Tag Archives: calliope game night extravaganza

Calliope Games You Can Play Remotely

With the holiday season being… for lack of a more original word, unprecedented, it’s not exactly easy to gather around a table and play games with the family the way you usually would. And that can be disappointing! I know it is for me; I have a handful of new game suggestions that I want to share with my father who loves lightweight games, but we have no plans to see each other in person for a bit. It’s okay to feel that sting. But the great thing about gamers is we know how to solve a puzzle. 

Calliope’s entire mission has been about gathering folks around a table to create lasting memories. So what do we do when we can’t gather around a table? In the illustrious words of Ross Gellar, we PIVOT! Between Zoom, FaceTime, Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, apps etc., it’s really become easier than ever to play games remotely. And we want to share with you the best Calliope games to play remotely with your family to create some brand-new memories.

Tsuro: The Game of the Path

Tsuro has an award-winning app from Thunderbox Entertainment that plays up to 8 people and is available on Android, Apple, Steam and more. It gives you the full Tsuro experience, and can be played all at once or turn by turn (perfect for when you need a quick break from mashing potatoes for the very first time).

If you have just one person Skype-ing in, you can actually play Tsuro with the physical copy! Prop that one player’s tiles up so only their camera can see them, and make sure they have a clear view of the board. They’ll tell you which tile they want and in which orientation. I’ve played this way several times, and the laughter induced from the, “no not your left, my left!” interactions add a whole other level of fun.

Roll for It!

Roll for It! also has an excellent app from Thunderbox Entertainment that allows you to play the Red or Purple edition, and has a bunch of different dice that you can’t get in the physical version. You shake your phone to roll the dice, and the game plays exactly the same as the physical version.

Don’t want to play on an app? You could play with just one copy of the game and an impartial roller such as a dice tower, and let the players tell you where they want their dice allocated. Insistent on rolling your own dice and happen to have your own copy? Find the matching cards you’re trying to roll for, and roll your own dice! This game probably has the most versatility for playing remotely, so if you have another suggestion, let us know!

Hive Mind

Hive Mind is Calliope’s contribution to trivia and party games! Designed by Richard Garfield (of Magic the Gathering and King of Tokyo fame), in this game you’re not trying to find the best, funniest, or most correct answer, you’re trying to come up with the answer that the most people playing will also have given. So if the question is “Name 3 flavors of popsicle,” it doesn’t matter that “blue” isn’t a flavor, it’s a color; as long as you know other people playing will also give the answer “blue,” you’re going to get points. Hive Mind is our easiest game to play over Zoom with just one person having a physical copy, and it also plays the most players, with up to 12 people playing. Have more than 12 people? Play in teams! Or grab extra meeples from a different game and add more players. The more, the merrier!

Dicey Peaks/The Mansky Caper

As we learned this summer during our 12-hour streaming marathon raising money for Food Lifeline, both Dicey Peaks and The Mansky Caper are very easily playable remotely as long as one person has a copy of the game, and a camera good enough for people to clearly see the board. The person with the game will also act as everyone’s hands, moving dice, pawns, and tokens wherever the players decide; but all of the gameplay decisions are made entirely by the players. As far as The Manksy Caper is concerned, it’s almost like Big Al himself is pulling the strings!

Allegory/Mass Transit/Enchanted Plumes

These three games are the newest in the Calliope lineup, in fact they’re currently being funded on Kickstarter! Until December 11th, you can play all three of these games for free on Tabletop Simulator and they each play up to 6 players. Looking for a cooperative or even solo game? Give Mass Transit a try! Know some people who love poker and bidding, and want to show them the art of set collection? Time to try Allegory. Want to see some truly beautiful card art within a potentially cutthroat game? Check out Enchanted Plumes

The truly wonderful thing about having these games on a digital platform is being able to play with people you’d never be able to get at a table at the same time. We’ve had the chance to play with designers and friends to create some fantastic moments that never would have been possible otherwise. We highly encourage you to do the same.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! And if you get the chance to play some of these games in any capacity, make sure to tag us. We love seeing those memories getting made. 

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Allegory

An allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful Themes into your Tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden Moral throughout all of your Tales—but only the most concise Tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!

Allegory is a 2-6 player bidding and bluffing card game like no other. In this game every action has an equal opposite reaction, as you must bid to win cards, but the winning bid then goes onto rejected cards, allowing other players to collect more chips and win bids. It’s all about strategy and balance! Designed by Zach Weisman, with art by David Cornish, Allegory is perfect for poker fans, players who like a bit of take that, and people who enjoy truly stunning artwork in their games.

