Friday 23 February 2024

Hegemony: Lead Your Class to Victory

The Game

Hegemony is a game about class struggle. It is a heavy Eurogame for 2 to 4 players. If two are playing, one will be the capitalist class, and the other the working class. With three players, the third one will be the middle class. With four, the last player plays the state. The four factions have different ways of scoring and different actions they can perform. This is an asymmetrical game. 

This is the game board. It is mostly for laying out companies (owned by the capitalist class and the middle class) and the government departments (owned by the state). These companies and departments are where workers of the middle class and the working class find employment. 

This is the working class player board. The player boards of the four factions differ. The working class player board keeps track of the number of working class workers and also the prosperity level. Increasing prosperity is an important way for the working class to gain points. You have to spend money on education, healthcare or luxury goods in order to improve your standard of living, i.e. prosperity. To make money, you send your workers to work. You make money. You will need to spend money on food. That's the basic necessity. If you don't have enough money to buy food, you must borrow. 

There are some things which only the working class can do, e.g. going on strikes and staging demonstrations. You do these to pressure the other classes to give you what you want. 

The core engine of the game is cards. Every faction gets its own deck. Every round you will have 7 cards, and you get to play 5 of them. You either use the card for its power, or you ignore the power and perform a basic action instead. Normally the card powers are better than the basic actions, but they may not be useful in all situations. You'll still often use the basic actions. 

This is the middle class player board. The middle class has features of both the capitalist class and the working class. They have workers who need to find employment, but they can only be entrepreneurs and create startups. The middle class, like the working class, also wants to increase the prosperity level of its workers. At the same time, like the capitalist class, it can produce goods and services to be sold for profit. 

This is the capitalist class player board. It doesn't have workers, only companies. It's primary objective is - profit! It can mass produce and export. It can adjust worker wages. It decides which kinds of companies to start, and to close down. 

One big part of the game is taxes. Yes, taxes. Companies and individuals pay different types of taxes. Taxes are income for the state faction. Feels too real? 

Money on the left, and working class workers on the right (in overalls)

These cards are companies. The colours of the cards represent different industries, e.g. green is agriculture (produces food), red is healthcare (produces healthcare services). The pawns on the cards are the workers employed by the companies. A company operates only when it is staffed. No staff, no production. The little transparent cubes mark the wage levels. Companies must pay their employees. 

The employees in the red healthcare company lying down means something. They are still under contract. The company may not adjust wages, terminate employment or close down. The employees may not resign or go on strike either. A contract only lasts until the next pay day. 

This is the politics table. It shows 7 government policies, each with 3 different settings. In general, the settings are good for the capitalist class at one extreme, and good for the working class at the other. So you want to manipulate the policies to your advantage. You propose a change, and whether it takes effect depends on an election process. There is some luck in the election, but there are ways you can improve your odds.  The black markers indicate the current policy. The markers in player colours indicate a proposed new policy. 

Policies affect many parts of the game, e.g. minimum wage, the cost of healthcare and education provided by the government, the number of immigrants and the number of government departments. At game end, you score points based on how well the policies fit your agenda. This can be a lucrative source of points. Here the middle class has some advantage. The capitalist class and the working class will be pulling the policies in opposite directions. The policies may just end up in the middle ground, which benefits the middle class. 

Every round, the international market changes and there will be demand for goods and services. The capitalist class and middle class can sell their products and services overseas to make money. On the import side, only food and luxuries can be imported, and usually they tend to be more expensive than what's available locally. 

The game is played over 5 rounds. With 5 card plays per player per round, that means you only get to play 25 cards for the whole game. It's not really a lot. You do have many different actions to choose from. The factions work differently. When I read the rulebook it was like reading an economics textbook. The concepts in the game are about politics and economics, so they sound academic. I must admit getting through the rulebook was challenging. When we planned to play the game, we decided up front who was going to play which faction. We read the rules relevant to our factions in detail, and only skimmed the rules of the other factions to get a general idea. 

The Play

I did a 3-player game with Han and Allen. I was working class, Han middle class and Allen capitalist class. We almost got a fourth player, but he couldn't make it so we didn't have anyone playing the state. That should be interesting, because the state plays very differently from the other three factions. 

