Origins Game Fair 2016 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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The Origins Game Fair takes place June 15-19, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, and this Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Origins 2016, (2) be newly released just before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form.

To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write to me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
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Board Game Publisher: (Self-Published)
1. Board Game: Kung Fu Zoo [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:4471]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 5 − 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

If you hung around your local zoo after it closed for the night, you'd see the nighttime rituals of the exotic animals you visited during the day. You'd see cages being cleaned and souvenir stands being restocked. If you were lucky, you might catch an impromptu seal show or moonlight nightingale concert.

And if you stayed late enough, long after the last employee had left for the night, you just might see the greatest, and most secret, of all zoo attractions—the late-night Kung Fu fights!

Welcome to Kung Fu Zoo!

Kung Fu Zoo is a dice-flicking dexterity game for 2-4 players. You control a team of highly-trained animals, from crocodiles to zebras, in a Kung Fu battle against your rivals. Who will be tonight’s champions of the zoo? Grab some dice and find out!

In Kung Fu Zoo, players use six-sided animal dice to do battle in an enclosed arena. There are two gameplay variants: Cage Battle and Points Match. In either variant, players start with a team of dice-animals. But the similarities stop there. In a Cage Battle, players take turns flicking their animals into the arena. Your goal is to knock your opponent’s animals onto their backs (stunning them) or through holes on the board (the “cages”). You win the match when all of your opponent’s animals are stunned or in cages. The first player to win three matches wins! In a Points Match, players take turns flicking their animals into the arena. Your goal is to score 21 points before your opponent. Points are awarded at the end of each round, based upon the position of your dice that are left on the board.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 only on Friday, June 17 at the Malted Meeple booth (637).

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2. Board Game: Platoon Command [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Platoon Command you take the role of a platoon leader, guiding your platoon into combat in order to capture critical battlefield objectives. Platoon Command is a quick-playing game that uses cards for combat, command and control, fog of war, and attrition. The mission objective is to gain Objective Points by controlling areas of the battlefield. You accomplish this objective by issuing orders to your command group, three rifle squads, and specialized personnel.

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Board Game Publisher: 8th Summit
• See the game listing for location details.
3. Board Game: Superhero Solitaire [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Superhero Solitaire integrates super powers into a mix-and-match multi-deck twist on the classic game of Klondike/Patience. Take on the role of a superhero and choose which villain you will face. Shuffle your deck of 52 cards together and you are ready to play!

Power cards showing your hero give you positive abilities while power cards showing the villain hamper your game play.

Win by playing all cards from your deck (HQ) and tableau (City).

A single deck provides hours of single player enjoyment. However, multiple decks allow players to mix-and-match characters as well as unlocking the ability to play a two-player variant.

One hero can make a difference!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 on Thursday and Saturday from co-designer Rob Kouba, but 8th Summit won't have a stand at the show, so you'll need to check with Kouba on Twitter to find out where he'll be for the demo games. He adds, "We will also be giving away an Origins-exclusive playmat for the player who has the best score."
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Board Game Publisher: Action Phase Games
• Booth 229
4. Board Game: Dreamwell [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3132]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In a place outside the waking world where children go while they sleep.
Wander the dreamkin—lost sleepers, whose souls this land seeks to keep.
Underneath the gentle waves of lucid seas we fell.
We’re off to find our missing friends in the vast Dreamwell.

Dreamwell is a 2-4 player competitive game featuring the art of Tara McPherson where players are trying to locate their lost friends in the Dreamwell. The Dreamwell is represented by a 4 x 4 grid of tiles. Each tile shows a environment and a creature, in addition to pathways to neighboring tiles. At the beginning of the game, players will be dealt two cards, each of which shows a picture of the friend whom he or she is trying to locate along with the two creatures and environment that will be required to find that particular friend.

On your turn, you will be able to take three actions from the following list: move one of your pawns, rotate a tile, draw a card, replace the display, or locate one of your missing friends by playing a card. Only by carefully navigating the maze-like Dreamwell can you locate your friends and win the game.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its debut at Gen Con 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
• Booth D403
5. Board Game: Dice Heist [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4369]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Daring art heists with a roll of the dice! Take on the role of an international thief in Dice Heist, and attempt a series of daring heists to steal the most valuable artifacts, gems, and paintings from four of the world's most famous museums. Recruit sidekicks to help you, or go it alone. Will you beat the security systems at the Louvre in Paris and make your escape with the Mona Lisa, or will one of the other thieves get there first? Whoever can impress his fellow criminals with the most valuable collection of stolen goods wins!

