|Game||Link||Designer||Judge Writing Feedback||Feedback|
Judge 1 Top Picks
Judge 2 Top Picks
Judge 3 Top Picks
Judge 4 Top Picks
Judge 5 Top Picks
Judge 6 Top Picks
Judge 7 Top Picks
Judge 8 Top Picks
Judge 9 Top Picks
Judge 10 Top Picks
TOTAL TOP PICKS
McMeeple and Hicks Board Games
|Emily at Small Furry Games||You've created a game that is visually polished, uses cards in an innovative way, and it feels familiar and fresh at the same time. It also feels like just the right size for this box. Your overview video was great, and I actually wished you would have gone into a bit more detail about how some of the cards work, the rondel, and how the distribution of Chevrons works on the cards. I hope I get a chance to look closer at this one soon.||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||-||7|
|Scott R Smith||Emily at Small Furry Games||I'm not usually excited about games with currency, and it's hard to get me excited about real estate, but this looks really intriguing. Great use of the game box, not just visually but mechanically. I hope I get to judge this one later in the contest. I think the only potential hesitation I have about this game is the money and the counting, which can be tedious for some players. Something as simple as substituting "200K" for "200,000" on your components might help it feel less count-y. But overall, this looks really slick and refreshing. Even the simple title feels good. You've put together a great-looking game. Best of luck in the community voting!||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||-||7|
|F||S||Isle of Mystery|
|Gerlach Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||You really packed a lot of game into a small box, and mechanically, there are some things here that I've never seem before. My only criticism at this point is that it almost seems too teensy, like some of the tokens might be hard to see and move around if you have chubby fingers. But overall, really great choice of theme, great use of the box, and innovative mechanics. I hope I get to try this one out sometime, in this contest judging or otherwise. Bravo!||1||1||1||1||1||-||5|
|Tiny Wilderness Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||I started by watching your video, and it made me feel so good about this game, and about your game design mission. This game appears to be light, educational fun for a family to play together. All the little factoids about bats (and the fact that you chose such an underrepresented animal) really made me smile. |
I also think that the simple mechanics of flipping tiles looking for food is the perfect weight for this game. The art, theme, and mechanics all fit together and this would be an instant buy for a lot of families. It feels like a game that would be fun and relaxing to play, even if you don't win.
The art style is cute and simple but also beautifully put together game (heartwarming, but not cutesy or corny looking). It would appeal to more than just kids. The little night stars on your hex tiles are delightful. So congrats on making a game that very clearly knows what it is!
Congrats also on adding multiple environments, to add to replayability. That's something that could keep families coming back to play multiple times.
I also have to say that your rulebook looks FABULOUS and I bet anyone could learn to play your game in no time.
I think you might have some good success pitching this game to the right publisher. Be aware that many family publishers like to see family games playable for up to 4 players, which might hold you back. And if there is any way to add something more than the flip-and-see-what-you-find mechanism, it might expand your audience to include a wider range of gamers. (This might include being able to move tokens around your board after you've placed them, or "peek" at items before picking them up? Anything that gives players a bit more choice or strategy over multiple turns. Perhaps each bat has a unique ability?).
Overall, really pleasant little game, and it looks very polished. Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you continue to grow this game! - Emily at Small Furry Games
|Greyfish Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||The way cards are laid in this game is very interesting to me. Your explainer video was excellent. It seems like a game where I would need to make interesting tradeoffs all the time. I also think the theme strikes a great balance between being abstract and being thematic. The price point is also appealing. I hope I get a chance to look more closely at this one! Constructive comments: I'm not sure I would want to play a game like this for more than 30 minutes. It feels more like a game I'd like to play several short games of. But I'd have to playtest to know for sure. also, since your game relies heavily on identifying colors, your blue and purple hues are very easy to confuse in low light, and for those with certain types of colorblindness. It's always a good idea to test things out in grayscale to make sure they can be distinguished by everyone. this would be a very easy adjustment for you.||1||1||1||-||1||1||5|
|F||Kingdom of Tales|
|Hicks Board Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Wizards, Dragons, and …Rats? I love the theme of the game, and the combination of worker placement and building buildings. The action and upgrade cards add a nice twist to the worker placement element as well. I think you have a lot of smart little design choices in the game, I like that the bonus gold declines as you move up the fame track, I like that a lot of actions cost gold, but that you also need to use workers to get gold, and I like that anyone can use a building (at a higher cost), but you can upgrade your own buildings to give you a bonus when activated. I am a little concerned that activating someone else’s building costs two workers – as it seems like a very steep cost which incentivizes players to only activate their own buildings. I would consider some other cost – or bonus for the building owner. All said, it looks like a fun little game – well done putting together something thematic and strategically deep into such a small package.||1||1||1||-||1||1||5|
|TankPanda Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This game really piques my interest. The animal theme was approachable, but also a bit mysterious. Even the name is simple, but intriguiing. You struck a nice balance between creating this magical world with some lore, and also having creatures everyone can identify and understand. In contrast, many designers focus too heavily on lore and lose more casual gamers, or are really simple and straightforward in their theme and turn off serious gamers. I felt like this was "just right" in the middle. There is a mysterious feel that draws me in, and makes me want to learn the game, even if it's got some new mechanics in it. I think the combination of tile-laying, outrunning predators, and cards that alter the game could present an intresting mix with a lot of replayability. Contructive feedback: I think your art and design conveys the feel of your game, but could use some more polish before publishing. The typeface on the action cards is especially difficul to read. While I haven't played your game, I definitely feel a connection to it. If you plan to self-publish, I would focus on developing that art to a level that gamers have come to expect. If you are pitching to publishers (or even if you aren't), see if you can break your rules down in to an easy "1-2-3" buzzworrd list that makes the game understandable within 30-60 seconds. I think art and a clear "this is simple to pick up and play" message will help this game be more successful. Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you continue to develop this game! - Emily at Small Furry Games||1||1||-||1||1||4|
|FiveRobots||Emily at Small Furry Games||I can definitely imagine a lot of people I know who'd play it (dads and their kids, especially). The art here is really great, and your video does an amazing job of selling the sci-fi + giant bugs theme, which is specific yet generic enough to have wide appeal. I think you've also found a sweet spot for a target market. By that I mean that it looks sophistocated enough to be a "cool" game for teenagers, but also simple and quick enough for their younger siblings to learn it, and that it would have enough weight for parents to get into it, too. I can imagine it staying in a family's game collection for a while. It also feels like it's just the right size for this box. Kudos on some great storytelling, art, and a game that definitely knows what it is and who it's for. Assuming this plays well mechanically and is priced right, it seems like a game that just needs a bit of proofreading and polishing, and it could be an easy sell to the right publisher, or to Kickstart. While I probably wouldn't buy this for myself, I wouldn't be disappointed to try this one out! Constructive criticism: I do wonder abou the ability of those square cards to function well as a map, if you are moving lots of bits and meeples around. I have found cards are much too slippery for this purpose, versus tiles (like in Betrayal at House on the Hill).||1||1||1||1||4|
|Made By Roro||Emily at Small Furry Games||You sold me on this game with your video. Being able to play an RPG in an hour without a ton of math, backstory, etc. is very appealing. It also looks polished and attractive. Additionally, it looks like the perfect size for this box. If I can offer one piece of criticism, I didn't see much deomographic diversity in your characters, which I think could have been an easy thing to incorporate, especially with 4 different clans. Diversity seems to be more important to gamers these days, and a little bit can go a long way. Overall, I'm intrigued, and I hope I get a chance to try this one.||1||1||-||1||1||4|
|S||Imposters on Mars|
|PickaPath Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||Using you own house as a gameboard is an innovative approach. Way to think outside the box and outside the table! The theme comes through in the clean design. I imagine this game would be a lot of fun if hosted and explained correctly. However, it sounds like it might be a lot of work to set up (not to mention the amount of house cleaning one would have to do if they want 12 people to be running around the house completing these activities). I imagine the teaching and set up might put this game over the one-hour limit. Something that would have swayed me more on this game would have been a video explainer video showing how quick it was to set up in an actual house. While the concept was clear, I didn't feel confident enough to do it myself. overall, while I think this would be an incredible game for the right players, I'm not sure it would be bought and played by a very wide audience. I do hope you continue j pursue and test the idea, because I think you may be onto something, maybe even a new genre of game, and there is probably an audience out there for it. Lastly, see if you can come up with some alternative to player elimination, where people simple watch others finish the game. That will keep the game fun for everyone.||1||1||1||-||1||4|
|S||Bonsai no Baransu|
|Brian LaPorte||Emily at Small Furry Games||Fun, appealing theme. The punchouts are clever and attractive. I wanted so badly to see this one in action! I hope I get a chance to playtest it, since dexterity and balance games either work, or they absolutely don't. And if this one does, I think it would be incredibly fun, because I like games with fiddly pieces. I know you mentioned in the TGC group that you did this one with very limited time, and it looks surprisingly good. I do hestitate somewhat, without seeing a video or images to prove how well it works (though that also makes me really want to play it)! Regardless of whether this makes it to the finals, I hope to see it "grow" in the future.||1||1||1||-||3|
|Galen's Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||Hi Galen! This is a very unique theme. And I can tell you've spent a lot of time developing how this bag-building can lead to interesting decisions for the players, who decide how to allocate everything. It's very different than most any of the other entries, and the community obviously recognized this as a strong entry, too. |
Constructive criticism: There are a lot of options for players, and with 8 colors of cubes and 30 different icons, it can be overwhelming to look at. In the video, rather than explaining all the options available and showing the icon-heavy player boards, it would have been helpful for me to see an example turn, with some circled or arrows pointing to particular things happening on the player board, to help me learn "the language" and iconography of the game. (More showing instead of telling.) Sometimes even a few headlines listing that you can do A, B, or C can help teach the game more quickly. In general, the iconography might be able to be simplified or more intuitive to help players pick up this game more quickly.
