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NY Toy Fair 2014 — Game Previews I: Mars Attacks: The Dice Game, Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary, Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000 & Gale Force Nine's Line-up

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
• I spent just one day at NY Toy Fair 2014 — the annual toy and game trade fair held in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan, and not even a full day at that — but I crammed in as much as I could and will suffer penance later for whatever I missed. Since it's late in the p.m. and I'm ready to crash, for now I'll merely pass along a few images and save more detailed updates for a later time.

To start, Phil Reed of U.S. publisher Steve Jackson Games announced the September 2014 release of Mars Attacks: The Dice Game, a standalone design that bears resemblance to SJG's Zombie Dice in the composition of its dice but is otherwise its own game. Players are the Martians doing the attacking, and they're competing to see who can subjugate which cities first. At the start of the game, four stacks of cards are dealt out randomly, with each stack having as many cards as players.

On a turn, the player first declares which city he wants to attack, then rolls all ten dice. Any dice showing the "nuke" symbol are locked and cannot be rerolled. Laser guns are similarly locked, allowing the player to reroll only the alien heads. If he rerolls and ever has as many nuke symbols showing as the number on the face-up cards and the supplementary token, his turn ends; otherwise he can stop at any time, and if he doesn't have enough guns or alien heads to claim his target, he marks his total with one of his tokens, allowing him to add on to this number on a future turn — assuming that someone else doesn't claim the card first.

Some city cards have special powers, such as Seattle's, which allows you to place one die on the symbol of your choice prior to rolling. Las Vegas, true to its nature, wants you to go bust multiple times in order to claim the card. Whoever ends up decimating the largest portion of the earth wins. Ak ak ak ak ak!

Board Game: Mars Attacks: The Dice Game

Board Game: Mars Attacks: The Dice Game

Board Game: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary
• Mark Kaufmann from Days of Wonder was on hand to show off the components of Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary Edition, announced mere days ago on BGG News and elsewhere. I had not previously noticed the tiny giraffe heads sticking out of the red player's circus cars or the "DOW" logo on the blue player's boxcars. The game board features lots of Easter eggs for those with fine eyes, but I'll let you discover them for yourself when the time comes.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Board Game: Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000
• Designer Greg Lam released Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000 through his own Pair-of-Dice Games in 2006, and U.S. publisher Mayday Games plans to release a new edition of the game in 2014, complete with newly designed, more realistic-looking bits — or at least that's what it seems like from the press image handed out at the show. I had fun beating my Chinese exchange student at this game recently. You don't need mere skill with the sticks, or else I wouldn't have had a chance; you also need to use them to beat down the opponent and play defense, something I have experience with from past games whereas she's an amateur who uses them solely for eating.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

Board Game Publisher: Gale Force Nine, LLC
Gale Force Nine included the following banner in its booth display, but the publisher had a meeting, then I had a meeting, then time ran out and I never got back to see whether I could find out anything about any of these titles. Alas, right now all I have is subjects, so this is yet another research project for a future day. Sigh...

From gallery of W Eric Martin
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