2021 Year in Review

Tsuro Phoenix Rising pawn amongst paper lanterns

Congratulations Calliope family! We made it to 2022! Even though 2021 was something that absolutely no one could have predicted, we have to say we are incredibly proud of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished. From releasing not one but three new games, to participating in our first virtual conventions, we had a lot to celebrate.

Upon reflection, the theme for Calliope Games for 2021 turned out be “little did we know”. And appropriately, not until I sat down to write our year in review did I realize just how fitting that title would be!

2021: Little Did We Know...


Kovray reviews their first Calliope title: Station Master! Little did we know what incredible people they are, or what strong supporters of Calliope they would turn out to be! From joining us for livestreams, to playing games with us at PAX Unplugged, Ilya, Tylor, Beasley, Maggie and Swanson are forever part of the Calliope family.


Danielle at Board Game Bakes outdid herself (as she always seems to do), and sent Risa a complete set of ShipShape tiles made out of rum cookies! Little did she know, Risa couldn’t resist and did a playTASTE of the game using the edible tiles, and somehow managed to get through a whole game without eating them all!


We attended the virtual Gen Con Spring Showcase, where we demoed games via our brand new Discord server, and we got to play ShipShape and Ancestree alongside Paula and Matthew from This Game Gets Dicey. Little did we know that they would enjoy the games so much (particularly ShipShape), that they would continue to play them on their personal Twitch channel!


The first of our 2021 releases arrives! We debuted Mass Transit at AwSHUX 2021, where we did livestreams, online game demos, and Matt from Shut Up and Sit Down checked the game out himself. Little did we know that Mass Transit would wind up being so popular (was it the solo mode in a year where we spent a lot of time at home?) that it would sell out way faster than expected, and we actually had a good period of time where we didn’t have the game available! Not to worry though, Mass Transit is back in stock here on our website, on Amazon, and in your friendly local game stores!


Jarred from Kidsplaining reviews The Mansky Caper with his dad, Daniel. Little did we know that this game would wind up being one of his favorite games of the year! Seriously, Jarred is the poster child (no pun intended) for a hype man! His enthusiasm– and his brother’s– inspire us to make games we know they will love.


Enchanted Plumes unveils its beauty to the world! Little did we know that the second of our 2021 releases would find its way into so many gift guides and top 10 lists! But we’ll talk more about that as we reach the end of the year…

Enchanted Plumes box sitting on card backs


We started our guest blog series with an article from Sushiball Games! We were thrilled to see that all of their game reviews address language inclusivity, something that affects so many gamers, and we asked them to elaborate on their experience and expertise in an article about Language Barriers in Board Games. Little did we know that it would be so well-received, and inspire us to focus more on language independence in our upcoming releases!


The last of our 2021 releases, Allegory, appeared on game shelves in all of its ethereal glory. Little did we know that reviewers such as The Fandomentals would be praising the artwork and even the box insert (with its flocked red velvet and separate inserts for each player’s Lore chips) just as much as the gameplay!

Allegory gameplay on a stump in the woods


We started diving back into our blog content, creating two new series: Everything You Need to Know About, which provides how to play videos, quick start guides, FAQs and reviews, and Gameplay Variants! Little did we know that the gameplay variants would inspire folks to get old games off the shelf, or even go out to get new copies! (Although I think we did have a feeling the solo variants would wind up being the most popular)


We started working with Tabletop Jables to get some absolutely brilliant photography, which you’ve started seeing across our social media and product pages. Justin seems to know the perfect way to highlight our game components and make them truly shine (sometimes literally). Little did we know this would be the start of a beautiful partnership for an upcoming project…


Calliope’s very own Social Jockey Risa won the GameHERs Award for Rising Star- Best Social Media of the Year! (Okay, I’ll hop away from third-person for a second to say, when I was nominated little did I know that I would not only become a finalist, and ultimately the winner, but I would be introduced into a growing community of incredibly supportive gamers working to make this hobby a more inclusive space for all. And I’m eternally grateful. Okay, now back to third-person!)


Our games made their way onto several Holiday Gift Guides and Games of the Year lists, including Our Family Plays Games,  SAHM Reviews, The Tabletop Family, The Game Boy Geek, Dad Suggests, and even New York Magazine! In all humility, we always hope folks will enjoy our games, but we were truly overwhelmed by how much you did! To paraphrase Sally Field: You like us! You really like us!

Looking ahead to 2022, we have SO MUCH in store for you! We’ve got a Kickstarter, a new release, and we’re redesigning Hive Mind! You literally heard it here first folks! The same great game you know and love, but with a brand-new look, streamlined gameplay, and over 1000 new questions. Keep an eye on this space for more information (and a peek at the new look!) as we get closer to release this spring.

Thank you for being part of the Calliope family. We literally couldn’t do it without you!

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