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Blue Orange Family Games

Blue Orange Games, the award winning tabletop game publisher, is set to release a full slate of sixteen board games during the American International Toy Fair this year. Their lineup is very diverse including party games, puzzles, and everything in between. They may be different, but they all align with the company vision. They are all intended to be “easy to learn, fun to play, and enjoyable for all.”

Family Games

Blue Orange Family Games

Pool Party

  •  2-4 players
  • 6 and up

“In this high-energy party game, players use one finger to launch their divers into a pool that is precariously perched atop a spring. The topsy-turvy pool sways from side to side every time a new diver lands and too many swimmers can cause it to tilt, spill over, and toss everyone out! The first player to land three divers in the pool wins, so accuracy, speed, and a little bit of luck is crucial for the win. Unique components and frenzied gameplay make this title fun for all ages.”

Shaky Manor 

  • 2-4 players
  • 7 and up

“In Shaky Manor, players race to protect their treasures from the spooky creatures that haunt the manor’s worn down halls. Each round, players must tilt and shake their individual manor boxes to try and gather certain objects into the correct room. But watch out- victory comes with a price! Each time a player succeeds in protecting their treasure, a new spooky creature is added into the mix to make the next round harder.”

Maki Stack

  • 2, 4, or 6 players
  •  7 and up

“A dexterity race of delicious proportions! In this game, players race their opponents to stack wooden sushi objects into the correct configurations. The catch? Each round, players must stack in “chopstick mode” using only two fingers or in “mask mode” with their eyes covered and a teammates’ voice as their guide. Play in teams with larger groups, or take on rival sushi chefs in solo competition, either way the first to complete their sushi tower before it tumbles takes home the victory!”

Preschool Games

Blue Orange Preschool Games

Happy Bunny

  •  1-4 players 
  • 3 and up

“In this cooperative counting game, players work as a team to help the bunny pick the best carrots from the farmer’s garden. Each turn, one player picks a number of carrots from the garden and sorts them into two piles, one for the bunny and one for the farmer. At the end of the game, everyone helps line up the piles for comparison. If the bunny’s line is longer, the players win! The durable carrot pieces are firmly planted inside the box, so the self-contained game helps little hands develop fine motor skills.”

Where’s Mr. Wolf?

  • 1-4 players
  • 4 and up

“A cooperative game where everyone pitches in on the farm! Players must work together as a team to help the farm animals get back to their barns before Mr. Wolf arrives. Every time a Mr. Wolf token is found, he creeps one space closer, and every time a farm animal token is found, players must remember which barn they belong to. The cute animal tokens, 3D barns, and shared goal help children work on memory and teamwork at the same time.”

Kitty Bitty

  • 2-4 players
  • 4  and up

“Kitty Bitty is a remake of the beloved Blue Orange classic, Froggy Boogie. This adorable wooden game has little minds use memory and color recognition to help their kitten make it around the yarn balls and back to the basket. Each turn, players need to find the correct mommy cat and pick up one of her eyes; if it’s blank they can move on to the next yarn ball, but if there’s a kitten printed on the bottom they stay put and it’s the next players turn. The first kitten that makes it around all the yarn balls and back to the basket wins!”

Fun-Sized Games

Blue Orange Fun Sized Games and Brain Teasers

Who Did It?

  • 3-6 players
  • 6 and up

“Was it YOUR bird that pooped in the living room? Because it wasn’t my bunny! In this hilarious card game, players race to get rid of their cards so they can avoid the blame of owning the animal that pooped. Each game is as funny as it is fast; quickly find your card, be the first to throw it down, and then blame someone else. The plush zippered pouch keeps all the cards safe and is the perfect size for on-the-go fun.”

Clouds

  • 2-5 players
  • 4 and up

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a….bear? Clouds is a matching game that was made for the wildest of imaginations. In this game, players race to find the two halves of the picture shown on a challenge card, keeping the card as a point each time they are the first to find a match. A durable smiley-faced pouch with a convenient wrist strap stores all the cards and cloud tiles.”

Tofu Kingdom

  • 3-8 players
  • 10 and up

“Tofu Kingdom is a social card game of deduction and deception. Each round, one player assumes the role of Prince Mochi while the other players take on roles of their own. The Prince gets to ask each player one question to try and find his true love, Princess Tofu, but must take into account that not everyone will tell the truth. This clever game is adjustable to different player counts, making it great for parties and social gatherings.”

