Welcome back to Level Up My Game where we look into ways to improve the board games you love through home made and 3rd party products. Last time we took a look at a custom wooden organizer for the Marvel Legendary Deckbuilding Game. Today, we are going to stay in a similar category and talk about a newcomer to game storage solutions.
I wasn’t planning on doing a second article in a row about game organizers, but I got side swiped into this great product at Gen Con last month. I met Game Trayz founder Noah Adelman while hanging out at the convention and he showed me his new products. He has two organizers so far, one for Euphoria and one for Terra Mystica. These organizers from Game Trayz use a process called thermoforming to make them unique to the game they are storing. Each tray is custom molded to fit the specific components of the game and also comes with a lid to help keep things secure.
Euphoria Game Trayz
If you haven’t played Euphoria before, it’s a really clever worker placement game by Stonemaier games with some absolutely gorgeous components. I won’t get into the nuts and bolts of Euphoria, you can check out our full review if you want to know more about the game. But one of the things to know about Euphoria is it has a lot of little bits and pieces. And not just wooden cubes mind you, but many realistic looking resources, cards and other tokens. In short, there is a lot to keep organized.
The Game Trayz themselves actually serve two purposes. They store the components when the game is not in use and they also serve as trays to make the game play easier. When I was first introduced to the Euphoria tray, I thought it looked neat, but my first reaction was that they wouldn’t be any use to me. I store all my games vertically in my bookshelves (the “game library” as my wife calls it), so I was convinced the components would instantly fall out of the trays rendering them useless. Boy was I wrong.
Carrie from Game Trayz gave me a knowing look, took the trays and placed them back in the box. She then proceeded to shake the box like a paint can mixer. Sure enough, when she opened the box all the components were still securely resting in their respective spots. I wish I had thought to video it for you (fail, I know). Thankfully, Jonathan from GeekDad.com thought of it, and I present his video below for your enjoyment:
As you can see, the pieces aren’t going anywhere no matter how you store your games. With the custom molded sections, each piece now has a place to live. Awesomesauce. But what I really like about these trays is that Noah didn’t stop there. The organizer is functional during the game as well. The most used of the components, the resources, are actually split into two smaller trays that can be placed on either side of the game board. This allows easy access to all the resources during game play, a brilliant idea in my opinion. No more having to say “pass me some gold.” Now each player can have easy access to the most used components.
Finally, another nice touch, the tray that holds the cards (with spots for both sleeved and unsleeved) actually have a rounded hump in the bottom of the holder. What this does is allow the cards and tiles to be easily removed. By pushing down on one side of the deck of cards, the other side pops right up, allowing the cards to be removed without having to dig around for them.
Terra Mystica Game Trayz
I won’t go into as much detail for the Terra Mystica Trayz as they work similar to the Euphoria ones. The Terra Mystica game organizers come in two different parts. First there is a larger tray to hold the Favor and Town tokens, and then there are two smaller trays to house the resources. I am most excited about the tray that holds the favor/town tokens as it makes it easy to pass around the tokens during the game. Until now, we had to set them up in a spot on the table and players had to look to that spot at the table when they wanted to acquire one. Not a convenient option if you have a big table. With these trayz, it’s easy to pass the tray holding all the tokens around the table as players make their selection.
The resource trays work similar to the Euphoria ones in that they come in two parts. Players can put one on each side of the game board so they can easily collect power points, workers, money and terrain tokens. I do have to say that I’m a bigger fan of the Euphoria one as it houses all the tokens from the game.
That being said, the Terra Mystica trayz do house the components that are most needed during the game, as the player resources are housed on your player board during the game anyway. Between games they will just have to return to their familiar ziplock baggies. Since the Terra Mystica trayz have a lower price point, it’s really not a bad compromise. And like the Euphoria trayz, they both come with a lid to secure them during storage.
I am a huge fan of these trays for Euphoria and Terra Mystica. I think Noah is on to a fantastic idea with these custom game solutions. They fit every piece securely and are functional during the game (which is a huge plus). If you are a fan of Euphoria and Terra Mystica (as you should be), then these trays should be on your radar.
If you want to get your hands on them, the Euphoria trayz cost $24.99 and the Terra Mystica trayz cost $10.99. Both are available at the Game Trayz website. While these are a bit more expensive than the usual Plano box, the added functionality and custom fit makes them well worth the price in my opinion. Most of my game organizers usually fall into the category of either a pile of Ziplock Baggies or the occasional plano box, so I’m glad to see new ideas coming to the market. Finally, please join me in bugging Noah to do an organizer Caverna next, that game desperately needs one!