Week of July 24, 2020 - Thru The Mall, Adrift

Jason Tagmire

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

But first, our New Heroes Scholarship nominations end on July 31st.

Our New Heroes Scholarship is intended to recognize a standout member of the board game community who is among an underrepresented group.

For full details, including how to enter yourself or nominate someone, check out our page at:

Onto the new games!

Here’s what is new this week:

    • Adrift
    • Paper Pinball: Mall Bats
    • Thru The Appalachian

    This week's new games are all available at


    Paper Pinball: Mall Bats

    Ah, the good ole joys of Paper Pinball are unmatched. For 5-10 minutes and a single sheet of paper, you can get some quality entertainment to fill in those time gaps. And this one here has a cool, very purple theme of vampires. The Special Mode in here is of particular note, and those who have enjoyed other Paper Pinball titles should already be excited to check this one out. New to Paper Pinball? I don’t know that there is a bad one to start with...but watch out, if it hooks you there are a ton of different ones to try out.

    Thru the Appalachian

    Thru the Appalachian is a roll & write game about thru-hiking the United States’ most famous trail. It can be a difficult but life-changing journey. How will you write your story?

    My wife really wants to trek across these mountains someday, but for now I might have to keep her satisfied with this little game. It calls for dry erase maps, but I am sure multiple copies and erasers should work just fine on this one. It plays up to five, where you’re trying to get to the finish and score the most points along the way - unlike a journey game like Tokaido, there is a time limit on finishing this trek so you will want to balance movement with point opportunities. There’s even a solo mode with a set of solo cards for those inclined to try this one alone rather than with others.


    Welcome to Adventure Post, the solitary adventure series delivered to your door. You are about to embark on an adventure called Adrift. You will face the cold and dark of space in an epic battle for survival; not only your own, but also that of innocent men, women, and children.

    Oh man, I didn’t need to see this. I really, really didn’t need to find this game. But now I’ve found it, and fair warning: the file might have you print a good number of pages out. The good news is that only a handful of them are related to the rules - which are really quite simple with a focus on just four core aspects - and the rest giving you different adventures to read and explore via management of your crew. If you don’t like reading, this will probably not cater to your preferences in a game - but if you like games with a strong narrative, this one should be right up your alley (it is definitely up mine).

    Check out all of the new games here:

    Game of the Week: Smoke and Mirrors

    Smoke & Mirrors is a bluffing game for 2-5 players. As the greatest magicians in the world, players will compete for the top spot by trying to go bigger and better than the previous magician using a limited number of tricks. But the players need to watch how much they share, because once their secrets are revealed, they are out!

    Players each get 3 trick cards, from 3 different decks. They must use these cards to create a magic act that has a trick value of one number higher than the player to their left using any amount of their cards. If successful, the players continue, building more and more dangerous magic acts. The winner is the last player standing.

    A delightful game of bluffing with only 18 cards, this game follows a format similar to many games in which players have to lay down an increasing value of cards until someone calls their bluff. There are a lot of small nuances to the game, such as the distribution of values within the deck, that can lead to plenty of clever play and deeper analysis than you would expect with this small gaming package - probably best played with at least three, it does support from 2-5 for those who like a little bluffing at their table.

    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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