From today’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

Take a turn at board games
Thursday, December 22, 2005

Time’s a ticking and if you’re still empty-handed, snap up a board or card game for the party crowd. For expert advice we called Marilyn Shore, who owns the Boardwalk Hobby Shop on Mount Lookout Square with husband Mike. Her two suggestions, both “fun for everyone, easy to learn and quick to play” are APPLES TO APPLES ($29.99), a card game of comparisons, and Wizard ($8.98), the ultimate game of trump that requires three players. Shore says the Scene It games are also a good bet as well as Would You Rather, the Settlers of Catan, Sequence and Imaginiff.

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The German version of APPLELS TO APPLES won a major award in Austria.

I was lucky enough to be at Essen, to see Pegasus’ launch of APFEL ZU APFELN, and to witness the crowd’s reaction to it.

German players seemed to react exactly the same way US players did, meaning Pegasus got the card mix right.

The card mix is the most important part of APPLES TO APPLES, beyond the mechanic itself. It’s been interesting to see some Apples to Apples ripoff games hot the market. Most don’t seem to realize that it’s not the game itself, but the fact that it gets people talking and laughing after almost every round, that’s important.

I’ve been working on the new APPLES TO APPLES BRITISH ISLES EDITION, and part of the fun is imagining how some of the cards should play against the others.

Fo example:

What’s the most “Dodgy”:

Mr. Blobby
Chavs
Hedgehogs
Spaghetti Junction
The Conservative Party
My Haircut
Kylie Minogue
Birmingham

Judging from the reaction at Essen, APFEL ZU APFELN appears to have got the mix right.

Way to go, Pegasus! The guys there are great, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this is a huge hit for them!

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ABRIDGED and CINEPLEXITY are coming along well. These are two phenomenal games that Out of the Box will be showing at the New Yourk Toy Show in February. Both should ship later that year. Meanwhile, samples of PEPPER should be back from the printer, soon. If you like BLINK, I think you’ll really enjoy PEPPER.

I may have a new family math game, along the lines of Out of the Box’s MY WORD, that needs playtesting, should any be willing to download some PDFs.

Probably won’t be ready for a while, but I’m kinda psyched about its engine…

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Must rave about the WizKids game Tsuro.

Rave rave rave rave.

If you can still find this before Christmas (WizKids has apparently sold out of its first print run), I can’t recommend it highly enough. Faster and far more fun than most abstract strategy games, this evil game of pathmaking plays better with four or six than it does with two, but even then, it’s a hoot. Paths cross and connect as the game progresses, sending some players to their doom. The winner is the last one standing, and I can’t imagine the game not going down great at any holiday gathering, be it family, friends, kids or co-workers.

This is as close as they come to being an instant classic.

John

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