Thematically, I also wished that I felt a bit more like a squirrel in this game. I understand the backstory, but it felt very cubey and abstracty and accounting-heavy to me, when I feel like the theme could have lent itself to some cool resource tokens or squirrel standees if you really leaned into it. Custom tokens would also hep this be playable by colorblind players, since there are so many different hues to look at and discern between the cubes.
Mechanically, this definitely stands out from a lot of the entries, and feels like something I'd want to play (and I'm sure I will someday, regardless of whether it's a finalist)! I think your biggest opportunity might be streamlining the iconography and pumping up the theme to make the game more intuitive and accessible.
Best of luck as the judges choose finalists, and as you move this design forward!
- Emily at Small Furry Games
|HouseArrestGames's Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||I am sold on the idea of awakening a dragon and then trying to outrun it! That kind of gut feeling in a game can keep players coming back again and again. The art in your game also looks fantastic and fun, and reminds me of old video games I used to play as a kid. I can see it appealing to kids and adults a a fun filler game. I do worry a bit about using domino cards as a "board" since in my experience, cards tend to slip and slide around the table, versus punchout boards. I also worry a bit about the ability to see the card art and tiny icons from across the table. But those component and contrast issues are things that can easily be tweked if necessary. Overall, this seems like a fun game that would get your heart pounding a bit as you outrun "mama" and no matter whether I won or lost, I feel like I would have a fun time. I also feel like this could be a fun intergenerational game for kids and adults, too. Bravo on a job well done, and best of luck as the judges choose the finalists! - Emily at Small Furry Games||-||1||1||2|
|Onederful Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This looks like a fun, fast-paced family game, which is obviously what you set out to create. So I think you've done a very good job meeting that goal. So many games don't know what they are, but this one is simple, easy fun, and everything about your shop page, video, and design communicate that. You've also obviously put a lot of time into polishing it and preparing for a crowd sale. It shows. Constructive feedback: Some players might be turned off by your real-time element. That can be a polarizing mechanism and might turn off some players who aren't as "quick." But I think the ones who do like that type of gameplay will love your game for that reason. And it's also a great fit with your theme. I am also not a huge fan of the art style in this game. The colors seem a bit bland and washed out, especially for a game about food, which should look delicious. You might be able to make this stand out more in the marketplace if you centered all the recipes and ingredients around a specific type of food/kitchen (perhaps a certain type of cuisine, with an art style that really brought it out). If you plan to pitch to publishers, you could emphasize the number of ingredients and recipes as being rethemable to their taste and audience. Overall, this looks like a well put-together little game for families, and I think with some more delicious-looking art, it could appeal to a wider audience,too.||1||1||-||2|
|Rambulous_Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||Judge feedback: Your blurb, back of your box, and theme really grabbed my attention, and the art style of the game is very cute and approachable. It feels fresh and cool, and my immediate thought was "I could play this with some very young players." |
It feels like a nice use of cards and wooden pieces that's just the right size for this box.
Constructive criticism: as I read the rulebook, things like "spawning decks" and "separating cards by tier" and "resolving card effects" felt more like instructions for players who are already semi-serious gamers. I love the idea of an entry-level deck builder, and I think you have a really interesting approach. But I wonder if the game looks so cute that gamers might pass it by, and the rules are written in a way that might confuse family or casual gamers. So I'd recommend either elevating the art to convey a slightly more mechanically sophisticated game, or investing some time in making the rules a simple and easy-to-read-as possible. (You might even start by saying "This is a deck-building game. What does that mean?" to help entry-level players understand it.) One thing I like to do is paste my rulebook text into https://hemingwayapp.com/ and see what reading level comes out. If you are aiming for a casual gaming audience, Grade 5 or 6 is good. If you want a game that's more like ages 8+, aim for something like Grade 3 or 4. You can also give your rulebook to younger or entry-level players and ask them to blind playtest it, to make sure it's understandable.). Or, if you are trying to attract older audiences or serious gamers, see if you can elevate the look so it won't be confused with a kid's game.
Overall, this looks like a fun game I would like to try out. I would just recommend having a clear picture of who your intended audience is, and make sure that everything in the game, from the theme to the art and the rulebook text, will resonate with that audience.
Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you move this game forward! - Emily at Small Furry Games
|McMeeple Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||Fun, colorful, humorous, and family-friendly. Those things really set up a game for success among the family- and casual-gamer crowds, and you have them all here, (FWIW I've also seen posts with your foil cards, which seem PERFECT for this space unicorn theme). If you can get the word out and attract a crowd, I imagine you'll have some great success with this game, and it looks like a great addition to the McMeeple collection. The one thing that stuck out to me while reviewing your shop page was the word "market." I felt like with the theme, you could have called that area of cards something much more thematic or fun (the "Milky Way" maybe?) But that is a very small criticism. I think this game knows what it is and who it's for, and everything from the art to the ruleobok looks really publish-ready. Best of luck as you market this game, and as the judges pick the finalists! - Emily at Small Furry Games||1||1||2|
|S||Trash & Grab|
|Perfectly Cromulent Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||I'm intrigued by this one. You've got an interesting mix of press-your-luck and secret bidding, and the theme, art, and mechanics just seem to feel good and grungy together. Kudos on a great video, which crammed in the pitch and the "how to play" really efficiently (though I think the bloopers were excessive). From an art standpoint, the game looks really close to being finished and publishable. One reservation I have is that a game with 3 rounds and a final heist fell like it should take an hour to play. But I also imagine physical playtesting would be quicker than TTS playtesting. Overall, I hope to see this one advance, because I'd love to try it out.||1||1||-||.||2|
|Kedric Winks||Emily at Small Furry Games||Mechanically, this type of game is something that I really enjoy bringing to the game table, because it's easy to explain to non-gamers, and it doesn't have a lot of fiddly bits (Mysterium is one of my favorite games, and I get that sort of connection when I look at your game page). It's also clear what the task is, and players don't need to meddle with a lot of pieces or counting in order to have fun. I think this theme and art style could potentially be offputting for some buyers, but you've really captured that mood of seeing weird visions. I see a lot of Kickstarters doing well based just on art, and I think you definitely could have that kind of leverage here to build a successful indie following for the game. I have, however, seen a lot of monochromatic box covers fall flat of fundraising expectations. You might consider adding some pops of color to the game box, just to give it more retail presence (if you intend to sell it outside of TGC). It also seems like a really cost-effective game to manufacture, which could make it appealing for the right publisher, or a self-publishing project. Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you grow this game. - Emily at Small Furry Games||1||-||-||1|
|Concept Medley||Emily at Small Furry Games||It's apparent that you've put a lot of time, thought, and care into this game. And it shows. Your explination of the rules is very well done, both in your video and via the GIFs on your shop page. Graphically, the game seems a tad bit overwhelmming to me, but it also looks like I'd never forget what to do, because the instructions are right in front of me. It feels like one of those games that might take a while to learn and play the first time, but you soon get the hang of it. My one reservation about this game, other than being a bit steep to learn the first time, is that is has that "group solitaire" feel to it. I don't see much interaction other than the drafting. All that said, I do think there is room in the market for a game like this, and I hope you keep moving it forward.||1||1|
|Chris (Rampage Games)||Emily at Small Furry Games||This game and its shop page look really well put-together. It's obvious you've spent a lot of time on everything from components to the teaser video. Congratulations on a really polished entry! It does look like this game would be much more fun WITH the playmats, and it was hard to envision playing without them, but other than that, this looks like the perfect size for the game box. Constructive feedback: there are SO many generic battle/fantasy/kingdom games with gold and buildings and battle and comparing stats, and they do seem to sell well, but it's hard to stand out in that marketplace and be the game on the shelf that makes people want to play it again and again. The cards and illustration style of this game also look like many other games. So I wonder if there is a way to adjust this game, even 5% in theme or mechanics so that something feels really new or unexpected about the game. That could be as simple as the setting you choose, or some special cards or characters or items that have never been seen before, or a slightly different art style. Overall, congratulations on putting together a really strong entry and a game that looks polished enough to be on Kickstarter tomorrow. It is a really impressive entry. Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you continue to market this game! -Emily at Small Furry Games.||-||0|
|S||Flaming Cupcakes Duel|
|T-Man Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This is a cute spin on the attack-and-defend genre of 2-player card games. You've put together a quirky world with flaming cupcakes, and I think a lot of gamers will appreciate the humor and fun of that. If you set out to create a fun, family-weight game, you've have succeeded. And you've put together a nice shop page to help people understand the game. |
If you would like to take this game farther (pitching to a publisher or self-publishing on a larger scale), your biggest challenge will likely be figuring out how to make this game out in a very saturated marketplace. That could be through a very distinct art style, or clever copyrighting/backstory, or something else.
Keep moving it forward, and kudos on a fun entry to this contest.
One constructive criticism: the star and heart tokens seem too big to be using as trackers on the cards. While they are fun shapes, I felt like cubes might have been a more fitting component choice.
Best of luck as the judges choose the finalists, and as you continue to market and develop this game! - Emily at Small Furry Games
|Alright Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This game seems to know exactly what it is. It's silly, slightly suspenseful fun that keeps players engaged even when they fall behind. It seems like a great way to introduce both a push-your-luck mechanism and card drafting to a family audience. And the clever use of stickers is just plain fun. Gimmicks like that can help a game sell, and can keep kids coming back to it again and again. Congrats on a clean, simple, and silly design. Your cat cameos are a great way to engage the community, and I imagine if you Kickstarted this, you'd easily be able to have a pledge level in which you create a custom card for a buyer.||-||-||0|
|H||Built in a Day|
|Dragon Phoenix Games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||This game seems really easy to learn and play, but still requires a lot of thought to get to the end goal. I can see playing and having to try and watch other players and maybe even drafting something that isn't great for me, just to make sure I'm not letting another player get a tile that would be great for them. I also like the fact that there's the two levels of difficulty and a co-operative mode. Have you tried playing the co-op mode with more players? It would be great to see this game have co-op rules that work for 3 and 4 players, just to round it out and make it even more appealing as a game. I really liked the stacking aspect of the game and the fact that all the rules with stacking made thematic sense. Great job!||1||1||1||1||4|
|Kheo Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This is a really attractive, colorful game, and your theme is very well developed. Excellent explainer video! Games that can inspire people abeout real life places and experiences are all too rare, in my opinion, so I'm glad to see this one in the contest. While roll and write games aren't usually my thing, I think I would want to try this one out. If I can offer something constructive, I worry a bit about the learning time and disposability of the game, since gameplay is only 15-20 minutes. But from a manufacturing standpoint, if you can sell enough units, you could probably get the price down to an appealing point where people would feel comfortable buying a game that has a limited life. Overall, colorful and fun. Best of luck in the contest!||1||1||-||1||3|
|Sofía Moya||Emily at Small Furry Games||This game has such a clean, adorable look. The fire tokens are a nice touch, and add (IMHO) just the right amount of tactile components to the game. Congrats on language-independent and colorblind-friendly, too. This feels like a wholesome, simple game, and a fresh take on the familiar. I feel like I could share with older and younger relatives alike. Constructive feedback: I recommend including some sort of iconography on the Muy Picante, Chips, and other special cards to help players remember what they do. Overall, assuming this plays well, I think if you can keep costs down and sell this at a good price point (under ~$20), and if you can market it right, this could be a very profitable little game for the right publisher (or you). I hope I get the chance to play this sometime. Bravo.||1||1||1||3|
|Tom Cox's Games||Luke at Cattledog Operations||I'm a sucker for any game where one player has to force two or more units work in unison, and this certainly scratches that itch. The at-table interplay between players also intrigues me, as the coyness of a good worker placement game shines through, without the "take-that"-ness of a crucial space being taken that rears it's ugly head in too many other similar games. The theme also fits seamlesslly into gameplay, which is always a plus. Overall, a superb job!||1||1||1||3|
|H||License to Krill|
|Matthew Kambic||Emily at Small Furry Games||This seems like a fun party game. Hilarious copywriting (fat joke aside—not in good taste). Really polished look to these cards and iconography. It looks publish-ready.That "whale" drawbag is a gimmicky component that can really sell a game, even if it isn't important to gameplay. I think from the rulebook it's meant to point its tale at the Kriller? If not, it should. If you can mass produce this at a reasonable price point (under $25) I could see it being a successful little party game. Maybe pitch to a publisher like Big Potato?||1||1||2|
|Knife Bunny Games||Luke at Cattledog Operations||At first blush there's a lot to like about this game. Forcing actions upon other players rather than taking them yourself is always a risky mechanism, but there's a lot of promise to it here, and it's thematically appropriate as people grow and evolve depending on the people that they meet. Also this is one of those games that is made leaps and bounds better when played with a group of friends rather than strangers, which I find to be a highly beneficial attribute to any activity, let alone game. As far as production value goes, while you admitted in the description that there was no actual artwork, the visual design that you have in place for the mock-up is a strong foundation to build upon. The one concern I'd have is the end-game. The rulebook was very vague about any sort of end-game, and the video makes it seem the game ends after the first engagement, which would be a bit of a train-cord-pull for games involving a larger amount of players. Scaling engagements to player count to trigger an endgame would be a boon to the overall experience. Overall though, I'm impressed by what you've put forth.||1||1||2|
