Battle Dentale might be a board game for those afraid of the dentist to avoid, as the upcoming strategy title tasks players with extracting, filling and swapping teeth in a human jawbone to score points.
Created by designer Emily Willix, Battle Dentale sees one player taking on the role of the tooth fairy on the hunt for pearly whites, while their rival goblin player attempts to yoink yellowed gnashers. In other words, playing is like pulling teeth - but in a good way.
The players move around a board that represents the top and bottom halves of a human jawbone, complete with teeth on each space. As they move, the players can pull teeth to add them to their collection, fill empty sockets with already pulled teeth or swap a tooth with one adjacent or from their collection.
Lining up three or more teeth of the same colour - either white or yellow - allows players to extract multiple teeth in a single go (try not to think about that too much), while landing on your opponent’s space gives you the chance to steal from their tooth collection.
The tooth fairy and gum goblin can cast magic spells to remove or add decay, with cavities worth less to the fairy, while rotten teeth benefit the goblin. Gold crowns add value to capped teeth, with objective cards requesting specific combinations of pulled teeth - such as multiple wisdom teeth.
The players take turns until all the teeth of either colour have been removed, before totalling their scores. The two-player board game is estimated to play in 20 minutes to half an hour, with different variants adjusting the level of difficulty, randomisation and player-on-player interaction.
Battle Dentale was a finalist for this year’s Cardboard Edison, an award for unpublished board game designs. Willix’s game won’t remain unpublished for long, having been picked up by recently founded Coraquest publisher Bright Eye Games for a release by Q2 2022.