Illuminatus: Conspiracy-themed satirical board game
2-6 players aged 14+. The conspiracy wants you! Who's causing all the world issues? You are! Become part of the problem for an evening.
The campaign may be over but we're still around and not giving up on Illuminatus yet - register your interest to pre-order Illuminatus and be the first to hear about availability here.
'Illuminatus' is a conspiracy-themed, satirical strategy board game that is set in the modern world. 2-6 adults (aged 14+, if accompanied by a member of the intelligence services) each take on the role as a member of the illuminati, the legendary and mysterious organisation made up of old, powerful families and secretive factions.
Safe within the walls of your secret hideout, you pull strings to manipulate events across the entire world. Things don't just happen; as an illuminatus, you make them happen. Achieve your hidden agendas before the world ends, whilst doing everything you can to stop other players from achieving their goals.
Perform False Flag attacks to destabilise regions and eventually compromise or replace governments around the world. Influence events, research technologies to get an edge on your fellow players, declare "War on.." something and reap the benefits. Be careful though: every action has a cost and moves you that much closer to the end of the world. Play your hand too openly and you risk being exposed!
You are the conspiracy! Well, for a night of gaming at least...
After five years of development, the game is almost ready to go. We are doing final game balancing, making design tweaks after recent updates and editing the text. Now we need your help to get the game printed and distributed. In return for your support, we've got some nice bribes… oops we meant rewards for you.
You decide! Chemtrails? GMOs? Fluoridation? Weather control? Currency manipulation? Suppressed technology? Deadly viruses? Hired assassins? Dead witnesses? Shadow Government agents? Corrupt politicians? Shoddy journalism? Collateral damage?
Gameplay reveals conspiracies with each card played and roll of the dice edging you ever closer to the doomsday scenario that marks the end of the world.
Is it just a coincidence that the attack your fellow player made last turn was remarkably similar to one on the news the other night? You're probably just reading too much into it, right? Right? Right!? Shhhh… what was that sound?
Illuminatus base game box is chock full of conspiratorial goodness containing the following components:
For the technical gamers amongst you here's a detailed breakdown of various mechanics in play under the hood.
For those that don't care and just want to have a good time playing the game/ruling the world, well we've got you covered too so feel free to skip the section. We've put a little bit of effort into making your illuminatus experience a fun and engaging one that you can keep coming back to again and again...
What are you waiting for? Bag yourself a reward before they run out! Yes, some of them are limited so act now!
We want to give you, the players, the best possible Illuminatus experience.
If we hit additional stretch goals after our campaign is funded, we will unlock special Kickstarter exclusives and bonuses. These exclusives and bonuses will be included in all reward levels from the ++ ZERO DAY ++ level upwards. We can’t wait to share them with you as our campaign unfolds!
More to be revealed once we have funded...
We've worked hard to keep the base game components pricing down for some of you out there though cardboard might not cut it so please check out these game enhancing add ons.
Add each of the following to your pledge to pimp your illuminatus board game experience out that much more:
If that wasn’t enough, then perhaps we can interest you in Illuminatus' first booster box containing even more content for massive replay-ability and fun, conspiratorial confrontations with which to enlighten your friends and family.
Has something been a bit off of late with the world? Have you noticed that a hell of a lot of things have started to smell a bit fishy out there? That's not fish you smell, rather the distinct rotting scent of.... New World Odor!
Yes we went there and now you can too! Stink up your mate's place with Illuminatus Booster 1: New World Odor:
- Enjoy the pungent aromas emanating from 5 new Player factions
- Taste the moist scent of world domination with 50 new Agenda Cards
- Love the smell of napalm in the morning with 50 new Event cards
- Breathe deeply the effects with 54 new Research cards
- Sniff out more False Flag attacks with 80 new Black Bag cards
With all of that added to your conspiracy arsenal what could possible go wrong?
New World Odor will be unlocked once we reach our campaign target and is available for all reward levels from the ILLUMINATED ONE level upwards.
