A question often asked, naturellement, and now - at last - answered for the ages! Introducing Blitz!, the first foreign language version of Anomia, released last month by Asmodee Editions and Cocktail Games of France (makers of many fine games including Dixit and Jungle Speed!). Same basic play as Anomia, with some sartorial changes (such a suspenseful color theme!) and a few added twists. Soyez vif comme l'eclair! (Translation: Gotta be fast as lightning!)
Playing Blitz! anywhere out there? Post a photo to our Facebook page, and let us know what you think! (Our French is passable.) Look for German language editions of both Anomia and Duple in 2014, and more to come!
So, like, Boingboing.net is "the most popular blog in the world," according to a bio of founder Mark Frauenfelder. (OK, there might be a few sites out there making that claim, but we're not splitting hairs.) It's also one of our favorite internet haunts for all manner of smart, funny and relevant info. Imagine our glee when Mark posted a review of Anomia on Boingboing this week! It was our 15 minutes of blogosphere stardom! We even made it into the top 10 toys & games on Amazon for a few minutes there.
Anyway, thanks for the love Boingboing, and thanks Mark. We'd love to play a round with you and your kid sometime.
What do you do when you forget your favorite game at home while vacationing abroad?
Make your own version, of course! Brent Bushnell tweeted me over the weekend and linked to a blog post detailing his experiences creating his very own custom-made Anomia deck! I have to say I am completely blown away and even a little touched by his efforts!
I'm also excited to take a look at the Google doc he created listing all the categories they came up with. Take a look at Brent's blog post here.
Thanks so much Brent!
One of our favorite silly-named local toy stores.
Well, we’re catching up after a busy summer and a busy start to fall. Andrew and I are looking forward to blogging more regularly about Anomia Press, games, design, running a small family business with two young kids, and whatever else catches our fancy and seems remotely relevant to the subject at hand.
Yesterday I finally managed to finish some much-needed updates to our website. The most exciting (and arduous) part was updating our retailer list – the ever-growing list of places you can now pick up a brand-new copy of Anomia. Believe it or not, there are now nearly 650 independent stores and small chains in the U.S., Canada and Australia that carry our little game. Go into any of these stores and with any luck, you’ll see it sitting there on the shelf in its unassuming blue box, humming to itself, waiting for a home. We visit our games regularly whenever we travel. It’s fun watching our tiny little empire spread.
Putting together this list made me think about one of the pleasures of working in the toy industry (which, believe me, is not something I ever expected to be doing in this short life!) It’s a multibillion dollar industry based, essentially, on having fun. And you really see that at the mom-and-pop toy store level, more than anywhere else. Just the names of the stores say so much about the level of silliness that must prevail when one is a purveyor of toys and games. It must have been such a blast to come up with store names for some of these folks. Sure, there are lots of Toy Chests and Geppetto’s Toy Boxes, and those have a sweetness of their own. But some of the stores we work with have to get a special shout-out for having the most original, silly, head-scratching, and/or generally awesome names. Here are my Top Ten, in no particular order:
At Once All Agog (Limerick, ME)
Snickelfritz Toys (Vernon Hills, IL)
Toys on Fire (Nepean, ON)
Snakes and Lattes (Toronto, ON)
Strange Adventures (Halifax, NS)
Brain-a-thon Emporium (E. Hartford, CT)
Bean Head Toys (Sandy Springs, GA)
The Doll Hospital (Berkley, MI)
Anglo Dutch Pools and Toys (Bethesda, MD)
(OK, I admit I included this one because…wha?? But they do offer an explanation on their website.)
Mumbles and Squeaks (Ellicott City, MD)
I gotta admit, these guys rival our other favorite list of brilliant store names: hairdressers in rural Maine. But that’s a topic for another post.
Trust me, these aren't all. See who else is a proud Anomia stockist, and look for the store nearest you. And we'd love to know - what’s the best toy or gift store name you’ve ever come across?
