Kickstarter Preview—Ghostel

Not the least of my favorite things about Tinkerbot Games’ Ghostel is its ghost-shaped player pawns. The 3D pieces planned for a stretch goal are wonderful but even the 2D ghost meeples are super cute!

Ghostel Ghost Meeples

The game too gives me plenty to crow over, providing a nice balance of chance and tactical decision-making, as well as a wonderful representation of its light spooky theme.

Each night round, the players as ghosts roll and distribute Terror Dice in an attempt to frighten away guests staying at their hotel. In every guest room a ghost visits, its player place’s one of their dice. At the end of the night, any guest who’s courage value is exceeded by the dice in their room runs away, and the players who contributed to that spook collect points.

During the day rounds, guests who made it through the night recover some of their composure—dice previously placed in their room remain there but are reduced by one pip—and new guests arrive to fill up the empty rooms.

The ghosts, of course, are not active during the day but their players then have an opportunity to spend previously earned points on Scare Tactic, Terror Bonus, and Spookie Favor cards. Though earning up the most points is the way to win the game, spending them judiciously can provide significant advantage. Scare Tactics allow players to trigger guests’ phobias (such as snakes, spiders, and clowns), doubling the value of a die as they place it. Terror Bonuses give players extra dice to roll. And Spookie Favors are special one-time tricks, like walking through walls (which allows a player to move their ghost piece anywhere on the board) or the chills (which gives a guest every phobia at once).

In the end, Ghostel is super-easy to play, though also just a bit challenging turn-to-turn. The kind of game I love, where you can blame the dice if you lose but still have lots of opportunities to make the most of them during play. To help fund Ghostel on Kickstarter, as I hope you will, a copy will cost you £29 (approximately $41).


A complimentary prototype copy of Ghostel was provided by Tinkerbot Games for review.

  • Comments Off on Kickstarter Preview—Ghostel

Tinkerbot Games: Get Featured in Ghostel

GhostelTinkerbot Games offers to put you in their next game, Ghostel, in preparation for their upcoming Kickstarter campaign. “We have the budget to have 5 cards illustrated before we launch the Kickstarter campaign,” writes Gino Brancazio. The three people behind Tinkerbot have taken up some of those spaces, but they would like to have two more people jump in before the campaign starts. “It’ll be a good way for us to showcase how the process looks from photo-to-cartoon.” Once the campaign begins, backers will have an opportunity to choose a funding level that adds them to the game.

Ghostel is a light-hearted 2-4 player game where a haunted manor — haunted by the players’ ghosts — is reopened and turned into a hotel. The living (which might have your likeness) come in and it’s up to you to scare them off.

Tinkerbot requests two photos, one with a “normal” and one with a “scared” expression. “Look really scared, make it silly and get us giggling!” They request photo submissions to be in by July 10th. More details at Tinkerbot Game’s “Get Your Face In Ghostel” page.

Tinker Tactics

I came across Tinker Tactics today, and was intrigued with the low component count and simple rules. All that’s needed to play are a few dice, and a tiny board for each player.

The rules are simple. Players roll their dice in secret, announce their total score, and all the other players switch their die faces to match the player with the highest score. The dice are then placed on the boards, and the boards of all the players are attached. From there players move their dice the number of spaces as indicated on the die. Land next to another player’s die to reduce it by 1. Reduce a die to zero and remove it from the board. Last player standing wins.

Tinker Tactics is free to print-and-play, and cheap enough to do so simply. I’ve already printed out some boards and gathered the appropriate dice for a 2 player game.

I can see this being a nice filler to play with the kids when we don’t have much time to get into something more involved, or when we don’t have much space to pack a larger game when we’re out of the house.