At the Toy Fair 2017 in New York City, I spent time speaking with Ray Wehrs about Calliope Games. He explained the underlying philosophy of their games. Calliope designs games with the idea of entertaining people of all ages with their products. They believe that adults and children should be able to play the game with equal enjoyment. Adults would not feel like they are throwing the game, and children would not be overwhelmed with complexity. Generally, children as young as eight years old will have little problem playing against adults.
Calliope also believes in keeping their games reasonably priced and strives to keep their entertainment under a thirty-dollar price point. Ray and I played the new Hive Mind developed by Richard Garfield of Magic, The Gathering fame. An Experienced based trivia game, Hive Mind can be played by two-to-twelve players of any age range. It features over eighteen-hundred questions with three per card, or players can opt to make up their own questions.
Beginning the game with all player bees at the top of the hive, the Queen Bee moves along a flower path per the dice roll determining the questions asked. An example question would be, “Name three candy bars with nuts.” This exemplifies the experience-based trivia accessible to all ages. Players write down their answers comparing them to the other members of the hive. Points are scored by thinking alike, akin to a hive-mind, remaining at the top of the hive. Lower scoring players move down the hive until one player exits the hive ending the game. A free companion app is available for Hive Mind, which is a timer to keep the game moving.
Another game introduced to me was Tsuro: The Game of the Path. For two-to-eight players, the object of the game is to stay on the board. Requiring spatial awareness, players begin on the edge of the board laying down tiles to form a path on the board that will allow them to stay on the board longest. A normal round will take about fifteen minutes to complete. A full version of Tsuro is available for iPhone and Android where players can go against the CPU or as a pass-and-play with other players. Both games were beautifully presented with travel-ready packaging allowing Calliope games to be enjoyed anywhere.
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