Cubeez

  • 2-4 players
  • 6 & up

“The silly face race! In this game, each player gets a set of colorful wooden cubes that have wacky eyes and mouths printed on their faces. Each round, they must turn and flip the cubes to match a face printed on the challenge card. The player who finishes first wins the card and gets to wear the face of a champion!”

Brain Teasers

Blue Orange Fun Sized Games and Brain Teasers

Mindo

  • 1 player
  • 5 & up

“The Mindo collection consists of four logic puzzles, each with a different theme: puppies, kittens, unicorns, or robots. The rules of Mindo are simple, you need to turn and flip the double-sided tiles to recreate the color pattern on the challenge card. They only fit one way into a 3×3 or 4×4 grid, so careful planning and logic are required. Four levels of difficulty and 60 challenges ensure hours of brain teasing fun.”

Mindo Zen

  • 1 player
  • 8 & up

“The more sophisticated sibling of the Mindo collection. Serene game play, high quality tiles, and challenging puzzles to solve make this the perfect way to pass the time. The rules are the same, but the challenges are harder! Players will love indulging in hours of meditative puzzle solving with this clever brain teaser.”

Brain Connect

  • 2-4 players
  • 8 & up

“Brain Connect takes the classic sliding puzzles you know and love, and turns them into a brain teasing race! Players must work to connect two points on the puzzle by sliding and rearranging the tiles into the correct order. The sliding puzzles have 16 different start and stop points, so creating a clear train of thought is always a new challenge.”

 

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WoW_Battle_for_Azeroth_Art

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that Battle for Azeroth, the newest expansion for the hit MMO World of Warcraft, will launch this summer. Further, Blizzard went on to explain that the expansion to the hit MMO will be available for pre-purchase on the World of Warcraft website.

Battle for Azeroth will bring an entirely new dimension to the battle between the Horde and the Alliance. The expansion will include a new continent to explore for each faction as well as brand-new game play features including allied races for each faction, new randomized island expansions,  and large-scale encounters called Warfronts.

One of the key features among those listed above is the inclusion of Allied Races. These are factions that existed as part of the game previously, but were limited to NPC roles. You’ve been able to do battle with Dark Iron Dwarves in the past.  In fact, they were the main enemies in some areas in the game. In the new expansion, however, they are able to join the Alliance and help them fight against their enemies. The same is true of the Zandalari trolls and their ability to join the Horde.

Players who choose to level up new characters and the expansion will be able to take advantage of newly revamped zones that will take them from level 1 to 100. Questing experience has been changed entirely. This new experience is built upon the popular feature that was introduced on the Broken Isles in the most recent expansion Legion. Zones across Azeroth, Outland, and Draenor  will now scale to a wide range of character levels. This makes it so that players can enjoy the quests stories and other content that they find there at their own pace.

The days of having to leave a quest line half finished because it’s no longer providing you experience are now over. You will be able to continue to earn all the experience that you need while completing quests that you are interested in. This is an interesting and exciting new addition to people that are interested in playing World of Warcraft as a role-playing game instead of racing through the original parts of the game just to see their way to the end as quickly as possible.

Standard and Deluxe Digital Edition

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is available for pre-purchase digitally in a Standard Edition that costs $49.99 and a Digital Deluxe Edition the cost $69.99 in addition to the expansion the Digital Deluxe Edition also includes a cache of in-game bonuses that allow you to proudly proclaim it your allegiance to the Horde or the Alliance in a variety of Blizzard games. These digital goods include the following:

  • World of Warcraft – “Charge into battle astride the Seabraid Stallion (Alliance) and Gilded Ravasaur (Horde) mounts, and explore new frontiers with Tottle, the baby Tortollan pet, at your side.”
  • Hearthstone – “After a rough day on the front, rest up at the tavern and play a few hands of Hearthstone with your hot new Azeroth Is Burning card back.”
  • StarCraft II –  “Make your mark on distant worlds with Horde- and Alliance-themed sprays.”
  • Heroes of the Storm – “Roar onto the Battlegrounds of the Nexus riding your Primal Flamesaber, a fiery new mount with three variants.”
  • Overwatch – “Champion your faction on the battlefields of tomorrow with Horde and Alliance voice lines for Torbjörn and emotes for Tracer; sprays featuring Anduin, Sylvanas, Jaina, and Varok Saurfang; and player icons representing Kul Tiras and Zandalar.”