Other Information: • MSRP $20
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6. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:378]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

A curse has been placed on the Valley of Life. Hearing the spirits of nature cry out for aid, clans of druids have arrived, determined to use their blessings to heal the land and rescue the spirits. It will require courage and also caution, as the curse can overwhelm the careless who wield too much power.

In Mystic Vale, 2 to 4 players take on the role of druidic clans trying to cleanse the curse upon the land. Each turn, you play cards into your field to gain powerful advancements and useful vale cards. Use your power wisely, or decay will end your turn prematurely. Score the most victory points to win the game!

Mystic Vale uses the innovative "Card Crafting System", which lets you not only build your deck, but build the individual cards in your deck, customizing each card's abilities to exactly the strategy you want to follow.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its retail release in July 2016.

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Board Game Publisher: Arcane Wonders
• Booth 401
7. Board Game: Royals [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:897]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Royals, players take on the roles of the great noble houses of the 17th century, fighting for supremacy in Europe at that time. With the help of the right country cards, they occupy influential positions and obtain bonuses for this in the form of victory points. The higher the rank of the title associated with the position, the more country cards required. Already-occupied positions can be contested by playing intrigue cards.

The game proceeds over three periods, with a scoring taking place after each of them. During scoring, the players with the greatest influence in each of the four countries score victory points. After the third period scoring, the game ends with the scoring of the individual titles. The player with the most victory points wins.

Other Information: • MSRP $50
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Board Game Publisher: Ares Games
• Booth 333
8. Board Game: Behind the Throne [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:5810]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Four powerful secret organizations are fighting for the right to rule in the old kingdom, and you can acquire safety, control, and economic dictates only through the conquest of political influence at the royal court. The more servants, nobles and dignitaries you can control, the closer you will be to the purpose. Intrigue, blackmail, or threats are suitable for all those who are struggling in the shadow of the royal throne. Power over each new aristocrat gives you a new method for influencing others. The man of absolute power behind the throne will be known soon.

Behind the Throne is quick and simple card game in which players collect sets of cards to get new special abilities. Player earn victory points for the heroes they collect, and whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 on a pre-production copy ahead of its retail release in August 2016.
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9. Board Game: Dungeon Time [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:3736]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 10 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Are you brave enough to accept the dungeon challenge?

In Dungeon Time, a real-time cooperative card game, you will enter a fantasy realm with only five minutes to complete your missions. Find the equipment, get the mission — while frantically trying to beat the clock and avoid being over-burdened by your equipment – and level up to higher challenges if you do!

In more detail, players play and draw cards, with each card showing either an item or a mission. Players call to one another for the items needed to fulfill missions; everybody plays their items on the stack, then you can play your mission on the stack and it will be fulfilled... Easy, isn't it? Except you have only five minutes to go through the whole deck, and each item played at the wrong time will burden your backpack, and risk bringing you one step closer to failure...

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 on a pre-production copy ahead of a Kickstarter funding campaign starting in late June 2016.
 
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10. Board Game: The Last Friday [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2864]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Last Friday is a hidden movement, hunting and deduction board game, inspired by the popular "slasher" horror movie genre. In the role of young campers, the players are challenged to survive a long weekend of terror – while one of them takes the role of the undying psychopath hiding in the shadows of the forest. In general, the murderer's goal is to remain hidden and to kill off each of the campers, while the campers are trying to fight back and kill the murderer before they are all killed.

The game is played over four chapters — Arrival at the Camp, The Chase, The Massacre, and The Final Chapter — and each chapter plays out differently as the hunter becomes the prey, then comes back from the dead looking for revenge.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 on a pre-production copy ahead of its retail release in August 2016.
 
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11. Board Game: War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.43 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth includes Ents, Dead Men of Dunharrow, Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Corsairs of Umbar, Wild Hilmen from Dunland, and Giant Spiders, and with this new expansion for War of the Ring (second edition), these warriors and creatures of Middle-earth – previously featured only as special Event Cards – will become an essential part of the game, with unique figures and specific abilities.

Warriors of Middle-earth also presents new mechanisms to enhance the game. Faction Dice and Faction Events, used together with the new figures, open up new and exciting strategies and make the War of the Ring (second edition) even more challenging and fun.

Other Information: • Available for previewing in prototype form at Origins 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Atlas Games
• Booth 308
12. Board Game: Lost in R'lyeh [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:5774]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

R'lyeh is a terrible and ancient city, risen from the depths of the Pacific by a great curse. There, Cthulhu lies both dead and dreaming, waiting to consume any who venture near.