|Randy||Emily at Small Furry Games||This seems like one of those games that doensn't necessarily have a widely appealing or "family" theme, but it has an unexpected charm that draws people to it (like flies to honey, you could say?). The monochromatic art and the sketchy style is oddly attractive to me, and as a bonus, it's colorblind-friendly. I'm all about the grungy elegance of this design. I think it would appeal to anyone who likes things like Tim Burton movies. And I don't know what it is, but there's something that really makes me love those fly tokens! For gameplay, I think the suspense of "investing" in a character and having them get snatched away by a ghoulish being sounds fun and spooky, and would make me emotionally invest in this kind of card game, more than something like a trick-taking game. I can imagine myself saying "Noooooo! Not him! I was rooting for him to make it!" That kind of feeling isn't always something you can get from a card game, so congrats on this theme-and-mechanics mix. I have a feeling that's where the fun is. Overall, I think you have something of interest here, and I would love to try it out. From a constructive standpoint, I'm struggling to find something to say. All I can think of is that I'm not sure this is a game I'd want to play for much more than 30 mins (but I see in the rulebook it says 30+, so it's likely about right.)||1||-||1||2|
A Taste For the King - Paper Edition
|Drentsoft Games Ltd||Emily at Small Furry Games||This is one of those games that's simple and straightforward, but has just enough that's new and thematic that it makes me really want to play it. The application of this theme is refreshing and fittign. There are so many king-and-castle games, but combining it with a food theme really gives a fresh take on something familiar. I also appreciate the authenticity of the dishes. (I've actually been researching Medieval food for another game concept). Well done!||.||0|
|Aether: The Duel|
|spragers's Games||Luke at Cattledog Operations||The shear volume of options that present themselves throughout gameplay is astonishing. This is definitely a game that demands slow, well-thought-out turns which pegs it for a bit of a niche audience, but it has what that audience is looking for in spades. The gameplay seems solid, and the reference cards clearly display all the available options available to a player. The only thing I'd suggest is kicking up the production value on the board itself. For a game that is about a clash of individuals who can control earth, wind, fire, and water, a spartan white play area is a bit off-putting.||.||0|
|Walnut Games||Luke at Cattledog Operations||This game has a suprising amount of variety for what it appears to be at first blush. The simple, easy to understand mechanics almost hide the amount of decision-making that go into the game itself. Decision making that is easily understood, easy to explain, and are adorned in a universally understood thematic setting. A bit more time spent with the production value would make this an easily shelf-ready game. Great job!||0|
|Bells & Cherries|
|Tiny Hands Games||Luke at Cattledog Operations||This is quick, simple, easy to teach, and scales up very well to accomodate any amount of players. With a lot of the hobbyist interest zigging to overly-complex, hyper-thinky games, this is a refreshing zag. The art style is on point, the rules are clear and easy to understand. I know it's not the most informative feedback, but I really can't find any glaring flaw or significant way it should be improved upon. Great job!||0|
|Maikai Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This looks like a colorful, fun game for kids. I LOVE the printed meeples. The art you've put together is perfect for your target audience. From a constructive perspective, I'm a bit concerned about the tiny tokens being difficult to pick up and place, for both very young children as well as people with chubby fingers. It feels to me like everything is just a TEENSY bit too small. But I'd have to play to know for sure. I also wonder about the price point and component count for a game of this weight. My other thought was that to make it easier for younger ages, perhaps younger players could play to only 4 stars, or there could be "junior" bentos that are easier to make, as a way to balance out for various ages and abilities. Overall, this is a great presentation (especially your video!) The message about your company at the bottom of the page, and the disclaimer about small parts are nice additions which most designers don't think about. Well done, Koyomi. Best of luck!||0|
|Boekweg Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||Congrats on a great explainer video! This game looks simple to understand and play. It's simple deduction, but it's fresh. So many games try to do too much and I appreciate that this focuses on that one mechanism. Someone who doesn't like the slog of Clue but still enjoys deduction would really like this. The dog actions like sniff and dig are thematically clever. I think this would do well as a family game. Well done!||1||1|
|James Newman||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||I knew a lot about this game just by reading the tagline and description, which is great! I could picture this happening, so I was definitely drawn in by the theme and setup picture in the rulebook was great for getting me to see how the game was played. I would normally be worried about a game that had such a small player count, but it also has very few components, so that is less of a worry. One thing that actually did worry me was the fact that the rules made the game appear like you could win in one round or it might take 4+ rounds. I would suggest giving some sort of table at the end of the game just to help give players an idea of how well they did and what is expected. For instance, is it easier at 2 players or harder? If there's a distinct difference, I suggest two tables. If it rarely happens that players finish on the first expedition, let players know that up front by giving them a great title or grade for doing so. If it's perfectly normal to go through 5 expeditions, that's also helpful information and can help with replayability just because players will have an idea on how to gauge their performance. Overall, great job! This game definitely sounds thematic and like it plays quickly and easily, once you know what you’re doing.||0|
|Shpanda89||Emily at Small Furry Games||Hi Brandon! This game definitely looks like what it says—a lightweight, colorful family game. The art reminds me a lot of the children's show Blues Clues, so at first look I imagined it could be a nice game for young players. I do love that you're already thinking about creating other versions of the game with different themes. If you have a good game, this can be an effective marketing and sales strategy (games like Memory have sold for years with a hundred different themes).|
I do have some constructive criticism: the art and simplicity of this game point to a very young audience, but auctions and secret bidding mechanisms could be challenging for young players, expecially when you mix in a market, private auction, etc. So I recommend you either make the rules VERY clear (including some example turns, and a playthrough video) and simplify the mechanics as much as possible, OR upgrade your art and marketing to be more appealing to older players. Because right now I think the people who may enjoy your game may pass it by because of its looks, and people who are drawn to your game for its look might not be able to play it.
I do think that your Shop Page was very conversational, and didn't showcase the game as well as the community would have liked to seem Some examples or an overview video might have helped voters see and understand your game more completely. In contests like this, voters typically want a shop page to be more of a commercial for your game, versus a casual conversation. But now that you've entered a contest you've probably seen some other shop pages that really wowed the community, and perhaps you have some inspiration for next time. :)
Some publishing insight: in order to make money on a game like this, it usually has to be perfect for the audience, and you either need to 1) be able to distribute and sell a lot of copies at a low price, or 2) really stand out in the marketplace with something unique. I doesn't feel like your game is quite there yet, but I do like the idea of a bidding game for young players, because I don't know of any other games that do that. So I hope you'll keep working on this, and keep the community posted as it progresses! - Emily at Small Furry Games
|Brokkr -Loki's Escape|
|GamesWithinWorlds||Emily at Small Furry Games||There is a lot in this game that appeals to me. Rolling for resources is a familiar mechanism (a la Catan and other games) that a lot of entry-level gamers will enjoy, but you've added enough layers and complexity to make for some interesting decisions that more strategic gamers might like. I like that as a player, I will need to smith items, keep an eye on Loki, and also use the powers of the things I have smithed and watch out for changes brought about as Loki breaks free. |
You also have a great little table presence here. Your engraved dice look really nice, and the illustration has a bright, (albiet indie) look to it. If you signed this with a publisher, it's likely they would take inspiration from your art, but commission something that looks more commercial and polished, but you've given them a lot of inspiration and vision here. The color scheme alone is really nice to look at.
Most of all, I can tell you have a passion for storytelling and immersing players in a new world. That is a great aspiration. There are a lot of abstract games or those with "pasted on" themes. Yours is definitely not that.
You should be congratulated on a good play-through video. Without it, it would have taken me much longer to understand and appreciate this game. It's rare to find someone who can design, illustrate, and explain a game well. Bravo!
- the reference cards are quite texty and the names of the items are tricky and hard to read and remember, which might add unneeded complexity (or perceived complexity) to the game. I also wonder whether I'd be able to intuitively emember the powers of each of the things I build.
Keep complexity when it adds to the "fun" of the game, but complexity for just complexity's sake should be edited or streamlined.
- After a few games, the text on the back of Loki's puzzle pieces could become familiar, so you'll lose that surprise of what's going to happen as he's working his way out of his bindings. Maybe you could add aditional versions of the puzzle pieces to increase replayability and add some surprise?
- Lastly, your theme is a bit unusual. That can work for you, or against you (I recently signed a game with a very unusual theme, and I got a lot of "this is too weird for us" responses before I got a publisher who was intrigued and thought they could sell it). If you choose a theme like this with a lot of lore in it, the learning curve for players sometimes goes up, and your audience might be narrower. But it also increases the chances your game is unique and will stand out in the marketplace.
