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Days of Wonder has announced Small World of Warcraft a collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment that combines their much beloved board game Small World with World of Warcraft, It will be released this summer for $59.99. 

“A new day dawns on Azeroth. A day like every one before it, and every one after. A day of merciless struggle for the control of the World of Warcraft. Not only is this Small World territory far too tight for everyone, it also hosts the never-ending conflict between the factions of the Alliance and the Horde. Dawn has broken and the time has come to take your place on the front lines.”

Small World is a game all about controlling wildly different races with fantastic powers as they establish control of regions on a game board only to eventually “decline” forcing the player to choose another one. World of Warcraft is a perfect license to pair with it because one of the highlights of WoW is the ever shifting balance between the Alliance and the Horde. 

This isn’t just intended to be a hack-job reskin either. The designer (Philippe Keyaerts) has also included elements like artifacts and legendary items to the game to help mix things up. They are even adding a team-based mode to spice things up.  I simply cannot wait for this game to hit North America this Summer. 

The Trailer

The Game Contents

  • nm6 double-sided boards
  • 16 Warcraft Race banners
  • 182 Matching Race tokens and 15 Murloc tokens
  • 20 Unique Special Power badges
  • 5 Player Summary Sheets
  • 12 Artifact and Legendary place markers
  • 10 Mountains
  • 9 Wisp Walls
  • 4 Harmony tokens
  • 12 Bombs
  • 1 Champion
  • 10 Forts
  • 2 Military Objectives
  • 5 Beasts
  • 6 Watch Towers
  • 110 Victory coins
  • 1 Custom Reinforcement die
  • 1 Game turn track
  • 1 Game turn marker
  • 1 Rulebook
  • 1 Team Variant Rules sheet

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published here in 2011. Some of the facts have changed, but I (and others) still struggle with this every day.


World of Warcraft has 11 million + subscribers right now. Every day a group of people three times as large as the state of Connecticut logs onto Blizzard’s servers to wage a virtual war against monsters, raid bosses and each other. Many of those people wage a more personal battle every day with a devil more devious than any heroic raid encounter: Addiction.

This is a battle that I am all too familiar with.

I was an active World of Warcraft subscriber for about 5 years. I raided. I pvped. I leveled four different characters up to the level cap (all of them dwarves). I had become a part of a tight knit guild full of people that I still think of fondly. I don’t regret the fun that I had or the people that I met, but I am happy to finally be able to look back on it.

If you asked me if I was addicted when I was in my prime, I would have told you no. I was “playing a game instead of watching TV”. It was only “a few hours a day.” It was “No big deal.” It was all too easy to conveniently ignore all of the warning signs and forget all of my most inexcusable acts.

Confession time:

  • I used to be proud that I had never called out of work to play WoW. But, taking a “mental health day” and then spending 6 of the 8 hours I would have been at work playing WoW was perfectly ok? Right.
  • I spent time thinking about WoW incessantly, even when I wasn’t playing. I read websites. I talked on forums. My wife knew what boss my raid group was on and what loot drop I wanted from it.
  • When I started to raid I promised my wife that I would never skip a social function to do so. But, I would lose my mind if my wife tried to schedule a dinner with friends on a raid night.
  • I went home from the hospital the night my first child was born to raid. My wife will tell anyone that she wanted me to leave because she wanted sleep, but she was clearly covering for me.
  • During my most “dedicated times” I would play four to five hours a day. Some weeks would be light and I would only play six days out of the week. Do the math with me folks. That adds up to almost thirty hours a week.
  • I still go through almost overwhelming urges to play. I had to uninstall WoW from my laptop to prevent myself from “relapsing.”
  • I don’t like making phone calls. I especially don’t like making phone calls to our telephone/cable/internet provider. I vividly recall being home one day and having our internet black out. I was on the telephone with them for almost an hour. I don’t think I would have called them for any other reason.

If those don’t sound like the habits of an addict, then I don’t know what they sound like.

I know that some of you are might be getting a little critical with me at this point. I’ve heard it before when I bring this up. I am fully aware that the American Medical Association does not currently consider video game addiction to be an official DSM-IV diagnosis. This is clearly documented on the web. The AMA moves slowly on officially declaring something an official diagnosis (which is more than fair), but that does not change what I (and many others) am dealing with.

The Point:

If you are reading this column, then you likely know someone who is dealing with this right now (it might even BE you). I am writing this to encourage everyone to be aware of it. This is a sickness that often goes unnoticed and can cause irreparable harm. I spent so much time plugged in that I almost lost my wife. If it wasn’t for her and some of my closest friends I don’t know if I ever would have pulled myself away. Someone you know might need that kind of help.

There is a full list of symptoms for video game addiction here. I recommend that you take a look at it. It might open your eyes to things that haven’t occurred to you yet.

Each of us bears a responsibility to our friends, our family and to ourselves. Many of us would refuse to stand idly by if our friend was suffering from alcoholism and while we may have trouble seeing the parallels on the surface they are strikingly similar problems. If you see someone that behaves like I did, or fits any of the symptoms listed on that site… you need to talk to them.

I know that I am grateful for the help I was given. I sure your friends will be grateful too.