Allegory Rapid Rundown:

The goal of Allegory is to amass three sets of cards that represent three Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. You’ll do that by bidding Lore chips to win the card you want, but keep in mind those lore chips will then be assigned to other cards available, meaning the other players can then take a card and your lore. As you strategically bid and fold, concentrate on also collecting the cards that contain your hidden Moral; they’ll give you a bonus at the end of the game.

In a shocking twist, only your tale with the LOWEST total value will be the one you score at the end of the game. After all, brevity is a virtue. 

The card with the white back and no number value is the hidden Moral card. The card with the dark back and the number value are the Theme cards you bid to collect.

Finding Inspiration:

The game begins with all players receiving a Moral card; if you can collect Theme cards with that Moral into each of your sets, you’ll earn bonus points. Players then shuffle the Theme deck, and lay out as many cards as there are players (2 player games will have 3 cards laid out, but otherwise gameplay is the same).

Going clockwise, players then take turns bidding Lore chips to get first pick at the Theme cards available. When every player except one has folded, the winner gets to select which Theme card to put into their tableau. The winner then distributes the Lore chips used onto the other available cards, and this is the key to strategizing in Allegory. In following rounds, players who fold will also be able to pick up a card, but only the one with the most Lore chips on it! 

The next player to fold may take a card if they want, but it can only be the -2 card since it has the most lore chips. BUT they’ll get 3 more lore chips to bid with. Decisions…

So if there happens to be a negative card on the table, a winning bidder may want to stack more chips on that card to force another player to take a negative score. But someone else may want to fold and take that negative card so they have more Lore chips to bid with later on to win a higher value card. How will you choose to tell your story?

Weaving a Tale: 

As you collect Theme cards to build your three tales ,you’ll need to pay attention to both the moral and the value on the cards; only the lowest scoring tale will count at the end, but you must have at least one card in each Tale to even score at all! As you bid and play, keep in mind you’ll score bonus points for every set of three matching Theme cards you can collect (no matter what Tale they’re in) in addition to weaving your Moral theme into each of your three Tales. Wow, Rule of 3 is a big deal in storytelling, huh?

Don’t forget to pay attention to what the other players are up to. Sometimes it’s worth it to throw a wrench in someone else’s works. Or in this case, spill some ink on their parchment?

Closing the Book:

Once one player has collected their 10th theme card, the game ends and scoring begins. There are 3 aspects to scoring (there it is again! Rule of 3!)

1: Add up the scores of each of your Tales. Only count the score of the lowest of the 3 Tales.

2: Add any Theme bonuses: for every matching set of three Theme cards, you earn you 2 bonus points. The matching Theme cards may be in the same or different Tales. 

3: Apply your Moral bonus: You’ll get one point for each of your 3 Tales that has your hidden Moral in it, for up to 3 points. Congratulations! You’ve mastered the art of the Allegory!

This player would earn 11 points: 4 for their lowest Tale (Nature), 4 for having 2 sets of 3 matching Theme cards (mask and butterfly), and 3 points for having the hidden Moral card (butterfly) in each of the three Tales.

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Allegory is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Allegory you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Enchanted Plumes

In Enchanted Plumes, players strive to complete magical Peacocks by assembling plumes in sparkling rows from top to bottom, using multiple colors of Feather cards while matching cards of the same color from row to row. The player with the most valuable plumes wins the game and is bestowed with the luck of the Peacock!

Designed by Brendan Hansen, Enchanted Plumes is one part set collection, one part press your luck, and a little bit of everything in between. Anyone walking by who sees this game on the table knows immediately what is happening: players are creating triangular rows of peacock plumes using like colors and trying to maximize the point values of the cards they play. But there is so much more to the game than that! 

Players are swapping cards in and out of a shared pool called the Train, possibly giving their opponents a chance at a vital card. They need to be mindful of what color plumes other players are using in case they run out of that color for their own peacocks. And then there’s the strategy involved in building the triangular rows! The first row you make will count negatively towards your score no matter how long you choose to make it; but the bigger the first row, the more subsequent rows of positive points you can make. You can make as many peacocks as you’d like, and you can make the rows as big or as small as you’d like. So many choices!

