Friday, October 31, 2014

New Arrivals 10/28/14 to 11/3/14

by Alexander "Bet on the Blue Camel" Smith

It is a gaming fact (at least according to us at Labyrinth) that the inclusion of camels makes any game better, so a game centered on camels has got to be good. Camel Up is a fun camel race betting game for up to eight players and the winner of the 2014 Spiel des Jahres (the Oscars of board games). Players take turns making bets on which of the five camels will make it the furthest in each leg of the race as well as which one will win overall. Placing too many bets or too early can be dangerous, but to get the best payouts, you have to pick out the winning camels first! This is a fabulous quick game with just the right amount of strategy added to the capriciousness of the camel race betting world. For anyone looking for a great game with entertaining mechanics and solid game play, look no further than Camel Up!

Pandemic: Contagion mixes up the tried and true Pandemic experience by having players take on the role of the virus, wiping out humanity rather than saving it. Each player has their own virus to mutate in different ways; will your virus incubate longer giving you more cards or will it spread like wildfire? Viruses that topple cities get special actions, but the World Health Organization is working to control the outbreak so you'll need to prepare and mutate into a more resilient strain beforehand. Pandemic: Contagion is a great way to shake things up with your Pandemic buddies or pass the gaming 'bug' to people new to gaming. Guaranteed to contain no actual diseases.

Munchkin: Loot Letter is a re-themed version of Love Letter by Seiji Kanai (one of our top selling games for the last year) for players less interested in winning the affections of the princess and more concerned with delicious, delicious loot! The game plays in minutes, but will keep you coming back for more and have you talking about how you were sure your friend had a Potted Plant when they really had the Turbonium Dragon! A great addition to any Munchkin collection or if you just want to play more Love Letter!

Think you have Set mastered? Think again! Set Dice kicks it up a notch by putting your favorite red, green, and purple shapes on dice. With many ways to play, you'll be able to decide if you want to make the most matches from all 42 dice or see who can use all their dice in a crossword-like grid. Set Dice is great fun that combines all the excitement of Set with the element of chance and will bring new life to brainy match-making!

Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men is here with all of your favorite mutants and masterminds in dice form. Mix, match, and outwit your opponents with this new expansion filled with loads of new characters and some returning favorites. With new abilities such as the heroic mechanic that will reward teamwork and more cards that care about villain/hero affiliations, there are new tricks for experienced and new players alike.

We've been excited about Dungeons & Dragons Attack Wing for some time now, and now it is finally here! Call dragons and armies to your side to square off against your foes. Bolster your forces with arcane enchantments to customize your team and lead them into battle prepared for victory. What is really cool about these miniatures is that they can also be used in games of Dungeons and Dragons. Being a dragon is awesome, and D&D Attack Wing does a good job of capturing that magic, so take a look today!

Gearing up for the holidays, we've been receiving a lot of new things as well as some restocks. We have received quite a few items from local game company ThinkFun as well as bringing back Five Crowns. If you're looking for a new Zingo! or a cool rummy-style game, we have it here for you!

New demos added to our game library this week include: Camel Up, One Night Werewolf, Set Dice

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Arrivals 10/14/14 to 10/20/14

by Alexander "Cheese Factory" Smith

Machi Koro is a delightfully simple and elegant game that makes you mayor and head of development of an up-and-coming small town. You will build all sorts of establishments from cafes to radio towers and rake in the profits that come with them. Deciding how to build your town is key because each establishment will trigger its effect based on a die roll leading to some very interesting avenues of play. Will you diversify your town so that you're getting something every turn, or are you loading up on the convenience store that only gives you money on a roll of 4? Players can also buy establishments that allow you to roll two dice, opening up new expensive and powerful establishments and changing the probability of certain numbers being rolled. A mix between Settlers of Catan and Dominion, this quick and easy game has a lot of strategy.

If you enjoy the strange fantasy world of Seasons, collecting valiant heroes to defeat monsters, and very cool game mechanics, then Lords of Xidit is for you. Players will have to decide their actions in secret and are bound to do them in order which leads to some great interactions such as waiting and causing another player to pick the wrong hero or moving to fight a monster that had already been slain. The mechanics for winning the game are also not what you might be used to. At the end of the game, players are eliminated based on whomever has the least of a certain resource such as gold, towers, or bards singing their songs. Tons of fun and with tons of room to think ahead and double guess, Lords of Xidit might be the lighthearted questing game you've been looking for.

