wins!
A beautiful and beautifully simple game of laying a tile before your own token to continue its path on each turn. The goal is to keep your token on the board longer than anyone else's, but as the board fills up this becomes harder because there are fewer empty spaces left... and another player's tile may also extend your own path in a direction you'd rather not go. Easy to introduce to new players, Tsuro lasts a mere 15 minutes and actually does work for any number from 2 to 8.
Tsuro has an Asian spiritual theme - the lines representing the "many roads that lead to divine wisdom", and the game as a whole representing "the classic quest for enlightenment".
This theme is very light and the game essentially plays as an abstract.
The game consists of tiles with twisting lines on them, a 6x6 grid on which to lay these tiles and a token for each player. Each player has a hand of tiles. On your turn you do two things: place a tile from your hand onto the board next to your token and move your token as far as it can go along the line it is currently on, until it is stopped by an empty space with no tile in (yet), the edge of the board or colliding with another player's token. If your token reaches the edge of the board or collides with another player's token, you are out of the game. The aim of the game is to be the last player left with a token on the board. Strategy therefore consists of trying to drive your opponents either into each other or off the board whilst extending your own route in directions that will make it difficult for your opponents to do the same.
- BEST PARTY GAME: Klask was ranked as the #1 party game of 2015 in Sweden and Norway!
- FAST AND FRANTIC: Get your hand under the table! Try to score but watch out for the hole! Use your magnetic handle and striker to defend your half, avoid the biscuits (magnets) and send the ball flying into your opponent’s goal to score. Be careful not to land your striker in your own goal!
- PLAY IT ANYWHERE: Like a foosball table on-the-go, Klask comes fully assembled and can be played on any flat surface, making it the perfect tabletop game for the pub
- BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED: Carefully designed in the finest regions of Denmark with a lovely wooden finish to help the game stand out.
- NEW 2019 VERSION - Includes updated white magnets (Biscuits 2.0) with more rounded corners and PTFE stickers to reduce scratching for kids and adults alike. For 2 players,each match lasts around 10 minutes – set up a tournament to find out who the true champion is.
Vul-Kar is back,
and he’s meaner than ever. This fully restored version of the 1986 classic offers an amazing new island, a charming new narrative, stunning new components, and engaging new gameplay. Play cards to race across the island. Gather treasures and take snapshots. And, of course, blast your friends with fireballs!
The new version offers more marble mayhem with a dynamic Vul-Kar figure that keeps you guessing where they’ll come out. But make sure you get back to the Hello-copter to really max out your score.
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a standalone game that takes place before the events of Gloomhaven. The game includes four new characters — Valrath Red Guard (tank, crowd control), Inox Hatchet (ranged damage), Human Voidwarden (support, mind-control), and Quatryl Demolitionist (melee damage, obstacle manipulation) — that can also be used in the original Gloomhaven game.
The game also includes 16 monster types (including seven new standard monsters and three new bosses) and a new campaign with 25 scenarios that invites the heroes to investigate a case of mysterious disappearances within the city. Is it the work of Vermlings, or is something far more sinister going on?
Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is aimed at a more casual audience to get people into the gameplay more quickly. All of the hard-to-organize cardboard map tiles have been removed, and instead players will play on the scenario book itself, which features new artwork unique to each scenario. The last barrier to entry — i.e., learning the game — has also been lowered through a simplified rule set and a five-scenario tutorial that will ease new players into the experience.
In The Quacks of Quedlinburg, players are charlatans — or quack doctors — each making their own secret brew by adding ingredients one at a time. Take care with what you add, though, for a pinch too much of this or that will spoil the whole mixture!
Each player has their own bag of ingredient chips. During each round, they simultaneously draw chips and add them to their pot. The higher the face value of the drawn chip, the further it is placed in the swirling pattern. Push your luck as far as you can, but if you add too many cherry bombs, your pot explodes!
At the end of each round, players gain victory points and also coins to spend on new ingredients to add to their bags. But players with exploded pots must choose points or coins — not both! The player with the most victory points at the end of nine rounds wins the game.