We're psyched to announce that Anomia has won the coveted National Parenting Center Award for Spring 2011.
Here's what the NPC has to say about Anomia:
"Anomia is an absolute blast for families to break out on family game night. You will all be shouting and laughing throughout this high energy game that elicits demands from all to be played over and over. What makes the game a real standout is that the playing field is truly even, meaning that kids can beat parents as easily as the other way around. There is matching, racing, blurting and lots more but one thing testers did not find and that was excessive or complicated rules. They are easy and straightforward, something that everyone pointed out and gave high marks for."
NPC testing involves "a multi-step process conducted over an eight week period." The testing facility is staffed by volunteers who are parents, children and educators. Everyone has a chance to examine the games submitted and, of course, play with them as well. All testers rate each products level of "desirability, sturdiness, interactive stimulation and other ingredients essential in the make-up of a quality product. Test results are based on both statistical averaging and comments received from the parent/testers."
We're excited that Anomia has joined the ranks with great NPC approved games like Blink, Cranium and Ruckus!
We're extremely excited to announce that Anomia has won the Major Fun Award!
For those of you who don't know ...
"Major Fun is also known as the award-winning designer and educator, Bernie DeKoven. Bernie has been inventing new ways to play since the early 1970s when he developed a curriculum in social skill development through games for the School District of Philadelphia and helped the New Games Foundation develop its international training program in facilitating large scale community play events.
The MAJOR FUN AWARDS go to games and people that bring people fun, and to any organization managing to make the world more fun through its own personal contributions, and through the products it has managed to bring to the market."
Of Anomia, Bernie says:
"The game is very easy to learn, and after only a few minutes of play you’ll be completely, and intensely engaged. In a few minutes more, you’ll understand why you need to be even more focused on whose card has what symbol. And, in a few more minutes, you’ll probably have your first moment of anomia. ...Anomia is unexpectedly fun. It comes in a small, mild mannered box – exactly large enough to hold 200 cards and a rule sheet. There are no enticing graphics. No clever cartoons. Designed by Andrew Innes, it is the only game to be produced by Anomia Press. But the fun, my friends, the fun is Major!"
Some other great games that recently have been awarded the Major Fun seal are Zip-It (the newest title from the folks who brought you Bananagrams), Rat-a-Tat-Cat (Gamewright), and Rory's Story Cubes.
I am SO EXCITED to announce that Anomia is one of the final five! No, not THOSE final 5, THESE final 5!
Each year a few hundred Mensa members gather for the Mensa MindGames event. They play a whole slew of new games which have come to market in the last year. I believe there were 49 games in competition this year. Games are judged on.." originality (structure, concept, creativity), game play (enjoyment, excitement, challenge), play value (repeatability, longevity, price), aesthetics (look, feel, style) and instructions (brevity, clarity, completeness)."
As a Mensa Select winner, Anomia joins the ranks of such well-heeled games as Set, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, and Apples to Apples.
If you don't know, the Mensa Select award is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the toy industry!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Thank you to everyone who helped me bring Anomia to life. Anomia would have never seen the light of day were it not for all the people who
- Graciously accepted me into their homes for play test parties
- Pre-purchased games to help subsidize the first printing
- Listened to me prattle on endlessly about any and all aspects of refining and manufacturing a game.
Extra special thanks to my wife Jody, who has been at my side through all this, suffered through more earfuls than anyone else, AND has been an extremely effective and supportive sounding board, helping me to work through all the problems/details/processes of this adventure.
Mensa has yet to make the official announcement, but here are a couple of posts around the web about the winners of this year’s competition. Wired (GeekDad blog), Board Game Geek
Congratulations to the other 4 winners! They are: Dizios (MindWare), Forbidden Island (Gamewright), Yikerz! (Wiggles 3D Inc.), Word on the Street (Out of the Box Publishing)
l will update this post with the official Mensa announcement when it's online.
Update 4/21/10: Here's the official press release from American Mensa.