Home » BFIG


The Boston Festival of Independent Games is nearly upon us. Engaged Family Gaming will be on the scene with a big team and will be taking in as many games as we can. We’ve always enjoyed their Tabletop Showcase and this year doesn’t look to be any different. There are nearly fifty games in the showcase this year, but there are six of them that immediately stood out to us as games we wanted to check out.


Druid Dice by Geek Fever Games

Druid Dice combines match-three puzzle mechanics with dice to create a strategy game. Each player’s army is a grid of dice that they manipulate, move, and swap to gain power and attack their enemies. This is an interesting combination of mechanics so I’m excited to see how it plays out.

We love dice games at our house. The more dice we get to roll the better. So here’s hoping this one scratches that itch.

Battlecats: A Compound Deckbuilding Game by Gary Chavez

Battlecats is a card combat game where players compete using a shared deck. The goal of the game is to take turns using standard deck building mechanics to “buy” cards from their own colored decks and add them to a common deck. Each turn twelve cards are laid out and both the turn order and the available actions are determined by the order that the cards are dealt. More of a given player’s color being dealt means they get more actions and the potential for more victory points.

I think that sounds like an interesting concept to play around with. I’ve never played a game like it before.

Fire Tower by Runaway Parade

We actually played Fire Tower already at the CT Festival of Independent Games. But, it was so good that we can’t wait to play it again. This is a game where players compete to be the last player standing as a wildfire rages in a forest area between four fire towers. Players use a spinner to determine the direction that fire will spread and use cards to help protect themselves and attack their opponents.

The gameplay was great when we first got our hands on the game, but our favorite part was the game board. It was a hand-painted, watercolor painting of a forest on a black background. It was an awesome board to play on and the fact that the art was darker added to the experience.

Cake Duel by Sizigi Studios

Cake Duel is a card combat game that includes a strong bluffing mechanic. It seems like it plays like a hybrid between Sheriff of Nottingham and War. I assume that is a bit reductive, but it is a simple game. I also really liked the cartoonish art style.

I have to admit that I’m terrible at bluffing games so this might be a complete bust for me. But, it’s definitely worth a look to see if my sheepie battle skills are worth anything.

Re-Chord by Yanaguana Games

Re-Chord is another game that we got our hands on at CTFIG. It is a guitar-themed strategy game where players place colored guitar pics on a game board and try to score points based on playing different chords. This is a unique concept that plays well. We know that Yanaguana has been hard at work improving the game since we last saw it, so this will be interesting to check out.

Re-Chord will be launching on Kickstarter on September 27th so this will definitely be an important show for them.

Rainbow Octopus by Cray Cray Games

The website for Rainbow Octopus declared that it was a game that all ages could enjoy, but that featured scalable mechanics to allows players of mixed skill levels to play together. That sounds right up our alley. It didn’t hurt that our youngest thought the octagonal, Octopus game board for each player was super cute.


This is just a list of games that have us pumped though. You can read the full list of tabletop games here and make your own decisions. Sound off in the comments!

  community acupuncture atlanta

1 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

2-6 Players
Ages 12+

The machine whirred loudly, a perfect musical backdrop to the ears of the factory employees.  As the harmonious percussion of gears and steam-powered whistles reach what should be the crescendo of engineering-melody the Gnomish mechanical symphony sputters with a discordant CLANG!  The Gnomes spring into action to repair the very machine that keeps them all employed and tinkering.  But who will manage to build the most interesting and complex fixes for the machine? What fun would it be if it wasn’t every Gnome for himself?


Cogs in a Machine is the fast paced game of invention, repair and and displaying your Gnomish chops as you race to be the best Gnome you can be.  There are six different Gnome roles you can play, all with different abilities and very appropriately themed skills.

The artwork is fantastically thematic and adds to the gameplay. CiaM is a competitive dice and resource management game played in turns and phases.  To start the game, players have 6 dice; characters start with the same five dice and one die unique to them. The board has an empty “machine”, three possible components to build and nine upgrade dice available for purchase.

Rolling your six dice is the first phase, each type of die has various possible outcomes. Build cog(s), build teeth, reroll (wrench), wild (star), auto-upgrade and blank-sides.   Phase two is the rerolling phase where you can reroll any wrenches (with another die) or stars (wilds) that you choose, and/or use a rerolling ability.  Next up, players get to supervise you! They can use an ability to affect your dice roll by spending a previous roll or resources you’ve gathered. After that, you get your parts, which consist of two resource types: cogs and teeth.  

Teeth are personal resources and are stored on your character card.  It takes more teeth to build components than cogs, and you can have a maximum of 10 of them at the end of your turn.  Cogs are what makes this game unique; a cog that is built goes into the “machine” and is now accessible by any player on their turn.  

Cogs and teeth can be spent them to build components in the following phase.  Components give special abilities (like upgrading dice, trading in teeth for cogs, etc.) and are used toward your final goal.  In the end phase, you trash excess resources and set up for the next turn.

The game ends when one Gnome builds five components, and lets everyone else have a chance to build one last time. Component points are counted up by their cost in cogs (like mechanical victory points) and the Gnome with the fanciest array of parts reigns supreme.

All in all, gameplay goes pretty quickly, and with symbol usage and rules cards, it’s relatively easy to follow for even a younger gamer.  Some reading is needed, but there aren’t enough cards to cause it to be cumbersome to explain to a smaller gamer, far younger than the suggested age of twelve. The game plays two to six, however one of my chief complaints is that there are in effect only five rules cards.

Let me explain.  The game plays up to six Gnomes, and there are six rules cards; unfortunately one of those cards is meant to be used as the machine. Normally, I wouldn’t be bothered by that, and would just use a table for a six player game, of course.  But the tokens for cogs and teeth are very thin card-stock and difficult to pick up if they aren’t on some sort of backing.

Component-wise, the cards are well made and descriptive with fantastic well-thought out artwork (though, adding a female Gnome or two would be nice).  The game comes with 20 dice with sticker sides including white starter dice, white upgrade dice, black general dice and a single colored die associated to the Gnome of that color.  As well there are the aforementioned component tokens, which could use some thickness.

Overall, this game is well thought out, the characters seem balanced in two to three player games, and I would assume the same for larger games. The theme is cute and it’s a quick game to learn, the shared/personal resource split is a fun strategy that helps younger kids grasp the basics of strategy.  Plus, it has Gnomes.

Cogs in the Machine is currently on Kickstarter ending 9/22/15.  You can get a copy of this game at the $45 backer level.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestRedditEmail

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More