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Board Game News Brief: May 31, 2017

Posted Thursday, 1-Jun-2017

Look at Plaid Hat’s newest, Crystal Clans; release date for the Splendor expansion; and Artipia Games bakes you into a Kitchen Rush. All this and more in the Board Games News Brief!

Cooked up by Calvin Wong


Cities of Splendor receives release date & cover art

August 31st! That’s when the expansion to the beloved game of gem-collecting is due to arrive on your shelves, all glittering and shiny.



We previously covered Cities of Splendor when it was first demo’ed back in February, and the quartet of features encrusted within it haven’t changed. Feast your eyes on that box, though! Cities of Splendor is available to pre-order starting right now.

Plaid Hat Games announces Crystal Clans

A 2 player tactical card game, Crystal Clans looks like this:




Bright colors, bright spaces.
Bright colors, bright spaces.


Featuring units such as Bumblebee Cavalry, a giant lizard named Big, and Gravity Mages, Crystal Clans lets its players control one of six powerful Clans, form their units into squads for better maneuvering, play cards either as units or power abilities from hand, and fight over powerful crystals on the board.


I dunno that this is a fair distribution of power level.
I dunno that this is a fair distribution of power level.



Crystal Clans follows on Plaid Hat’s successful lines of two player expandable games, including Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn and the perennial classic Summoner Wars. With its board and ‘cards as units’, Crystal Clans does resemble Summoner Wars somewhat, but its aesthetic and playstyle look highly different.

Artipia Games cooks up a Kitchen Rush

There are not enough kitchen-themed board games. From the fevered rush of orders and ingredients and cooking comes a great theme by a great designer; Dávid Turczi (of Anachrony and Days of Ire: Budapest 1956 fame)




Artipia Games has released a string of hits recently with Fields of Green, The Pursuit of Happiness, and Project ELITE, and Kitchen Rush looks like it’s going to be more than a flash in the pan.




Featuring real time sand timer placement, this medium-weight game of cookery and chaos is on Kickstarter right now.


Quick Kickstarters

(I should really just rename this segment to Quickstarters.)


Racing out of the gate in first place is Project NOS.



Subtitled Tabletop Street Racing and with an aesthetic straight out of its mid-2000s roots, Project NOS is straight, no chaser, high octane racing. Games last one minute in real time through the use of fast dice rolling to match the track symbols you need to advance. The game looks amazing and it’s not long until the campaign is over – go pledge!

Next up is Badlands: Outpost of Humanity whose art is really slick – as far as slick can go for a post-apocalyptic game of settlement and survival.


I wanted to crop this but then this way you get a better view of the box cover as well, which I love.
I wanted to crop this but then this way you get a better view of the box cover as well, which I love.


Badlands promises a veritable cornucopia (if there such a thing in the Wasteland) of weapons, vehicles, characters, and even a stretch goal for minis! This Fallout/Mad Max inspired game looks great and is worth your time if you’re into a good old fashioned apocalypse with resource gathering, trading, and combat.


Co-operative card game Dreadbound has players in the combat boots of future soldiers fighting off alien hordes in order to signal rescue from their ship. The unique art design decision this game makes is to have each character class be double sided so you can select your aesthetic between armored deathtrooper or anime-esque cybergoth.


I’m a big fan of how equally impractical the male and female uniforms are.


With a rusty future aesthetic and a modest 45 minute playtime, Dreadbound requires strong co-operation in order to survive.


Community Centerpiece

This week we feature Gaming Rules!



This YouTube channel teaches the rules (ehehe) of how to play games. With gorgeous 3D graphics and concise instructions, often officially commissioned by the game companies themselves.



Run by the affable Paul Grogan whose great accent charms you throughout, Gaming Rules! is a great channel for learning games. You might even say it Rules.

Thank you for reading the News Brief! Check out the hottest board games in the month of May or the list of Spiel des Jahres nominees. See you next week!

Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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