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Designer Jon Cohn Talks About King of Creepies

Whenever I play board games I generally have two goals. The first is obviously to win. The second is to make as many terrible puns as humanly possible. It started as a game in middle school with a few friends coming up with as many puns as possible, but then it quickly grew into an obsession that would continue to haunt me even 20 years later.  In other words, I didn’t choose the pun life, the pun life chose me.

Designer Jon Cohn

When I started putting together ideas for my first game, I knew right off the bat that I wanted to fill it with silly characters based on puns and dad jokes.  As a kid when I would get a game that had a sense of humor like Munchkin, I would immediately go through all the cards and create a little pile of my favorite art and jokes. As I grew up and got exponentially nerdier, my priorities shifted towards playing the actual game, but I never lost that sense of wonder when you first rip off the plastic and there’s a whole box full of silly stuff and eye-popping art.


One of my top priorities when making King of the Creepies was to create an experience like I had as a kid; I wanted something that was as fun to look at as it was to play.  I also wanted to make something that adult me would want to play regularly with my weekly gaming group.  For that I looked at board games like Spartacus, which is one of my absolute favorites.  It takes seemingly heavy game mechanics like miniature battles, drafting, and resource management and combines them so smoothly that I can easily play it with my core gamers or a group of new players and always have a great time.


For Creepies, the elements I wanted to combine were a commerce system, a robust card-based battle system, and healthy encouragement to bribe and extort your opponents. The game takes place in three parts:

First players buy and sell cards in the Market phase.  There’s a lot of freedom to strategize what decks you buy from, personally I like to start by loading up on Creepies.

The second phase is called the Mischief Phase, and it’s where players choose and equip their Creepies for the upcoming battle.  It’s also where players draw a Mischief card, because why not have a rule that occasionally flips everything on its head?


Finally you have the real meat of the game, the Battle phase. The battles pit players against each other using combatants called Creepies, equipped with special gear and loaded up with powerful abilities.  The idea for battles is to have combat that is recognizable to deck building games like Magic: the Gathering, while capturing some of the random “Gotcha!” moments from games like Munchkin.

If you are looking for a quick to learn game that keeps a light and fun atmosphere while maintaining a tactically robust battle system, consider King of the Creepies.  Whether playing the game, or just ogling the art and jokes on the cards, it is my goal to keep you grinning.