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Tabletop Spotlight – Sonic The Hedgehog: Crash Course

Sonic The Hedgehog: Crash Course is for 2 to 4 players as their race their characters on, and take part in creating, an ever-growing track, using items to advance their characters or disrupt their opponents. Players who move off the edge of the most-recently-played Track Tile add a new tile to the track before finishing their movement and free, or as Eggman, capture a Flicky Bird. They may also free or capture Flicky Birds through unique Character objectives. The first player to collect the required amount of Flicky Birds, then cross the finish line, which constantly moves to the edge of the most-recently-played Track Tile, wins the game!

Looking to get a head in the race to the finish? Here are some game play tips from the designer, Sean McDonald:

-Each character is designed to encourage players to learn the games various techniques, while also being themed to the character’s personality. Try different characters to grow in your skill of the game!

-To maximize your use of items, combo them together with other items. Boosting into a space with yet another boost, which could boost you in to a spring, launching over your opponent. Smartly chaining items together can put you from last place to first in as little as one move. Holding out on using your items until other players ahead of you place their items first could ultimately benefit you.

-You have a better chance of getting the item you want when you are further behind. Before moving take this in to consideration.

-Don’t forget Motobug items can remove Crabmeat items from the track if they’re in their path of fire.

-Keep in mind that once all track tiles are used the last tile on the track is then placed on the front of the course to continue the race, and so on, items and all. To prevent a player from potentially using these already placed items on that tile to their advantage, use the Bomb item to clear out all items on the last track tile before it’s added to the front of the track.

-Examine what track tiles are coming up next while strategically moving your character in position to set up short-cuts. Remember, short-cuts can be up to three tiles long, or as simple as two adjacent straight track tiles. Make good use of them when you can!

-When you’re further ahead of other players, the items you leave on the track or the short-cuts you create can also be used to their advantage. Try using Crabmeat to hinder their use of these. Remember, items can be used any time during your turn, even after your movement!

-Collect those Rings! Never underestimate the value of earning an Extra Life Token. Not only can it negate damage, allowing you to freely move on to a space with Spikes or a Buzz Bomber without damage, or absorb a hit from another player, it can also be used to spin the last track tile in play! This can completely change the outcome of the game keeping you in the race, or greatly aid in setting up a short-cut opportunity that wasn’t available before.

Sonic The Hedgehog: Crash Course will be available at GameStop this Fall! Pre-Order Now!

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Designer Diary – Death Note: Confrontation

Death Note: Confrontation is out in stores now! Designers Jordan & Mandy Goddard sat down to share their thoughts about designing the game and some tips and strategies on how to outwit your opponent! Check out this Designer Diary for Death Note: Confrontation.

Murder is a tricky business. We found this out pretty quickly when we set out to design Death Note: Confrontation a little over a year ago. Now that the game is released and we have some perspective on the process we thought we would share a few of the things we learned while designing this 2-player asymmetric game of hidden roles, hidden movement, and hidden motives.

“The human whose name

is written in this note shall die.”

– The Death Note

Death Note: Confrontation is a game that is played with pen and paper in two secret notebooks. The idea of playing a game in something as inconspicuous as a notebook was integral to the game’s concept from the very beginning. It was literally the first thing we wrote down during our first brainstorming session. We love designing games with clever components and we had never seen anything that used books in this way. This early decision determined a lot of how the game would look and feel, and it set the tone for how we would approach creating a game that was compelling to Death Note fans, while still being fun and approachable to those who have never been exposed to the story.

The most common question we get these days is “Do you have to know the Death Note story to enjoy your game?” and the answer is absolutely not. Fans of the story will find lots of little things that will deepen their appreciation for the game, but at it’s heart Death Note: Confrontation is a cat & mouse game between murderer and detective. We wanted to create an experience for everyone that enjoys a good head to head puzzle. The game allows players to get in each other’s head and try to predict their opponent’s next move while using that player’s strengths and limitations against them in a way that we have never seen before.

“You can’t ever win if you’re always 

on the defensive. To win, you have to attack!”

– Detective L

It has been incredible to watch the game be released and sold around the world. Players have commented on how simple it is to learn and how quickly they are able to start forming more and more complex strategies to outwit their opponent. So with that in mind we thought we would include a few notes from the design team that might make you a more formidable opponent in your next head to head.

