Gum-sized Microgames: An Interview with Chris Handy of Pack O Game | Casual Game Revolution

Gum-sized Microgames: An Interview with Chris Handy of Pack O Game

Pack O Game

Pack O Game is a series of tiny microgames that have raised over $30,000 on Kickstarter. These games appear to be ideal for casual gamers who are looking for portability. We reached out to the designer and publisher, Chris Handy, to learn more about these little gems.

CGR: Hi Chris! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and congrats on a fantastic Kickstarter campaign for Pack O Game! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your gaming background?

Chris Handy

CH: I've always had a passion for board games. I have many memories making up games as a child and trying to get family members to play them. I obsessed about Magic: The Gathering in the early 1990’s and then euro-games later in that decade. In 2000, I developed my first board game design, Long Shot, which has a great way of mixing casual gameplay with interesting gamer-like decisions. Since then, I've refined my craft of designing highly approachable strategy games. Last year’s Cinque Terre (Rio Grande Games) is a good example of the kinds of games I enjoy designing. A simple rule set and low entry-point paired with deep, difficult game decisions is a recipe I’m often drawn to as a game designer. In 2007, I launched, a board game retail site focused on "Gateway games" and new gamers. This site was fueled by a deep desire to spread my love of approachable strategy games to all types of people.

CGR: When did you begin designing microgames, and why?

CH: I sometimes experiment with card sizes in my middle-weight games, mostly to create a thin layer of uniqueness in the card playing aspect of the game. I stumbled upon an interesting card size last year.  In making a card/tile-laying game, I decided on a card size of 1 inch by 3 inches for the initial prototype.  I was shocked by what this card size could offer in terms of gameplay. Since then, I've developed a whole card game line based on this card size. It’s called Pack O Game, and each deck is the size of a Wrigley’s 5-pack of gum. There are exactly 30 cards (1 x 3 inch) and a single rule sheet packed into each game box.  There are a variety of mechanics, complexity, and themes in this series of games. I’ve carefully playtested and revised each game to create the best possible gaming experience, with the least amount of size, money, and effort. I’m thrilled with the results, knowing how much gaming they’ve added to my own life since I’ve been testing them.

Pack O Game

CGR: Wow, these games are incredibly small! I see that a carrying case is included at some reward levels on your campaign. What size is it and how many games will it hold?

Yes, they are small. But, as gamers, we like to have OPTIONS! We've had dozens of samples sent to us over the last few months to find the perfect case for these games. We've looked at bank bags, fanny packs, cinch sacks, and other items. When we received the sample, which we call the POD, we were thrilled. It's the perfect case for them. The POD is a limited print run edition carrying case that allows you to carry 7 games (comfortably) and 4 more laid across the top inside the case.