Enchanted Plumes Rapid Rundown:

Enchanted Plumes plays with 2-6 players in about 30 minutes. Your goal is to attract the attention of the Peahen by having the most sparkling and enchanting plumes of all the Peacocks in the land. To do that, you’ll need the most victory points. To do that, you’ll need to be strategic as you play plume cards triangularly. 

Setup:

Players begin by setting aside the Peahen card, and then shuffling and dealing 9 cards to each player. Each player will choose the 6 cards they would like to start with, and return the discarded 3 to the deck. The deck is reshuffled, and players will shuffle the Peahen card into the last eight cards of the game; once the Peahen appears the game is over, and scoring begins. The number of cards you use in the game will vary depending on player count (removing the 7’s, 8’s, and/or 9’s for lower player numbers).

Flip and place the top five cards of the deck in a line extending to the right of the deck; this lineup is called the Train. 

Playing the Game: 

On your turn you will do two actions: 

1. Play one or two cards either to start a new plume or add to one of your existing plumes; the cards may be used together in the same plume or split up among different plumes.

2. Replenish your hand in one of three ways:
(a) Draw two cards from the Feather deck
(b) Swap two cards from your hand with two cards from the Train
(c) In either order, draw one card from the Feather deck and swap one card from your hand with one card from the Train 

Building Plumes:

Every turn as you play your one or two cards, you’ll be building rows of plumes. Cards that are placed on the top row will be scored as negative points, while cards played in lower rows will count positively. As you descend down the rows you can only use colors that have been previously used. So if a row has three cards: the blue, yellow, and red feathers, the next row will only have 2 cards, and they may only contain those colors. Once a lower row of cards is started in a plume, Feather cards can no longer be added to higher rows in that plume. You can always begin a new set of plumes before finishing a current one, and you can have as many sets as you like. 

Once you get down to the final row, which will hold only one card, you will play that card face down. This obscures your point value of that card, allows you to collect bonus points at the end of the game, and creates a beautiful peacock! The final card does have to follow the color constraints of your plumes.

Attracting the Peahen:

When a player draws the Peahen from within the final 8 cards of the deck, play immediately ends and scoring begins. The top row of each set scores negative points, and all subsequent rows score positive points. If you have completed any peacocks, flip over the last card and add it to your score. Completed peacocks also score 1 bonus point for each card used to build them. Incomplete Peacocks do not score bonus points. 

The player with the highest score is the most enchanting peacock of them all, and is allowed to strut around as they please. 


Enchanted Plumes is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Enchanted Plumes you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Mass Transit

It’s quittin’ time in the Big City, and rush hour is about to begin! It’s up to you and your team of urban planners to get all these Commuters home to their families. You will need to skillfully work together to construct transit routes out to the Suburbs, but City Hall bureaucracy limits how much you can help each other! If you can manage the red tape, and your team works like a well-oiled machine in getting everyone home, you will ALL succeed at Mass Transit!


Designed by Chris Leder (who also designed Roll for It!) and Kevin Rodgers, Mass Transit is a limited communication, lightweight cooperative game in which you are working together to expand various commuter lines (bus, train, and ferry), to get 6 meeples from their jobs in the Big City to their homes in the suburbs, while having to contend with traffic stops and dead ends. It’s quaint, it’s charming, it’s addicting.

Mass Transit is a lot of firsts for Calliope Games: our first cooperative game, our first game with a solo mode, and, believe it or not, our very first game with traditional meeple tokens! Can you believe that? I almost didn’t, and had to go through the components of each of my game boxes to confirm. But yes, indeed! (And when you back the Kickstarter you’ll receive stickers to customize your meeples!)

If you’re hoping to learn a little more about Mass Transit then look no further! Well, okay, you can look further on this page. That’s where the information is. But you don’t have to go further than that!


Mass Transit Rapid Rundown:

Mass Transit plays with 1-6 players in about 20 minutes. Players will set up the Big City board and place the 6 commuter meeples at the 6 starting locations. Everyone then draws 4 cards. Each round, players will take turns playing at least 2 (but more if you would like) cards to either extend a route, or discard a card to move a meeple to the next station.

Extending a route: 

Six transit routes lead out of the Big City toward the Suburbs. When you first play a card to start a route, place it to extend the road, canal, and rail lines on one edge of the Big City board. You can then play later cards next to either the Big City (to begin a new route) or an existing route (to continue it). The colors of the cards don’t need to match and most likely won’t! The focus is on getting the meeples further along the track via the stations on the cards.

