Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios- The Number 1 Street Food Board Game

Night market is THE Street Food board game, or at least that was what I was recently to find out.

We get a lot of e-mails at the Street Food Guy. You’d expect it to mostly be people offering me free food, but no sadly it is just spam.

Every now and again though one comes through that truly piques your interest, so when I was asked to look at and help promote Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios – a board game based around Street Food!!! What’s not to love?

Rather than spill the beans I will let you read my interview with them, but in case you can’t get that far here is a link to their Kickstarter. Please check them out.

Firstly tell us briefly who you guys are and what it is that you do?

We are Talon Strikes Studios, a board game publisher.

I am a board game designer that current lives in Manila, Philippines, but previously lived in Taipei, Taiwan for about 7 years. I love traveling, and I mostly judge how much I like a place solely based on the food, with street food being my favorite!

What made you reach out to the Street Food Guy?

The theme of our current board game, Night Market, was largely inspired by my love for street food, and Taiwan is a hidden gem in the street food world. We think this game will strongly appeal to you and your followers.

OK, so tell us all about this game! And indeed why our readers would like it?

Night Market is a highly thematic euro-game with simple yet clever mechanics that deepen the game play. For avid board gamers, the mechanics feel super fresh. My goal with the design was to showcase the night markets of Taiwan, and of course, its street food. I fell in love with Taiwan in my time living there, so I designed the game to pay homage to my time living there.

Taiwan is known throughout South East Asia for its street food but it isn’t as known throughout the world. But it absolutely deserves to be! We designed this game to accurately represent night market culture in Taiwan and also showcase my favorite dishes. We made sure to employ local Taiwanese cultural consultants to ensure the night market culture was represented as accurately as possible.

What are your future plans for it?

Right now, we have a campaign running on Kickstarter. Due to the popularity of the campaign, we have pushed out a lot of additional content that was originally planned for a future release. Now, we are hard at work making sure this content is ready when we fulfill all our pledges.

As for the future, we are not short of ideas for upcoming expansions. And without any major spoilers, fans of the game may find themselves transported to new countries in search of their favorite night market food.

Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios
Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios

So, why Street Food, why not do a regular restaurant for example? Why does the street food angle make this so special?

I love street food! And it is ubiquitous in Taiwan! To me it was the best way to showcase the local culture in a fun way. The most iconic Taiwanese dishes, to me at least, are the ones you can find in night markets.

Why Taipei and not a more famous street food destination, like Bangkok for example?

As I said before, I want to show people that Taiwan should be regarded as an essential destination for street food. It is known as such through South East and East Asia, but it can be overshadowed by places like Thailand to other regions of the world.

OK, why do you love street food?

In Taiwan, it is not just the street food, it’s the culture around it. I went back to visit Taiwan about a year after I moved away. When I visited my favorite night markets, I saw a completely new set of trending foods alongside the typical mainstays. This is what I love about the street food culture in Taiwan. Vendors need to innovate to create the next best thing. Then if it catches on, other vendors make their own version. Soon in a few years, some of these innovations will be viewed as another quintessential night market foods.

What is your favorite street food?

It’s so hard to choose. When we were deciding the next dishes to be in our game, we actually had to poll our backers about which ones they wanted because I had such a hard time choosing!

But if I had to choose: soup dumplings. Though not as common in night markets, and even though Din Tai Fung is the most famous Taiwanese soup dumpling chain, the best soup dumplings I ever had were at the night market in Kenting. They had seared bottoms almost like potstickers then topped with a furikake-like seasoning. They were out of this world!!!

Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios
Night Market by Talon Strikes Studios

So, give us a shameless plug, where can we buy the game and how can we help you promote it right now?

We are currently nearing the end of our campaign on Kickstarter which comes with a lot of bonus content for our backers. As I said, there a tons of add-ons that add amazing diversity to the game, and, in my mind, really show players what Taiwan is all about!

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