4 the BIRDS! is the board game that combines beak-and-taloned strategy and a peck of luck to pit players against one another together in a fun and accessible tabletop game. By constantly balancing the goal of flocking your own birds and blocking opponents' birds, a see-saw battle for avian supremacy ensues.
- Fast and easy to learn and play
- Finely balanced mix of luck and strategy
- Territorial disputes between birds vying for the same spot on the board are resolved via a novel "Pecking Order"
- Uses a unique slide mechanic as resolve contested spots
- Non-player birds (crows and hawks) add unique chain reaction of board-reorganizing slides and scatters
- Truly an abstract "gateway" game that's great for kids' spatial and numerical skills (and even better for adults who are out of practice)
- Bird pawns are cute, as well as fun to hold and play with!
- You haven't heard bird puns and innuendo until you've heard THESE bird puns and innuendo!
Gameplay is simple. Each player rolls two dice on their turn, indicating coordinates on the game board grid to place and move six birds on the board. Each turn players have the choice to place a bird at the rolled coordinate or play one of seven Action Cards as they work to achieve the winning formation of a four bird flock in the tree (either a square or straight line on the grid).
On Each Turn:
- The current player rolls the dice.
- The player may then choose to either place a bird into the tree (game board grid) OR play an Action Card from his/her active hand. Birds may only be placed in a spot in the tree that contains each number: for example a roll of 7 and 1 has two spots, "17" and "71".
- If all of a player's birds are in the tree, they may choose which bird to relocate at the new coordinate.
- If a double is rolled, a player can take the top action card (last used) from the discard pile and put it back in the active hand.
- If a Hawk is rolled on the brown die, the player must place a Hawk pawn (brown bird) on any "x" on the board (the crossing branch lines between the coordinates) and the player's turn is over. Watch out! Hawks cause all neighboring birds to move off their perch!
- If a Crow is rolled on the black die, the player may place a Crow pawn (black bird) on any spot on the board along the number line indicated by the other die. For example, a 2 allows 12, 22, 32, etcetera, and 21, 22, 23, etcetera.
- If the spot you roll is occupied by another bird, and you do not have Pecking Order, you have to find a different spot. If you do have Pecking Order, your bird can displace the other bird.
- A displaced bird must "slide" along a branch to a new spot, possibly displacing another bird via Pecking Order.
- Once all birds are moved via Pecking Order, the turn ends and play passes to the next player (clockwise).
What is Pecking Order?
Only one bird can occupy any spot in the tree at a time. Each player has Pecking Order over the one (and only one) player to his/her immediate left. Once dice are rolled, a bird can land on an occupied spot if it has immediate hierarchy over the occupying bird via the Pecking Order. If the active bird has Pecking Order precedence and chooses an occupied spot, the displaced bird must relocate (slide) to an adjacent spot (that player’s choosing) along any connecting branch line. If that spot is occupied, the process continues. If there are only 2 players, each player can displace the other. There is no “low” bird or “high” bird as Pecking Order is circular.
- Brand, spanking new review by Jonathan H. Liu of GeekDad! Excellent guy, excellent take on the game. Check it out asap:
- Tabletop game design guru Mike Selinker, founder of Lone Shark Games and known for games like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pirates of the Spanish Main, and Unspeakable Words as well as the epic book Maze of Games, makes a special appearance in the video. (Is that a squirrel pawn he's holding?! Hmmmm…)
- "I am a huge fan of family games that have replay value for the adult. Considering the possible level of strategy involved in the game, and the innuendos that could fly (fly — I made another bird pun), [4 the BIRDS!] has definite replay points in the adult category." - GeekMom's opinion of the game from a GameStorm play-test session. Read more:
- Two epic episodes of Going Last (I love these guys!):
- Geek in the City (be warned, here there be pirates ... and pirate language):
- (1) Quad-fold Game-board
- (90) Custom punch-tokens
- Tokens combine to make (36) Player Bird Pawns (6 each of Orioles, Cardinals, Budgies, Blue Jays, Finches and Martins)
- Tokens combine to make (6) Crow Bird Pawns and (3) Hawk Pawns (Non-Player)
- (36) Action Tiles (6 of each color)
- (2) 8-sided Dice
- (2) 10-sided Dice
GAME BOARD: 18"x18" durable, quad-fold board (folding to 9"x9") of laminated high-density cardboard (edge-bound).
DICE: The game includes four dice. Two 8-sided dice (2d8) - one brown, one black - are used with the inner 7x7 grid when 2-3 players are playing, while two 10-sided dice (2d10) - one brown, one black - are used with the full 9x9 grid when 4-6 players are playing.
BIRDS: There are eight (8) types of high-density cardboard die-cut pawns, one for each bird species in the game (6 each of six player bird species, 6 crows and 3 hawks). There are forty-five (45) total pawns included in each set.
ACTION TILES: Each player has a set of six (6) Action Chits in his/her bird's color. All players have the same seven actions available at the start of the game.
The printed art currently depicted is not final. We are taking the functional concepts and working with an amazing artist, Ben Crenshaw, to produce high quality art for the game packaging, printed materials and exclusive autographed prints as rewards!
The Game! (preliminary art - ACTUAL box art coming soon):
The Art Print:
(10) Ten Stickers (images soon): $2
Set of Custom 4 the Birds Dice: $5
Print-and-Play Version of "4 the Birds!": $10
Bird-on-a-Leash (image soon): $15
Custom Wooden Bird Set - The Originals: $30
"4 the BIRDS!" competed in Season 1 of Tabletop Deathmatch under the original moniker of "What the Flock?!" and was selected as one of the final 16 out of over 500 other games entered. Watch the full episode below to learn more about the rules, the story behind the game, and what other designers think of it:
Steve Ewoldt has designed numerous tabletop games for personal enjoyment as well as social entanglement at parties, game nights, brewfests, and awkward lulls in conversation anywhere in the world.
Ben Crenshaw joins the team as artist extraordinaire. Ben is a Washington D.C. native based in Fairlawn, Virginia. His current pursuits include fine art, graphics, game and software design, and publishing. He has truly raised the bar with the striking new art for the board, the cards and wow, the birds!
John Robinson brings his tech experience to the nest to help hatch the golden eggs of Steve's design and Ben's amazing art. (John, is that a 4 the Birds! app you're working on?! Hmmm…)
Risks and challenges
We've prototyped this game and play-tested for years at game stores, regional gaming conventions (GameStorm, GAMA, GenCon), local pubs, and many gaming events. It's time for a wider release at a higher quality than our current personal budgets allow. We have RE-jiggered this campaign with delivery of a quality game in mind, but first and foremost, delivering the game. We have worked hard to reduce costs and trim waste to get our numbers to a bare-bones level to again, get the game made and into your hands. That's what it's all about! We have selected a parter for producing the game, and we are working with established professionals for shipping and fulfillment. We know what we want and who can make it happen. But, in the event that there are any manufacturing issues, we will address them directly. If you have trouble receiving your copy or have any other problems, you can contact us and count on us for a replacement.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)