Upcoming Events (July-August 2020)

Lockdown is behind us (hopefully for good!), and we’ve been back in business proper for over a month now. After successfully pulling off our own International TableTop Day festivities, we’re now looking forward to more upcoming events! We’ll be releasing more information for each of these events as they get closer, but for now we just wanted to give everyone a brief look at what we’re currently planning.

Feature Friday
Feature Fridays have been a recurring weekly event at Cakes n Ladders for a while now, and we plan to keep them going, but they’ll be moving from weekly events to fortnightly, with the next one happening this week, on 17 July! Check here for more information about Feature Friday. During the off weeks for Feature Friday we’re looking into starting a new fortnightly event…

Teacher Friday
We’ve got such a massive library of games that it’s inevitable some will be played more than others, and it’s honestly a shame to see some amazing games be neglected because they’re perhaps less popular, or their rules take longer to wrap your head around. Enter: Teacher Fridays. We’ll aim to spotlight these games, putting an emphasis on learning new games that aren’t played often, if ever. The first Teacher Friday will be Friday 24 July, where we will be teaching the delightful co-op game of burnination and consummate V’s, Trogdor!! The Board Game. Keep watch on our social media for more details to come!

TPK Tuesday
Another returning favourite will be Total Party Kill Tuesdays. These low-commitment RPG one-shots were always well received, but obviously had to be put on hold during the COVID-19 lockdown. We’re happy to announce that TPK Tuesdays will be back in action from next month. New and returning adventurers alike can look forward to the next session on 4 August. More details on TPK Tuesdays can be found here.

International Cat Day
Some of you might be familiar with our dedicated Cat Shelf, packed to the brim with cat-inspired games. We’re feline excited to make the most of those games next month to celebrate International Cat Day. This purrfect holiday falls on a Saturday this year, 8 August, so we’ll be highlighting the games on that shelf (and others that won’t fit!) all weekend. We’re talking Meow, Action Cats, Purrrlock Holmes, Rat-a-Tat Cat, Exploding Kittens, Cat Capers, and even a special Feature Friday of The Isle of Cats. Mark it on your calendar right meow!

Winter Onesieland
That’s right, one of our favourite annual traditions is coming back once again. As in past years we’ll be offering special discounts for anyone who comes in to game on the weekend of 15-16 August wearing a onesie, so make sure you’ve picked your cosiest and comfiest for the occasion! More details to come soon.

Cakes n Ladders turns 5!
Save the date! We at Cakes n Ladders will be celebrating our 5th birthday on 27 August, so keep your eyes peeled for more information to come about our birthday celebrations the weekend that follows (29-30 August)!

Any dates, times, and events are all subject to change, especially as this year has been anything but predictable, but we’re going to try our best to bring these and more fun events to Cakes n Ladders to keep you entertained throughout the latter half of the year. Thank you as always for your continued support!

International TableTop Day 2020

As with many social events around the world this year, standard International TableTop Day festivities didn’t exactly go as planned. By the time COVID-19 had struck Geek & Sundry hadn’t yet updated their official TableTop Day website from last year, as it still features assets for ITTD 2019. We don’t have official word from them, but it certainly seems like in a time of global lockdowns and social distancing, they opted to just skip the event for 2020.

Thankfully for us, our team of 5 million in New Zealand adhered to the government’s guidelines to flatten the curve of infection, and for several weeks were even able to boast zero active cases nationwide! These efforts brought the country down to Alert Level 1, allowing us at Cakes n Ladders to still be able to host our own TableTop Day.

Cakes n Ladders poster for International TableTop Day 2020 and list of events

The day was full of fun and excitement, laughter and cheers often erupting from tournament tables. As usual we held three tournaments, the winners of which received their names on our ITTD trophy plus individual prize bags, as well as other event games throughout the day.

Our tournaments for the day were Zombie Dice, Rummikub, and the Azul trilogy, with returning two-time victors Rob, Nat, and Darryn all trying to get their names on the trophy for a third time. Darryn won the Zombie Dice match and became our first three-time champion, eternally cementing Nat’s ire for him.

