Extra Life 2015


Once a year, gamers all over the world come together to play games… for the kids!

Extra Life is a 24 hour event that brings together gamers of all types: board gamers, video gamers, RPGers – heck, even lawn gamers. If it’s a game in pretty much any way shape or form, it counts. The concept is really simple:

  1. Raise money to play games.
  2. Play said games.
  3. All of the money goes to help sick children.

This year, Boardgame Corner participated with the Haunted Game Cafe. Mark, Randy, and I gamed non-stop from 10am-5am (Saturday/Sunday).

I’m happy to report we raised $405 as Boardgame Corner, $4434 as Team Haunted Game Cafe, and over $6.7 million for all of Extra Life.

All of this money will be going to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, to help save kids’ lives.


Here’s a recap of our day and the games we played.


The doors of Haunted Game Cafe (HGC) opened for the day. We unloaded our cars and got things set up at good ol’ table #3. We might have overpacked a bit.jacob-mark-game-set-up-nanoannotable-3-boardgame-corner-nanoanno

After that, Jacob, Randy, and I settled into a quick game of The Grizzled.



Brett Sobol, from Navuoo Games, and his wife, Tessa, came up to join us for the day.


Brett is the co-designer of Stockpile, an economic board game about insider trading. I know, that sounds super dry, but I promise you it is incredibly fun and entertaining.

I’d been dying to give the game a play since meeting Brett at GenCon. He taught five of us how to play and we dove right in. I played as Mayknow Martha, and I’m pretty sure I used the insider knowledge power on Jacob at least 4 of the 5 rounds. Whoops :)

After an epic ending of Stockpile (my 172k just wasn’t quite enough moolah), The Grizzled made its second appearance of the day. Brett and Tessa hadn’t played yet, so I taught them how to play and we went into the trenches. Successfully so, I might add.the-grizzled-extra-life-nanoanno


One of the things I enjoy most about events like these is meeting new people. We met Adrienne when she joined our game of The Grizzled. She was pretty new to the hobby, outside of games like Scrabble. So after The Grizzled, we asked her to pick any game she wanted from the game library and we’d teach her how to play. She choice Jaipur, one of my favorites. Since it’s only a 2-player game, I taught her and Anna how to play.



After Brett and his wife got back from lunch, we jumped into a prototype of a new abstract game, tentatively being called Pentoggle. The concept is similar to Qwirkle, except 3D and with hexes instead of squares – which actually gives you quite a few more ways to score points.



After that, I played a not-so-heavy game with the Heavy Cardboard guys, Edward and Tony.

The type of games these guys typically play (and podcast about) are pretty intense on the strategy side of things. For reference, I asked Edward what some of his favorite games were… and I hadn’t even heard of a single one of them. Think all planning, zero luck, and the type of game where one game can last 2 or 3 (or more) hours.

But when they pulled out a game with colorful blocks, little ladders, and wooden people, it looked like it’d be right up my alley.

The goal of the game in The Climbers is to make it higher than everyone else. You’re moving blocks and, well, as you’d expect… climbing. It’s the perfect mix of both dexterity and strategy.



The day was flying by! In the weeks leading up to Extra Life, I built a list of all of the games I wanted to play during the marathon – thinking I’d need to plan head to keep myself busy. This was clearly not the case as at 4pm I’d only played one game of my list of about 15.

I’d also kind of forgotten to eat, so Jacob brought me some food and we had a super late lunch. All fueled up, it was time to get back to the games.


Recently I discovered a new game company called Grail Games. They make smaller sized card games with GORGEOUS artwork. Straight up my type of game.

I recently ordered Matcah, a two-player game about making tea. It’s basically like Love Letter and Lost Cities and Arboretum all had a baby. This game was on my list to play during Extra Life, and I’m happy to report that Jacob and I played it not only once, but twice.

PS: Stay tuned for some full reviews of Grail Games, coming soon to a blog near you ;)



After a couple rounds of Matcha, I went back over to the Boardgame Corner table where we broke out Specter Ops. Since there were plenty of people around, we were able to play a 5-player game, which meant we got to play with the secret traitor variant.

We’d only played one game this way and while we all quite enjoyed it, Mark was the traitor and he kept it a secret until the very end. This time around, guess who was the traitor again ;) however, he disclosed this information about half way through the game. It was pretty fun when things turned two against three, though I’m happy to report that the hunters still won.



After an epic ending of Specter Ops, we jumped into a game of Legendary Encounters. This is a co-op deck building game based on the Alien movies.

I thought the game was pretty fun, but not being a huge fan of the Alien universe (and not having seen the movies in a really long time), a lot of the movie references were lost on me. However, if you’re a fan of the movies, I’d highly recommend the game, face huggers and all.



Next up was another game of The Grizzled.


To lighten the mood after the battle, I broke out one of my favorite little fillers, Dweebies. The goal of the game in Dweebies is quite simple, collect the most of these adorable little creatures.




At this point in the evening, some people were starting to wind down and head out. But we had more games to play! Jacob was kind enough to bring us some bw3 and we all guzzled a 5 hr energy.

jacob-ann-getting-sleepy-extra-life-nanoanno energy-extra-life-nanoanno

All fueled up and ready go, we broke out the Pandemic Legacy.


Though Jacob and I had already played through the entire game, we were both looking forward to playing it again with Mark and Randy. Chris and Chris (also known as “Chris” and “other Chris” with no particular reference assigned to either one) from Mr. B games decided join in on the game. Pumped and ready to go, we entered into our first game in January.


We won, and advanced into February, which was incredibly brutal for us, with back to back loses. Moving into March we found victory again.


When the five o’clock hour rolled around, things at HGC started to shut down for the evening (or morning, depending on how you look at it). Originally I was planning on gaming for 24 straight hours, 10am-10am. We had planned for Pandemic Legacy to be the game to carry us through, but that’s okay. Just a slight miscommunication on the plans/timeline of the event.

We boxed up the game and headed home to our own individual pillows.

16 games. 19 hours. And $6.7 million later, I call that a success.

PS: If you want to donate to the cause, you can do so here :)

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