Wednesday, March 31, 2021


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March 29, 2021 – Huntington Beach, CA – Just a few months after launching, GameApart, a platform that allows groups to play popular card, board, and party games together over video conferencing software, continues its momentum with pre-seed funding and the rollout of additional online multiplayer party games.

GameApart’s rapidly growing game library includes GIFs Against Society and Done With 2020. Both games are similar to the hit Cards Against Humanity, however, GIFs Against Society brings features only available digitally, including memes generated on-the-fly, and Done With 2020 helps players to laugh instead of cry when thinking about the start of a very memorable decade. Done with 2020 is GameApart’s first collaboration with an independent game designer.

GameApart’s first card game, Ochos Locos, was released this month and is based on the classic Crazy Eights. Those who like word guessing games will love The Word, Verboden, and Tip of the Tongue, designed for fans of Just One (winner of the 2019 Spiel des Jahres award), Taboo, and Heads Up.

With the introduction of numerous virtual party and team-building games, GameApart saw tremendous growth in the past two quarters, averaging 29% week-over-week growth in users.
For 2021, GameApart is ramping up content production through licensing agreements with some of the hottest independent game makers in the world agreeing to host digital versions of their titles on the platform.

GameApart works on any video conferencing service (Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Slack, Teams, etc.) that supports screen-sharing, with one person acting as the “host” who starts the game and shares their screen with everyone. Players then use the GameApart app on their smartphones to play, interacting with their friends live around the virtual game table. GameApart is available for both iOS and Android users.

Did you like this press release?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 273: Tom Hughes

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!

Name:Tom Hughes
Day Job:I work as a Scrum Master currently - which is basically a Project Manager. Formerly I worked as a producer and designer with Activision most recently.
Designing:One to two years.
Find my games at:Currently nowhere :(
Today's Interview is with:

Tom Hughes
Interviewed on: 1/3/2021

Today's interview is with Tom Hughes, one half of the team that brought Factory Floor to Kickstarter last month for a successful campaign. A former QA tester in the video game industry, Tom started Space Duck Games and the Cardboard Designer blog to showcase and publish his tabletop game designs. Read on to learn more about Tom and his current projects!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Buds, Blooms, and Thorns Kickstarter Preview of Floriferous by Pencil First Games

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Title: Floriferous
Designed by: Steve Finn, Eduardo Baraf, Keith Matejka
Publisher: Pencil First Games
Year Published: 2021
Kickstarter Price: $20
1-4p | 20-30 min | 8+

This review is for a prototype copy of the game.  Components, artwork, and gameplay is subject to change.


In 2017 I reviewed Herbaceous, the new game from the design team of Steve Finn, Ed Baraf, and Keith Matejka with beautiful art from Beth Sobel.  I loved the game, and so did everyone else!  It was a huge hit!  Since then, that team has worked together on a whole series of games with a similar theme, aesthetic, and feel.  All of them are relaxing, casual games that are easy to teach, fun to play, and deeper than they first appear.  Herbaceous was followed by Sunset Over Water, Herbaceous Sprouts, The Whatnot Cabinet, Herbaceous Pocked Edition, and now Floriferous.  

Floriferous features the artwork of Clémentine Campardou, but her watercolor flowers fit right in with Beth Sobel's artwork from the rest of the series.  But how does the gameplay fit in?  Like the other games, Floriferous is a casual, set collection game with some interesting methods of drafting items.  It's for 1-4 players and plays pretty quickly, under a half hour.  Let's read on to find out if this game of blooms is a bloom itself! 

Blooms are the game's highlights and features.  Elements that are exceptional.
  • Simple rules - teach the game in just 2 minutes!
  • Mechanics so easy a 3-year-old played without a problem.
  • Deep enough decisions that adults were able to still be engaged and competitive, even while playing with the 3-year-old!
  • Absolutely gorgeous artwork!
  • Friendly competition - lots of interaction with few opportunities to be mean.
  • A fresh take on drafting mechanics.
  • Fast play.
Buds are interesting parts of the game I would like to explore more. 
  • Includes a solo mode.
  • Every game presents a new mix allowing for new strategies.
  • Early Spring mini-expansion adds new twists to explore.
Thorns are a game's shortcomings and any issues I feel are noteworthy.
  • Since cards can be parts of multiple sets you are collecting, sorting them in your play area as you collect them can get messy and confusing.
Final Thoughts:
Let me start out my Final Thoughts with a quote from my wife.  I shared on Facebook that we played and she felt the need to comment on my post, something she rarely does for the games I have her play, especially review games.
"Loved this game! And that is saying a lot, because most of what George asks me to play falls firmly in the "meh" category. Simple enough for the three year old to hold his own (but he also plays Splendor and other adult games with little help), and deep enough to keep my interest. Love, love, love the theme, and I won the cup of tea at the end! Also, the illustrations are beautiful. So that's the wife's two cents 🙂"

I think that pretty well sums up this game!  It's wonderful!  

If you collect the most stones you earn a 2 point bonus cup of tea.

It's funny, we were just in the game store looking for a game that we could play with our 3-year-old.  He has a bunch of kiddie games that he loves, but he also loves playing our adult games.  He's starting to get a pretty good handle on various mechanics, and as long as he can take the steps necessary to take a turn, he doesn't care if he has a good strategy or not (he doesn't even know what strategy it yet).  He'd just happy to be playing with us.  When we got home I asked my wife if she'd play Floriferous with me so I could review it.  The 3-year-old wanted to play, too, so I set him up with his own pieces.

