As part of the writing I do for Tabletop Gaming Magazine, I curate and occasionally design for a monthly microgame feature. I love seeing what people can do with tight restrictions (it’s also why I love Pico-8 and game jam games). With that in mind, I went looking for microgames at the UK Games Expo and while I probably missed loads more, the ones I found are really cool.

Yeti In The House by Itten

If you’ve ever seen a photograph of Bigfoot or The Loch Ness Monster or any other cryptid, you know they all share one common trend. They’re blurry beyond recognition. This may be because they’re all elaborate hoaxes or, more likely, because their special powers are messing with the cameras.

Japanese designer Itten have come up with a uniquely fun microgame with this idea.

This is a great example of concise design. The only way to make it smaller is to just draw the mountain on the box and use that.

Players split into two groups: the yeti and the search squad. The search squad leave the room while the yeti hides a custom yeti meeple and two foot tokens. The yeti player then has to take a picture of the yeti and makes it as hard to identify as they like. Throwing filters, awkward angles, and whatever else they like to hinder the search squad. Once they have their picture, they place the basecamp token somewhere in the room and calls the search squad back in. They then make guesses as to where the yeti is based on the picture and without leaving the basecamp.

If the yeti is found, the search squad wins, if a foot is found, the yeti wins.

It’s amazingly simple and a great party game for two or more players that all fits within a matchbox.

Find out more on their website HERE

Trying to work out what’s in the background is a challenge in and of itself.
This one was in the freezer.

Falling Coin by Homosapiens Lab

I’ve really started getting into dexterity and skill games again and Falling Coin fits the bill nicely here. With a deck of 13 poker sized pvc cards, players are challenged to keep a coin from falling to the ground. The catch, players take it in turns drawing cards and must gently position their card under the pile currently being held by the previous player. Players can only hold their card with thumb and forefinger and must match the card’s border to the top while also keeping the parachute icon visible. This means you have to make moves that feel counter-intuitive, often having to move further out from the centre and more lopsided as the pile grows.

Tactically, players can flip the card they have in their hand if they want to try use the colour on the other side but as you aren’t allowed to adjust your grip during play, this can be risky.

Starting with the dollar sign card, players take it in turns to pass the pile around, working together to not drop the coin.

Personal tip: Don’t ask a friend who practices magic to shuffle the cards as they will recoil at the texture.

Homosapien’s Lab don’t have a website but you can keep up to date with their work on Facebook HERE

Party Politics by Teddy Tech

With the UK government being what it is and our love of satirising the useless nest of twat-snakes, it only makes sense that a Werewolf style parody was needed.

I couldn’t find any images anywhere on the internet so my terrible phone photography will have to do. Sorry!

Taking the role of various parliamentary positions (thankfully not actual people so you don’t need to listen to your insufferable political friends laughing while you ask who Gove is) you work “together” to figure out who has leaked some important data.

Each game has at least one leaker who is trying to not get fired while everyone else has awkward requirements and goals like: You must always lie, you must never give a decisive answer, or you win if the prime minister gets fired.

Like Werewolf or Mafia, you all close your eyes while someone reads out the turn order. Thankfully, unlike its ancestors, Party Politics doesn’t require a referee as all actions that involve another player are done by touching them on the shoulder. Great for if you only have 3 people to review games with!

After the closed eye “email checking” portion, you put on your best political discourse and try to get to the bottom of the matter. And if at any point a player announces that the press are here, you all take a pointing vote on who you think the leaker was (or who you’re trying to get fired).

It’s short, it’s fun, its 1 card away from fitting entirely on an A4 page and it’ll entertain your boring political friends.

While not available on their website, check out Teddy Tech’s other work HERE