Overall, my advice is to keep the theme if you're passionate about it, but realize that you probably also have a game here that a publisher could easily re-theme, which could be an opportunity for you. I hope to see this game move forward, and I would love the opportunity to playtest it someday. Really unique. Congratulations! -Emily at Small Furry Games.
|Blue Dot Games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||My favorite part of the game is the fact that the players can get a new player sheet and draw a new character every game, plus they can keep all of their old characters to compare to other games they play, if they wish. I think that's a nice touch to get younger players engaged and something to do when it's not their turn. I would work to get the rules a bit more streamlined and to have less opinions and strategy in the rules. This game looks to be easy enough for younger kids to understand and play and not much math knowledge is needed, but it could be a tool for helping your child learn more math in a fun way. I wouldn't call this an RPG, but more of a dungeon crawling game, but that's mainly to not give the wrong impression, as normally RPGs are more about the story and this is more of a traditional board game, from what I'm seeing.||0|
|Cool Cactus Games's Games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||Initially, I was confused by the suggestion to play with the even numbered cards, until I realized that there were abilities on each of the cards. It actually made me go back to reread the rules to see if I missed anything, as I was confused by why there were so many cards and also why each player only had one suit (due to the fact that this was a trick taking game and there was a dealer token, which I assumed meant that they played the lead suit). Once I figured that out, the game seemed like it'd be really quick, easy, and fun! I think the best part is is that there's so many cards. I imagine that the even numbered cards are the easiest or play the best for new players and you can slowly add in odd cards to create a different experience. Great job on creating a game that seems like a lot of replayability, but doing so with so few components!||1||1|
|Hugo Labravo's Games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||I loved the initial description and picture of the game! It completely gave me an idea of what the game was, how it was played, and I'm excited to try, even before I've read the rules. (Which is rare for me.) I think that the choice between playing 1, 2, or 3 cards is a really interesting one and means you don't know quite what the other players are going to do, but the token system does let you prepare a bit for the future, which is really great. My main concern would be how hard it would be to catch up to the rest of the players if you get an unfortunate bite and how long a player would have to play feeling that they have no chance to win. Overall, the game sounds like it has a lot of interesting choices and a lot of player interaction, while also creating a great table presence.||0|
|Cats in the Attic|
|amyintb||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||This game seems so cute and thematic! I really liked the premise of the game and was excited to read the rules to learn more. One aspect I didn't understand initially from the rules was that each player had their own set of rows and players were not all playing together. I also liked the press your luck aspect to the game, where you can choose to draw cards or not. I feel like I'd usually draw up cards, but strategically choose not to near the end game, if needed. One aspect I'd consider having be optional are the mischief cards, as not everyone is a fan of take that. Overall, great job creating a game that seems easy to learn and play, but still be strategic!||1||1|
|DandelionsOut||Emily at Small Furry Games||Great use of the game box for a player aid, and hidden information. This is quite different from a lot of games in the contest. The explainer video really piqued my interest, and I hope to take a deeper look at this one soon. If I can offer some constructive feedback, I know we're not all artistically gifted, but your card and box art in the video feels VERY plain, and it actually distracted me from the theme. It's very polished, but very plain. I wished there was just a little more to look at with this one. I hope others will see its potential even though it's not "pretty" yet.||0|
|SamTheGeek's Games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||I enjoy color theory games, so this game seems right up my alley from the initial description! The graphic design is great and play seems really interesting. I really like the fact that you can either invest or spend and depending on what you do, it could greatly affects what your opponent will choose to do. There's a limited number of things that they can do and that's a great place for a two player game to be. The only real downside I see is that the game is only two players. It is also odd to see the timeframe for the game to be 30-60 minutes, as I'd expect a tighter play time for a game with one player count. I really hope I can play this! The ability to change the board, after taking your action is a great addition and seems like a great way to plan future turns and also maybe ruin your opponents plans.||1||1|
|Non Zero Sum Game||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||The graphics on the game look fantastic! Everything seems very clear. I especially like the fact that other players could incorporate the stacks that you've made into their stacks. The only issues I see would be the decimal points and the 404 state. For some reason, math in games can make people get the wrong impression from the game and can scare them away. Those same people would have no problem if the numbers were all multiplied by ten and whole numbers instead of decimals. For the 404 state, it seems harsh to lose both a turn and a scan number. It might not be as harsh as it seems, but I'd assume that most players that get into this state aren't usually winning at the time. Overall, the game looks really solid!||1||1|
|Jon Odhammer||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||This game seems like it has a great choice between the three actions you can do on your turn, where there's doesn't seem to be enough options that players will get AP often, but there still seems to be a lot of choice. I also like the fact that players can't get too more than 5 of a specific energy type, as that should also make turns a bit easier. I love when games have multiple uses for cards, too! It looks like you used the components in the game very well. I'd suggest adding in a reference card that has the different actions on one side and the special abilities on the other, so that players no longer even need the rulebook after knowing how to play. Other than that, I always like games with themes as that can get players more engaged, though that would just make the game shine even more. Great job!||0|
|Robbins Nest||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||This game seems like it'd be super fast to learn and to start playing, plus the presentation is rather inviting. It seems like a great way to introduce deckbuilding, as well. I suggest having a recommended list for the additional ingredients in the starting deck, to make the first game even easier to learn. (1st player takes Fruits and Nuts as their chosen, 2nd player takes frosting and chocolate, etc) It might streamline the process to also either get rid of action 4 or remove mention of buying ingredients from actions 2 and 3. The theme is really accessible and it seems like it fits the gameplay well!||0|
|mice & dice games||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||The game seems easy to learn and fast to play and I really like that you have the career cards to give players a direction to go in, if they want to. I also really like your note at the end that talks about different theme ideas, like a spy training academy or magic school! I can see this being a game that would be really easy to introduce to new gamers, as it's easy to understand that you can't be in two classes at once and most people have experienced taking classes in high school that had prerequisites.
As a side note, it looks like the Electrician card should actually be electrical engineer. Electricians usually don't need to go to a 4 year college and don't need engineering classes.
|Cows of War|
|SKATE cards||Carla at Weird Giraffe Games||I like the unique theme! It definitely stands out from the other games based on theme alone. The rules are short and understandable, but I can easily see that there's a variety of strategies you can try to go for. Have you tried the game with more than two players? It seems like it would work for higher player counts if there were land tiles for the additional player and the game ended when one player runs out of cows or is blocked in, with the remaining players tallying up a score based on land and cows, or something along those lines.||0|
|Cults and Conspiracies|
|Cults & Conspiracies||Emily at Small Furry Games||There are a lot of party games out there that involve drawing cards and winning over a judge by doing something entertaining. So when looking at this game, I immediately wanted to know what the hook was. It took me a while to understand the theme of the game. There was a reference to falling down the rabbit hole into a mystical world, then the rulebook talked about letting out your inner theatre kid, and finally I realized this is about coming up with crazy conspiracy theories or weird beliefs and trying to get others to buy into your argument. That seems timely in this age of social media and false information. See if you can communicate that more quickly when introduce your game, so it feels less generic than "make a pitch to a judge" and "it will be funny."|
I wasn't sure what the actual "game" was, versus this being more of an "activity." Did players have to guess your cards? Or are you just performing to entertain them? After reading all the rules, it seems part improv, part debate, part storytelling. in that way, it's more of an "activity" than a game.
There is a market for these kinds of games, but you have to be able to convey what makes yours different and fun (aside from the players themselves hopefully being fun) in order to sell one of these kinds of party games. It's obvious you've spent a lot of time writing cards and amassing quite a bit of artwork, which shows your dedication. I'd recommend spending some time really tightening up your pitch and explaining the game in 30 seconds or less, such that people say "oh, that's quite different from other things I've seen."
I hope that is helpful. Best of luck as you continue to grow this game! -Emily at Small Furry Games
|Warded Games||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Rkailey Games||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Digging for Dinos|
|Chris Backe (Entro Games)||Emily at Small Furry Games||Really clear and simple shop page. I didn't have to spend much time at all trying to understand how this game worked. Your video was also clear and simple, and the example of game-end scoring helped. The "find 3 that have something in common OR 3 that have nothing in common" is easy to understand, but also puzzly given the way you have your cards designed (I presume it's 4 fossils x 3 layers x 3 quantities to arrive at 36.) The theme is alright and fits the mechanics just fine, but there's nothing really eye-catching or new and exciting about it. That said, this game could easily be rethemed with any number of themes, which can be appealing to publishers. The biggest criticism I have might not be news to you, but there are a lot of people who do not enjoy memory as a mechanism. And here, having 3 possible things to try to remember (level, item/color, quantity) plus moving cards around is a real mind-bender. Some players might enjoy that, But my feeling is that many would find it frustrating. That said, I think you have a good base here for something that could be interesting, and with the right theme and attractive art, it could attract players looking for that kind of experience. And this would of course be a really economical game to manufacture. I wonder if it might also have the potential to be a multi-use deck, with more than one game or multiple levels of complexity.||0|
|Disaster on the Farm|
|Disaster on the Farm Games||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Another Dimension||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||-||0|
|Don't Eat The Campers|
|orcsunlimited's Games||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Don't Feed the Birds|
|Keilen||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Duck in Time!|
|Shpanda89||Cody Thompson at Jellyfish Game Studios||Feedback sent via email||0|
|Howardjdaley||Emily at Small Furry Games||Judge feedback: I almost passed by this game but because the thumbnail and blurb on the contest page didn't grab me. I think a nicer ad and a line like "survivors on a desert island" instead of "players" might have enticed me to click though. But I'm glad I took a closer look!|
I think this game is really clever and appealing, for several reasons.
