The folks at Eden Studios (producers of tabletop roleplaying gems like Conspiracy X and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) launched a Kickstarter this month to raise funds for a new RPG for kids: Adventure Maximus. Designed and illustrated by gamer dad Francis James Hogan, it’s a card-based game that allows kids to create characters and start playing in minutes. It comes in a box the size of a hardcover book stuffed with 162 custom, full-color cards, a full-color rulebook, and a set of five custom dice.
Eden Studios sent me a prototype of the game to check out, and it’s a solid package. If you’ve ever played D&D before — or most other tabletop RPGs — you already know how to play Adventure Maximus. It’s a straightforward system in which players get cards that depict their character’s race, class, spells, powers, and items. Each player takes on the role of a single character in the game, except for the Maximus Master, who runs the game for the players.
The most innovative part of the game is the random adventure generator, which uses cards to create a quest to play through. It’s slick and fast and easy enough to work that kids can even run the adventures on their own, without needing a parent to keep watch over their shoulders.
The Kickstarter drive smashed through its funding goal fast, and it’s reaching for stretch goals right now. At the $35 level, you get the game shipped to your US door, plus an exclusive 18-card promo pack of cards, plus all those stretch goals. Those currently include:
- The Court of Darkness 18-card expansion pack.
- A four-page PDF of printable figure flats.
- The Dungeon of Dread 18-card expansion pack.
- The Maximus Master Screen.
- The Peglegs & Pilots 18-card expansion pack.
- The Island of the Shining Lady 18-card expansion pack.
They also have a slew of add-ons available, including the Star Maximus preview pack, deluxe Maximus Dice, t-shirts, a poster map, dice bags and card holders, coloring books, blank cards, blank character sheets, character folios, and even a USB flash drive.
If you’re looking to introduce your kids to fantasy roleplaying games and they’re not quite old enough to leap straight into D&D, Adventure Maximus should be a perfect fit. The Kickstarter runs until June 4, so check it out if you want to get in on the deal.
Disclaimer: I’ve written things for Eden Studios before — an award-winning zombie-superhero story from years ago — and company owner George Vasilakos is a friend. He makes great games.