Updated: Sep 28, 2021
** all images and media provided by Spidermind Games
Kickstarter is a great platform and can bring many projects to life, not just our new favourite board games. There have been a number of board game accessories I've seen, but the only one I've actually put my money behind is the Level Up by Spidermind Games.
Now the big question is, was it worth it? Let's find out shall we...
So what is it?
The Level Up is a portable, collapsible raised playing surface designed to give you more room to play your favourite games. But rather than me boring you here with a wall of text, check out the video below to see how it works.
There are five sizes available depending on your needs:
The Classic (2 ft by 3 ft)
The Square (3 ft by 3 ft)
The Skirmish (4 ft by 3 ft)
The Wargamer (4 ft by 6 ft)
The Large Wargamer (4 ft by 8 ft)
Theoretically with enough packs you can keep extending the surface on further and further...
So how have we found it so far? Generally very good, it certainly does exactly what it says on the tin, it's very easy to set-up and tear-down, and the quality of the product is ace. It's very durable and incredibly stable.
I've seen many comments saying it's a waste of money because you can just cobble together a makeshift version with random bits and pieces in the house... if you feel like that, you're missing the big point. This is supposed to be portable and something you could easily take to a friends house or even your FLGS or game café.
While the minimum product size is shown as 2 ft by 3 ft we have also used it as a small 2 ft by 2 ft square by just using the four corner pieces.
We mainly got this to help with some of big box games, such as the perennial favourite Eclipse which needs a large amount of table space! The Level Up certainly makes more room, but wasn't as much as we hoped for because we found that we couldn't easily use the space beneath the surface so couldn't rely on that area for anything that was used regularly. Which meant that the only real space saving was from the edge sections.
Another unexpected problem was that for many of the games we play you need to be able to see the other players boards to plan your moves effectively and with the raised surface the boards across the table were obscured. However, for things like roleplaying, where you don't need to see the other players' sheets, it's perfect. Or even for those games nights where you have loads of snacks and drinks about, you can now raise your game out of the way of all those messy foods you have below.
Your mileage will vary depending on what you want it for but this product is definitely ideal for roleplaying games or games where you have concealed or non-public components. Where as for our favourite Eclipse seeing the other players' boards was a challenge when using the Level Up.
In general I can't complain; it does what it says and looks damn good while doing so. I can't give it a six though, because there wasn't as much extra space as I hoped for.
Maybe if they would release different leg heights, we could use the space under the surface more easily.
Your friendly DoaLG rules lawyer
George E Ohh