Board Game Bento’s tag line is “A Box of Board Games Every Month,” with the additional promise that at least $80 worth of games are in every subscription box, and a monthly charge of $50 plus shipping and handling for a single box, or $270 plus shipping and handling for a six month subscription. To the uninitiated tabletop gamer, that could sound pricey, but when you understand that the good tabletop games range from 25 bucks to 75 bucks, with the sweet spot being around $50, you can see that getting a good board game subscription box can be a no-brainer if you are a hardcore gamer.
I just received my first box. I signed up for the What's Cookin' box because the description said that it includes a game that sold out at Essen 2015. The only food related game that fit that description was Food Chain Magnate. I highly doubted that game would be included, but I figured I'd take a chance just in case it was. Shortly before the boxes were sent out I learned about Burger Boss and in one of the forums the publisher hinted that it would be in an upcoming BGB box. Sure enough it was, along with a Board Game Bento Secret Mission promo card, Foodfighters w/Foodfighters: the Grains Expansion and Sushi Go.
The game indeed reversed Square's lagging fortunes, and it became the company's flagship franchise. Following the success, Square immediately developed a second installment. Because Sakaguchi assumed Final Fantasy would be a stand-alone game, its story was not designed to be expanded by a sequel. The developers instead chose to carry over only thematic similarities from its predecessor, while some of the gameplay elements, such as the character advancement system, were overhauled. This approach has continued throughout the series; each major Final Fantasy game features a new setting, a new cast of characters, and an upgraded battle system. Video game writer John Harris attributed the concept of reworking the game system of each installment to Nihon Falcom's Dragon Slayer series, with which Square was previously involved as a publisher. The company regularly released new games in the main series. However, the time between the releases of Final Fantasy XI (2002), Final Fantasy XII (2006), and Final Fantasy XIII (2009) were much longer than previous games. Following Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix stated that it intended to release Final Fantasy games either annually or biennially. This switch was to mimic the development cycles of Western games in the Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed and Battlefield series, as well as maintain fan-interest.
First off, full disclosure, I have been a subscriber of Board Game Bento from the very beginning. I can say I have really enjoyed getting this every month. I have a large collection of games (800+) and BGB manages to include ones I don’t already own every month. I think I average 1 duplicate a month. I like the thrill of not knowing what will be in the box each month. I also like that they put in games that I might not have given a try otherwise. Take Burger Boss by Legend Express. It comes in a square box and a plastic hamburger. Looking at it, you would think it was a game for small children. It is actually a fun worker placement game that can be used to introduce new people to the mechanic. I never would have thought to give that game a try and would have passed it up just by looking at the packaging. As long as I keep getting these types of games, I’ll keep subscribing.
More experienced gamers (who have been in the hobby at least two or three years) already have a rucksack of game plays to draw from when picking out new games. However, if an enterprising game group pools their money for a monthly delivery and finds a way to share the spoils, Board Game Bento is also beneficial because the games will stay in the group for multiple people to share.
Recently, we received a sample subscription box from Board Game Bento (provided for us to review). The package comes monthly in a colorful box with a small collection of games. There’s a description of the specifics on their web site, but the basics are that for $50 a month you get an assortment of games set to you each month. Overall, it’s a very straightforward concept.
I originally wasn't going to subscribe for this one as the theme didn't really interest me, but a discount offer, the mention that this box would have over $100 worth of games, and the hint that one of the games was a Spiel des Jahres nominee got me to give in. Based on the month's theme, I thought the SdJ nominee would've been Codenames or less likely, T.I.M.E. Stories. Alas, the "nominee" was Spyfall. Overall, I'm not very excited about this box as I don't play these types of games, though Salem looks interesting.