New games for March 5, 2021 - The Ugly Zombie Memory Builder

Jason Tagmire

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

Here’s what is new this week:

      • Memory Kings
      • Ugly Gryphon Inn
      • Ugly Gryphon Inn: Local Dragons
      • Ugly Gryphon Inn: More Patrons
      • Yard Builder
      • Zombie District

      This week's new games are all available at

      Yard Builder

      A roll-and-write with curb appeal.

      If you love roll-and-write games, and let’s be honest and admit we all do, then this is definitely one to check out. It not only lets you get started playing quickly through the simple ruleset, but also has a really cool approach of someone rolling 3d20 and all players choose one of the three numbers to use for building. So while you’re all playing with the same possibilities, the outcomes will diverge. Plus there’s the restriction of each new item needing to be placed nearby (in one of the 8 squares around) an existing thing, but there’s also mega points to score assuming you can connect certain features to specific things. There’s a lot of simple fun in this one, and would be an easy one to play regardless of how many people are at the table.

      The Ugly Gryphon Inn

      You own the questionably prestigious Ugly Gryphon Inn, which is the only Inn within a hundred miles. Your patrons are rowdy and rude, but they are the only ones around. Your goal is to fill your inn with enough patrons to keep the debt collectors at bay, but to do so you must manage some painfully particular, peculiar patrons. In the Ugly Gryphon Inn, you’ll be tasked with managing your patrons’ various needs to ensure they all get a good night’s rest. Each turn, you’ll send one drowsy patron up to their room, then check to make sure all your patrons are sleeping soundly. If something’s irking them, they might raise a fuss, so keep an eye on what they need as you go. Afterwards, you’ll usher in more guests and keep an eye on the bar to make sure there’s no trouble. There’s never a moment to rest in The Ugly Gryphon Inn!

      This game sounds as clever and fun as it looks. You definitely want to play this one if you are a solo gamer. Smallish footprint, small card count, large fun. What more could you ask for? This one has fun theme plastered all over the game as you watch the patrons get plastered and make sure they are pleased. The beauty here is you can try the game at home with this PNP, and then when you absolutely love it, you can eagerly wait for the physical copy of the game to arrive and get some free additional characters. I can’t wait to play this, and neither should you.

      Memory Kings

      Players challenge their memory in this mix of classic games of Chess and Pairs (a.k.a. Match Up). They move their pawns strategically across a grid of hidden cards, revealing them, and finding identical pairs. The player that finds the most pairs wins!

      An interesting blast from the past with a new hybrid approach. Memory Kings is a little like comfort food, in that it definitely hits some of the expectations you might have (such as the appearance of classic Chess pieces and movement styles) but with some interesting twists that spice it up a bit. For this one, you’re testing your memory within the parameters of moving your pieces around the 5x5 grid of cards, providing a great challenge whether you are playing it alone or with others. This could be a great exercise to pull out as a homeschool activity if your kids need a thinky activity to complete, or a good way to flex your own memory muscles alone and with others.

      Zombie District

      The main goal is to protect the children in the house (in the center of the board) while gathering materials and take the abandoned bus to take everyone away.

      A little bit of a tower defense feel with a Walking Dead vibe, this game will have you collecting supplies while trying to prevent the waves of zombies from getting through the barricades to the house. Another nice, simple game in terms of both the rules and the printout with no real barrier to prevent you from playing once it comes off the printer. If you enjoy games with the pressure of protecting a centralized location, or are a fan of zombies, or just like games that are easy to get to the table once printed...well, this one definitely deserves a look.

      Check out all of the new games here:


      Game of the Week: A Rusty Throne

      King Alric is mad, everyone knows that; a rusty mind on a rusty throne. As the heir to Prydon's northern highlands, the troubles of court are far away for you until the King has your father executed for a treason he didn't commit. Pledging to end his reign, you march to war. The other Lords of the land stand with the King for now; no matter, you will take their castles by force. The King has more men, more resources and more power, but you have friends at court, spies who can influence the King's military decisions. Perhaps that will be enough, if the flames of heaven will it.

      This one I’ve played and really, really enjoyed. If you like diceless combat, simple yet challenging AI opponents, and “dudes on a map” area control, then this one has a ton of promise for you. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of wargames, or new to them as a whole genre, this should be a very accessible title to try out while offering plenty of depth for experienced players. If you’ve never tried a wargame with a CDG (Card-driven game) mechanic, you’re in for a treat. If you enjoy how it functions here, I can give some great next-step recommendations (such as Watergate!).

      Check out Game of the Week here:

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


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