Friday, June 27, 2014

New Arrivals This Week 6/24/14 to 6/30/14

by Alexander "Doubled Rooks" Smith

Learn about math and science through Yamie Chess, a learning tool that's also a chess set and a coloring book! Follow the story of Kimi and King Tigermore as they journey though the Mind Kingdom and learn math and science with chessy puzzles. Developed by a U.S. Chess Grand Master in cooperation with math educators from MIT, Harvard, and Caltech, this K-8 learning system is designed to get kids excited about chess and guide them through everything from conservation of energy to base ten number systems in an easy to understand story format.

Ever want to sit down and play an area control game, but find the time requirement for long games of Risk or Diplomacy daunting? Eight-Minute Empire is a wonderful small and fast-paced strategy game where 2-5 players take turns selecting cards that allow them to move, develop and deploy their forces. Victory points are also earned thorough the management of the resources found on the cards, so knowing which cards to choose and deciding how much you're willing to pay are key to success. Only seven cards and eight minutes are between you and your empire, so make your decisions count!

Will you be the hero of legend whose name is scribed into the tablets of history? Well, maybe into the tablet computers of history. Take down the toughest monsters of lore and wield the weirdest weapons of myth and legend in Munchkin Legends. Do you think you have what it takes to tango with the Wicked Witch of the Midwest in your Achilles Heels in your quest for the Holey Grail? Emerge victorious over some of the greatest monsters in well as any backstabbing 'friends' in this fabled version of Munchkin.

The new wave of Star Wars X-Wing miniature is here! The new Imperial model, the TIE Phantom makes use of its unique cloaking ability while the TIE Defender boasts greater attack and defense capabilities to swing the battle in favor of the Empire's forces. For the Rebel side, the Z-95 Headhunter provides the much needed cheap missile power to help match the Empire's numbers while the E-Wing combines the best attributes of the A-Wing and X-Wing for great speed and firepower. New strategies are available to you now with the plethora of new upgrades and customizations in this new wave of miniatures and its up to you to test them in battle!

Explore the ancient mountain-city of Xin-Shalast in the new Adventure pack for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Rise of the Runelords: Spires of Xin-Shalast. With new rules for high-altitude adventuring and new foes such as Karzoug, the Runelord of Greed, you'll be treading the the line between reality and nightmare that is as thin as the mountain air in the epic conclusion of the six part series.

Perfect for any Pokémon Trainer wanting to kindle the power of fire-type Pokémon, the Pyroar Box comes with not only a holographic promotional Pyroar card, but also three booster packs and holographic versions of the 'Blacksmith' and 'Fiery Torch' Trainer cards. With these promo cards and booster packs, your Pokémon will burn bright with fighting spirit!

As civilization encroaches the Echo Wood surrounding the mysterious gem spire, unspoken evil awakens in the once dormant spire. In the new Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon, players from level 1-13 will fight everything from goblins to clockwork soldiers in the largest Pathfinder module to date. With an expansive dungeon, many new characters and fabulous new treasures, The Emerald Spire makes for a dungeon-delving campaign filled with excitement and mystery.

New demos added to our game library this week include: Eight-Minute Empire, Staxis, Q-Bitz Solitaire

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple—The Calico Queen

The Game
Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is a fantasy storytelling game. Players take on the role of young Pilgrims, who are tasked with responding to letters asking for help. The problems can range from rescuing a world that has been swallowed by a whale, to helping a dance troupe win a competition.
Pilgrims have evocative names, like Clear Beast, or Glitter Insect. They describe both how the Pilgrim helps people, and how they get into trouble.
Our recent Kids’ RPG event featured this game, and our group responded to a letter from a cat who wishes to stop being the Queen. She became the queen after defeating a silver rat that was terrorizing the kingdom. Our group included 6 players, one of which was an adult staff member who helped lead the game and teach the rules, and the others were 4 boys and 1 girl aged 10 to 15 years old.

The Pilgrims
To begin, each player creates their character. They must decide how their character will help people and how they will get into trouble. They then choose a name based on these two attributes.
Pilgrim Glitter Insect gets into trouble by being distracted by shiny things and helps people by talking to and working with insects.
Pilgrim Hungry Lucky gets into trouble by overeating and helps people by being incredibly lucky.
Pilgrim Speculation Memory gets into trouble by making incorrect predictions and helps people by having a photographic memory.
Pilgrim Cold Dragon gets into trouble by breaking people’s hearts and helps people by having a pet dragon.
Pilgrim Jet Ranger gets in trouble by being too speedy and missing important details and helps people by killing monsters.
Pilgrim Griffin Healer gets into trouble by uncontrollably turning into a griffin, and helps people by healing their wounds.