Tip 1: Don’t take the Day Phase for granted. If you are L, don’t spend too much time just blocking high points or Kira will figure out your pattern and eek out a win with consistent low point rounds.

Tip 2: Bombs are valuable to both Kira and L. When designing the game we made sure that Bombs give L more information about Kira than any other kind of kill. As Kira, be sure to kill only the bombers that don’t give L too much information.

Tip 3: As L, use Quiet Nights to your advantage. More advanced players will note that a well placed Quiet Night can allow L to eliminate more suspects than anything else in the game. Learn to use them strategically and you will have a leg up, but use them poorly and L will lose every time.

Tip 4: As Kira keep track of everything L knows. You can use the clear search grid tool to know which suspects L has been able to eliminate, and you can make your kills in areas that make your opponents job much more difficult.

“Kira is childish and hates losing… 

I am also childish and hate to lose. 

That’s how I know.”

– Detective L

– Jordan & Mandy

Death Note: Confrontation is available in stores now!

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Designer Diary – Adam Wyse & Masque of the Red Death

How does it feel knowing that the game you worked on so hard, has now come to life and people are able to play the game? Any fun moments from that so far, either online or at a show?

It’s an amazing feeling.  To have something you created be out there in the world – being the centre of an experience for a group of friends around a table – it’s wonderful.

The coolest moment at a show so far was at Gen Con this year, being recognized by the name on my badge by a fan of Masque of the Red Death!  Online, it’s seeing little mentions and reviews popping up here and there, and of course seeing pictures of people’s painted minis!

Do you have any designer tips now that people have been playing? What would you suggest to them to they can survive The Red Death?

Never allow yourself to fall too far behind in popularity; you don’t want to lose the pack or it will be very hard to get back on level ground.  If you have fallen back, remember that you will act first in the round and use that to your advantage.  Take a few rounds to bump that popularity back up!

Start with an initial plan based around your Personality card.  You’ll want to play it with one of your 12 actions, so go in with a plan on when you think that should be.

Most important to survival is using your cards at the right times.  Any action card that lets you take rumour cards from your opponents allows you to specify a time you want to see, so use them a little later in the game when you know exactly where the gaps in your information are.  Especially important is to use Swindle late in the game, as one of your last 2 actions.  Seeing 2 rumour cards and having to remember them can be hard if you do it too early, but is very strong right before midnight.

Lastly, pay attention to what other players are asking of each other!  If I need a 12:50 card, and Duke Desire just stole a 12:50 card from Duchess Vanity, I know who to come after for one.

Any other fun behind-the-scenes stories from when you were making the game that you wanted to share?

I am not a good artist.  At all.  When I was first designing Masque of the Red Death I needed a game board that looked like the Abbey of Prince Prospero that I could envision in my head.  Drawing a top-down view of an abbey proved to be far beyond my abilities.  After a lot of frustrating attempts, I finally decided to 3D model the whole thing, put in lighting and textures, and then just take a screenshot of the top-down view.  Suddenly I had something that looked decent and had walls at angles that actually made sense.  It wasn’t quite as good as Gris Grimly’s final version though!

Anything else you want to say?

I’ve seen the occasional mention of people wanting to take notes when playing Masque of the Red Death.  I understand the desire – my memory is horrible too.  But the memory element does a few very important things here.

First and most importantly, it makes the game more tense.  Masque of the Red Death is all about the feeling of dread and tension as midnight approaches. Having your information be an iron-clad sure thing reduces this tension. If you’re 80% sure that you remember Green was safe at 12:10 but… maybe it was 12:20? That adds to the experience.

Second, as mentioned above, the relative value of the action cards change throughout the night and that’s lost if you could write things down.  Cards like Flirt and Swindle (where you only look at another players’ cards but don’t get to keep them) are weak if played early in the game, but become nearly as valuable as cards like Threaten or Menace when played right before midnight.

And third, drawing an Evidence Card and getting to look at a Red Death Card is, again, very good when it’s close to midnight. But it’s not nearly as good on turn 1 because you have to hold that information in your head for longer. If you got to write the information down, the timing of when you get the information is less relevant and I feel that detracts from the game.

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Tabletop Spotlight – Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege

Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege is a cooperative game where each player takes on the role of a powerful hero and must battle against the multitude of villains threatening Gotham City. Each hero has their own skills and abilities in defense of the ever increasing threats to corrupt and leave Gotham City in ruins. The players must work together as they move through the four Acts of the game, with each Act introducing new and more villainous threats to the city!

