Posted on December 23rd, 2012

Sunday: 10-7                              Monday:9-2                                                                                 Closed Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Years Day.

Posted on December 21st, 2012

Well it is finally starting to feel like Christmas. and with a bit of white fluffy stuff on the ground it should really look like Christmas. We want to wish all of you a very merry holiday and hope that you get to spend some quality time with friends and family this season.

Oh that’s right, we won’t even make it to Christmas, today is supposed to be the end of the world because the Mayan calendar maker got tired. Well, better live it up, or better yet game it up. In fact, we were supposed to have a very nice strategy game called Tzolkin based on the Mayan calendar in stock by now, but in true board game publisher style this game about the end of the world won’t be available until after the world actually ends.

One of our main distributors must really believe in the end of the world nonsense because they were unable to provide us with a fairly substantial order we placed midweek. Gotta love the big dogs with exclusivity deals who know for certain that they do not have to work hard to maintain your business. Anyway, I’m hoping that one of our smaller distributors can pull through to help us stock the shelves for the weekend, if so they will absolutely see more of our business, don’t want that big dog to get too overweight now do we. Still, our shelves are emptying as fast as they get loaded, so it would be a good idea to get some shopping in early.

Holiday hours: we will be opening at 10am all weekend and staying open until probably 8pm tonight and Sunday. We have a game night planned for saturday night so if folks show up we will be open for business until about 10pm. Monday, Christmas Eve, we are planning a 10am-2pm schedule.

OK, some very exciting new games arrived this week. I had been hoping for that Mage Knight expansion this week, but we won’t see that until after Christmas. Still, the list below is very thrilling indeed.

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients: A year after the release of one of the hottest games ever comes an expansion loaded with more of everything: more races, more technologies, more goodies on the board. This add-on got 5 thumbs up after a play session Wednesday night, and confirmation that the game won’t be played without the expansion now that they own it.

Descent: Lair of the Wyrm: Another long-awaited expansion to a fantastic game. This expansion adds more heroes and monsters, but also adds more quests that get added to the main campaign in the base set as rumors that the heroes can track down. This is hands-down the best board game dungeon-crawl type game currently on the market, so more is great. We only have a few of these left in stock.

 The Hobbit Card Game: Martin Wallace is on a streak with games based on TV and movie franchises. He follows up his surprisingly good Dr. Who card game with this little trick-taking game based on The Hobbit. We had a chance to play this little gem wednesday night and are again impressed with the Wallace mind. This is a pretty straightforward trick-taking game, but with a semi-cooperative twist. Multiple good characters play against one or two evil characters, and the winner of a trick distributes the trick cards according to his or her character abilities, possibly hurting or healing other characters. So the goal is to defeat good or evil, which does not always equate to winning tricks. A very fun light card game, and a steal at $10.

 Star Wars Card Game: Oh my goodness, this is one sweet looking card game, and it is the real Star Wars, not that nasty bit of lunacy George Lucas spit out recently. From what I have read, Fantasy Flight could have a huge home run with the new game design by simplifying the deck customization process. You see, the Living Card Games are amazing, but they require so much commitment to deck construction outside the game that you may as well start collecting Magic cards again. With the Star Wars Card Game, you won’t have to choose every card in your deck. Instead, you build a set of 10 or more objective cards, and thos objective cards determine the composition of your player deck. Less time building and more time playing sounds like an excellent direction for the Living Card Game series.

 Legends of Andor: And yet another new Fantasy Flight game I’m dying to play. This fascinating cooperative fantasy adventure game has flown a bit under the radar, and it is hard to tell whether it will be a hit or not, but I am always a sucker for dudes with swords on a map with mountains and forests. What Fantasy Flight has done with this game is try to get rid of reading rules before play. Instead, the design tries to copy that of a fantasy adventure video game, where you learn how to play as you play. Trade in your copy of Skyrim for some cash and put it towards this beauty.

 

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

Posted on December 14th, 2012

Happy Holidays everyone. Some of you are already in the thick of celebrating while us gentiles have a week to go before the big day. And though it is getting a bit colder, the weather still just isn’t right for the season. So I’m sacrificing some of our finest games to the weather gods every night to encourage a shift toward freezing temperatures and falling snow. If it doesn’t happen soon there will be little left to sell and I’ll be doubly grinchy.