In Dinosaur Island, players will have to collect DNA, research the DNA sequences of extinct dinosaur species, and then combine the ancient DNA in the correct sequence to bring these prehistoric creatures back to life. Dino cooking! All players will compete to build the most thrilling park each season, and then work to attract (and keep alive!) the most visitors each season that the park opens.
Do you go big and create a pack of Velociraptors? They'll definitely excite potential visitors, but you'd better make a large enough enclosure for them. And maybe hire some (read: a lot of) security. Or they WILL break out and start eating your visitors, and we all know how that ends. You could play it safe and grow a bunch of herbivores, but then you aren't going to have the most exciting park in the world (sad face). So maybe buy a roller coaster or two to attract visitors to your park the good old-fashioned way?
Crossing into the Land of 1001 Nights, your caravan arrives at the fabled Sultanate of Naqala. The old sultan just died and control of Naqala is up for grabs! The oracles foretold of strangers who would maneuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfill the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns and move the Tribes into position at the right time, and the Sultanate may become yours!
Designed by Bruno Cathala, Five Tribes builds on a long tradition of German-style games that feature wooden meeples. Here, in a unique twist on the now-standard "worker placement" genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place – and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure.
As befitting a Days of Wonder game, the rules are straightforward and easy to learn. But devising a winning strategy will take a more calculated approach than our standard fare. You need to carefully consider what moves can score you well and put your opponents at a disadvantage. You need to weigh many different pathways to victory, including the summoning of powerful Djinns that may help your cause as you attempt to control this legendary Sultanate.
Game Type(s): Area control
Players: 2 - 5
Age: 13 +
Game Length: >90 minutes
2,000 years ago, the Roman Empire ruled the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. With peace at the borders, harmony inside the provinces, uniform law, and a common currency, the economy thrived and gave rise to mighty Roman dynasties as they expanded throughout the numerous cities. Guide one of these dynasties and send colonists to the remote realms of the Empire; develop your trade network; and appease the ancient gods for their favor - all to gain the chance to emerge victorious!
CONCORDIA is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times for 2 to 5 players age 13 and up. Instead of luck of dice or cards, players must rely on their strategic abilities. Be sure to watch your rivals to determine which goals they are pursuing and where you can outpace them!
Werewolf is a party game of lies, deceit, & accusations.
Are you devious enough?
20 Villager Cards, 10 Werewolf Cards, 8 Wild Cards, 2 Seer Cards, 2 Doctor Cards, 2 Moderator Cards, 2 Village Drunk Cards, 2 Witch Cards, 2 Alpha Werewolf Cards
Play with up to 35 people (or two 20 person games!)
Most well-designed Werewolf game that exists.
With no setting up to do, the game begins when the first piece is placed down. As the subsequent pieces are placed this forms a pattern that becomes the playing surface (the pieces themselves become the board). Unlike other such games, the pieces are never eliminated and not all have to be played. The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent`s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to totally surround his opponent`s queen wins the game.Staff review: AlexThis is a great stocking stuffer for people who enjoy playing strategic board games. It is a two-player game where the object is to use your bug tiles to surround your opponent's queen tile. Whoever surrounds the other queen first, wins! Your bugs all have specific ways they move; some jump, some can move 1 place at a time, and others may move 3 places at once. You can play whichever bugs you want, but you don’t have to use all of them. When a bug enters play, it is not removed until the game ends. This is a fantastic strategy game. Anyone that is a fan of classic card games, backgammon, dominoes, or chess will love this. Usually, a game only takes about 20 minutes. I have played back-to-back games for 2 hours before looking up. The other great thing is it is a very portable game. You just need about a 2 foot by 2 foot flat area to play. We often would take it to a restaurant to play or a waiting room. Don’t wait to pick it up before we are all out!
The Resistance: Avalon pits the forces of Good and Evil in a battle to control the future of civilization. Arthur represents the future of Britain, a promise of prosperity and honor, yet hidden among his brave warriors are Mordred's unscrupulous minions. These forces of evil are few in number but have knowledge of each other and remain hidden from all but one of Arthur's servants. Merlin alone knows the agents of evil, but he must speak of this only in riddles. If his true identity is discovered, all will be lost.