Meeple Blog > December Publisher’s Spotlight – Studio 9 Games

December Publisher’s Spotlight – Studio 9 Games

December Publisher’s Spotlight – Studio 9 Games


One of the things we like to do here at the Malted Meeple is give some extra attention to our favorite board game publishers and designers. In our monthly Publisher’s Spotlight we provide a bit of background on the publisher, discuss a few of their games, and may even announce a visit to The Meeple by some of the publisher’s representatives!

December’s Publisher’s Spotlight shines on our friends from Studio 9 Games! Their “lunch time” style games typically offer faster play, and are designed to provide all the benefits of a fantasy adventure in an hour or less. Some of their games include: Villagers and Villains, Treasures and Traps, and soon Charms: A Game of Insight!

Studio 9 Games was formed in 2005 in Chicago, IL by husband and wife team, Lisa Blecker and C. Aaron Kreader. Blecker and Kreader bring their combined backgrounds in art, design, animation, writing, and game design to their mission to develop games with families in mind. One of the goals was for parents to be able to enjoy the fun of adventure games with their children. As such, their games appeal to a wide audience, including a younger audience and those not familiar with hobby-gaming. Studio 9 Games also aims to produce games that can form a gateway bridge to other “deeper” hobby games. To this end their games tend to be fun and light, and can be played inside a lunch hour. This goal is further reflected in their mission statement, “To make games which everyone can enjoy without taking too much time out of your day. Time – fast becoming the most precious resource on the planet.”

Studio 9 Games are known for their bestselling games Treasures & Traps, Villagers & Villains, and Hero vs Guardian. In Treasures & Traps, players are adventurers on the hunt for treasure. It is a fun, fast, light game that offers tons of wild fun! Treasures & Traps was nominated for the Origins Card Game of the Year in 2006.

Studio 9 Games introduced a meatier “medium weight” game in 2011 with Villagers & Villains. This game contained 100 unique cards and is a tableau-building euro style game. Players must “manage the chaos” as the mayor of a frontier town. If they are successful, their city may thrive; if they are not, it may fall to ruins! Finally, Hero vs Guardian is an asymmetrical game where one player constructs a dungeon while the other players must hire adventurers to delve its dangerous depths!

Their latest game, CHARMS: A Game of Insight, offers a unique twist on party games. In the game, 3-8 players are asked a question by the Quester and nine random charms are cast onto the game board. Each player interprets the charms and offers an answer to the posed question. The Quester chooses the best answer and a new player becomes the Quester. Whoever has the most winning answers after each player has been the Quester, wins the game!

Studio 9 has sent us an advanced prototype of CHARMS: A Game of Insight. Stop into the Meeple and give this unique party game a try! If you love it (and we’re sure you will!) watch for its launch on Kickstarter December 26th.

The next time you visit the Malted Meeple be sure to ask the staff to recommend their favorite Studio 9 Game!

Karington Hess is a lifelong gamer whose passions for hospitality and all things game-related led him to Ravenwood Castle, where he served as an Innkeeper before joining The Malted Meeple. When not pouring beers, crafting milkshakes, or teaching boardgames, Karington can be found behind the DM’s screen, weaving intricate stories for his fellow gamers.