New games for February 7, 2020 - Grozot School

Jason Tagmire

It's New Game Friday! And David Wiley (Cardboard Clash) is here to tell us about the new games.

Here’s what is new this week:

    • GRO: Battle for the Petri Dish
    • Jasper and Zot
    • Paper Pinball: Sorcery School Sleuths

    This week's new games are all available at

    GRO: Battle for the Petri Dish

    GRO is an abstract game of germ warfare for 2 players. Each player controls the growth and expansion of a strain of bacterium within the confines of a Petri dish. Your goal is to become the dominant strain, proving your virulence to the lab tech studying your behavior and to the world at large.

    Simple, abstract games are hardly a new thing in board games, modern or ancient. However, the key is what the games do to make them different from the other games out there, and GRO is an interesting one where the theme sort of fits and the interactions are interesting. You are opposing germs inside of a Petri dish and, well, you’ll each begin with a single germ in there. You move from corner to corner among the grid of squares, attempting to be the sole occupant in 3 of the 4 scoring areas to win the game. If you can make it so your opponent’s piece is surrounded orthogonally, it gets removed (and can be placed again later). However, the really unique concept here is being able to grow and divide your pieces into small, medium, or large germs (they stack vertically, but require more open spaces around them for movement as they grow). Can you spread better than the other germ in the dish, or will you be immunized by your opponent? Check out this interesting little abstract with simple rules that open the door for depth via gameplay decisions.

    Jasper and Zot


    Jasper and Zot is a one player game about two old, feuding wizards. The White Mage Jasper is quite the famous gardener and his pumpkins always win the blue ribbon at the local faire. His long-time adversary and neighbor, Zot the Necromancer, who is not good at growing living things, has summoned an army of the undead to smash all of Jasper's prize-winning pumpkins. Help Jasper defend his pumpkins by turning Zot's shambling minions into delicate white flowers and then burning them to ash!

    Forget tower defense games, this is a pumpkin defense game and that means it is time to get serious. After all, that evil wizard Zot probably is trying to rid the world of all things Pumpkin Spice flavored and we simply cannot allow that to happen. In this solitaire game, you are fighting waves of zombies and bombs that will churn out an additional 1-3 new enemies every turn until you survive two waves of tokens or until you lose all of your prized planted pumpkin possessions. The gameplay is simple, yet will require cunning and planning on how to best blast those zombies to maximize your score - especially since your spells affect adjacent tokens as well meaning you could theoretically wipe out 5-10 tokens in a single action with careful planning and reading of the board state. A fun way to pass some time casting powerful spells and preserving the pumpkins for the sake of Pumpkin Spice lovers everywhere.

    Paper Pinball: Sorcery School Sleuths

    Each turn, Roll 2 dice, then write or cross out their total in one of the scoring zones listed. Some scoring zone sets will cause an effect if you fill all of them. Effects are shown on the board, near the set.

    Get in on the pinball action, no quarters needed - just grab a pair of dice and the writing utensil of your choice and you are ready to play. Each turn you are attempting to either cross out matching numbers or fill in those numbers onto various spots on the pinball machine in order to maximize your points scored. There are some Tilt modifiers you can use (once each) to add or subtract from your roll, but when you cannot use a number you lose a ball. Lose all three and its game over. If you’ve been looking for a chance to hone your Pinball Wizard skills, this is the game for you to check out, and if you enjoy fast-playing roll-and-write games this should also garner your interest as a quick experience to try out that might just keep you coming back for more as you attempt to beat your high score - just like in the good ole days.


    For all of the new games, visit

    The game of the week is Circle The Wagons!

    Each player in Circle the Wagons is fixin' to build up their own boomtown, but only one'll build the best in the West! 

    Blaze a trail by draftin' cards 'round the circle and placin' 'em in yer town, tryin' to connect matchin' territories to score prosperity points! But don't forget about them three bonus cards in the center of the circle that can score ya even more points — that is, if ya play yer cards right. With darn near five thousand unique ways to score and millions of draftin' and placin' combos, you'll never build the same town twice!

    Let’s be honest with each other here: Circle the Wagons is the one game I (David) can, without hesitation, recommend to include in every gaming collection. It is accessible, fast-playing, low rules overhead, and highly replayable. It is the perfect game to take on a dinner date, to a coffee shop, or just at the dinner table at home. There is no definitive strategy to follow for victory in every game because those three changing scoring conditions alter what cards are valuable or invaluable. Every time it hits the table we play it several times in a row, which you can’t say about every game (regardless of length). So it is with the utmost sincerity that I tell you this, from one gamer to another: if you haven’t tried Circle the Wagons yet, do yourself a favor and test it out. This is 18 cards, and yet within those 18 cards there are literally hundreds of plays waiting for you to explore the game time and time again, no matter who is across the table from you. If my entire game collection burned up tonight, this would be the first game I would replace, without question. It’ll never be my “favorite” game of all time, but this is such an essential cornerstone to the collection that its absence would be felt quickly. Try it. What do you have to lose, except money from your wallet when you end up deciding to buy a copy or twelve after you fall in love with it, too?

    Check out Circle The Wagonshere:

    See you next week with more information on our newest print and play games!

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