The working class and the capitalist class are natural rivals, and tend to want to go in opposite directions. However there are times they need to rely on one another. When the capitalist class starts companies, they do want workers from the working class, so that the companies can operate. The working class does want the capitalist class to start companies and create jobs for its workers. No job means no income, and no income means no money to buy food, healthcare, education and luxuries. The middle class is in an awkward situation, partly like the capitalist class and partly like the working class. However it can also deftly game the middle ground and try to leverage both the other factions. 

As the working class, I focused my energy on two things. I bought healthcare and education to improve my prosperity, and I formed as many trade unions as I could. 

Only the working class can form trade unions. It's a good thing because trade unions give you points and influence. Influence help win elections and turn policies in your favour. To be able to form a trade union in a particular industry, you need to have at least four workers in that industry. There are five different industries in the game. I kept watching out for opportunities to have at least four workers in an industry, and once that was achieved, I trained a worker to be trade union leader as soon as possible. 

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was the game was easier to play than I expected. It was my first game and I still relied on the reference sheets heavily. We made some mistakes too. However the game flow was smooth, and the actions logical. I like how the actions are easily understood because they align well with the theme. The rules reflect society and how a country is run. It all makes good sense, so the game is immersive. 

These middle class workers wear ties and coats. 

At this point all the unemployed workers were middle class workers. They must be picky about jobs because all the working class workers were happily working. Among these unemployed workers, only one had specific skills - the orange guy, who had skills relevant to the education (orange) industry. Some jobs require workers with specific skills. Grey workers have no specific industry skills. 

Working class workers wear overalls. Male and female are presented differently. The ladies use lipstick. 

We had an unusual situation of the middle class starting more companies than the capitalist class. At this point the middle class (top left part of the photo) had 6 companies, while the capitalist class (top centre) had 5 companies. 

We had a major crisis at the end of round 2. Our government went bankrupt, and we had IMF (International Monetary Fund) intervention. Oh yes, this game has IMF. This sounds rather daunting, like I am describing a university level finance subject assignment. When the IMF intervenes, it forces the state to set all 7 policies in a specific way. This affects all the player factions in different ways. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. This was a major shakeup. Since we didn't have a state player, none of us properly took care of state matters. We should have been more mindful about the state treasury and how an IMF intervention would affect us. 

In the early game I drew a card which allowed me to add as many voting cubes into the voting bag as the size of my population. Voting cubes help increase the chances of winning at elections. I kept the card for a long time and only used it near game end, when my population had maxed out. I was able to put all my voting cubes into the bag. However, Allen as the capitalist class also managed to do the same. In the end, I didn't manage to get much advantage over him. 

In our game, healthcare and education was often cheap or free. This was good for me (working class) and Han (middle class). We bought healthcare and education to increase prosperity. Allen (capitalist class) struggled with taxes. He had to pay a lot in taxes. He also had to pay workers. It's not easy being boss okay. Han more often than not sided with me when it came to election time. We tended to want the same policies. Playing the middle class is challenging because you have split personality disorder. You have the needs, abilities and struggles of both capitalist and working classes. It's a little neither here nor there. 

We were not yet very familiar with the game, so we mostly focused inwards on how to score points for ourselves. We had not yet explored much how to sabotage and hinder our opponents. I didn't go on strike or stage demonstrations. Well, my workers were employed most of the time in decent paying jobs, so I didn't have a strong excuse anyway. Han (middle class) and I (working class) did have to compete. He had workers too so we sometimes needed to compete for job openings. Once he closed one of his companies, causing my workers to lose jobs. Because of that, I had fewer than four workers in that particular industry, which forced me to disband my trade union. That also meant my trade union leader lost her job too.  

The capitalist class and the middle class can adjust the prices of their products and services. They want to make money. Setting prices high when there is demand is very much a good tactic. As the working class I want products and services. If healthcare and education provided by the state is insufficient, I will need to buy from the capitalist class or the middle class. The factions in the game have reliance on one another while being competitors. 

When the capitalist class starts a fully automated company like this, it's bad news for the working class, because such companies don't offer jobs. Blue companies produce luxury goods, and the luxury goods icon is a smartphone. 

Near game end, unemployment got out of hand. Many of these unemployed workers had industry specific skills (i.e. non grey). At this point as the working class I could have staged demonstrations, but I was too busy doing other stuff. 

At the end of the fifth and final round, there were three policies which had to go through the election process. Normally to adjust a policy, you can only propose to move it one step. Allen (capitalist, blue) could propose a 2-step change because of a card power. The proposal still needed to go through the election, so it was not a guaranteed change. But if the bill was passed, this would be a big change. 

