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Diversify your Game Collection: 10 Games under $30, Designed by Women

 
 Non-male designers have been historically underrepresented in the modern tabletop game industry, even though the origins of mass market favorites Monopoly and The Game of Life can be traced to women. In 2018, there were only 7 games ranked in the top 200 on Boardgamegeek.com that had non-male designers involved in their creation. There are now 11 – see list below. Traditionally, women have received more design credits for family and children’s games. Many fewer have been involved in the design of adult hobby games. Besides drawing attention to the lack of female designers, Elizabeth Hargrave’s massive success with Wingspan has also encouraged some designers to further explore non-traditional themes. Recently many have begun to realize the importance of diversity among designers to further grow the hobby.

Diversity in gaming can only grow if customers support it. If you would like to add some games designed by women to your collection, you might want to consider some of the following games. We’ve compiled a list of some of our best sellers and staff favorites all costing $30 or less, with each game below including a link to our online store. 

 Tussie Mussie – Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave of Wingspan fame, this game is based on a Victorian fad that assigned meanings to the flowers that friends and lovers exchanged. Featuring I-Divide-You-Choose drafting, this microgame of 18 cards is played over three rounds. We especially love that you can stick Tussie Mussie in your pocket and always have a wonderful game with you.

 Action Cats – Designed by Jenn Ellis, Action Cats is a storytelling game about the secret lives of cats. Players take turns being the judge who draws a cat card and names the cat. Players combine two cards from their hand to form a hilarious, heroic, or sometimes heartbreaking story of the cat.  A purrfect game to get the party going or family fun night!

 Exit: Dead Man on the Orient Express – Inka Brand, a prolific European game designer, co-designed most of the Exit series with her husband Markus. The games are “escape rooms in boxes" and have won numerous awards.  Dead Man on the Orient Express is one of the staff’s favorites, but all of them are great. This game can be played only one time because you must markup, fold, and tear the game materials to solve the crime.

 Abandon All Artichokes – One of our favorite games of 2020, this is an incredibly fun, family-friendly card game, created by Emma Larkins. A bumper-crop of prickly produce has overtaken your patch, and there's only one choice: Abandon all Artichokes! Prune your deck by harvesting fresh vegetables, each with a special power that lets you swap, discard, or compost cards. You need luck, strategy, and a green thumb to grow a winning hand!

 Million Dollar Doodle – Co-designed and published by the hilarious Molly Zeff, Million Dollar Doodle is a semi-collaborative entrepreneurship-themed party game of inventing cool new products and companies. Everyone gets to bring out their creative side AND crack each other up when they pitch the funny, “brilliant” companies and products they create together.

Point SaladPoint Salad is a fast and fun card drafting game for the whole family, co-designed by Molly Johnson. There are over 100 ways to score points. Cards come in six different types of veggies, and the back of each card has a different scoring method. For instance, one scoring method may award 2 points for every carrot you have, but deduct a point for every onion. By drafting combinations of veggies and point cards that work for your strategy, you can amass the most points and win.

 Medium – In the game Medium, co-designed by Danielle Deley and Lindsey Sherwood, players act as psychic mediums, harnessing their powerful extra-sensory abilities to access other players’ thoughts. Together in pairs, they mentally determine the Medium: the word that connects the words on their two cards, and then attempt to say the same word at the same time!

 Set – Designed by Marsha J. Falco while doing genetic research in Cambridge, SET is one of the most awarded games of all time! Race to find as many SETs as you can—the player with the most SETs at the end of the game wins! Play SET solo or with as many people as you can fit around the table! It’s perfect for travel, parties or as a quick after-dinner game. Fast-moving and fun, SET is a perfect for any get-together with family and friends!

 Qwirkle – Designed by the delightful Susan McKinley Ross, Qwirkle is a must-have game! Simple to learn, yet strategic and exciting to play, Qwirkle is a favorite of all ages. Build lines of tiles that are all the same color or shape, with no duplicates. Score big by placing a tile that touches multiple pieces with matching attributes. Score even bigger by matching all 6 attributes and creating a Qwirkle!

 Marrying Mr. Darcy – Designed by Erika Svanoe, Marrying Mr. Darcy is a hilarious role-playing card game where players are one of the female characters from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. Players work to improve themselves and become more desirable as potential wives for the available Suitors. The ladies do this by attending Events and improving their Characters, but advantage can be gained by the use of Cunning. All of their efforts are in hopes of securing the husband that will make them the most satisfied character at the end of the game.