Moving meeples: 

In order to move your commuter meeples towards home, you must first discard a green walk card to have a meeple walk from the big city to the first station. After that, you can discard a card in your hand that matches the color of the route you want to take. So if you want your meeple to head home via train, you will need to discard one red train card to move your meeple from one station to the next. If there are cards in between with no stations to stop on, it looks like that train is going express!

Traffic, Dead End, and Urgent Cards: 

Of course commuting is never as easy as hopping on a train and going home! You’ll be facing Traffic Stops that require you to stop along the route before you reach the next station, requiring you to discard another card to get moving again; Dead End cards that force you to walk to a different method of transportation; and Urgent cards that must be played before your turn is over (unless you’re able to get your last meeple home). How your team handles these cards can be the key to your success. 

Getting home: 

Suburbs cards are the ending points for your commuters. Each Suburbs card shows a number (3 or 4) just above the house icon; this number represents the minimum number of cards that must be placed between the Big City and that Suburbs card. Once your team has played that many cards, you can play a Suburbs card to end that commuter line. You will still have to discard a card to move the meeple home. If you can get all 6 meeples home, congratulations! You win the game!

Limited Communication: 

Bureaucracy is a real pain! Even though you are all working together, you may NOT tell other players exactly what is in your hand or where you will play on your next turn. You can discuss the current map on the table and say vague things like, “This could be a great express route” or “I can’t wait to ride the train!” to get around the red tape; however, you can never suggest what actual cards to play or what the next move should be. How well do you and your team really know each other?


Mass Transit is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Mass Transit you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

Introducing the Calliope Game Night Extravaganza!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/calliopegamenight/the-calliope-game-night-extravaganza

Calliope Games is thrilled to announce The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza!  A Trio of games that takes you by feather, rail, and epic tale! Celebrate an evening packed with excitement and fun challenges for all!  During your game night, you’ll build peacock plumes of vivid colors!  You’ll cooperate to construct a transit system and deliver commuters home.  And in tales of epic lore, you’ll bid to win, but may lose if you do!

The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! launches on November 10th and includes three amazing new card games: AllegoryEnchanted Plumes, and Mass Transit.  Each game is small enough to take anywhere! Bidding, set collection, cooperation, and hidden objectives! There is something for everyone – and every game night – in the Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! 

HIGHLIGHTS: 

  • A Whole Game Night In One Bundle!  All the games take less than an hour to play.
  • Easy To Teach And Play! The games entertain from one to six players ages 8 and up.
  • Unique New Card Games! Bidding, set collection, cooperation… there’s something for everyone!
  • Unbelievable Value! Get Allegory, Mass Transit, and Enchanted Plumes for only $40 USD when you pledge for all three games.

  • Unique twist on auction/ bidding games
  • Rich and striking artwork
  • 2-6 players, 30-50 minutes

An allegory tells a captivating story while hiding a deeper, meaningful moral underneath. In the game of Allegory, you’ll compete with others as renowned authors, each scribing a trilogy of Tales: Nature, Energy, and Spirit. Master the use of Lore to incorporate powerful Themes into your Tales. At the end, you will be rewarded for weaving a hidden Moral throughout all of your Tales—but only the most concise Tale shall become a literary classic for the ages!


  • Collect and play cards to build peacock plumes
  • Skillful decisions lead to big scores
  • 2-6 players, 30 minutes

In Enchanted Plumes, players strive to complete magical Peacocks by assembling plumes in sparkling rows from top to bottom, using multiple colors of Feather cards while matching cards of the same color from row to row. The player with the most valuable plumes wins the game and is bestowed with the luck of the Peacock!


  • Cooperative transportation game
  • Limited communication provides fun strategy
  • 1-6 players, 20 minutes

It’s quittin’ time in the Big City, and rush hour is about to begin! It’s up to you and your team of urban planners to get all these Commuters home to their families. You will need to skillfully work together to construct transit routes out to the Suburbs, but City Hall bureaucracy limits how much you can help each other! If you can manage the red tape, and your team works like a well-oiled machine in getting everyone home, you will ALL succeed at Mass Transit!


The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza will be going live on Kickstarter on November 10th, 2020. Be sure to click to get notified when it goes live: https://bit.ly/CalliopeGameNightKSPage

And if you would like to be included in the Kickstarter email list for first looks and early access, you can sign up here: https://bit.ly/CalliopeKickstarterSignup