The Thoughts

The setting in Hegemony is certainly something fresh. I have not seen any other game about class struggle. I must admit reading the rulebook was challenging. Not that it was poorly written. Just that there was a lot to digest. The four factions have different actions and scoring criteria. The topic is a serious one and a complicated one. When I actually played the game, I was surprised to find it was easier to internalise that I had expected. The main reason is your actions in the game reflect real life. They are logical. They all make sense. It was easy for me to get immersed in the game. This is the real world. Not some fantasy world or some historical scenario. It is relatable. Of course I want a higher salary. Of course I want to send my kids to the best universities. Of course I want to buy the latest iPhone (or I should say the latest glitzy boardgame). All of this is very real. Now we do sometimes play games for the escapism. Hegemony reminds us of our real lives, but it allows us to take them with a bit of humour. We can relax and have fun with them, because it's just a game. 

Turning macroeconomics and politics into a game is no easy feat. Hegemony achieved this. The more important question is: is the game fun to play? I enjoy how immersive it is, and how the many different perspectives of the different factions fit together into a coherent whole. The factions worry about their own ways of scoring points. In some aspects you can't directly interfere with your opponents. The working class can't stop the capitalist class from setting high prices and exporting goods and services. However there is still plenty of player interaction. I have not yet tried the 4-player game, but my gut feel is that will be most interesting. Hegemony is a complex and challenging game about modern society. It is an engaging game experience. 

Friday 16 February 2024

Why gamers are lousy game makers

Let's start by clarifying the definition of a game maker in the context of this discussion. What I mean by game maker is someone who creates games in a financially sustainable manner. The games are being released to the public, and the whole process is profitable. Not necessarily profitable enough to sustain a livelihood. We know that is extremely rare. Just something that gives you a small side income on an ongoing basis. 

As gamers we are the consumer. A game maker is a producer. These are completely different games. We may have played hundreds of games, and we feel we are experts. We judge other people's games. We scoff at mass market games. We think we can do better than many games which are being released. However the consumer and the producer are two very different perspectives. As a consumer, playing games is a hobby. We are the customers and we pay to be entertained. When we are the producer, it's not about enjoying designing or creating games we like. It's about making games which enough other people will buy. "Enough" is a keyword. If not enough people want to buy our games, this whole exercise is a hobby. We are not really a game maker (based on the definition above). 

"Buy" is also a keyword. 

We spend much time designing a good game and not enough time designing a marketable product. As a gamer, what is most important to me is the game mechanism. Whenever I see yet another published game which feels samey, I feel it doesn't deserve to exist. That's a gamer perspective. Not to say a game doesn't need to have good gameplay, but if we don't know how to create a marketable product, that wonderful game of ours will not sell. People won't even try our games. So art, choice of setting, choice of genre, price point, how are we going to market the game, who is the target audience, does the market want this game - all of these are important. We make games we like, not games that sell. This is something difficult to get past. 

We think we can do this too. When we examine the popular games out there, we find them simple. We think we can easily come up with something similar. Anyone can design a boardgame. It's easy. You don't need to be a programmer like in the case of digital games. What we don't fully appreciate are the design thinking and thought processes behind the successful games. They feel easy to us consumers precisely because they have been designed well. That ease makes us underestimate the intricacies behind creating a good game product. 

Why do you want to design games? What do you want to achieve from it? I sometimes ask myself these questions. I'm pretty new in game design. It's challenging. It's not very profitable - at least I have not learned or worked enough to make it so. I'm still at it because I do enjoy the process. I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy watching people have fun with my games. I get satisfaction from bringing joy to people. I can stop here - make some games, let people play them and watch them have fun. I don't need to get my games published. I don't need to make money from it. But I pursue this - making marketable games - because I want more people to enjoy my games, and I like the challenge. It's a different ballgame. The market is honest with us. Not brutally honest. Just honest. The market does not have a will to want to hurt our feelings. If we can't sell our games, it means there are things we are not doing right. Maybe our games are not good enough. Maybe we have not defined our target market clearly enough. 

This is mostly a note-to-self post. I started getting into game design in 2019. I have been gaming since 2003, and blogging since 2007. When getting into game design, I knew I had to treat myself as starting from scratch. I had, and still have, a lot to learn. Thousands of games are being published every year now. The game industry does not need more games to be made. Gamers already have plenty of options. But I still want to do this, because as my slogan for Cili Padi Games says, I want to taste something new

Join me for the ride! 

