The Borders bookstore chain has begun the process of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after several years of disappointing sales. This isn’t so surprising when you look at the company’s serious failure to adjust to trends of internet book buying and digital e-readers in a timely fashion. Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the United States, saw the digital writing on the wall, and after a big marketing push last year, finally managed to get some traction with its Nook e-reader device. Barnes & Noble also embraced web sales years before Borders. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Borders made a fateful deal in 2001 that transferred its internet sales to Amazon.com (now one of its biggest competitors), a decision Borders took far too long to rectify. Over the next several weeks, Borders will begin closing nearly 30 percent of its more than 500 stores. So, if you tend to get your gaming gear at a Borders store, watch for liquidation sales, and maybe keep an eye out for a new venue.
Archive for February, 2011
To celebrate next year’s 10th Anniversary of the hit Days of Wonder game Ticket to Ride, Days of Wonder is holding a huge contest. They are offering a $10,000 prize for the best fan-created entry in a contest to design a new map for TTR. The winner’s map will be included in the Ticket to Ride Map Collection to be introduced at Essen Spiel 2011. Complete contest details are on the Days of Wonder website.
If you are at Toy Fair 2011 this week be sure to stop by the Gamewright booth. They are unveiling a variety of new games for their 2011 lineup, including a new product called GUBS. It was previously self-published by inventor Cole Medeiros, who sold through his print run due to a groundswell of grassroots buzz. Gamewright picked up the world-wide rights to the game and is unveiling a brand new, re-designed version of GUBS along with seven other new games at NY Toy Fair this month. If the gameplay for GUBS matches the quality of the artwork in the game’s promotional video then it will be well worth investigating.
Petroglyph, the makers of Guardians of Graxia, has announced a new expansion for the PC version of the game. It is called Elves & Dwarves, and it is available from major PC direct download services. The expansion features two new Guardians, Flist the deceitful Elf and Broxin the greedy Dwarf. They bring with them even more powerful units and abilities to engage on six additional skirmish maps, some of which have random tile generation for unique gameplay. The base Guardians of Graxia PC game has a downloadable demo. We have previously reviewed the board game version of Guardians of Graxia and interviewed Chuck Kroegel, the General Manager of Petroglyph, as part of our Gaming News Update podcast series. We have also reviewed the fantasy deck-building card game Heroes of Graxia. Whether you are a card gamer, a board gamer, or a PC gamer, there’s plenty of fantasy gaming coming out of Petroglyph these days.
Lee knocked out a couple of solid reviews that have been sitting on my desk for a bit, so let’s get them both put up for the world to enjoy. We’ll start with his review of Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter from Days of Wonder. This expansion for any TTR set throws an alien and a giant monster into the mix, which is sure to affect your commute. Lee also took a look at Thunderstone: Doomgate Legion from Alderac Entertainment Group. The set adds an assortment of new cards to the core Thunderstone game – but how do they measure up? Read on to learn more, or browse other entries in our ever-growing OgreCave review index.
Let’s resume the flow of new reviews on the Cave with Lee’s examination of Small World: Be Not Afraid…, the latest expansion for the popular conquest-and-decline board game, Small World. Days of Wonder wasn’t content to relax after getting an Origins Award nomination last year, so this set adds more races, special powers, and replayability. If you love to see waves of fantasy creatures as they crash over the countryside again and again, be sure to read Lee’s new review.