With over 300 unique cards in the base game, over 250 cards in Booster 1 and many many more in the pipeline, we have a lot of amazing conspiracy-themed artwork to share. Our talented illustrator, David, was given the brief to think “old-school Mad Magazine-style illustrations meets political satire". We think he's hit the mark and then some!
Tickle your conspiracy bone by checking out just a few here...
We have had plenty of fun designing and playing Illuminatus, but don't just take our word for it! As part of the development process, we have tested the game at numerous unpub events, at GenCon Indianapolis in 2014 and more recently in PAX Australia in 2016. Check out some of our playtesters' feedback below:
We've managed to gather a few HUMINT oops independent game reviews of the prototype game so hear and see what they have to say below:
Want to check out the game rules? Why not start with the Quick Start Guide first? Not enough for you, heh? What are you—some kind of rules lawyer or something? Fine! You can check out the full (Draft) Games Rules Booklet here. The rules are in draft form as we are still putting the finishing touches on the game. If you spot typos, feel free to get in touch to let us know.
When you start playing, we recommend just grabbing the Quick Start Guide and going for it to get straight into the conspiracy! As an illuminatus, you don't play by the rules in real life so just get into it already!
In the meantime here's the fly-through of what's involved in the overall game play:
We recorded a play though to give you an overview of gameplay. We have made some tweaks to the rules since this was recorded, updated some cards and adjusted the gameboard Doom/Infamy tracks to make them more easily used, but we figure you will enjoy it nonetheless, since it features Dark Mushroom’s fearless leader and also our original two slaves…err, playtesters slugging it out for world domination.
If being part of the problem isn't enough, here are a few more reasons for why you should back us right now:
- Pledge now, pay later: Thanks to the magic of crowdfunding, you pledge your support now but you won’t be charged until the end of the campaign and provided we hit our target.
- Limited First Wave Shipping: If you get in early and back during the first few days of the campaign you will get your rewards shipped before everyone else.
- Everyone is really busy these days so you'll probably forget to back at a later date - take action now! Remember you don't get charged till after the campaign ends so zero risk to back now.
- Early-Adopter Discount: Kickstarter backers get early access to Illuminatus for 75 AUD (approximately 57 USD | 75 CAD | 51 EUR | 45 GBP | 445 HKG) and Booster 1: New World Odor for 25 AUD (approximately 19 USD | 25 CAD | 17 EUR | 15 GBP | 149 HKG) . This represents a 25% discount off recommended retail price (MSRP AUD 100 for Illuminatus, AUD 33 New World Odor) as an appreciation of your early support.
- Join the conspiracy: We see our backers as collaborators and we really value your input. When we hit our funding target, stretch goals will unlock that allow you, the backers, to create content for the game! You truly will be part of the conspiracy! Get your unique conspiracy link here and become part of the problem!
- Support an independent games company: We need your help. We have spent years developing Illuminatus and have covered the cost of design and artwork for the game. However, as a newly-launched startup, we can’t manufacture and ship the game without your support. Help us get Illuminatus into your hands much faster than we would ever be able to do ourselves.
- Limited Availability: If developing this game has taught us anything, it’s that the next doomsday scenario could be just around the corner, so you may never get another chance to have this much fun! Jump on it whilst you still can!
We picked Kickstarter because we wanted to reach a game-loving community and it is by far the best platform out there for games and gamers. We have been playing card, tabletop, board, computer and console games for well over three decades and more recently backing the community and 89 projects on Kickstarter thus far...
Despite being an experienced gamer, this is Nick's first designed board game. Designing and planning Illuminatus has taken time and development has been self-funded over the past five years. Kickstarter now helps to fast-track that last big financial hurdle—namely production and distribution—so that we can share our passion with you, our fellow gamers. With your help, we can make Illuminatus a reality!
As mentioned above, we have self-funded development to date. Over the past four years, we have created the initial concept, developed the game design, researched conspiracy theories/facts, briefed illustrators and refined all artwork, written and rewritten the rules many time over, playtested the game mechanics internationally, sculpted custom game pieces, sourced manufacturers, distributors, etc., etc. ad infinitum. Needless to say, it has been a labour of love so far!
