At Dungeons & Dragons Experience this weekend, Goodman Games announced it will start publishing a new magazine in April. Called Level Up, the 32-page publication is the only print magazine that will exclusively present D&D 4e content, all licensed under the GSL. Level Up will provide a wide range of D&D 4th Edition content, including new monsters, character options, an adventure in every issue, and even a “Dear Archmage Abby” column. According to Joseph Goodman, a primary goal of Level Up is to get gamers down to their local retail stores, so for the time being, a subscription plan has not been determined. [UPDATE: subscriptions have been set at $4 per issue, either print or PDF] The quarterly magazine will retail for $1.99 per issue, and Goodman Games hopes take Level Up monthly in the future.
Archive for January, 2009
Collectible card and miniatures players might be interested to know that Scrye magazine, the self-proclaimed “Guide to Collectible Games”, will end its lengthy run with its April 2009 issue. Started in 1993 at the height of the Magic: The Gathering craze, Scrye was mainly known for its CCG price guides, which became the standard for many retailers. Scrye is owned by F&W Media, which shut down another of its publications, Comics & Games Retailer, in late 2007. Two difficult parts of the industry at once – collectible games, and magazines. Is anyone surprised by this announcement?
Lee chimes in today with a review of the Trail of Cthulhu Keeper’s Screen & Resource Book from Pelgrane Press. A worthy addition to any Trail of Cthulhu Keeper’s arsenal, Lee maps the Trail product’s good and not-so-good points for us in great detail. If that isn’t enough, a number of other terror-inspiring Cthulhu goodies are described in our review section.
Back in May 2008, Tenacious Games, publisher of The Spoils TCG, announced the company would cease operations. Now, eight months later, fans of the extravagantly-promoted game – first launched in 2006 – have new hope in the form of a new owner. According to a Spoils website news post, the rights and property of the company now belong to a group or company called Arcane Tinmen. Josh Lytle and Patrick Meehan of Tenacious Games will be helping out with the game’s relaunch. Certain portions of the announcement may give you flashbacks to other bankrupcy announcements from the past year. In any case, bravo for saving games that still have life in them. … The Spoils has life in it, right?
For the past couple of weeks, Days of Wonder has been showing preview art of factions – or maybe units – from Small World, a game that has yet to be described by the company in any significant way. The fantasy-themed game will apparently have 14 races represented, and each will be “vying for supremacy in a merciless land grab”. According to a contest page set to launch next week, “it ain’t a card game”. So, we’ll find out next week what all the fuss is about.
Since we’ve just recently posted our review of Blokus, it seems like quite a coincidence to hear news on the game. As of last Friday, toy and game company Mattel has purchased Sekkoia, publisher of the Blokus line of games, for an undisclosed amount. This continues Mattel’s cherry-picking pattern, as the company also acquired the super-hit party game Apples to Apples (along with Snorta and Blink) from Out of the Box Publishing in 2007. Blokus, which was first released in 2000, has sold over 1 million units, including the core set and other Blokus spin-off titles.
Mattel also acquired the Whack-a-Mole game from Bob’s Space Racers Inc, an amusement game manufacturer. Therefore, I’d expect to see handheld or DLC Wii versions in the near future.
Regular OgreCave contributor Lee Valentine has provided us with his evaluations of two varieties of the abstract strategy game Blokus. First, there’s the original Blokus game, for anyone who hasn’t had a taste of it yet. Then Lee runs Blokus World Tour through the motions and reports how well the PC adaptation does at emulating the tabletop game. Hint: it couldn’t have fared that badly – the Cave dwellers listed it in last year’s OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide. Have a look, or if abstract strategy isn’t your thing, peruse our other reviews.
Even though I’ve barely dipped my toe into the racing action of Formula D (recommended in the OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2008, I’m looking forward to Asmodée’s upcoming Sebring/Chicago East Park Tracks expansion due next month. If you’re like me, and can’t wait to scout out the course, head over here for a close look at the two courses. There’s also a contest running through January 19 that could net you a free copy, so put the pedal to the metal and send your entry.
LivingDice has the story, and as we suspected, more wild maneuvering is going on around ownership of Gen Con. As Gen Con LLC continues toward having its reorganization plan approved and creditors reassurred, the same Gen Con Acquisition Group that seemed to be making a takeover attempt of the company has made another, larger offer. To ensure it would be heard this time, the Acquisition Group has become one of Gen Con’s creditors by acquiring a $31,000 claim. Naturally, Peter Adkison, current owner of Gen Con LLC, has filed an official protest. As if this weren’t muddy enough, don’t forget that Anthony Gallela, who just stepped down as Executive Director of GAMA yesterday, has been named as the Acquisition Group’s intended head of Gen Con if the Group gains ownership. The full breakdown of the offer is at ICv2, so have a look. Added developments will surely surface after this Friday’s court hearing.
[UPDATE]: As multiple readers have reported in the comments, Gen Con LLC’s original proposal was accepted by the court on Friday. It looks like Gen Con can focus on throwing a convention again, and not worry about hostile takeover attempts and such.
As promised, GAMA announced its new Executive Director today. John Ward, a retired army officer with over 23 years military experience, replaces Anthony Gallela, who has moved on to become the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Bucephalus Games. Ward comes most recently from a criminal justice background, having held the positions of Ohio’s Bureau Chief of Parole, then Bureau Chief of Community Facilities. How does overseeing twelve correctional facilities relate to the game industry? Well, I’m sure gamers can be almost as unruly…