PLAAY Games was founded by me, Keith Avallone! It's an e-business I created in the year 2000 to give me an outlet for the old-fashioned card-and-chart sports board games I have a passion for creating, playing and sharing! My son Sam joined the busines upon graduating college in the spring of 2019. We both have a passion for board games and board game design, and we work side-by-side to bring borad game goodness into a fractured and sometimes not-so-good world.
I grew up in the 1960s and '70s and have always loved games. I started making my own games—versions of Monopoly and "The Game of Life," along with various card and quiz/trivia games. I discovered professional sports at age 10 and soon began playing sports board games from companies like APBA and Strat-O-Matic. They quickly became my number one interest, and it wasn't long after that I began tinkering with my own sports board games. I've been tinkering ever since, it's been a life-long passion!
I started PLAAY.com from scratch in 1999, offering nothing but SECOND SEASON Pro Football Game, a game that I had been playing and polishing since 1978. It had long been my dream to have my own football game company, a dream that seemed to have died when board games began to fall out of favor in the late 1980s but one which was revived with the advent of the internet. I began to make "finished" versions of other board games I had been experimenting with, drawing on my fondness for sports that have not seen much of a board game presence. FACE TO THE MAT Pro Wrestling Game came along in 2000, ROLLER RUMBLE Roller Derby Game in 2001, BOWL-O-RAMA Championship Bowling Game in 2002, CRASH AND SCRAMBLE Pro Indoor Lacrosse Game in 2003, DEMO DERBY SMASH-DOWN Demolition Derby Game and COLD SNAP Canadian Pro Football Game in 2009. In April of 2010, I introduced my new pro hockey game, HOCKEY BLAST. In February of 2012, RED WHITE & BLUE RACIN' Stock Car Action Game debuted. In December 2012, I re-introduced pro indoor lacrosse to the PLAAY world with LACROSSE BLAST, using the basic hockey game engine. We did the same thing with soccer in 2014, with SOCCER BLAST. HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL came along in 2013. HISTORY MAKER GOLF was released in March of 2017. HISTORY MAKER HOOPS is scheduled for a 2022 release. After that, I think the PLAAY suite of sports board games will be complete.
However, Sam has brought a new vision and new energy to PLAAY Games. In 2017, we announced plans for a new line of games for the PLAAY family. Two years later, PLAAY NOW was born. We started with two games, TWISTED FATE: Cowboys vs. Aliens, and FURY FOOTBALL, an alt-sport strategy game. We re-skinned DEMO DERBY SMASH-DOWN with new graphics and transplanted it to PLAAY NOW in early 2020, along with a new entry in our "fury sports" line, FURY HARDBALL. We also added two non-sports simulation games, AVIATRIX '37, the Vintage Aircraft Adventure Game in March of 2020 and NATIONAL EMERGENCY ("We Have A Problem, Mr. President...") in October. In February 2021, we re-arranged our online presence into a "then and now" split, with the classic sports simulation board games relocated to a new URL, PLAAYclassic.com, to pair with our alternate game offerings at PLAAY NOW.com. Our mother site, PLAAY.com began service as a hub site for all things PLAAY. We have ideas for new applications of the PLAAY brand, which we'll be rolling out in the months and years ahead.
PLAAY Games is built on integrity and a high level of customer service. Board games are our passion and we truly care about the people who play them, whether they purchase a game from us or not! We have been on the "customer" end of buying games ourselves, and we treat people the way WE want to be treated. That means prompt processing of orders, assistance with any questions, and products that are a good value.
We want to create and offer exceptional games, true, but we're just as interested in creating exceptional game experiences. We invest heavily in community, with a strong social media presence to bring solo gamers together in spirit. We've also held live game events all over the USA the past eight years, three or four per year. (Obviously, our live events were curtailed during the pandemic.) We've also held an event in Canada, and had an event scheduled for London, England in May of 2020 that was cancelled because of COVID.
One problem I've always had as a sports board-gamer is finding other people to play! So, we've created ALL of these board games so that they could be played WITHOUT needing an opponent! That's an important distinction—many board games are designed first for head-to-head play, with added-on rules for playing solitaire. PLAAY Games are put together the other way around! They are designed FIRST for SOLITAIRE play, with added rules for head-to-head competition.
The idea behind all PLAAY.com sports simulation board games is to provide the same kind of experience you'd get from reading a good novel. Every game is designed to make you feel like you're "watching" the game or event unfold before you. Add your imagination, and all of a sudden simple words and numbers printed on cards and charts are transformed into vivid, exciting, often dramatic action! In games based on historical scenarios, it's like a sort of time-machine!
In discussing PLAAY Classic's line of sports simualtion board games, it's important to draw the distinction between sports simulation board games, and sports strategy board games. Strategy games re-create sports strategy, simulations re-create sports results. Our games are solitaire simulations first, with strategy elements added for head-to-head play. So, they can easily be enjoyed BOTH ways!
PLAAY NOW employs a different approach to board games. We've developed a brand of what we call "alt-sports." They contain some of the elements of traditional sports simulations, but with more elements of "game." We're also appropriating some of the design concepts we've developed for our sports simulation games and applying them to non-sports simulation games, like Aviatrix '37 and National Emergency. Our strategy is not just to create gateways into the sports sim hobby, but to create experiences similar to what the PLAAY sports sims generate, albeit outside the realm of traditional sports, focusing on narrative and drama rather than statistical or historical precision.
PLAAY games—both PLAAY Classic and PLAAY NOW—are imaginative and fun, but not over-the-top fancy. While we respect and appreciate Kickstarter project games with elaborate, intricate, often luxurious components (yes, we have backed some of these ourselves!), that's just not our thing. We use all local (Colorado, USA) printing, which gives us exceptional flexibility and avoids the "slow boat from China" problem entirely. All games are made-in-America, printed on good quality paper products, shipped next-day when possible (which is 95% of the time). Originally, PLAAY sports games were presented in "classic black and white." We introduced color graphics to each of our games in 2009. In 2015, we switched from the fold-flat "shirt boxes" with "some assembly required," to bona-fide, custom-manufactured two-piece game boxes. When PLAAY NOW launched in 2019, it did so featuring a custom-manufactured, wrap-around sleeved box design for all games. In 2021, we switched our classic sports games to this same box style.
We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all our products. However, please make your decision to return a game before you have played it. Simply return the product within 30 days in re-sellable condition (cards not separated, etc.) and we will refund your money. Sorry, we won't be able to complete a refund for games returned to us which don't meet this stipulation.
**"APBA," "Strat-O-Matic," "Avalon-Hill," "Basketball Strategy," "Monopoly," and "The Game of Life " are all registered trademarks of their respective companies.