Funds raised during this campaign will be used to put the finishing touches on the game (updating the rules, game balance, etc.) and then produce and distribute the core board game, as well as Kickstarter exclusives, bonuses and other add-ons.
Other expenses include subsidising the shipping costs, since we don’t want to pass on the full cost (given how heavy the game is, it is expensive to ship!), and paying Kickstarter fees, card processing fees, survey costs and taxes.
The base game alone is a weighty 2kg and booster 1 another 1kg - yes truth seekers that's right, conspiracy facts weigh heavy on both the mind and postage!
The good news is we've worked hard on our shipping and logistics to ensure we can deliver Illuminatus to you in the quickest, most efficient and most cost-effective manner. Although we are based in Australia, manufacturing is handled in China. We then ship to central distribution points in Australia, Asia, UK, mainland Europe, USA and Canada to reduce tax and shipping costs to you, our amazing supporters.
We'll be sending out a post campaign survey to confirm all your base pledges and extras are accounted for correctly.
In other great shipping news, the global fulfilment company we will be using has confirmed that in July they will be adding even more distribution warehouses for greater world coverage! What does that mean for you - even more savings!
We know that some may still be concerned with shipping so to give you an early indication here are approximate shipping rates for the ILLUMINATUS Base Game (2kgs!) as things currently stand:
Australia 12 USD
Canada 13 USD
Hong Kong 17 USD
France 14 USD
Germany 10 USD
Ireland 17 USD
Italy 18 USD
Netherlands 10 USD
New Zealand 24 USD
Singapore 37 USD
Spain 18 USD
Sweden 20 USD
United Kingdom 12 USD
United States 12 USD
Again we are working through distribution and fulfilment so will continue to try and improve on the above to get you our supporters the best possible rate.
(As a rough guide: 1 AUD is currently approximately 0.76 USD / 1.07 CAD | 0.59 GBP / 0.68 EUR | 5.94 HKD)
Spreading the word is crucial in the success of our campaign so please connect with us by
1. liking our Facebook pages here and here
2. following Dark Mushroom Games on Twitter @DarkMushroomAU
3. subscribe to our Illuminatus YouTube channel
4. subscribe to our email list here for news and special offers
5. check us out on boardgamegeek.com here and here
6. following our campaign's progress and stats on Kicktraq
Risks and challenges
We have backed plenty of Kickstarter campaigns and learnt a lot from our first attempt. It is also the first board game we have produced. There have been many challenges to date and no doubt there will be some more along the way.
The good news is that we are most of the way there. After a few years in development, we are now fine tuning the design before we print. (For those that have helped to playtest earlier prototypes, you will see plenty of improvements!) Funding is mostly for production and distribution, not game development.
There's always a chance of complications with logistics. We're manufacturing overseas, but have partnered with a reputable company with a solid track record, which helps reduce this risk.
Shipping products around the world may involve potential issues. We are partnering with a reputable company with expertise in shipping to assist us with that. We're setting up to be able to scale as and when necessary, which means working with a distribution and fulfilment company with regional presences to ensure you get your games as fast and as cost-effectively as possible.
We are here for the long-haul and want to keep releasing expansions and additional booster content in future. To that end, we have set up as a company for illuminatus and have registered trademarks to protect our hard work and ensure it continues into the future. Dark Mushroom Games owns the registered trademarks for illuminatus and You Are The Conspiracy.
In terms of currency fluctuations, the Australian dollar is all over the place of late, which is challenging for us as a publisher, given many of our costs are in foreign currencies. If the game is really successful, we will look to hedge against adverse currency moves to ensure we aren't caught out!
If any other issues arise, we'll keep calm and keep at it till we get it done and you have your games in your hands! We'll update you ever step of the way. Rest assured we will be 100% transparent with any delays and we are committed to turning the game around ASAP.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)