Winner of Zombie Dice tournament holding trophy Winner of Cthulhu Wars tournament holding trophy Winner of Rummikub tournament holding trophy Winner of Azul tournament holding trophy

The other winners, whose names went on the trophy for the first time, were Becka (Rummikub) and Tim (Azul), with Brendon emerging victorious in our special Cthulhu Wars match.

In addition to the tournaments there were two other game events happening: Friend of the shop and animator extraordinaire Mike Glasswell brought in his copy of Nemesis for the morning crowd, and in the evening we welcomed Alayn Clint back to the shop to play an updated version of his upcoming game Upkeep. We trialled Upkeep pre-lockdown, before the game’s Kickstarter was launched; said Kickstarter was more than successful, earning more than double the original goal, and it was great to have another go with Upkeep for TableTop Day!

Zombie Dice participant posing after a good turn group of players playing Cthulhu Wars group playing Rummikub Azul finalists posing before their face-off flyer for the game Upkeep

We continue to be blown away by the support we’ve received since re-opening, and cannot thank you all enough. Our games collection is still growing, giving you more and more reasons to come back. Plus Feature Fridays and TPK Tuesdays will be starting back up regularly soon, and we’re brainstorming more themes and events to celebrate in the future. Spoiler: our next event may or may not include onesies.

Thank you all for coming out to International TableTop Day 2020 at Cakes n Ladders! With or without Geek & Sundry taking charge, we’re already looking forward to ITTD 2021!

Get ready for International TableTop Day!

Once a year International Tabletop Day brings us back to the table to remind us why we play and to give thanks to those who make every roll of the dice exciting.

Perhaps more needed this year than in any other year International TableTop Day (ITTD) is a time to set the worries of the world aside and join with your community to enjoy the comradery found by gathering around a table and playing games!

Find the details here but all you really need to know is that on the fourth of July from 10am Cakes n Ladders is hosting the biggest board game event of the year.

Alert Level 2 Update

26 MAY 2020 UPDATE
Due to the loosened restrictions surrounding Alert Level 2, we have updated our own rules a bit. Outdated information will remain with a strike through it, and new information will follow the struck out info in italics.


It’s official! As of 11:59 PM on Wednesday 13 May, New Zealand is moving from Alert Level 3 down to Alert Level 2! We’ve done a great job so far, but now’s when we really have to focus. I’m sure we’ll all breath a sigh of relief as life begins returning to normal, but we can’t yet let down our guards completely. Having said that, let us be clear:
Cakes n Ladders will be re-opening for in-store business from Thursday 14 May at 4:00 PM.

There will be a few temporary changes in place for the duration of Alert Level 2, as outlined below. The first three points are in accordance with the government’s recommendations for the hospitality industry, with some additional information after.

1. SEATED. Patrons must be seated. Board games are generally played while sitting anyway, but this means that when you come in you will be seated immediately, instead of browsing the game shelves, ordering food and drink, or grabbing a Meeple table token. In fact to avoid unnecessary contact, we will not be using the Meeple tokens during Alert Level 2, instead taking a name from your group to write down.

You can get up to use the loo, of course (don’t forget to wash your hands after!), but that’s pretty much it.

2. SEPARATED. Players must be separated. We will be moving our tables around slightly to allow for social distancing, ensuring that different groups remain at least 1m apart, and reducing our seating to make sure people aren’t sitting too close. The people you game with can only be people you already know, which means for duration of Alert Level 2 we will not be hosting Feature Fridays or casual meet-ups.

Groups who come in may be no larger than 10 people, and we’re capping our maximum occupancy at around 30 people (normally 45-50). As of Friday 29 May at noon, groups of more than 10 will be allowed. Maximum occupancy will generally remain at 30ish people, but if you’d like to book out the cafe for a group event we may be able to allow more than 30 people, so long as they’re all people who know and are familiar with each other already. Please message or email us for details if you’re interested in this.

It is also recommended that gaming sessions don’t go over two hours. Once you hit two hours of game time we’re not going to kick you out or rush you to finish your game, but when that game has finished we recommend that you head out. We know it’s not ideal, and we’re not fans of putting time limits in place, but it’s for the best right now. You can always come back to play more later!

