Meg Previews Manaforge by Mystic Tiger Games


Magic in the Making

The elements swirl freely around the shop, winding through the rows of my displayed wares. I wield the elements to settle on the forge and they seem to dance sprightly, waiting for me to shape them. I stoke the fire, filling the room with a thick heat. I grab my tongs and ready the metal. I melt it down, and watch it become a beautiful, sun-golden liquid. I call down the elements from their post, and as each one dives into the glowing pool, the room fills with brilliant light. The brightness settles, the room is once more lit only by the glowing fire. The once golden liquid now reflects light like a prism. I can feel the power of the arcane radiating through it, and as I stare at the prismatic pool, I think, “This will be my finest weapon yet.”

The Manaforge

manapicThe Basics
  • 2-4 Players
  • 60-90 Minutes
  • Age 13+

In Manaforge players take on the roll of wizards specialized in the creation of magical items and weaponry, and the goal is to have the most prestigious magical forge at the end of the game. The game is played over a series of nine rounds, broken up into three rounds each of Dawn, Noon, and Dusk. As the game progresses through the day, the level of item you can make becomes more challenging. For example, during the Dawn rounds, you will find more mana producing items, whereas there will be none in the Dusk rounds. Each player also has two special talents that are drafted at the beginning of the game. These talents can give special abilities to help you during your turns, or give you a boost in the beginning of the game. Players gain mana using a combination of dice and cards. There are four types of mana available: earth, fire, water and air. Most items are forged from a single type of mana or some combo thereof. There are also items considered Arcane, which generally use at least one of each element for mana. Continue reading


Meg Previews Nothing to Declare by Apauling Games


Workin’ Security

AirportSecurity_1.jpgI’ve been working at the airport doing baggage checks for a long time now. Generally, there isn’t a lot of excitement. Most folks just try to get away with bringing their big shampoo bottles– or giant tubs of hair gel, you know the type. After that, it’s mostly nail clippers and tweezers. Sometimes I think to myself, “All these people want to do, is just keep up with their grooming habits.” However, I have had some pretty incredible finds here and there. The type of finds that make you scratch your head and say, “How in the world, did you ever think you were going to get that through security?”

Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a lady who was trying to get a big ol’ bottle of chloroform through the checkpoint without anyone noticing. She tried to play it off like she didn’t know how it got in there. Honestly, even if someone were trying to sabotage you, sticking a giant bottle of chloroform in your bag, would not be how I’d choose to do it. Ya know, we never did get her to admit what it was for. I can only imagine what the marshals were able to get out of her. That was weird for sure, but nothing will beat the guy who thought he could get a suitcase full of live snakes through the x-ray machine. 


People sure are strange. 

What’s In the Bag?

14813132_10154027920759646_1759755180_oThe Basics
  • 2-6 Players
  • 20 Minutes
  • Age 8+

In Nothing to Declare, by Apauling Games, players will try to sneak crazy items through airport security. Each player will start with their own baggage and passenger cards. Passenger cards are used to affect your baggage, or the baggage of your opponents. Your opponents are not the only thing you have to worry about. Be prepared for random inspections! Only concealed baggage will be worth points. At the end of five rounds, the player with the most points in their concealed baggage, will be declared the winner.  Continue reading

Meg Previews Stitches by Norwester Games


There’s Something In The Dark Woods


Photo Credit:

Beyond the grounds of Franken State University, there is a place that no one dares enter. Past the scattered trees, to where the woods become dense and dark, you can find things that are truly terrifying. Everyone knows what’s out there. Everyone knows what the woods are really inhabited by…

The abandoned thesis projects of the university’s science department are alive out there– sad creatures, crawling in the dark. When the sun falls below the horizon, you can hear them, growling and grunting, fighting each other to survive.  And if you listen really closely, you can sometimes hear them speak… 

“Shiny… Tummy… Kitty…” 

However, these creatures are not the true danger. There is something far more sinister lurking in those woods. Long ago, it was left to fend for itself– the first failed experiment. It has been said, that the other creatures have tried to destroy it, to fight against the beast, but none have been successful. Perhaps, if the creatures could stop fighting amongst themselves, they could defeat the Abomination once and for all…

Monster’s Brawl 

stitches_promo_image_1024x576-768x432The Basics
  • 3-7 Players
  • 20-30 Minutes
  • Age 7+