Designed by Richard Launius and Michael Guigliano, and Batman – The Animated Series: Gotham City Under Siege is a cooperative game for 1-5 players. Each player takes on the role of Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon or the Gotham City Police Department, along with the unlikely aid of Catwoman. They must defend the city over the course of four acts, with each act inspired by episodes from the first season of the show. Players will need to work together to find the right balance between completing challenging story cards, or taking down the villains and masterminds running rampant in the streets.

With Box Top cover art by Matt Ferguson, card art from TableTaffy and Leonardo Ito and miniatures sculpted by Brian Dugas, this Batman: The Animated Series game celebrates the classic cartoon series on the tabletop. Releasing in September 2018.

Gearing up for our first public showing of the board game at the IDW Publishing Booth #2743 at San Diego Comic-Con in just a few weeks, here is a first look at an early pre-production copy of Batman: The Animated Series – Gotham City Under Siege.

 

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Outpost: Amazon Is Available Now!

We have been talking about Outpost: Amazon, the next game in our co-op survival card game series from Daryl Andrews and Jon Gilmour and now it is available on store shelves. You may have already seen it there and we are looking forward to you checking it out to see if you can survive the Outpost!

Welcome to Outpost 2, located deep in the heart of the Amazon. Congratulations! Being appointed to this Outpost means you are one of the finest minds in your field of study. While you are here, it is your team’s job to collect and report on the various exotic plants and creatures native to the area.

Unfortunately, you’ve arrived during troubled times…A recent report shows that the locals have been moving away from the riverbanks over the last few weeks, and night vision surveillance has captured photos that seem too strange to be true. Now, you must make your own way down the river to the coast, where a rescue ship is waiting. Along the way, you must investigate and verify these images.

Take your crew and head down the river, making sure to capture as many specimens as possible. But be careful: the locals have been leaving this area for a reason. The trip will be long, and you’ll need to make sure you balance your scientific curiosity against the need for safety. Good luck to you and your team. You’ll need it!

Summary Of Play

You and the rest of your team of scientists have been sent on an expedition into the heart of the Amazon jungle. As a team, you must ration your supplied wisely while dealing with the mysteries of the wilderness. Can your expedition make it through the unexplored wilderness?

During the game, you will assume the role of one of the unlucky scientists trapped in the Outpost. Your character card will show you two important things, your health points and your ability. Each character has their own unique ability which you can use to help your team survive. Using these abilities effectively is a key to winning the game! As you travel with your fellow scientists down the Amazon, you will occasionally face off against unbelievable creatures. These creatures are known as Threats.

Outside of Threats, you and your fellow scientists will also endure unexpected Events. Event cards can be either Good or Bad events. Regardless of where an Event is harmful or helpful, it will always require a resource to be paid; either Food or Water.

Playing The Game

Outpost: Amazon is a cooperative game: all of the Players either win or lose the game as a team! In order to win, all of the Players must survive until you reach the end of the Expedition deck. If a single Player is knocked out, everyone loses! If you are already familiar with Outpost games, you will notice something new about this edition. Now Players can score points based on the number of creatures they can capture during the game!

 

The  game is played over a number of Rounds. In each Round, every player takes 1 Turn. Each Round, you choose the order that Players take their Turns. At the end of the Round, any Threats with End of Round abilities will act against the Players, increasing the danger to the outpost…

Designed by Daryl Andrews and Jon GilmourOutpost: Amazon is available in stores now! Are you up for the challenge? #IsurvivedOutpostAmazon

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Tabletop Spotlight: Galaxy Hunters

Galaxy Hunters is a highly thematic, euro-style board game for 2 to 4 players. Blending tried-and-true euro gameplay with massive miniatures, incredible art, and character upgrades often found in dungeon crawlers, Galaxy Hunters is a unique board game experience that gives players multiple impactful choices each turn, as well as a sense progression that develops over the course of the entire game.

Players will need to upgrade their mechs with more armor, new weapons, and ammo and energy pods in order to defeat the constant barrage of the deadly mutated monstrosities spawning from the heart of the devastated planet Ulaan!

Players earn victory points by earning skills for their pilots, upgrading their mechs, perfecting their mechs’ build outs, completing missions, and earning reputation with the galaxy’s different factions. While there are many options, there is no single correct path to victory in Galaxy Hunters. Players are encouraged to develop their own style of play in order to generate more victory points than their opponents. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!