In Lost in R'lyeh, players are trapped in H.P. Lovecraft's short story, "The Call of Cthulhu". From the mysterious discovery of a profane idol, to dreams of a dark cult, to landfall in a cyclopean metropolis and Cthulhu's horrific emergence, no player can truly win...although the last player to escape will be the ultimate loser for that player will be forever lost in R'lyeh!

In terms of the gameplay, each turn choose to play either event cards and horror cards. Play the largest card sets you can to unlock ever-mightier powers. When the time is right, transition from playing cards from your hand to eliminating your array of escape cards. What's more, decide each turn whether picking up the whole stack will help you win, even though you're ultimately trying to get rid of cards.

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Board Game Publisher: B&B Games Studio
13. Board Game: BetaBotz [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:9449]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

BetaBotz is a fun and competitive multiplayer board game where players bid on robots, upgrade their robot with components and execute powerful codes to accomplish tiered missions. Each mission provides the players a currency reward giving them more bidding power and bringing them closer to victory. Robots will need to work with and against one another to become the ultimate BetaBot worthy of entering Robotopia.

BetaBotz takes minimal time to learn but includes enough variation in content and strategy that no two games are the same. The simultaneous mission feature of BetaBotz allows all players to participate during missions. There is a high level of engagement and interaction between the players so that everyone can have a blast through the entirety of game play!

Players start BetaBotz with 40 bitz (currency) and use this starting pool to bid on a robot body with stats in four attributes (Agility, Firepower, Structure and Processor). Throughout the game players use their remaining bitz and any bit rewards received to bid against one another on components that increase their attributes or select single use "Code Cards" in an effort to complete missions. In addition to components increasing a robot's ability to complete missions, achieving a stat of 13 or more in an attribute activates a power associated with that attribute.

A complete game of BetaBotz is played over the course of ten missions. Mission cards of different tiers are selected based on the number of players. Missions require at least a specific value in one (or multiple) of the four attributes to complete. All players attempt to complete the current mission simultaneously and those that are successful receive a reward of bitz. Players are able to form teams to complete the current mission but they must split the mission rewards among the team. At the conclusion of the 10th mission the player with the highest individual attribute, the most gold components and code cards each receive an additional bitz reward. The player with the most bitz at the end of the game, including the bonus bitz, is the winner.

Other Information: • Booth 253

• Available for demo games at Origins 2016 to coincide with an ongoing Kickstarter funding campaign.
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Board Game Publisher: Blue Orange Games
• Booth 527
14. Board Game: The Boss [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1229]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

With each card played, you gain more information about the loot — or sanctions — that may be yours for the taking in different American cities. Basing upon this information, you send out the members of your gang to those cities: some are pros, some are wannabes.

Whoever has the most gang members in a city cashes the loot or undergoes the sanction. When going to Chicago, you have no choice but to split your takings with the boss himself: Al Capone. The further the game progresses, the higher the stakes are getting, especially in Chicago.

The Boss is essentially a card game (with a small game board for keeping scores) of deduction, bluffing, and a lot of backstabbing.

Other Information: • BOG notes that fifty copies of The Boss will be available at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's retail release in Q4 2016.
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15. Board Game: Cup of Bluff [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 5 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Get ready to serve up a hot cup of bluff! Players take turns rolling the dice, and then bluffing about their true value. If you are able to trick your opponents, you score a chip as your reward. But if they can see past your bluff, your opponents will take the chip instead.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its retail release in Q4 2016.

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16. Board Game: Six Making [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:3641]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Six Making, a.k.a. Sixth, is a two-player abstract strategy game in which players challenge each other in building chess figures. In this game, checkmating the opponent doesn't make you a winner; instead the goal is to build a king.

In more detail, players alternate in either placing one of their own pieces on the board as a chess pawn or moving any of the pieces on the board. Taking pieces results in building higher stacks, which move like different chess pieces. Even parts of stacks can be moved as their corresponding chess piece. The first player to create a stack of six or more pieces — with their own color on top — wins the game.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its retail release in Q4 2016.

• Here's an overview of Six Making that I shot in 2014 with the original version from Mind Fitness Games:

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17. Board Game: U-Turn [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 5 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Get ready to build an evolving structure full of twists and turns and snappy decisions!

