Calliope Games is a GeekDad favorite—I first met Ray Wehrs at PAX Prime several years ago, and since then it’s become a tradition to make a trip to the Calliope booth at the beginning of a convention (and sometimes also at the end). This year at Gen Con, Wehrs made several announcements about some things that Calliope has in store.
First up: Roll For It! Deluxe
Roll For It! is a simple dice game designed by Chris Leder with a little press-your-luck element. (Dave Banks reviewed it during the Kickstarter campaign last year.) This year for Gen Con, Calliope Games had an exclusive Gen Con–themed deluxe set, with a metal tin and cards that featured the official Gen Con characters. But that set was only available at Gen Con.
For everyone else, there’s Roll For It! Deluxe. It’s the same idea as the Gen Con exclusive, but with Calliope instead of the Gen Con adventurers. There’s all new artwork on the cards by Echo Chernik (who also did the Calliope artwork for the company). You also get two sets of cards and dice, so the game can play up to eight people rather than four. (For the original game, you could buy two different-colored sets to go up to eight.)
The tin itself is a dice tray, with a flocked interior so you can roll the dice into it, making it great for on-the-go gaming. (Do your kids roll dice of the table? Problem solved.) There’s also a little cloth bag so if you want to toss in the cards and dice and ditch the metal tin, it’s very portable.
If you already own Roll For It!, especially if you got the two sets, I don’t know that you really need the deluxe version as well, but it’s pretty nice, and having all the cards and dice in one container is a bonus. The deluxe version will retail for $38, and releases in November. (Though if you’re attending PAX Prime this coming weekend, you can pick up a copy there at the Uncle’s Games room.)
Next: Tsuro App
Tsuro is a great game that’s easy to teach and plays up to 8 players. (Here’s my review from a few years ago.) It’s one I often pull out if I’ve got a crowd because it works for new gamers but has enough to interest experienced gamers, too. Next year is Tsuro‘s 10th anniversary, and one of the ways Calliope is celebrating is with the release of the Tsuro app, developed by Thunderbox Entertainment.
The app has been designed to preserve the look and feel of the physical game—you even “open” the game box to start the app. It will be available sometime early 2015 for iOS and Android, and will support multiplayer over the internet, pass and play on the same device, as well as play against AI.
You can watch a little teaser video that shows a bit of the gameplay. There’s not a lot of info yet, but you can see from the screenshots and the video that there are at least a few enhancements, like the colored paths, which will make it easier to see where you’ve been. And I noticed in the screenshot above that there’s a note about loops—I’m predicting achievements to unlock as you play.
We also got a hint about a deluxe anniversary edition of Tsuro that’s in the works. I haven’t seen photos yet but word is it’s going to be really fancy.
Lastly, the Titan Series Kickstarter.
Calliope is planning to launch a Kickstarter project early next year to fund a line of nine games known as the Titan Series, to be released over the course of the next three years. And they’ve brought in some heavy hitters to do the game design: Rob Daviau, Michael Elliott, James Ernest, Matt Forbeck, Richard Garfield, Seth Johnson, Eric Lang, Mike Mulvihill, Paul Petersen, Mike Selinker, Jordan Weisman, and Zach Weisman. Some of these have designed casual games, some do heavier Eurogames, some are involved in RPGs, but each of them has been involved in some very well-known titles.
For the Titan series, they’ll be developing family-friendly games, with the hope that these big names will bring together both hardcore gamers and newer gamers. We’ve yet to see the games themselves, but it’ll be interesting to see what this all-star cast comes up with.
It looks like it’ll be a big year for Calliope coming up—we’ll be sure to keep you posted!