To help with my sacrifices, we’ve got some exciting new games arriving today, and if you want a crack at them, better get to them before my torch does. But first I wanted to mention a few deals we’ve got going right now: Netruner base sets, all Quarriors items, and copies of Alcatraz: the Scapegoat are all 20% off, so help us make some space for next week’s stock-up. Cheers, and here are the new games:

Last Will: I know, I know, this was new a while ago, but I had to mention how much fun we’ve been having with this medium weight european strategy game about losing all your money. We are going to try and get it ready for the rental shelf soon, and we’ll have it back in stock today. Definitely worth a try for the euro fans.

Netrunner: What Lies Ahead: This is one of the long-awaited releases for the week, the first data pack expansion for the great 2-player card game, Netrunner.

Space Cadets: This is the second release from the Engelstein father and son duo, a somewhat famous pair in the podcasting world. They consider themselves experts on great game design, so Space Cadets should be amazing. Sadly, their first attempt at a game was a 2-4 player game that could only be learned as a 2 player game, a very strange design choice. Space Cadets holds far more promise as a cooperative game involving a mix of minigames throughout the spacecraft. Assuming there are not a zillion parts to this game, we will try and get one on the rental shelf for some test flights.

 

 Clash of Cultures: I am a big fan of Merchants & Marauders, so I have been looking forward to the designer’s next game, Clash of Cultures. This is a big civilization building game with exploration, research, warfare, and financial management. Its a massive endeavor for those up to the task of wielding some serious ruling power.

Ticket to Ride: Heart of Africa Map Pack: The next in the map pack series for Ticket to Ride. You will need a US or European base set to be able to play this.

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

Posted on December 7th, 2012

Well we are turning the corner and nearing the holiday homestretch, which means a busy shop, just the way we like it. Sure, it is a lot of work, but the alternative is an empty shop, and being alone in a store full of games meant to be played by multiple people feels strange. It is so much better to have shoppers and the opportunity to just say “wanna learn a new game?” As busy as its been I may not get the chance to say that much, but I’m still going to try.

Roping folks into a game will be easier though with the arrival of the new game Love Letter. This game is part of publisher AEG’s new Tempest series, which will be a set of games tied together thematically by a cohesive fictional world. Love Letter is one of the first four Tempest games recently released and now on our shelves, the others are Courtier, Dominare, and Mercante. Such sickly names, but they all look very interesting and unique (That’s AEG for you, Almost Excellent Games). Anyway, back to Love Letter, a game with only 16 cards, some wooden cubes, and a groovy felt pouch. Oh was I skeptical, but I always am, and once again I was pleasantly surprised by the nice light mix of luck, deduction, and bluffing. This is a great choice for a quick game before, between, or after some bigger games, or to take to small gatherings with family or friends. Ask us for a demo when you stop by, a single round will only take about 5 minutes, just a quick brain snack.

Other new items include some promo expansions for the game Escape from the Temple Curse, perhaps the most refreshing game released since 7 Wonders. A new scenario has also been released for Settlers of Catan called Frenemies which adds a bit of cooperation to the generally competitive game. And lastly, we have a new version of Resistance called Resistance Avalon, with a King Arthur theme and some new special characters to mix it up a bit.

Oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that we now have Nanoblocks, itsy bitsy little lego blocks, they make great stocking stuffers. Our Metal Marvel models fit well in stockings also, as do a number of fantastic card games like Archaeology, No Thanks, Coloretto, Gloom, and now Love Letter.

Well, thanks for listening everyone, and happy friday!

New on the rental shelf: Pirate Dice, roll your dice to program your ships movements, fire at your opponents, and grab the loot!

Fresh used games: Snow Trails, Elfenland, Arimaa, D-Day Dice, Shadows Over Camelot, Battleground Crossbows and Catapults, Battle Beyond Space, Catacombs, Risk, Dungeon (1989), Masterpiece, Aggravation, Dixit, Fabula.

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.