Tuesday 13 February 2024

Dominion - digital version


I recently found out that the digital version of Dominion is out. When Dominion was first released in 2008, it was an important game in the history of boardgames, because it was the first deck-building game. For quite some years after that, many other game designers made other deck-building games. By now, I rarely hear of pure deck-building games, but there are still some boardgames or card games which use the deck-building mechanism as part of the game. 

I own a physical copy of Dominion. I have bought one expansion too - Seaside. When I recently checked my records, I was surprised I hadn't played it for 12 years. Many years ago I played another digital implementation. I played against AI's. It was convenient and fast. Being able to play many games let me understand and appreciate it in more depth. I have great admiration for the game.

This latest digital version is well made. I have played in on my phone and on an iPad. The iPad works better. It's a bit too small for me on the phone. Workable but slightly clunky. The base game is free to play. The expansions need to be purchased. Even with the base game you already have many combinations to try. A game of Dominion uses only 10 card types. The base game gives you 25 card types. You can do a lot of mixing and matching. 

If you have not tried Dominion before, give it a go! 

Friday 9 February 2024

Five Three Five / Oh! Meow! Bow!


The Game

Five Three Five aka 535, Oh! Meow! Bow! is a climbing card game from Japan. Climbing games is something many non-gamers are familiar with too. Games like Big 2 (Cho Dai Dee), Fight the Landlord and Tichu are climbing games. Five Three Five offers some twists to the genre. It has numbers 1 to 15, but not 6 or 10. It doesn't have suits. The most unusual element is instead of playing a meld which is stronger than the current meld, you can add cards to the current meld.  

Generally in climbing games you deal all cards to everyone, and you compete to be the first to play all your cards. All players with cards left when one player goes out are penalised, and the penalty depends on how many cards you have left. The player who starts a series can play any meld type. For this series, everyone may only play the same meld type, and to play a meld it must be stronger than the current meld. When no one is able to top the current meld, the player who played the meld starts a new series. 

In Five Three Five there are three meld types - singles, sets (cards of the same number), and runs (cards with numbers in sequence). For sets and runs, you only need two cards. To beat the current single or set, you have to play another single or set with a higher number. That's normal. However if the current meld is a run, to beat it you have to play a run with lower numbers. So a 2-3-4 is stronger than a 3-4-5. 

The most unusual part of this game is instead of playing a stronger meld, you can add cards to the current meld to make it stronger. For example when the current meld is 11-11, you can add another 11 to it to make 11-11-11. It's still the same meld type, and it's stronger. This mechanism helps players get some single cards out. This is something quite different from standard climbing games. 

As you play melds, certain conditions force the series to end. You don't always wait for everyone else to pass. When a set reaches the maximum card count, e.g. four 7's, the series ends. There is no opportunity for another player to play four 8's. Whoever created the four 7's wins the series and starts the next one. Similarly, if a run goes up to five cards, the series ends too. Another way a series ends immediately is when you play a meld containing an 8. As long as this is not the opening meld, the series ends. 

Once a player goes out, the rest score points based on cards remaining. Every card has a point value, which ranges from 1 to 5. The 8's are worth 5 points each. Points are bad. You play several rounds until someone reaches 20 points. At that point, whoever has the fewest points wins the game. 

The Play

This is a climbing game with many surprises. It introduces quite a few quirks, and as a result how a game plays out can be quite unexpected. Well, or maybe I'm just a noob and I haven't fully grasped the game. I like the new mechanism where you can insert cards to an existing meld. In more traditional climbing games, often single cards which cannot form bigger melds are a challenge to get rid of, especially when their values are low. In Five Three Five they are not as helpless. Can that be a bad thing? Maybe. But for sure it's something different and interesting. There is always a feeling of hope. 

Without 6's and 10's, sequences get broken up. Runs are limited to within 1 to 5, 7 to 9 and 11 to 15. The game is quite unusual and it takes some time to grasp the strategies. It feels familiar and strange at the same time. 

Like typical climbing games, the moment you get your hand of cards, you have to start planning how to play it out. However you also have to watch how your opponents play and switch gears as necessary. You have to stay flexible. I would say more so than other games, because there is more unpredictability. 

