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Hello Friend,

We've got big news to share! Our board game Diatoms has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Cardboard Edison Award. This award recognizes great unpublished games. We are thrilled not only for the honor, but also for the opportunity to spotlight this lovely thinky game that we are so proud of! There were 249 games submitted from all over the world and Diatoms was among just 17 finalists. The final judging will take place in April and the award recipient will be announced in June.
Later this year, Diatoms will be available for pre-order through a crowdfunding campaign. We will keep you all in the loop and would love your support spreading the word! If you want to get on the pre-launch list right now, check out
This spring we will be running playtests for 3 games, including Diatoms! Keep reading to see which games and get the link to sign up. I'll also be at the Unpublished Games Festival in Maryland later this month, demoing both Diatoms and one of our family co-op games, Earthquake Eggscape.
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Pssst! Another great game has just launched on Kickstarter from fellow Pittsburgh designer Shawn Patton @ Surprisingly Fun Games. Sweet Deals is a simple-to-learn card game that's loads of fun for up to 8 players (or 16 with two decks!) Check it out!
Over the next 10 weeks, we'll be running playtests for 3 games at different stages of development. For each game, we are looking for 3 families or game groups who have not previously playtested with us for these games. Signup with the big pink button below!

The three games are:
  • Diatoms: a puzzly game about making microscopic mosaics. We're looking for groups of adult players or families with kids ages 8+ who would like to try this game, and who haven't playtested this game before (nor it's early prototype version "Fraxagon")
  • Unicorn Clinic: a cooperative family game about treating unicorns. We're looking for families with kids in the 6-9 range who have not previously playtested this game.
  • Creature Rescue: a very early prototype of a cooperative family game about finding lost creatures. We're looking for families with kids in the 6-9 range.
Here are some games we've played that you and your family or friends might enjoy checking out.
Kites - Six sand timers?! What is this unusual game? It's a fun, frenetic, cooperative game where you take turns playing cards to flip sand timers representing different kites. A sand timer in motion is a kite that is still flying. Your goal is to keep them all in the air until the end of the game- if any timer runs out, the game is over. Some timers are short, requiring constant flipping, while others are longer making it important to flip them at just the right moment. This game is fast, simple, and unique. It's fun to play with adults and kids- though we don't recommend playing it outside on a windy day! (speaking from personal experience...)
Lost in Play video game
Lost in Play - We co-played this video game with our 9-year-old recently. It's a wonderfully quirky adventure puzzle game that captures the feels of deep imaginary play in in childhood. The puzzles are clever but approachable even for younger players. With a charming 2d animation style, it feels like you are character in a cartoon.
We played collaboratively on the Switch, taking turns with the controller as we worked on solving each chapter. There's really no written or spoken language so all ages can watch and contribute to ideas of what to do next. This is also a game that you can finish in a weekend. It took us about 4 hours over two days to reach the end. It's available for PC and Nintendo Switch.
Lost Cities Roll & Write - This is a roll & write version of one of our favorite card games, Lost Cities. In this game, players take turns rolling the shared dice, then choose which subset of the roll to record for their turn. You're trying to collect combinations of colors and numbers to fill up your columns ("expeditions") and score the most points. Roll & writes are a relatively new hot genre of games (though it has its roots in classics like Yahtzee) and it seems like many games recently are releasing roll & write variations. Since the card game (which is only 2 player) has been a long-time favorite, we were excited that this version supports 2-5 players. The rulebook and scoresheet seem a tad intimidating on first play, but actually the turns are quite simple. This game is best for kids 8 and up; our 9-year-old took to it quickly and loved it.
A Short Hike - This is a cozy game that you can play through in an hour or two. You play as Claire, staying for the summer on an island. Claire's waiting for a call but there's no reception out here... except at the tippy-top of Hawk Peak. Thus begins your adventure, exploring the island, finding treasures, and meeting characters as you undertake your "short" hike to the top of the mountain. This game has a good bit of on-screen dialogue so this is best for players who are reading age or older. The gameplay is very approachable. There are lots of charming details to discover. While the game presents as a relaxing, low-key exploring game, there's also a very gentle subtext about facing anxieties. A Short Hike is available for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. It plays best with a game controller rather than keyboard and mouse.

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