Friday, October 20, 2017

New Arrivals, Restocks, and Reprints 10/20

New Arrivals!

Look how shiny they are. Come down and get a closer look!

D&D Tomb of Annihilation Board Game, Cutthroat Kingdoms, 4D Map Puzzles, Starfinder: Alien Archive, Star Wars Force and Destiny: Ghosts of Dathomir, Mysterium: Secrets and Lies, Alphabet Go Fish, Pokemon Mad Libs, Ultra Pro Eclipse Sleeves, Legendary Marvel: Spider-Man Homecoming, 10 Minute Heist: Wizard's Tower

Photosynthesis, Ethnos, Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty, Chess, Go, Backgammon

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Welcome to the New Blog and What We're Playing

The blog is back and better than ever!

After the sad departure of our beloved blogger, Alex, we've been laying low on the whole regular internet journaling thing.  Well, today we burst forth from our cocoon.  The Labyrinth blog will once again be the best place to see what's new and exciting in the store.  We're also introducing a slew of new features and posts, including a new segment on what we're playing.  This week, the woman who puts the "Queen" in Queendomino, the incomprable Kathleen Donahue herself kicks us off with her thoughts.

By Kathleen Donahue, Position: owner, Years working at Labyrinth: 6 years and 11 months

With the new (and hopefully improved) format of Labyrinth’s newsletter and the reinvigoration of our blog, we wanted to start a regular feature where our awesome employees share information about some of the games that we’re currently playing. The staff thought I should start us off. As usual, I’ve been playing a lot of different games. I try to play several new games each week, and I often do not replay them, because I want to know ALL the games. However, every once in a while there are games that catch my fancy and I can’t stop thinking about them and I must play them MORE. This month there are two that I just want to play again and again.

 The first is Sidereal Confluence. I honestly have no idea how to actually pronounce the name of this game, but I’m completely obsessed with it. This game is complex, and there’s a chance that it may be overwhelming to someone who doesn’t have much gaming experience. Once understood, however, it is actually pretty easy to play. It is an asymmetrical trading and negotiation game for 4 to 9 players. Each player plays an alien race who must trade with others in an intergalactic trading federation to survive. The game is competitive, but it is set up so that you must collaborate with others because no race can function on its own. Pretty much the entire game is played simultaneously, so there is very little down time. You are trying to make profitable trades to earn resources to run converters to gain more resources that can then be used to develop technologies and colonize planets. The game consists of a set number of rounds, with each round being made up of a trading phase, an economy phase, and a confluence phase (where you can bid and win planets and technologies). You earn victory points in multiple ways but mostly from discovering technologies. There is a lot of engine building and resource management, but the heart and soul of the game is negotiation. I cannot think of another negotiation game that I’ve enjoyed more. I absolutely love it. We’ve played several times now, with 4 to 6 players. The game takes a while, averaging about 2 to 2.5 hours for us, but the duration is very dependent on how long you allow the negotiation phases to last. If trading bricks for sheep thrills you, but is getting a bit old, and you’re ready to settle something much larger than Catan, this might just be the game for you.

The second game that I currently can’t stop thinking about is Raiders of the North Sea. We just got this in, and so far I’ve only played it once. This was one of this year’s nominees for the Kennerspiel des Jahres award (the German award for the year’s best gamers’ game). While it may also be slightly complicated for a beginning gamer, I found it to be very straight forward in actual game mechanics. Basically everyone starts the game with some cards (you get 5 and must keep 3), some silver, and a pawn. BTW, they included real metal coins which is awesome! During the game, you place the pawn on action spaces in the town to do things like getting silver, more cards, provisions, etc., arming your Viking ship, hiring crew, or making offerings to the chief. If you decide to go to town, you will get two actions, one when you place your pawn, and one when you remove a pawn from another space. As soon as you have the appropriate provisions and crew, you can go raiding instead of going to town. To do this, you will place your pawn on one of the raiding locations, you’ll get plunder and a new pawn that may be a different color. Only certain colors of pawns can be used to raid some of the locations on the board. I did really horribly when I played this game, but I found it to be absolutely fascinating. I loved the variation on a worker placement game, and I thought that it really suited the theme even though, like Lords of Waterdeep, it is mostly about the mechanics and the actions you take and the theme is pretty secondary. As a matter of fact, this game reminds me of the feeling I had the first time I played Lords of Waterdeep, so if you like that one, you may really like Raiders of the North Sea, too. I’ll be playing again soon, and hopefully, I will redeem myself as a better Viking. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

New Arrivals 8/26/2017

by Alexander "Cat-Dragon" Smith

We have a lot of new games this week, so come and check them out!

