Vampires, werewolves, zombies attack in new Cleveland-made board game “Bitten!”

February 8, 2018 GMT

Vampires, werewolves, zombies attack in new Cleveland-made board game “Bitten!”

CLEVELAND, Ohio – By day, Ben Kanelos works as an architect at Arcus Group in Rocky River. Once he steps away from his full-time job, he continues to build new worlds in board game form.

Kanelos has been putting out board games since 2012, and his most recent creation, “Bitten!,” was released on Jan. 24. The board game is a vampire-themed social deduction game, similar to popular games like “Two Rooms and a Boom” and “Resistance.”

“Bitten!” is an urban-horror game which features werewolves, vampires and zombies, who all spread through biting. Players work on two teams but don’t know who their teammates are. As they use certain types of cards, they give away which team they are playing on.

“I really like card drafting games so I wanted to put my own spin on it,” said Kanelos. “I wanted to make a game where you didn’t need to necessarily speak to know what you’re doing.”

The game was released by CatDragon games based in Seattle, Washington. It will be sold in a string of board game stores around the country, and is available on Amazon.

Kanelos has released two other games, 2012′s “PACS” and 2017′s “Red Scare.” “PACS” and subsequent “PACS” expansion packs were released through DriveThru Cards, and “Red Scare” was released by Pandasaurus Games.

Some board game creators in Northeast Ohio rely on Kickstarter to self-publish their board games. Kanelos took a different approach by shopping his games to larger publishers.

“I love and pride myself on the game-design process. But I’m not the numbers guy, I’m not the marketing guy,” he said.

Kanelos has developed his board games through play tests and board game meetups in Northeast Ohio. He first got involved in role-playing games while studying at the University of Michigan. Then, he started attending meetups for game design in Northeast Ohio, including the Ultimate Team-Up playtesting events.

The first game Kanelos played at a meetup was “7 Wonders,” which is now his favorite board game.

“That’s when I realized, there was so much out there that I hadn’t been playing, board-game wise,” said Kanelos. “When I started playing, I got hooked.”

Kanelos said that if he’s not at work, he’s usually playing or creating board games. He has already signed a new game, “Night Falls,” to Everything Epic Games. “Night Falls” should be released sometime this fall.

Beyond “Night Falls,” Kanelos said he has endless ideas for new board games.

“It really is a creative outlet,” he said. “It gets you to the table with friends and family and strangers who will become friends ... It’s a lot of my life at this point.”

READ MORE: Ohio-made board game ‘Oh Cluck!’ begins Kickstarter campaign today