Tag Archives: Korea

Korea Boardgames 2018 Design Contest


  • Games with special components (no games only using cards, dice and tiles)
  • All themes and genres welcome!

Jury Criteria

  • Elegance (Easy rules that still provide interesting and engaging gameplay)
  • Technical Excellence (Well-rounded rules without loopholes or imbalances)
  • High Replay Value
  • Originality
  • Games with an interesting use of timers will get an advantage in the judge process

Entry Conditions

  • Both new and experienced authors may participate
  • Only original, unpublished games
  • Rules may be sent in English or Korean
  • No submissions by Korea Boardgames employees are allowed

Required Submission Content

  • Complete rules (.pdf, .doc or .ppt)
  • 1-2 Pictures of the game in progress
  • Game Description (not more than one A4-page)
  • Author Information Sheet with (scanned) signature find it here)
  • Prototype (only if selected for the final round)


US$ 1000 + the offer to publish the game at Korea Boardgames with a $1500 royalty down payment

US$ 500

Jury and Selection Process

  • The Jury will consist of the Korea Boardgames Editorial Team.
  • Jury decisions are final and there is no right of appeal.
  • No reason for elimination from the contest will be given.

Special Entry

The 2018 design contest is open to games with special physical devices. Entries with these devices will not need to send prototypes after passing the first round. However, a detailed explanation that clearly explains the device will be necessary.

Other Rules

  • The rights to the games remain with the authors at all times.
  • Submissions should be sent to: go@koreaboardgames.com
  • Korea Boardgames is not to be held liable for any unsolicited mailings
  • Entries that don’t fulfill the requirements outlined in section 3 of these rules will be disqualified
  • In case of fraud by participants, KBG reserves the right to withdraw or reclaim prizes as appropriate


Contest Announcement
February 12th

Submission Period
February 12th to June 1st

Finalist Announcement
July 23rd

Prototype Sending
July 23rd to August 17th

Finalist Testing
Until October 8th

Announcement of Winners
October 8th

King’s Pouch

I was a little hesitant to pick up Korea Boardgames’ King’s Pouch after last week’s review of Burano.

They’re both fairly weighty worker placement games, and I was worried about covering similar terrain. Do we really need more talk about pushing cubes?

However, King’s Pouch really is quite a different machine – and not just the bag building.

Wait, what’s bag building?

To answer that, we need to travel back to 2014. Dominion was a smashing success, deck building was beginning to show its age, and publishers were looking for the next big variation.

This is the best way to understand King’s Pouch, and why it became so overlooked.


After the king’s death, our realm has fractured into competing fiefdoms, each ruled by a would-be successor. Like you!

From the rulebook:

You will use your citizens to develop your lands, muster armies and amass wealth. You may even try to secure the goodwill of influential public figures, like the remainders of the royal family.

But never forget to keep the dishonest parts of your society in check: Excessive corruption may lead to your downfall sooner than you think.

It’s stock-standard medieval material: knights, taverns, lots of concern for wheat crops.

However, there’s also an emphasis on corruption, represented by good-for-nothing, layabout officials who stink up your kingdom with their greed. Corrupt officials are lazy so can’t be placed anywhere useful – a big problem in a worker placement game.

I love ordering the city watch (manned by my finest red soldier cubes) to throw them out!

City construction is also satisfying, with a little tableau reflecting each player’s strive for commercial, religious, or military might.

There’s a real sense of accomplishment in placing the Festival Plaza or sending your armies to (extremely abstract) victory. Unfortunately, almost all of this theme is conveyed mechanically.

You’re hiring workers, training them, setting them to work in various businesses – everything makes sense. But the artwork places that action in a generic medieval Europa.

With a little more effort, King’s Pouch could have been its own place in the world.


 So, what’s a bag builder? It’s deck building with a bag.

At the beginning of their turn, players draws five colored workers from their own pouch. These could be generic common citizens, soldiers, merchants or clerics – or despised corrupt officials.

Workers are placed on constructed buildings to generate resources (such as money or military strength), alter workers (such as upgrading common citizens to merchants) and trigger various unique abilities.

For example, the School building requires a cleric to activate, at which point it generates 5 victory points and converts a common citizen into a specialist. Makes sense, right?

Players generally construct a building each turn, and can also use military strength to conquer and re-conquer land representing the wider kingdom.

All drawn workers are set aside and replaced with new workers at the end of the turn. If there aren’t enough in the bag, old workers are returned and randomly re-drawn.

Like I said, deck building with a bag!

For newer players, there can be a strong ‘multiplayer solitaire’ vibe, but over time the strategies and interactions become clearer. The military struggle is particularly tense with two players, and adds some nice take-that to the mix.


King’s Pouch runs with the noble Euro tradition of wooden blocks.