The Thoughts

Most people are familiar with climbing games. Five Three Five injects quite a few twists and it is refreshing. Learning how it works is fun. This will work with casual gamers who already know the common climbing games. It's certainly good to try something slightly different than playing Cho Dai Dee only all the time over Chinese New Year holidays. 

Thursday 8 February 2024

Snow White roadshow at Book Xcess

This was yet another new experience for me - doing a roadshow at a bookstore. I am now distributing Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs and Dancing Queen to Book Xcess bookstores. As part of this, I did a roadshow at the store at KL Pavilion. It was on Sun 4 Feb 2024, 2pm - 5pm. They set up a small table for me right at the entrance. 

The crowd was very different from that on Saturday when I was at the Game On Lah! event. At the event, people went to play. There was an activity which encouraged visitors to play games because when they did so, they could get a card stamped, and by collecting enough stamps, they could enter a lucky draw. I had a non-stop flow of eager players. At the shopping mall, the crowd was passersby, probably mostly going to a bookstore to buy books or stationery. Not to play games. There was no drive which pushed them to want to play or to know about the games. So I needed a pull factor instead. What I realised was the artwork by Edwin was a great pull factor. I was grateful I got him to help me with the art. 

One thing I learnt was how to fine-tune my elevator pitch. Passersby have no intention to play. Those who get attracted are mostly just curious. They may not even be aware it's a game. Most start by asking what's this. I can only go into a short and sweet elevator pitch. If they are still interested, they may ask more questions. I gauge the interest level before offering more information. Even for those who want to know how the game works, I don't go into actually teaching the game. I mock up a gameplay scenario and just explain some of the concepts. I listen to their questions and watch their reactions. I realise that the story and theme are an important aspect that attracts people. Being a gamer, I tend to think game mechanism is more important than theme. I forget that for normal people, game mechanism isn't something they think or talk about. 

My stall was right next to Boost. 

Yes, I wore that Hawaiian style shirt again. It's my Cili Padi Games uniform now. 

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Ikat Tepi x Game On Lah 2024

Sat 3 Feb 2024 I took part in the Game On Lah event, which showcased local Malaysian boardgame designers. It was part of the Ikat Tepi event organised by Locco, which in turn was part of a Putrajaya Open Day event. The main event was huge, and the guest of honour was Dr Wan Azizah. It was a grand fair. The Ikat Tepi event had a school sports day theme, which was fun. Visitor are registered into school houses - red, green, blue and yellow - and as they participate in activities (like playing games) they score points for their houses.  

Jon (nPips Games) and Haireey (Meja Belakang) are two follow game designers I often meet, not only at local events but also at TTGDMY (Table Top Game Designers Malaysia) playtesting activities. 

I reached Putrajaya around 7am to start setting up. The event started at 9am. 

I brought two published games, Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs and Dancing Queen, and five prototypes. My next game being planned for publication is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

The crowd was huge. Every game table was occupied almost all the time. Most of us game designers had no break at all until like 3pm or so. When one group finished a game, another would sit down to play. Some of us had to eat our lunch while a group was playing. 

There were many families at the event. 

I had thought getting Snow White played would be challenging, because the minimum player count is 7.  However the crowd was so good that I managed many games of Snow White. There was no group with seven, but there were many groups of three or four, and also some individuals who were happy to play together. 

We were under three tents, and we had about 10 tables. 

Pinocchio was played a lot. It worked very well with the casual, non-gamer crowd that day. Maybe this will be my fourth published game. 

Tuesday 6 February 2024

nana / Trio

The Game

Nana is a card game from Japan. The first edition is called nana (without capitalisation). The second more widely distributed version is called Trio. Lately I tried quite a number of card games, mostly courtesy of Han. I've played some trick-taking games and some climbing games (i.e. the Big 2 / Cho Dai Dee type). Nana is not in either of these common categories. It is a simpler game. You can call it a set collection game. You have to collect sets of three cards of the same number. 

During game setup, you create a 3x3 grid of 9 face-down cards at the centre of the table. The rest of the cards are dealt out to all players. When you get your cards, you must arrange them in order. The basic idea is you want to collect sets of cards. A set is three cards with the same number. If you manage to collect three sets, you win. In addition to that, if you collect numbers which add up to 7 or have a difference of 7, you also win. E.g. 6 and 1, 11 and 4. If you collect the set with 7, you win too. 

