bitbox

BITBOX Preview | Game Accessories

I came into the board gaming hobby with a tendency for collecting that was already well established. It’s no surprise then that over the past few years I’ve acquired literal piles of games. My IKEA shelves are full. The tops of my IKEA shelves are full. The floor in front of my IKEA shelves is full. My point is: space and board gaming—at least to the degree that I am involved with the hobby—are often conflicting forces. As a result, one of my most desired accessories to address this issue has been a reliable solution for storing and transporting an ever-expanding collection of games. Enter: BITBOX Game Storage, from Game-Ovations.

You can fit a bit in this box

The BITBOX, designed by the team at Game-Ovations, is a new gaming storage solution that looks to improve the lives of gamers by removing game components from their bloated packaging and transferring them into custom made storage containers—saving you space and time.

The system centers on a series of modular storage boxes, in four different sizes, that slot into a removable drawer. Up to four of these drawers are then housed in a central chest, the BITBOX, that can easily be kept in, on, or under the shelves and tables that you likely already own.

The size differences in the modular storage pods make it easy to house a variety of different games, no matter their size or component count. Games in standard-sized game boxes, like Ticket to Ride and Tokaido, easily condense into the smallest of the pods; while games with more abnormal components, like Abyss and its long location tiles, find a home in the third largest pod. I actually have yet to find a game that would need the largest size, outside of miniatures-heavy games like Blood Rage or Twilight Imperium. These pods easily mix and match, allowing you to store upwards of 16 games in a single BITBOX (though the average will likely fall closer to 11 or so). Even better is that small-box card games, which I have a whole shelf full of, can be stored two or three to a box, further increasing its capacity. And don’t worry, while I’ve so far neglected to reference the game boards and rules, there’s a space for those too. Each BITBOX has space for two sleeves to hold all of the auxiliary components that don’t fit easily into the pods.

The next obvious question is organization. Sure, saving space is nice, but how do you sort through tens or even hundreds of stark black boxes? Fortunately, each pod and BITBOX drawer has convenient space to label and organize in whatever fashion you choose. Color coding, text labels, even pictures of the game boxes you no longer need – the options are left solely to you and your Type-A personality.

The final feature to round out the BITBOX package is their secondary tool, the BITBOX Mobile. This smaller, briefcase style BITBOX is the solution for traveling with your newly organized games. The Mobile works exactly the same as its parent, it simply holds half of the full BITBOX capacity. That means that the Mobile can easily fit up to eight games, with boards and rules, into a compact carrying case. With some clever organization, I’ve actually found it easy to fit more.

Accessory Revolution or Just a Box of Bits?

We don’t often review accessories on this site, but one thing that I wholly support for the hobby is innovative ways to store and transport games. No matter where you live, space is not infinite, but being such an avid collector and player has made apartment-living even tighter than it normally is. Additionally, The League and our outside family and friends are spread across the state, and even multiple states, so traveling with games is a weekly occurrence. I am never without a few games in my car and even more in tow when there’s a scheduled game day.

The BITBOX, in theory, meets these needs. The system fulfills its claims completely, offering an affordable way to condense your collection, store it easily, and transport it with the Mobile. It is legitimately amazing how much dead-air is in a game box and, as a result, so much space can be saved by stripping away the fluff and storing just the components. But, while the BITBOX is exactly what it claims to be, there are a few things to consider that aren’t immediately apparent.

The elephant-in-the-room is what happens to those wonderfully crafted boxes once you’ve made the leap. Well…that’s the question, isn’t it? I contend that there is still the option to stack the now-empty boxes inside of themselves and keep them in the attic or crawlspace, but the reality is that throwing them away is the way to maximize the space being saved. This is not an easy thing to swallow and every (I mean every) gamer I’ve shown the BITBOX has asked about the boxes. They’re often beautifully illustrated, many offer functional inserts, they help identify and pre-judge games, and they’re a legitimate draw for many gamers and collectors, myself included. It’s a fact that you’ll have to accept to become a BITBOXer though; there’s really no way around it. Space or boxes—they’re mutually exclusive here.

The second thing to consider is the size of your collection. I say this because I feel, to some extent, that the BITBOX is largely an all-or-nothing solution. Having been generously provided a BITBOX for this review, I did notice some issue having just a single box accompanying all of my other games in their standard packaging. Trying to mix and match, move games in-and-out of boxes, and keep everything orderly was difficult. Having everything be in BITBOX pods would be significantly easier to work with and would streamline the transfer between my shelves and the Mobile. Outside of a BITBOX or two for a card game collection, or as a similar subset organizer, it seems that the best way to fully utilize this storage solution is to jump in with both feet.

One thing to note for my specific collection is the size of the game board sleeves and how they store your game’s extra components. While I understand how most games fit easily within the sleeve, I ran into trouble with quad-fold boards and games with several extra player boards or similar components. Large components, like the boards for Ships and The Dilluvia Project, quickly devoured the space and left an awkward gap in the sleeve that couldn’t store a full board, but was largely under utilized. Games with modular boards, like Imhotep, sloshed around inside, forcing me to completely dump the sleeve out to find the individual components needed for setup. While this inconvenience with retrieval isn’t a deal breaker, it is counter to everything positive that BITBOX offers in terms of storage.

With all of that in mind, there is the cost to consider. The lightweight, cardboard construction of the product lends to it being affordable, particularly for smaller collections. The boxes have proven to be sturdy, though they are prone to small dings and dents, in addition to being a bit hydrophilic. Running through a downpour with the Mobile did a number on the surface of the box, but it doesn’t seem to have degraded the stability at all. The upfront cost will be greater for larger collections, especially if you live outside of the US, due to some substantial international shipping costs, but it still could prove to be a suitable bang for your buck when considering the space saved. For smaller collections, it is much easier to convert to the BITBOX and grow alongside the storage system.

BITBOX and BITBOX Mobile represent a much needed shift toward functional gaming accessories. While I love custom dice and fancy meeples, the reality of limited space and an increase in the gaming population begs for the innovation offered here by Game-Ovations. I think there are some legitimate hurdles to overcome, including the escalating cost and game box dilemma, but I also see a large market for the BITBOX products and look forward to what comes next out of these bright minds.

The League of Nonsensical Gamers would like to kindly thank Game-Ovations for sending us a pre-production BITBOX for review. Be sure to carry yourself on over to their Kickstarter campaign for more details to see if the BITBOX is a good fit for you.

Matt H. (Buns)

CONTENT MANAGER/PODCAST HOST : Perpetual consumer of all things board, card and game. Lover of dice, card sleeves, and fancy meeples. Jack-of-all-games, Master of none.