The coronavirus pandemic has caused many game publishers to adapt on the fly to ever-changing circumstances, as they try and still help the local game stores that are so important to the market as well as get games to players stuck in their homes. They are fulfilling those tasks in a number of ways, from offering sales on products for players or helping out local game stores by cutting some of the profits with them. Others are offering lots of free content for their games to download, while others are offering completely free games and experiences for fans to check out for the first time.
Others are releasing new solo variants or tips so people can enjoy the games they already have in brand new ways, while others are finding new ways like web apps to allow players to play their games online with people all around the world.
That's just scratching the surface, and we've rounded up as many of these sales, free games, free modes, and local game store incentives as we could find, putting them all in one handy place for you to check out, which you can start doing on the next slide.
To kick things off let's take a look at one of the easiest ways to game online with friends, which is grabbing a google hangout, zoom chat, other preferred camera chat client and playing some Dungeons & Dragons. As long as someone has a core rulebook you can pretty much play this with as many people as you want, with the person who is going to be the DM having access to the rules. Throw in a PDF version of the character sheet for everyone to fill out and deck out and you've got yourself hours of fun, though you can add a few things to the mix to enhance that experience.
If you plan on doing this all online, then Roll20 is a perfect option for you if you would rather have some of the options streamlined for you, as the app will roll your dice, generate stats for hit, damage, spells, and everything else, and allows you to upgrade your characters as your XP grows.
So if you're looking to game we've got a few places you can get some cool content, either for free or a great price, and in some cases help your local game store out at the same time.
That said, this is not everything, so if you spot something hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB and let me know so I can update the list!
Japanime Games is currently doing a cool thing regarding its online store. If you buy a product that is currently in stock from their website they will donate 50% of what you spend to the local game store of your choice, and all you need to do is let them know which store you want to donate to. They will contact them and take care of the rest, so if you want a great way to get some additional games and help your local store at the same time, this is a great way to do just that.
You can find their selection right here, and below you can find an excerpt from their official statement on the program.
"As a company, we consider ourselves quite lucky in that we can mostly do work from home and are able to continue doing what we do - and we feel for all of you no matter what your work situation might be. We feel for the game stores that are suffering, that are always there for us as a community center to come to play games with friends, and quite honestly, we are concerned that many of those stores may go out of business in the coming months, as they are not able to remain open during this situation. Friendly Local Game Stores need your help. They need your support. They need our support. We want game stores to survive this.
If you buy any products currently in stock on our website right now, we will donate 50% of whatever you spend to the Friendly Local Game Store of your choice. No matter where you live be it America, Australia, Europe, or the Moon we will donate 50% of your order to a store of your choice.
Place an order today, and in the comments of your order, tell us what store you want to support. We will contact that store and PayPal them 50% of your order. Consider this a wholesale order placed directly through that store, and this is our way of bringing a sale to that store, to bring them a little bit of income.
This offer is good for however long it takes for us to get out of this mess. Let's work together to get through this. Let's help support our stores. Let's continue to game on!"prevnext
CGE decided to do a sale of their digital versions of Through the Ages and Galaxy Trucker games, which cuts them in price by half. The best part is that all of the proceeds from these sales go towards the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, so you're getting a good deal and helping a great cause as well. Now, the first two portions of the sale are now closed, but the sale is still live on Steam and GOG until April 10th, so you've got a perfect excuse to dive into both games on those platforms.
You can find out more on their official site, and an excerpt from the description can be found below.
"Starting today, March 20, both Through the Ages and Galaxy Trucker digital games are available for half of their original price.
We were considering to give the apps for free, but in the end, we have decided for a different approach. All our proceeds coming from those app sales will be donated to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. This way, you can have fun and help at the same time.
The Google Play sale will run until March 27, App Store until April 3, and both GOG and Steam sales will end on April 10.
