Inaugural Local Game Designer Night

Inaugural Local Game Designer Night

Our hometown got its own board game cafe, Boards & Brews! In May, we helped kicked off their inaugural Local Game. We introduced folks to Wicked Apples while they sampled delicious beer from Lithermans Limited Brewery. One highlight was the group of friends who came to the event as a way to celebrate a birthday. Gaming friends are the best friends! Happy birthday, Hannah!


Upcoming Conventions


Although we’re still finalizing our 2018 list, we can share that we’re heading to the Big Apple! We’ll be at Play NYC on August 11 and 12 at the Manhattan Center in New York City. Now in its second year, Play NYC is New York’s all gaming convention. It features four floors of 100% playable console, PC, tabletop, mobile and VR gaming. We’re excited to see who we’ll meet!

Alert: Seasonal Apples are running low

We only have about 2 dozen Seasonal Apples expansion packs left. This limited-run expansion was a one-time print. Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Don’t miss out. Get yours today.

- Almost a Game

PAX East Panel Recap

April was amazing! 

PAX East panel - Publishing Your Indie Tabletop Game Your Way

PAX East panel - Publishing Your Indie Tabletop Game Your Way

Thanks to everyone who came out to see us at our PAX East panel - Publishing Your Indie Tabletop Game Your Way - with Kevin Craine (Robit Riddle), Mark Corsey (Game of 49) and Jason Tagmire (Button Shy Games). We had some great discussions and lots of engaging audience questions too. The indie board game community is such a supportive place to be!

Earlier this month we were tickled to receive Wicked Apples fan art from Dylan Barrus. If you have Wicked Apples fan art of your own or fun photos of game play, feel free to send them our way. 

Wicked Apple by Dylan Barrus

Wicked Apple by Dylan Barrus

Development on our next game, False Queen, is still in progress. Over the past few months, we've had a few "take a step back and look at the big picture" moments. Some were about Bobby's hot takes on the game mechanics, some were Brenda's adjustment to the strategic planning. There's no fail-safe blueprint when it comes to indie games, but it's definitely an adventure! 

We're ironing out details for the rest of our 2018 convention appearances. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.

- Almost a Game

Kicking off 2018 at Arisia

2018 is off to a great start at Almost a Game! 

We kicked things off by celebrating Bobby's birthday and kicking Brenda's holiday blues at Arisia, our first convention of the year. Arisia is a fan-run convention in Boston, MA. It's a special kind of convention that aims to be the most inclusive it can be. Since it's local, many of our friends also participate, making it an all-around fun weekend. 


Arisia recently started hosting an Indie Expo, so this year we decided to join in and represent Almost a Game. The Indie Expo was tucked away in a back corner ballroom, so it wasn't the easiest to find us, but with a little guerrilla marketing and 5-minutes-til-closing help from Penfield's Business Center, we made the best of it. 

We demoed Wicked Apples for lots of new people, learned which apple is Bobby's 4th favorite and finally got around to comparing some apples and oranges (it turns out apples are a little more wicked).


We also had tons of fun with our fellow indie exhibitors including Brian Liberge from Beerstar Games. (Psst: Check out their stuff! It's fun. We promise.)


We still have much more in store this year, including a more conventions and Bobby's latest game, False Queen. Stay tuned by signing up for our newsletter or following us on Twitter.

- Almost a Game

Giving the gift of Wicked Apples

Seasons greetings,


Building community and giving back are important to us at Almost a Game. For every 5 copies of Wicked Apples sold between Giving Tuesday (November 28th) and December 31st, we'll donate 1 copy of Wicked Apples to a local youth organization. 

There's nothing quite like the joy of sharing a good game with family and friends. The award-winning Wicked Apples is perfect for both game lovers and non-gamers alike. Easy to learn and quick to play, the game contains equal parts memory, strategy and chaos.

Consider picking up a copy for

  • Stocking Stuffers
  • Yankee Swaps
  • Secret Santa/Snowflake 

The Almost a Game team also headed to Philly recently for the inaugural PAX Unplugged, a gaming convention dedicated to tabletop games. Survivors walked away with the coveted Wicked Apples pin while non-survivors bore the mark of the consolation hand stamp.

It was great to see familiar faces from PAX South and New England, as well as the many new friends we made. Thanks to everyone who came out to play with us! 

If you're looking to add a touch of holiday flair to your Wicked Apples game, check out the limited run Seasonal Apples expansion. It contains 4 brand new apples with unique abilities & gorgeous new art.


Swap these new cards with existing cards in your apple deck to give even more chaotic options! Switch just one or even all four to expand your game play. Created for PAX Unplugged, we had a few of these special apples left. They are a limited run and only available with the base game. Once they sell out, they're gone!

Happy Holidays,
Almost a Game

A wild Appledex appeared!

