Shem and Sam of Garphill Games to attend Play 2024.

Garphill Games was established in 2009 by New Zealand designer, Shem Phillips. For their first five years, they designed a number of family-style games with very low print runs, which primarily sold across New Zealand.

In 2014, the company launched their first ever Kickstarter campaign. This was for their biggest game yet: Shipwrights of the North Sea. The game gained a lot of interest and helped push Garphill out into the global scene.

A year later they followed up with the highly-rated sequel, Raiders of the North Sea which was nominated for the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres award. Since then the company has continued to release quality games every year, picking up numerous awards and appreciation from players and reviewers alike.

In 2018 Sam Macdonald joined the Garphill team to work on the first of many co-designs from Sam and Shem, Architects of the West Kingdom. This was the first release in Garphill's second medieval trilogy, which was extremely well received.

Other notable releases from this design duo include Paladins of the West Kingdom, Wayfarers of the South Tigris, and Ezra and Nehemiah.

Sam and Shem also have a number of other games on their own, including Circadians: First Light, Legacy of Yu, Noctilucaand Raiders of Scythia.