Review: The Board Game Arcade, our first Kickstarted event!

Thanks to 49 wonderful people, on Thursday September 29th, the Board Game Arcade was successful backed on Kickstarter, even surpassing our goal by $111!

We really could not have done this without you. Thank you all so much.

The Board Game Arcade opened our doors at 10am, and thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers – plus an epic soundtrack to keep the party going – ToBeGosu was able to put on 12 hours of tabletop gaming awesomeness at the Hotel Durant in Berkeley.

Our unique tickets-for-prizes system, inspired by the likes of Chuck-e-Cheese proved to be an exciting addition for both new and experienced tabletop gamers. It was wonderful to see people get so excited about winning tickets, and make so many great friends along the way.

Winning tickets for beating Pandemic on

Winning tickets for beating Pandemic on “Hardcore Mode”


ToBeGosu Board Game Arcade

The Prize Vault at the Board Game Arcade

Despite the difficulties over figuring out how best to award tickets, and how many tickets prizes should cost so that we wouldn’t run out of them too fast, it managed to work out perfectly. While smaller prizes were claimed at a steady pace all day, our big 50 ticket prizes were only claimed right at the end of the night, but to our delight, they all went home with somebody.

ToBeGosu Board Game Arcade

ToBeGosu Board Game Arcade

In addition to tickets and prizes in the main hall we also had a number of special events downstairs.

The local Netrunner came out in force to compete in our tournament for the chance to win tickets, and an a coveted metal ID card for their in-game “faction”.

ToBeGosu Board Game Arcade Netrunner

After that we had the 80s Battle Royale roleplaying adventure, run by another one of our volunteers.

In this streamlined roleplaying experience, our storyteller guided our heroes on a quest to stop Skeletor from smashing together the multi-verse, so that he could be supreme ruler of all universes. Chun Li, Captain Planet, Link, Thundercats, X-Men and Optimus Prime all had to come together so save all of reality.

My favourite moment was when Optimus Prime successfully passed a roll to discover a secret entrance and quipped, “Friends, I think that cave is, more than meets the eye

It was then that it was decided tickets could be awarded for good roleplaying.

ToBeGosu Roleplaying Games

Our final special event was a Laboratory Mayhem tournament. This locally designed game by a team of friends wants to rival Magic: The Gathering as a competitive card game title.

In the game, two alchemists battle it out for supremacy with an array of minions, specialising in metallurgy, toxicology or reanimation.

What I love about the Lab Mayhem crew is that they have really focused on building a community by teaching people to play, running tournaments and even starting their own league.

Follow them on Instagram or Twitter for news on their event where you can learn how to play!

ToBeGosu Laboratory Mayhem

Andrew is always excited to teach newcomers how to play!

One of the biggest take aways from the Board Game Arcade though, is that Captain Sonar is a very, very good game.

It was terrific to see four people strangers come together to form a team against another four players, as this game is based upon communicating well with your team.

ToBeGosu will definitely run some-sort of Captain Sonar tournament in the near future.

ToBeGosu Captain Sonar

One of our volunteers teaching Captain Sonar to a new crew of recruits

Thanks again to our Kickstarter backers, Hotel Durant, Games of Berkeley and Victory Point Cafe who provided the games, and of course, our tremendous team of dedicated volunteers.

We were regularly asked “Will you do this again?” and the answer is we don’t know. There were a lot of good ideas in the Board Game Arcade, that could probably stand on their own; a Captain Sonar tournament league, a Berkeley Board Gaming Convention, a local roleplaying club. Maybe the Board Game Arcade could be annual event, a monthly one, or a smaller part of other conventions.

We take a step back to review the Board Game Arcade and decide what the best course of action is next, but we once again thank you for your support, and we assure you, the Board Game Arcade will be back in one form or another.