Hello all,

I just wanted to give you a quick update about some exciting progress at Almost a Game. In the past few weeks I've been working to create a Wicked Apples FAQ I've named the Appledex. This will be the gathering place for all current and future questions about apple usage. So please, send your questions big and small and watch as the Appledex comes into full bloom!


I'm also pleased to announce that Wicked Apples will be in stock once again at the end of the month. If you'd like to have a copy set aside please email us using the Contact page and we will notify you as soon the the shipment arrives.

If anyone is attending PAX East in a few weeks and wants to check out Wicked Apples, it will be available for checkout in the PAX Tabletop area. I will also be roaming the PAX East halls, so send me a message if you want to say hi!

- B

PS - A big thank you to those who helped shape the Appledex. It's a great start and it will only get better from here.

Post PAX South

Hello there my wicked friends!

It's been a few weeks and few conventions since we last talked, but a lot sure has happened since we announced we were going to PAX South. In that time we've made buttons, signs, website improvements (with more to come), sold out (again!) and made many new friends! 

So let's start this recap off with the wonderful (and sad) fact that we've sold out of all copies of Wicked Apples once again. It's been tough to keep copies around, especially after conventions. But fear not because we will be reordering again shortly. If you are interested in a purchasing Wicked Apples I recommend joining our waiting list by emailing us via the contact page.

PAX South itself was an amazing convention. Not only was it my first PAX South, it was also my first time being a PAX exhibitor. The Indie Showcase that we were part of housed 8 great games and the comradery behind the scenes was amazing. Just check out this crew!

PAX South Indie Showcase class of 2017

PAX South Indie Showcase class of 2017

A special shout out to "Wheels" our enforcer (pictured above to the far right) who made sure everything ran smooth as butta.

PAX attendees were also a highlight of this trip. Yes, you! We were often selling and signing in between (and during) game demos and everyone was extremely patient and understanding. Even during games friends and strangers were joking and laughing like they had know each other for years. This is what tabletop is all about.

I want to give a special shout out to one attendee in particular, "Demo Kid". I don't know his real name, but "Demo Kid" hung out at our table for most of the convention. He would jump in when we needed more players, jump out when new people needed a seat and helped new players learn the ropes. As if that wasn't enough, he gave us back his winner button when we ran out and even gave up his extra copy of Wicked Apples to someone looking to buy one after we sold out. If you're out there "Demo Kid" this one's for you, *tosses a handful of confetti into the air before realizing it was a horrible idea and spends the next hour cleaning up the pieces*

Also a big thanks to my demo partner Brenda, who is a Master Planner (official title), great friend and preventer of most of my bad ideas. Brenda this one's for you, *tosses a handful of glitter into the air and realizes he should not be left unsupervised with craft supplies*



- B

PAX South 2017

As 2016 comes to an end, an exciting 2017 begins to take shape. And the first item on the agenda is exhibiting Wicked Apples at the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase!

I am amazed, excited, terrified and energized. I am probably many more things, but with PAX South less than a month away the one thing I really need to be is ready.

*Cue Rocky theme music*

To anyone attending PAX South - please stop by the Indie Tabletop Showcase to say "Hi" and get your picture taken with the Wicked Apple. It's been locked away for the past few months and is eager to claim a few new victims.


- B

Wicked Eventful

The past month-ish has seen Wicked Apples appearing at several local events including the new hot gaming convention in the New England area G2S and the award winning Castle. Both were amazing events and I'd highly recommend checking them out if you're looking for new ways to get your game on. 

The G2S event featured a large free play area as well as several tables with a rotating cast of game designers. Due to the convention's success, they're poised to move to a larger venue and extend the event length to 3 days.

Demoing at the Granite Game Summit (G2S)

Demoing at the Granite Game Summit (G2S)

For your everyday gaming needs there's The Castle in Beverly Massachusetts. It's a great place to get together with friends and enjoy an evening of games. Plus they have food, drinks and a great atmosphere that makes you feel at home even when you're having a night out. 

A night out at The Castle

A night out at The Castle

I'll be getting back to game design blogs soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime live, love and game.

- B

Wicked Apples wins the BFIG audience choice award!

Dear Everyone,

You are amazing. It was quite the weekend for Wicked Apples at the 2016 Boston FIG. Not only did it sell out of it's first print run, but it also won the tabletop audience choice award. So a huge thank you goes out to anyone who played, bought, voted for, glanced at, sneezed on (you know who you are) or told a friend about the game.

For those who weren't able to get a copy at the Boston FIG, I've already started looking into ordering a new bushel of Wicked Apples. I'll post more info on that as soon as I know where and when it will be available. 

Thank you again,

- B

Wicked Apples available at BFIG 2016!

