Board Game News 37: Wine, Video Games and a Clockwork Donkey

Lots of news this week including several UK projects that I want to mention. First up is Steam Donkey, a Victorian resort building card game from the delightful Ragnar Brothers, with some lovely art and a rather unique theme. Next is the rather wonderful looking Game Developerz, a satirical take on the world of computer game design, promoted by the wonderful welshman Rod Gilbert, who apparently loved it! And finally Tripods, a UK designed game influenced by War of the Worlds in which players must use their skills, knowledge and influence to escape an alien invasion.

As well as all that we also have new games from Eagle and Gryphon Games, a fun little education game called Mice and Dice and long time reader and friend of the Unboxed crew, Jamey Stegmaier returns with an expansion for Viticulture. You can read Jamey’s guest post on Viticulture right here. All this and more in this weeks news, read on!

Steam Donkey

A card game with a twist! Race to attract visitors to your Victorian Steam-punk sea-side resort and achieve the glory you deserve!

Steam Donkey!

Back Steam Donkey on Kickstarter

The year is 1897 and to celebrate 60 years of the reign of Queen Victoria and bring much needed solace to the Country’s weary workers, four seaside resorts vie with each other to be the grandest and most opulent, worthy of a Royal visit from Her Majesty herself. The latest in steam technology will be on display, to attract and transport visitors to the hotels and guest houses that line the seafronts. Amusements and Monuments will be created to edify and delight the visiting holidaymakers. You, as the designer of these developments must complete your resort first and claim your rightful place as Chief Architect, by Royal Appointment! Help is available from enigmatic and mysterious personages: Donkey-boy, Lord Admiral, Princess Royal and Madame Ice-cream. They may prove invaluable but are fickle and may aid your opponents too!

Steam Donkey is a card game that is fun but has depth to its strategic play. You will make decisions about when to take cards into your hand from the resort and whether to build in the Park, Beach or Town area. You, as the Architect will have to choose which characters will be of most use to you each turn and which projects they will help you construct. All for the glory of having the most magnificent resort in the land!

Mice and Dice

Stephen from Stesso Games would like you to know about Mice and Dice.

Nice Mice, Twice Mice, Mice on Ice! It's Mice & Dice! Play Nice. Parents! Great for teaching numbers/counting to your kids! This game can truly be enjoyed by both adults AND children at the same time. Adults enjoy the fast-paced game play, and card pulling mechanics. Children love the fun theme, and score keeping

Mice and Dice is a FAMILY FRIENDLY game that can be enjoyed by people of ALL ages! This game is perfect for children. It is easy to learn. Quick to play, and makes counting and learning numbers fun and exciting!

It is your turn, every turn in Mice & Dice! There is no waiting for your roll, because roll of the dice by any player affects your score!

Check it out on Kickstarter now…

Game Developerz

GAME DEVELOPERZ is an original card game you are going to love!

Two to Six can play. Each player is put in the shoes of a gaming studio working for some of the most important brands in the gamez industry such as Electric Farts, Youbeflop, Nightvision Lizard and so on. Your goal is to develop and release a videogame. Will you be able to run your studio, deal with your publisher and charm the critics with your game?

Game Developerz gives you the chance to build up your own studio and Company Cards represent the publisher your studio will be working for. They all have a special ability and they will provide you the Coinz you need to keep your business going.

You will have to hire your own Staff in order to compose a solid. Business Development is something crucial if you want to be able to release your game, learn how to use your assets properly and how to manage your studio. Finally you will be able to create the game you always dreamed of …Well.. Almost..! Features are the core of your videogame and your goal is to put together the best of them if you want to release a great game!

During every game development something might go wrong or there could be unexpected surprises. These events are represented by the Random Event Cards. They might be good but they are usually very bad, so be ready! During the year Special Events might occur and your studio has the chance to earn important awards and be rewarded for its incredible job!

You'll have to collect as much Betascore as you can! Betascore is earned through completed Features and represents the score given by the critics and the audience of your game. Don't worry, even if your game was not so good, you will still be able to buy some journalists loyalty with the Coinz you saved at the end of the game.

Check it out on Kickstarter now…

Slugfest Games

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SlugFest Games is proud to announce that our third Kickstarter campaign for our new stand-alone title Kung Fu Fighting is live! You can follow the action right now on Kickstarter.

