Snakes and Ladders: Unleashed
Movable snakes and ladders and an evolving board layout turns a simple kid’s dice game into a game of tactics and probability.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, October 10 2018 5:30 PM UTC +00:00.
'Snakes and Ladders: Unleashed' is a fast-paced dice game with a continuously evolving board layout and movable snakes and ladders. Players try to improve their chances of gaining ground faster, whilst at the same time trying to block their opponents’ progress.
- Game play lasts typically 15-30 mins depending on the size of the board and the number of players.
- Playable with all age groups 5 years + and skill levels, and highly portable.
- Set up in a few minutes
- Very easy to learn.
- Endless board configurations – the cards are the board – every game is different.
- Can be flexed to make easier or harder game play, depending on the player level and age.
This tactical card and dice game is the second Kickstarter campaign from award-winning games designer, Rafi Arkin.
The cards will be produced and printed by MPC. They are high quality square playing cards. 300gsm 60mm x 60mm. The wooden snakes and ladder pieces are locally sourced, and the players’ pieces are traditional wooden Meeples.
Extensive play testing earlier this year has teased out the right balance of action cards, board sizes and snake/ladder lengths but players can make game play harder or easier by removing cards from the deck.
Why pledge now:
We are still in early prototype design stage, so please don’t worry about the card finish you see on the video or in the images – these are early prototypes for play testing. We were just so keen to get the game out there that we couldn’t wait for prototypes. Isn’t that what Kickstarter should be all about?
By pledging now, you can help guide the final development of the game. We’ll listen to our backers and try to incorporate their useful suggestions and improvements.
Backers will receive the game at a discount as a reward and every reward set will have a limited edition number to make it extra special.
Without your help, we won’t be able to get this game out there.
Some of the best soundbites from our lovely play testers in London, UK:
“Snakes and Ladders on speed”
“A cross between Labyrinth and Craps”
“I never knew how mean my friends could be when I was leading!”
“Really easy to pick up”
“Rafi, you’re a genius. No really, you are” (my personal favourite)
“At times, reminded me a bit of Chaos – a single roll could start a hilarious chain reaction!"
The Rules of the Game.
Aim of the game: Get past the finish line first.
- 130 action/movement cards (also used to create the board area)
- 6 x snakes (2 different sizes)
- 6 x ladders (2 different sizes)
- 6 ‘Meeples’ playing pieces
- 2 dice
Sample Action Cards
- Move 2 spaces forward
- Move a snake
- Swap two players pieces
- Send someone back 3 spaces.
Choosing who starts:
Roll the dice – highest goes first. Play goes clockwise
1. Layout the board with the cards – you can select how big the board will be, but here are some recommendations.
For 2 players, 8 cards across x 6 rows up
For 3-4 players, 8 cards across x 5 rows up
For 5 or more players, 8 across x 4 rows up, or 10 x 3
Position all cards with the words/arrows facing the way of play – the arrows pointing forward.
2. Allocate the snakes and ladders evenly among all the players. Each player gets to lay down some snakes/ladders wherever they choose to. You cannot place a snake and a ladder starting/ending on the same card. However, you can create a series of ladders or snakes by putting the start of one on the end of the other.
3. Deal 3 cards to each person.
A turn consists of the following actions:
1. Play a card from your hand. Either use and discard a black and white action card. Or add any card in your hand to the board. Or discard a card. You must always play a card.
2. Pick up another card to ensure you still have 3 in your hand.
3. Roll the two dice.
4. Move your go – the amount rolled on the two die.
5. If you land on the head of a snake, or the bottom of a ladder, move up / down appropriately ignoring what is on the card where you originally landed.
6. Do the action that is on the card you land on once you’ve gone up the ladder or down the snake.
7. Continue following any actions as you land on cards.
At the end of the game:
The first player across the finish line triggers the end of the game. All remaining players can have one more turn. Note, crossing the finishing line is moving past the last card on the board.
Once every player has had one more turn, if more than one player has crossed the finish line, then whoever is holding the highest movement card score wins (positives and negatives added together). E.g. If you have a +2 and a -1, then you are +1. If you have no positives or negatives, then you are 0.
If there is a draw, then the drawing players should draw further cards from the pile. Until someone has a higher score than the others.
There are a number of additional scenarios and rules to comply with:
You can’t swap a player once they’ve crossed the finish line. They are safe.
A snake or ladder trumps an action card – you go up or down the snake/ladder – don’t play the action on the card. Do play the action on the end of a snake or ladder, once you have climbed / fallen.
If you move a ladder or snake to someone space, it does not apply to them. You can only go up or down a snake/ladder if you land on it from your dice role, or subsequent action move.
A card can be placed under someone’s piece, but it will not affect that person unless they land on that card again later in the game.
The bottom of a ladder cannot be placed on the same space as the head of a snake.
Snakes and ladders can be positioned wherever cards and distance allows.
Every card action can only happen once on each turn. i.e. if you land on a +2 that takes you to a -2, you are sent back and stay on the +2. This applies to ladders and snakes also.
To make the game harder, remove 10-20 of the blanks cards from the pack.
You can also give all players 4 cards in their hands to make it easier to hold powerful cards towards the end of the game.
To simplify the game keep blank cards in, and remove some of the snakes and ladders and action cards. For games with more than 4 people when you’re first trying the game out, less complicated is better.
For 2 player games, you can make the game a little more strategic by playing 2 cards each go, not just one.
If you come across any further scenarios that have not been explained in the rules, agree among all players how to apply the rules. Let us know what they are, so that we can add them to future rules.
What are you funding?
You’re funding the prototypes, designs and first print run of ‘Snakes and Ladders: Unleashed'.
Unlike some Kickstarter game campaigns, we haven’t printed a prototype set yet – we were too excited to get the game out there. What you currently see are just mock-ups to bring the game to life. As the campaign goes forward, we hope to bring you some more images of the prototypes.
The money raised will go on printing, packaging and sending of the prototypes and then the first edition game packs themselves. (And any fees from Kickstarter etc.)
There are two main levels of reward.
The first is a set of 'Snakes and Ladders: Unleashed' in a cotton drawstring bag.
The second is a set that will be sent in a varnished wooden box.
The only differences are the vessel and the associated cost of the reward and the postage. The bag is more versatile when you're travelling and need to pack the game away. The box is more substantial.
- Once we’re successfully funded, it’s simple. We press the button on the printing process.
- We start with producing the prototypes, to make sure that the designs are working.
- Once prototypes approved, we print the first limited edition, for backer’s rewards.
MPC will be producing the high quality playing cards. Gloss, 300gsm. MPC produced our last Kickstarter campaign, Letter Playing Cards, and have produced some of the most successful Kickstarter playing card projects. The boxes will be sourced from an established supplier.
Who’s in the team?
Rafi Arkin came up with the game idea, and brought it to life. I’m an award-winning games designer, and also work in marketing, developing strategy and running successful advertising campaigns for many successful brands.
A number of supportive and creative people helped develop the designs and copy.
If you’ve reached the end of the page, then we’d like to thank you for your interest in the project so far. If you have any questions, please ask.
Risks and challenges
The risks to this board game launch are limited and few.
Reaching the funding amount: We’ve kept it really low. Practically break-even.
Printing – we’re using MPC. They’ve successfully helped dozens of Kickstarter projects. Reliable is their middle name and we've used them before with Letter Playing Cards.
Timings. We know how long each step takes. We have set aside six weeks for two rounds of prototype cards to be printed, and six weeks for the final print run and distribution. We’ll keep you up to speed along the way so you know how your rewards are coming along. If we can get the rewards out before Christmas, we'll let you know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!