After the opening review, it’s time for the first in a regular news round up. News updates will show up every Friday unless something massive happens (and hey, it may be a games blog, but you never know!).
The nominees for the 36th Origins Awards were recently released, split into three categories: Best Board Game, Best Card Game and Best Children’s, Family or Party Game. The nominations for Best Board Game are pretty wide ranging: Steam seems to be the early favourite, but titles like Days of Wonder’s Small World (my favourite), Castle Panic and the incredibly popular Endeavour shouldn’t be discounted. I’ve got to admit to being a bit confused with the addition of Space Hulk to the list, though – the fact it’s a basically a limited edition reissue (albeit one with stunning components and build quality) surely shouldn’t qualify it as a nominee for a new games award. I can’t help but think that Thunderstone will wipe the floor with the other offerings in the card game category – it’s a cracking game that deserves recognition (and needs to stop being compared with Dominion)! I’ve not played anything from the final selection, but have certainly heard good things about Are You The Traitor? However, it’s a bit rough lumping in kids and family games with party-suitable titles. Perhaps the awards panel wanted to break for lunch or something… Anyway, the winners will be revealed at the Origins Game Festival at the end of June.
Some people love them (me included) and some people think their output is bloody awful, but you can’t deny that Steve Jackson games is a major player in games. While lots of companies in the industry are swathed in secrecy, they’re one of the most honest out there as this year’s stakeholder report shows. It’s actually pretty interesting to read and shows that they’re making some decent money – SJG made $3 million in the last financial year. What’s most surprising to hear is that four fifths of this came from Munchkin and its various incarnations – especially surprising considering how divisive a game it is. While it may not be the most strategic and brain-taxing game out there, Munchkin definitely has it’s place and can be a good laugh with the right people. It’s pleasing to see a games company do well, so long may they continue. Now… when does Zombie Dice come out in Europe, lads?
Last of all for this week, new owners of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game licence Cryptozoic have announced the release date for the newest card set, Wrathgate. The new collection of 220 cards will be hitting stores worldwide on May 25th which has made WoW TCG players very happy – mainly down to the fact that they weren’t even sure the game would still be running after Blizzard revoked the licence from Upper Deck Entertainment due to… well, naughty goings-on involving Yu-Gi-Oh cards. Cryptozoic is actually part of the Blizzard family so it can be assumed that they’ve got the best interests of the game (and hopefully players) at heart. As someone who’s only recently got into playing WoWTCG I’m happy that it’s been given a new lease of life – it’s a fun game with a huge pool of backstory to dip into. Plus, y’know… goblins! That build steampunk robots! Aces!
If you’ve got an opinion on these stories (or indeed anything else in games) why not give me a shout? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment. Cheers for reading!