The latest entry in our series Why You Should Kickstart It’s Contagious! Kickstarter. This is a very timely card game with a beautiful design. The game launches on Kickstarter on November 16, 2020 and we spoke with co-creator Tigre Pickett to get answers on why you should back it. Check out the link below to go directly to the It’s Contagious! Board Game Kickstarter page or continue on to read the interview with the creator.
1. How would you describe your product in a few sentences?
It’s Contagious™ is an infectiously fun, fast-playing card game with a playful and poignant take on pandemic life. With vibrant viral art, potent “Power Cards,” surprising gameplay twists, and nail-biter finishes, it continues to be the most-requested game in our cabinet.
2. Who is the team bringing this to market? What is your background that brought you to launching this?
Our family (consisting of myself, my wife Lola, and our two kids) came up with the game during quarantine, while awaiting the news of whether or not we’d be losing a beloved family member—my dad—to COVID-19. It became our way to stay connected as a family and share some much-needed laughter and lightness during a pretty dark time.
Not only did my dad, AKA “PapaBear” survive, but so did the game!
After playing countless rounds with a couple of thrift-store card decks that Lola marked up with Sharpies, we knew we had a solid game on our hands. So, we hired an amazing artist—Sarai Sánchez—to help us bring the vision to life.
Our all-virtual international team whipped together the project while going through all kinds of lock-downs, viral resurgences, and political upheaval; sharing articles and memes that inspired the card art—and uplifted each other. We’re really proud of the inclusive, diverse themes we’ve co-created.
Lola and I both have a long history of inventing games to make life more playful; it’s been a theme in our personal lives and also shows up in the way we support our clients through our other coaching and personal growth work.
3. What existing games would you compare your game to?
Folks who have played “climbing” card games like President or Escalation will be familiar with the basic gameplay. When it’s your turn, your goal is to beat the value of the previous play. If you can’t beat it, you have to take the pile—which you want to avoid if at all possible.
Also similar to Escalation, you are dealt 6 cards to start the game. Players must keep 6 cards in their hand at all times until the deck runs out.
Similar to UNO’s ‘reverse’ card, our “Blowback™” Power Card changes the direction of gameplay.
Also like UNO, the game ends when someone plays the last card in their hand. But, that doesn’t necessarily determine the winner. At the end of the game, it’s the player with the smallest pile (AKA “Viral Load”) who WINS.
4. What sets your game apart?
Building on the folk traditions of inventing/adding game rules for fun and intrigue, we’ve added many twists and turns to this 72-card game that we’re unable to find reference for in other games…
(Otherwise, in our experience, a climbing-style card game can get old, fast.)
Rules like “Matched Play,” mean that even a low card can still get you out of needing to take the pile… This is where you can match the top-most card’s number instead of needing to beat it. This adds to the value in play and challenges the next player to beat it.
“Paired Play” allows you to play two or more of the same cards from your hand all at once, adding them up as the total value of your play. This also has the added bonus of letting you replenish your hand with more cards after your turn.
Our exclusive Power Cards like “Flatten The Curve™,” “Antibodies™,” “Blowback™,” “Shield,™” and the dreaded “Contagion™” all create shocking twists of fate and change the entire game on a dime.
The Power Cards mimic how an actual virus replicates, sheds, spreads, and creates immunity—and, because you never know who has one or when it might be played—the Power Cards make the game highly unpredictable, much like this pandemic continues to be!
Our Number Cards go from 1 to 13, and there are times when it’s actually strategic to play a low-value card, such as when a Flatten The Curve™ has been played and the pile begins to count down instead of up. Plus, they feature charming, often hilarious depictions of how we’re collectively navigating pandemic life, including home haircuts, Zoom birthday parties, and even the famed Pool Noodle social distancing hats.
5. How can everyone be assured that they are going to get quality components and you are going to deliver on all the promises you are making?
My wife and I both have backgrounds in graphic design & printing, and have already produced a series of prototype decks and boxes for the purpose of testing cardstock and print finishes, gathering feedback, and playing the game a ba-jillion times to ensure that the cards continue to withstand lots of shuffling and being jammed back into the box, etc.
Based on the feedback we’ve collected, we’re absolutely confident that this project will not just be a hit for the game itself, but for the production quality, too.
Additionally, we successfully kickstarted another physical product: a Tarot Deck and Hardcover Guidebook, and have continued to receive rave reviews for the quality of that creation (The Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot).
6. Why should someone back your project?
In a time when the world seems to have gone mad, laughter is some of the best medicine we have. This game brings lightheartedness and connection at a time when both are sorely needed.
If your family or “quaranteam” has been spending far too much time in front of screens and you’re tired of the games in your game cabinet, then you will not regret backing It’s Contagious!™.
Well we are satisfied!
Great insight and enthusiasm from a passionate design team. A fun card game with a cool take on something we are all going through. It will feel good to defeat the virus a little. Take a look at their Kickstarter or social media pages for more info!