First, the 1-2-3 parts of building a raft, collecting supplies, and then sailing to civilization are immediately understandable, and make sense in sequence. They don't just feel like "phases" of the game. They actually tell a story that people of any age could understand.
Secondly, I really like the way you multipurpose the cards for various phases. That's very clever. I also like the idea that having a sail and rudder help you get where you need to go. (Side note: I live in a sailboat and I have a little 8-foot sailboat I built myself and sail around all the time, so perhaps I am biased about this theme).
I also think you did a very good job explaining this game in the video an rulebook.
While I think it could use some extra polish and nice art, this looks to me like a refreshing game that I think would appeal to a lot of ages. And press-your-luck is the perfect mechanism for this story. "How much food do I need? What if the weather isn't right?"
Overall it looks like a wonderful game idea and I hope I get the chance to try it sometime.
To be constructive, I would say spend some time proofreading your rulebook and shop page, because there are quite a few grammatical errors, and that combined with the simplistic art are keeping this game from really shining. I think you might also want to consider a more unique title, which could help it gain more attention.
All the best as you continue to grow this game! - Emily at Small Furry Games
|Eureka Science Academy|
The Philosopher's Stone Games
|Emily at Small Furry Games||At first glance, your shop page gave me "Magic School Bus" vibes. And while I a would not normally be excited about a science theme, a "fast-paced game of scientific discovery" made me want to take a closer look. |
Unfortunately, the rulebook was very laborious to get through. I imagine it will be for others, too. With this particular theme, your biggest challenge will be to write the rules and marketing language in way that does not feel heavy or like a science lecture. That is where I think this game could use work.
Just as an example, 8 phases each turn is a lot to remember, even with a reference card nearby. But you can come up with a clever acronym or icons, or base the phases/actions on the scientific method, or some other way to make it seem less procedural, it might make these phases more memorable, and I think that would go a long way to making the game feel more fun and approachable. Also, if you can consistently write in the second person voice ("place cards in the center") vs. formal third-person and/or passive voice ("these cards are placed within view if all players"), this will go a long way to lighten up your rules as well.
Overall, try toidentify the most fun part of the game. (If that's difficult, ask some objective playtesters "what is the most fun part of the game" and also ask them what felt heavy or restrictive.) The answer to this question can help guide you toward streamlining the game, cutting out extra steps or processes that aren't fun or don't add to gameplay, and arrive at a game that is more instantly appealing. Then you can really market it. I do think you have some interesting "bones" here, that could become something compelling. If you have questions or I can help you continue to develop your game, please feel free to reach out! - Emily at Small Furry Games.
|Every Day is a Good Day|
|luco22's Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||This looks like a game that would offer some interesting decisions. The turn order track, gaining of items, and fulfilling objectives work together nicely with the engine building, and are usually very understandable to casual gamers. I like the shared vs. private goals you can accomplish.|
I think there is room in the board game market right now for games that focus on relaxing and contentment. My worry, however, is that from a design standpoint, this game looks a little bland and easy to pass by, and too generic. Some cards, like "skateboarding," don't seem to feel quite right a game that has a very zen-like look to it. That said, it looks very functional, and a publisher who sees the game's potential will be able to commission just the right cards and art for it.
Constructive feedback: From a component standpoint, I find the sliding of markers on a card to be a less fulfilling tactical experience than gaining resource chits and trading them in. I don't know that either of them is thematically better than the other for this purpose, but I know while watching the video, I found that sliding scale to feel awkward.
Additionally, there were two things in the rules that kept confusing me:
1) Inspiration vs. Intention. These are two very similar, slightly abstract words, and could get confused easily. Could you just call the Inspirations "Dreams" as you do in other places?
2) Colors and icons. It confused me to sometime shave to pay a green fish icon (meaning relaxation) in order to gain a green card (skill). These are two different concepts with hierarchy, and even though one has a square around it and one has a hex around it, it's very confusing to me. I feel that each concept needs a separate icon and/or color (ideally both).
Some of your art could be more intuitive, too. Instead o the Inspiration deck having all three icons on the card backs, perhaps some art or a symbol that intuitively looks like "inspiration" (a cloud, something abstract and flowy)?
I feel there is a thinky engine builder here, and the therm has great potential, but some graphic design and changing of terms might make it more intuitive to learn and play.
I would be interested to play this virtually with you after the contest is over. I'd love to see how everything interacts.
Keep moving this one forward!
|Pendragon Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||The theme of the game immediately piqued my interest. I felt the rules didn't clearly explain all the nuances in the game, so even after reading through it I wasn't exactly sure how battling was triggered and resolved. But I certainly would like to see this setting completely fleshed out and really appreciate a grounded yet still imaginative theme.||0|
|Carl Salminen||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I would describe this game as a light dungeon crawler, and I love that about it. I believe this fills a niche that isn't well served in the hobby and I believe I'll have fun with it. The use of cards instead of dice for randomization is a nice touch as well. The rules are also very well written, and after reading them, I feel that I could immediately jump in and play the game. Upon seeing the title at first, I thought it was an abstract game, so perhaps the name could use a little bit of work. I think something more fitting of the theme would make the game an easier sell for it's intended audience. Over-all, I think this game is well put-together, well considered and is a fun little game to play.||0|
|Filial Devotion — a Game of Heart|
|Uplifting Education Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I truly appreciate the mission that this game represents. I believe it's theme will strongly connect with its intended audience. There is a good mix of cards here that make deciding what card to get a fun choice. I can see this game shining more with artwork that really make the theme come alive. I can see a lot of heart went into making this game, and it comes through in all aspects of the package.||0|
Final Round Fighting Card Game - Arcade Box Edition
|Where You Are Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||As a person who grew up playing 90s fighting games, this games seems really up my alley. From the nuanced design, it's evident that the designer is very knowledgeable about this genre. While I could easily grasp the concepts in the game, I can easily see someone not familiar with fighting games getting a little lost. The cards are also quite busy, which could also make some players turn away. However, for players who are nostalgic about the golden age of fighting games, such as myself, this is something that will truly appeal to them and does a good job translating the video game experience into something more analog.||0|
|Enjay Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||There is so much good stuff in this game. The clustering and pushing mechanisms in this game feel good to me, and the double-sided tokens are intriguing. I appreciate your attention to colorblindness, too. I didn't immedately feel like flowers was the right theme for this game, probably because the art, icons, and board are very basic at this point in time. People who buy flower games generally want to see beautiful flowers. So I think your biggest opportunity in this game is to make the game feel as beautiful as your box and title art. I also get a teensy bit of analysis paralysis as I try to think about double-sided tokens, and objective cards, and tools, and the game-changers, so I think as you market this game, depending on your target audience, you might want to have a "quick-start" version of the rules that make the game more approachable for a first-time player. Overall, this looks like a game I'd want to take a closer look at. Best of luck in the community vote!||-||0|
|Aronjo's Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||I instantly liked the look of this game, even just with the more solid cards in the video (the ones in the action shots are WOW!). Obviously this is an abstract card game that isn't dripping with story, but the art you've applied makes it pleasing and sophistocated to look at. A savvy publisher will see that this game is very rethemable, so they could commission new art and the game would work the exact same way. They could also add an element of set collection or secret objectives to add an extra layer of strategy to it. That makes this a very marketable concept. The video you made explaining the rules was very helpful for me in understanding how to play. I feel like this is a game my husband and I would play several times each time we got it out. One constructive thing: assuming you just have 100 tokens with the point value of "1," you might be able to reduce the cost and the size of the game by including coins/tokens with values of 1, 3, and 5, so players can trade in tokens as they go, and don't have to count so many tokens at the end of the game. And judging by the other art in this game, I bet those tokens would look awesome.||-||0|
