W. Eric Martin
• NY Toy Fair opens on Saturday, Feb. 16, and that show — being aimed at mainstream retailers — typically coincides with game announcements connected to licensed properties.
Along those lines, Looney Labs has announced a partnership with Cardinal Industries that will allow them to release Marvel Fluxx and Jumanji Fluxx, new versions of Andrew Looney's long-lived Fluxx card game. Two different versions of these games will exist, with the Cardinal versions aimed at mass market retailing for $15 and being released in August 2019; the Looney Labs versions each include seven additional cards, retail for $20, and will debut in July 2019.
• U.S. publisher USAopoly has adopted a new logo (shown at left) for its 25th anniversary. In a press release accompanying the logo, USAopoly's president and CEO John M. Davis said, "This updated look and logo reflect our forward progress as well as capture our perseverance and unwavering pledge to deliver great gaming experiences that bring people together."
More relevant for this post, the publisher has also announced two titles bearing the Harry Potter license, while teasing a third. The first title is Scrabble: Harry Potter, which may or may not be the same item as Mattel's Scrabble: Harry Potter Edition, which appeared in 2016 in the UK. (Mattel holds the Scrabble trademark everywhere other than the U.S. and Canada.) In Scrabble: Harry Potter, you can score points for playing character names, locations, spells, and potion names in addition to, you know, normal non-magic words. Players also have challenge cards that they can complete for extra points.
Kami Mandell and Andrew Wolf's Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts, originally announced as HP:HB – Dueling Club in 2018, is a two-player-only version of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle that's competitive instead of co-operative. In this deck-building game, players learn offensive and defensive magic skills to protect themselves from dark creatures and dark arts, then eventually go after their opponent.
Aside from the these two titles, USAopoly said that it would release a "Wizarding World cooperative game" in 2019.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts
• Captain Marvel: Secret Skrulls is another licensed title from USAoply, this being a hidden identity game for 4-7 players based on the gameplay of BANG! The player with the Captain Marvel role is the sheriff, and they must identify their allies while taking out the skrulls and not succumbing to the skrull defector, which is this game's version of the renegade.
• USAopoly has also signed a deal with Laika Entertainment, LLC to release products based upon the 2009 movie Coraline, including a Coraline-themed Monopoly game. All of the player tokens are thimbles because losers must replace their eyes with buttons.