Category Archives: Gaming

TABLE-TOP GAME DAY: NATIONS

Written by Zeb Larson


Nations was a game that I had heard a lot about before I finally had a chance to play it. I’m one of those guys who keeps Boardgamegeek open in the background at work, mostly so I can read reviews of games I haven’t played and scroll for trades I might be interested in. It first popped up for me a few years ago when I passed up an opportunity to playtest it, an opportunity I’ve since come to regret. After finally having gotten to play this game, I can report that I liked it, although I’m not wild about it.

For those who haven’t read up on the game, Nations is a 1 to 5 player game which simulates the passage of history for several ancient powers. Players take on one of five different states: Greece, Rome, Persia, Egypt or China. The game is played through four different historical eras: Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance and Industrial, each of which last for two phases. Players can build up strong militaries, develop sophisticated cultures, conquer colonies and build wonders to accrue victory points. At the end of the game, whoever has the most victory points is the winner. Gameplay integrates some aspects of worker placement and some aspects of card drafting, which I’ll run through in a few paragraphs.

IDW GAMES AND PANDASAURUS GAMES BRING AN INTERNATIONAL TABLETOP SENSATION TO THE U.S.!

JAPANESE HIT MACHI KORO TO MAKE ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT THIS SUMMER 

San Diego, CA (March 19, 2014) – Today IDW Games announced the publication of Machi Koro, the first of many small box games to be released in partnership with Pandasaurus Games. This July, gamers can look forward to adding the international hit card game Machi Koro to their weekly game sessions.

machiThis will be the first North American printing of the fast-paced, dice-rolling city builder, Machi Koro. In the game, players compete to be the first person to build up their simple village into a sprawling metropolis. Originally designed and released in Japan, Machi Koro has developed a dedicated fan-base around the world. Excited fans have been eagerly anticipating an English translation, and the game has already garnered a “seal of excellence” from The Dice Tower among many other accolades.

“This is absolutely one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played,” said Molly Wardlaw of Pandasaurus Games “Machi Koro is a table top gamer’s dream.  Machi Koro is so infectiously fun because it combines strategy in a small fast-paced experience.  This is a game that could easily be played with non-gamers, but has enough depth and strategy to satiate the most dedicated table top fanatics. This is the epitome of the ‘let’s play just one more round’ experience.”

Armed only with your trusty die and a dream, you must grow Machi Koro into the largest city in the region. You will need to collect income from developments and build public works, and steal from your neighbors coffers. Just make sure they aren’t doing the same to you! Machi Koro is a fast-paced light-hearted game for you and up to 3 friends. They say you can’t build Rome in a day, but Machi Koro will can be built in under 30 minutes!

Machi Koro is a game that’s been whispered about in gaming halls for a long time,” said IDW Director of Business Development Jerry Benninton. “Any convention it’s been at, players have swarmed booths, snapping up copies, even if they had to translate rules and cards. We’re excited to be introducing ourselves at GAMA with a game and giveaway this prestigious.”

Machi Koro will be on display at the GAMA trade show March 17-21, 2014. The first 100 attendees to participate in a demo at the IDW Games booth will walk away with a promo copy of Machi Koro. The game will retail for $29.99 and an expansion is already being planned for release for this holiday season.

Follow IDW Games on Facebook and Twitter @IDWGames for breaking news, random fun, and the opportunity to play more games!

About Pandasaurus Games
Pandasaurus Games is an award winning hobby board and card game publisher hailing from Austin, TX, known for such hit games as Tammany Hall, Yedo, Firenze, Great Fire of London and Lost Valley

About IDW Publishing

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Paramount’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000AD’s Judge Dredd; The Rocketeer; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio, and the multiple award-winning Artist’s Edition imprint.

IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Warner Brothers are producing a film based on Ashley Wood’s Lore; Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film, Kurtzman/Orci are producing a movie based on Locke & Key at Universal.

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Sony Computer Entertainment Further Strengthens Its Support For The Independent Development Community For PlayStation® 4

Introduction of New Native Development Solutions for GameMaker™:Studio and MonoGame, and Robust Solution Also Realized for Unity, Now Available for the PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita Systems; Early Access Version for Unity for the PlayStation®4 System Coming in April 2014

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOTOKYO, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that it would further strengthen its support for the independent development community by introducing more tool and middleware solutions for the PlayStation® 4 (PS4 ™) computer entertainment system. Since the launch of PS4, SCE has introduced a wide variety of hardware and software tools to improve efficiency in game development for PS4, and the company will continue its effort to support the growing game development community.

