Herding cats and spinning yarns: Ali Simonson lets her bad side out to play at Dyce Games

Ali Simonson, Dyce Games

Ali, thanks for joining us. You’re Director of Business Development at Dyce… Dyce currently has a terrific range of Bad games… That is to say, games with bad in the title. What’s been in that range up until now?
Thanks Deej! Bad People was the first brainchild from the mischievous mind of Mike Lancaster, our president and founder – and the evil genius behind the games. When the urge to create a cheekily entertaining game struck, Mike took matters into his own hands.

This was before there was a company to speak of, presumably?
Right. Originally, he crafted a game that appealed to his circle of friends and had that ‘bad’ factor that we all secretly crave. Bad People was a smash success from the start. Later, Bad Choices came about when Mike felt it was time to add another ‘Baddy’ to the mix. Bad Choices is a combination of Never Have I Ever and UNO. It’s the ultimate game for discovering hilarious truths, secrets, and stories about your friends.

Indeed! I have a copy lined up to play – I’m just plucking up the nerve! But let me ask you this… So-called ‘badult’ games exploded in popularity in the wake of Cards Against Humanity and the like. Why are they SO popular, do you think? What’s their appeal?
The irresistible appeal of badult games… These games are like the rebellious offspring of classic board games and a stand-up comedy show you can play from the comfort of your couch. I think this specific type of party game is popular because they provide us with that much-needed escape from being adults. Who wouldn’t want to embrace their inner child, share a laugh, and let their ‘bad’ side out to play?

Well, my Aunt Edith wouldn’t! But she’s hardly your target audience! With games that bring out that ‘bad’ side, though, and push the boundaries of taste, there’s usually a line… How – at Dyce – do you decide where the line is? And who actually says, “That’s too far!?”
At Dyce, we’ve become experts in the art of drawing the line – the kind of line that requires a magnifying glass to see, though! Truth be told, it’s a group effort… Our brilliant team carefully balances creativity with a dash of common sense. If something makes us simultaneously laugh and gasp in horror, it’s a sign we’re probably onto something… Or that we need another drink.

Ali Simonson, Dyce Games

An excellent barometer! Something else I’ve noticed with the range is that the packaging looks beautifully clean. While many people try to grab attention with colour, you’ve really gone the other way…
I like to think of our packaging as ‘the little black dress’ of the game world— it’s timeless, versatile, and always in style.

Great simile!
The black’s not just a colour, though: it’s a statement. It’s the foundation that creates cohesion across our games and reflects our commitment to keeping things sleek and classy – even when our content isn’t exactly above board. After all, when you’re in the business of embracing the ‘bad,’ a little black packaging gives that mysterious edge—because even ‘bad’ needs a touch of sophistication!

Fantastic answer – take the rest of the day off as soon as we’re done! Meanwhile, the latest title is Bad Opinions. What’s the big idea there?
Bad Opinions is a rowdy game where voicing ludicrous viewpoints and battling over topics isn’t just the aim – it’s the whole point! Each of you becomes a Rantmaster, sharing your bold or bonkers opinions on various topics… They might include a passionate diatribe about the worst pizza topping, or a heartfelt rant about despised movie classics! Whatever the topic, the goal is to win fellow players’ hearts and laughter.

Not that straightforward though, is it? There are twists…
Yes! There are ‘Interrupt Cards’ to shake things up, and sneaky voting to determine the reigning Rantmaster. They turn the game into a battlefield of quirky beliefs and uproarious debates. It’s not just about victory; it’s about who can spin the wildest, most entertaining yarn – and gather enough points to claim the crown of opinionated glory!

Ali Simonson, Dyce Games

Sounds riotous! You’re also ready to launch Bad Kitty. Tell us about that!
Bad Kitty is brand new! It’s the ultimate purr-ty game for cat lovers and party animals… Demonstrating your cattitude and wit is the name of the game! Your goal? Be first to score seven points by selecting the most hilariously fitting Kitty card for each embarrassingly quirky scenario. With the Cat Herder leading the pack, the question cards get read aloud, and players meow their chosen Kitty card, aiming for the most purr-fect match. No “wussing out with your puss out” – every Kitty card counts!

After a rambunctious round of comparisons, the Cat Herder picks the Kitty card they find the most fitting and awards the winning player a point. As the Kitty cards pile up, the race to seven points is on! Also, if you feel like extending the fun you can go for Nine Lives Mode, and switch things up with Bad Cattitude or Alley Cat Mode.

Super! How do you win, Ali?
The player with the lowest score faces a feline-themed challenge at the game’s end. That adds an extra dash of mischief to what we’re calling a clawsome experience! Or as we put it elsewhere: Get ready to unleash your inner cat fancier and let the fur fly in this uproarious game of matching wits and kitties.

Sounds excellent. To wrap things up, Ali, what else can you tell us that’ll raise eyebrows, rattle cages, and disturb minds?
We’ll unveil the newest addition to the Bad series in 2025. For now, it’s top secret, so I am not at liberty to say more. Don’t ‘judge’ me…

Very nice, Ali. Tantalising!

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