We wanted to make February 2017 a special crate month, not just because of Valentines Day but also because we knew we had our first in-crate news sheet ready to rock and roll.

Add into the mix the return of the meeples, including some special loved-up versions (who got cupid?) and some fantastic games we knew we had a great combination for some fantastic crates.

This month we had five games in the mix. The fantastic Smash Up, which we love in the office. Combine two groups of themed characters to create a new super-team and battle it out with other players. One of the wonderful things about Smash Up is that you can keep adding more teams to it to keep spicing it up.

Then there’s the amazing and award-winning Ice Cool. This had us in stitches at times and is a great game to play. It’s fast becoming a firm favourite here. Chuck in a bit of Munchkin flavoured Castle Panic, which makes Munchkin Panic, add in a touch of Port Royal and the highly acclaimed Kickstarter, Game of Blame and you’ve got February’s crate all wrapped up.

Smash Up

  • 2-4 players
  • 45 minutes
  • 12+
  • 6.9

The “shufflebuilding” game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

Ice Cool

  • 2-4 players
  • 20 minutes
  • 6+
  • 7.0

The lunch break is almost there and all of the young penguins would finally get the fish they’ve been craving. However, some rascals think they are quick enough to snatch some of the fish before the lunch break starts, but they have forgotten one thing – the Hall Monitor! Each school day one of the penguins is designated to watch over the school, and this is his moment to shine – for each rascal penguin he catches he would get additional fish!

Munchkin Panic

  • 1-6 players
  • 45-60 minutes
  • 8+
  • 6.3

Munchkin Panic is a semi-cooperative board game that blends the all-for-one gameplay of Castle Panic and the all-for-me gameplay of Munchkin.

In this hybrid game, the Munchkin monsters have found the Castle Panic towers and are on the rampage! Players need to combine cards to hit and slay the monsters before they destroy the castle. The card combos available in Munchkin Panic are created from a unique mixing of the decks of the two source games. Each defeated monster becomes a trophy and gives up its treasure to the victor. If players work together to defeat the monsters, the player with the highest point count becomes Master Munchkin — but players must balance their self-interest with the cooperation necessary to survive. If players get too greedy, the monsters will stomp the castle flat while the players are too busy fighting amongst themselves!

Port Royal

  • 2-5 players
  • 20-50 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.1

The merchant players in Port Royal, which won the Austrian Game Designers Competition under the title Händler der Karibik, are trying to earn as much as they can out of the Caribbean Sea, but if they set their goals too high, they might take home nothing for the day.

Game of Blame

  • 2-4 players
  • 20-30 minutes
  • 9+
  • 7.0

Experience the schemes and skulduggery of life at Medieval court in Game of Blame.

Take on one of six roles as a royal advisor and tell the Queen exactly why her Realm is on the brink of catastrophe. Accuse your colleagues, bury your secrets and dodge responsibility as the deck runs down and incriminating evidence mounts.

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