We hope this brightens these rather darker days for you and are looking forward to meeting you in the game! :)"prevnext
Plaid Hat Games
Plaid Hat Games is doing several cool things for those stuck at home, and if you already have some of their games you might want to break them out once more. The first thing they are doing regards their newest release Forgotten Waters, a pirate adventure game that already accommodates 3 to 7 players and a solo mode. That said, they are working on a remote assistant web app to help those who want to play with their other friends and family online, which will only require 1 person to actually own the physical game.
All the stats, objective cards, action selections, treasure cards, and story cards will be synced by the app, and you'll also be able to print out your own copies of player sheets and ship logs for those who don't have the core game. This means you can really get a full game of 7 people to have some fun with, and they are trying to get this out as soon as possible. Plus, if things go well they might even do it for Quirky Circuits.
They are also working on an online web app for Summoner Wars 2nd Edition, and it's evidently going quite well, so hopefully, fans will get to play this soon as well.
There was also a new solo rules variant released for Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein, so if you've got a copy why not try it out!
You can find all of the details on Plaid Hat's website right here, and an excerpt from Plaid Hat's post can be found below.
"Hi all! Joe here, Plaid Hat Games web guy and Forgotten Waters co-designer.
In the most recent episode of the Plaid Hat Podcast, Niki, Bistro, Isaac, and I discussed how our households are holding up, and how we're feeling in this helpless state as we watch healthcare workers and other heroes act and hope for world leaders who are up to the task.
So what role can those of us who make board games, produce board game media, and run game nights for our friends fill? We've always thought that what we do makes a positive difference in people's lives, but at this moment in history, our efforts are actually, for real, important. I'm not a health care worker, or a government official, or able to provide food for others, but when people NEED to stay home, I can help by entertaining them, connecting them to others, making them feel good about themselves.
So here are some ways that we hope Plaid Hat Games can make a positive difference by helping you game together while we're all apart."prevnext
R. Talsorian is giving fans not one but two completely free TRPG experiences through DriveThruRPG, though if you already own it you can still get a cool supplement for it. The game is Teenagers from Outerspace, a roleplaying game that allows you to play in a world inspired by anime classics like Lupin The 3rd. The rule book is completely free, but if you already own it no sweat, because you can also download a free supplement that adds a fishing mini-game to the mix.
You can check out both offerings right here, and the official description for Teenagers from Outerspace can be found below.
"EEK! EEK! YATTA! YATTA! EEK! EEK!
Tommy Tanaka dove under his desk as the Disco Dwarves from Dimension X teleported with a "pop" into the Homeroom. Zap rays sizzled overhead, vaporizing his English is Fun textbook and scorching one of the slower freshmen nearby. There was a sound like tearing rubber as, in the corner, Vilar Monstered Out to his full thirteen feet-two and began throwing desks around. Cano started to shapechange, but a stray bolt from a Boy / Girl gun turned into a cute blond Cannette.
Rami cringed behind her desk, her saucer-sized eyes wide with mindless terror, (actually, everything about Rami was mindless), the tip of her long fluffy tail stuffed in her mouth. "What do we do now?" she wailed at Tommy. "No problem," said Kev, pulling the pin on his Weird Science 101 project and lofting it casually toward the Dwarves. There was a thunderous paisley explosion and the room was suddenly filled with hot buttered popcorn....
Welcome to the world of TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE: the amazingly weird role-playing game that lets you become a character in your very own (or even somebody else's) Japanese Animation Comedy Show! Complete with everything you'll need to create Silly Superpowers, Gonzo Gadgets, Bikini Battlesuits, Mecha Mayhem, Magical Girlfriends and the ever popular sex-changing Boy / Girl Gun, this new edition of the original award-winning game is guaranteed to change the way you look at anime (and roleplaying) forever!"prevnext
Osprey Publishing is also giving fans some sweet roleplaying goodness to experience while staying at home courtesy of Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City. They have made the rulebook completely free to download (all you need is the code in checkout FGV2020), and there are free rules for solo and cooperative play on the site as well. You can also get the Frostgrave: Dark Alchemy three scenario campaign supplement for free as well as a sample section of Frostgrave: Perilous Dark that is dedicated to solo and cooperative games of Frostgrave.
