Capetalism and Roux Mates are the winners of the 2022 Cardboard Edison Award for unpublished board game designs.
Capetalism, designed by Christopher Chan, took the top honors in the online track. In this game, players are garden investors growing the value of the flowers in their secret “stalk portfolio.” Using a Go-like gardening mechanic, players plant and surround flowers in a central garden to manipulate their “stalk values” ahead of an inevitable market crash.
Award judges called Capetalism “the whole package”: It has “a fun core puzzle in trying to figure out what flowers will end up being harvested when” with “nice tension” that creates “really interesting” decisions as players navigate “the swinging nature of the economy,” and a “brilliant” stock market mechanic.
The designer of Capetalism, Chris Chan, is an art director who grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and began his game design journey while working the late shift in a Greenwich Village chess store. He is the co-designer of The Night Cage by Smirk & Dagger Games.
Roux Mates, designed by David Masnato, won for the in-person track. Combining companionship, cooking, and cohabitation, players compete to determine who is the most popular roommate by cooking meals for their friends and doing chores around the kitchen through dual-use action cards.
Award judges said Roux Mates’ “two-sided action cards create delicious tension each turn” and force “tough decisions,” and they highlighted “how everything you do influences the other players,” adding that “the idea of doing chores bringing joy to the house gives me the warm and fuzzies.”
The designer of Roux Mates, David Masnato, is a community manager, graphic designer, and co-organizer of Protospiel Online. He has been working on Roux Mates for more than four years. When he’s not making or playing games, David loves to cook, crochet, and listen to music.
The runners-up for the 2022 Cardboard Edison Award were Tri-Star Racers by Glenn Cotter for the online track and Island of Gems by Aaron Kempkes in the in-person track.
All of the Cardboard Edison Award finalists were judged by a panel of board game industry professionals on criteria including engagement, originality of theme, originality of mechanics, replayability, smoothness of play, and fit for target audience.
For more information about the Cardboard Edison Award and the winning games, visit cardboardedison.com/award.
The Cardboard Edison Award is an international contest for unpublished board games.
Since it began in 2016, the annual award has been run by Suzanne Zinsli of Cardboard Edison, with help from Chris Zinsli of Cardboard Edison.
Past Cardboard Edison Award winners that have gone on to be published include Castell from Renegade Game Studios, Animal Kingdoms from Galactic Raptor Games, Umbra Via from Pandasaurus Games, and the forthcoming Winter from Devir.
The 2022 competition received 238 entries from designers all over the world. Games were judged in two rounds by a panel of board game industry professionals. Twenty finalists were chosen, 10 in each of two tracks—in-person and online—with one winner selected from each track.