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Winner Announced for The Game Crafter Map Builder Design Challenge!

Mob Town, by Danny Devine - Winner of The Game Crafter Map Builder Design Challenge!

We’re pleased to announce that Mark “Shmitz” Major of Whirling Derby Games, and who is our guest judge for the Map Builder Design Challenge has determined the winner. But why spoil the surprise. We’ll let him tell you in his own words.

"Judging this contest was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I wish I could have chosen even more entries as finalists, because there were just so many compelling takes on map building, so many different interests piqued. But the batch of finalists I have were all wonderful games, and it was even harder to boil that down to just one single winner. Each game did something different that I really enjoyed.

So, after a lot of play time and a lot of consideration, I have chosen Mob Town by Danny Devine as the winner of the Map Building contest.

The map building aspect of the game is really interesting, and not something I’ve seen elsewhere. The random layout of each city is almost programmed into the cards. Each property card has an arrow that tells you which direction to place the next one. The result is that most cities have an almost organic shape to them. However, and this is about the only criticism I can direct at the game, sometimes the results are a little too random. Two of the games I played had Entry points nearly disconnected from the rest of the city, making it very hard for more than one player to get a foothold. I think one extra “Empty Lot” card in the resource deck would probably mitigate that problem though.

The presentation of the game is excellent. The illustrations and graphic design are attractive, and communicate the information well. The layout of the play area displays everything nicely. When we had Mob Town on the table at board game meetups, we frequently got people stopping by to check it out. It’s also the only game we had people pick up and want to play while we were playing a different game.

The best word I can think of to describe the design of this game is “elegant”. The rules are relatively simple and easy to pick up, but at the same time they offer a lot of depth. And the mechanics of the game are married to the theme almost perfectly. Every aspect of the gameplay cries out “mobster turf wars”. In another game poker chips might seem like a cheap component, but here they are perfect. You gather your henchmen, you take over territory, your agendas shift, and conflict escalates as it gets tougher and tougher to make your moves on your opponents’ territories. This is YOUR town, and Danny Devine has done a fantastic job giving you something to fight for.

So congratulations Danny! The rest of the finalists also did amazing work though, and I will be leaving reviews on each game’s store page in the following week. Thank you all for making excellent games."

Danny will receive 100,000 crafter points and $50 in shop credit. He’ll also be inducted into our Hall of Fame, and a copy of Mob Town is already on its way to The Gamers’ Table. It’s yet to be determined whether he will also join us at our booth at Gen Con or be the judge of the Miniatures Design Challenge, but we hope he will.

Thank you to all who participated in this contest. Want to get in on the action? Our Miniatures Design Challenge has only just begun!

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blog | by Dr. Radut