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Ugly Gryphon Inn is a solo game about running a fantasy tavern from Tiny Epic Galaxies designer

Pub in your pocket.

Single-handedly keep the fantastical patrons of a pub happy throughout the night in Ugly Gryphon Inn, a solo board game from Tiny Epic Galaxies creator Scott Almes.

Ugly Gryphon Inn sees the player attempting to satisfy a cavalcade of customers passing through the doors of their establishment. As the owner of the only pub in around a hundred miles, the player will certainly have to cater to some unusual patrons, including rangers, barbarians, summoners and hunters. Throughout the night, the player will have to keep their various customers happy and, eventually, tucked up in their beds.

As a solo game, Ugly Gryphon Inn provides the player with the challenge of balancing where each patron card is placed to ensure that their needs are satisfied and that they don’t cause any trouble. Each type of patron has a unique set of requirements that must be met in order to keep them happy, with certain checks being made whenever they first enter the bar and when they bed-down to sleep. Should any of their particular irks be triggered - such as being near a patron who emits loud noises or smells - they will leave.

Each turn, the player draws a hand of four cards and arranges them in a row, these patrons are considered to be at the bar. The player then choses a patron to place at the top of the inn, then checks to see whether any of the card’s irks have been met. If they have, they remove the patron from the inn and apply the effect on the card.

Once this phase is complete, the player adds another card to the bar row and checks them all for quirks. Should the row contain three or more cards of the same type of quirk, whichever patrons are sensitive to that quirk leave and trigger their negative effects.

The game ends once the player has run out of patron cards to place in the bar. If the player has seven or more cards in their inn by the end, they have won the game. However, if there are less than seven cards in the inn, or if there are eight patrons in the discard pile at any point, the player loses the game.

Ugly Gryphon Inn artwork

Besides Ugly Gryphon Inn and the Tiny Epic Galaxies series, Almes created worker-placement game Harbour - in which players trade various wares and resources in order to purchase buildings at the harbour - fantasy strategy game Heroes of Land, Air & Sea and Almanac: The Dragon Road, an adventure game that was released earlier this year.

Button Shy Games is the studio responsible for releasing Ugly Gryphon Inn, which will be available in the form of a small wallet game - much like many of the company’s previous titles, such as Sprawlopolis and its agricultural spin-off Agropolis, as well as Circle the Wagons.

The Kickstarter campaign for Ugly Gryphon Inn is live until December 19th, with a pledge of $10 (£8) getting backers a copy of the core game - alongside an expansion called More Patrons - set to arrive in May. Alternatively, backers can pledge $3 (£3) to get a print-and-play copy of Ugly Gryphon Inn and More Patrons in April.


Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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