Having A Go At Monthly Game Subscription Services – Board Game Bento

February 14, 2017 by deltagamegirl22

Board Game Bento - A Box Of Board Games Every Month

Being a huge fan of board games, I have taken the plunge into a monthly gaming subscription from a company called Board Game Bento. This little gem delivers a box to you every month with three board/card games in it, based around a central theme.

Board Game Bento Main

I’ve looked at monthly game services before, and have never really been tempted because the range of things you receive in the shipments was too wide. Let’s consider the Magic ones, for example. I would only want those for the cards and not the miscellaneous other things (bobble heads, toys, etc.). Board Game Bento promises at least three games in each box. They got my attention.

Is it Value For Money?

Let’s start with the obvious. The service is $50.00 a month or $45.00 a month if you buy six months at a time. For this price, they guarantee you at least $80.00 of board games and accessories in each box (yes, I said accessories, but that would be in addition to three games, not in place of).

Box Open

Naturally, the first thing I did after looking at the contents of the first box, was price up the games that were included - for a grand total of $76.62.

These prices were compared through the use of Amazon Prime, which includes shipping, so I thought that was a fair assessment that ultimately showed I was money ahead in the first box alone. Box #2 came in around $72.00- so consistently at a good value.

Adding A Theme Is a Clever

I mentioned earlier that the boxes were themed and when I signed up for the service, I got in just after they started a three-part theme of Then. Now and Forever (aka Past, Present & Future). Much to Gianna’s disappointment, I missed the “Then” box. However, I have since received the Present and Future boxes - and I’m impressed.

They include a nice little description sheet in each box that highlights the theme as well as which games are included and a nice description of each game.

Box #1 - The Present

My first Board Game Bento box included three games- a small, a medium and a large. The first is Slushfund Two, a political card game for two players by Dr. Finn’s Games. Next in line was Exposed, a card/tile game of deduction by Overworld Games. And last, but not least, was the resource management game of Capitals, from Mercury Games.

Box Contents

First impressions of the box was that I had never heard of any of these games, which is not a bad thing. Part of the reason I wanted to try this service is like the fun of exploring new games at conventions. After getting into each game and having read the rules, it became obvious to me that I liked the sound of each game, but I quickly realised that as much as the board game Capitals appealed to me, it would not be a game that my family would like to play.

It’s a rather lengthy resource management game where players are trying to build the most impressive and successful city. It takes a considerable amount of time to get through the rules with others and unfortunately that would not hold the attention of my teenage boys.

This is a game that I would have to find the right group of people to play with to enjoy it. The game itself is lovely and its art reminds me of look of classic jigsaw puzzles.

First Box

The other two games were perfect additions to our house, though - quick and easy to learn, fun to play and games that would be played more than once. Exposed was the obvious favorite from this box. It’s a beer and pretzels style game where players are thieves trying to keep their identity hidden while picking the pockets of others.

The art style is quirky and amusing as the tiles and cards feature a clothed and “exposed” (not naked) version of each character. You cannot hide your smile as characters become “Exposed.”

Slushfund 2 is a fast card game for two players that comes with two premade decks. Politicians are laid in the middle of the table and players take turns playing money cards from their hands to exert influence. The player with the most influential politician wins.

I’ll be honest and say that they theme didn’t seem that interesting to me initially, but the gameplay quickly changes your mind as you find yourself sinking to a whole new level trying to undermine your opponent’s efforts.

Box #2 - The Future

My second Board Game Bento box was a home run! We like all three of these games and I had only heard of one of them. The box included: The quick and easy card game, Control by Keymaster Games; the fast and furious card game, PBL Robots by Hidden Ladder Games; and the Sci-Fi deck building game Eminent Domain by Tasty Minstrel Games.

The Future Box

This box also had two extra goodies in it. There was an exclusive Robot card for Board Game Bento for the PBL Robots game, and a fourth bonus, single play game called Planet Surprise by Notre Game. Let’s start with that one.

Planet Surprise by Notre Game is a scratch and play, disposable game, much like scratch-off lottery tickets. I love playing scratch-off tickets, so I was intrigued, however, this one fell flat for me. Gianna and I tried this one and we both felt the same - it’s an interesting concept, but we didn’t feel it had any strategy involved or any real benefit to playing it against other people.

It plays over the course of ten rounds with players alternating their turns, choosing actions to scratch off on their cards. Different actions allow you to peek at the other player’s card, but we didn’t find a benefit to this as your choice of actions never guaranteed an appropriate response to dealing with whatever you saw.

This game has been previewed at conventions but has not yet been for sale, so I’m not sure what the price is. But, given that you buy it all, I’d rather purchase a scratch off lottery ticket and have a chance to win something.

Control is awesome. This game is not only easy to learn, but it’s quick, fun and looks great. In this game, players find themselves stranded as their time machines have run out of fuel. You must work on restoring your time machine’s fuel cells and sabotage your opponents’ efforts as they work on theirs.

Main Games

The art is done in fantastic, comic style sepia and the tokens are metal coins! They had me at the tokens. What a nice touch in a game. Love this one and we will definitely play more of it.

PBL Robots was also a neat surprise. To anyone that likes to play things like Battletech and such, this game is a winner. Players start with a pilot and construct the robot. This is all done with cards and the goal is to destroy your opponent’s robot. On your turn, players can either build or attack, so you have to manage your priorities in order to succeed. Robots is a keeper, for sure.

And lastly is Eminent Domain from Tasty Minstrel Games. This is a deck-building game where players fight to control the most planets. You can approach your success through fighting or cultivation and it has a great flow to gameplay that offers plenty of options in how you respond to what your opponents are doing on their turns. Another keeper that appealed to everyone.

Overall Thoughts

I’m glad I took the leap into Board Game Bento. I’m getting a great new bundle of games each month, most of which I really like and will play more than once, and it encourages you to look at games that you may not have tried otherwise.

As I mentioned earlier, I really appreciate the fact that it is a board game subscription that gives you board games and not a bunch of other goofy things that you may or may not want. The next theme is Epic Fantasy and I’m really looking forward to seeing what arrives.

What do you think of a board game monthly subscription service?

"This little gem delivers a box to you every month with three board/card games in it, based around a central theme..."

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"The next theme is Epic Fantasy and I’m really looking forward to seeing what arrives..."

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