And the snacks you should never pair them with.
Choking hazard warnings really shouldn’t be restricted to children. Not when so many board game components keep trying to trick us into taking a bite. Edible board games may one day hit the mainstream, but until then? We have problems. Through unfortunate coincidence -- or perhaps deadly intentional design -- the six games below feature pieces with dangerous similarities to genuinely edible counterparts. We’re not saying you have to ditch the snacks at your next game night. Just avoid pairing these gaming and culinary ingredients together. Not unless you’ve added the Heimlich maneuver to your repertoire of tabletop tactics.
6. Citadels & butterscotch/caramels
Placing low on the what-if-I-just-had-a-nibble temptation scale are Citadels' gold coin tokens. Some say they look like butterscotch; others suggest caramels. Whatever candy camp you support, we reckon there’s little chance of these pieces taking a trip down anyone’s gullet while they backstab one another to build up a tableau of city cards. Not unless that player is suffering sinus issues serious enough to affect sight, taste, and smell. And at that point? You probably don’t want them at your game table anyway.
Snack peril: 1/5
5. Galaxy Trucker & Tic-Tacs
A scan through the assorted bits and bobs of Galaxy Trucker’s interstellar cargo vehicle construction tools might have you questioning the presence of a digestible danger. That’s until you pick up one of the game’s small green batteries. For reasons known only to designer Vlaada Chvátil and his production team, these ship-powering capacitors were produced at almost the exact size and weight of a Tic-Tac mint. The suffocation-saving grace here is that Tic-Tacs are served almost exclusively in a lid-sealed package. What we’re saying is, you probably shouldn’t trust anyone who pours out a pack right before whipping this classic box from the shelf -- they’re definitely up to something.
Snack peril: 2/5
4. Wingspan & Mini Eggs
For all of Wingspan’s gorgeously intricate avian art, the most realistic replica included in this bird-based engine builder wasn’t created with a paintbrush. Introduce a friend to the game, and you can almost guarantee that they’ll comment on one piece in particular: the eggs. An ovoid is a pretty specific shape -- we get that. But Wingspan’s colored tokens bear such a suspicious resemblance to Cadbury Mini Eggs that we’d be genuinely concerned to see them both on the same table. You could swap the official components out with those from your candy bowl, but then you’d be faced with a serious test of restraint if you want to score those extra, egg-based points at the end of the game.
Snack peril: 3/5
3. Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra & hard candy
At this point, designers, we can only assume that you’re actively trying to kill us. Just look at the tokens from abstract tile-laying game Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra. Tell us they don’t look like delicious hard Candy. Offer one to a stranger on the street and, well, you’re probably liable to end up in police custody. But you can guarantee that, while you’re waiting in a cell, one of those officers won’t be able to resist popping a tile in their mouth for a taste. The original Azul pieces already looked snackworthy, but Sintra takes things to sinister levels of seduction.
Snack peril: 4/5
2. Everdell & blueberries
A word of advice to anyone planning thematic food for their next round of Everdell’s woodland worker placement: beware berries. We’re now well past board game components which might accidentally look edible and into the realm of clearly intentional design. Blueberries are one of Everdell’s four main resources and – thanks to the game’s lucrative Kickstarter funding – they’re represented as faithfully as possible. Right down to the star-shaped split on the top. More precarious still, they’re even squishy. So you might not even realize your mistake if one slips into a mouthful. At least now we have an excuse when opting for less healthy snacks.
Snack Peril: 5/5
1. Mint Delivery & mints
Mint Delivery alone holds the accolade of board game most likely to accidentally kill an elderly relative. This ostensibly harmless game about trucking mints across a small town is a disaster waiting to happen. The compact box is styled after an old-school mint tin, complete with peppermint coloring. Tease off the lid and what do you find within? Tiny, mint-sized discs just begging you to have a taste. 10/10 for commitment to the theme but maybe include optional warning tape for those with absent-minded relatives wandering the house.
Snack Peril: It’s too late; we’ve already eaten one!
Finally, a few nods to games with hunger-inducing components that didn’t quite make our full list:
- King of Tokyo’s juicy-looking energy cubes. Apple sour flavor, anyone?
- Quacks of Quedlinburg’s gumdrop rubies. Far more appetizing than a mandrake root.
- Through the Desert’s camels. It’s a crime that they aren’t as soft and squishy as marshmallow.
Which board game components do you have to stop your snacking hand from reaching for of its own accord? Let us know on Facebook, Bluesky, X, Instagram, or YouTube! For (slightly) less silly board game discussions, be sure to listen to the Going Analog Podcast!
Author bio: When he’s not losing himself as a mercenary in Frosthaven, Henry Stenhouse can be found scouring the web for the latest and greatest games, then wondering why he never has time to actually play them. Share your love of deck builders with him at @Fernoface on X, or drop an email to email@example.com.