AZAKI - Educational Board Game for Playful Families
Crazy fun & topnotch board game art. Laugh, jump, sing, run & think to collect the balloons in a world full of pandas & Ferris wheels.
AZAKI - Educational Board Game for Playful Families
Crazy fun & topnotch board game art. Laugh, jump, sing, run & think to collect the balloons in a world full of pandas & Ferris wheels.
Azaki is a family board game for kids aged 5 to 99. It combines the crazy fun of running around, jumping, laughing, singing and playing – the overall fun of being a child – with the intention of educating and developing various competencies in our kids. Azaki is a beautiful, original watercolour board game all about a Ferris wheel, balloons and pandas. Azaki isn’t just a toy that you give to your kids – it’s a game that you can tailor to your family so you can play and enjoy together.
We have chosen Kickstarter because you are the ones who can help us bring this awesome game to loads of children, and because we believe that the player and parent types who will enjoy this game as much as we do hide around here. We love this game and we need your help making it even better. Back our project and help us make this game a reality!
Many of you asked for more information in Hungarian - here you are:
Ha inkább magyarul olvasnál a projektről, kattints ide.
Daddy Panda, the owner of the Ferris wheel, is in huge trouble! A sudden gust of wind has blown his son’s birthday party balloons out of his hand! This has made Panda Pete, who is holding his panda puppy’s palm, very sad. To cheer him up, Daddy Panda is asking kids around the amusement park to help him catch the balloons. Help him get them back and be the one who collects the most balloons to win the game!
To collect the balloons, players have to complete Azaki conditions in real life – not on the game board rolling dice or playing cards. Prepare for an active game, ’cause with Azaki’s game conditions, players will have to run, think, sing, jump, search, fold paper airplanes, clap, shout and laugh a lot to win the balloons.
The tactical aspect of the game comes from Action Cards that help the moves of the meeples around the game board or sometimes prevent players from completing an Azaki condition.
Azaki is not a game you simply give to your kids. It’s a game where you will participate without having to win or lose: you will be the Game Master. To prepare the game, place all of the balloons on the board around the Ferris wheel, the Action Cards in the middle of the game board and the Azaki Cards in the hand of the Game Master.
...To help Panda Pete get back his balloons you have to get close to them on the Ferris wheel…
...You need a good tactic when using the Action Cards…
...And you have to be the one who fulfils the Azaki condition the Game Master chooses from the Azaki Card… The balloon goes to the one who…
The game is played in rounds, and each round is played in three steps:
DICE ROLL: Each player throws the two dice and puts his or her meeple in the basket indicated by the dice, choosing either the number on one of the dice or the sum of the two dice.
The meeples do not go around the Ferris wheel, but jump into the basket indicated by the number(s) on the dice. When everyone has occupied a basket, it is time to use the Action Cards!
ACTION CARDS: Action Cards are special tools that help kids collect balloons. Players get a chance to use their Action Cards in the same order in which they rolled the dice.
But how do you get Action Cards? You can draw an Action Card when the back of a collected balloon has an “A” or when you roll any double with two dice. Players collect their Action Cards and are free to decide in which round they would like to use them.
When everyone has played the Action Cards they want to, it is time to turn to the third step, the Azaki!
- COMPLETE THE AZAKI CONDITION: And now, the time has come for the Game Master to read out an Azaki condition using the pack of Azaki Cards. The Game Master may read things like “The one who can make any other player laugh first!” or “The one who names an animal with the biggest ears!” or “The one who has ever travelled on a cloud!”
The player who completes the Azaki condition – sometimes by being first, sometimes by being the best, sometimes just by luck – gets the chance to collect a balloon. If there are two or more players who complete the condition, the balloon goes to the one who shouts “AZAKI” first!
Then you begin a new round the same way: move your meeple into a new basket where you may find at least one balloon to grab, use Action Cards if you want to, fulfil the Azaki condition and grab a balloon – up until there are no balloons left in the air and all are brought back to Panda Pete.
Yes… we know. It is a loud game with lots of shouting, jumping and running around – but that’s the way kids like it!
One of the coolest things about Azaki is that it can be just as easy as it sounds now but you can make it a pretty complex game for older fellows if you consider all of the game rules. Click here to have a look at the detailed rules that add a dash of cunning and tactical thinking to the mix.
Intrigued by the Azaki Cards? Scroll down for more!
In the game box you will find 18 Action Cards: 2x Hairdryers, 2x Ladders, 2x Magic Whistles, 2x Masters of the Ferris Wheel, 2x Statues, 2x Silent Pandas, 3x Balloon Rains and 3x Butterfly Nets.
There will be a total of 300 Azaki conditions in the hardcover version of the game. On every Azaki Card there are three conditions or tasks. The Game Master is free to choose the one to use in any given round based on any criteria: the players’ ages, the state of the game, the position of the planets… anything at all.
