There are two big questions whenever people have to organize a Tabletop Gaming Night. How big of a table will we have? And how much tabletop room will we need? This gets even more complicated when there is more than one game; or worse, when someone plans on bringing a game that no one has played before. The questions multiply: will there be cards? Dice? Cards and Dice? Tiles? Tokens? Meeples? Has the game been “punched” yet? If so, are all the pieces still there? If not, will there be a way to store them all?
We have all struggled to find ways to store game components, not to mention ways to keep everything within reach during the game. Some games come with trays, bags, or boxes, and game stores sell professionally made accessories. But often there ends up being an improvised solution, resulting in an assortment of zip-lock bags, fabric bags, household bowls, boxes, old pill bottles, etc. Wouldn’t it be great to have a single system that could be used to store AND use your game components for any game?
That’s what Alberta’s own Cloud Puncher Games, who designed the Box Throne board game shelf system, wants to do with their upcoming Kickstarter campaign for Token Sesame. They want to do for game components what they’ve done for games: make a system that is practical, durable, versatile and beautiful too. And from what I’ve seen so far, they’ve succeeded. Token Sesame uses a set of wedge-shaped plastic trays that allow you to grab whatever item you might need, while preventing those same items from spilling out all over the table. The trays are designed to fit together, allowing for a wide variety of configurations. You want a carousel? You can make one. Forgot your dice tray? Not a problem. Game board taking up too much room? Rise above it all with a staircase configuration. It’s fully modular! They even boast of the “pick-up-ability” of the trays.
My favourite part, and the thing that caught my attention in the pre-campaign advertising, was the artwork. Cloud Puncher has commissioned 13 different artists to create colourful, removable panels. These artists have already illustrated such well-known games as Gloomhaven, Everdell and Sagrada, with new options being one of the main focuses for stretch goals. So you can see why I’m excited.
The campaign length is about average, going from August 11th to September 10th, 2020, which is ironic because they made their base goal in less than an hour. But that just means you have lots of time to choose your artwork and decide your pledge level. Even though this is a Canadian campaign, the pledge prices are in USD. One full “modular body kit”, including trays, one set of art plates, a dice tray insert, a card holder insert, metal legs, as well as a plastic lid for “travel mode” is accompanied by a digital “pick your destiny” interactive novel. Extra art plate sets can be bought as add-ons.
Let’s get down to the numbers. One set with art is $99 USD) and $198 for a double set. Five (5!!) sets with five unique art sets is $499. The extra art plate add-ons are also cheaper the more you get: One set is $25, three sets $75, and five sets are $125. Yes, these prices sound high, but you are getting a lot for your money.
Finally, let’s talk shipping. Shipping will be charged after the campaign ends, but the estimates look pretty good. Using the “zone” system, Canada is in Zone 3 (along with Australia), which isn’t too bad. Zone 1, the cheapest prices, includes the USA (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), Hong Kong, and China. At zone 3 prices, one storage set with one art set is $22; one storage set 3 art sets is $27; two storage sets with 2 art sets is $31; five storage sets with art sets is $39; and five storage sets with 5 art sets is $69. For North America, the UK, the EU, Australia, China and Hong Kong, all sales tax and import tax will be included in the cost of shipping, for the rest of the world, tax and import fees will be extra. There is also a warning that Token Sesame will not be shipped to PO boxes or APO (army post office) boxes, with a suggestion that Post Office Box users “find a local address instead”.