Ever screamed at the TV during an episode of Lost or Survivor, thinking you could do better? Now’s your chance.
From the makers of the Spaceteam card game comes Ravine, a cooperative game about survival. You and your party of three to six players (the expansion supports up to nine) spend a week or two stranded on an island after an unfortunate plane crash en route from Denver to Beijing. You’ll spend the days foraging for food and supplies, hunkering down at night, when cougar attacks, heavy rains, and other disasters can befall your camp, driving the players deeper into madness.
It sounds simple enough, and it is (in theory), making it easy for new players to catch on—critical for a party game like this. It’s also a fast-paced game, with rounds intended to last only 20 minutes or so. But with new players and a generous deck of 192 cards to work with, no two crash sites will be the same. Maybe you’ll conserve some resources you found to build a shelter for three players. Maybe you’ll be more strategic about who to share food with. Maybe you’ll not pick a fight with a moose. You do you.
Our playtest group couldn’t make it through three nights on our first round, but we handily survived a week on immediate replay, thanks to a wildly diverse set of night conditions and a slightly more survivalist instinct to, you know, light fires and stuff. For our next challenge, we’ll add a few more night cards to the mix to see how long we can make it on our own.
There’s another element of survival to Ravine’s story, too: The game doesn’t exist yet. It’s currently on Kickstarter, where it shows every sign of making it through its 30-day campaign ending Dec. 7 and has an estimated delivery date of April 2018. As of this writing, more than 3,200 backers have pledged more than $150,000 toward making this game a reality. When the campaign hit $100,000 in pledges, backers got the option to customize a wreckage card with their own name. At $250,000, the creators will include an alternate ruleset to transform the cooperative concept into a competitive one.
That’s not to imply that the game isn’t great out of the box: Even the playtesting beta version included high-quality cards, and the creators are using casino-quality stock for the final version (if Spaceteam is any indication, they’ll be almost too slick in their fresh form). The tokens for health will be professionally laser-etched, and the artwork is simple, elegant, and eye-catching. Even the draft instructions were clever, with a wry sense of humor about the players’ fate.
Think you can survive a week? Gather up a few friends and dive into the Ravine.
Disclosure: Mathew Sisson is a former employee of the Daily Dot.