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The Story of Flipology

"I'm going to make this so pretty."

Rachel Reilly, a game designer living in New York, contacted Julia in August 2018 to pitch her game. She described it as a game with very wide appeal, including to people who don't play games often, and with primary strategies that can be grasped within one or two rounds. To Julia, it sounded like a Cheeky game, and this was confirmed a few weeks later after Rachel sent a prototype for her to try.

The aspect that excited Julia the most about Flipology was the opportunity to get Tim Kings-Lynne involved to do the artwork. She suspected Tim's beautiful work, Flipology's unique gameplay, and her ability to bring it to market at the affordable retail price of $20 NZ would be a winning combination.

Rachel had thoroughly play tested her game, but as publisher, Julia had a few suggestions and requests:

  • Since the hunter has the power to remove any animal, including the game's dogs and cats, Julia thought this would go over better if it wasn't a human, so that is how wolves entered the game.

  • There had to be a parrot! With the obvious skill of being able to mimic other animals' abilities, a Australian rosella parrot joined the crew.

  • Although not strictly a forest animal, Julia couldn't resist adding a couple of hermit crabs to the mix. Scavengers, if one is showing in your row at the end of the game, you can use it to add your pick of the discards to your scoring cards.

  • Rachel's prototype had giant turtles as the six big point animals. Rachel, Julia, and Tim turned these into six unique animals, including a kiwi for Cheeky Parrot's headquarters.

To help build some buzz for the game, Cheeky Parrot held a contest for cat owners to send in photos of their cats. The three winning cats were Tim's models for the cats appearing in the game.

Introduced in late 2019, not long before Covid swept the world, Flipology has been a bit of a slow burner, but it is gaining new fans all the time.