Kickstarter Alert: Dead Man’s Draw

Dead Man's Draw

Dead Man’s Draw is short on time, so I’ll make this quick. There are three things you need to know:

  1. The iOS app is FREE this weekend. You should get it.
  2. The Kickstarter campaign for a print version ends next Saturday. You should back it.
  3. It’s a press-your-luck pirate-themed card game that’s a lot of fun.

The Kickstarter page does a fine job of explaining it, and so does playing through the single-player mode of the iOS app, but I’ll give you a short explanation. After playing a bunch of Dead Man’s Draw this past weekend, I would really love to see a physical version that I can play with more than two players, so go check it out!

Here’s the gist: there’s a deck of cards with 10 suits, and on your turn you get to keep flipping cards until you decide to stop or you bust—by drawing a suit that you’ve already drawn this turn. When the deck runs out, everyone takes the highest card from each suit they’ve collected, add them up, and the highest total wins. Simple so far, right?

The twist is that each suit has its own abilities when you flip it: the Oracle lets you peek at the next card before you decide whether to draw again; the Sword lets you steal a card that another player has already banked and play it; the Chest and Key can double your haul if you get them together.

Dead Man's Draw app
A screenshot of the Dead Man’s Draw app

There are also special character cards with abilities that you can add in—for instance, allowing you to peek at three cards with the Oracle instead of one. And there are some variant rules for scoring as well (all of which are demonstrated in the app): scoring for all the cards rather than just the highest in each suit, or losing points for suits you haven’t collected.

It’s quick to learn, quick to play, and has a great risk-reward balance if you like press-your-luck games. I backed it earlier just because it looked kind of fun, but having played the app I’ve decided to up my pledge—I’ll have some to give away and I really want this one to succeed!

So, to sum up: grab the app this weekend while it’s free and give it a spin, and then check out the Kickstarter before Saturday!

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.