Describe your game / gameplay / why people would enjoy this game
Tip-Toe Volcano is a game about betting, bluffing and social interaction. Most importantly, it’s about not stepping in lava.
First, the board is broken up into pieces, with each player taking a chunk of Blinks for themselves. They secretly hide “lava traps” on their Blinks, then put the board back together again. After that, it’s an all-out bidding war to see who can tip-toe the furthest across the volcano — without getting burned.
Land in the lava and you’ll start the next round with one less Blink. However, if you manage to walk the walk, it’ll be the other player who pays the price. The last player standing, wins.
On the surface, it’s a simple betting game. However, it’s filled with opportunities to get into the other player’s heads, and all sorts of play-styles to try out. For example, you could play it safe and tip-toe across your own chunk without planting any traps. Or, you could fill your area with traps, and bluff your way to victory instead.
No matter how you lay out your volcano, you better watch your step. Everyone’s playing their own game… and there can only be one winner.
What is the origin story of your game? What were your intentions when designing the game?
At Big Potato, we specialize in party games. What makes party games fun, in our opinion, are the social interactions between the players. It’s something we strive to include in any of our games and this was no exception.
We wanted to create a game where most of the board was a mystery. You were in charge of your own collection, then had to read the other players to deduce the rest of the playing field. We were also dead-set on it being a bluffing game. So, when we merged those two ideas together, we came at a pretty obvious conclusion. A playing field filled with hidden traps.
James testing a map configuration
What do you like best about Blinks?
The fact that each Blink can communicate and affect the state of its neighbours was a really fun thing to play around with. Originally, we had a plan to have the Volcano Map change every time it was assembled, but that ended up making the game a bit too complicated (and we wanted to keep things simple).
Other than that, the fact that they can be pulled out and played anywhere is a real-plus for us. It reminds us a bit of our game OK Play — except it’s made out of high-tech magnetized smart pieces, instead of flat pieces of plastic.
Meet the Designers
Tristan spent 15 years working undercover as a copywriter in a number of London ad agencies before making his ninja-like move into the world of board games, in 2014. Along with his two pals, Dean Tempest and Ben Drummond, he set up the indie board game company Big Potato. Their first title was called Linkee. Six years on and they’ve launched over 60 games in more than 30 countries.
When James first joined Big Potato in 2014, his first job was to build his own chair. Since then, he’s been allowed to design games as well — although he still enjoys a bit of IKEA assembly here and there. Over the past six years, he’s helped create all sorts of games, most notably Don’t Get Got and Blockbuster. When he’s not thinking up new ideas with Tris, he’s working with outside inventors on some of Big Potato’s top-secret game ideas.
James Vaughan — Game designer
Tristan Hyatt-Williams — Game designer
Beks Barnett — Graphic designer