Kill Shakespeare is a cooperative board game where players will fight against Richard III and Lady Macbeth while completing quests. Players will journey around the map to famous locales from various plays, like the Forest of Arden, Delphos and Avon, in a competition to protect the Bard from certain doom while edging out their competitors for glory. Absolutely oozing with Shakespearean flavor, this game combines area control with card drafting and resource management that will be a hit for any game-loving, Shakespeare enthusiast. There's an old saying that applies to me: you can't lose a game if you don't play the game...but you should definitely play this game.

In the world of monsters and those who hunt them, nobody knows who is who and those you thought to be allies might end up transforming into a terrible bloodthirsty beast. In Shadow Hunters, each player receives a role card which will tell them if they are a monster, a hunter, or even an innocent bystander along with their health and special power. Players will engage each other in battle in the forest when they move from one spooky area to the next and can gain an advantage through equipment and revealing themselves and their special power. Until this happens though, you'll have to deduce who is who by their actions...but it's not always clear. Very replayable and with so many identities you'll always find your way back into the bewitched forest of Shadow Hunters.

Can you handle the power of the legendary Pokémon in the new Pokémon Battle Arena Decks: Xerneas vs. Yveltal? This new product features two 60 card decks complete with playmats, coins, deckboxes and damage counters. These decks are a great way to get your hands on some really cool legendary Pokémon or be able to play straight out of the box.

Venusaur-EX, Blastoise-EX, and Charizard-EX tins are here as well. With a special EX Pokémon promotional card and four booster packs in each tin, it's a great way to expand your collection and a cool way to store your cards.

New demos added to our game library this week include: Evolution

Saturday, October 11, 2014

New Arrivals 9/30/14 to 10/13/14

by Alexander "Five Cursed Masks" Smith

Abyss is a game where you are trying to gain the most influence in a flavorful underwater civilization. Use pearls to bid on allies that will gain you the favor of the council and lords, but instead of going into the'll be paying off your opponents! This is a great pseudo-drafting game that is chock full of strategy and has many different paths to victory. If you want to play a deep and interactive strategy game with gorgeous nautical imagery, Abyss will blow your expectations out of the water.

Look out, party goers! Belle of the Ball is here and it's time to show off your skills as an excellent party host by inviting the right mix of guests and, of course, the titular Belle of the Ball. If you can find the right mix of guests and positively redirect the Belle's antics, you'll be sitting pretty with a boatload of points. Using a bidding technique similar to Smallworld where you can pay to skip over guests in the queue, Belle of the Ball will have you divided between dealing with guests, controlling the chaos of the Belle and making absolutely certain that your party is the party to end all parties.

Any chef worth their salt will tell you that it takes a steady hand to make a gourmet meal, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the game play of A La Carte. Each chef has a recipe that they are trying to complete and in order to do so they will have to use dexterity to shake out just enough spice from jars or adjust the heat using a die. Adding too much of one spice or over-salting can ruin your dish and make you have to throw it out, so you will have to balance speed with accuracy...just like in real kitchens! Speaking of real kitchens, this game has amazing components and includes several spice jars, actual metal pans, stove tops and tons of ingredients and recipes. It's a great experience for old and young chefs in the making or anyone who has always yearned for a pancake-flipping game mechanic.

Is Zombie Fluxx not spooky enough for you? Scare up some players for a monster-filled night of terror and wacky fun with Monster Fluxx! Vampires, teenage detectives and gravestones now have their own expansion in the constantly changing game of Fluxx.

For those who want to celebrate all the fall and winter holidays, we also have Holiday Fluxx! So light those candles and fill those mugs with eggnog because it's the season to be jolly! This new version of Fluxx would be great for a family holiday gathering, and includes cards that reference Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas.

Coup: Reformation adds an extra layer of intrigue to your game of Coup. This expansion splits players into factions which will leverage influence against each other before turning to infighting amongst themselves. Think your faction is headed for a downward spiral? Pay some money to the Treasury and you'll swear allegiance to the other faction...loyalty counts for little though because in Coup, the friends of today are the weak and the broken of tomorrow.

This week we have some real gems (get it?) back in stock; Splendor and Istanbul are both back on shelves! These games have been immensely popular at the store, so if you've been looking to acquire some of these games of gem acquisition, now is the time!

New demos added to our game library this week include: A La Carte and Belle of the Ball.