Kung Fu Fighting was first published in 2004 and is coming back! This new edition of Kung Fu Fighting is a fast-paced action card game for 2 to 6 players. Players compete to be the last one standing by launching devastating kicks, punches and a variety of weapons. By carefully switching between styles and managing their offensive and defensive options, players will eliminate their competition.

We have redesigned the game to have the feel of the original but with more strategic play. The new edition combines elements of the original Kung Fu Fighting and its expansion MORE! Kung Fu Fighting with new game mechanics. The box will include a base game that supports rough and tumble free for all combat, a more advanced team play variant, and characters with unique abilities.

The new edition will also feature an updated card design and all new art. SlugFest Games is currently working with two art studios on the new design of the game, Gong Studios and Robekka Art Studios.

The most exciting part of the campaign is the invitation for backers to become a part of the playtesting team working on Kung Fu Fighting. A print-and-play version of the game has been made available - for free! - on the campaign’s front page.

For more information about the campaign, access to the print-and-play documents, and to support the game, visit the campaign on Kickstarter. For more information and regular updates about the campaign’s progress, like SlugFest Games on Facebook.

Stonemaier Games

The Stonemaier Games team (Jamey Stegmaier, Alan Stone, and a multitude of incredibly helpful playtesters) are returning to Kickstarter with Tuscany, a pack of 8 expansions to Viticulture: The Strategic Game of Winemaking. Viticulture (2-6 players) is required to play the Tuscany expansion pack.

The Game

Tuscany features a legacy-style unlocking mechanism: A new expansion unlocks every few games as decided by the previous games’ winner. Each unlocked (“uncorked”) expansion is permanently added to Tuscany—these aren’t modular expansions. When all expansions have been unlocked, you can continue to play with all of them, or you can put everything back in the box and uncork everything in a final 4new order with a different group. We’ve built Tuscany around this unlocking system so that every game has a unique story behind it, as well as to manage the information overload by giving players new mechanisms in bite-sized pieces.

Some of the new elements Tuscany adds are an extended game board with four full worker-placement seasons, new worker meeples with special abilities that challenge players to not just figure out where to place workers, but also which workers to place, asymmetric starting resources, new visitor cards, secret goals, and more. Every copy of Tuscany will include the first expansion, Arboriculture, which was originally released as a premium upgrade on the Viticulture Kickstarter campaign.

The Kickstarter

Tuscany will launch on March 12 with a base price of $42 (a 40% discount off the $70 MSRP). The Kickstarter campaign is specifically for Tuscany, but because Viticulture is required to play Tuscany, we also have a $79 pledge level for both Tuscany and Viticulture (second edition) delivered together in November. Premium upgrade options include a Collector’s Edition, 48 custom metal lira coins, expedited shipping, and custom art.

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We continue to hone the shipping and fulfilment system for which we are known, allowing for free shipping included to the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, China, and Taiwan. Greatly reduced shipping options ($5-$16) are also available for other countries in the EU, Asia, and Australia/NZ.

Just like our previous campaigns for Viticulture and Euphoria, we offer a money-back guarantee to all backers and unbiased third-party reviews on the Kickstarter page. The playtest PnP and rules are available for anyone to download, and there are no early bird levels or Kickstarter exclusives (there are a few versions of the game that won’t be available via traditional distribution, but we’ll still sell them directly at a premium as long as they’re in stock). We also have a series of stretch goals planned that will be included in every copy of Tuscany if we overfund.

Stonemaier Games website, Kickstarter Lessons series, Facebook, Twitter

Eagle and Gryphon Games

Fleet: Arctic Bounty has finally arrived!

Fleet: Arctic Bounty expands the award-winning card game Fleet with 120+ new cards including:

  • New Premium Licenses, Base Licenses, and Boat Cards with all-new bonuses
  • New Dock cards with more ways to build your Fleet
  • All new Crewman cards and Gone Fishin'
  • Brand new one-player and two-player variant cards and rules
  • An updated rulebook

The game is designed to integrate with Fleet and give players the ability to choose which License and Boat cards to play with in any given game, creating endless possibilities of card and power combinations and replayability. Want to try a game without Processing Vessel and Shrimp? Then take them out and add Pacific Oyster and Swordfish! Players can choose any combination of old and new licenses from Fleet: Arctic Bounty and Fleet to create exciting new gameplay experiences. Fleet: Arctic Bounty provides modularity, variety, and new strategic paths to victory!        MSRP: $24.99

Click here for more information!