Complete Feature List

The full list of features in the expansion is as follows:

  • Explore Two Fabled Kingdoms – “As a champion of the Horde, travel to the empire of Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.”
  • Recruit Allied Races – “Take a new form for your adventures as several new playable Allied Races, each with unique racial abilities. Earn the favor of the Highmountain tauren, Void elves, Dark Iron dwarves, and others to create a new character of that race and add their strength to your faction.”
  • Plunder the Islands of the Great Sea – “Set out on Island Expeditions and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.”
  • Charge Into a Warfront –  “Fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new PvE mode inspired by classic Warcraft real-time strategy-game battles.”
  • Infuse Your Armor With Titanic Might – “Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Burning Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.”
  • Battle to Level 120 – “Trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead, and more as you quest through 10 new levels—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.”

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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Nintendo Miiverse to End In November

Nintendo has announced the Wii U and 3DS focused social media platform, Miiverse, will cease operations on November 7th, 2017 at 10 am PST.

The service was designed to allow players to interact with each other and share content relating to games on the platforms. Players could draw pictures on their Wii U gamepad or on their 3DS and those drawings would actually show up in some Nintendo exclusive games like Splatoon and Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo revealed the closure details in a Miiverse post on August 29th.


End of Miiverse Service Announcement

Hi everyone, it’s Tom at Nintendo.

I have an important announcement: On November 7th, 10:00 pm Pacific Time, we will permanently close the Miiverse service.

We thank you very much for your amazing support. It has been a great privilege for me to serve as your Miiverse guide, and to see people who enjoy similar gaming experiences connect with empathy.

After the service ends:

  • You will no longer be able to access Miiverse from the Wii U console, Nintendo 3DS family of systems or from an internet browser on PCs or smart devices. All Miiverse services will become unavailable, such as viewing or making posts, and messaging with friends. However, for a limited time, you will be able to make a request to download all the posts you’ve made up to the day of the closure.
  • For Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games that support in-game Miiverse functionality, these features and services will no longer be available.
  • Miiverse posts will no longer appear in the Wara Wara Plaza on Wii U.

Information on downloading your post history:

By making this request, you will be able to download your posts – plus any screenshots saved to your album – to your PC after the Miiverse service has ended.

To use this download service, you will need to have a Nintendo Account linked with your Nintendo Network ID, and must make the download request before the Miiverse service ends.

To find out more about this service or to make the download request, click on the “Information on Downloading your Post History” button at the top of the Miiverse website.

For more information on the Miiverse closure and the games it will affect, please visit the support site by clicking on the blue globe icon or the url below to launch the internet browser.

From all of us at Nintendo, we sincerely thank you for supporting Miiverse all these years. We hope you’ll continue using Miiverse until the service ends.

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Fe is the Next EA Originals Game and its Stunning

Fe was first announced back at E3 2016 and has been silent since. EA revealed more about the game during their GamesCom press event. It is being developed by Zoink Games and follows the story of a fox cub as learns to use his voice to help heal the forest of light.

We haven’t been able to get our hands on the game yet, but everything we have been shown so far is looking great! Fe appears to be a 3D platformer (like Super Mario 64, Yooka-Laylee, and other similar titles). Players will control a magical fox cub as he or she explores a forest and learns to use various songs to help befriend different animals. These animals will help unlock new areas for further exploration. The gameplay itself doesn’t really strike me as particularly new or interesting, but I am captivated by the sound design and the visuals. The heavy use of black in the background and the foreground really make everything stand out. It is tough to tell whether or not the art style will get confusing during combat or platforming sections, but we’ll obviously know more about that we get closer to launch.

EA will be publishing Fe in early 2018 on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. The trailer is linked below. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Fireball Island - Restoration Games

Restoration Games has been in business for about a year now. Their mission is to find old games that had a spark of greatness, but were held back by the state of the board game industry. They had announced three projects so far, until Gen Con 2017. They came out at the Dice Tower panel during the event to announce their hottest game yet: Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kalar.

The game is going to be a re imagining of the, now ancient and legendary, board game Fireball Island. It was originally released in 1986 and is remembered fondly by people who grew up in that era as “The crazy marble game.” (OK. It might just be me that remembers it that way, but I digress.)Players took on the role of explorers on a mysterious island searching for a long lost treasure. The game’s most memorable feature is its game board. It was made using vacuum formed plastic and featured Val-Kur, the volcano, at its center. I’ll never forget the commercials that showed a rad marble spitting out of the volcano and rolling down the games path wildly and knocking players to their doom. The game’s visuals DEFINITELY masked some of its flaws. By modern standards this is a roll and move game. Its hardly better than games like Sorry.

Fortunately, Restoration Games is on the case. Their new game will be less of a direct remake of the original, and more of a redesign that will include all new game play designed by Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt and the rest of the team. The goal is to help create the game we remember loving even if it isn’t much like the game we played. It will also have physical components designed by Noah Adelman (That’s the guy behind Mech’s vs Minions.)