3. SERVED. We will come to your table to take food and drink orders and receive payment to minimise shared surface contact. Additionally, we will ask what game you’d like to play and get it for you. When you’re finished with a game we will take it so it can be properly sanitised before it goes to another table, and we can get you a new game at that time. Groups should not have more than one game at their table at a time. Customers are once again able to browse games themselves. At government guidance, books are not required to have be disinfected before returning them to the library, so we’re going to treat our games library in much the same way. We also will no longer have a restriction on the number of games a group has at their table, but please be mindful to grab only games you intend to play.

If you don’t know what game you’d like to play, as always we are happy to recommend something based on your preferences. If there’s a silver lining to being shut for 6 weeks, it’s that we’ve had some time to learn plenty of new games we weren’t so familiar with before! Also remember that if you’re not sure what game you’d like to play, you can use our Games List to search based on difficulty, number of players, and more!

4. SANITISED. COVID-19 can persist on surfaces if not properly cleaned, and with any number of people playing a game and touching all the pieces, this is probably the most pressing concern for us. This is why we strongly encourage you to wash your hands, wash them thoroughly, and wash them with soap, for a minimum of twenty seconds before and after playing a game. As mentioned before we will also be sanitising the games before they are allowed to go to a new table. As mentioned above we will no longer be sanitising games after being played.

We’ll also be working to keep our tabletops, bench tops, and door handles all clean and disinfected regularly throughout each day.

5. CONTACT TRACING. With our renewed freedom, it is entirely possible that more cases of COVID-19 can begin to spread. If this happens, contact tracing will be essential to pinpointing where those cases originated. As such, if you come to Cakes n Ladders during Alert Level 2, we ask that you check in using Facebook or Instagram so there is a record of when you were here. If you do not use these services, we will have a notebook to take down your name, as well as the date and time you were here. Ideally you should try to keep your own record of where you go and who you are with!

We are working on setting up Cakes n Ladders with the government’s NZ COVID Tracer app, but it’s not quite ready yet. We’ll let you know when it’s sorted.

6. STAYING HOME. We know it can be tempting to brush off a small sniffle or seemingly harmless cough when you feel perfectly fine otherwise, but if you show any signs of sickness, no matter how small, we ask that you stay home and rest up. We’ll still be here, and will gladly welcome you back when you’re back to 100%.

Thanks for sticking with us through this rough time! We count ourselves incredibly blessed to have your support even when times are tight and tough for everyone, and are so pumped to get back to business.

If you need a refresher on further details surrounding Alert Level 2, not specific to Cakes n Ladders, be sure to check out the official NZ Government update.

Alert Level 3 Update

On Tuesday the 28th of April New Zealand will be moving to Alert Level 3. This means stores can open up for contactless retail, but cafés and social gatherings will remain restricted.

So what does this mean for us at Cakes n Ladders?

This means from 28 April onwards we WILL be able to sell board games to help keep you going while remaining in your bubbles, but only via online orders. We do not have an online store, so please let us know what titles you’re looking for, and we’ll let you know what the price and availability is. If we can get the game you want, you can pay via bank transfer and we can send it to you by courier.

We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to get any game you want, but we will certainly try our best!

To be clear, this also means we WILL NOT be able to open the café for standard business at this time. Rest assured, we’ll let you know as soon as that’s possible. We’re just as eager to get back to it as anyone!

Hopefully you’re all staying safe and well. If we can help make the lockdown more enjoyable for you and yours, let us know! 🧁🎲

Closed for quarantine

Hey folks, we are now officially closed for the lockdown. Thank you so much for coming out and supporting us yesterday (24/04/20) by buying games. Hopefully what you’ve picked up will help you stay safe and sane during the lockdown, and make the social distancing seem like less of a burden.

We’ll do our best to keep you updated on what we’re playing, and we hope to hear from all of you about what you’re playing also!

Remember: the more vigilant we are with our social distancing, the less time we’ll have to do it for.

Much love from the Cakes n Ladders crew – let’s get through this together and come out safe and happy on the other side. Take care, and we’ll see you again when we re-open.