Spring had come, and Icon, my first board game, was blooming. I had tried my hand at planting another seedling of a board game, United We Stand?, but after a few test plays I decided to put that on the shelf. I knew I wanted to create another game, but I’m the type that needs a theme to run with. Then my wife, the one who knows me best, suggested the obvious. She basically said, “Why don’t you stick to music, like making a game about a singing competition show?”

Center Stage was born! You are a celebrity judge on the new hit TV show, “Center Stage,” where you try to convince contestants to join your team so you can coach them into becoming the next big musical trio! Of course, there are those contestants who may not be worthy of what you have to offer. But you can always “convince” them to join another celebrity’s team.

Center Stage is for 2-4 players, takes 20-30 minutes, and is for ages 14 and up. The player who forms the team with the highest overall score wins! The play is quick and dirty – play a card, draw a card, okay — next player! Vary your experience by adjusting the number of contestants that are showcasing their talents on the stage and runways. You can even play with my favorite house rule — say something a celebrity judge might say on live TV as you play a card, or you don’t get to draw a new card at the end of your turn.

There are two things that I feel make Center Stage unique, and they are also the same types of things that make Icon unique. The game board and the theme. As I’ve mentioned before, the music business and music in general is an area not often explored among board game creators. As for the board itself, the box IS the center stage, and four runways attach to the box. During play, the stage spins to face a new direction as determined by the cards played, placing potential singers on a path to join your team or your opponents’ team.

Center Stage will be available to pre-purchase via Kickstarter this year and will be the first product for Koalatie Games (at least, that’s the plan!). If successful, future expansions will be made available, creating more craziness and drama for you, your friends, and the singers. Keep up with the development of Center Stage and my other games by following this blog. I will be needing the general public’s help very soon as I go into blind playtesting for the game.