Last October at Essen Spiel, the Hub Games team were working hard - as usual - on getting their games into the hands of as many people as possible. Of course, Essen is an amazing opportunity for exploring the world of games, and with over 1000 new releases at the 2018 event, there were plenty of exciting new titles for us to check out when we had a few moments away from the booth. One of the exhibitors who caught our eye was a company from Japan by the name of Gotta2, showing off a couple of titles they had developed and were releasing for the first time at the show. Rory sat down, played a little game called Flip Over Frog, and then said “huh…”
This is A Good Thing. At Hub Games, we like it when something makes us go “huh…” - it means that there’s something different in there, something under the surface that may not be immediately apparent. We take a moment to pause and consider, to think past the initial assumption and delve that little bit deeper. With his interest piqued, Rory picked up a copy, and a bunch of us played it over the course of the following days. We played at the hotel. We played at the show. A couple of others on the team bought their own copies, and we all played at Dusseldorf Airport, even though we were exhausted and just wanted to be home. And every time we cracked open Flip Over Frog with someone new, we got the same reaction.
“Huh…” followed by a little nod and a slight smile.
Then, invariably, “OK, set it up, we’re playing again.”
We knew then that Flip Over Frog deserved to be in front of as wide an audience as possible. So, we spoke to Gotta2, and pretty soon after a deal was struck - one we’re delighted to announce today. The international version of Flip Over Frog, designed by Okabe Takuya and with brand new art by the wildly talented Matthieu Beaulieu will be published by Hub Games, and will be released in the Summer of this year.
At Hub Games, we strive to make things that fit into our philosophy. Games with Heart isn’t just a platitude on the shirts we wear at conventions - it’s a thing we actively do. The games we publish have to have a reason for existing, they need to have that “huh…” moment that makes you take a small step back, and when we found exactly that with Flip Over Frog, we knew that it had to be on our books. We’re delighted that we have the opportunity to bring this little game to a bigger audience, and can’t wait to show it to you all at our upcoming shows.
So, what *is* Flip Over Frog?
It’s a quick playing game for two to four players with a little bit of memory, a little area control, and a lot of surprisingly cutthroat action - all wrapped up with incredibly cute art packed with technicolour frogs. At the beginning of the game, players are secretly assigned a colourful family of frogs and given a handful of tiles. These depict the four frog types, and they’ll be played on to spaces on the board made up of a 4x4 grid. By cleverly placing tiles, you’ll flip adjacent ones, hiding some frogs and revealing others. At the end of the game, the player with the most face-up frogs in their colour is the winner. By planning ahead - and watching out for snakes - you’re sure to flip your frogs to victory!
However, this is not just a kids game. Yes, it’s bright. Yes, it’s cute. Yes, it’s really easy to understand - play a tile, flip adjacent ones, draw a tile - but this is not a game to be underestimated. Despite its very straightforward ruleset, there is a surprising level of complexity in such small box. It levels the playing field beautifully, no matter what the age and skill level of the players might be. It grabs you, keeping you engaged until the final tile is placed - and then someone says “OK, set it up, we’re playing again.”
We can't wait to see what you all think of it!