The Story
In the game, the players respond to a pre-determined letter asking for help. Each letter is accompanied by goal words which must be included in the story that the characters create in order to “win” the game. Below is the story created by our players, the goal words have been bolded.
Judging from the ending, it seems like the Pilgrims weren’t able to use all their goal words in time! The book contains many letters to the Pilgrims, but players can create their own as well.
The Pilgrims and the Calico Queen
Pilgrim Glitter Insect met with the Cat Queen and got distracted by a shiny rock that turns out to be the heart of the silver rat. The rat comes back to life again and begins causing havoc, so Glitter Insect is thrown in jail. Pilgrim Hungry Lucky ate a sandwich that the rat stole, and was able to steal the Sword of Swiftness and because he was lucky the guards didn’t see him. 
Pilgrim Speculation Memory predicts that the silver rat has left for another kingdom, but it comes out of a nearby cave and starts eating all the livestock. Pilgrim Speculation Memory is thrown into jail by angry villagers. Pilgrim Speculation Memory convinces Pilgrim Hungry Lucky to return the Sword of Swiftness, in return for freeing Pilgrim Speculation Memory. Pilgrim Jet Ranger starts to fight the silver rat. It gets away, but leads him right to its hideout! 
Meanwhile, Pilgrim Cold Dragon breaks one of the nobles heart, and now he is on the run from the noble’s guards. Pilgrim Jet Ranger corners the silver rat in its lair. They fight and the pilgrim is wounded, but he flies to a nearby noble’s house. Pilgrim Griffin Healer heals Jet Ranger’s wounds but then she transforms into a griffin and loses control, shredding the Calico Queen’s treasured three-cornered hat of red leather. Glitter Insect summons a swarm of butterflies and sends them to convince the cat queen to release Glitter Insect, which the queen does. 
Pilgrim Hungry Lucky tries to eat the dinner of the Calico Queen’s son and heir, outraging the court. They then realize that the food was poisoned, and Hungry Lucky saved the life of the heir. (Luckily, Pilgrim Hungry had found an antidote while wandering in the forest and survived the poison.) 
Pilgrim Speculation Memory predicts that the cat’s letter to the pilgrims won’t result in a new king or queen, and the people (who didn’t know the cat’s plan to stop being Queen) are furious! Pilgrim Speculation Memory remembers that after the silver rat is defeated, the kingdom’s laws say you have to have a big feast and free all prisoners in celebration. 
Pilgrim Jet Ranger leaves the noble’s house and sees the rat on its way to the feast. They fight and finally he defeats the rat for good, freeing the kingdom. Jet Ranger forgets proof of the rat’s defeat, and due to Speculation Memory’s failed predictions, no one in the kingdom believes him and he is barred from the feast and stuck outside in the rain. 
Pilgrim Cold Dragon is unable to fix the noble’s heart and flees the planet with his baby dragon, never to return. Scared she might turn on the people, the Calico Queen banished Pilgrim Griffin Healer from the kingdom and she flies away, never to return. 
Pilgrim Glitter Insect returns to the temple, ashamed of the part she played in resurrecting the silver rat. Pilgrim Hungry Lucky was a fabulous influence on the world, but his companions ruined everything. The people suspect that Pilgrim Speculation Memory was responsible for nearly poisoning the Calico Queen’s heir, and he is barely able to escape lifelong imprisonment. Pilgrim Jet Ranger begs that the nobles believe him about the rat’s defeat, but they never do.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Arrivals This Week 06/17/14 to 06/20/14

by Alexander "Cutethulhu" Smith

Winter Tales is a dark fairy tale storytelling board game where players fight for the Rebels of Spring or the Soldiers of Winter with fantasy characters such as Pinocchio or the Mad Hatter. Each faction will try to complete quests by telling stories that are partially determined by location, other characters, picture cards, but most of all using their own imagination and storytelling skills. Fight with others over objectives and create a grand overarching story in the grim world of Winter Tales.

Can you keep track of twelve chickens and all of their eggs? In Peek-A-Doodle Doo! You'll be searching under chickens for eggs to fill up the egg carton...but beware, you can only make so many mistakes before your eggs crack! Once you're done filling the egg carton, try placing the eggs back under the chickens for extra fun. A great game that focuses on memory and concentration, Peek-A-Doodle Doo! is an 'egg-cellent' first game for young gamers.

 Ascension: Realms Unraveled is the newest installment in the Ascension series, a stand-alone game that plays 2-4 players and can be combined with any of the other expansions in the series. Realms Unraveled adds new elements to the game and expands on mechanics from previous sets. Fight new terrifying monsters with Multifaction cards that count as two of the four factions at once! Multi-Unite cards will reward players who play multiple heroes from the same faction. With new, powerful options at your disposal, the path you take to victory will be ever-changing.