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Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell – Available Now!

The Cell Games are on the world’s greatest fighters have gathered to see if they have what it takes to defeat Cell, the perfect warrior. Teaming up to take him down, Goku, Gohan, Vegeta, Krillin, Trunks and Piccolo must strategize together in order to stop the supposedly unstoppable machine.

In Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell, 2 to 4 players will each take control of an iconic Dragon Ball Z fighter and roll their dice to generate energy. Using custom icons, players allocate their dice into performing attacks, helping other players, or buying upgrades. Players need to work together though, as Cell will continue to generate new threats that can heal him, damage all players, or lock players out of potentially game-changing upgrades.

 

At the beginning of each round, reveal a number of Threat Tiles from the top of the stack equal to the number of players, then place those Threat Tiles face up next to the Cell Board. Then each of the players take a turn, rolling and spending their dice. The start player takes the first turn, then play passes to the other players in a clockwise order. After all players have taken their turns, Cell activates all of his active Threat Tiles, regaining health and dealing damage to the Z-Fighters as indicated.

Taking a closer look at the Power Up Tiles, they represent permanent powers that the Z-Fighters can acquire through training. Acquiring these Power Up Tiles will be essential in their effort to defeat Cell. Most Power Up Tiles have an effect that can be used if you spend the indicated dice. You must spend all of the required dice at once in order to use the effect. By spending the required dice multiple times, you can use a single Power Up Tile multiple times per turn. You can have a maximum of 3 Power Tiles equipped at a time. If you acquire another, you must immediately discard one that was previously equipped.

The Threat Tiles indicated the various maneuver that Cell will perform. All face-up Threat Tiles are considered active. New active Threat Tiles are revealed at the start of each new roudn. Each Threat Tile that isn’t cancelled by the Z-Fighters will activate at the end of each round. Some Threat Tiles prevent dice from being shared or rerolled. Any such limitation remains in effect as long as the Threat Tile has not been discarded. The tiles that have not been cancelled remain in play from round to round, so it is likely that, for some rounds, there will be more Threat Tiles in play than the number of Z-Fighters. It’s important to manage these Threat Tiles so you don’t get overwhelmed!

Dragon Ball Z: Perfect Cell, by Chris Bryan is on shelves now. Check out your local game store and save the Earth from Perfect Cell!

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Tabletop Spotlight: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything Is Connected

Mysteries don’t solve themselves…or do they? Sometimes a good detective can make a mystery unravel itself in the most peculiar way. Coincidence or Clue? Perhaps both?

In Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Everything is Connected, players create solutions to otherwise vexing mysteries using an ever-changing set of clues, suspects and person of interest cards. But you’d best be on your toes, or else the police detective might crack the case in a wildly different yet more enticing way, and be the one to earn the accolades of holistic detectives everywhere…

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency: Everything is Connected, is played over a series of Rounds. In each Round, 2 players – the Holistic Detective and the Police Detective – must both solve a Mystery by explaining which suspect was responsible, using Clues provided by the Assistants. The Detective that best solves the Mystery, according to the Assistants, wins a point. Rounds continue until every Player has solved two Mysteries as the Holistic Detective.

The game ends at the end of the Round after all Players have been the Holistic Detective twice. The Player with the most points (Mystery Cards) wins the game! If there is a tie, the tied Players must compete to solve a final mystery. If they receive the same number of votes for this final mystery, a time paradox opens and somehow they are both right and they both win!

Do you have what it takes to solve the case? Check out Dirk Gently’s Holistic Agency: Everything is Connected, designed by Matt Fantastic, Available in stores now!

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Kickstarter Spotlight: Masque of the Red Death

Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death board game Kickstarter will be launching January 10th! We are excited for this campaign, featuring fully illustrated game art from renown artist Gris Grimly and award-winning game design from Adam Wyse. We took some photos with our early production copy, talked with Adam about some designer play tips, and wanted to share a sneak peek as we get closer to the campaign in January. The rulebook has also been uploaded on the Masque of the Red Death Page on BoardGameGeek, so be sure to check it!

Masque of the Red Death is a deduction and movement programming game set in the grim world of the short story by the Edgar Allan Poe. Players are nobles attending an extravagant masked ball while a plague ravages the country. Players are trying to do what nobles do – feast, dance, celebrate –become as popular as they can. But rumors swirl as the night goes on, and everyone feels oddly nervous each time the clock chimes. The nobles might be wise to spend some time listening to these rumors. It is becoming increasingly clear as midnight approaches that something sinister awaits.