On your turn, you may reveal up to three cards. You reveal cards one by one. If the second card you reveal is of the same number as the first, you may reveal the third card. If all three cards have the same number, you claim the set. The moment you reveal a number that is different from the previous card, your turn ends and the cards are turned face-down or returned to the hands of the owners. When picking cards to reveal, you may pick any card at the centre of the table or the leftmost or rightmost card in a player's hand, including your own. 

Let's say I reveal a card at the centre of the table, and it's a 1. That's the smallest number. If I happen to have a 1 in my hand, I know there is another 1 out there. It might be with one of my opponents, or it might be among the other yet-to-be-revealed cards on the table. I will try to find the 1 from my opponents' hands. If they have it, it would be their leftmost card. I will try to reveal two 1's out there, before finally revealing my own 1. Then I can claim the set. 

This game has a memory element. You want to remember the cards you have seen, both those on the table and in your opponents' hands. 

I have two 1's. I will first try to find the remaining 1 from my opponents' hands. If they have it, it would be their leftmost card. 

The Play

Nana is a pretty simple game. The game mechanism is new to me. There are some tactics. Due to the memory element, Allen, Han and I, being middle-aged uncles, played rather clumsily. Our short-term memory is lackluster. Perhaps we are just not used to playing memory games, and we are lazy to memorise stuff. I think children will do well in this game. They are pure and more focused. In our game, Allen won by claiming both 4 and 11. 11 - 4 = 7, so he only needed these two sets. It is important to consider this and to prevent opponents from getting a quick win. 

Nana is for 2 to 5 players, but the current version Trio is for 2 to 6. Some rule adjustments are made in Trio

Comparing the art style in nana and Trio, I like nana more. It's the cute Japanese style thing. Trio has darker art. Mexican theme, cool style. 

The Thoughts

The game mechanism in nana is refreshing. I consider it a family game. It's light and short. Memory games are not my thing, because I'm too lazy to do memorisation. I prefer games that involve planning and calculation. I'm a look-forward guy. There is some luck in nana. Don't think of it as just a memory game. Memory is just part of it. Luck comes in when you have to pick cards on the table to reveal and when you try to guess who among your opponents has a card you want. 

This is a game which can have funny player interactions. Sometimes you should cooperate. Let's say one guy has claimed 3. If he claims 4 as well, he's going to win, because 3 + 4 = 7. In this situation, the other players should work together to stop him from claiming 4. You can communicate, negotiate, and even lie about what card you have. Okay I'm probably overthinking this. This is supposed to be a children's game, a family game. Please don't lie to your kids. That can be traumatic. 

Saturday 3 February 2024

Snow White fan art #1

Okay that's a lot of exaggeration. Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs is too new to have any fan art. This was just my friend Chung putting the original box cover (below) through generative AI. I think it's pretty decent. It's meant to be in the Pixar style I believe. 

Link: Snow White game page at Cili Padi Games

Friday 2 February 2024

Snow White coming to Book Xcess

Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs will soon be available at Book Xcess bookstores in Malaysia! Sun 4 Feb 2024 2pm - 5pm I will be doing a roadshow at the Book Xcess store in KL Pavilion. If you are in the area, come visit me! 

Thursday 1 February 2024

Game On Lah! 2024


We have another Game On Lah! event on Sat 3 Feb 2024! This time it is in Putrajaya. The main event is Ikat Tepi (1). It is a local cultural event not specifically about boardgames. Game On Lah! is one of the segments of the event. The overall theme is school sports days. I bet there will be a Milo truck. 

This time I will be promoting not just Dancing Queen but also Snow White and the Eleven Dwarfs. I will also be bringing a number of games still in development to showcase and playtest. Romeo & Juliet, Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves and Pinocchio have been showcased at other events. First timer games are Winter Solstice and The Ice Queen

Come play with me! 

Details here

(1) "Ikat Tepi" is Malay for "tied on the side". In Malaysia, when you buy a drink to-go at roadside stalls, they give you your drink in a sturdy transparent plastic bag, and ask whether you want to "ikat tepi" or "ikat mati". "Ikat mati" (tied with a dead knot) means they will tie a very tight knot to make sure the drink will not spill. When you get home you can untie and enjoy your drink. "Ikat tepi" means they will tie a string to only one of the top corners of the bag, leaving the other top corner open. They'll give you a straw too (plastic). This way you can have your drink as you go about. Gosh this explanation is longer than the blog post itself.