Education professionals who tested the game emphasized that besides many other excellent qualities, Azaki is a gap-filling game contributing to the development of flexible thinking in an entertaining way.
This is due to the huge variety of Azaki conditions.
They never know… so they keep staying as attentive and involved as you might never have seen them before while playing a board game.
Azaki can be both an easy and diverting game for younger fellows. It can also be a complex, tactical game packed with tricks to play on each other for bigger kids… and playful adults. Azaki is a very flexible game that you can tailor to your players’ abilities, ages and attitudes toward games. It is all up to you, the grown-up, to tailor the game to your players.
- Tailor-Made Azaki Cards: You may create your own Azaki Cards with the blank ones you’ll find in the box and personalize them to the players, considering the current situation, place, time and mood. Write your very own Azaki conditions on the blank cards, and when ready, shuffle your self-made cards with the original Azaki Card deck. Do Azaki conditions such as “The one who has walked the dog today” or “The one who has tidied up their room” or “The one who likes mummy’s pies” sound like you could have written them? Go for it – create your very own Azaki conditions!
- Tailoring Action Cards: For young players or beginners, consider using only two to three types of Action Cards. When kids get the run of the game, you can introduce the rest of the cards. Using all of them will add exciting new tactics to the gameplay!
There is a huge variety of board games and toys on the market. But our personal experience is that rarely do we find the ones that we would choose not only for their content but also for their contribution to our kids’ visual culture. We wanted to create a “casual game,” a game you might use multiple times a week but one that still has a design based on valuable, handmade artwork. Luckily, we have Róza on our team: she painted both the game board and all the cards in watercolour, then digitized and adapted them to serial printing. In her hands, Azaki has become a colourful and joyful game that we are happy to play with our own kids. It’s a whole new level of quality in casual board games.
We believe art is better appreciated when you can participate in its creation. Let Róza show you how to draw your own beautiful panda:
If you fall in love with Róza’s artwork just like we did, or if you are into pandas, balloons and Ferris wheels, take a look at the “Panda Art” pledge where we have included an Azaki Art Booklet. It was dreamt up and painted by Róza, and it animates a world full of colours, pandas, balloons and giant Ferris wheels!
Azaki is an educational game that we tested with special-educational-needs teachers who liked it because kids liked it… and because it is competence-based and not knowledge-based… and because it helps develop several competencies in kids even without their knowing it… and because it develops flexible thinking that is a must for 21st-century kids… and because the grown-up playing with the kids does not have to make a decision all the time whether to win or let the kids win, being involved in the game without having to compete with the kids.
… And apparently, these games are rare.
Azaki was not originally designed to be an educational game. Andrea created it for kids and parents to have fun together. Then we had the idea of asking education professionals’ opinions about the game. And they loved it. Andi as a person and a teacher has the natural gift of educating without intending it and being so much fun while doing all of this. Even though she did not think about it, the special-educational-needs teachers we asked pointed to several educational components of the game. We ended up feeling we would need a professional on our team, so we invited the special-educational-needs teacher of a well-known alternative school to join us. With her we tested and re-tested the game for months and we adjusted the rules and details to support the game’s original educational components.
Have a look at what our team’s special-educational-needs teacher Edina thinks about Azaki. The interview turned out to be a little long (we really tried hard to cut parts out but somebody on our team always thought a specific part was important to share with you…), but if you are into parenting and educational games the five minutes you spend listening to her will be time well spent.
If you prefer reading about the educational aspects in detail, you can download the game’s Educational Report here.
If you are more of a data junkie, you’d probably be interested in this:
As the Azaki team is basically trilingual, the game was born and tested in these three languages. The game will be available in three languages: English, Spanish and Hungarian.
We believe that being bilingual nowadays is an important asset that we should all make available to our kids. So, the game will be available in two bilingual versions: English & Spanish and English & Hungarian.
- Azaki on 24.hu (in Hungarian):
" A very special Hungarian Board game at the doorstep of success."
- Azaki on szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu (in Hungarian):
" A new Hungarian board game that would conquer the world."
- Azaki on various Hungarian kids & gamer's blogs:
- Azaki on kidstoysgame.xyz
From the very first moment we decided to launch Azaki as a Kickstarter project, we wanted to include a special pledge to share the game with children who would not have access to it otherwise. We chose Bátor Tábor, the SeriousFun Camp of our region, because we knew their mission and work personally. They are absolutely fantastic and totally merit our support and yours too. Besides, as Azaki can be tailored to various ages and skill levels, it is ideal for the diversified campers of this SeriousFun Camp.