|Reed Ambrose||Emily at Small Furry Games||The theme of this game instantly caught my eye (I guess you could say it lured me in!). Among the sea of entries, it stood out as something I definitely wanted a closer look at. It strikes that balance between feeling thematic and also abstract. In addition, it feels to me like it is just the right size for this gamebox. If I can offer something constructive, it would be that I got the "feeling" of the game, but craved a bit more story or flavor. Why do I want to lure travelers? What happens to them after they are lured? (But that is a small complaint, and it's likely you have some flavor text on the cards?) You have an elegant, clean-looking game here, and I hope I get the chance to try it out.||1||1|
|Douglas Harvey-Marose||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I really like how streamlined and clear everything is in the game. There is just enough luck in the card draw to keep things tense, but everything really boils down to smart card play. As such, when you win the game, you'll feel like you really bested your opponent. I would love to see the cards in this get a fresh coat of art, but it honestly doesn't need it as it is a solid design.||0|
|Fragments & Fakes|
|Bible Board Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I found the auction mechanism in this trick-taking game to be really clever as it adds a little twist to the usual formula. The fake card mechanism also adds another layer of tension which further makes the distinct from other trick-takers. I didn't quite feel the theme, but this game is mechanically solid and interesting, and that's all that matters in games of this genre.||0|
|Ian Lake||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||At first I thought this game would be a unique take on dominoes, and while that is somewhat true, the game is definitely more than that. The amount of variability in scoring opportunities, coupled with the tactical decision-making of what 1 or 2 cards to play, makes for a deliciously rich and chaotic gaming experience. At first, I didn't quite understand how scoring worked, so perhaps that could receive more love in the rules, but once I understood it, I immediately wanted to play the game.||-||0|
|Dirordel Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I was immediately drawn to the cute art of the game, and the stacking mechanism, which to me is very satisfying, is what made me want to know more about the game. Resolving stacks into a chain of actions is really satisfying and I can see how this tension in a 2-player game can really be appealing to a lot of players. The rules could do a better job of explaining the game, especially since it's a pretty streamlined experience, but overall it is a solid design that is satisfying despite being pretty light.||0|
|Johan Larsson||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||While there are a lot of games of this ilk, I'm surprised that nobody has published a game of this theme before. I was instantly intrigued by the premise of coming up with made-up names, and thought it was pretty clever. The video was also very well produced, and explained the game very well, so I immediately wanted to try the game after watching it. The inclusion of Funny Name cards as a way to mix things up is also smart, but I worry that some of the instructions might make the game a little sillier than it's meant to be. Would love to give this game a shot with my game group some day.||0|
|Garage Sale to Riches|
|kealf's Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I think the mechanisms really fit the chosen theme very well. And while relying on dice as the main mechanism that determines score can feel lucky at times, there are cards to mitigate the luck and even if you do get unlucky at times, I feel it fits the theme nicely. The inclusion of set-collection is a plus to me personally and adds a good layer of consideration during play. Would like to try this with my group the next time I get a chance.||0|
|Nathan Scheck||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||This game is very well done in my opinion. It feels like a big game, with simple actions and a very small footprint, and because of that I think it'll appeal to a broad audience. The theme is also great, as it helps make the game feel a little more welcoming and fun, otherwise it might feel a little too dry and serious. The components and art are also well finalized, so much so that I can already see this game in shelves. I wish the game supported more players than 2, but the game could potentially become a little too chaotic and long. I look forward to seeing this in shelves in the future.||1||-||1|
|Twentydragon Games||Alexei at Digital Board Game Labs||I love love love the theme of this game. It's current, relevant and silly, and it immediately made me want to learn more about the game. The rules, while clear, could have done better by giving an example of how a turn plays out. It mentions you need to play a card, but no example of a card is given and I was left wondering how exactly the game played. Still very much intrigued by this game, and would love to try it someday.||0|
|Peter McAlpine||Jasper at Pine Island Games||I love the theme of this game, harvesting mushrooms and fighting off invasive bugs looks like a lot if fun, and just the type of light-spirited game I prefer. I especially like the push and pull of using victory points to protect your field (hiring merks). One potential issue with the game is that since bugs caused by your cards also go to your neighbors’ fields, you aren’t incentivized not to attract bugs – so taking a card that makes more mushrooms at the cost of also making bugs doesn’t look like an interesting decision. All that said, well done making a game that looks flavorful and fun.||0|
|High Noon Showdown|
|Adventure Bros Gaming||Jasper at Pine Island Games||High Noon Showdown looks like a fun fast paced party game. I like the heavy leaning on flavor, and the chaotic pacing that matches the game theme. Games relying on draw speed, and fast dexterity are something of an acquired taste which could impact your marketing. Well done making a fresh take on western card game that brings a whole new meaning to “quick draw”.||0|
|HouseArrestGames's Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Hissy Fit looks like a fun lightweight game for kids. I really like combining card drafting with the co-op game, not to mention how the game utterly drips with flavor. It looks like a nice level of complexity for a family game – and I appreciate the touch of higher level decision making with hand management (and playing the same symbol cards on the same turn to increase actions). I am a little concerned with striking the right balance of emergent complexity – in that the decision tree might be a little simple for older kids. All that said, well done making a fun and flavorful looking game.||0|
|Hit the Motherlode|
|Alex Kaczor||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Motherload looks like a nice application of flavor, and the right amount of good old fashioned western take that. It looks like a relatively high variance game for people who want a little bit of push your luck and above all, riches. My two concerns with the design are 1) not being able to take meaningful action until you draw a pick seems like kind of a feel bad moment driven only by variance, 2) I am somewhat concerned about the variance, and wish that there was something more of a push your luck element. Overall, well done putting together a cool thematic game.||0|
|Dagger Duck Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Homestead Haven looks like a well themed game about surviving, thriving and setting yourself up for the future. I especially like the individual town lore objectives, as well as the implicit negotiation and trading (seems to fit the theme well). My biggest concern with the design is the seasons system. In a 2 or 4 player game players won’t get to take their turn on every season – I am not sure why each player doesn’t get a turn per season (seems like an easy change), especially since the seasons are mechanically significant. Well done making a thematic homesteading adventure – that takes up a lot less space than a 160 acre parcel.||0|
|Ben Frazier||Emily at Small Furry Games||This game intrigues me. It was one of the first entries I clicked on while skimming, because I loved the name and the one-sentence description, so Bravo for grabbing my attention right away. |
I love the simple but chess-like movement of the game, and the bluffing element is an unexpected surprise. So I think you'll attract people who enjoy perfect information games as well as those who like the social deduction of bluffing.
Thanks for including such a good overview, which helped me understand and appreciate the game!
Constructive criticism: I do feel the game box is a bit large for this game. It feels a bit empty. (But that's more of a comment on the entry in this contest, not on the game itself.) I also feel the theme and art is a bit generic (though I do like the sort of stained glass style you used in the illustration. That's quite interesting). Have you considered other themes? The ""capture the other player's stuff with your secret workers"" mechanic would lend itself nicely to many, many themes that might make more of an impact from a marketing perspective, make people say ""huh, that's something new!"" and attract more publishers and buyers. You might even consider making it thematically asymmetrical. Maybe there is a good guys / bad guys sort of theme, so it's not just the blue player trying to steal jewels from the red player, and vice versa. Maybe there is more of a Robin Hood feel, where the motivations of one player are different than the other player, and players might want to trade up who plays who.