You can get all of those right here, and the official rundown is below.
"Across the globe, many of us are staying at home to help in the fight against COVID-19. At times like these, books and games can offer a much-needed escape from reality.
With that in mind, we would like to invite you to explore the Frozen Ruins of Felstad with Joseph A. McCullough's multi-award-winning Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City. The eBooks for the rulebook can be downloaded for free from our website – all you need to do is add them to your shopping cart, go to your basket, and enter the discount code FGV2020.
We know some of you may not have an opponent to play against, or may prefer to go on adventures with your friends and family rather than battling against them. To help you with that, there is some free rules for solo and cooperative play that you can download.
Frostgrave: Dark Alchemy provides players with a three scenario campaign that can be played solo or cooperatively with two players. This mini-supplement is also available as a free download using the discount code FGV2020
We've also put together a free sample section from Frostgrave: Perilous Dark, a book dedicated to playing solo and cooperative games of Frostgrave. This will give you more scenarios to play, as well as advice on how you could create your own scenarios for the game. Click here to download the free section.
We hope that you enjoy your adventures in the Frozen City, and look forward to hearing how you get on! Make sure you join the Frostgrave community on Facebook and let us know how you get on as you explore the ruins of Felstad!"prevnext
If you've been wanting to dive into the world of Pathfinder, you're in luck, because Paizo is now having a sale on all of their PDFs. Whether they are for Pathfinder Second Edition, Starfinder, or classic Pathfinder, you can save 25% on all of them, and you can find some suggestions from Paizo on where to start below.
"Just because we're practicing safe physical distancing doesn't mean we can't have amazing adventures together. From now through May 3rd, save 25% on all Paizo PDFs, including Pathfinder Second Edition, Starfinder, and even classic Pathfinder titles.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some top picks.
Get everything you need to get started with Pathfinder Second Edition with the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Harness the power of the Pathfinder Bestiary and bring 400+ monsters to your gaming table, or unleash more enhancements to your game with the Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide.
Explore the world of the Pathfinder roleplaying game with the Lost Omens World Guide, Lost Omens Character Guide, and Lost Omens Gods & Magic. Delve deeper with Pathfinder Tales fiction by some of fantasy's best authors.
If epic adventure is more your taste, add Pathfinder Adventure Paths to your digital library, including Age of Ashes and the just-released Extinction Curse. Want a more science-fantasy theme? Shoot for the stars with Starfinder Adventure Paths, including the first volume of The Threefold Conspiracy.
Looking to save on an evening of adventure? Check out the scenarios available through the Pathfinder Society and Starfinder Society.
Your galactic journeys through science-fantasy begin with the Starfinder roleplaying game Core Rulebook and Beginner Box. Fill your galaxy with creatures from the Alien Archive, Alien Archive 2, and Alien Archive 3, each bringing new playable character races.
Not ready to build your own galaxy of civilizations? Pact Worlds brings the universe to life. Add the Armory and outfit your heroes and monsters with the latest weapons and armor, or include the Character Operations Manual and add three new classes to your game."prevnext
Knight Models, who publish the hit Batman, Harry Potter, and DC Miniatures games, are still open for business courtesy of their website, and they have now started a sale on their store that discounts the entire website by 15%. The sale ends on April 10th, so if there are some miniatures you've been wanting to add to your games or if you've been wanting to splurge on a starter set and haven't had a reason to do so, now is the perfect opportunity.
You can find their full offerings here, and the official description of the sale can be found below.
We would like to alleviate the current situation a bit, that is why we want to announce a discount on our entire website of 15%, this discount is limited until April 10.
Our orders are being dispatched daily.
And we are working on new products, which will be announced soon.
Take care, stay safe."