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The Strong Museum of Play is Rochester, NY just announced the first six inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame!

Those six inductees were chosen from a field of 15 nominees that included games like Angry Birds, Oregon Trail, and FIFA Soccer.

The first class of inductees includes:

  • Pong
  • Pac-Man
  • Tetris
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • DOOM
  • World of Warcraft

When I started writing this article I was hoping to be able to choose one the definitive champion, but after a lot of hand-wringing I surrendered. Each one of these games was a game changer in their own right and did a lot to move the video game industry closer to its present greatness.

Pong helped to popularize the arcade cabinet that _pretty much_ started it all.

Pac-Man was the first true mascot. It was a game with someone to root for, even if it was a weird cheese wheel looking thing.

Tetris was the first true endless puzzle game and without it we likely would not have had Bejeweled, Candy Crush Saga, Threes, or any of the other myriad puzzle games over the years.

Super Mario Bros. needs no introduction. They took the platforming genre and put it right into our living rooms and has helped keep it there for decades.

DOOM may not be a favorite among parents of the day, but it was the first game to feature online multiplayer servers and bring them to the masses. Online infrastructure is a very big deal for so many games now that I am hard pressed to imagine a world without it.

World of Warcraft took the EverQuest model and made it accessible to the masses. At one point the collective WoW population was so large it could apply for recognition with the UN.

Did your favorite make the cut? Sound off in the comments below!

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Blizzard Entertainment

Available online and on iPad (Coming to Android in the future)

 

Overall Review

I am… was… a man of principle. I was not going to play Hearthstone. I didn’t care that everywhere I looked I heard about its deep strategy, its colorful graphics and sound, and the lure of opening packs. I refused to try it. This was a free-to-play game and I stand for Truth, Justice, and the Console way!

But as the official release grew ever closer, I could feel the desire building. When, at last, a version came to the iPad, I took my first baby steps into a world of gaming I’d not been in since dabbling in Magic: The Gathering back in college.

Hearthstone is a digital CCG (collectible card game) in which you collect cards, build decks, and battle friends and strangers alike. Cards are bought with either 100 in-game “gold” earned through daily challenges or with real money ($2.99 for two packs and up). It’s the fairness of this system that really won me over. Each day you get a challenge, usually worth 40 gold, that might require you to win three games as a certain Warcraft class themed deck, or perhaps deal 100 damage to enemies. Most of these can be done the same day and that equates to a new pack of cards every two to three days. There is also a crafting system that allows you to “disenchant” cards you don’t want into “dust” and use it to create new cards. You can easily play this game seriously and never pay a dime, or you can spend money if you want. It’s a free-to-play game that didn’t make me feel icky.

Hearthstone has a simple premise. Collect cards to build decks and battle others. The cards come in five levels of rarity: free, common, rare, epic, and legendary. As rarity increases so to does the cards power and potential to impact the game. Each card pack contains five cards and at least one of them is guaranteed to be a rare or better. Depending on your luck, you might get additional rares, epics, or legendaries, with a legendary being on par with winning the lottery (that might be a smidgen of exaggeration, but in my months of playing I’ve only found one legendary). You might also get a gold card of any rarity, which are nicely animated and can be disenchanted for a lot of dust.

The point of collecting all these cards is to build a 30-card deck based on one of the eight champions: Warrior, Shaman, Rogue, Paladin, Hunter, Druid, Warlock, Mage, and Priest. Each has a Hero Power that can be used once per turn for 2 mana (we’ll get to mana later). For example, the Hunter can deal two damage to the opponent’s hero or the Warlock can take two damage and draw a card. Each hero is based off a legendary character from the World of Warcraft ethos.  If you like WoW, you’ll know immediately who these heroes are. If you’re like me and have never touched WoW, they are still very cool. While each hero has a pool of class specific cards, there is a much larger pool of Neutral cards that can be used with all classes.

The “mana” system is what you use to play cards. Each card has a cost in the upper left corner, and if you have enough mana you can play it. You start turn one with 1 mana, and each turn after that you get another until you reach the maximum 10 mana per turn. Each turn the pool is refreshed for your playing pleasure. There are also some cards that can affect the mana pool.

When you first start up Hearthstone, after the obligatory account sign up, you are given a single hero, Jaina Proudmoore the Mage. With her you will face a series of tutorials cleverly disguised as battles. Overcome these trials and you’ll unlock the Play area, where you can play ranked games or casual ones. Win in Ranked (also called the Ladder) and you’ll move from level 25 down to 1 and finally Legend, or you can spend your time experimenting in Casual without consequence. When you grow tired of Mage, you can go into Practice mode and battle each of the other CPU-controlled classes to unlock them. Unlock them all and you’ll open a new play area, the Arena.

“The Arena” is a mode where you pick one of three presented classes. Then you get thirty 1-out-of-3 choices to build your deck and off you go to face one online player after another. Lose three matches and you’re out. Win and you get a pack of cards, and maybe some additional gold or dust. Keep winning and your prizes get bigger and bigger. Entry into the Arena costs either 150 gold, or $1.99. Since a pack of cards alone costs 100 gold, it’s often a better deal to save just a bit more for the chance at bigger gains.