Interestingly, specialist workers are cubes, while common citizens and corrupt officials are hexagonal prisms. This means they can be identified (with a little work) when players are pulling from the bag – allowing for some control and strategy in the draw.

This isn’t something I grok as a design choice, but many players enjoy the mini game, and it certainly leverages the bag building mechanic.

Otherwise, there’s not a lot to say about the components. The graphic design is functional but a little generic, and small cards reduce the overall visual impact on the table.

So King’s Pouch is all about the gameplay. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it is a missed opportunity.

What do others think?

King’s Pouch  had a fair-to-positive response, and is rated 6.8 on BoardGameGeek.

However, the game was unlucky enough to be released at the same time as the more thematic Hyperborea and Orléans, which dimmed its appeal.

Three completely different games all meshed together to create one experience that just flows really smoothly, really quickly – very quickly.

Rahdo Runs Through


There’s a lot of interesting things. It just doesn’t gel together as well as I’d like it to.

Tom Vasel


King’s Pouch has some clever ideas and everything just feels well thought out. Well, nearly everything…

Alex Singh


King’s Pouch draws a lot of different elements into a cohesive whole, while building on the (then) novel mechanic of bag building.

Everything flows incredibly smoothly – the listed play time really is much quicker for experienced players – and even when you’re being completely thumped you can see how to do better next time.

If you can look past the vanilla theme, King’s Pouch is definitely a game that deserves more attention.

4 grand banquets out of 5.

Number of Players: 2-4

Playing time: 60 mins

Age: 10+

Country: Korea

By: Korea Boardgames

Price: 24.99€ at NiceGameShop

Winners of the KBG Design Contest 2016

As stated before for this year we decided to have only two prizes which can be awarded multiple times. We would like to award the silver prize for unique and interesting games to three entries of our contest. Before announcing the winners first we want to thank all the participants of our contest. We had a good time playing the games and we are proud that our little contest which started 5 years ago grew to what it is now.

Now without further ado, the winners of the silver prize of the KBG Design Contest 2016:

Defuser by Liu Xiao

모범시민 (Model Citizen) by 박민후

최고의 상인 (The Best Traders) by 김성현

Feedback for the finalist entries will follow. Also everyone who sent a prototype will get it back soon.
Thank you for your participation and see you again next time.

Meet the Team

Recently, the KBG Development Team had the rare opportunity to go out with all members present. We choose the finest venue around, the Premium Brewing House “The Table”, a truly exceptional and luxurious place.

Sadly we don’t sell enough games yet to be able to afford a reservation. So when we couldn’t find a free table in “The Table” we ended up going to the convenience store on the other side of the street instead.

From left to right: 영한 (Cool Guy), 자연(Game Inventor), 준호(International Star Artist – Pharaoh Code), Great Gamer Ghiot (Front), 정훈(Monk and Pharaoh Code Author), 시몬(산적), 근배 (International Star Designer – Coconuts), 상우 (Leader of 소환사-Team) and Albi (English Teacher)

Greetings from us to you guys all over the world!


Christian and HK’s entry, Cucumberpocalypse, is a light strategy game about building up your nation to deal with an impending invasion of space cucumbers.

Christian is working as an English teacher in a town south of Seoul, sometimes using boardgames in the classroom for educational purposes, HK is working for a market research company. As expected, gaming is the reason those two found each other: They are both active table-top gamers, occasionally straying into eurogames, too.

Left to right: Christian, HK and Simon

We found them both to be extemely friendly and likeable fellows even though the first news we had to give them, was actually that their game is not going to be among the top three of our contest. The structure of the game is solid and the theme is interesting,but we found the balance and variety of the game to be lacking a little.

They took the bad news in good humor and explained how they literally finished the game in the last second, so not enough time for playtesting remained. Hopefully they will continue to develop games with the same passion they showed when we met them: We are pretty sure that the world needs a great game about space cucumbers and they are in a great position to deliver that.

KBG at the 2013 Board Game Con

For us in the KBG development team, this weekend was pretty exciting. Apart from finishing the first phase of our new contest, our company was present at the 2013 Board Game Con in the halls of the COEX Exhibition Center in Seoul, South-Korea. This was a big opportunity for us to see how our new products would be received by our (potential) customers.

Although none of the games from last year´s contest were quite ready to be presented here, a few other products we developed in the meantime were going to have their first showing here.

Preparing our Booth and Playing area
Preparing our Booth and Playing area

The sales/interest level at a fair will never determine the overall success of a product, the quantities are too low. Nevertheless a good showing here could generate a good mood and word-of-mouth advertising that is invaluable. So we were pretty anxious…

Oh my, oh my…

And of course it is just awesome to see people enjoy something you helped to create…

One of our debut games: Coconuts
One of our debut games: Coconuts

Overall, this fair was a great success for us and we can only hope that we will have just as much fun and success in Essen later this year. There, we will also show our results from last year´s contest.