Happy New Year!

The holidays are always a busy time. Somehow, between all the travel and turkey dinners, I've been able to take on a new Toy Fair kids game contract, assist publishers with some of my upcoming titles slated for later this year, make a final push on some top secret titles I have some interesting self-publishing plans for, and enter a new, busier phase in my day job at BioWare. More on all of that later. For now, I just wanted to point you to some of the exciting new developments that are still ongoing with Two by Two.

First off, I've been poking my head into various retailers over the holidays and sales reports for Two by Two (and board games in general) have been very strong. Edmonton retailer River City Games sold through the entire pile shown at left in under a month and were reporting similar numbers at their two other locations. Dragon's Den in Saskatoon also sold through their stock and are excited to have more on order.

All of this wouldn't be possible without some of the wonderful support of publisher Valley Games. For starters, they commissioned Calgarian and fellow Game Artisan, Tom Sarsons, to put together the following excellent 5-minute introductory video to show to buyers. The wonderful bluegrass soundtrack is courtesy of my uber-talented old friend out in Winnipeg, Curtis Wiebe:

Valley's also been great about sending out review copies of the game, resulting in a wonderful review by Dave Banks over at Wired.com's Geekdad (thanks for linking back to my blog, Dave!). His verdict?
There’s a lot of buzz about this game being the best family game of 2010 and with good reason. Kids will really enjoy the animal designs and matching gameplay, adults will stay engaged by trying to master the basic strategy of player movement and positional defense against opponents...
...My entire family really enjoyed the game and – surprisingly enough – each for different reasons. One daughter liked the animals, another liked the artwork of the game and both of them enjoyed the matching. My son really liked the idea of destroying the island with a flood (he loves Forbidden Island too) and my wife and I loved trying to outdo each other with the movement of our arks.
Two By Two is a game that came out at the very end of 2010, but will likely make a lot of people’s “Best of 2010″ list simply because it’s a great family game and one that even non-gamers can learn quickly and enjoy.
Popular boardgame reviewer (and church pastor) Tom Vasel got a little hung up on the fact that the game has a few more arks floating around than you ever heard about in the Bible but he still recommends it as a solid family game in another of his longstanding series of entertaining Dice Tower video reviews (interesting side note - the show's intro animation was created by my old friend and former BioWare colleague, Tobyn Manthorpe. Nice work, Tobyn!):

Meanwhile, Christmas time was a great time for me to give out copies of the game to friends and family and also send out a few review copies of my own. So if you're playing with someone, be sure to check inside the boxtop to see if they happened to have a special signed copy.

Oh, and from the Truth is Stranger than Fiction file, canned unicorn meat was recently held up at German customs on the basis of it being meat from a rare and endangered animal. This comes after a cease and desist letter from the National Pork Board over the use of the term "the other white meat." I don't make this stuff up.

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