Posted on November 30th, 2012

December is upon us folks, so if you haven’t already done so, get those shopping lists ready. To help, we’ve got some staff picks below, which is just a sampling of our favorites. And, since most of our picks fall into the adult strategy category, we’ve included a selection of top picks for kids and family games based on personal experience, play time in the game room, and customer feedback. Settle in, the list is a bit big, so many good ones to choose from. Happy December everyone.

Staff Picks

    Escape from the Temple Curse: A real-time dice-rolling cooperative game. With everyone simultaneously rolling dice and hollering for help, this should be a silly stupid game. It is a completely refreshing experience though. If it grabs you, you’ll have a very hard time playing just one round, and as soon as you win, you’ll want to make it harder. This was voted one of the best games shown at the Spiel board game convention by the boardgamegeek community, the same community that votes a 6-hour 2-player game as best game of all time. Those crazy geeks.

 

  7 Wonders the Leaders and Cities expansions: 7 Wonders was a marvellously novel experience when it hit tables in 2010. This city building card game that plays in about an hour incorporates a drafting mechanic whereby players choose a card from their hand to play, then pass the remainder of their hand to their neighbor. Brilliant and satisfying out of the box, but add the expansions and the re-playability and depth expand well over 7-fold.

 

 

  Alien Frontiers  with the Factions expansion: Dice game with a retro space theme, sounds like a luck-fest huh? Not quite. You’ll get to puzzle out how best to use your dice rolls to collect resources, expand your space fleet, and ultimately construct colonies to send to the central planet. It’s quite satisfying to find just the right solution, and frustrating to watch as your opponents block all your best moves. Add the expansion to this one and you’ll have a more complex and unique experience every play.

 

Mage Knight: I am the only staff member to vote for this one, so I’ll be brief: best game ever. Ok, maybe a little more info. Imagine playing a board game version of a fantasy roleplaying game, but instead of hacking your way through horrible AI monsters, you get to burn your brain finding just the right combination of cards to explore, fight, and gather valuable treasure, allies, and skills. This game can feel a bit like running a marathon with your mind, so fuel up first.

 

Game of Thrones Board Game: Of all the deep intricate games in the shop, this one has seen more play than any. Choose your family and get ready to constantly scuffle about who to trust while you are secretly scheming to ensure your own personal victory. Lots going on with this game, and at each step the plans of your opponents will nag at you. Oh, and don’t forget that Winter is coming, along with the wildlings. Though this is a long one, it is the best way to experience George R.R. Martin’s rich world without donning armor.

  King of Tokyo with Power Up expansion: No Cloud Cap staff pick list is complete without this wacky game. Imagine playing Yahztee as a Japanese movie monster and trying to become king of the hill and you have some idea of how a game of King of Tokyo rolls. Lots of luck in this one, that said, a single person won every game he played in our recent tournament. While the base game let’s you spend energy cubes to alter your monster’s capabilities, the Power Up expansion adds even more customization options.

Family Picks:

Dixit: A creative apples-to-apples style party game with unique style.

Forbidden Island: Grab treasures as a team and get off the island before it sinks.

Ticket to Ride: Perhaps the epitome of modern family games. Use your sets of colored cards to claim train routes across the map while trying to block your opponents from doing the same.

Timeline: New this year and a huge hit. Each of your cards has a historical event and your goal is to get rid of them by placing them in proper chronological order. Simple but very engaging, and now in 4 flavors.

Kids Picks

Chef Cuckoo (Ages 7+): Can you make the worst omelette or best sandwich with your hand of cards? The judge has the final say.

Eleminis (Ages 7+): Collect one of each of the five cute elements, or block your opponents, your choice. Simple but challenging for the kids, and they’ll keep asking for more.

Spot It (Ages 7+) and Spot It Jrv (Ages 5+): Completely child and parent approved. This fast object recognition games keeps all ages engaged.

Catan Junior (Ages 6+): Finally a great Settlers of Catan for the young ones, and with a great pirate theme.

Race for the Treasure (Ages 5+) and Mermaid Island (Ages 5+): 2 great cooperative games with great themes and just enough decision making to challenge budding gamers.

Hisss (Ages 4+): Make some snakes by matching colored sections. Nothing too complicated here, but effective for its target age.

