Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar
Casual Game Insider|Spring 2021
2-4 PLAYERS | 45-60 MINUTES | AGES 7+

Restoration Games’s reimagining of Milton Bradley’s 1980s island quest is not cheap at $75. Yes, it can take an age to set up, with three molded, plastic 3D board bases, and many fiddly components and treasure pieces.

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Gaming By Degrees: The Philosophical Journey of Dr. Finn's Games

Early in his career as a self-publishing game designer, Dr. Stephen Finn earned a reputation as a designer of filler games. In fact, Richard Ham, host of the well-known board gaming video series and podcast “Rahdo Runs Through,” has called Finn the “undisputed King of the Filler.” It was a title that Finn embraced. “There was a time,” notes Finn, “when ‘filler’ wasn’t a pejorative term, but I think it’s now becoming one. I was always proud to call myself the King of the Fillers, because I was thinking of ‘filler’ as just a quick thing.” “However, over time, I began to realize that it may be to my detriment and now, I try to avoid it.” Not completely. Finn continues to promote the phrase on his company’s website because “being King of anything is still a good thing.” “I was thinking maybe it would become something bigger.”

5 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020

COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?

7 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

MYSTERIUM PARK

Attending a mysterious funfair, you start to have psychic visions. Can you catch a killer before the evening is through?

2 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

Slide Quest

1-4 PLAYERS | 15-45 MINUTES | AGES 7+

1 min read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

CANDY LAB

Live the sugary dream in Candy Lab, as you fulfill orders of candy bars and compete for the title of master confectioner!

2 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

MIND GAMES: The Psychology of Board Games

What is the mind? For the ancient Greeks, the idea of the mind was synonymous with the concept of “soul.” Plato believed the psyche was immortal and became wiser and more perceptive after death. More recently, Freud and Jung refined the idea of seele (soul) as a subset of the overall psyche, that which governs thought and behavior — in short, personality. As a game designer and armchair psychologist, I am fascinated by what makes games tick. But even more, I love to discover what makes players tick. Games are products of the human mind, and the mind is the arena on which the contest is played. All the aspects of cognition — perception, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and more — play into the game experience.

7 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar

2-4 PLAYERS | 45-60 MINUTES | AGES 7+

2 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

GAME REVIEWS: CALICO

Winner of CGI’s Best Casual Game of 2020 award, Calico is filled with adorable cats and versatility in its tile laying, giving it a combination of challenging gameplay and soothing delightful theme.

2 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

Formula D

2-10 PLAYERS | 60 MINUTES | AGES 8+

2 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021

BOARD GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM

Gamers gather around a table to unbox a new board game or bring out an old favorite. Together, they enter into a unique experience of mental challenge, social interaction, and creative play — an experience that draws them together. But can this special experience have anything to do with learning? John Coveyou, founder of Genius Games, insists that it does. Whenever you take a seat around a table to play a board game, “your mind can’t not begin to pick up information about the world that the game is themed around.” Without a doubt, learning is part of the experience, but is it a big enough part to justify using board games in the classroom? If so, how can board games be best used for learning?

7 mins read
Casual Game Insider
Spring 2021
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