Designed by Reiner Knizia, the renowned game designer behind Blue Moon, Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue is a fast-paced game of cleverly placing characters into the court. Divided into Houses Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, and Targaryen, character cards will allow other cards from their house to be played and prohibit others. Make sure you're the last player to lay down a character and seize control of the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones: Westeros Intrigue!

Fan of Napoleonic naval warfare? Sails of Glory pits 2-4 players against each other in the high seas of battle. Using cards and 1:1000 scale miniatures players try to outmaneuver and reduce their foes to timbers. Easy to pick up and filled with thousands of battles, Sails of Glory kindles the strategic skills of Lord Nelson in gamers both young and old. And the models are GORGEOUS!

We've recently expanded our selection of Metal Earth 3D laser cut models. The new models we have are:

-Graf Zepplin
-F22 Raptor
-Chi Ha Tank
-Apollo Lunar Module

-Mars Rover

Be sure to check out these cool new models!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Arrivals This Week 06/10/14 to 06/16/14

by Alexander "So Many d6" Smith

In My First Carcassonne (an updated version of Kids of Carcassonne), players are in for a wild day of excitement as they lay down tiles and complete roads for their characters. If you're familiar with the winner of the 2001 Spiel des Jahres, Carcassone, then you'll love this large tile and child-friendly version. Gameplay is boiled down to completing roads and with all four sides having connecting roads, this is a snap! The real challenge lies with placing down all your meeples (also larger than in Carcassonne) on tiles with characters matching your color. Make sure you're completing roads that will help you and watch out for other players placing tiles with their character on the same road as you! My First Carcassonne is a perfect introduction to strategy games. You should definitely give it a try!

The new Wave 5 Star Trek: Attack Wing are here and now you can add the Borg Tactical Cube 138, Bajoran Interceptor 5 and Vulcan D'Kyr to your collection! With a variety of new upgrades, crewmembers and missions to complete. Will you try your hand at rescuing a Vulcan crewmember with with D'Kyr from a Federation ship under attack? Or will you try to deliver a nanovirus that allows Borg drones to retain memories of their past selves before the Cube starts its Self-Destruct Sequence? Whatever you do, I wish that you live long, and prosper.

What architectural feats of majesty can you accomplish when it means the position of Grand Vizier is on the line? In Sultaniya you will stretch the bounds of wonder in your quest to build the most impressive palace. By connecting tiles to their existing structure, players try to score points by completing four visible objectives and two hidden objectives. By earning sapphires, you can enlist the help of the Djinn and secure your future as the Grand Vizier of Sultaniya! 

An updated version of the 1986 Russian political intrigue game by Fata Morgana, Kremlin has players secretly rank politicians who will take actions that benefit whomever has the most control over them. If a politician that you have under your thumb is party leader for 3 years in a row and is able to wave to the crowds at the October parade, you win! But be careful, as politicians perform actions they age and are suspect to illness and death. Wade through the intrigue and backroom dealings and fill the power void in the Soviet Politburo world of Kremlin!

For restocks, this week we've received the 2010 Golden Geek Best Card Game winner: Innovation. One of our favorites! Build your own civilization and score achievements by developing groundbreaking technologies, cultural advancements and taking advantage of the innovations of others. Now is the perfect time to change the world with your Innovation.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Learning Through Games: Rhino Hero

Summary: Rhino Hero is a stacking game where players balance cards atop each other. Some cards have special abilities which can help or hurt one’s opponents.

Rhino Hero PictureNumber of Players: 2 or more

Recommended Age: 6+

Skills Addressed:

  • Hand/Eye Coordination
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Memory
  • Strategy

Link to Learning:

  • Explore how some cards are easier or more difficult to build on. Which make better bases? Which are harder for opponents to stack on?
  • Discuss the importance of not knocking the tower over, either on your turn or another person’s turn.
  • Encourage players to tell stories about Rhino Hero and work together for the stories.
  • Younger players can ignore the icons on the cards and work together to build the highest tower they can.

Learning Through Games: Mancala

Summary: Mancala is an ancient game where players try to collect the most tokens. There are many variations on the rules from different regions.

Mancala PictureNumber of Players: 2

Recommended Age: 6+

Skills Addressed:

  • Counting
  • Comparing numbers
  • Strategy

Link to Learning:

  • Discuss history of the game.
  • Explore different variations, encourage discussion of how different variations influence player’s strategies.
  • Discuss how players can help/hinder their opponents.