Unearth, Mountains of Madness, Flamme Rouge, Photosynthesis, Lisboa, Codenames Duet, Fantasy Realms, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: The Monster Box of Monsters, Sonar: Upgrade One, Broom Service Card Game, Nano Fictionary, Fabled Fruit, Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium, Secrets, Paul and the Moon, Pipsquigz

Also, we've refreshed our inventory of LEGO products with some new DC Comics, Minecraft, and Star Wars products. We also have a programmable robot set called LEGO Boost, and it is just incredibly awesome.

Roleplaying game fans will be happy to hear that the Dungeons & Dragons  Spellbook Cards are back in stock. Grab some before they're gone!

The new Magic: the Gathering Commander 2017 decks have been fantastically popular. With a mix of powerful cards from Magic's history and new cards designed specifically for these decks, players are having a lot of fun bringing their armies of Dragons, Wizards, Vampires, or Cats to the table.

Back in Stock: Arkham Horror Living Card Game Core Set, Robinson Crusoe, Dungeons & Dragons Spell Cards, Superfight

New Demos: Photosynthesis, Fantasy Relams, Between Two Cities: Capitals, Imploding Kittens, Werewords, 1960: The Making of the President, Fall of Magic

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

New Arrivals 8/9/2017

by Alexander "Cruller and Unusual" Smith

Cottage Garden is a tile-laying garden puzzle game for 1-4 players. Similar to Patchwork, another one of our favorites, players must acquire and place shaped pieces to fill their personal boards. Each garden board will have its own set of challenges as you plant around spaces filled with pots or cat tokens lazing in the sun.

Pathogenesis is a card game for 1-4 players where you take the role of bacterial pathogens in the body. To win, you must draft cards to create the deadliest pathogen, with abilities based on real life. This game can be played solo, cooperatively, or competitively, so you'll always be able to play this scientific game any time you want to.

The Godfather: Corleone's Empire is an area control and worker placement game for 2-5 players, based on the classic movie series. You control a crime family and your goal is to exert your influence on the city, put powerful allies into your pocket, and have the most cold, hard cash by the end of the day. The miniatures in this game are so detailed that it just makes it all the harder when you see your dead characters face down in the river.

Finally back in print, 1960: The Making of the President is a two-player card-driven area control game by Jason Matthews and Christian Leonhard. You may know Matthews and Leonhard from other games like Sola Fide or Founding Fathers. If you're looking for a historically rooted strategy game about the presidential campaign between Kennedy and Nixon, this is the game for you!

After 10 years, Notre Dame is back! In this euro game, three to five players take the roles of influential families that control the boroughs surrounding the famous Notre Dame cathedral. Take care of the people who live in your borough and gain prestige by choosing which action cards to use and which characters you hire. This new version contains 10 mini-expansions to add new challenges to a classic game.

Modern Art is a 3-5 player bidding game by famous game designer Reiner Knizia . Throw your hat into the art world by buying and selling paintings, trying to turn a profit by the end of the day. Do you think you have an eye for art and the savvy to see which pieces will be popular? Try this game and find out!

If there's something I love more than logic and deduction games or the H.P. Lovecraft mythos, it's good wordplay. Enter Lovecraft Letter. As a variant of Love Letter by Seiji Kanai, this standalone set adds a few new twists to the game. Select cards will have special insanity powers that you can use instead of the regular power, but by doing so will run the risk of being removed from the round. There's a lot more to the game that meets the eye, but do dare you dig deeper into the unknown?

The Fox in the Forest is a two player trick taking game that will surprise you with its unconventional mechanics. Each player is dealt a hand of cards and tries to play a higher card of the suit their opponent led with or any card in the trump suit. Certain cards will have special effects that will change the course of the game, but the real trick is how winning too many tricks will actually lose you points. Striking a careful balance will be key if you want to walk away victorious.

The Networks is a card drafting game for 1-5 players where you're a budding television network trying to fill the screens of viewers with quality programming. To so so, you'll need to develop shows, hire actors, and generate revenue though advertisements. Your stars can be picky, and different ads will be better suited for different time slots, so make sure to schedule accordingly. The theme works incredibly well with the game play, and this is a lot of fun to play. For extra fun, try renaming your shows and describing the pilot episode to your friends as you play.

Deal or Duel is a 2-6 player card game about everyone's favorite Secretary of the Treasury turned subject of a hit musical. Play cards representing the founding fathers and mothers in your bid to earn the most money or die in a duel trying.

HMS Dolores is a quick prisoner's dilemma style card game where you and up to three others must divide the loot found aboard a sunken ship. Each round you will be presented with the option to take everything, take one of your choice, or split. You'll only score the treasures you have the most or least of, so make sure that the treasures you take are the ones you actually want.

Joking Hazard is an adult party game for 3-10 people by the folks behind the Cyanide and Happiness web cartoon. Apparently, making new comic strips day after day has taken its toll and it's us to you to add panels and make the comedy flow. The cards are open ended enough that they can be used in many different scenarios, and their meaning  can change depending on the context.

