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Santorini meets sandcastles in the latest board game from Boss Monster studio

I do like to build beside the seaside.

The studio behind the Boss Monster series – Brotherwise Games – is set to publish a new board game about building towns from sandcastles.

Called Castles by the Sea, the upcoming board game sees players becoming citizens of a miniature city built from the sands of an idyllic beach. The brand-new trailer shows a civilisation of tiny people living amongst the sandcastles, with the players being tasked with expanding and protecting their sandy home from all sorts of dangers, from adorable – yet terrifyingly large – dogs to local wildlife looking for a tasty snack. The players will be looking to acquire the most sand dollars by constructing various buildings requested by the people of the kingdom.

Similar to the abstract board game Santorini – which has players competing to place one of their pieces at the highest point of the island by building upwards – Castles by the Sea has players placing a variety of pieces onto the game board in order to develop the city. Certain pieces have particular placement rules that players will need to adhere to if they want to put them on the board and receive their sand dollars. For example, archways need to be placed between two pillars of sand that are of an equal height to the archway, whilst doors need to be slotted between two blocks of sand. Besides earning sand dollars, each player will have their own secondary objectives that they score for if they manage to fulfill their requirements.


Players will have to be prepared for potential hazards to appear on the game board, causing parts of their carefully constructed kingdom to be torn apart. Wherever the hazard lands, those pieces of sand will collapse and be removed from the board, costing the players who placed them dearly. Whichever player manages to collect the most points – through sand dollars and secondary objectives – is named the winner.

Castles by the Sea was co-created by Jon Benjamin and Michael Xuereb, who has previously designed tabletop titles such as the civilisation building game Age of Man and the fantasy board game Clonk!. The illustrations for Castles by the Sea were created by Marby Kwong, with this being the artist’s debut board game title.

Castles by the Sea layout image

Apart from Boss Monster and Castles by the Sea, Brotherwise Games is responsible for publishing the Boss Monster spin-off title Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure, as well as the Call to Adventure series – two of which are based on The Stormlight Archive books by Brandon Sanderson and the Name of the Wind series by Patrick Rothfuss.

A Kickstarter campaign for Castles by the Sea is set to be launched on April 19th, with pledge amounts yet to be confirmed.

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Castles by the Sea

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Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.