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The Games of December 2016
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Most Recent: Tabletop Games
Last week, The Strong Museum of Play inducted Dungeons & Dragons into their National Toy Hall of Fame, partially due to its influence on the video game industry.
“More than any other game, Dungeons & Dragons paved the way for older children and adults to experience imaginative play,” said Curator Nic Ricketts. “It was groundbreaking. And it opened the door for other kinds of table games that borrow many of its unique mechanics. But most importantly, Dungeons & Dragons’ mechanics lent themselves to computer applications, and it had a direct impact on hugely successful electronic games like World of Warcraft.”
Originally published by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974, the original Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks became the basis for all modern role-playing games and introduced millions of players to the game. New editions of Dungeons & Dragons are currently produced by Wizards of the Coast, and the 5th Edition of the game was released in 2014.
Dungeons & Dragons was joined by The Swing and Fisher-Price Little People in the National Toy Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. The three toys beat out this year’s other finalists including Bubble Wrap, Care Bears, Clue, the Coloring Book, Nerf, Pinball, Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots, Transformers, and Uno.
After a huge debut in Japan all the way back in 2011, Square Enix has announced plans to bring the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game to North America this October. They’ve even created a tutorial video to get prospective players up to speed, and it’s been embedded above.
The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (“FFTCG”) is the result of a close collaboration between Hobby Japan and Square Enix. Designed by former trading card game champion Taro Kageyama, the game received high praise for its blend of strategy, luck and fast-paced gameplay making it very versatile and appealing to all kinds of audiences.
The first set, entitled “Opus 1,” will feature 216 cards with iconic designs from highly acclaimed artists including Tetsuya Nomura, Yoshitaka Amano, and Akihiko Yoshida, covering nearly 30 years of Final Fantasy. New cards themed after Final Fantasy VII Remake, Dissidia, and World of Final Fantasy will also make their debut in Opus 1. Each card in Opus 1 will also have a premium “Foil” version, making this set a must have for all the collectors out there.
The Final Fantasy Trading Card Game will be available in hobby stores across the country on October 28.
The Indie Megabooth has announced they’ll provide space on the PAX East show floor for more than 80 developers during this year’s convention.
The PAX East 2016 lineup includes 87 titles, and several of them have previously appeared in our twice-yearly Best of PAX roundup. This year’s PAXpocalypse alumni include 20XX from Batterystaple Games (PAX East 2015), Refactor from NextGen Pants (PAX East 2014), Scale from Cubeheart Games (PAX Prime 2013), and Tumblestone from The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild (PAX East 2014 again). Graceful Explosion Machine, a semi-sequel to Vertex Pop’s We Are Doomed (a PAX Prime 2013 selection) also has a spot in the Indie Megabooth’s Minibooth this year.
Personally, I’m also a huge fan of single-stick shooter Deathstate and heady puzzler Gnog, so be sure to check those two out if you’re attending this year’s PAX East convention, which will be held April 22nd through the 24th.
A complete list of titles included in the PAX East 2016 Indie Megabooth is available after the break. And more information on every one of those games can be found at the group’s official website. (more…)
It’s that time gain! Those beautiful, brilliant minds behind the Indie Megabooth have announced the PAX Prime 2015 lineup, and it certainly IS mega! I see a lot of personal favorites in there, including Armello, Death Road to Canada, Hyper Light Drifter, Mushroom 11, Cinelinx: A Card Game For People Who Love Movies, Pleasant Dreams, Skiptrace, and two games I can’t keep my hands off of: Monikers and Mini Metro! And let’s not forget that this might be your best chance to check out Funomena’s Wattam!
If you’re in Seattle the last weekend in August for PAX Prime, trust me: you do not want to miss the Indie Megabooth. These are traditionally some of the best games on the show floor, and I don’t just say that because my own game (Resistor) has been part of the Tabletop Area. OK, maybe that might sway my opinion a little. But the team behind the IMB carefully curates some of the most amazing games, not just for your enjoyment, but as an installation of the best and brightest developers in indie gaming right now.
Enough of my gushing. Watch the trailer and hit the jump for the full list of developers and games (more than 70 in all)! (more…)
Most of the big publishers chose to skip the 2015 edition of PAX East and even those that did attend (like Nintendo and Microsoft) kept their most anticipated projects home. But that didn’t stop a wide variety of indie developers from setting up shop in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center to wow the assembled masses. These developers set the tone for this year’s expo, which featured a heavy focus on games that attempted to reinterpret classic gameplay concepts for a new generation of players. And the crazy thing is that many of the developers hyping these games looked like they would have been in diapers the first time I fired up an SNES.
It was a welcome sight with the rest of the industry pivoting away from those types of games and towards a competition to see who can push the most polygons. So if you were a fan of gaming in the NES, Super NES, and Genesis days, this PAXpocalypse List is for you. Because these are the games we would have played over and over again if some horrible snow storm had trapped us inside the convention center beyond the last day of the expo. (more…)
As we reported in January, Mayfair Games, the publisher of Settlers of Catan, took to Kickstarter with the dream of making Cones of Dunshire, a fictional board game from the Parks & Recreation universe, into a real game. Fans of the NBC show and of intricate and/or confusing cooperative board games rejoiced. It seemed like an impossible task to raise $300,000 to create a deluxe version of the game… and it was. So Mayfair canceled their original campaign and relaunched it in early February with some adjustments, including a lowered project goal ($125,000) and reworked pledge levels and rewards. Even at the reduced levels, it still took at least $400 (and a dream!) to reserve a copy of the game. As before, additional goodies and enhancements to the game were available at higher pledge levels. For example, backers would receive the game at $400, but at $550 they would receive the game with metal “Hero Bases,” and at $700 they would get the game with metal figures.
During the original campaign, pledges were slow to come in and it did not appear that Mayfair would meet its goal in the 60 days allotted. The second Kickstarter, which after a 30-day run ended on March 12th, fared no better. At its conclusion, Mayfair had raised $48,696 from 194 backers, only reaching 39% of its goal.
So how did it all go wrong? (more…)