A description of Hearthstone’s mechanics doesn’t give justice to the immaculate craftsmanship Blizzard has pulled off here. Each card is played to their own intro. Whether flashy or subtle, they all have a personality and a weight. The cards feel real, and when you see a large minion slam to the ground with a web of cracked earth, you know you just made something significant happen. Beyond the beauty is a deep strategy that is oh so satisfying when you pull off that amazing combo that shatters your opponent. (Literally! If you beat your opponent and their icon break into pieces). 200+ games in and I’m still learning new things every time I play.

Family Gaming Assessment

This game is built on attacks and aggression. Weapons abound, and violence is accentuated by the card portraits, the (well developed) quips of the minions as you play them, and the animations when damage is dealt. Also, the themes of many card portraits and some of the attack descriptions have a dark almost horror theme.

As with many other entries into the Fantasy genre, Hearthstone is sometimes guilty of showing excessive skin in its character portraits for both heroes and cards. Think excessive cleavage, men in loincloths, that sort of thing. However, they are certainly less guilty than many entries and I found it remarkably subdued for the genre.

Playability Assessment

The game play itself might frustrate younger players, especially considering it has frustrated me enough times. Each turn presents several complex choices that must be made with a timed turn and a thorough understanding of what each card is doing is necessary to play the game effectively.

Players will need to be able to read well and have strong reading comprehension to be able to play this game at all.

Conclusion

This is a free-to-play game so I recommend that everyone who likes the idea of a digital CCG game to give it a try. Iam loving it!

The Future

Blizzard is releasing an update to Hearthstone, Curse of Naxxramas, and it is expected as early as this month. This expansion will introduce thirty new cards into the game through single player adventures. Look for more on Naxxramas and the world of Hearthstone in future articles.

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This week Stephen and Amanda are joined by Linda once again to talk about Board Games! This time we are going to go over the EFG Essential board games for families!

This podcast is sponsored by:

The Virtual Economy Podcast

EFG is proud to announce the newest podcast in its growing podcast network: EFG LFG PST! It’s a podcast all about World of Warcraft!

Around the Horn

Stephen

Mary Engelbreit Fluxx

Amanda

Edge of Darkness

Linda

Drop It!

Topic

EFG Essential Board Games for Families!

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Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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This week Stephen and Amanda are here to catch up on video game news!

This podcast is sponsored by:

The Virtual Economy Podcast

EFG is proud to announce the newest podcast in its growing podcast network: EFG LFG PST! It’s a podcast all about World of Warcraft!

Around the Horn

Stephen

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Spiritfarer

Amanda

Röki

Topics

Epic vs Apple – A breakdown for parents

Nintendo Indie Showcase

GI JOE!

Follow us on Facebook!

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Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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This week Stephen and Amanda are here to catch up on video game news!

This podcast is sponsored by:

The Virtual Economy Podcast

EFG is proud to announce the newest podcast in its growing podcast network: EFG LFG PST! It’s a podcast all about World of Warcraft!

Around the Horn

Stephen

Avengers Beta

Amanda

Fall Guys

Topics

Sony

Spider-Man is exclusive to PS4/PS5 in Avengers

State of Play

Xbox

HALO Infinite Delayed

Xbox Series X in November

Nintendo

Sales Numbers are BANANAS

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

Follow us onFacebook!

Like us on Twitter!

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Subscribe to our Newsletter!

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Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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This week Stephen and Amanda are here to talk about video games. Specifically, the EFG Essentials. These a lists of great EFG approved games for kids on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch!

This podcast is sponsored by:

The Virtual Economy Podcast

EFG is proud to announce the newest podcast in its growing podcast network: EFG LFG PST! It’s a podcast all about World of Warcraft!

Around the Horn

Stephen

Panzer Paladin

Paper Mario: Origami King

Topic

The EFG Essentials

Follow us onFacebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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This week Stephen and Amanda are here to talk about video games!

This podcast is sponsored by:

The Virtual Economy Podcast

EFG is proud to announce the newest podcast in its growing podcast network: EFG LFG PST! It’s a podcast all about World of Warcraft!

Around the Horn

Amanda

Ooblets

Among Trees

Stephen

CrossCode

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

Topics

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Hyperscape

Next Price Gen Price Hike

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

Check out the EFG Essentials!

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

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This week Stephen and Amanda are joined by a VERY special guest: Rebekah Valentine from GamesIndustry.biz! They’re all here to talk about MMOs and why we play them!

This podcast is sponsored by:

ReadyPlayerMom – mixer.com/readyplayermom

The Virtual Economy Podcast

Around the Horn

Stephen – Sentinels of Freedom – Review

Amanda – Animal Crossing, Final Fantasy XIV

Reb – Animal Crossing

Animal Talking

Topics

MMOs

Free to Play MMO list on EngagedFamilyGaming.com

World of Warcraft

Final Fantasy XIV

Follow us on Facebook!

Like us on Twitter!

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Subscribe to our Podcast!

More From Jonathan on Facebook

Music from https://filmmusic.io

“Android Sock Hop” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)

License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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