Trailhead Games uses a three-tier ratings system to describe the relative complexity of our games.
The rating system considers:
- Setup, breakdown and material requirements
- Structure and flow of the game (e.g. multiple phases)
- How easy the game is to learn and understand
- The complexity of preparing and running the game as the Gamemaster
An explanation of the game complexity ratings is below.
Basic games require very minimal setup on the day and can generally be prepared to play within four hours, once all the materials have been created or ordered. Most materials for basic games are standard (tags, bandanas, flags, boundary lines, gems, etc.) and often already available at most camps.
Basic games are straightforward in their rules and structure, without stages or phase changes. Win conditions are generally very simple and obvious, and do not change throughout the game.
Some station games are considered basic if they have simple rules and linear progression.
Most standard camp games will fall into the basic category, including: Capture The Flag, Fishy Fishy, Dodgeball
Examples of basic Trailhead Games: Kingdom Rush, Element Zero, Around the World.
Challenging games are considerably more elaborate in their needs, though very manageable for a Gamemaster and their team to execute. Challenging games might require four to six hours of dedicated setup time on the day the game runs, as well as extra hours creating and ordering the more complex materials required for the game beforehand.
Challenging games are likely to require more unique materials that might not be readily available, such as: nerf guns, hoola hoops, remote control cars, laminated game materials, lanyards, and lots more. Generally, putting these materials together is intuitive and straightforward, with most stations being self-sufficient and contained.
Challenging games might include more complicated rules such as shifting boundaries, different phases, two or three win/loss conditions, and will generally require a deeper understanding of how the game works in order to fully appreciate it.
Trailhead Games is passionate about introducing challenging games into the camp sphere as a way of bringing imagination, creativity and an immersive experience to campers. Don’t be put off by the challenge: we promise they are worth it!
Some challenging Trailhead Games include: Giants Wizards Elves, Into The Deep*, Nature’s Wrath*
The ultimate category. For those looking to take their camp programming to the next level, epic games are for you. Epic games see us stretching our imaginations as far as they can go, and pulling some innovative game mechanics out of the bag to make these detailed stories come alive.
Epic games represent the biggest time commitment for a Gamemaster, and may require 5+ hours of setup time on the day to ensure everything is in place ready for the mayhem to begin. Epic games also usually have more complex material requirements including (in the past): ping pong ball cannons, anvils, codes and cyphers, parachutes, and loads more. Of course, alternative can be used that are more practical for your camp.
Epic games require the Gamemaster to have a comprehensive understanding of the game and how it is going to work, and also offer endless scope for your own creative contributions.
Epic games often have fluid rules and changeable structure such as boundary lines that move as the game progresses, multiple scoring and win/loss conditions, multiple phases that change with the music, and sometimes even two separate games exploring a single story.
We hope that everyone gets to play an Epic Trailhead Game at some point in their lives, such as: Robot Apocalypse Y3K*, Smashee Smashee*, Time Castle*.