By choosing the “Spread the Joy” pledge, you will receive the Print and Play version of the game yourself and you will contribute 1/3 of a hardcover game to the pack of Azaki board games we will give to Bátor Tábor. Of course Bátor Tábor itself can’t take an unlimited number of board games, so if at the end of the Kickstarter campaign there are “too many” Azakis for them, they will spread the games and the joy of playing among the other member camps of the SeriousFun Children’s Network worldwide.
The SeriousFun Children’s Network was created more than two decades ago by Paul Newman. Its aim has been to create opportunities for children and their families to reach beyond serious illness and discover joy, confidence and a new world of possibilities, always free of charge. SeriousFun Children’s Network spans the globe with a thriving community of 30 camps and programs – one of them being Bátor Tábor in Hungary.
Bátor Tábor is the only program of its kind in Hungary for children with serious illnesses and their families.
Bátor Tábor was established in 2001, offering complex therapeutic recreation programs for children with cancer, diabetes, JRA or haemophilia and for their families. Every year, the camp welcomes over a thousand campers who can participate in programs that they otherwise might miss out on due to their illnesses. Be it rowing, horseback riding, archery, arts and crafts, dancing, music, sports or even board games, all programs are meant to provide a feeling of success that positively influences campers’ self-esteem and recovery.
Considering its methods and its caring attitude toward children, Bátor Tábor is a unique initiative in Central Europe. It has become a regional therapeutic recreation centre making affirming adventures available to Hungarian, Slovakian, Czech and Polish children.
We know it sounds like an Oscar thank-you speech, but it really has been a huge pleasure for us to work on Azaki. So we decided to share not only the fruit of our work with you fellow backers but also the feeling of creating a fun game and the satisfaction of seeing how kids enjoy playing with what you dreamt up for them.
For this, all backers of all pledge levels will be invited to suggest an Azaki condition. These will make the Kickstarter Exclusive deck of Azaki Cards included in the Kickstarter Exclusive Edition pledge level’s game box only. We plan to have a pack of 50 cards so we will select the best 150 Azaki conditions (three per card) the following way:
- The 75 Azaki conditions that “the crowd” likes the most: your suggestions will enter a poll and get votes from backers and surfers of the Web, so your friends might be a huge help to get your suggestion to the final deck. They don’t even have to be Kickstarters!
- 75 Azaki conditions will be selected by a strict jury: the little guys you see in the video are the most experienced Azaki players at the moment!
Still, we retain the right to veto ideas that do not adhere to the game’s core values or do not fit the age group the game was made for.
The Kickstarter Exclusive deck of Azaki Cards will be available in English only.
The process will be very simple: you pledge, and we send you a form right away so you can make your suggestion for an Azaki condition. Your condition may later be included in the Kickstarter Special Edition deck under your name. No worries, we’ll send you tips and advice on how to create a popular one. Back us and start thinking of a cool Azaki condition!
We love to play Azaki so we are enthusiastic about coming to you, teaching you how to play and animating a whole afternoon of Azaki. It could be a birthday party, a casual family Sunday or a tea party you organize with friends and their kids – we will be there and we will all have fun!
At least two of us will come. Andrea (Game Designer) and/or Judit (Creative Project Manager) will be there, and Edina, our special-educational-needs teacher, will for sure be there to observe and to write her report about the players. An educational report based on simple observation can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the players, and Edina will be there to give you advice on any possible follow-ups to develop your children’s talents or to support the development of some competencies that might be worth your attention.
It will be a fun and educational afternoon – just like Azaki itself.
This reward is available in all languages of the game but only in Budapest where most of us are based.
A whole new face of the world of Azaki, still full of pandas and balloons. Just decide which side of the board you feel like playing on today!
The game board's poster adaptation to colour the walls of children's room with pandas, balloons and Ferris Wheels.
Dont think about anything gross..It is just that we tested the game so much with adults that with a slight rule modification and a multitude of Azaki conditions tailored to grown ups' competences and sense of humor we ended up having a cool party game. With a little more testing and enough funds we can add a deck of Grown Ups' Azaki Cards, maybe some new Action Cards and some new rules so that really every generation of the family can enjoy Azaki with or without the kids!
Azaki has been tested plenty of times with a huge variety of players, from 3 year olds to serious adults. The funny thing is that first we tested with kids of every age and at one point we thought we were done with the rules, everything clear and well-pondered. Then came the “grown-ups”… and they had such a different attitude when playing that we had to double the length of the rule book to cut down on all their desperate attempts to find loopholes to win.
Grown-ups are tough but we are grateful that they helped us purify the rules that we believe are now 90% complete. We will keep testing during the campaign (we will of course keep you posted about it), and we hope that interested backers and some industry professionals will also join in for testing so that we can deliver a perfect game to you. We don’t have copies of the game yet, only a couple of prototypes that are not equal in quality with the ones we expect from the mass production with Panda GM. But we do have a lovely Print and Play version with a selection of Azaki Cards enough to create two to three good games. If you are interested in testing the game, contact us!
