Hello! Ben here, Pop Up Playground’s friendly local Game Mechanic (that more or less means head game designer). This week on social media we’ve been describing some of the games that we’ve played at previous Fresh Air festivals, or which will be featured at Fresh Air 2015. Today I want to talk about a game which is both, one of the big hits of the 2014 festival that we’ll be bringing back next year: Little Monsters’ Big Day Out. (Considering I am going to refer to it a lot, I’m gonna abbreviate that to LMBDO, mostly because I can choose to pronounce it “lambdo”, though usually we just call it “Little Monsters” for short.)

A monster from Little Monsters' Big Day Out

A collaboration between Pop Up Playground’s Sayraphim Lothian and Serious Business’ Grant Howitt, LMBDO is honestly one of the best games I’ve had the pleasure of running or playing. It packs a huge amount of adventure into a simple setup: pairs of players tie on monster tails and run all over Federation Square taking photos of their cute little monster friends, each of whom wants to go on as many adventures as possible in the time limit! What kind of adventures? Well, they tell you via speech balloons, but their desires are kind of vague; it’s up to you to figure it out!

Play is often a great way to get people smiling and having fun, but LMBDO lights up faces and hearts in people of every age like no other game I’ve seen. That’s due in no small part to the amazing tails; one you strap one on it instantly frees you of any inhibitions you might have about being a bit silly in public! Plus the little monsters themselves are so damn cute. (Every time we’ve run it we’ve had multiple people ask if they can buy one of their own.) All of the props were created for Pop Up Playground by incredibly talented Melbourne craft artist Jellibat, some of whose work you can find on Etsy, and they are a huge part of the game’s appeal.

LMBDO is a great example of a little game which feels like a big experience. It’s also the kind of thing it’s not practical to make and sell for people to run themselves, thanks to the importance and number of the props, and so it can only exist thanks to the support we receive here at Pop Up Playground. We want to make and run more games like it, and fill Fresh Air to bursting point with awesome situations – and you can help! We’re raising money to help make Fresh Air 2015 bigger and better than ever, and we’ll be using that money not only to bring out international designers, but to make and run more games like Little Monsters’ Big Day Out. Check out our Pozible campaign and help us out by pledging some money for one of our cool rewards, or even just spreading the word!