In U-Turn, players take turns snapping together U-shaped bricks in an effort to surround one of the dots in their own color. Each side of the structure is considered as a flat plane when determining whether a dot is surrounded, so don't be deceived by depth! Turn and snap until you trap your dot.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's retail release in Q4 2016.

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18. Board Game: Vikings on Board [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4387]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Vikings on Board is a family-strategy/worker-placement game in which your objective is to set sail with your clan of Vikings on board the ships best supplied for a successful voyage, while simultaneously placing bets on which clan you think will control each ship as they set sail.

Ships are divided into three sections: the front (bow), the middle (body), and the end (stern). During the course of the game, you will place supplies on the ships’ bows, while moving around their body pieces so that your clan has majority control of a ship when it sets sail. Stern pieces are used to show which ships have already set sail.

Each turn, the active player will perform one of the remaining available actions. Actions include: taking first pick of actions next round, rearranging ships' pieces (x4), placing bets on ships (x2), adding supplies to a ship (x2), increasing the value of supplies in the market, or setting sail.

When a ship sets sail, players will share its supplies in order of how many times their clan's shield appears on the body pieces of that ship. Starting with the player with the most shields, players will claim a supply token of their choice from the bow of the ship and place it facedown on their scoring circle. These supply tokens will score points based on their value in the market at the end of the game. Additionally, if a player placed a bet on the clan that had majority control of the ship, then they take their winning bet and place it facedown on their scoring circle.

The game ends after seven ships have set sail. Players calculate their final scores by adding together the value of their supply tokens with the value of their winning bets. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its retail release in Q4 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Breaking Games
• Booth 417
19. Board Game: 4 the Birds [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:11998]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

4 the Birds is the board game in which you will use beak-and-taloned strategy as well as a peck of luck to be the first to "flock" four of your birds together in a tree besieged by a menagerie of other birds trying to do the same. By constantly balancing the goal of flocking your own birds and "Flock-Blocking" opponents' birds, a see-saw battle for avian supremacy ensues — and beware the non-player bird-baddies (crows and hawks) that can swoop in to un-nest a would-be winner.

Gameplay is simple. Each player rolls two dice on their turn to indicating coordinates on the game board grid (the tree) to place and move your six birds on the board. Each turn a player has the choice to place a bird at the rolled coordinate or play one of seven Action Cards as they work to achieve the winning formation of a four bird flock (either a square or straight line on the grid).

  • Fast and easy to learn and play
  • Finely balanced mix of luck and strategy
  • Territorial disputes between birds is resolved via novel "Pecking Order"
  • Introduces a unique slide mechanic when birds vie for the same spot on the boards
  • Non-player spoiler-birds (crows and hawks) add unique obstacles as well as chain-reaction board-reorganizing sliding and scattering
  • Truly an abstract "gateway" game that's great for kids' spatial and numerical skills (and even better for adults who are out of practice)
Other Information: • MSRP $40

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Board Game Publisher: Calliope Games
• Booth 245
20. Board Game: Hive Mind [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:3408]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 12
Playing time: 30 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Richard Garfield introduces Hive Mind, a buzzworthy new party game about beeing alike!

Up in the hive, the bees are trying to prove to the Queen Bee that they deserve to stay! During the game, the players must be harmonious in answering intriguing questions based on their experience and opinions. The more answers they have in common with other players, the more points they get! Represented by bee pawns called Beeples, players move through the hive; those who score the fewest points each round must move closer to the hive exit. As soon as one or more bees exit the hive, the game ends. All the remaining bees win and survive the winter!

Hive Mind is a game for as few as three players up to as many as you want!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's debut at Gen Con 2016 in August.

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21. Board Game: Menu Masters [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:7992]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 − 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

It's a fine dining frenzy! In Menu Masters, you are a world-class chef, brimming with ideas for the greatest menus ever crafted, but the only way to become the Menu Master is to beat the other chefs to Market Street for the freshest, most delicious ingredients! You may choose to open a store to earn some money...or just grab your shopping basket and be the first in line at the market. It's the only way to get the best selection! But beware of the other chefs as they drive up demand and increase prices! Earn your stars in this deliciously fun race to gourmet supremacy, proving you are the greatest of menu masters!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's debut at Gen Con 2016 in August.

