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A Train Building Card Game that's fun for parents to play with their kids, simple enough for a 4 year old, yet engaging for all ages!
122 backers pledged $2,070 to help bring this project to life.

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Build It- Trains, Card Game For Gamers with Kids project video thumbnail
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Build it-Trains is a fast, simple, and fun card game about "you guessed it!" Building Trains…

My Project is a card game I originally made to play with my wife and kids. The card game itself was so popular amongst our friends and family that we decided to share it with others. Its simple enough for our 4yr old to play and win, yet engaging for my wife, our oldest son and myself.

Bright Colorful Cards
Bright Colorful Cards

The bright colorful cards don’t have any words on them, so there is no reading required. With 3 cards max in hand, its easy to manage for little hands. The rules are short and sweet. The game play is swift and the game is often over before you know it.

We have played for hours and hours testing it. It has tons of replay value since there is never the same game twice. Its easy as a parent to purposely not win, if you are interested in doing so for your kids. It can also be quite challenging to try and win even against your younger kids, depending upon the draw of the cards. I personally allow them to win the last game during most sittings, so they can go away with a smile on their face. I typically have a 75% win rate over my children, due to my ability to count and play the odds, something they can learn later when they are older. My 8yr old is learning the odds right now from play testing actually.

When playing in a group of adults you can still choose to go easy on your children by simply not challenging them on the goals they are close to. Then if another competitor decides to go for that same goal, you can use a "fix" maneuver to drop yours and outrace them to it.

Besides the 2 Instruction cards, can you observe which 2 cards are missing from this particular test deck? *
Besides the 2 Instruction cards, can you observe which 2 cards are missing from this particular test deck? *

The 52 cards are divided as follows:

35 train cards

15 goal cards

2 instructions cards

* Answer- The 2 cards missing from the test deck in the above photo are 2nd Orange Engine and the Orange Timber Train Car :)

3 Player Setup, 3 Goal Cards revealed, 3 Train Cards in each player's hand. Note that the Play Test Deck has no art on the back. You will have to wait and see what we have planned for that :)
3 Player Setup, 3 Goal Cards revealed, 3 Train Cards in each player's hand. Note that the Play Test Deck has no art on the back. You will have to wait and see what we have planned for that :)

Setup

1. Move the 2 Instruction Cards from the deck to the side, face up for all to see.

2. Separate the 35 Train Cards and 15 Goal Cards into their own piles and shuffle each pile.

3. Flip and reveal 3 Goal Cards face up for all to see.

4. Deal out 3 Train Cards to each player.

Turns

Players take turns starting from the youngest player. During a player's turn they have 2 choices:

 Draw 1 & Play 1 or Fix

"Draw 1 & Play 1" is pretty straight forward:

1) A player draws a card from the Train Pile.

2) Then plays a card from their hand into their Train Yard.

"Fix" allows for a lot more strategy. When a player chooses to fix:

1) They return all cards currently in their Train Yard to their hand.

2) Then play/discard cards freely, but must end up with 3 cards in hand.

This is a Train Yard. 3 Trains can be assembled at a time. Notice that the each of these trains require at least 1 more card to be completed.
This is a Train Yard. 3 Trains can be assembled at a time. Notice that the each of these trains require at least 1 more card to be completed.

The Train yard

The Train Yard Is the area directly in front of each player. Imagine a tic-tac-toe board, which is a grid of 3x3 squares. These 9 squares are where you assemble your trains. Each of the 3 rows allows for you to build a 3 card train.

The timing in which you play cards doesn’t matter. You can play the engine 1st, 2nd or last. It is the position of the cards which must be the same as what is shown on the Goal Card. One Engine with two train cars following it, no more no less.

3 Goal Cards, A player gains a point by being the 1st to complete any one of these three trains.
3 Goal Cards, A player gains a point by being the 1st to complete any one of these three trains.
Here is a sample of a Completed Goal Card. This particular Goal Card is based on color only and the type of cargo is ignored.
Here is a sample of a Completed Goal Card. This particular Goal Card is based on color only and the type of cargo is ignored.
Here is a sample of a Completed Goal Card. This particular Goal Card is based on cargo type only and the color of the cars is ignored.
Here is a sample of a Completed Goal Card. This particular Goal Card is based on cargo type only and the color of the cars is ignored.