Go Nuts for Donuts! is a cute card collecting game for 2-6 players. Each round, a new batch of donuts are presented and each player secretly chooses the one they want. If any player chooses the same treat as another, neither get to take it. Each card has different points or bonuses, making them lucrative to different people. Despite being aimed primarily at kids, this game is compelling enough that even adults will want to play it.

The Offbits are colorful robot miniatures you can put together out of spare nuts and bolts. Each pack has a step-by-step guide to building your bot, but don't let that put you off from getting creative and making your figure something special! You can even combine several sets into bigger projects.

Carcassone: Under the Big Top is a new expansion for Carcassone that adds new ways to play your favorite tile-laying game. Stack meeples up in human pyramids for big points, or astound the villagers with a circus filled with animals. It's hard to imagine that this is the tenth expansion for Carcassone, but it's nice to see that Klaus-Jürgen Wrede still hasn't lost his touch.

The new Icons of the Realms: Tomb of Annihilation miniatures are the go-to product to fill out your Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Each box comes with 4 of the 44 possible figures that you can use for your heroes, non-player characters, or enemies in battle. While velociraptors, mantraps and Batiri goblins are great additions to campaigns on the jungle peninsula of Chult, these figures can be incorporated into any campaign you create.

Sun & Moon Burning Shadows is the newest expansion to the Pokémon Trading Card Game. This set has been headed by competitive players as a treasure trove of new and powerful cards like Guzma, Necrozma, and Darkrai. With 140 new cards to collect and trade, do you have what it takes to catch 'em all?

The Yu-Gi-Oh Link Strike Starter Deck is a new premade deck that features the new Link Summoning introduced in the latest rules update. These new Link monsters are plenty powerful, but you'll need to make sure you can create unbroken chains that follow the directional arrows on the cards to summon them, which can be quite the challenge.

Back in Stock: Concordia, Terraforming Mars, Acquire, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

New Demos: Dice Forge, Fox in the Forest, Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game, Notre Dame, Go Nuts for Donuts!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Arrivals 7/15/2017

by Alexander "Dicesmith" Smith

Dice Forge is a game for 2-4 players that has one of the coolest mechanics we've ever seen: upgradable dice! When this game was first shown to us, we were incredibly excited about dice with changeable sides. As the game goes on, you will be able to physically change the faces of the dice you roll, helping you forge your fate. Every part of this game is incredibly modular, and the feeling of shaping the the game as you play is pretty unique.

Near and Far is a game for 2-4 players and the sequel to Above and Below, one of my absolute favorite games. Players will gather adventurers and gear in their quest to find the Last Ruin. Each game will be different because there are ten different maps that offer an episodic adventure to follow as well as a veritable grimoire of choose-your-own adventure style events that happen during the game.

SiXes is a party game for 3-8 people where your goal is to write down a word in a category that either matches another's or is unique based on which round you're in. Find out how the people around you think and tap into the hivemind...or the exact opposite of that with this game.

Seven7s is a quick strategic card game for 2-4 players. There are 7 suits with cards ranked from 1 to 7 that players will collectively arrange into columns in the center of the play area. Once a single column is filled the game ends, and players see who has the most points in their three-card hand. The trick is that each of the suits have effects that trigger when played or can affect scoring at the end.

Herbaceous is a neat little set-collection card game for 1-4 players about collecting herbs from a garden. Each turn, players will draw cards from the deck and either add them to their hand or put them into the communal pile. Each player also has four containers to put different groups of cards from the communal pile and their personal garden, but once they've filled a container, they cannot add any more cards. While the mechanics are easy to pick up, mastering how long to wait until you start assembling your sets is a little harder.

Fight for Olympus is a two player game where you must rally famous heroes and legends in ancient Greek Mythology to fight for your cause. Each round, players will add cards to the six slots on their side of the board and they will lend their special abilities or fighting skills to your side. If your warriors go unopposed for too long or if you're able to fill up your side completely and hold your position, you win! With so many different characters to choose from, it will be a while before we see everything this game has to offer.

Ghost Court is a social roleplaying game where your favorite daytime television court shows meet the often comedic grievances of the supernatural. Great for groups six or more, this live-action game can be frighteningly funny with the right group of friends.

Blue Rose is a beautifully illustrated and lovingly crafted world that uses the AGE roleplaying system. The game bills itself as a romantic fantasy game, and it is obvious that the focus has been shifted from your run-of-the-mill roleplaying game. Instead of being a combat-oriented, Blue Rose finds its strength in crafting webs of interpersonal connections, tales of star-crossed lovers, and stories of societal shifts.

