Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We at CUDO Plays are so thankful for everyone participating in this year’s competition. I checked out a WHOLE LOT of games at the Playtest Convention and while talking to the teams, I scoped out the state of the games!


Mechasaurus Wrecks:

Grizzly Forged Studios has been through the competition before and has a fairly solid handle on the workflow and how to approach this lengthy process. Their game, while still in the “sketch” phase, has strong mechanics. Ben gave me the best hug I have had in weeks!



This is a game I definitely want to check out, as a quick glance implied a strong resource management focus and a hat tip to cooking, something a theme I truly enjoy. Caleb Wilson is a strong competitor with tons of game knowledge and a deep understanding of different mechanics and thematic tools.


Maelstrom Mare:

This is an almost entirely finished game. The box, pieces and rules were totally formed and well designed. The art is great and the game, with a nautical theme, has a solid captain with Ross Ziobro at the helm.


End of the Trail:

This is pretty much what I expect to see at the Playtest Convention. Mike Hinson has a solid idea with a lot of working elements to develop and grow over the course of the competition.


How to Become an Evil Overlord:

This game has been through the process before, so growth and changes should be expected in this incarnation. Paul Nolan’s game is a cute, fun party game that allows all of us to take over the world in 15 minutes or less, unless our opponents get there first!


Dashing Rogues:

I caught up with Sean and chatted about real life events, and totally missed almost every aspect of this “super team” project. With a team of five behind this game (at least two of whom have been through the process before), this game has incredible potential and I can’t wait to actually see it.



Another game that looks almost entirely done, by Bryan Kerns. The board reminded me a bit of chess, but there were obviously major differences. One of them being: it’s ROUND!


Death Flag:

This is a very complex and intriguing game. The core concept seems to be to develop a miniatures game without miniatures, but the team is in the earliest stages of development and Tana and Andy may switch that up as the game develops. I saw numerous cards and a grid board with objectives, giving me hopes that both strategy and tactics could be used throughout the game.


Dining Philosophers:

Another round game, with some very ingenious playtesting components. I don’t think Evan and Travis spent even $10 on elements – thrift is in, people! – but had a fully playable game to try out.



Holy wow, I love the guts of this game. It looks early yet, but this game has legs (and arms and other parts). The pentagonal core and the playing card scoring are considerably well thought out, with lots of room to grow. This well-rounded team (comprised entirely of veterans, including two award winners. Johnathan Middleton, Zack Kiedyz, John and Justin) has someone in nearly every part of game development as well, promising a very robust game once it’s done.


Space Takers and Leaves on the Wind:

These two different games, made by Rob Sweedler, Charlie Strehlow, Cedric Stratton and Nick Getz, are both in early progress but have a lot of promise. Leaves on the Wind, a RPG-like card/decision-making game, impressed at Pitch Night. Seeing it in person made me very interested to play it all the way out. Space Takers is far lighter, but also worth a play-through.


Top Assassin:

A good solid prototype! I also caught up with Kevin on real life stuff (friends for over 25 years will do that) and I absolutely wanted to try his game, as he has a great mind for development and has great history to call on with his dad having a published work as well.


Survivors of the New Atlantis:

Funky name, fun theme, and great ideas from The Jarboe Bros. & Another Guy (Gabriel and Steve Jarboe and Andrew Dudich). I’m pumped for this game and can’t wait to actually play it!



A role selection war game by BJ Gailey of Victoriana fame! I didn’t get a chance to see the details but I’m excited for it! 


Wrestling Deckbuilder and Wire Dilemma:

Both Wrestling Deckbuilder (just the working title for now) and Wire Dilemma look like they could be a lot of fun. Games brought to you by a team that’s done it before are well worth checking out, as well. Andrew and Molly bring their expertise back to CUDO Plays this year!


Subterranean Cities:

I can’t stop thinking of The Incredibles every time I look at it and I absolutely want to play it based on the premise. James has a fun idea and I’m excited to see more from it.


Pollinator Paradise:

Karen did a great job of adjusting her game’s rules on the fly as she received feedback at the convention. And of course, the game has great potential too!


Mega Knockback:

A linear game by David Hamilton that plays like a stylized arcade fighting game (Street Fighter, etc)!  Pick your fighting champion and play moves from your hand to defeat your opponent!