Need a New Game Night Option? This One Is ‘Not So Neighborly’
Petty grudges? Theft? Arson? FamBam Games has a board game to satisfy those darkest urges.
Start with a few nosy and petty neighbors; throw in some theft, vandalism and arson; add a dash of humor and you’ve got a winner.
In 2021, Alice Hong co-developed the board game Not So Neighborly ($19.99) with her sister, Jessica. They had been playing a lot of board games with their younger cousins and extended family members during the pandemic. The idea for the new game emerged from a bout of boredom.
“We thought, Why don’t we try making our own board game as an arts and crafts activity?” Hong says, “and it just kind of rolled into this thing.”
Inspired by the style and color palettes of 1990s cartoons, Hong used her iPad to illustrate a cast of lovable, destructive monsters—then tested the game prototype on her cousins, adjusting the rules for younger players. (The game is designed for those 7 and up.)
After a successful Kickstarter campaign and positive feedback from customers, the sisters expanded the Not So Neighborly line to include expansion packs, plushies and other related merch ($3.99-$19.99).
They’ve since received a competitive GAMA Horizons Fellowship from the Game Manufacturers Association, and plan to create additional games through their emerging company, FamBam Games (FamBam being shorthand for Family Bonding and Memories).
That’s not Hong’s only side hustle. In addition to holding a full-time job as a UX (user experience) designer at Amazon, she is the creative engine behind Dotori Designs, a minimalist line of organizational tools such as undated weekly planners ($34.99), notebooks ($15), tote bags ($22) and washi-paper stickers ($4-$5). Sold online and at Shop Made in Virginia, these adulting tools come in soothing earth tones such as sage, terra-cotta, cream and charcoal.
Dotori means “acorn” in Korean. Hong says she hopes to nurture her creative businesses like tiny acorns growing into mighty oaks. She couldn’t do it without her family, she adds—crediting her sister and husband for their support, as well as her parents, who’ve graciously allowed her to turn their McLean home into an inventory fulfillment center.
“Before Dotori and FamBam, I didn’t realize this would be a possibility for me,” she says. “My parents are immigrants from South Korea. I thought I had to follow a blueprint—college, corporate job, retirement. Now I realize I can do this. I can take this chance to do something creative.”