Games ranked in the top 200 on Boardgamegeek.com that credit at least one non-male designer.  (Ranking as of February 2021)
#20 Wingspan
#33 Mansions of Madness
#82 Eldritch Horror
#89 Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth
#96 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders
#97 Lorenzo il Magnifico
#143 T.I.M.E. Stories
#148 Nations
#156 Village
#160 Rajas of the Ganges
#169 Coimbra
 

 

Staff Pick of the Month

Fleet: the Dice Game, by Rich Owens



Fleet: The Dice Game is a fantastic roll & write that casts players as rival fishermen competing to be the Saltiest Sea Captain by launching boats, catching fish, and improving the town of Ridback Bay.  

For the uninitiated: a roll & write game assigns each player their own personal score sheet to fill out by making the best of some randomizer (in this case dice, but other games in the genre like “Welcome To” or “Cartographers” use a deck of cards instead). 

This particular roll & write game has two score sheets for players to push together to make their board because despite the smallish text, all the scoring opportunities wouldn’t fit cleanly onto one page. There’s a boating phase and a town phase with custom dice for each phase. These discrete phases make it a bit more of a blessing that you have two separate sheets pushed together, because one sheet is mostly used during your town phase, and the other is mostly used during your boat phase, so it helps to keep you focused in a game with lots of possibilities. 



Just look at all the bubbles! Which ones should you fill and when? 
Every time you sit down to play you start with so many choices! Should you lean into your specialty license and focus primarily on one type of fish? Should you work on building improvements to your town? Maybe you should just pick that shrimp die because if you don’t pick it, the player with the shrimp license will probably take it then they’ll get to use their license to basically change that die to any other face. What's a License? 

Licenses are what make this game really interesting, they’re the part of the game that allow you to pull off really silly combos. As you pick dice and bubble in the top spot on any given column, you might unlock more buildings, more boats, or more of these special fishing licenses that give you powers like extra money every income phase, or the improved swordfish license that in addition to scoring you points at the game means every time we go fishing you get to bubble in two spots virtually anywhere on your board.

After spending time with the rule book, Fleet: The Dice Game still manages to play in about 40 minutes. If you’re like me, I must caution that many of those 40 minutes will be spent rubbing your temples and stroking your chin before making the wrong choice and realizing three turns later what you should have done instead.

It plays well at 1-4 players, the included solitaire mode is a nice twist on the challenge where over 8 quick rounds, each time you pick your die, the treacherous Captain Ruth will pick one herself and force you to cross off precious scoring opportunities from your board and at the end you can total your points to see how well you did. 

Who is this game for? If you love crunchy games like Brass and Terraforming Mars but just can’t seem to get them to the table half as often as you’d like, I think Fleet: The Dice Game might be worth your time. It’s a small box that punches above its weight, includes a great solitaire mode, and has terrific replay value (the game also includes two small optional modules that offer even more variety). While I did emphasize the crunchy side of Fleet: The Dice Game, once you know how to play, it’s very quick to teach, and might be more approachable to your friends who don’t want to spend 3-4 hours playing a board game.
  
Who should stay away? People who hate fish? I would also say that if you really don’t like the idea that someone can snag the die that you need before you get to it then this game could be frustrating. I think this could be a solid family game and most anyone 8+ can learn to play this, but fishermen under 10 might struggle initially. This game will allow you to do quite badly. In my first game I got blown out by over 30 points. That same scope which makes it appealing to a lot of players can leave some people feeling overwhelmed.    

What other games does Rich like? Diplomacy is my all-time favorite game (which I'm told makes me a terrible person). I also love High Society, Flamme Rouge, and games that come in beige boxes with scowling people in hats and/or moustaches on the cover. Lately, I can’t stop playing Cartographers, and have been enjoying Marvel Champions (I still need to pick up my Quicksilver expansion pack).   


In this issue:


             Labyrinth Customer Survey

             Online Spyfall Event

             New Pokémon Set: Battle Styles

             Guild of Heroes Season 3
                
             Bestsellers

Labyrinth's 2021 Customer Survey

 

 

In last month's newsletter we asked if you had used our E-commerce site and were interested in helping us out with a survey to please be in touch.