SCE has entered into a strategic partnership to bring native solutions from popular middleware vendor GameMaker™: Studio from YoYo Games, and the company also announced that MonoGame would become available for the PS4 software title development, further expanding its already robust set of development tools available for the global gaming development community. The company also announced that fully integrated solutions for Unity from Unity Technologies are now available for the PlayStation® 3 (PS3 ™) and PlayStation®Vita (PS Vita) systems, with the highly anticipated early access version for PS4 coming in April 2014. Unity, GameMaker: Studio and MonoGame represent the most popular game development tools leveraged by universities and independent developers alike for prototyping and full scale product development.

“SCE is an immense supporter of the indie movement within the game industry and is constantly collecting feedback on how to make things easier for developers. It became abundantly clear within the development community that these broad sets of tools and specific middleware solutions are in high-demand,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “We are pleased to provide these powerful tools to developers and add even more flexibility and development options for game developers around the world, and we know that PlayStation gamers will be thrilled to play the games that will come to our platforms as a result of these partnerships.”

Sony Computer Entertainment Announces “Project Morpheus” – A Virtual Reality System That Expands The World Of Playstation®4 (PS4™)

With Project Morpheus and PlayStation®Camera, Games will Immerse Players in Virtual Worlds, Delivering a Sense of Presence in Gaming Never Before Possible

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT INC. PROJECT MORPHEUSSONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOTOKYO, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced the development of “Project Morpheus” (Morpheus) − a virtual reality (VR) system that takes the PlayStation®4 (PS4™) system to the next level of immersion and demonstrates the future of gaming.  SCE will continue development of Morpheus looking towards a future commercial launch.

“At SCE we view innovation as an opportunity to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play,” said Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios.  “Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE, and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators.”

Morpheus enables developers to create experiences that deliver a sense of presence – where players feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game.  Presence is like a window into another world that heightens the emotions gamers experience as they play.  Morpheus features a visor style head-mounted display and works seamlessly with PlayStation® Camera to deliver a unique VR experience right before the player’s eyes.  Inertial sensors built into the head mount unit and PlayStation Camera accurately track head orientation and movement so as the player’s head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates naturally and intuitively in real-time.  Furthermore, in supporting games, the player can use a PlayStation® Move (PS Move) Motion Controller as an object, such as a sword.  Morpheus will reproduce the player’s hands and sword within the game so the player feels like they are physically fighting off enemies with their sword in the virtual world.

IDW Games to Release The X-FILES Big Box Board Game

Search For The Truth On Your Tabletop This July!

San Diego, CA (March 18, 2014) - This summer, fans of The X-Files will have a brand-new way to search for the truth, with the release of a brand-new big box board game! Players will get the chance to take on the role of Mulder, Scully, and the X-Files team as they work to uncover global conspiracies and threats while going up against various members of the Syndicate.

“To me, there’s no more exciting title than The X-Files,” says IDW Director of New Business, Jerry Bennington. “Who wouldn’t want the chance to play as the wise cracking Fox Mulder or the incredibly intelligent Dana Scully? And what show created more classic villains than The X-Files? I still remember the first time I laid eyes on Flukeman, now we’ll give fans the chance to lose sleep all over again!”

The X-Files board game will focus heavily on material from the first three seasons of the television series, giving fans a chance to start from the beginning of the phenomenon. IDW Games has enlisted top-notch designer, Kevin Wilson (Arkham HorrorDescentCivilization) to bring The X-Files to the strategy board game community. Acclaimed gallery and comic book artist, menton3 (Memory Collectors, The X-Files: Season 10) brings his talents to the board gaming world by providing art direction for this project as well as the stunning box art. Designed for a playtime of between sixty and ninety minutes, two to five players will face off against one friend who will control the Smoking Man and his nefarious network.

FINAL FANTASY X/X-2 HD REMASTER Launches In North America Today!