Stitches, by Norwester Games, is a semi-cooperative game, where players take on the role of abandoned thesis projects, trying to survive in the woods. The goal of the game, is to upgrade your body parts, enough to be able to team up with the other creatures, to take down the Abomination. Players can gain new parts by scavenging the forest floor, or by attacking the others and stealing their targeted body parts. In the game, attacking uses a simple Rock, Paper, Scissors mechanic for combat. Whenever a player attacks another player, both the attacker, and the player being attacked, will learn a new word. These words will be the only form of communication that you have, besides grunting and growling. This adds to the challenge of trying to coordinate a strategy with other players. If a player chooses to attack the Abomination on their turn, anyone who shares a word with that player must also attack (there are ways to get out of attacking, but it is costly). The Abomination is not easy to kill, and will require players to have strong upgraded parts and plenty of allies to defeat it. However, there is a limited amount of time for you and your fellow creatures to defeat the Abomination. If there are no more cards left in the Parts Deck, the Abomination has won.  Continue reading

Meg Previews Unmasked: Dracula’s Feast by Jellybean Games


A Feast For The Ages

draculaTonight will be a feast for the ages! Every candle is lit, every streamer is hung. The banquet table is set with a smorgasbord of delectable delights. The townsfolk should be arriving shortly and the band is ready to play.

Everything is perfect. I’ve really outdone myself this time…

*A low growl echoes through the foyer, followed by the stomping of several (possibly large) feet*

What was that? No, No, No! This is not happening. I specifically avoided sending them invitations! I can’t believe they’ve decided to crash my party! *sigh*  Now that the guests have started to arrive and everyone is wearing their masquerade masks, I can’t tell anyone apart! What a nightmare! 

Perhaps I can dance my way to figuring out who everyone is… Might as well enjoy myself while trying to get rid of these monstrous party crashers.

Making Plans

accusation-card-backsThe Basics
  • 4-8 Players
  • 5-15 Minutes
  • Age 10+

Dracula’s Feast, by Jellybean Games, is a social deduction game where players try to figure out the identities of the other guests who have crashed Dracula’s big event. The game has no night phases and isn’t a free for all guessing fest. Players must take an action on their turn to gain information about their fellow guests. Players may dance with, question, or accuse the other guests on their turn. Once they are certain they have discovered the identity of all of the other players, they may attempt a Grand Reveal on their turn instead. However, a correct Grand Reveal isn’t your only chance at winning. Every role in the game has a special ability or restriction to how they must play. This could change the way you gather information in the game, or how you present information to others. Players must be careful to not be tricked by the special role abilities, because a wrong accusation or Grand Reveal could mean your banishment from the party.  Continue reading

Meg Previews Top Hats and Treachery by Rogue Artist Creations


Victorian Hotelier’s Dilemma 

It is opening week and everything has been running rather smoothly…Until now.

My staff was ready for them. Every room was cleaned and fresh linen put on every bed. The kitchen was stocked with the finest food this side of Old London Town. The competition wouldn’t stand a chance. I had an excellent set of guests coming. There was even a nobleman renting one of the top floor suites! It was to be an exciting week, indeed.

But then…

The rumors started rolling in and everything fell to ruin. My nobleman was apparently caught beating a servant, the esteemed inventor that came for the week was supposedly covered in grotesque boils, and my first floor is now filled with criminals! My staff likes to make things up, interesting stories about the guests to keep themselves entertained. Somehow, their outrageous stories have reached my competition and some of the crazy things they have said have even made it into the papers!

The guests are in outrage, because their reputations are being tarnished. So much damage has been done… What am I to do?


The Basics
  • 2-6 Players
  • 15-45 Minutes
  • Age 8+

Staggered the guests a little bit for setup. Picture from our first game.

In Top Hats and Treachery, players take on the role of a hotel owner in Victorian era London. Their hotel’s success is dependent on the types of rumors spread about their guests in addition to their guests’ social status. Players want their hotels to be filled with famous and interesting people. In a style similar to Gloom, players can use cards to spread positive rumors about a guest or spread negative rumors about the opponent’s guests. If it looks like a guest of an opponent appears to be getting an over-inflated reputation, you can use a Grim Reaper card to bury them for good. The same is true if one of your own guests is seeing a little too much negative press.

The game goes through three phases, which vary in length depending on whether or not you decide on a short or long game. You can also choose between two modes of play: Dead Simple or Simply Deadly. Dead Simple offers an easy, standard form of play, while Simply Deadly offers more variety and more opportunity to interact with your guests and your opponents. At the end of the three phases, the players will tally up their guests’ scores and the winner will be the player with the most points. Continue reading

Spotlight– Merchants of Araby by Daily Magic Games


Well, it’s time to get back down to business. After taking a two-week break from spotlights, it has been nice to come back to see some really cool looking games and comics on KS. So many new and interesting one’s have released in the last week and a half, it was really hard to choose a spotlight from them, because I want to do them all!