At midnight, a horrible figure in the guise of the Red Death appears at the masquerade! It stalks amongst the rooms of the abbey, killing the nobles it comes across. The most popular noble wins… but that only matters if you survive the night.

Designer Play Tips

Masque of the Red Death is all about the balance between gaining popularity (to win) and gaining information (to survive). You can’t have one without the other. If all you do is Flirt and Laugh and Dance around all night, odds are you’re going to die after midnight. If all you do is Discuss (to take rumors), you should be able to survive but if anyone else survives they will likely be more popular than you.  You must strike a good balance of both. Not knowing for sure if you will survive is what makes the game so tense.

It is very important to not fall too far behind in popularity. Players who take advantage of the ability to jump over others on the popularity track will consistently get extra popularity each time they take a popularity action.

The unique personality card each player gets at the start of the game can be quite powerful, and no one knows which card other players will have. Time it right to benefit as much as possible from your personality card.

Movement over the course of the night can be very important. Prince Prospero will be flitting around the abbey from round to round, but players get to see which room he will be in at each time, from the very start of the game. Try to move in a way that gets you near the prince as much as possible. You may sometimes want to bunch up with other players so you can play cards on them, or you may want to get away from the pack so that others cannot play cards on you.

Some action cards allow you to lower or raise other players’ popularity or even steal or look at their rumor cards. But be careful about making enemies; they may be looking to get you back later.

Stealing rumor cards can often be very effective. If you know nothing about 12:30 for example, when you steal a rumor you are allowed to request a particular time. This is obviously more effective than simply playing a Discuss action to draw a random rumor from the deck.

Masque of the Red Death Kickstarter will be launching on January 10th! For any questions about Press and Media inquiries, contact Ross Thompson – ross@idwpublishing.com -. Stay tuned to our social media as we get closer to the campaign and join us for another exciting IDW Games Kickstarter.

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Tabletop Spotlight: Outpost: Amazon

Welcome to Outpost 2, located deep in the heart of the Amazon. Congratulations! Being appointed to this Outpost means you are one of the finest minds in your field of study. While you are here, it is your team’s job to collect and report on the various exotic plants and creatures native to the area.

Unfortunately, you’ve arrived during troubled times…A recent report shows that the locals have been moving away from the riverbanks over the last few weeks, and night vision surveillance has captured photos that seem too strange to be true. Now, you must make your own way down the river to the coast, where a rescue ship is waiting. Along the way, you must investigate and verify these images.

Take your crew and head down the river, making sure to capture as many specimens as possible. But be careful: the locals have been leaving this area for a reason. The trip will be long, and you’ll need to make sure you balance your scientific curiosity against the need for safety. Good luck to you and your team. You’ll need it!

Summary Of Play

You and the rest of your team of scientists have been sent on an expedition into the heart of the Amazon jungle. As a team, you must ration your supplied wisely while dealing with the mysteries of the wilderness. Can your expedition make it through the unexplored wilderness?

During the game, you will assume the role of one of the unlucky scientists trapped in the Outpost. Your character card will show you two important things, your health points and your ability. Each character has their own unique ability which you can use to help your team survive. Using these abilities effectively is a key to winning the game! As you travel with your fellow scientists down the Amazon, you will occasionally face off against unbelievable creatures. These creatures are known as Threats.

Outside of Threats, you and your fellow scientists will also endure unexpected Events. Event cards can be either Good or Bad events. Regardless of where an Event is harmful or helpful, it will always require a resource to be paid; either Food or Water. 

Playing The Game

Outpost: Amazon is a cooperative game: all of the Players either win or lose the game as a team! In order to win, all of the Players must survive until you reach the end of the Expedition deck. If a single Player is knocked out, everyone loses! If you are already familiar with Outpost games, you will notice something new about this edition. Now Players can score points based on the number of creatures they can capture during the game!

 

The  game is played over a number of Rounds. In each Round, every player takes 1 Turn. Each Round, you choose the order that Players take their Turns. At the end of the Round, any Threats with End of Round abilities will act against the Players, increasing the danger to the outpost…

Designed by Daryl Andrews and Jon Gilmour, Outpost: Amazon is coming out in March 2018. Are you up for the challenge? #IsurvivedOutpostAmazon