I'm excited to announce that Wicked Apples was chosen to be a featured game at the Boston FIG this year. This means that for the second year in a row Almost A Game will have a presence at the BFIG. Things are going to be a little different this time around though.

While Space Chase was well liked by players at the BFIG last year, it's game length made it tough to demo and it's printing cost made sale copies risky. Wicked apples fits much better into a convention setting with full games taking 10-15 minutes to play and a much lower price point. Because of this I'm pleased to say that Wicked Apples will be on sale during the Boston FIG!

There's still lots to do in preparation for the convention, but everything is falling into place. So stop by and say hi for a wicked good time. :)

- B

It's that time again!

Yet another Boston FIG is almost upon us and with it comes a new list of design items to complete. This year I've submitted Wicked Apples as my table top entry. It's come a long way over the years, but now it needs some finishing touches. Small things like 25 cards worth of art (but only 4 left) and a pretty instruction manual.

I've only made it through the first round of curation so far, so nothing is certain. The next round involves sending off a prototype for blind play testing which is always scary. Oh to be a fly on that wall... 

I'm not worried though. I'm pretty sure this one is almost a game.

- B

 PS - See what I did there? Nailed it!

FIG Incoming

Hello gang, It's been a busy few months, but I have lots to show for it. I've submitted Space Chase to the Boston FIG and made it through the 2 rounds of curation. Which means on September 12th I'll be in Boston showing off my game! For 12 hours straight! Hooray! You can see all the tabletop games the will be at the FIG this year here. 48 games enter... and 48 games will leave most likely.

Space Chase has gone through many minor changes that all together probably equal one major change. Some tiles were added and some tiles were removed, a rule book was created, new game tokens were made, crew members have had an ability overhaul and of course, art updates for all. The overall difficulty is also much better and most games seem to come down to the last turn more often than not. I'm also very proud that the overall game setup has been made much easier. This should come in handy for resetting the game after a demo.

The one thing that worries about demoing at the FIG is the learning curve. I've consistently seen players take one full play through to learn how the game works. That's not bad if you own a game, but it's going to be a tough sell at a convention where most people will play one game and walk away. This is mainly due to learning about all the different tiles the first time the come into play. I think I'll need to get creative with my teaching technique. Either that or nail people's shoes to the floor as soon as they sit down. Stay a while. I insist.

I still have lots of prep to do before the 12th, but if I had to demo tomorrow I would still be in a good place. In closing enjoy some pictures of recent play tests. I do enjoy my end game photos.




– B

PS - A special thanks to the Seacoast Game Designers for lots of play testing and critiquing.

The Crunch Continues

Since my last post I've been hard at work getting games ready for this coming week. It's been pretty hot and heavy. My efforts have been split between Space Chase and Lords of Battlemore. Space Chase has been a lot of finishing work before I send it off for a nice prototype print. If that sounds tedious, it is. Lords of Battlemore on the other hand has been creating first draft designs which is a far more creative (and fun!) endeavor. Developing Lords has brought back up one of my biggest faults when I prototype - focusing too much time into the look of the design. I know I shouldn't fuss with it as much as I do, but I justify it due to how design often influences gameplay. I feel like good design, color usage and a gameplay cheat sheet can alleviate a lot of rules confusion. When people test my games for the first time I want them to focus on how the game feels and not the curves of learning a new game. Also, I like designing. So there.

Space Chase has already gone through the gauntlet in this regard, but still needs finishing touches. It's instruction manual (which is high on my love, hate and priority list) is getting a graphical overhaul. Luckily it's not a part of the prototype that's going to The Game Crafter, so it doesn't need to be finished this week.

The prototype test group meets this Thursday, so Lords will need to be complete by Wednesday. I'm pretty sure I'm ahead of the game (nudge nudge), but I know not to relax. Prototyping is a slippery slope.

- B

Game Crunch Crafter FIG

And I'm back... It's been a while and although I haven't been posting about it here, I have still been working on games and meeting with various testing groups. Actually, I've been working on games quite a lot and have much to show for it. Last time I posted I had just got back from Boston FIG (Festival of Indie Games). I was kicking myself a little for not submitting games for it. I vowed that next year I would have my games in submission shape and be ready to FIG. Well apparently that time is fast approaching since last year's submissions needed to be for June. Currently there is no official date, but I'm assuming it will be around the same time so I'll be game crunching the next few months to tighten up everything I have.

What games do I have these days you ask? Currently I'm Looking at 3 or 4 games with most of the design done, a half dozen prototypes of each and mostly complete instructions. I should be sending stuff of to The Game Crafter sometime this week for a few different games to start testing "final" prototypes.

Current prototype games include:

Space Chase (Mercury) M.E.G.A. 8 (Earth) Wicked Apples Lords of Battlemore

I still reserve the right to change any of these names, but I think it's good that I have something specific to refer to them by. I'll try to post some images and gameplay synopsis of each one this week.

