Survival themed card game set in a brutal nuclear winter

Our story is set in a seaside suburb in Brisbane, Australia. Our family loves gaming, from card games to miniature war gaming, and have always played around with creative design and game mechanics. Brody and Riley are our kids and are constantly coming up with game ideas and themes that inspire Duncan to get drawing and designing. ‘Survive the Card Game’ was the result of one of these moments.

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The concept for Survive the Card Game was initially inspired by a survival board game idea my twelve year old son Brody had thought up. When he told me about the idea, I suddenly realised how easy it would be to adapt the survival theme to a card game.

That night I made a quick prototype by scribbling onto a cheap, standard deck of cards. After several play tests with family and friends, we realised that not only did the idea work as envisioned, but–even better–it was actually a lot of fun.

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Survive the Card Game is a survival themed card game for 3 to 7 players. The players represent one of the final pockets of humanity desperately trying to stay alive in the face of a ceaseless and brutal nuclear winter. So, in essence it is a game that tries to capture the reality of social collapse in the face of dwindling resources, only in a way that’s fun for the whole family!

The rule system is very simple and easy to learn. It’s kind of like poker, crossed with go fish, crossed with a hostage negotiation.

Players are trying to collect resource cards: food, water, and shelter. For each resource they don’t have at the end of each round they will lose a life token (each player has three of these). If they lose all of their life tokens they are out of the game. The last player left standing is the winner.

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Into this very simple system we’ve added some additional card types to spice things up a little. Trash cards are useless and designed to disappoint. Beast cards are dangerous wild animal encounters that will make you regret drawing cards from the deck. Weapon cards can be a life saver, or a danger when in the hands of an aggressive player or someone you’ve annoyed.

The game operates on the interesting premise that, whilst it is effectively a competitive game where there can only be one winner, the players will need to cooperate with each other most of the time in order to attain the resources they need to survive through each round. So, the majority of the game is about negotiating with your fellow players in order that they help you beat them. This is where all of the fun is to be had.

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So, based on the positive feedback, we’ve decide to forge ahead. We have been in discussions with manufacturers, and all of the rules, art design, and packaging are finalised. Everything has been costed, and we are basically ready to start production. We have a crowd funding campaign through so hopefully people will be able to get their own copy. Nothing would make us happier than to see this game on kitchen tables the world over.

Get Survive The Card Game here.

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