This review is a little different than many of our others. Rather than reviewing a game, we are going to review components made by a game manufacturer. LongPack Games provided us with their Designer Pack so we could talk about the different kinds of items they can help designers produce. As game designers ourselves, this was particularly interesting to look at.
So let's start with a list of what was included in the designer pack:
First, there was a variety of boxes, from the slide-out box everything came packed in, to the three different types of boxes that held the materials inside the main box. All boxes are fully wrapped with color images and have a smooth matte finish.
The main box also has a gorgeous spot UV on it that really makes the main spaceship stand out. It also showcases embossed foil text which does a great job of catching the light and drawing your eye to the box. This box uses a simple matching ribbon to allow the user to pull (slide) the inside of the box out to get to the components. The main box is about the same thickness as a stout box from The Game Crafter.
The three different types of boxes are made of what appears to be thick cardstock. One style is the standard tuck box, one is a box whose lid slides up to come off, and the last is one where you can push the item inside on one side to make it come out the other. Of the three, our favorite is the box with the lid that pulls up. As someone who regularly struggles to open a tuck box without ripping it, this option really solves that problem for us. Though, I would be remiss if I did not say that the tuck boxes did open without any stubbornness. They appear to be sized well so this would likely not be an issue.
Within the first box, there are three things.
First is an insert that holds the two components in place. The insert is shaped so that the two components inside fit snuggly. One component is an odd shape, so this means that inserts can be crafted into custom shapes. It also contains a lid to ensure that nothing slides out of place when moving the box.
The first component inside is a lovely large metal coin. The coin is about two inches wide and contains several color enamels on it, as well as words that are legible and the image of the spaceship from the main box cover. This coin has some serious heft to it and feels extremely solid when handled. The enamel on the coin sinks in and is not flush with the top of the coin meaning that the coin has texture rather than being a single smooth surface. The details on the coin are impressive, with even the smallest text (our guess is that it is maybe font size 4pt) being crisp and easy to read.
The other item included in this box is a screen printed (or we think it is screen printed) metal keychain that appears to be sealed in a resin of sorts. The colors printed on the metal are vibrant and the finish is clear, smooth, and free from any bubbles
The next box contained another insert. This one was more a generic open container to fit a large odd-shaped object. This odd-shaped object is also our favorite thing in the whole designer pack, a wooden block meeple robot. This adorable little robot dude shows off a few different-sized wooden cubes that LongPack Games offers, as well as showing how those cubes can be etched, cut, and painted. We named our robot Mr. Meeple and we are seriously tempted to hide him in other photos of games that we review and have a whole Where's Waldo thing happening. Also, the Pudgy Cat is obsessed with Mr. Meeple and is constantly trying to steal him.
Our next (and last) tuck box contained another insert and lid and several acrylic and plastic shapes.
There were two acrylic swords that had been cut in the shape of a sword and then screen printed with the image of the sword on them. Each sword contained a base that it could be inserted into. The swords went smoothly into each base and stayed firmly in place once inserted. With a good tug, you could remove the sword from the base to allow it to be broken down and stored in a more practical way. What these swords showed us is that the margin for wiggle room with the laser cut pieces is minimal. As someone who recently learned about bleeds and shift, this can be really important to get a finished product that looks the way you intended.
The plastic pieces were custom shapes with stickers on them featuring some aliens and a space gun. The stickers were sized well to fit the odd-shaped plastic pieces and showed no signs they would peel off. There were printed on metallic sticker paper that gives them a polished look.
The box with the pull-off lid contained a unique deck of square playing cards. The cards are glossy and the face cards show the beautiful colors that print on them. The cards themselves are snappy and the glossiness really makes them feel nice as you handle them.
The last box contained another insert and lid, this one holding two miniatures. As someone who 3d prints a lot, I spend a good amount of time looking at minis and determining details and quality. The two warrior miniatures that were included have a superb level of detail. You can clearly make out their faces and clothing textures. They are very lightweight, but still feel solid and not as though they would easily snap. We were very impressed with the quality of the minis provided. Even without being painted, these minis would be a welcome asset to a game and help to create a good-looking game.
The products we were provided in the Designer Pack definitely got our game design brains going. The quality was truly stellar and as designers, we would absolutely consider working with LongPack Games when it comes to manufacturing our stuff.