Board game resources for isolation

Following the new measures of social distancing and school closures established to try to slow the spread of covid-19, we’ve created a new page on our webpage full of board game resources for families in isolation

There has literally never been a better time to dive into board gaming. No school runs, no commutes, no after school clubs. With weeks or possibly months of family time ahead, don’t waste another moment before you get started. 

On the page, you’ll find:

  • The benefits of playing games as a family
  • How to get started in board gaming
  • Building your games collection 
  • Mastering the ‘Metagame’

There are also links to all Dark Imp games, which have FREE DELIVERY during school closures.

Play board games online with The Dark Imp team

Every Tuesday at 4pm during school closures, we will be running Dark Imp board games online

To join us all you need is a laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera and internet connection and a printer to print out the game. 

Online games will be strictly limited to ten families per session, but as many people as you like can take part in each family. 

When you register, you’ll be sent a link with all the information you need to join us. They’ll also be a video so you can learn how to play the game before we start. 

Register here.

Recommendations from parenting experts

It’s a daunting time for many parents. Our lives are usually so full and busy, that many are concerned about the prospect of spending so much time at home. How will we manage the kids in a small space? How will we get them to continue with their school work? How well will we all get along together? Parenting experts are providing as much help, support and information as possible and it’s great to see that several have been recommending The Dark Imp games and resources this week. 

Anita Cleare, from Thinking Parenting who is author of the new book The Work/Parent Switch, has been recommending our new board game resources for families in isolation page on her twitter feed.

Sue Atkins, parenting expert for ITV’s This Morning, has written a blog post on practical tips to get the best out of this challenging time with your children. In it, she points readers to the Dark Imp website and the podcast that we recorded together.

Elaine Halligan and Melissa Hood from The Parent Practice have recorded a new podcast: Keep calm and carry on through corona. In it they mention the BuzzleBox games and the book – The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen

We’re looking forward to being able to help more people have positive family gaming experiences as a result.

Online Playtests

With social distancing having kicked in, all my regular game nights and playtest sessions have been cancelled. But we are adaptable creatures and on Friday we ran our first online PlaytestUK session. Game designers in different parts of the country joined up via zoom video-conferencing to play games for several hours. We shared screens, sent files for others to download and print and adapted games that work face to face. It was great fun and worked well. 

During the session we played my new placemat game, Beach Life – which everyone had downloaded and printed. I found an online dice roller and shared my screen so everyone could see the numbers. We made a few tweaks to the game, but it works brilliantly and is as effective online as off. We will be playing Beach Life in our free online games sessions

During the same session two of the coaster games were blind tested (where the players teach themselves from the rules). Treasure Split, requires a partial rules re-write to make it easier to understand, but Sleuth Box was very slick and smooth and went down very well.

Here’s a Twitter thread about the event from Bez Shahriari, who took part. I’m looking forward to next Friday’s session.

Mob Rule with 3 players

The only regular playtesting that I can do at the moment is with my two sons. Now their time is more flexible, they will be drafted in to play much more regularly (read: all the time!)  This week we tried the 3-player version of Mob Rule, the game in which rival gangs aim to control a city. Sadly, it didn’t work. It was far too long and not interesting enough for the amount of time it took. In addition, one player was at a distinct disadvantage due to the board layout. Even though the four player version is fun, I think I’m going to shelve this game for now. It needs to have a more flexible player count.

In case you missed it…

On Monday, we released a new video about playing board games solo. In the video I talk about the benefits of playing board games solo as a parent. Immerse yourself in the game and your children will become intrigued.

On Thursday, we shared two new blog posts:

Coming this week…