Button Shy 2016 Wallet Game Contest Finalists

It's time to announce the Button Shy 2016 Wallet Game Design Contest finalists! We had 73 entries total and 15 have made it to the next level. With themes ranging from space battles to pocket lint (kind of!), this was a fun and tough competition to judge. 

And before we get to the finalists, I want to quickly thank and mention everyone who judged the games.

There were over 350 surveys from the following 11 judges:

Chip Beauvais
Ben Begeal 
Josh Edwards

Ryan Cowler
Matthew Gravelyn
Nicole Kline
Kevin Kulp
Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Mike Mullins
Jason Tagmire
Jay Treat

And now let's check out the finalists!

Note: Some of these videos are unable to be viewed due to privacy settings. We'll update them here as they become available. 

Broadside: Kraken Skulls

Alex Cutler-Freese & Jason Miceli

Players are pirate captains caught in a whirlpool with a giant kraken in the center. They must battle their opponents’ ships as well as fight the pull of the whirlpool to avoid the clutches of the kraken. By strategically choosing the order in which to take actions provided on a set of cards, players vie to attain nautical superiority on the high-seas!

Broadside: Kraken' Skulls from Alex Cutler-Freese on Vimeo.



Circle the Wagons

Danny Devine & Steve Aramini & Paul Kluka

Each player is fixin' to build up their own boomtown, but only one'll build the best in the West! Blaze a trail by draftin' cards 'round the circle and placin' 'em in yer town, tryin' to connect matchin' territories to score Prosperity Points! But don't forget about them 3 bonus cards in the center of the circle that can score ya even more points - that is, if ya play yer cards right. With darn near 5,000 unique ways to score and millions of draftin' and placin' combos, you'll never build the same town twice!



Find Your Seats

Mitchell Shipman

In Find Your Seats, players take the roles of party planners having a terrible day.  They have completely misplaced their seating plan!  Each player will start with a hand of cards representing dinner guests and, over three rounds, draft what they believe to be the best group of guests to sit next to each other. Players score points based on the seating arrangement of their guests.  The player with the most points in a round wins the round, the player with the most round-wins will win the game.



Daniel Solis

A 14-card game for 2 players lasting about 5 minutes, Fortnight has rival armies build the strongest forts in the last 2 weeks before peace becomes official.  The player with the most points in a row or column will win the points in that row or column.  Players decide these points in secret at the start of the game, but they won’t be revealed until the end.




Duane Kolar

You are a fledgling inventor, attempting to attract the attention of your next billionaire superhero. You and your lab-mate have developed a stockpile of resources and plans, but now you are competing for the same job. Your benefactor requires four items: a costume, gadget, vehicle and hideout. Whoever build the best HeroTec most quickly will get the job.




Mark McGee & Daniel Solis

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer.  In the game, cards depict fragments of broken pottery which you repair by placing cards in positions to overlap other cards and connect fragments together. When completed, you take the role of critic for your opponent to determine if they have mastered the art. You can win as the better artist, critic or both.


Mint Julep

Dan Letzring

You are in attendance of an amazing horse race and your goal is to end up with betting slips for the most successful horses.  In Mint Julep, players draft cards and manipulate the race to ensure their horses finish in the top spots.  Be careful where you place your bets because the higher the bet, the bigger the risk.


Night Shift

Benny Sperling

Night Shift is a 2-4 player drafting where players choose cards, shift them and score based on their conditions.  The shifting player tableaus mean that change can be your friend or enemy.  You must choose wisely in order match the conditions on the cards while the night moves around you.

Night Shift Elevator Pitch from Benny Sperling on Vimeo.

Nitro Drift

Rob Cramer

The Drift Cup pushes world-class drift racers to their limits.  They have to use their nitro wisely all while navigating a field of hazards build to take them out.  Race for the cup and put the pedal to the metal.


Odd Socks

John du Bois

A sock has been lost in their laundry, going to the Magical Land Lost Socks Go To.  To win, players must deduce which sock went missing and get its mate into their laundry basked before all the socks are sorted.

One Tough Mutter

Daniel Newman & Doug Levandowski

This 2 player deck-building has you experiencing your first day at the Museum of Medical Maladies.  Unfortunately, there has been a miscommunications and only one of you will be getting the prestigious Curator position.  Whichever of you can assemble the most intriguing exhibit using the museum’s artifacts will get the job.

One Tough Mütter from Daniel Newman on Vimeo.



Quick Change

Jason Slingerland

2-4 Superheroes try their best to get into their super suits and grab their super items while sharing the last phone booth in New York City.


That Snow Moon

Dave Chalker

In this space opera inspired, non-intellectual property infringing game, players are each dropping/tossing their cards onto the table.  One side is trying to assemble a particular set to allow them to win, all while hiding their base from the other.  They must outwit and outguess each other, while using their special abilities to win the game.



The Whaleship Essex

Greg Loring-Albright

Inspired by the inspiration for Moby Dick, this tabletop ‘cardiatures’ game has players taking on the roles of either whalers hunting the whales, or the whales themselves attempting to smash the other’s boats.  Players must use their cards wisely for both maneuvers and combat, as the fight has just begun.


Wallet Warriors

Jeremy Stoltzfus

Wallet Warriors is a 2 player drafting and card combat game where each player drafts a team of 5 warriors to battle them against the other player.  Using their warrior abilities wisely, players work to be the last one standing when the battle ends.


Stay tuned for the winners, to be announced June 24, 2016! There will be one first place winner ($100), and two runners up ($50). Looking forward to playing them all!

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