A staple I do in all interviews in order to start things off is to ask that you elaborate a bit about your game (s) that people might not know?
Shari: Many of our titles at Breaking Games
Could you tell us a bit about the Breaking Games line-up heading into the fall/holiday season?
At $20, this family-friendly game for 3-6 players (Ages 13+) offers hilarity, strategy, and promises a ton of fun. The premise of the game is that every person named Jonathan has been accidentally teleported to a single dimension. To correct this error, each player must become a Jonathan and prove that you are the most Jonathan-y Jonathan that ever Jonathaned in this dimension. This title is exclusively sold at Barnes & Nobel and of course, on BreakingGames.com
An incredibly relevant game, Political Animals is for ages 8 and older, 2-5 players, and cost $35, and was designed not to divide but to bring a common understanding among fiscal conservatives, social liberals, financial liberals, and social conservatives alike. Players compete to pass policies that befit their agendas and make efforts to vote strategically and anticipate how other players will vote. The player whose agenda prevails at the end of the game is the winner.
This $20 party card game for 3-6 players age 17 and older is a parody of city life in a world run by pigeons. Due to high rent, each pigeon must find a nestmate that compliments their individual character and personality. I’m sure many of us can relate!
This $25 family game for 2-3 players ages 12 and older is perfect for Halloween, as it has a witch theme. Each player dances around a cauldron and throws wands into witch’s brew stew which will subsequently turn out better wands. The first witch to collect 13 snazzy new wands wins!
The global situation around COVID-19 has certainly adjusted a number of markets, has there been a large impact in the board games market in regards to distribution or customer interaction?
Shari: We have noticed increased sales in mass-market games, which makes sense. Because so many of us are at home now, we look for other ways to entertain and board games is a natural option.
In addition, Breaking Games has become heavily involved now in the creation and manufacturing of puzzles on a large scale, as that has become another extremely popular activity during COVID-19. However, the hobby portion has suffered due to limited opening in retail stores and this is very unfortunate.
For those interested in working with Breaking Games in regards to having their work published, what sort of attributes does the company look at?
Shari: We look at both the brilliance of the potential game itself and the talent and personality of the designer(s). Of course, the game has to have playability, unique qualities, great mechanics but we also have to hit it off with the game designer in terms of chemistry.
Creating a game from inception to getting it on store shelves can take years, so we are entering into a long-term arrangement. We don’t have to agree on everything but we have to be able to work with one another in a way that’s fluid, respectful, and of course, with fun and humor.
I quite enjoyed Sparkle Kitty Nights, I understand Shadow Kitty is being teased on the Breaking Games site. Could you give us a bit of a tease in regards to what this iteration will be like?
Shari: While I can’t give away too much, I can say this about Shadow Kitty: You play as wonderful witches who must work together to free their friendly familiars from the confines of the Cursed Clock, and you break their curse by speaking enchanting spell combinations, like Sniffer*Whiffer, Trash*Pigeon & Fluffy*Nightmare!
When looking ahead, are there any other Breaking Games releases you’d like to tease?
Shari: We are producing a game that is very unique to Breaking Games - KROMA, which is launching in Q1 2021 but the Kickstarter goes live later this year. You literally see strategy in a whole new light when you play this award-winning color-blending strategy game for up to 3 players. You capture “territory” by stacking colorful acrylic pieces across a lightboard, resulting in a unique composition of colors and shapes.
If you had to pick a game from your line-up to suggest, what would it be and what qualities of it do you feel are a highlight for those looking at something new to play?
Shari: Besides the four games mentioned above, an upcoming game is Cafe Chaos, a food-fight game that features a crazy fun cast of characters from Odd 1s Out, James Rallison, and features many popular YouTube animators … all with unique powers! I join the game as the Queen of Cards in the new Royal Pack. There are tons of funny food and topping combos, like “juicy monster fish taco dripping in nacho cheese” or a “soggy footlong oozing in marshmallow.”
For a more fun type of question, are you more of a board game or card game type of individual?
Shari: I truly love playing both but I find myself playing card games more because they tend to be quicker, and I’m short on time most of the time!
While it’s always fun to talk about what’s next, is there a Breaking Games board game of the past you might be interested in highlighting?
Shari: I love Letter Tycoon - it’s an amazing game that we are in the process of redesigning. You spell words by using cards from both your hand and the community letters. What makes this game so special is players earn money by spelling words while also spending money to collect “patents" on letters during the game - some with special powers. The bank pays money on "patents" to the players who hold them when another player uses that letter, just like a designer earns royalties on their real patents!
Lastly I would like to leave a spot for you to say something or go over anything I might have missed during the interview?
Shari: Developing games sounds like a fun job by any measure - but holding a distanced and diverse team together while keeping spirits high during these trying times has been a challenge.
It has made me (I hope) a stronger leader with tougher skin and yet I have also had to become more understanding and flexible in all areas. We’re all learning and growing together, with the hopes of providing endless entertainment to anyone who loves tabletop games!
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