Monday, October 2, 2023

Cephalofair Announces New Solo Gloomhaven Game

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Cephalofair Games, publisher of Gloomhaven, Jaws of the Lion, and Frosthaven has announced their newest game, Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs as part of their Gloomhaven Grand Festival event on Backerkit.

Gloomhaven Buttons & Bugs box art

Buttons & Bugs is joining the Gloomhaven Grand Festival, the crowdfunding campaign currently running on BackerKit and will be available as a pledge level and add-on. 

Buttons & Bugs is a solo play game, with an all new original campaign story written by Isaac Childres, that gives the player a play style similar to Gloomhaven with its deep, strategic combat, but in a fraction of the size. The compact size, sleek setup, and weight of less than 1 lb allows the player to jump in quickly and play a scenario in under 20 minutes.

Designed and developed by Joe Klipfel (Gloomholdin’) and Nikki Valens (Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, Artisans of Splendent Vale), Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs provides a wonderful addition to the Cephalofair Games line. Their teamwork and co-design partnership has been a critical part of translating the original Gloomholdin’ into what would become Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs

If you are looking for a version of Gloomhaven you can play on a plane or during your half hour lunch break, this is meant to be it. Each scenario is a single card, pitting one mercenary against a handful of enemies with simplified actions and AI. Each mercenary has a hand of just four double-sided cards, but they can be used twice – both the front and the back – before they are discarded. Attacks are resolved using a die in conjunction with a modifier table, and both the table and the mercenary ability cards can be improved as you level up throughout the campaign. The story is light, the rules are minimal, and setup and teardown is a breeze.

Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs is set after the events of Gloomhaven and Forgotten Circles. The Aesther recluse Hail has earned a reputation for being highly instrumental in saving the city from recurring disasters, and she absolutely hates it. Wannabe heroes are constantly barging in on her studies at the Crooked Bone, looking for help on becoming famous themselves. Not to mention all the demons that come by looking for vengeance. She briefly considered moving, but as that would require effort, she instead just placed an enchantment on her front door: anyone who attempts to open it becomes miniaturized and therefore no longer a problem. 

Your character is one such wannabe hero. In an ill-advised attempt at fame, they try to visit Hail, and poof. Now they’re the size of a mouse, and have entered an entirely different realm of lawlessness and self-preservation. They must find a new way into the Crooked Bone to convince Hail to return them to their previous size.

Featuring a whole new art design and look for the miniaturized world of Gloomhaven, Buttons & Bugs includes all new illustrations from Mofei Wang with art direction from Cephalofair Games Art Director BJ Hensley. 

“Upon Gloomholdin’s original community release, Cephalofair was bombarded with positive press, licensing inquiries, and most importantly, community excitement. It was clear immediately to the Cephalofair team that Joe has opened up a new window of accessibility that should be explored!” said Price Johnson, COO of Cephalofair Games.

Gloomhaven Buttons & Bugs box comparison

Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs includes:


  • 100 Cards
  • 6 Micro-Mercenary Miniatures
  • 6 Dual Layer Trays
  • 21 Tokens
  • 10 Cubes
  • 1 Die
  • 1 HP Dial

Join the celebration with the Gloomhaven Grand Festival crowdfunding campaign on Backerkit and see the newest addition to the campaign. Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs will retail at $19.99 MSRP and be available for retail release and distribution after the crowdfunding campaign.

Images via Cephalofair Games

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  • Dan Arndt

    Fiction writer, board game fanatic, DM. Has an MFA and isn't quite sure what to do now. If you have a dog, I'd very much like to pet it. Operating out of Indianapolis.

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