We don’t have many details now, but we do know that they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign later on this year and are currently planning on a 2018 release. If you want to know more, then you can sign up here to be on the mailing list. I also recommend following their Instagram account for behind the scenes access.

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Moss Banner

Richard Lico, the lead animator for Moss, has revealed on Twitter that he is teaching his little mouse friend ASL as part of the upcoming PSVR game Moss. Ok. I suppose “Teach” is a strong word, but he is using ASL when animating the mouse.

We already raved about this one when we got a chance to play it at E3 2017. Moss is a third person action adventure game that uses the PSVR headset in an interesting way. Each stage in the game is essentially a 3D diorama. Players control Quill (the mouse) and explore the environments. Quill can see you as a benevolent spirit, but she can’t speak. In previous versions of the game all she could do was squeak and  gesticulate. That’s all going away now.

Lico stated in an interview with Kotaku that he had the idea to animate Quill speaking using ASL on a whim and that it only took a few days to get some of the basics down and make a brief animation. He tweeted it out to a few hundred people who already followed him and quickly wracked up 10s of thousands of likes. Which doesn’t really surprised me considering how cool it is. Take a look below. Tell me that isn’t super cute!

It’s a pleasure to meet you, my name is Quill. from Richard Lico on Vimeo.

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nintendo-world-championship-2017-logo

The Nintendo World Championships are back! The event will take place on October 7th at the Grand Ballroom in Manhattan Center and Nintendo is giving people of all ages and across the country a chance to participate!

The Nintendo World Championships have been held multiple times in the past and are all about giving players a chance to come together and show off their skills at Nintendo games.

For example, the 2015 Nintendo World Championships were built around NES Remix and Super Mario Maker. This year, however, it’s all about Mario Kart 7!

Qualifying events will be held starting on August 19 at eight Best Buy locations across the US. Players will be divided into two age groups (12 and below as well as 13 and up) and will play Mario Kart 7 for the 3DS! The player with the best Time Trial entry in each age group at the end of the two-day event will qualify for the Nintendo World Championships 2017!

The settings players will use are as follows:

  • The 12 and younger age group will play as Mario on the Nintendo DS “Luigi’s Mansion” course using Standard Kart, Standard Wheels and Super Glider.
  • The 13 and older age group will play as Bowser on the Game Boy Advance “Bowser Castle 1” course using Standard Kart, Standard Wheels and Super Glider.

The qualifying events will be first come, first served so I definitely recommend getting their early. They should also be pretty fun events to attend, but part of me wonders why they are only holding the event in eight cities in the US? It doesn’t really feel like much of a “world” competition.

What do you think? Will you and your family be making the trek to one of the participating Best Buy stores to compete? Let us know in the comments!

Best Buy Address

Dates

Times (All times local)

610 Exterior St. Aug. 19-20 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Bronx, NY 10451 Sunday11 a.m.-5 p.m.
181 Curtner Ave. Aug. 19-20 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
San Jose, CA 95125 Sunday11 a.m.-5 p.m.
3675 Pacific Coast Highway Aug. 26-27 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Torrance, CA 90505 Sunday11 a.m.-5 p.m.
2301 Howard St. Aug. 26-27 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Evanston, IL, 60202 Sunday10 a.m.-5 p.m.
9378 N. Central Expressway Sept. 2-3 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dallas, TX 75231 Sunday11 a.m.-5 p.m.
1000 W. 78th St. Sept. 2-3 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Richfield, MN, 55423 Sunday10 a.m.-5 p.m.
4001 W. 20th Ave. Sept. 9-10 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Hialeah, FL 33012 Sunday10 a.m.-5 p.m.
17364 Southcenter Parkway Sept. 9-10 Saturday10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tukwila, WA 98188 Sunday11 a.m.-5 p.m.
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Dragon Quest Builders 2 Announced

The Dragon Quest Summer festival took place this past weekend. Square Enix announced a sequel to the surprise hit Dragon Quest Builders. The game is tentatively titled Dragon Quest Builders 2.

We don’t have a release date, but Square Enix did tease several new gameplay elements. The first game combined Dragon Quest RPG elements with Minecraft building. The sequel doubles down on that and adds additional features like:

  • Underwater diving
  • Up to four player cooperative play
  • a huge increase in the number of blocks that can be stacked
  • a Breath of the Wild style glider to help with traversal

The biggest news, however, to come out of the announcement is that it will be coming to both the PS4 and the Nintendo Switch. Its a perfect system for a game like this. Dragon Quest Builders is a game that encourages lots of small trip out into the wilds looking for materials. The hybrid console will give players plenty of opportunities for that. I can absolutely imagine playing DQ Builders on my Switch in handheld mode while watching football or something similar.