- B

100% complete! ...with 80% of the game

I'm really good at starting projects. I think a of of people are. It's finishing a project that's the killer. Since my last post I've started 2 new games, but I'm not sure it's a bad thing this time. In my last post I was on my way to test out Earth and see if it was any good. Although play testing was limited, people really seemed to enjoy the basic set of cards (about 90 total) that I was testing with. The testers put forth a few ideas and I headed home, anxious to complete the rest of the game. As I began to introduce these new ideas, they lead to questions. And those questions lead to roadblocks that I couldn't get past. They were simple questions, but important enough that they needed a lot more testing before I could continue pushing forward with new cards and content.

After a week of tweaking mechanics and self play testing I was a little burnt out. I decided to take a break and design a new game. A simple game. A game that wouldn't keep me up at night crunching numbers. First I came up with a name, Wicked Apples. Then I imagined what playing a game with that name would be like. I know it sounds completely backwards, but it actually worked out quite well. It's the first game that has a name I like instead of a random planet. I'm not sure, but I think this may be my new creative process.

Since creating Wicked Apples I've gone through 3 rounds of play testing and 4 prototypes. People are really enjoying it and with only 23 cards it's been evolving very quickly. I'm really excited about the latest version and can't wait to get in some more play testing as soon as the new cards are complete.

Here's a sneak preview to keep you curious:


I also went to Boston FIG (Festival of Indie Games) last Saturday which showcases both video games and board games. It also gives you a chance to talk directly to the game creators which is always interesting. I met some nice people, played some cool games and can't wait to go again next year. If you've never gone I'd highly recommend it.

I'm going to try to make weekly posts a thing from now on. There are always new ideas, artwork and complaints to share. Now I just need to make the time.

- B

Welcome to Earth

It's been a few months since my last update, but the time has not been wasted. I took a few weeks away from game design to enjoy some real life events. But my brain is never happy unless it's sorting out strange problems late at night when I know I should be sleeping. In the past month Mars was discovered. Although it doesn't have a prototype yet it does have some detailed rules and game play designs. I've sketched some designs of how it will look and hope to start putting those to paper later this month. It's also my first game design that uses an actual board! Which is a strange thing to say when designing board games.

I'm also gearing up to test Earth for the first time this week. So far most of it's evolution has been driven by my one man play testing/scowling. I think it's finally time to present it to the masses (probably just to other guys, but still) and see if this is, in fact, a game.

- B

Hearing the words through the music

Whenever I listen to music I can easily hear the rhythm, the melody, even the vocals, but I always hear the words last. They are the last piece of the puzzle for my brain and can make a song that much better or sour it for me. I think I'm finally starting to hear the words of some of my games; the bare bones base of what the game wants to be.

Game #3 (Earth) has had a core concept for a while, but I think some of the mechanics/strategy have really firmed up over the past few months. I've finally heard what it's been trying to say. Thus - great word thus - I've been tweaking rules more than adding and removing. Earth has also proved to be a more involved game to create than I had planned. It required lots information to be condensed into single cards which has led to the creation of it's own game shorthand. It also has a large amount of random variety. Trying to balance all the variations has proved tough to say the least. But with each new version I see a few new truths about how the rules fit together and that creates a larger foundation for me to build on.

If all goes according to plan, I'll be taking Earth to a prototype test session later this month. It's time to see how it sounds to other people.

- B

Ordinary word failure

Lately I've been learning the secret art of showing people how to play your game without actually showing them how to play your game. Also referred to as writing game instructions. Writing instruction manuals for assembling furniture is difficult enough, but finding the right words to describe abstract ideas found in many board games is a whole different beast. Luckily I have a plan. My plan is to not use words. Well maybe I'll use a few, but I'll be supplementing them with lots of images and diagrams to illustrate how to play when ordinary words fail.

I think my next step will be finding new victims players to test games using only the instructions while I sit behind them quietly cringing at each mistake.

- B

Game Flavor: Needs Salt

I believe that games each have a different flavor and game designers are like chefs; carefully choosing which ingredients to add to make a unique and tasty experience. See that meeple over there? Give it a lick. Tastes like strategy doesn't it? Lately I've been wondering what my games are tasting like and if I'm just cooking the same BBQ chicken over and over again. But enough of this metaphor. Let's talk design!

In general I prefer strategy games. I like players to have choices, so that the victory or defeat can be theirs and not simply bad luck. That said, I still employ a lot of randomness in my games (like drawing cards or rolling dice) so each play is unique. I try to offset this by making each card or die roll have multiple uses or choices. Should you use this card now for a quick score or save it away for big points later on? I figure that if that player is not involved then they will not be as interested in the outcome.

Play your games. Don't let your games play you.

- B