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22. Board Game: Running with the Bulls [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:12768]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 40 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Get ready to embark on the craziest vacation ever! A herd of mischievous bulls has taken over the quaint town of El Toro, and players must outrun & outwit them in order to get to the fabulous destinations on the coast! Skillfully play cards to dodge the rascally bulls as they chase you through the streets! The dice themselves are the Runners, and you must maipulate them to determine both their paths & those of the Bulls themselves! It's all a bit like strategic pachinko! With a bit of planning & lot of luck, you’ll reach your spectacular getaway while Running with the Bulls!

In the game, players use handfuls of dice as runners, starting them at the top of the game board and playing cards to reroll those runners or influence opposing runners, with your goal for each of the three days being to get your runners to the fancy destinations (which are worth differing amounts of points) at the bottom of the board while avoiding the bulls that are chasing you.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's debut at Gen Con 2016 in August.

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Board Game Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment
• Booth D901
23. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Crossover Pack 5 – The Rogues [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.91 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Suggested ages: 15 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The DC Comics Deck-Building Game Crossover Pack series is a way to breathe new life into your game with just a few tweaks. Grab your favorite DC set and instead of using the Super Heroes and Super-Villains from that set, use the ones from this pack instead!

DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Crossover Pack 5 – The Rogues features a full set of new playable Super Villains, Super Heroes to defeat, and new Main Deck cards such as Equipment, Locations and Super Powers.

Other Information: • Available for previewing during a special Saturday evening event. Stop by the Cryptozoic booth for details on how to attend.
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24. Board Game: Internal Affairs [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:7605]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 20 − 35 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

A team of infiltrators from the triad penetrated the police force. However, the police also has sent a team of undercover agents to infiltrate the triad. Ten years later, they are still undercover, but their minds have been twisted by the temptation of power, authority and money — and nobody is certain about their original roles anymore. Both groups learn that they have been infiltrated and want to ferret out the moles. Each mole has a secret code to lock their identity file, and once the code is cracked their identity is fully revealed. The battle of wits starts now. Either exposing the enemy or taking the chance to change the identity for good can save their lives as long as nobody knows who is who!

Internal Affairs is an intense elimination game between infiltrators from both the Triad and the Police Force Infiltrator. Each player has a set of secret ID cards which determine that player's allegiance. Each player also has a secret code, which when cracked reveals the player's real ID. At the beginning of the game, each player has five code cards and chooses three of them to be the secret code that locks the identity file. During their turn, players try to crack other players' codes to find out who is who and get their team to victory. Due to action cards, though, ID cards may be passed from player to player and this may change each player's allegiance. Players must be quick to win, as otherwise they may end up in the losing team when they least expect it.

Internal Affairs is designed for 5-8 players, but alternative rules have been included to allow for play with 2-4.

Other Information: • Available at Origins 2016 in "very limited quantities" according to Cryptozoic.
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25. Board Game: Mad Science Foundation [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:7726]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 15 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Throughout the centuries, mad scientists have always encountered the same problem of very limited access to the dangerous resources they require. To solve this problem, the Mad Science Foundation was created. Now these "misunderstood geniuses" can finally get the access they need to the four vital building blocks of mad science: Lasers, Dark Matter, Cryptomium, and Sharks.

Unfortunately, for each mad scientist who seeks "funding" from the Mad Science Foundation, there remains the unfortunate fact of life that mad scientists do not play well with others. In the quest for infamy, directors will be bribed, resources will be reallocated, spies will be dispatched, inventions will be sabotaged, and big, ominous buttons will be pressed with catastrophic results. Welcome to the Mad Science Foundation, where everyone is ready to stab you in the back with overly-elaborate backstabbing machines.

At heart, Mad Science Foundation is a drafting game. You draft resources to craft wacky inventions and dispatch minions to help with your diabolical plans. Each round, one player controls the Crooked Director for that round. They then separate the available commodities into piles to be drafted. It's up to the scientist controlling the Director to determine the value of whatever resources are available and separate them into piles. Not all piles are created equal! Players then take turns selecting which pile of goodies to grab, with the Director's controller choosing last. Sizing up your competition is key! You know what they need; don't let them have it. Or give them two choices of equal terrible-ness! But each player also has a secret side objective that you may not figure out until it's too late...

By crafting new inventions, you might be able to put together an engine of cards that eventually fuel themselves. Perpetual motion in our lifetime! Or perhaps you might stockpile valuable resources for later exploitation. It's all done with the altruistic goals of megalomania and personal glory in mind. What could go wrong?*

  • The Mad Science Foundation is not responsible for stock market crashes, illegal dumping, or tears in the fabric of space-time.
Other Information: • Available at Origins 2016 in "very limited quantities" according to Cryptozoic.
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