The artwork is in continuous evolution: the game board and the cards should not change too much. But Róza keeps working on the stretch goals, the Panda Art Booklet of the Panda Art pledge and plenty of details that her eagle eye and perfectionism will make her work on and work on and work on again. That, of course, is all great!
So when pledging to this project, you should know that the final content of the game box may be subject to some slight changes, although we do not expect major modifications. There won’t be kittens instead of pandas; it will still be a perfect game for Grandma to play with your 5 year old, and we can guarantee it will remain a loud and cheerful game scaring too-serious people away.
After the campaign, we plan to give ourselves two months to finalise artwork and content while still having time to play with our own kids during Christmas.
From finalised artwork to the pallets of games arriving to the distribution hubs, production and shipping should take about 20 weeks. We also count the fact that the entirety of China takes off for holidays for almost a month during Chinese New Year, so we are aiming to deliver the game to you in August 2016.
That’s about where we are now. And from the moment you back us, we will always let you know regularly how the project is going.
We have printed a couple of copies of the game for testing, but mass production comes if you like the idea of Azaki and back us on Kickstarter!
The Kickstarter founding goal has been set for the printing of 1500 copies – the minimum quantity that major producers set for a reasonable price. We have already chosen our cool and reliable manufacturer for Azaki – Panda Game Manufacturing – and we relied on their offer when budgeting for Kickstarter. Besides their professionalism and good rates, sincerely: could we have chosen any other partner for producing a game with pandas?! Not surprisingly, when we asked for panda meeples, they had a super sweet one to show us that we fell in love with. So, this is what your meeples will look like:
The budget of the Kickstarter project will be spent on manufacturing, on freight shipping and handling, and also on the post-campaign work (final artwork, translations, etc.). Any additional money means we can buy ourselves some free time to finalize the next game of Azaki Games Team that we already have in mind.
Shipping isn’t the coolest part of a Kickstarter campaign, but we planned it well in advance to make sure it would all go smooth and quick like a cat… not like a panda.
We know you love free shipping, but shipping is actually never free. We would like to be fair and have everybody pay only the real, exact shipping cost and not a rough estimate, one that we could include in the prices now. We don’t want to make or lose money on shipping; we want all rewards to be shipped to you in perfect condition as soon as possible and at the best available price.
So shipping costs will be collected via our pledge manager after the campaign ends.
We will ship your rewards to an EU distribution hub as well as a U.S. hub, so there should be no duties for backers from the EU and the U.S., no matter how many games you pledge for.
Backers located in Budapest will have the option to pick up their games personally and for no extra cost, and we will of course deliver the games to Bátor Tábor personally.
To make sure all of the shipping procedures and logistics run as they should to satisfy you and make us not go crazy, we plan to work with the cool and professional guys of Ideaspatcher. They know everything about shipping Kickstarter rewards, so your packages will be in good hands.
Here comes the list of rough estimates for shipping one game (about 1.5 kg). These are just estimates, but we will do our best to get you the most favourable rates once we know where you are located and how many games we are shipping and where. We regret we are unable to ship to PO Boxes.
- US: 12 USD
- Hungary: 10 Euros or free personal pick up in Budapest
- Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, UK, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherland, France: 14 Euros
- Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Sweden, Portugal: 16 Euros
- Canada, China, Maghreb, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India, Russia, Switzerland: 23 Euros
- Africa, other Asian Countries, Americas (except US & Canada), Norway, Croatia: 29 Euros
- Bulgaria, Estonia, Lettonie, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic: 30 Euros
Risks and challenges
This is our first campaign on Kickstarter but it would not be the first time we dreamt big and delivered as expected. We are all successful in our professional careers as teachers, artists, entrepreneurs and mothers, and we are dedicated to proving ourselves in this new field. We might lack experience in board game publishing through crowdfunding, but luckily there are people like Jamey Stegmaier and the team of Trickerion who have readily shared their expertise with us. And there has to be a first time for everything, right? We’ll do our best so that one day you, as a backer who has trusted us since the very first moment, can be proud to say, “Yeah… I knew these girls would make it.”
To minimize risks we will work with partners with strong reputations. Manufacturing has been planned with Panda GM (well… who else for a game about Pandas?!) and they have been a real pleasure to work with so far. We’ll probably coordinate logistics with Ideaspatcher if these guys are half as quick in delivery as they were in responding to our first communications with them, you can be sure you’ll get your copy on time.
That being said, the risk of delivery delays can’t be completely eliminated, but rest assured that the worst thing that may happen is that you’ll have to wait a little longer than expected. Regardless, we will keep you informed all along the process. In the campaign we set an estimated delivery date that might seem a long ways away, but we’d rather lose impatient backers than disappoint with delays the ones who trust us and Azaki.
- (30 days)