Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, io9's regular column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. The holidays are fast approaching, so it’s time to start thinking about cool gaming gift ideas for you and your loved ones (also me, please and thank you). Luckily, we’ve got you covered with Wingspan’s first expansion, a dice game based on Rick and Morty’s season four premiere, and a beautiful limited edition of King of Tokyo.
Two years after releasing Fallout: The Board Game, based on the video game, Fantasy Flight has announced it’s adapting the mobile game Fallout Shelter as a board game. In Fallout Shelter: The Board Game, two to four players compete to create the best shelters so they’re named the next Overseer in the coming election. Players do this by building rooms, assigning Dwellers to tasks, and keeping everybody safe from harm. It’s definitely a strange premise for an adaptation, given how similar it looks to the mobile game, but for fans of the original it could be an interesting twist on the experience. Fallout Shelter: The Board Game is available for preorder and set to come out early 2020.
The National Toy Hall of Fame is getting a bit more magical this year. Magic: The Gathering has been inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame, alongside Matchbox cars and coloring books. The game, which premiered at GenCon in 1993, is credited with jump-starting the collective card game genre and bringing fantasy gaming to a new audience. Perfect timing, too, as we’re getting excited for Magic’s new Netflix series from the Russo Brothers.
Hasbro’s really leaning into this whole Dungeons & Dragons thing. USAopoly has released a new version of Clue set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Players take on the role of Sylvira Savikas, Lulu, Slobberchops, Reya Mantlemorn, and others to figure out who was killed and replaced by a “devil in disguise,” what weapon was used, and where the Infernal puzzle box has been hidden in the Forgotten Realms. It’s, um, it’s an idea. But at least you can play as a cat.
Cryptozoid Entertainment is riding the Rick and Morty bandwagon with a new dice game called Rick and Morty: The Morty Zone Dice Game, which is now available in stores. The two-to-four player competitive roll-and-write dice game is based on the season four premiere of Rick and Morty, which debuted over the weekend. Similar to Yahtzee, players take turns rolling dice to check off numbers on their Fate Boards, trying to be the one who scores the most points.
Iello’s popular monster board game King of Tokyo is coming back with a limited collectors edition, King of Tokyo: Dark Edition. In addition to the much-improved art design, which is gorgeous and gritty, Dark Edition features upgraded components and a new gaming mechanic—though they’re keeping that mechanic a secret for now. Dark Edition will only have a single print run, so anyone interested should try and get their hands on a copy quickly. King of Tokyo: Dark Edition arrives in stores in early 2020.
Wingspan, the gorgeous board game about birdwatching, is heading overseas. The first expansion, appropriately called European Expansion, introduces 81 bird cards into the game based on European birds—many of which feature new abilities, bonuses, and challenges. Wingspan: European Expansion is currently available for preorder and is set to start shipping in the next couple of weeks.
Munchkin fans can bring the world of Warhammer into their game even more with the Warhammer Age of Sigmar expansion. Based on the 2015 game, the story and characters have been integrated into Munchkin, forming a new battleground for players to explore. According to the press release, this latest expansion is compatible with Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 and all of its expansions. It costs about $30 and is currently available.
Note: Kickstarter, a huge fundraising site for tabletop gaming, has come under fire for opposing its employees’ attempts to unionize under Kickstarter United. This includes firing two staffers who were members of the organizing committee. In a statement, Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan denied the company was engaging in union-busting but confirmed that the company is refusing to voluntarily recognize Kickstarter United and called unions “inherently adversarial.”
We do not support Hasan’s comments, and GMG Union stands in support of Kickstarter United. As of now, Kickstarter United has not yet called for a boycott of the company, so io9 will continue to showcase creators as we monitor the situation.
You’ve gotta love a great success story. Dispel Dice, a new dice company from creator Karen Wang, launched on Kickstarter last week and raised over $1 million in the first day. It turns out, people really like gorgeous, luminescent gaming dice made with love and care. Dispel Dice will be on Kickstarter through December 9. The minimum pledge for a set of dice is $48, and they’re expected to ship in August 2021.
If you’re a fan of Scott Pilgrim and fighting evil exes, there’s a competitive tabletop game for you. Scott Pilgrim Miniatures The World is a two-to-three player fighting game where one team plays Scott Pilgrim and the other heroes, while the other embodies the League of Ramona’s Evil Exes. The game comes with large-scale miniatures, which look awesome by the way, along with 3D-constructible objects to smash, throw, and possibly destroy in epic battles. Scott Pilgrim Miniatures The World will be on Kickstarter through November 19. The minimum pledge for a copy if $49, and it’s set to ship in June 2020.
The Curse of the House of Rookwood is a Gothic-style tabletop roleplaying game where players take on the role of members of the Rookwood family. This family has been plagued by a curse, forged centuries ago when one of their ancestors “formed a pact with dark forces.” This imbued the family with dark powers that, when used, risk destroying their humanity. The curse also causes the family to be haunted by Skeletons, which represent unresolved interpersonal issues in their lives. The Curse of the House of Rookwood will be on Kickstarter through December 9. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $15 (there is an $8 tier for those with financial hardship), and it’s set to be released in January 2020. The minimum pledge for a print copy is $25, with an expected delivery of May 2020.
Tales From the Loop’s Free League Publishing is venturing into Gothic horror with Vaensen, a tabletop roleplaying game based in Nordic folklore and Scandinavian myth. Players embody characters with the Sight, otherwise known as an ability to see things that others can’t. These include the vaesen, otherworldly creatures that have lived alongside humanity for thousands of years. They’ve been somewhat peaceful until now, but recent attacks mean that something dark and terrifying may be underfoot. Vaesen will be on Kickstarter through November 27. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $26, with the printed version costing $36. It’s expected to come out in May 2020.
Charles Darwin, he’s so hot right now. In addition to the latest edition of Darwin’s Choice, currently on Kickstarter, there’s also On the Origin of Species. This two-to-four player strategy game has players stepping into the role of Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle’s expedition to the Galapagos Islands. They’ll examine species, learn their history, and expand their research. On the Origin of Species will be on Kickstarter through December 6. The minimum pledge for a copy is $25, and it’s set to come out in May 2020.
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