Board game people are great – call for Min Tin Pirate reviewers

posted in: games, Mint Tin Pirates | 1

A few weeks back, I was at lunch with a friend and I had some meeples and dice in my pocket. I tossed them onto the table while we waited for our burritos.

We talk all the time about making games and in a few minutes we thought of making a fast playing and light game that could be played anywhere (lunch, airport, work breaks, outdoors, etc).

We came up with a theme – pirates – and decided to challenge each other in making games in a short amount of time. Fast forward and we’ve done play testing and I’ve sourced my components – mint tin, labels, dice, meeples, and mini cards – and even researched labeling requirements, shipping, and all that non-fun stuff involved in selling a game. =/

After a second game design meetup (June 19th), we’ll do any changes for review copies and then each do a 3 week Kickstarter in August. The Kickstarter funding will decide who wins this challenge. (bolded added May 12th).

But what about game reviews?

Dang, a short development time is a fun challenge, but without game reviews, it’ll be hard to have a good Kickstarter campaign. All the big shot reviewers are booked out for months and months . . .

But hey, I’m a fledgling game designer and figured there must be fledgling game reviewers too. *ding, ding* =)

So two days ago I did a shout out on twitter for game reviewers . . .

Wow, I was humbled at the number of people willing to look at my game. I don’t mean that they agreed to review it, but they’re interested.

It’s a real time commitment to test and review a game and then write, video, and/or podcast about it. It’s easily a few to several hours of time per review.

Thus this blog post and explaining the game a bit.

Mint Tin Pirates – what is it?

A 5 of 10 minute game, you decide by deciding what dice rolls are used to win.

The game fits in an Altoid-sized mint tin and has 54 mini cards, 6 mini Meeples, and 2 dice (so far – this can change with meetup input as well as yours).

The play is simple and goes like this:

  • set up your ship and crew (mini Meeples!) =D
  • shuffle and deal 5 cards each
  • discard up to 3 cards and a pair launches an attack
  • roll the dice to see if you succeed
  • restock your hand and next player goes (avast!) =p
  • next hand, discard and pull up to 3 new cards, attack if you can
  • continue until triumphant!

A more in-depth look –

There are various attacks and various numbers of their cards, such as

  • knife throw (dice determine if you hit or miss)
  • swashbuckling swing (you could swing on a rope and miss all together)
  • pistolet (easily could miss with this)
  • cannon (could sail over your pirate enemy or even bounce off their galleon)
  • mutiny! (a persuasive pirate captain lures over a traitor)
  • Davy Jones locker (revive a fallen pirate from the watery depths! arr, why ye be so pruney matey?)

Then there are 4 gold doubloons which are wild cards. Should you save them to stretch out the mutiny or locker cards? Play them right away? o_O

And 2 dice means that the bell curve it creates allows for dialing in game play time and it also seems more fair. So far a dice roll of a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 means about 5 minutes of play and a 6, 7,  or 8 equals about 10 minutes.

Oh, and your crew!

Captain’s Spade and Heart have 3 mini Meeples per ship – a Captain, a cannoneer, and a swashbuckler.

It’s easy to learn, slightly gateway and slightly Euro-style, and certainly a light game (both in time and size!).

Heck, it even has an airplane mode just like a tablet or phone! Just dump the mint tin contents into the included resealable bag and ta dah!

Ha! Digital games have nothing on analog games!

One last thing, this game is 100% sourced in the US and assembled in a basement in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. More power to the maker movement! =D

And more power to the awesome game people answering the tweet for help:



I don’t expect all of them to want to review this (but would be thrilled if they did) and I’m eager for anyone else who may be interested. You just need a couple of reviews posted online and be honest in your reviews (I don’t want any sugar coating because a basement filled with thousands of mini Meeples could spell trouble!).  =p

Getting these tweets of interest is wonderful encouragement and speaks volumes to how awesome the online board game community is! w00t!

What’s in it for your time as a reviewer?

Well the game of course, but also another copy if you run reader contests. Plus credit for being part of the development of this game, you’ll be listed on my domain’s Kickstarter backer page as a reviewer along with the game’s backers (hmm, should be a special category – like Scourge of the Seas, hmm, maybe something a bit more flattering . . .).  =)

UPDATE May 12th: thanks to Erin of The Geeky Gimp, a pirate ghost has been added to the prototype! Thanks Erin! =)

shuffling the prototype mini cards for Mint Tin Pirates
shuffling hand-cut paper cards blows (not that the martini helped!) =D
playing a round of Mint Tin Pirates with a stopwatch
yep, an evil digital device but we used it to time each game
more Mint Tin Parite game play - testing it over and over again
classy, the pug’s beach towel makes for a wonderful background and a true homemade endeavor =)
lots of play testing led to a nicely paced and social game
no! not that meeple too! we dialed in the game by messing with the quantities of each card and even additional attacks like a grenade, but finally got it right. we even turned it into a drinking game when you rolled a pair!