Joystick Heroes - the Board Game about playing Video Games

Created by Frown Clowns

Insert tokens to fire up your favorite retro arcade games. Improve your skillz, compete for high scores and become Joystick Heroes!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Introducing 5 WARDS
8 months ago – Wed, Jan 25, 2023 at 09:41:37 AM

Greetings Heroes. It's been such a pleasure seeing so many of you having fun with Joystick Heroes - keep those posts and messages coming! Sincere thanks for the support. As a game designer, that's what it's all about - knowing you've put a little fun out into the world. Let's keep the ball rolling, ay?

I'm thrilled to introduce you to our newest game "5 Wards," coming to Kickstarter this summer! This one's a Frown Clowns co-release with our friends at Dragon Egg Games. The 5 Wards Pre-launch page is up and we'd love your early support. CLICK HERE to sign up to be notified when the campaign goes live. Here's the link (please share!):

In the working class slums of a booming 19th century city, the most colorful gangs of the era fight for control of the 5 Wards. Recruit and deploy your Thugs to infiltrate the city, brawl with rivals, execute devious schemes and establish your gang as the most notorious and powerful bunch of hooligans around.

5 Wards is a lite-weight blend of area control, worker placement, dice selection and card play. Imagine Gangs Of New York or Peaky Blinders in a family-friendly box. Easy to learn and to play but packed with strategy and juicy decisions. Your goal is to earn victory points by deploying Thugs from various neighborhood Landmarks to the map to gain control of the city. Steer clear of the Inspector, pull off devious Schemes, Brawl with rivals, bribe the pesky Coppers, and rally your Thugs to take over the powerful Ward Boss seat. Every single move matters.

Here are a few screenshots from our digital prototype on Tabletop Simulator. Check out that gorgeous vintage-style art by the talented Rupert Lewis Jones!

5 Wards is fully tested and review copies are already in production, so we anticipate another lightning fast project (Joystick Heroes fulfilled in 7 months). We can't wait to show you more in the coming months. Thanks again for your support and don't forget to HAVE FUN.

Dickie (Clown #1)

Get those arcade tokens ready
9 months ago – Fri, Dec 23, 2022 at 10:07:49 AM

Happy Holidays, Heroes! This is the update we've been excitedly waiting so long to send - JOYSTICK HEROES IS ON ITS WAY TO YOU! We're stoked to say that our fulfillment partners have confirmed shipment of games to all backers worldwide. It's time to fire up your arcade, dudes!

As you may know, this was Frown Clowns' first published game and our first crowdfunding project. I'm thrilled beyond measure to know that our silly little game will be out there in the world making fun happen for other humans. That's a pretty cool feeling and I'm so grateful you helped make it happen. Give yourselves a pat on the back - we spread a little joy together!

So what can you do next? 2 things:

1. Head over to and sign up for our mailing list to be informed when we release videos about Joystick Heroes (how-to's, play-thru's, etc). We promise only to email you with cool stuff and not too often. You can also contact us there. We'd love to hear from you!

2. PLAY IT! After taking it for a few spins, please take a minute to comment on our BGG (Board Game Geek) page. This goes a long way towards helping other gamers learn about the game and how much fun it is. You can find our page here: Joystick Heroes on BGG 

Once again, it's been rad creating Joystick Heroes and watching it come to life with your help. Enjoy, my friends!

Dickie & David

And now for something completely different... stay tuned!

Final Countdown to JOYSTICK TIME
10 months ago – Wed, Dec 07, 2022 at 02:02:47 PM

Greetings Heroes! Hope you are well and gearing up for a bodacious holiday season. We're very happy to report that manufacturing is complete. Thanks to our decision to ship by air instead of by sea, all the games have been received by our fulfillment hubs across the world and they're slotting us into their project cues over the next two weeks. Though we can't provide a hard ship date yet, we'll know more very soon as we go from "on deck" to shipping to your door!

It was our goal from the start to reward your generous support with fast fulfillment. Thank you for your patience and trust. We cannot express in words what you mean to us.

We'll send another update out when your game is en route!

-Dickie, Frown Clown #1

Production Update and Pics
11 months ago – Sun, Oct 23, 2022 at 03:03:27 AM

Greetings Heroes! Just a quickie here to keep you in the know. Production is still motoring along on schedule with one tiny hiccup. When I received the final production copy of the game just last week (this is what the factory sends for approval before final assembly), everything looked just swell except for the prize tokens, which were printed a little too thick to fit into the box insert. Gameland has already fixed them and shipped an updated production copy that I should receive any day. After a quick assembly phase all the games will be flown to our USA & EU fulfillment partners... and then shipped to YOU!

In the meantime, enjoy these pics of the production copy. Try not to salivate like I did. In particular, check the back of the box! This was the final piece of art and no one's seen it before now. What do you think? Also loving that sweet insert - organization is sooo satisfying, amiright?!

Thanks for being awesome!


Surveys and shipping surprises!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Sep 09, 2022 at 07:59:17 PM

Greetings Heroes! Just a quick reminder that you have just 6 days left to fill out your surveys before pledges are locked on September 14th. Emails went out a few weeks ago, but if you didn't get yours you can quickly take care of it by following this link:

This is a necessary action and just takes a minute, so please put down that cereal bowl, pause your video game and get this done.

I bet when you read the title of this update you thought "oh boy, here we go again with another sad publisher rant about how all the games are stuck on a boat in some port and there's gonna be a delay." NOPE! I've decided to avoid the whole global ocean freight debacle and pay extra to ship Joystick Heroes to our fulfillment partner BY AIR! Our games will be looking down at those boats as they fly over, waving and taunting. Manufacturing is scheduled for completion at Gameland by the end of the month and should be to our fulfillment partners shortly after (planes are FAST). Fingers crossed but I'm hoping Joystick Heroes will be at your door well before Christmas.

In the meantime, what other games have you been playing? Got any recommendations? We've been designing and play testing several new games and can't wait to tell you about them soon. Cheers for now.


Not the actual plane. Actual plane will be much larger so it can carry stuff.