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NYTF 2015

I got a chance to see some great board games at New York Toy Fair this year. The usual big ticket publishers were there like Mayfair, iello, and Asmodee. But, some of the hidden gems were at a booth that house smaller game designers who all had their games published by a company called AdMagic.

AdMagic is a publisher that allows people to get their games made without signing onto a bigger publisher. This gives them an independent feel that immediately grabbed our attention! (We love our indie games here at Engaged Family Gaming!)

The Game of 49

The Game of 49 is unique, but will feel familiar.

I saw The Game of 49 while I was walking down a row of small tables at New York Toy Fair. I have to admit that it did not look very interesting to me at first. But, the designer was able to help me understand the magic.

A lot of boards games recently have focused on delivering something new and unfamiliar. We see fantastic mini-figurines. We see bizarre shaped meeples. We see unique cards all the time. The Game of 49 focuses on delivering interesting game play using components that we have all used for most of our lives.

The game play is built around auctioning off squares on a bingo board using fake paper money. The goal is to try and purchase four squares in a row. It sounds simple, but the auction mechanic makes the territory control more difficult than it sounds.

If this sounds like it is up your alley make sure to head over to the BreakingGames.com website to order it!

 

 

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I got a chance to see some great board games at New York Toy Fair this year. The usual big ticket publishers were there like Mayfair, iello, and Asmodee. But, some of the hidden gems were at a booth that house smaller game designers who all had their games published by a company called AdMagic.

AdMagic is a publisher that allows people to get their games made without signing onto a bigger publisher. This gives them an independant feel that immediately grabbed our attention! (We love our indie games here at Engaged Family Gaming!)

Appalachian Trail Logo

Learning about the outdoors is going to be very cool!

 

The Appalachian Trail Game came about as a bit of “Trail Magic.” One of the game designers was hiking the Appalachian Trail and opened his map. He then thought to himself, “Wouldn’t this be an interesting game board?” He then set about using his time hiking to develop a game that featured the wonder of the trail and could be used to teach newcomers the basics!

Players are dealt a series of gear cards that represent actual equipment that they would need to go on the famous cross-country hike. You then progress along the trail and are presented with challenges like trivia questions or natural hazards that you need to “gear up for.”  The Appalachian Trail Game is well suited for scouts, outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen!), and anyone who is interested in the Appalachian Trail.

It was originally funded through a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign (it funded in less than 48 hours!) It is currently available for purchase directly from their site or through BreakingGames.com. We’ll be following up with a formal review later this year! Keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for more great games!

 

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We have spent a lot of time recently talking about Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and amiibo here on Engaged Family Gaming. It makes sense because the Toys to Life category has exploded in recent years (so much so that Activision is reporting that Skylanders alone is a $3 billion franchise). Those aren’t the only toys that come to life on screen though. There is one line of toys that has been right under our noses for a while now. Even better? It is a learning toy for our toddlers!

I’m speaking of Tiggly Shapes, a set of plastic shapes that interact with special apps on iOS and Android devices. Our daughter was gifted a set for Christmas last year and she adores them!

Tiggly, the company behind the shapes, isn’t stopping with shapes. They are intend on releasing a comprehensive line of learning toys that cover all of the educational bases. Shapes came first, but it was followed quickly by Tiggly Counts, a toy to help build basic counting skills. Up next is basic letter recognition with Tiggly Words.

Tiggly Words Box and toys

Tell me these things aren’t cute?

Tiggly Words is launching this May and will feature five vowels (no y) in bright colors. It will also include several custom apps One of them will allow kids to use the letters (along with some presets within the app) to create words. For example, it might present them with a “b”, a blank space, and a “g.” They could tap the “u” Tiggly Letter on the screen to make “bug” and a cute bug will start flying around the screen!

Tiggly Words App Screensho

This is just one of the prototype apps they have in the works!

 

The apps I was able to see at New York Toy Fair were still in development, but they all showed a lot of promise. We will follow up with a formal review once Tiggly Words is released! Keep your eyes here on Engaged Family Gaming for more info!

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New York Toy Fair 2015 – WhomBatz!!

We don’t normally talk about toys here at Engaged Family Gaming, but I saw a line of products at the 2015 New York Toy Fair that really caught my eye.

I was following the Power Rangers around looking to get a picture taken with them when I found a room full of smaller booths. I happened to look down one of the aisles to see a pair of young men fighting with foam swords. Our love of boffer LARPing is well documented so I felt compelled to go and see what they had to offer.

Me and the Power Rangers

Spoiler Alert: I got my picture!

The product I found was a line of foam weaponry called “WhomBatz,” named after the sound they make when they hit someone and the fact that they look like foam bats. I have been using foam weapons for over a decade and I was immediately impressed with their solid construction. These toys were clearly designed with heavy use in mind.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case we had three rambunctious brothers from Alaska who wanted a safer way to pretend to swordfight than beating each other with actual sticks. They eventually settled on wrapping PVC pipe with foam and over the years their technique grew and the designs became more intricate. Years passed and the brothers realized that this could be a source of income; surely there is no shortage of youngsters who want to do battle in a way that won’t raise Mom or Dad’s suspicions!

They took their inventions to the Alaska State Fair where their goods sold like wildfire! A few more years passed and there they were bringing their goods to the masses at NYTF 2015!

The 2015 WhomBatz Line

The 2015 WhomBatz Line

They have five different items in their 2015 toy line. They have the Bolt which is a 24” sword and the Thunder (also 24″)which has extra padding at the end so it makes a great mace. They also have the Rif, which is a foam-crafted axe, and the Thorn which is a 17” dagger. The best they had to offer? A double-bladed sword called the Torrent! This beast was essentially two Bolts stuck together and was just begging for some crazy sword tricks!

The company is even building a whole fictional world around their toys! They are working to publish “The Way of the Wombat” which is a fantasy story about these weapons and the world they were forged in.

I was very glad to have spoken with them even if our time was brief. There is a very important lesson to be learned here: never take your children’s play for granted. You never know when they are going to dream big and make a future for themselves!

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