In the end, I decided to go with one of the games that was on my last Meg’s Radar list. I love the theme of this game and the idea that everything can be negotiated seemed really interesting. I’m not usually one for games that do a lot of that, but the art and theme has sucked me in.

Trouble In The Dunes


Photo Credit:

I can see the heat rise up from the sand in sizzling waves. Behind us, the view of the city fades faster with every step. The journey is only a few days long, but an ominous feeling lingers within my mind. I feel as though we are being watched. The desert is known for its tricks, its mirages claiming even the most seasoned desert traveler. But this feeling is not a mirage… They are watching, waiting for us to get far enough away from the help of the city guards. As we round the bend, a large dune begins to close off the last remnants of the view of the city. The chatter of the rest of the caravan party drowns out whatever sound the watchers are making. We will never hear them coming…

Merchants of Araby is a 2-4 player game where players are trying to become the wealthiest merchant prince/princess. Players will put together caravans to send goods, teach their opponents virtues and call down djinn to give them a magical edge over the competition. Everything in Araby is negotiable, so players must use their wits and persuasion to get the best deal. Even a successful caravan can run into some trouble. Bandits will attack and depending on where your camels are in the caravan, could mean you are susceptible to losing your payout.

The game will take place over 4 rounds. On their turns, players will begin a caravan and take any actions they would like or are available to them. This may mean playing one of the 4 action cards: Merchants, Virtues, Djinn, or Allies. Playing merchants will help you generate resources to play a camel to the caravan. Since caravans are the primary source of wealth in the game, playing merchants is integral to getting your caravan filled. Other players can negotiate passage onto your caravan, which is another way to make money, but be sure that they aren’t going to be the ones with the big payouts. Having virtues will reward you and you can pass on some of those rewards to players who have helped you along the way, insuring your business agreements maintain their stability.


Sample Merchant and Virtue cards. Photo Credit: Merchants of Araby Kickstarter campaign page.

Continue reading

Spotlight– Thwarted! by Vile Genius Games


Fun At Dice Tower Con

itsoverIt’s been about two weeks since Dice Tower Con, and I can now reflect a little on my time there. Once again, the good folks who run the show, and all the volunteers, did a great job. Thanks to everyone behind the curtains, attendees got to game and have a good time for an amazing week. Unfortunately for me, I was sick like 75% of the time, and the other 25% was spent on a mixture of volunteering and short bursts of gaming. Needless to say, I did not get the most out of my time at Dice Tower Con. However, I did get to meet some awesome designers, players, and the like.

During a rare opportunity, I got a chance to actually play some games. On Saturday of the con, my friends and I got a chance to play Thwarted!, a game designed by Lloyd Kochinka (who was actually there and was nice enough to teach us the game) and published by Vile Genius Games. They just launched on Kickstarter last week and I felt that the game was worthy of a little spotlight love.

A Guide To Thwarting Your Enemies


Feline Faux. Photo Credit Vile Genius Games Facebook page

Standard villain monologue— I am the sacred leopard… My true potential has finally been unleashed! With all this new power I will prevail! Never again will I be rivaled. My nemesis, White Leopard, doesn’t stand a chance against me now. She and the rest of those ninjutsu fools will pay for all they have done, and I will be the most powerful villain this city has ever seen! My name is… Feline Faux!

In Thwarted! Players take on the role of a villain whose powers have recently become magnified by some unknown source. Now that they have all this extra power, they are hitting the city with great force. The heroes defending the city are the first targets… But villains being villains, they don’t like when their peers get the best of them. Thwarted! is a “take that” game, where the super villains, try to take down the most heroes and stop their villainous peers from doing the same.

This is a quick and easy game for 3-5 players. On their turn each player will draw a card, then play power cards and/or attack a hero. Attacking heroes, or playing abilities to harm your fellow super villains, may leave you blocked or thwarted. Other players have the opportunity to stop you from attacking or performing actions. Thwarting will stop an action (a Thwart card can thwart another thwart card) and blocking will stop an attack on a hero (block cards can be thwarted).  At the end of their turn players will draw another card. Play will continue like this until either the draw deck has run out or if there are no more super heroes left in the city. Players then add up the points on their defeated heroes, and the person with the most points is declared the winner. Continue reading