[1 Dec 2014 | 2 Comments]
2014 ChiTAG Recap: What I saw and liked

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is over and it’s time to recap a few of the interesting games I played while I was there!  There were so many publishers there so these are only a small sampling of games I haven’t already covered.  Which means I have to skip games like Rummikub, which I could have sat down and played all day with random strangers at the Goliath booth.  Maybe next year I’ll enter into the Rummikub Tournament!  (If you’ve never been to the fair, there are huge companies like Spin Master and …

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Game Industry Events »

[25 Nov 2014 | No Comments]
2014 TAGIE Awards: The Winners

EXCELLENCE IN GAME DESIGN

Oliver Morris, designer of Gravity Maze

This year’s field of inventors (Dan Klitsner/Hasbro Design - Simon Swipe, John Neal/BMT - Shark Mania, Oliver Morris – Gravity Maze, Richard Garfield - King of New York, Steffen Bogen - Camel Up) had some pretty big game names in it and I find it interesting that a solo player game (which some might call a brainteaser) won.  Granted, I do think Gravity Maze did a great job of making something that requires quite a bit of brain power look really fun, which is cool.  I’m just surprised that a more traditional “multi-player …

Game Industry Events »

[12 Nov 2014 | No Comments]
2014 ChiTAG Events Preview

It’s time again for the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and while I’ve slacked and haven’t put together a preview article that includes new games to take a peek at while you’re there, I did take a few minutes to round up some events you might be interested in.   But beside the advertised events the coolest thing about this show is that it’s CRAWLING with inventors – both newer inventors and ones who have been in the business for YEARS.  I’ve listed a few below that have specific times and …

All Game Reviews, Games for Kids »

[12 Nov 2014 | No Comments]
Robot Turtles: Kickstarter phenom lands at ThinkFun

If you’re on the internet and interested in games, I’m almost positive you’ve heard of Robot Turtles.  I can’t recall the last time a game got so much press (Wired, The New York Times (pic at right), NPR, etc.) in so many different areas of the gaming world.  Even the people who have no idea what Kickstarter is know about Robot Turtles.
If, however you’ve been living in a remote area of the world with no internet access, here’s the very short abridged version of the story:
Dan Shapiro invented Robot Turtles for …

Game Industry Events, My Two Cents »

[6 Nov 2014 | No Comments]
2014 Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced!

And the winners are…. BUBBLES, LITTLE GREEN ARMY MEN, and RUBIK’S CUBE!

These are the 54th and 55th AND 56th items inducted in to the National Toy Hall of Fame, hosted by the National Museum of Play:

So no game winner for this year (unless you count Rubik’s ‘cube.)  At least we saw Chess earn its place in the Hall of Fame last year and Dominoes the year before.  Still, I hate seeing a year with no games as they are definitely underrepresented in the mix of winners.  Ah.. there’s always next year.
The …

Game Industry Events, My Two Cents »

[18 Oct 2014 | No Comments]
I Love Operation Campaign… Inventors helping inventors and a peek behind the curtain

The thing I love about being in this industry is that there are so many inventors willing to help and support other inventors.  We’re all in the same boat for the most part — sometimes things are great and sometimes things just plain suck, but we’ve each had our fair share of good and bad.  We also know that as much as the business has a happy side, there are definitely the stories that don’t have endings like, “he plans on spending his retirement sailing off into the sunset in his …

Game Industry Events »

[14 Oct 2014 | No Comments]
2014 TAGIE Nominees!

It’s that time of year again… (well actually it was last week but I’m a little behind)
The 2014 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Award nominees are:
EXCELLENCE IN GAME DESIGN

Dan Klitsner and KID Group and Hasbro Design Team, designers of Simon Swipe
John Neal and BMT Toys, inventors of Shark Mania
Oliver Morris, designer of Gravity Maze
Richard Garfield, designer of King of New York
Steffen Bogen, designer of Camel Up

  EXCELLENCE IN TOY DESIGN

Ayah Bdeir, inventor of CloudBit
Bang Zoom Design, Ltd., inventors of Chatsters and Frozen Ice Skating Dolls
Ian Bernstein, Adam Wilson and Sphero team, inventors of Ollie
Nick Grisolia and Pete Greenley, …

All Game Reviews »

[6 Oct 2014 | No Comments]
Gravity Maze: What happens when you mix toys and brainteasers!

I recently asked a teacher I was going to donate some games to what kind of stuff she was going to be able to use in her classroom.  It was the first time I was going to give her a few things and unlike most of the teachers I work with who are located within the city of Chicago, she’s a suburban teacher in a low-income school.  Immediately she said “Brainteasers!”  I didn’t have many of those on hand (as I don’t review all that many of them) but I …