He was able to play the game without any problems.  The game is laid out in a grid of cards.  Each player has a pawn that represents their gardener.  Each turn all you have to do is move your gardener to a card in the next column in the grid and take the card.  He generally picked the flower he liked most, or the ones with the bugs he liked, or one with a stone, but it was simple enough that he could do it.  And his decisions definitely influenced our decisions.  He even held his own in the scoring!  The game ended with scores of 26, 31, and 37 with my wife winning and me in the middle.  

Here's my 3-year-old's collection of flowers, sculptures, and stones!

Despite the game being simple enough for a 3-year-old to play, it offered plenty of strategic choices and options for my wife and me.  I really like that there are so many ways to score points.  Each card in the garden can be valuable and as your game evolves different paths to victory (or in my case paths to a solid second place) emerge.  You can collect flowers for arrangements, sculptures, specific desires, or meet the bounty requirements (that's bounty as in nature's bounty, not as in a price for your head).  This leads to a lot of flexibility in strategy and good replayability variety.

Granted, I only played the game once, since I received the game 5 days into its short campaign, and I wanted to make sure I got this review out, but it's a game my wife asked to make sure we get to play again before I have to send it back to Pencil First Games.  That's something she rarely does with my review games, so Floriferous definitely earns a Bloom from me!  If you haven't backed the game yet, what are you waiting for?  Head over to Kickstarter today and pick it up for just $20 plus shipping (and grab some of the other titles in the series, too, if you don't have them yet).  There's only a week left in the campaign!

Buds, Blooms, and Thorns Rating:
Bloom!  This game is great and worth
adding to your collection!  It should be
on just about every gamer's shelf. 


The fun gardener pawns inspired my wife and 3-year-old to draw what they might look like as actual people!

Did you like this review?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

GJJ Games Reviews are independent, unpaid reviews of games I, George Jaros, have played with my family and friends.  Some of these games I own, some are owned by friends, some are borrowed, and some were provided by a publisher or designer for my honest feedback and evaluation.  I make every attempt to be both honest and constructively critical in my reviews, and they are all my opinions.  There are four types of reviews on GJJ Games: Full Reviews feature critical reviews based on a rubric and games receive a rating from 0 to 100.  Quick Reviews and Kickstarter Previews are either shorter reviews of published games or detailed preview reviews of crowdfunding games that will receive a rating from 0 to 10 based on my impressions of the game.  Buds, Blooms, and Thorns reviews are shorter reviews of either published or upcoming games that highlight three aspects of a game: Buds are parts of a game I look forward to exploring more, Blooms are outstanding features of a game, and Thorns are shortcomings of a game.  Each BBT review game will receive an overall rating of Thorn, Bud, or Bloom.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Unboxing - Heroes & Villains by Neddy Games Group

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Super-Heroes and their arch-rivals, the Super-Villains, are always popular.  Besides the two major players in this genre (who co-own a trademark on the term "Super-Hero" and its variants), there are myriad other artists creating their own variants of heroes and villains with superpowers.  They just aren't called superheroes (or at least not as part of the product title).  Comics, movies, books, video games, and, of course, board games are full of examples of independent lines of super-heroes.  I've even reviewed some.  

Today we get to take a look at the forthcoming Heroes & Villains from Neddy Games Group.  Heroes & Villains is a card game for 2-6 players that contains a bunch of different ways to play: two players head-to-head with pre-built or constructed decks, multiplayer free-for-all or team battles, multiplayer one-vs-many battles, and even tourneys, drafts, and sealed variants that you'd normally find in CCG formats.  Each player chooses a character to play as either a hero or villain and then gets a deck of cards.  Your cards are your health and you're defeated when you run out of cards in your deck.  The game seems pretty straightforward, but let's take a look at what comes in the box!

You can learn more about Heroes & Villains at the Neddy Games Group website, and look for it on Kickstarter in May!

The box cover features characters from the game in a vibrant display.

The back of the box doesn't really tell you much about the game, but features the components and rulebook.

Inside the box you'll be treated by a full-color rulebook, including a comic book style backstory.

The backstory is a fully-illustrated comic that introduces the characters.

Each character is introduced before you get to the rules.

The rules continue the comic book styling.

The rules are clear and concise and offer a variety of play options.

The back of the rulebook harkens back to classic comic book ads.  You can even order your own Sea Monkeys Chimps!

Under the rulebook is the six character decks and dividers on one side of the box.
There's plenty of room for more decks.  (Stretch goals?)

The other side of the box contains two custom neoprene playmats.

The two neoprene playmats are folded and kept closed with rubberbands.
The playmats are nice and large, featuring artwork from the game.

Each playmat is different!
They're not the thickest playmats, but the colors are bright and clear.

Each of the six characters has their own deck.

Each character's deck has abilities specific to that character.

The divider card for each character is double-sided, featuring both a hero and villain ability.
Here we see Vigilante Justice.

Super Strength gonna knock you out.

Dark Magic controls zombies and more.

Super Speed is gone in a flash zip!

Fire Control is great for your bar-b-que.

Here's everything you get!

Did you like this unboxing?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.