Accessory Review - Folded Space Inserts
This review is based on my experience with four of the Folded Space inserts from their second and third Kickstarter campaigns. I backed for the Arkham Horror Living Card Game insert in their second Kickstarter campaign and the Spirit Island, Terraforming Mars, and Concordia inserts from their third campaign.
Folded Space are a company based out of Sofia, Bulgaria who produce inserts for board games. Their inserts are very similar to foam core based inserts except that they are made from a slightly different material (Evacore) and the sheets of Evacore come pre-cut, reducing the amount of work required to make them.
Most board games don’t come with inserts or organisers to put them away, this can make the set-up time for games take a lot longer even if you sort all the components into plastic baggies. If a game does come with a plastic insert, it often isn’t particularly good. I have a tendency to throw most of the plastic inserts away and rely on plastic baggies instead but I would prefer a better storage solution. I doubt I’m the only gamer who feels this way either, judging by the plethora of storage solutions available from foam core designed by boardgame geek users, to broken token organisers, to bespoke inserts available on etsy.
The Folded Space Kickstarter appealed to me for two key reasons; the inserts are relatively cheap, and assembly seemed simple. I’ll address these issues first before moving on to some thoughts I have after assembling and using four of these inserts.
In terms of cost, the inserts are cheaper than many other storage alternatives. Medium sized boardgame inserts range in price from €13.50 to €19.00. Larger games like Gloomhaven cost more but are still cheaper than their equivalent from Broken Token. That comparison isn’t necessarily fair though, Broken Token organisers are made from different materials (I haven’t used a Broken Token insert so I can’t speak to their quality). It’s also worth noting that the Evacore sheets that Folded Space inserts are made from could be described as fancy foam core. Foam core sheets are cheap and if money is more of an issue than time and effort, then nothing beats foam core on cost.
That said, Folded Space inserts are a lot easier to make than a foam core project. There’s no cutting involved. The inserts come as pre-cut sheets of Evacore that you just pop out the pieces that will make the insert. Anyone familiar with making IKEA furniture will feel at home making a Folded Space insert. You just follow the instructions to fit the pieces together, assembling them dry before reassembling them using a water soluble glue. The entire process is very easy and I found it quite cathartic, sort of like washing the dishes, it’s not exactly fun but it’s satisfying. I will clarify that my arts and crafts skills are not particularly honed, so if I found the assembly easy, it must be.
The Evacore pieces are quite sturdy considering they are reinforced foam. Pieces fit together relatively snugly even before they are glued and I haven’t had any problems with the inserts coming apart since assembling them. The inserts fit well into the game boxes, maximising space without needing to be forced to fit. The Arkham Horror insert raises the height of the box lid, meaning the lid and the base of the box are in less contact (this was noted before I ordered it), but the box still stay closed even when stored vertically.
The inserts I purchased also stored the expansion materials in the base game box. This was a big plus for me as it meant I could throw out several expansion boxes to make more shelf space (for more games). However, space in the box is not unlimited, The Arkham Horror card game insert doesn’t fit every single card that has been released. The Concordia insert has space for the Salsa and Venus expansions but I still needed to keep one of those boxes for all the expansion game boards.
One nice feature of the inserts is that different sections can be taken out and are designed to store game pieces (like money or resources) while you play. This greatly speeds up setup and teardown of the game and make your play space are a lot less messy.
One minor issue I had with the Folded Space Kickstarter campaigns however, was that each insert was supposed to come with a sheet of stickers to label each section of the insert. This was a stretch goal of both of the campaigns. Of the four inserts that I purchased across two campaigns, I received only one set of stickers (for my Spirit Island insert). I can’t say whether Folded Space would have rectified this if I had gotten in touch, it seemed too minor to bother However, the fact that it occurred for the majority of the inserts I purchased makes it seem like an endemic problem that needs to be fixed.
I really like the Folded Space inserts that I purchased. They were cheap, easy to assembly, and greatly decreased set up time, making me more likely to take the games in question down off the shelf. If foam core seems like to much effort (like it did for me), then I’d happily recommend these inserts.