1-6 players | ages 10+ | 30 min.

Original Fleet Back in Stock!

Fleet is a strategic card based game featuring a unique commercial fishing theme. Fleet uses both existing and new mechanics to create an exciting playing experience.

In the northwest corner of Nunavut, Canada, a formerly inaccessible bay off of the Arctic Ocean has become reachable through a secret inlet. Untouched by the hands of time and fed by both the ocean and warm fresh water springs, Ridback Bay is teeming with sea life. A remote, timeless bayside village is now being inundated by entrepreneurs awaiting the influx of the world's greatest fisherman to harvest this plentiful bounty. The docks and warehouses are being revitalized and now it is time to begin the real adventure. Go build your fleet and become the master of the seas!        MSRP: $24.99
Click here for more information! 

2-4 players | ages 10+ | 30-45 min.

Salmon Run Special!

With the arrival of Fleet and Fleet: Arctic Bounty, we're in the mood to go fishing, but it's not quite fishing weather yet. To keep you busy until it's time to get out on the river again, we are bringing back the Bald Eagle and Grizzly Bear Expansions for Salmon Run which will be FREE when you purchase the game. For as long as supplies last, you can purchase Salmon Run, and get the two exclusive expansions included for $39.99! These expansions were kickstarter exclusives, and we have less than 100 available, so get your pole in the water while the fishing is good!
The Grizzly Bear card allows you to move a bear up to 2 hexes. Each salmon in the same hex must discard 2 cards at random. The Bald Eagle card Choose a hex. The Bald Eagle Card allows you to choose a hex, and each salmon that occupies that hex must randomly discard a card from hand.
Sale Price with included expansions (MSRP at $5 a piece):$39.99
Click here for more information!

2-4 players | ages 10+ | 20-45 min. 

"Games of Art" Games now Available on Preorder

Games of Art just finished its Kickstarter campaign after raising almost $27,000! That's over $6,000 past our initial goal of 20k! We are so excited for this project, and thank you so much for all your support! It is too late to pledge for the kickstarter campaign, but you can pre-order these great games at!

Games of Art

Games of Art is a book of games, includes seven classic games all designed by Sid Sackson. Each player wields one of the four colored dry erase markers provided in the package. Each page is laminated and fully erasable ensuring great replayability. Each game includes a short biography of the title artist, followed by short, illustrated rules (less than one page per game) and a full-page diagram of the game. Teachers and players are encouraged to copy the diagrams so that everyone can play these games simultaneously. Included are games named after and reminiscent of the styles of the iconic modern artists Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Jean Arp, Ferdinand Springer, and Victor Vasarely.        MSRP: $24.99
Click here for more information!

         2-4 players | ages 8+ | 15-60 min.

Petite Pastiche

Petite Pastiche is the condensed version of the award-winning international edition of Pastiche. The playing board has been eliminated, and there also also approximately 2/3 the hex tiles, 2/3 the palette cards and 2/3 the commission cards in Petite Pastiche (but the wooden easels remain!) A World of Beautiful Colors comes alive as players choose commission cards picturing 34 of the finest European art works of the past six centuries. Players score their commissions by mixing primary colors through clever tile placement, and recreating the palette of colors used by the masters. While placing hexagonal pieces to gain palette (color) cards, players learn the different color combinations that produce the many hues of an artist's palette... all listed on the Player Reference Card. Players also learn to recognize many great artists and their works as they complete commissions.       MSRP: $39.99

Click here for more information!

2-4 players | ages 10+ | 40-60 min.

Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition

Fantastiqa: The Rucksack Edition is set in a fantasy world of terrific 18th and 19th century art, portraying intrepid adventurers and the beasts they must subdue to pursue their quests. Fantastiqa: Rucksack is a deck-building strategy game set in a fantastical landscape of dark forests, mist-shrouded highlands, and frozen wastes. As you and your foes journey around the table, you will subdue strange creatures and fulfill fabulous quests. Each creature you encounter has both an ability and a vulnerability. Subdue it and recruit it as an ally! Combine the powers of different creatures and fulfill curious quests: send forth your Rabbits of Unusual Size to Nibble Through the Violin Strings of the Violent Vampire Volnar! Or deploy a party of web-slinging Spiders to String a Bridge Across the Chasm of Chaos! By completing quests, you score victory points and claim other special rewards.