Timeless Classics Now Available on the PlayStation®3  & PlayStation®Vita 

SQUARE ENIX, INC. LOGO

SQUARE ENIX, INC. LOGO

LOS ANGELES, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire – Square Enix, Inc., the publisher of SQUARE ENIX® interactive entertainment products in the Americas, today announced that its critically-acclaimed RPG, FINAL FANTASY® X/X-2 HD Remaster is now available in North America for the PlayStation®3 system and PlayStation® Vita systems. Completely remastered in high-definition, the compilation brings two fan-favorite, timeless classics – FINAL FANTASY X and FINAL FANTASY X-2 for new and old fans.

Considered a ground-breaking milestone for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system,FINAL FANTASY X was the first in the series to incorporate voice acting and full 3D graphics. In the remastered version, the artwork has been beautifully reworked and redrawn, and new character voices are included as part of the new 30-minute audio drama that will be played during the ending credits.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is the best way to play one of the best JRPGs ever –IGN (9.3/10)

Whether you’re taking a trip down memory lane or experiencing Final Fantasy X for the first time, you won’t be disappointed –Game Informer (9/10, Gold Award, April Issue)

VALIANT and CATALYST GAME LABS Partner for New Line of Comic Book-Based Tabletop Games!

Artwork by Tom Raney

Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce that it has partnered with Catalyst Game Labs to produce role-playing and tabletop games featuring Valiant’s award-winning library of comic book superheroes. The partnership will lead off in mid-2014 with the release of the Valiant Universe RPG—Valiant’s first-ever role-playing game, designed for the Cue System (the Origins and ENnie awards-nominated system first published in Catalyst’s 1950s Rockets/Rayguns/Robots RPG, Cosmic Patrol). Subsequent releases, spotlighting a wide array of Valiant properties, will follow in 2015 and beyond.

The edge between superhero and villain has never been sharper. In the Valiant Universe RPG, players will immerse themselves in a dark and gritty world where every mission and every battle has deadly consequences. Whether playing X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Shadowman or even the all-powerful Toyo Harada—or any of dozens of characters—Valiant’s most fearless heroes will unite for the first time in a roleplaying game, allowing you to join their stories and create new ones! Whether you’re a longtime fan or brand new to the Valiant Universe, this is the only source you’ll need to bring Valiant’s leading characters to life in a fantastic superheroes setting!

“This is really a dream come true,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs. “I’ve always been a comics fan—as are most of Catalyst’ employees—and getting the chance to publish great games within a fantastic comics universe is spectacular. The fact that it’s Valiant, with its brilliant combination of heroic action and gritty realism, makes this all the more enjoyable.” 

Valiant is a leading character-based entertainment company with a library of over 1,750 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman and many more. Established in 1989, Valiant has sold over 80 million comic books, and today its characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Since its summer 2012 relaunch, Valiant has returned to the fore as one of the most highly regarded publishers in comics, winning a 2012 Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. Just last month, the publisher announced Valiant First—a brand new publishing initiative primed to unleash a major #1 new series debut monthly throughout 2014, beginning in May with RAI #1—the first issue of an all-new ongoing series from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt with fully painted interiors by superstar artist Clayton Crain

“Catalyst is exceptional at what they do, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with a games publisher of their caliber on Valiant’s very first RPG. With such a skilled an enthusiastic team at the helm, we have every faith that Valiant’s first foray into the world of role-play and tabletop gaming will live up to the expectations of our fans around the world,” said Russell A. Brown, Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions & Ad Sales. “Catalyst is dedicated to doing these characters justice, and we look forward to giving our biggest heroes the gaming debut they deserve when the Valiant Universe RPG arrives later this year.”

DYNAMITE To Launch New PATHFINDER Comic Series Based on Paizo’s Hit RPG!

Based on the World’s Best-Selling Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Iconic Heroes Return with New Adventures in Pathfinder: City of Secrets

PathfinderSecrets01-02-03

Dynamite-logo

March 14th, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ - Dynamite Entertainment is thrilled to announce the return of Pathfinder Comics with a new series, Pathfinder: City of Secrets. The first issue releases in local comic stores and digitally May 2014.

Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1 is written by returning superstar writer Jim Zub, with interior art by Leandro Oliveira and cover art by Genzoman, Carlos Gomez, Sean Izaakse and Steven Cummings. This issue marks the beginning of a new adventure series and is the perfect starting point for new readers. Each issue also includes an exclusive Pathfinder Roleplaying Game encounter, sourcebook appendix, and a bonus removable playable tactical map/art poster.

In Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1, the Pathfinder heroes head to the city of Magnimar, and danger isn’t far behind. As the wizard Ezren seeks an audience with the Pathfinder Society, his adventuring allies explore the city’s ancient magic, well-hidden secrets, and deep political divides. The dangers and opportunities of the big city could bring the adventurers closer together-or tear them apart!

In celebration of Pathfinder: City of Secrets #1‘s May release, Dynamite has partnered with Paizo’s Pathfinder Society Organized Play program to connect retail stores with volunteer Game Masters who can run in-store Pathfinder RPG demo events based on the encounters featured in the series. In the game scenario, Pathfinder goblins attack YOUR comic book store, and brave heroes must stand in its defense on New Comic Book Day! Contact the nearest Pathfinder Society Venture Captain regional coordinator from the list at paizo.com/pfs/venturecaptains to set up your store’s special event. Both Paizo and Dynamite will promote these events through social media.

The Pathfinder RPG game appendix for each issue of Pathfinder: City of Secrets beyond the first will include a special fan-created official Hero of Magnimar, chosen by the Paizo staff and illustrated by one of Dynamite’s artists. This is your chance to officially add your character to the Pathfinder universe, with game stats provided directly by Pathfinder’s professional game designers! Visit paizo.com/contests for more details on how to enter this exciting monthly contest and check back each month to see if YOUR hero made the cut!

“Writing Pathfinder has been a wonderful experience,” says writer Jim Zub. “The gang at Paizo have crafted a robust and diverse fantasy world that lends itself to dramatic and exciting stories. I can’t wait for readers to dive into City of Secrets and see what happens next to the Pathfinder iconic characters.”

BETHESDA & DARK HORSE CREATE THREE NEW ART BOOKS!

The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order Coming in May

Evil Within and Dishonored Books to Follow
AOWLFN-CVRAOEW CVR

Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce that they’ve teamed up with Bethesda to create three incredible art books – “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order”, “The Art of The Evil Within” and“Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives”. Each hardcover book, packed with art and game design details, will retail for $39.99.

The first in the collection, “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order”, features full-color artwork from MachineGames’ upcoming first-person action-adventure shooter as well as developer commentary from the team. The book spans more than 200 pages and covers all facets of the game’s design, including concept art, character designs,settings and technology – all of which was inspired by Wolfenstein’s alternate 1960′s setting. Check out sample pages from the book on http://www.bethblog.com.

PlayStation®4 (PS4™) Sales Surpass 6.0 Million Units Worldwide In Less Than 4 Months Since Launch!

PS4 Software Sales Reach 13.7 Million, Users Fully Embrace the World of PS4, and Demonstrate Further Enhancement of the Network Service’s Ecosystem With 100 Million Shares Captured, More than 56 Million Spectate Sessions and a Dramatic Increase of PlayStation®Plus Subscriptions

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOTOKYO, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) today announced that the PlayStation®4 (PS4™) computer entertainment system has cumulatively sold through more than 6.0 million units*1 globally as ofMarch 2, 2014 (JST).  This also includes the 370,000 units sold through in Japansince its launch on February 22. 

PS4 software sales also remain strong with more than 13.7 million*2 copies sold in retail stores worldwide and through digital downloads on PlayStation®Store as ofMarch 2, 2014 (JST).   Over 30 exciting titles*3 are available from SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) and the industry’s best software developers and publishers, including the independent development community.  This incredible line-up reflects the strong support for PS4 among developers and publishers, and has led the platform’s accelerated momentum and expansion.   A few of the top selling titles included KILLZONE SHADOW FALL (SCE WWS), which has already sold over 2.1 million units worldwide, KNACK (SCE WWS), Call of Duty: Ghosts(Activision), FIFA14 (Electronic Arts), Battlefield 4 (Electronic Arts),  andAssassin’s Creed: IV Black Flag (Ubisoft Entertainment).  Titles developed by the independent development community such as Contrast (Complusion Gams),Warframe (Digital Extremes) and Don’t Starve: Console Edition (Klei Entertainment), have also been highly acclaimed by gamers.  Japanese gamers are enjoying the latest installments of popular franchises, such as DYNASTY WARRIORS 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (Tecmo Koei Games Co., Ltd),FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn (SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD) and Ryu-ga-gotoku Ishin!  (SEGA Corporation).