Overall, this seems to me like a nice little HIVE-weight game that could have some appeal, timeless to a wide audience that likes small, quick games that are easy to set up. And it also looks very simple and cost-effective to manufacture, which should attract the attention of publishers. I really hope I get the chance to playtest this one someday, and I will definitely keep an eye out for your other designs! Feel free to message me if you have any questions about this feedback or want to playtest virtually sometime. - Emily at Small Furry Games.
|Into the Labyrinth Games||Emily at Small Furry Games||The layering of toppings in this game looks fun and super fitting for the theme. "Marshmeeples" and "Sprinkles" made me smile. It's those kinds of details that can really sell a game. Looks like great family-wright fun that could be enjoyed by a lot of players and should be easy to market. The only criticism I have is that those long blue fingernails in the overview video were really distracting! Overall, this looks like a bright, fun little game, perfect for this box size. I wouldn't be disappointed if I got to play this one later in the contest ;) Bravo.||.||0|
|Mach Brothers Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Inspector Penguin looks like a nice combination of set collecting, and bluffing. I really enjoy the theme, and absolutely adore that VPs are called “Waddle Points”. I can imagine some really nice table-talk, and it seems like the game will play very differently with 2 vs 3+ players (as more chances at a peek equals more chances at finding a magic pebble). I like the give and take where magic gems give you extra actions to make it possibly attractive to bluff even when you could craft the jewelry without bluffing. In terms of constructive criticism, on the surface the game looks pretty tight, and it would be a matter of needing to play it to see about balancing. I would play around with a few iterations on mechanics such as making “peek” an action card that can be played in response to a crafting – and which cantrips (redraws a card so you aren’t down on cards). Anyways, it looks like a pretty well conceptualized and thought out game, well done.||0|
|kaiyapapaya's Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||It’s hard to fit a space-battle into a small box, and Interlight looks to do a solid job of evoking some of the tabletop miniature feel of Battlefleet Gothic or X-Wing (without hundreds of dollars and dozens of dice). I like the push and pull of using actions to strengthen your force, versus attacking the enemy, and I like the layout of the ships with lateral, fore and aft cannons (so orientation matters). I also like the moves restrictions, so when a ship positions itself to attack, it is then exposed to being attacked itself. I could imagine the limit of two actions per turn (across your entire fleet) losing some of the feel of an active battle. All in all, well done putting together a thematic space battle game that fits in a small box.||0|
|Fiesta Family Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||I really like the feel of not entirely above-board inventors going through whatever means necessary to acquire the engine. It looks like a fun, fast game for people who like high levels of variance. It would be nice if you could expand the player count to allow for a two player variant. Kudos on putting together a nice coherent and thematic game.||0|
|Join or die|
|seanvoss's Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Born and raised in Concord, I am a sucker for a revolutionary war themed game. I like the idea of intrigue, dead drops and spies for the theme as it seems under-explored and was a big part of the war (looking at you Culper Ring). I had a hard time figuring out how the game actually plays from the rule book – you explain the actions, but without examples it’s hard to know what they actually do. For instance I have no idea what the benefit of stashing a card at the tavern is, or even what a card stashed at the tavern does. I was hoping your website would have a playthrough video or some more information (your security certificate is expired, btw), but there wasn’t more information there. Well done putting together what looks like a well themed game – I wish I had a better feel for how it actually plays.||0|
|TBC Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||It is awesome to see such an involved Euro in such a small box. I really like what I am seeing in the multiple paths to victory, and the push and pull of upgrading your engine through more powerful action cards and upgraded action spaces. With games like this a lot will come down to balance – which I can’t get a feel for without playing the game. There are two big pitfalls with this type of design 1) the fiddliness to payoff ratio, and 2) making sure the theme comes through so it doesn’t just feel like pushing cubes around. Not having played the game, I cant give feedback on either of those aspects, either, but it is something to keep in mind. All said, I am excited to see a real Euro cube pusher distilled into a small box – well done!||0|
|Land of Plenty|
|Brian Ruppelt||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Drafting plus tableau building is a great combination. I like that there are two puzzles to figure out, first drafting cards that can score well, and then building your tableau. There are a few pieces of the design that give me a little pause – first the token claiming being based on who finishes first adds a race element to a game that is otherwise crunchy and thoughtful. I understand that it is there so that players don’t take forever arranging their tiles, but there may be a better way to approach that. It also seems like there is a lot going on in terms of computation while arranging tiles – and since better arrangements are demonstrable – you may run into analysis paralysis and feel bad moments when tiles are laid non-optimally. All said, well done putting together a nice little small box game with some real crunch behind it.||0|
|Donnie Coleman's Games||Jasper at Pine Island Games||Drafting and tableau building is a great combination. Building a garden fits the theme well, and I like the round by round drafting and placement as it reduces analysis paralysis and really incentivizes players finding their lane – while also keeping open options on their board. My biggest concern with the game is that the long player board and narrow tiles loses a lot of the whimsical garden feel, the roads all going vertically adds to the effect of it feeling less like a landscape garden and more regimented. Moving the tiles so that they are square, adjusting the board shape, and adding meandering paths (and water features) could really add to the thematic feel of the game. Another option to consider would be a bonus objective card per game that gives bonuses for sequences you achieve on your board. All said, well done putting together a nice little game in a nice little box.||0|
Beccy-What's That Horse Games
|Jasper at Pine Island Games||What a lovely theme! The exploration mechanic really feels like exploring the forest and surrounding terrain. I love the idea of Big Foot’s journal pages blowing into camp, and campers climbing over rocks and under brush to find just the right ingredients. My biggest concern from a design perspective is the memory aspect if a camper chooses not to take the tile they placed on. I could imagine frustration if a player knows there’s a specific item in an area, but not exactly which tile it is. My other concern is that crafting items that aren’t already objectives seems like a big risk – especially since ingredients can be used to make multiple different items (let’s say you use the yarn to make a fishing rod, but then you need the yarn for something else later). All said, it looks like a lovely little game, and I absolutely love the flavor and theme.||0|
|W. Jeffries & N. Walker||Emily at Small Furry Games||Cute game concept, and it looks incredibly quick to learn and play. The character art makes me want to play it, and if developed a bit more and extended to the board, I think this could have a great little table presence. However, I do think the central board could be slightly bigger, or modular. It seems a bit too dinky for the pieces at the moment (at least the one shown in the video). If I can give some constructive feedback, this game feels to me like it needs at least one more piece of strategy to it. Maybe different spells could do different things— instead of just 3 generic spells that take up 1 space each, perhaps you have 3 different spells that are slightly different. That way, after the first round, you would know that Player A's _____ spell was already used and they only had the ______ and _______ spell left. That might give you a way to guess what they might use next, or help you make a more strategic decision about where to move next. Another thing you could add could be different terrain types that could shield certain players from particular spells, or perhaps players could have assymmetrical powers (e.g., the yellow player can move 1 extra hex, but when they do, their _____ spell moves 1 fewer hex...or the blue player can project a ____ 1 extra hex farther if they are in the [terrain type]. Overall, I think you have a unique yet simple concept here that could be spiced up to be a cute little game. The fact that I've written so much tells me that there is something exciting here. P.S. Things like "Abraca-Overtime" instantly make me love a game so much more. Thanks for that smile!||.||0|
|David Waldman||Eric Alvarado at Talon Strikes||Microgarden presents another take on this type of mechanism of card overlay. The additional of the sunflower cubes opens open up the decision space a bit presenting players with more choices. Also, the scoring cards that are processed immediately is another nice addition to this style of game. I am curious if the game presents enough different things from other games with similar mechanisms. I also wonder if some tension could be introduced where the players whereby scoring goals are also on the card along with the public scoring. I could see a level of frustration arise if two players are building their garden for the same scoring card and someone sweeps it. You might consider have the scoring cards decrease in value and giving players their own sunflower cubes that dwindle as the game goes on due to marking scoring opportunities.||.||0|
|Bryan Staudt||Eric Alvarado at Talon Strikes||As a fan of Formula De, I am impressed how you were able to distill the game down to a tighter space -- way better than Formula De Mini. I was wondering how you were going to handle the RNG engine and when I saw the dice, I cringed. I would challenge you to see if there is a different way to introduce the random aspect for the game without the dice -- maybe deck of cards (Gloomhaven style). Overall, nice work.||0|
|Monkeys Paw Curse|
|Lucky Game Design||Eric Alvarado at Talon Strikes||I have seen so many games come out on the success of this style of party game... each with their own twist. Unfortunately, there needs to be a bit more to your design to set it apart from others that have already trailblazed this trail. I tell designers, when you are working on your design, think about what game will your game be compared to and what can you do better than those games to displace the games that you came up with.||0|