Catch'n Fish is a card game for 2-4 early gamers. Play is simple; spin the spinner, make a math equation with your cards that matches the number, and catch the cards you used as points! This game is great for reinforcing early math skills such as building number sentences.

Sharks are Wild is a pattern card game for 2-4 children. Can you find the sequence of numbers among all the sea creatures? This game helps children with identifying numerals and learning about number progression.

Back in stock: Not Alone, The Gallerist, Jamaica, Evolution Climate

New Demos: Yamatai, Herbaceous

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New Arrivals 6/27/2017

by Alexander "Cow Tipping Game Mechanic" Smith

One Night Ultimate Alien is the new standalone expansion in the series of social deduction games spawned from the ever popular One Night Ultimate Werewolf. 4-10 players are dealt secret roles, and after using special powers throughout the night, the players must collectively decide one person to eliminate. Aliens want to eliminate a human and the humans want to eliminate an alien. The narrating app unlocks special random events and variable powers, so download it if you haven't already!

Yamatai is a 2-4 player game where you chart a course through a resource-rich archipelago. Along the way you will develop the islands with buildings, hire specialists, and earn money. Yamatai is a game that will feel familiar to anyone who has played games like Catan, but with a different style and pace of gameplay. 

In the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game 1-4 players take on the role of Harry Dresden and his allies in the secret world of the supernatural. Take on the campaign or complete randomized side-jobs as a team by 
managing the shared pool of action points while playing cards that represent the tools and allies of the investigators. This game is great for anyone, but has a number of fun surprises for fans of the books.

Fuji Flush is a card game for 3-8 players where your goal is to get rid of your hand by playing cards with values that your opponents can't beat. Of course, this is difficult because in a multiplayer game you'd expect that at least one of your opponents can beat you for high card. Here's the twist: when two players play the same value card, their values add together! Cooperation is essential to securing the highest values, but remember that only one person can be the ultimate champion!

Qwingo is a dice game where players will have to fill a column of twelve spaces with numbers in ascending order by calling out a number, rolling the die and entering in the number somewhere in that column. Knowing where to put your numbers is essential, because if you put a high number too close to the edge, you might not leave yourself enough space for future plays in the column. Fast and fun, this is a great, compact family game.

PDQ is a quick word game where three letter cards are flipped over and players race to be the first to say a word that includes those same three letters in that order. Wrack your brain for a word that fits the letters in this fast and fun word game.

Think N' Sync is a party game that measures how in sync you are with your friends and family. Two people are paired together, and on the count of three, they must answer a question. If they say the same thing, they get a point. Now you can finally see who really thinks like each other.

Bohnanza: The Duel is a two-player version of the popular bean-counting game, Bohnanza. Pay attention to your own bean fields to grow sets of beans while giving your opponents beans that you can't use. This is a great way to experience the fun of Bohnanza with a friend.

I Got This! is a dexterity and estimation game for 2-12 players. Take turns guessing the measurements of objects, flicking buttons through a ring, or performing one of the many other wacky challenges. you got this?

Onitama: Sensei's Path is an expansion for Onitama that adds 16 new fighting styles, such as the Fox and Rat schools of martial arts. The new movements give more for you and your opponent to choose from and are sure to shake up your game.

Blades in the Dark is a roleplaying game where instead of the valiant heroes, you take the role of a denizen in the seedy underbelly of the city. With character archetypes like The Leech or The Cutter, you know that the stories you weave will be less than wholesome but definitely exciting.

TimeWatch is a roleplaying made for the brave individuals dedicated to keeping history running smoothly. Fight monsters and solve puzzles everywhen you go in this game of and prehistory and paradoxes.

Roller Coaster Challenge is a new puzzle game where you are tasked with the completion of a roller coaster. Assemble the pieces and let the marble go! 40 challenges and four levels of play give you plenty of puzzles to solve.

Magic: the Gathering Commander Anthology is a special, limited-edition collection of Commander products throughout the first four Commander sets. Included in the box are the Heavenly Inferno, Evasive Maneuvers, Guided by Nature, and Plunder the Graves decks as well as four life tracking dials. If you've missed out on the previous years of Commander product, this is an excellent way to catch up or jump into this awesome way to play Magic.

Cackle with delight as you defeat the team of foolish heroes or band together to take down a powerful villain in the new Magic: the Gathering Archenemy Nicol Bolas. One player takes on the role of the villain, Nicol Bolas, and faces off against three other players armed with the Gideon, Chandra, and Nissa decks. The archenemy has access to a special deck of powerful scheme cards, so the heroes will certainly be in for a challenge!


Finally, we have some new Pokémon cards in the store! New Battle Arena Decks, Decidueye EX, Primarina EX, and Incineroar EX Premium Collections all offer powerful new Pokémon for trainers to collect and play with.

New demos: Qwingo, PDQ, Think N' Sync