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Cracker Games by TheDarkImp
One giant cracker. Six brilliant games. Reusable, re-playable & plastic-free. The perfect addition to your Christmas table.
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Project overview

One giant cracker. Six brilliant games.
Six family games in a giant twist-end cracker. Gorgeous, high quality components and completely plastic-free. Reusable, re-playable and highly innovative. 

A perfect addition to your Christmas table. 

  • QUICK AND LIGHT: The games are quick and light. They are designed to be played at Christmas and are easy to fit around the turkey and trimmings. With the rules to each game on a single sheet, you’ll be playing in just a few minutes.
  • REUSABLE: Unlike normal crackers, the Dark Imp cracker box is not single-use. You can play the games as many times as you wish. The cracker box has a twist-end structure, so you can open and re-close it. This is the cracker that keeps giving!
  • PLASTIC FREE: The Cracker Games are eco-friendly and completely plastic free.
  • HIGH QUALITY COMPONENTS: The cracker box contains a set of cards, six cardboard screens, six paper rule sheets, six wooden imps and a load of wooden components in a fabric bag.
  • MULTI-GENERATIONAL: The Cracker Games are designed using simple (but interesting) concepts for multi-generational play. Games are suitable for ages 8+ with various levels of post-Christmas dinner brain-power.
  • ATTRACTIVE: The Cracker Games look beautifully festive. A delightful addition to any Christmas table.
  • HOBBY GAME MECHANICS: The Cracker Games introduce mechanics found in hobby games to a family audience in a simple, accessible way.
  • LARGER GROUPS: Buy multiple crackers to accommodate larger Christmas gatherings. Scale up games by combining components or play multiple games concurrently.

Hairy Game Lords

 “Absolutely loved it. What a brilliant, brilliant idea. The only thing missing is a snap in your Christmas cracker. But I would happily replace every cracker I’ve ever had to have this at my Christmas table... We’re gamers, but we’ve enjoyed every single one of the [cracker] games. But you could easily teach kids and non-gamers these - in a matter of moments... Really simple rules and great little games... It's bringing in some quite impressive mechanics to a cracker game. How clever is that?” 

Cards or Die

"The games are quick to learn, fun to play and are strategic enough to entertain all abilities making it a brilliant gift for any family... While you could just leave it on the games shelf and play these clever little games all year round, ours is going to live with the Christmas decorations and become part of our traditions on Christmas day."

We're Not Wizards

"Ellie knows how to add that little bit extra complexity that is the most wonderful additional garnish. Not complication for complication sake, but additional mechanics that you'll often see in some of the bigger games we are so desperate for our friends and family to try."  

Board, Deck & Dice
"I'm excited about the potential of some young people getting hold of this and becoming the game designers of tomorrow. That's what excites me a lot about this."

Tabletop Games Blog

"The packaging is really nice and looks wonderful on the table, just like a traditional cracker would."  

The Game Shelf
"Dark Imp manage to pack some advanced gaming concepts in a series of simple to play and fast to learn games. Honestly, the feat of making these so easy to learn and play is fantastic... The Dark Imp are doing great work in creating new and innovative products that bring modern board gaming to a broader audience."

1. The Dark Imp Coaster Games

These cardboard coasters each contain a game. The game is on one side, the rules on the other.  To play each game, all you need is one coaster for the whole group plus pen & paper. You don’t write on the coasters, so the games can be played again and again.

They are totally portable and come in a little travel case. A perfect stocking filler.

The Coaster Games:
  • Letter Market – a word game for 2+ players.
  • Sleuth Box – a deduction game for 2 players.
  • Alien Farm – an action-selection game for 2-4 players.
  • Ice Cream Truck – a risk-management game for 2+ players.
  • Treasure Split – a cooperative game for 2 players.
  • Free the Frog – a party game for 2+ players.

2. Mini Town

You stand in an empty field and survey the land around. “This will be Mini Town!” you announce to the birds dramatically. As self-elected mayor, it’s your job to oversee development of the new town. Build your infrastructure and services to best serve the community and, of course, to gain the most points!

Mini Town is a 'roll & write' city-building game for any number of people. 

Each pad is A6 size and has 50 sheets. 


The six games in the cracker use the same components in a variety of different ways. But, of course, there are loads of other games you can play with the components... they just haven't been invented yet!   

If we hit £3000, we'll create a little Family Design Challenge booklet. We'll set tasks for you using the components within the cracker, to design your own games using this versatile little kit.

The artwork and graphic design is done. The printers have the final files and are ready to go. 
Production & assembly will take 3-4 weeks. 
You can expect to receive your Cracker Games by mid-November 2020. Christmas delivery is guaranteed.

Ellie Dix: Designer and owner of The Dark Imp

Ellie Dix has been obsessed with board games from an early age. Not only playing them, but tweaking the rules for fun and designing her own. She firmly believes that board games have positively influenced her ability to interact with others, manage failure, work creatively with available resources, experiment with multiple paths to success, solve interesting problems, adapt to changing situations and make decisions quickly.
A teacher and educationalist, Ellie was previously owner and Director of Pivotal Education, the UK’s largest team of school behaviour specialists. Pivotal has helped thousands of teachers transform their classrooms and improve outcomes for learners.
A mother of two teenage boys, Ellie is now putting all her understanding of behaviour, experience with gamification, teaching skills and game-playing history to use, by helping other parents to introduce board games to family life. She believes they are a sure-fire antidote to unhealthy online distractions, and a means to a happier, more social family unit.
Ellie has designed the following published games:
  • Two big box games: Gnome Grown & Doughnut Dash
  • Two mint tin games: Don’t Count Your Chickens & Top Cake
  • Two placemat games: Castaway & Beach Life
  • Six coaster games: Letter Market, Ice Cream Truck, Sleuth Box, Free the Frog, Treasure Split & Alien Farm.
Ellie’s book, The Board Game Family: Reclaim your children from the screen, was published by Crown House Publishing in 2019.
Marina Tsareva:Freelance Graphic Designer

Marina Tsareva is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and artist and has been working in the graphic industry for 13 years. 
She works on a graphic design for board games and card games, illustrations, brand identity, app design, character design, digital art and portrait painting.

For a large part of her career, she has worked in print production and pre-press.

Cracker Games Pledge Levels


Not games!

Placemat & Coaster Games


Big Box Games

Mint Tin Games