By Dave Breen
Back in April we decided to back the Game Tiles kickstarter project by Dwarven Forge. On October 23, our reward was delivered. Mr. Fed-ex guy appeared a bit weary as he carried those boxes of Game Tiles up my walkway. When he handed them over, I found out why, the boxes were deceivingly heavy.
Before the Kickstarter, Dwarven Forge was an established company with a great reputation for providing amazing terrain made of resin. The downside was that the cost was prohibitive. I had looked into picking up some before the Kickstarter and didn’t pull the trigger on a purchase due to the high cost of getting a set that would be large enough to create a sprawling dungeon.
The objective of the Kickstarter project was to create a less expensive version of their dungeon terrain out of a new type of material. The material appears to be plastic or perhaps a very heavy type of rubber like you would find on the end of a rubber mallet.
The Game Tiles project on Kickstarter was a huge success, reaching almost 2 million dollars in funding.
The tiles are heavy, which is a plus as it keeps them from shifting around during play or while building your dungeon.
I opted to spend extra to get pre-painted tiles as my painting skills are far from good. I’m awfully glad that I did, as the mountain of tiles would have taken me forever to paint.
I took a trip to the local Target to pick up some plastic storage containers so I could sort them into bins so I can easily find which all of the various pieces.
It took a few hours to unbox my tiles and sort them into their appropriate bins. The first thing you will probably notice about Game Tiles is their density. These things are deceptively heavy for their size. Looking at these, you might think they are some type of lightweight plastic, but you would be wrong.
The next thing you’ll probably notice is how durable they are. If you try hard, you can bend the tiles a bit. To actually damage a tile, I believe you would need to go out of your way to do so. I can’t imagine a normal play scenario where they would get damaged.
The job of pre-painting is nicely done. Certainly much better than I could have done myself. Even on the smaller dungeon dressing items, the paint was carefully applied. I’m sure that experienced miniature painters would probably find fault, but more than satisfactory from my standpoint.
If you happen to have one of Geek Chic’s Emissary tables, you’ll be pleased to know that Game Tiles fit perfectly in the game vault.
Building with Game Tiles is a fun experience. As one of my friends texted to me. “Quite possibly the coolest thing I own”. I think I agree.
In terms of flexibility, the variety of different tiles allows a great deal of configuration options. While I don’t think every RPG map can be simply built, many can. To determine what you can make, Dwarven Forge has even created a web-based design tool that allows you to layout your dungeon and even print a map. If I had one minor quibble is the lack of an easy way to make narrow corridors.
The Big Conclusion
Overall, I found that Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles exceeded all of my expectations . If forced to find a flaw, there might be a few tiles that are not 100% flat (noticed on the larger sized floor tiles). Even this was minor, as they lay flat enough that it would be barely noticed.
One more thing…
In case you somehow missed, it GameKnight has a contest running for a set of VictoryChips.
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