IELLO is offering players the chance to help out their local game store when they purchase a game from their website. All you need to do is find the game on IELLO's site and when you get to the checkout screen you'll see a spot to put your store of choice and their city and state. Then IELLO will split the NET profits of every sale with them. If you've been wanting to try out King of Tokyo Dark, Bunny Kingdom, or any of their LOKI games, now is a perfect time.
You can find all of their offerings on their official site, and the rundown on the program can be found below.
"Check out our Store Locator and find your local store. If they have Curbside Pickup, get your game right away. or Buy any IELLO or LOKI game from our website and we'll share the sale with your Local Game Store!
If you're unable to get to your local game store, or they are closed, you can visit IELLOUSA.com to place your order. On the checkout screen, you'll see a place to fill in the name of your local game store, as well as the city and state they are located in. To support our retail partners in this time of crisis we're going to split the NET profits of every sale with them. We have a certain amount of fixed costs and order processing costs, but after those deductions, we'll split the profits of every sale with the local game store of your choosing. AND We're paying shipping for you!"prevnext
Cryptozoic, home of games like DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth, Epic Spell Wars, and Spyfall, have extended their Stay Home Mega Sale, so you can find a bevy of games and collectibles on sale and get free shipping for orders over $50. It's a great way to get games like DC Deck-Building, DC Spyfall, Adventure Time Card Wars, Epic Spell Wars, and more, and you can check out their full lineup right here.
Here's the official description.
"Make the best of social distancing: Stay home, and play and collect!
By popular demand, we have extended our Stay Home Mega Sale! And we're adding collectibles, including DC Bombshells and Cryptkins figures, to the list of products with big discounts! For tabletop gaming fans, you can get entries in the DC-Deck-Building Game and Epic Spell Wars series, Pantone: The Game, and many other Cryptozoic titles for cheaper-than-Amazon prices. We're lowering prices all the time, so keep checking back!
Stores may be closed, but we're still shipping out products everyday. Free shipping in the continental U.S. for orders over $50!"prevnext
If you happen to own Flames of War and want to throw down in some combat but have no one to actually play against, then Battlefront has you covered with some new solo scenarios for Flames of War, which you can find right here. The full rundown for them can be found below.
"On top of that, I've also spent my lockdown time working on some scenarios for solo play using nothing but the contents of Hit The Beach and a little imagination. These first two scenarious give you a chance to play as both the Americans and Germans as theya re right out of the box. If you don't have Hit The Beach, I've included the lists as they are so you can play with models out of your collection.
Of course, there's also nothing to stop you taking these scenarios and adapting for the other forces you might have- the main thing is getting games in even when there are limitations!
There will be a further pair of scenarios to come, so once you've played a few rounds of each of these and tried out some new strategies and play styles, check back here for some fresh scenarios!"prevnext
Cool Mini or Not (CMON) decided to offer several free ways for players to game, the first of which includes a fully free print and play version of their hit game XenoShyft: Onslaught, making it easy to get a game going with friends online. Even better they released the XenoShyft: Dreadmire set to go with it, adding a new group called The Brood. You can also find several free scenarios for their hit Massive Darkness, adding even more replay value to the title.
You can check out all of their free content right here, and the rundown on XenoShyft can be found below.
"Staying home, gamers? That's no reason to be bored! We know these are tough times, so how about trying something new?
XenoShyft is a very beloved game of ours that has been out of print for a while now, but still has a very solid and dedicated fanbase. It combines deck-building and resource management with a table top version of the base defense game genre made popular on mobile devices. Players must last 9 rounds as the alien hordes bombard their base in increasingly difficult waves.
The mechanics are interesting and sophisticated, but the physical components are very simple. The cards can be printed at home - sleeve them if you can - and you are all set!
Are you ready to meet XenoShyft?"prevnext
Funko is also still shipping orders, and at the moment they are having a Funko Family At Home sale that nets you a BOGO 50% off deal. That includes several of their Funkoverse titles, such as Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Golden Girls, DC, Rick & Morty, and Aggretsuko, so if you're looking for something to play with the family one of these will definitely be up your alley.0commentsprev