Chicken Cha Cha Cha (Ages 4+): How’s your memory? Better be great or you’ll have your feathers nabbed.

Feed the Woozle (Ages 3+): It will take some serious dexterity to satisfy the Woozle’s hunger.

Go Away Monster (Ages 3+): Pesky monsters make it hard to clean your room, just toss them away!

 

Posted on November 23rd, 2012

We hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, and we hope you have the day off and the rest of the weekend to share with family and friends. We have a busy weekend ahead of us. Of course it is Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday, but we’ve also got Pokemon at 10am on Saturday, Meaty Game Day at 4pm on Saturday, and then Family Game Day all day Sunday. It may get a little tight in the shop at times, so bear with us and we’ll do our best to maximize the play space and shopping space.

On both Friday and Saturday, we are participating in the awesome Portland-wide Little Boxes event to encourage small business shopping for all of your holiday needs. You probably won’t find high-def TVs for $20, but you also won’t get literally walked on by people who already own 5 TVs. What you will find is a great bunch of shops all over the city selling unique items with great service. You also benefit by shopping at multiple stores, after the first Little Box you hit, you will receive 10% off at all others! Furthermore, and I cannot stress the magnanimity of this enough, you can enter a raffle without even making a purchase, but shopping does earn you more entries. It is worth browsing one of the shops just to get in on the raffle because there are some amazing prizes to be given away, still no hi-def TVs though. Definitely check out their website for more info, pick up a brochure at any participating shop, or just ask us. And don’t forget that you will receive triple Supportland points as well, which may seriously earn you some rewards so do not take it lightly. I know all of this may seem a bit more complicated than fighting parking lot traffic and storming into the crowds at a Big Box, but we are talking about many ways to get some great FREE stuff, won’t find anything free at the big boys, except maybe some stress and bruises.

For new games, we have one that we played for about 3 hours straight on Thanksgiving called Escape from the Temple Curse. In that 3 hours, we played countless games, because every game takes exactly 10 minutes, plus set up and post-game analysis. Escape is a cooperative, real-time dice rolling game where up to 5 players are trapped inside a Mayan temple and have 10 minutes to get out. This is a game that has to be experienced to be understood, and experienced multiple times because the first try is a wild scream fest since you have very little idea how to go about it. After more plays though, you realize that a much calmer exploratory approach is required to win on the harder levels. Now I’m the guy who loves long quiet brainy game affairs, so I thought I would hate Escape despite the awesome Indiana Jones theme. Well I absolutely love this game, it relies on a completely new set of gaming skills and it is absolutely enjoyable by a variety of ages and tastes. I’m gonna try and get it set up on the demo table along with the soundtrack so you can see what I’m talking about.

Alright, grab a hearty breakfast (I highly recommend our local Bertie Lou’s eatery, fantastic stuff), then casually stroll through Portland’s wonderful small businesses. If you have time and interest, join us for one of our weekend events, listed below. Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

EVENTS

Saturday Strategy Gathering, 6-10pm: Same great game night style, now more palatable for the weekday workers. Check out our guild forum for planned games, to reserve a seat, or recruit for a game of your own.

Pathfinder Adventures: Our summer intern, Tam, is looking to run some Pathfinder adventures on Saturday evenings for up to 5 players, ages 13 and up. Strap on your armor and RSVP for this if you are interested.

Monthly RPG night: We are trying to get at least one night a month of roleplaying games going, probably every third thursday at this point. What we need however, is at least one gamemaster. All roleplaying systems are welcome. Let us know if you are interested and when we get enough we’ll officially add it to our schedule.

Friday Afternoon Magic (Friday, 4-6pm): Bring your cards for playing and trading. We want to work our way toward Core level so we can run official prerelease events and tournaments, so bring some friends!

Pokemon League (Saturday, 10am-Noon): Trade and play and earn some free cards and badges. Unfortunately, Pokemon USA has stopped sending promo cards, so we will now charge $3 per day per person to maintain prize support. Fortunately, this will result in everyone getting much better prize cards.

Family Game Gathering (Sunday, Noon-6pm): Sunday is family game day, arrive when you want and test drive some games from our demo library. Do not be shy about asking us to teach you a new one.