It's International Women's Day and we thought it would be best to promote the underapprectiated (and generally unknown) female designers creating some of the best tabletop experiences in the world today.
1. Wingspan (Designed by Elizabeth Hargrave | Art by Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel )
This game is awesome. There's a reason it currently sits at number 20 on the BoardGameGeek rankings. This fun engine builder about bird-watching is an addictive puzzle that is constantly changing based on your opponent's turns. AS your collection of birds grow, so too does the string of combinations that can rocket you ahead of your opponents. If you haven't played this game yet, grab it now or drop in to the store to have a game with our library copy.
2. Point Salad (Designed by Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich)
Point Salad is a super simple card drafting game, similar in style to Sushi Go! where the goal is to collect a range of different vegetables that can score you points based on the collections shown on the back of the cards. This is a game that is quite easy to whip out on a lunch break or with your non-gaming friends and get them hooked on the hobby with you.
3. Bosk (Designed by Erica Bouyouris, Daryl Andrews)
This is such a fun game that it's disappointing more people aren't playing it. Bosk combines some great (and frankly, quite cutthroat) competitive area-control gameplay with the beautiful aesthetics of a national park. What Gabe the Intern said back in 2019 is spot on. Why aren't you playing it?
4. My Little Scythe (Designed by Vienna Chou, Hoby Chou | Art by Katie Khau, Noah Adelman)
What happens when your seven-year-old daughter comes up with a game inspired by one of the hottest titles of 2017? You help her write a Print & Play version, win Best Print & Play at the Board Game Geek Golden Geek Awards 2017, then have the original publisher print and release a fully-fledged version of it! That's what happened when a young Vienna Chou came up with a different way to play Scythe with her father Hoby.
In My Little Scythe, you take turns choosing to Move, Seek, or Make, which allows you to increase your friendship and pies, power up your actions, complete quests, learn magic spells, deliver gems and apples to Castle Everfree, and perhaps even engage in a pie fight against the other players. This game is not only well put together, but also easily played by the younger generation of tabletop enthusiasts.
5. Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth (Designed By Grace Holdinghaus, Nathan I. Hajek)
Want to have a strong role-playing adventure experience set in Middle Earth without needing to roll up a character sheet and rope in a dungeon master? Fantasy Flight Games has you covered with Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth (LotR: JiME).
With each game forming a small piece of a larger campaign, LotR: JiME gives you all the fantasy adventure you could ever want over an ever-shifting landscape of enemies and encounters. Better yet, it's all run from a companion app, so there's no need for a Game Master either!
This isn't a comprehensive list of all women-led game designs. Elizabeth Hargrave has a long list of women and non-binary designers and developers over on her website.
I'd also like to take this time to thank Jennah (who also co-designed Smiths of Winterforge) and Cassie, the other two owners of Vault Games for being the strong badass business women they are. Vault wouldn't be what it is today without them!