Tag Archives: calliope games

Why Everyone Loves A Parade

This is a guest article submitted by Matt Molandes. As Pride Month draws to a close, Calliope would like to extend our thoughts and love to our LGBTQ friends, and our thanks to Matt for so eloquently putting into words why we still march.

Imagine it.  You’re 8 years old, you can see your breath as it escapes your mouth in excitement. The sweat on your palms builds up as the anticipation for the parade grows. And then… the sirens begin. You peek out past the rope and see a cavalcade of beautiful colors and floats moving in the wind. You can faintly hear music as it inches closer to where you’re standing. 

This is it. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

Now imagine, you’re 22 years old. You can feel the nerves getting closer. A distant but direct voice announces, “5 minutes to places,” and you can feel the sweat build as you put your costume on. You’re breathing heavy but with each step you find your stride to the upbeat music, and with a loud applause, people are cheering for you as you wave to them with modified sight. You dance to the beat and wave to the kids as you travel down the route pacing your breath. 

This is it. You can accomplish anything.

Now imagine, you’re 28 years old. You can feel the sweat drip on the back of your neck, it’s hot, and although there’s no shade in sight you continue to stand defiantly and quiet. Your other half squeezes your hand as you stare across at the other people standing. It’s silent and solemn and you see a cop car in the distance with sirens but no sound. Suddenly, 49 people with fabric wings flood the street and your heart sinks as you remember all too well just what this parade was for. And just like that, Pride becomes so much more important than before.

This is it. This is why parades matter.

The purpose of my writing is to highlight my time playing Everyone Loves a Parade by Mike Mulvihill, but before I do, I think it’s important for you all to understand why as a board game enthusiast I feel games have the ability to impact and reach people’s memories in ways not necessarily intended. So many emotions came back while playing this positively charismatic board game that to not mention my connection with the event would do its time at my table injustice. 

At the heart of Everyone Loves a Parade is a reminder to let go while still moving forward. It’s a bold stance to take that a game about balloons and streamers could invoke complexity, but don’t let it fool you. There are plenty of opportunities for strategy and heavy scoring, even if at times sometimes the best move is to just let what happens, happen. The game itself is paced perfectly and with each round, just like waiting for a parade, the anticipation builds to take riskier moves in order to score the most points. And appropriately, as the game progresses so does the parade that’s now filled with floats and decorations that stretches as far as the eye can see.

And just like a parade, this game is quickly over and serves as the perfect reminder to cherish those moments with those around the table and remember that everyone truly does love a parade.


Matt Molandes is a board game enthusiast and collector living in Orlando, FL with his fiancé Jon. He has worked in entertainment (including parades) for Walt Disney World, and is currently an escape room designer and store manager for Dare 2 Escape in Kissimmee, FL. You can find him on Instagram @lostmymeeples.

All Aboard! Announcing Station Master on Kickstarter!

We are excited to announce the sensational return of the beloved train game Station Master, now boarding on Kickstarter until December 12th! Station Master is a classic card game for 2-6 players ages 8+ that plays in 30-60 minutes.  During the game, players attach railcars to vintage steam locomotives, assign passengers to trains, and play action cards to send things off the rails!

Designed by Chris Baylis (designer of Dark Blades), Station Master is getting a luxurious revival from Calliope Games, publisher of hit family-weight games such as Tsuro – The Game of the Path, Roll For It!, and Hive Mind!

Every morning, the train station is bustling with passengers looking to depart for their destinations on time. As Station Master, your job is to keep passengers happy by guiding them to the right coaches and sending the trains out of the station on time, earning you points for efficiency. When completed trains leave, players with passengers aboard the train score Efficiency points. Station Master is loaded with railcars of positive and negative values, so you’ll need to plan carefully when sending trains off, as you’ll be affecting other players’ scores when you do! More fun is added to the mix when Action cards are played that alter the rules with special one-time benefits. The game ends once all trains have left the station, and the player with the most Efficiency points is declared the winner and triumphant Station Master!

Created with GIMP

Station Master is now live on Kickstarter, offering an exclusive Executive Class version only available during the campaign. This deluxe edition includes such special features as a flip-top magnetic-close box with opulent flocked insert, unique alternate Passenger pawns, and breathtaking Locomotive postcards that will be revealed throughout the campaign.

Whether you’re a train enthusiast, a fan of betting and bluffing, or just someone who enjoys great games, you’ll definitely want to check this game out! Will you manage to board your passengers before another player sends your train out of the station? Prove you are the most efficiently at boarding passengers and building trains in Station Master! Pledge today to get your copy!

10K Away!

The Titan Series is just 10K away from funding! We’ve revealed additional details about the games by James Ernest, Paul Peterson, and Jordan & Zach Weisman in the Kickstarter updates! Backer-exclusive box art is now a thing! We’ve also got another exciting announcement on the horizon. Have you joined the Titans?

GTS Come and Play Day!

Lynnwood Giraffe

The faraway land of Lynnwood is filled with stranger creatures than gamers.

PR Gremlin Cassidy here, reporting on GTS Come and Play Day. This was my first event with Calliope, and I can’t believe I’m getting paid to have so much fun! (Don’t tell Ray I said that, though–he might get ideas.) Retailers from LFGSs (Local Friendly Game Stores) all across the Pacific Northwest piled into the Lynnwood Convention Center to schmooze with publishers, demo games, and hear some pre-Gen Con announcements. Continue reading

The Secret Life of an American Geek Mom features Calliope Games

“A new company has surfaced with parents and families in mind.  At Gen Con this year I had the opportunity to talk with Ray Wehrs, president of Calliope Games.  Their mission is to provide games that get kids and parents together for face-to-face entertainment.  To do this, their games play in under 60 minutes, support 2 or more players, are easy to learn, and work well with a wide range of ages.  And here’s the best part.  They make games that are fun for both adults and kids to play together!”

Read the full article here.

©The Secret Life of an American Geek Mom