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News Bits: 10/1/2012

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Sorry about the tardiness of this week’s news. But here it is–at last!

Deutscher Spiele Preis Winners Announced
It’s award season, and the winners of the Deutscher Spiele Preis have been announced. No surprises here: Village by Markus and Inka Brand, which also won the Kennerspiel des Jahres, took top honors, followed by Trajan and Hawaii. Unfortunately I cannot comment on the worthiness of these winners, but a hearty congratulations nonetheless!

Smash Up Expansion Announced
I don’t have too many details on this, but AEG announced on Twitter that the first expansion to their GenCon darling Smash Up, titled Awesome Level 9000, is off to the printer. I couldn’t find any details other than this tweet (it’s not even in the BGG database!). If any of you, dear readers, has more information, please post it in the comments. And look out for our review, coming soon. Smash Up should arrive in stores October 8.

Jungle Speed Drops Price
Asmodee announced that due to increased demand and larger print runs, Jungle Speed will drop in price from $19.99 to $14.99. While I’ve not played Jungle Speed, we can rejoice with those who rejoice: hobby gaming is making headway! (I’ve seen this one at Target and Barnes and Noble, too. Though that staged photo in the release and on the back of the box… Woof.)

Ticket to Ride Gets a Little Spooky
Just in time for Halloween, Days of Wonder will release a special pumpkin-themed train set for Ticket to Ride. The retail price is $12.

Kickstarters of Note

  • I’m the Boss: The Card GameGryphon Games has a card game version of the popular negotiation board game, based on Sackson’s notebooks. Now they’ve announced that the game will include the bonus cards necessary to re-create it as Sackson imagined it. That seems like a fantastic deal for $25.
  • Viticulture: A game about wine that looks less intense than Vinhos. It’s also the only Kickstarter game I’ve seen with a money-back guarantee! $39
  • Jungle Ascent: A Donkey Kongish game from 5th Street Games that has already reached its funding goal and has some sweet extras ready for backers. $25
  • Mars Needs Mechanics: Yes, the steampunk theme looks pasted on, but the game itself looks interesting (if you like economic games). $40 buy-in.
  • 12 Days: A Christmas-themed trick-taking card game based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The art is beautiful, and the game is designed by James Ernest. $15.
  • Lost Valley: Another reprint from Pandasaurus Games. Pandasaurus seems to be putting Kickstarter projects in the pipeline at an alarming rate, with Tammany Hall and The Great Fire of London yet to be delivered (still projected on time). Still, if this interests you, the game looks pretty good. $55
  • Salmon Run: This game has already passed its funding goal and is swimming toward its first stretch goal. (Check out our preview and interview with the designer.) $36.
  • The Keep: This is for a game storage system rather than a game. It looks pretty cool, but the funding goal seems prohibitive. Still, if you want to contribute, you might be able to make this happen! Various buy-in levels.
Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
Again, neither unrelated nor awesome in the usual sense, this week’s piece of off-the-beaten-path commentary is an article titled “Five Unseen Costs That Threaten Game Stores,” posted on Gamehead. This article is fascinating, and while particularly targeting store owners, it can give all of us some insight into what FLGS owners are facing. Definitely worth your time to read.

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

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