You can watch the gameplay demo that was livestreamed at the event below.

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Spiel-des-Jahres-Logo

The Spiel Des Jahres awards are given out each summer to the best board games released in Germany during the previous year. The judges are an esteemed group of board game critics from Germany and other nearby countries.

It might seem odd to some that people stateside would pay so much attention to an award that is given out in the EU, but it makes complete sense. The modern board game movement was largely inspired by the work done in Germany and throughout Europe. So it only makes sense that the most prestigious awards would be handed out there.

There are three awards given out each year: The Spiel Des Jahres (The Game of the Year), the Kinderspiel Des Jahres (Children’s Game of the year), and the Kennerspiel Des Jahres (Connoisseur Game of the year).

Board games eligible for the aware are judged based on:

  • game concept (originality, playability, game value)
  • rule structure (composition, clearness, comprehensibility)
  • layout (box, board, rules),
  • design (functionality, workmanship)

Spiel Des Jahres – Kingdomino

I had a feeling that Kingdomino was something special the first time I saw it in a picture on Instagram. I bought it immediately and everything was confirmed once I finished my first game. Further, when you look at the criteria upon which the games are judged, this was the clear winner before the judges even opened the box.

Kingdomino combines the universal simplicity of dominoes with kingdom building. Players draw domino shaped tiles and lay them out in their 5×5 block kingdom. The goal is to sort their kingdom to that they have large contiguous biomes (lakes, forests, etc) to earn points. The gameplay is quick and the game ages down very nicely. Our 8 year old can play this game without any real problem.

Kinderspiel Des Jahres – Ice Cool

Ice Cool is a flicking game about penguins in a frozen high school. Players take turns flicking their penguin pawns through the halls. The goal is to get your pawn through open doorways to catch fish to earn points. This is made more complicated by the fact that each player takes a turn as the hall monitor and is trying to catch the other players.

I normally don’t like flicking games, but Ice Cool is more fun than I expected and our kids love it. The game board is super interesting because it is designed to allow for some really interesting trick shots like flicking your penguin pawn so that you have a decent spin going and having it travel in an arc through multiple doors. You can even try to send your penguin OVER walls if you like.

This is a very cool game that deserves the attention it is getting.

Kennerspiel Des Jahres – Exit

Escape rooms and puzzle room events are growing in popularity all over the world. It only made sense that one or a handful of companies would try to release some sort of home version. Exit is just that.

Obviously, Exit doesn’t prevent you from leaving your home. What it does do is very good job of motivate you to to keep pushing to solve its deep and intricate puzzles when you could just walk away.

Puzzles and the like are very different from most board games because they actually fight back. They are designed to prevent you from finishing them. They want to keep you out. That is what makes Exit so appealing, and likely why it won this award, it did a good job of pushing back just enough to keep things interesting while encouraging you to move forward and complete the challenges.

 

There you have it folks! The Spiel Des Jahres winners for 2017! What do you think? Did the right games win? Sounds off in the comments.

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Super Mario Odyssey Rated E 10+ by the ESRB

Super Mario Bros. Odyssey has been rated E10 + by the ESRB. This makes the title the first mainline Super Mario Bros. game in the franchise history to be given a rating greater than E. We don’t know any of the content descriptors yet since the ESRB hasn’t published any of the details yet. In fact, the only confirmation we have regarding the rating is the product page on the Nintendo website.

Odyssey is going to be one of the biggest games this fall and its rating probably isn’t going to affect that. But, it is interesting. What could set this game apart from the other Mario titles that would make it unsuitable for children under the age of 10?

There are a few possibilities.

First, the game does include New Donk City. This is a more realistic world than has ever been included in a Mario game. It features human-like people and a real world atmosphere (sort of). It could be that this level includes some more realistic dangers. Its possible that someone in one of those dark alleys, for example, is smoking a cigar or something similar.

Second, we don’t know all of the worlds yet. It is entirely possible that there is a kingdom that is based on the haunted mansion themes from previous games. Maybe those were deemed to scary?

Lastly, Mario does, essentially, fight like a Skylander in this game. It could very well be that the ESRB reviewers put Odyssey side by side with other kid friendly action platformers and decided to equalize them.

We won’t have to wait much longer for the details as I am sure that the ESRB will be releasing the information soon.

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