We had such a great response to that question as well as our Facebook post asking for survey volunteers that we decided to make a public survey for everyone to take. We're even offering a raffle for five $10 gift cards chosen from survey participants

If you would like to give us valuable feedback and be entered to win the gift cards, please visit this link.

Play Spyfall with Us!

March 21st, 4pm to 5pm


After running so many different online events this past year, one of the games we've found works best over Zoom is Spyfall. In Spyfall everyone is given a location except for one player, the spy, who has no idea where the group is located. The group of players must deduce who the spy is without being too obvious about the location, because the spy wins if they're able to name the location.

With the popularity of board and video games where people are lying to their friends, Spyfall has been a hit for all ages during our online events. Join us on Sunday, March 21st as Labyrinth staff-member Taylor facilitates a few games of Spyfall! Kathleen will be playing and fun prizes will be awarded to the winners. We'd love to have you join us. We will be live streaming the game(s) on our social media so if you don't want to play, you can still watch.

More details and the registration link can be found here.

New Pokémon Set: Battle Styles

The 5th main expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield is almost here! Battle Styles will have over 160+ new cards including 12 Pokémon V, 16 Pokémon V full-art cards, and 6 Pokémon VMAX cards. Additionally, Battle Styles is introducing two new variants of Pokémon, Single Strike and Rapid Strike. Single Strike Pokémon try to knock out their opponents with one single powerful attack, while Rapid Strike Pokémon use cunning and quick attacks to dispatch their foes.

The full product line of Battle Styles will release on March 19th but Labyrinth will be running three different online prerelease events on March 7th. 

The first of these events will be a Prerelease Party for children ages 6-9 year old who don't yet know how to play the game. They will be able to open their prerelease packs with Professor Arsenio guiding them on the fun cards they are seeing and how rare they are. 

The second and third events on March 7th will be our Prerelease Events, where players will be constructing a 40-card deck out of their prerelease kits. They will then be randomly paired with other players for the tournament. The first of these tournaments is currently full, but you can find information below about the prerelease party and the second prerelease event.

Prerelease Information: 

Guild of Heroes Season 3

 


Labyrinth's Kids' Dungeons & Dragons program, the Guild of Heroes, is excited to enter Season 3 of its existence! To determine a new location for Season 3 we polled the Guild members and a resounding majority chose our next location to be... the Underdark

The Underdark is a classic D&D setting in which adventurers will have to brave a network of underground caves and tunnels. Different planes of existence are intersecting as the Guild explores, and there could be a different creature around every corner. 

The biggest mechanical change in Season 3 is that new recruits to the Guild will start at level 2, and characters will have a chance to make it all the way to level 8!

To stay up to date with all the Guild of Heroes news and be notified each month when event listings go live, you can update your newsletter preferences to also receive the Guild of Heroes updates we send.

Labyrinth Events


Make sure to check out our other upcoming events
by taking a look at our Event Calendar

February's Bestsellers

(Now with links to our online store!!!)

(Best seller list does not included collectible card games like Magic: the Gathering or Pokémon, or auxiliary products.)

By Quantity Sold
  1. Wingspan
  2. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza
  3. 7 Wonders Duel
  4. Bicycle Poker Playing Cards - Rider Back
  5. D&D 5e Candlekeep Mysteries (Alt cover) - Preorder
  6. Marvel Champions LCG: Quicksilver Hero Pack
  7. Arkham Horror LCG: A Light in the Fog Mythos Pack
  8. Puzzle Stow and Go
  9. Azul
  10. Parks*
By Revenue
  1. Wingspan
  2. Pax Pamir 2e
  3. D&D 5e Candlekeep Mysteries (Alt cover) - Preorder
  4. Parks*
  5. 7 Wonders Duel
  6. Brass Birmingham
  7. Azul
  8. Rococo Deluxe*
  9. D&D 5e Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (Regular Cover)
  10. Catan

    * Parks and Rococo are currently out of stock but we hope to have them back soon!
Why not earn rewards for your shopping? Join Team Labyrinth and for every $250 you spend with us, you'll earn a 10% discount! It's easy; all we need is your name!
 
The 10% discounts are good on any one purchase (where a greater discount doesn't already apply) and they never expire!
Be sure to check out our website and our Facebook for the most current news and announcements about events and new games. Until next time, keep gaming, and remember: play nice!
Copyright © 2018 Labyrinth Games & Puzzles, All rights reserved. 
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