Note to owners of Fantastiqa: The Enchanted Edition. The game play of the Rucksack Edition is identical to the Enchanted Edition. The Rucksack Edition slims down the size of the box, and eliminates the main board and the card holder boards. All the same playing cards are present as the Enchanted Edition, but the Rucksack Edition has a total of 211 cards vs. 240 because there are fewer duplicate cards.        MSRP: $39.99 

Click here for more information! 

2-4 players | ages 9+| 30-60 min.

Old Favorites Back in Stock!

In each of these three expansions to the cooperative fantasy board game, Defenders of the Realm, there are four new Heroes with matching Character Cards who have come to help defend Monarch City; each with special powers. Expansion #1 includes the Adventurer, Assassin, Captain of the Guard, and the Chaos Wizard. Expansion #2 features the Druid, Elf Lord, Healer, and the Monk. And expansion #3 includes the Feline, Seeker, Shaman, and the Thief.  

There are no new rules simply add the cards and tokens to the base game to begin a new adventure. Global Effects Cards should be added to the Global Effects Cards from the other Expansions to create one "Good" and one "Bad" Global Effects Deck. Several cards from each deck are added to the Darkness Spreads Deck and will change game play in a thematic way. Options allow players to increase or decrease the level of difficulty.  

Now answer the King's call to defend Monarch City!

MSRP: $24.99
Click here for more information!

1-4 players | ages 13+ | 120 min.


Build your own track, choose your car, and pitch it! Choose the best trajectory using the safety rails, stay on your wheels and don't go off the track if you don't want a penalty! This outstandingly beautiful game of skill is made of wood and is composed of 16 track parts, which allow you to build a vast number of 3.9 meter long tracks. The various extensions for the game are also in stock and available our website!
MSRP: $89.99

Click here for more information!

2-8 players | ages 6+ | 30 min.

PitchCar Mini

PitchCar Mini is a smaller version of PitchCar, but just as much fun as the original game. Curves are straights, the cars are a 1/3 smaller, and the tracks are 2.5 meters long. The game contains: 8 cars, 16 rails, 6 straights, 10 curves and 1 rulebook. The various extensions for the game are also in stock and available our website!          MSRP: $64.99
Click here for more information!

2-8 players | ages 6+ | 30 min.


This game is like shuffleboard in the round. Players take turns flicking disks on a board, trying to score points by attaining central regions. The main stipulation being that contact with the other teams' pieces must be made in order for the disk to remain on the board afterward. Although the game uses quite a bit of skill to flick the disks, there's a very significant strategy element to the game. There are many different variants and rules, as this game is very old and has had many different incarnations over the years. The game is available in both the classic finish as pictured above and a dark finish for a slightly higher price.        MSRP: $165.00
Click here for more information!

2-4 players | ages 8+ | 30 min.

MAGE Company

A tile-laying & settlement building game for 2-5 players inspired by the Prehistoric cities built in the Near East 10,000 years ago.

In Höyük each player represents a clan which will settle with other clans to erect a village. A replica of a Neolithic settlement will be built on the Höyük board using tiles to represent houses. Many additional pieces, such as ovens, shrines, and pens, will also aid a player in building their settlements. 

The purpose of the game is to build the best settlement and score the most victory points. There are multiple paths to victory with many choices along the way. The best Clan will prevail in Höyük!  

Check it out on Kickstarter right now…


Geoff Sims would like you to know that Tripods is now up for preorder.

Tripods! is heavily influenced by The War of the Worlds and aims to take a different slant from the standard human vs. alien interpretation used by previous game versions.

In Tripods! each player controls part of the mass of humanity trying to escape from London, whilst the Martians, Military Units and other game elements are controlled by a deck of cards to simulate the inability of the individual residents of the city to have any effect on the series of events. Thus the game becomes a struggle alongside, and often against, other average folk for the limited escape routes and safe areas, much as the book portrays the desperate plight of the citizens.


A small degree of influence is given to players in the form of a set of character cards which can be used to alter events, representing individuals with greater knowledge of the invasion, more power over the military, extraordinary bravery or cowardice and so forth. These are one-use-only, so players must be tactical in their decision making. This gives the game a good balance of strategy and luck, meaning experienced players who enjoy the mathematical elements of gaming can plot to their hearts' content and those who prefer to leave it to the draw of a card and roll of a die still have a chance of coming out on top by doing so.