Goal Cards

Goal Cards are the particular trains the players are racing to complete. There are 3 Goal cards in play at any time. Most Goal Cards ask for specific cargo types, while others only care about the colors of the cars themselves.

Once a player places the 3rd and final train card in the correct order so their train matches what is shown on the goal card:

1) That player collects that Goal Card as a point,

2) They flip and reveal the next Goal card,

3) Place the used Train Cards in the discard pile,

4) And take another another turn.

Game Over


The Short Game: ends with the 1st Goal Card awarded.

The Standard Game: ends when the deck runs out for the 1st time. The player with most Goal Cards being declared the winner.

The Variable Rule: allows the game's end to be based on score rather than card count, allowing for more strategic game play and often results in a more competitive game all around. (I suggest 5)

The No Stone Unturned Version: is the most lengthy, in that the game doesn't end until the last Goal Card has been claimed.

In The Case Of Ties: we allow for a Special Speed Round of 5 card hands, where 1st Goal wins as a tie breaker... Short, sweet and to the Point!

Author's Notes

The 4 Player Game: While I've recommended 2-3 players we have play tested the game with 4 players using the 1 deck many times. The challenge arises when the deck runs out of cards and a player cannot draw on their turn even if they wanted to. We have used the optional rules "if you cannot draw, you must fix." This allows for 4 player games to run semi smoothly using the one deck.

How Custom is Custom?: There are several game lengths ranging from the ultra short "1st train wins" to the lengthy "last goal is completed" My favorite lies somewhere in between "1st to 5 wins". This falls under the Variable Game Play Rule: where players can agree on a set number of points required for victory, thus controlling the games length and cultivating a certain strategy of well timed fixes to snatch away goals just before opponents can claim them.

Costs

The game is done. The art is my own. The project covers the only expenses we have left, which are the printing and shipping.

Risks and challenges

At this time in the project, being that we are through the play testing phase, have all of our own original art, and have finalized the bulk of all rules and variations of game play. It is dealing with the printer, including the box art, packaging, and shipping where we find ourselves in new and unfamiliar territory. If anything is going to cause delays in our progress it will probably be related to either communication or shipping between us.

We are aware of the possibility of these issues and will take every precaution to avoid miscommunications, but there is little we can do with shipping. This is why we pushed our release date from September 2013 to November 2013 to cope with any such delays. Of course if everything does go as intended we may find ourselves shipping sooner than that.

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    A printable PDF of the full game.

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    Early Bird Special- A single full copy of the game.

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    Two Full Copies of the game. Easily mixed together allowing for 4-6 player fun.

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    Three full copies of the game. Great for gifts.

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    The Blue Conductor Package...
    Five Full Copies of the game. Great for gifts.
    Add your name to one of the two blue engines. It will look something like this "The Weston Family Express" or "The Michael Weston Express". Every deck printed in this batch would have this title on one of the two blue engines.

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    The Red Conductor Package...
    Five Full Copies of the game. Great for gifts.
    Add your name to one of the two red engines. It will look something like this "The Bartowski Family Express" or "The Chuck Bartowski Express". Every deck printed in this batch would have this title on one of the two red engines.

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    The Orange Conductor Package... Five Full Copies of the game. Great for gifts. Add your name to one of the two orange engines. It will look something like this "The Hardison Family Express" or "The Alec Hardison Express". Every deck printed in this batch would have this title on one of the two orange engines.

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    The Green Conductor Package... Five Full Copies of the game. Great for gifts. Add your name to one of the two green engines. It will look something like this "The Spencer Family Express" or "The Shawn Spencer Express". Every deck printed in this batch would have this title on one of the two green engines.

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    The Purple Conductor Package... Five Full Copies of the game. Great for gifts. Add your name to one of the two purple engines. It will look something like this "The Hofstadter Family Express" or "The Leonard Hofstadter Express". Every deck printed in this batch would have this title on one of the two purple engines.

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    The King of the Rails Package... For those of you whom are collectors or simply find yourselves in the unique position, having both means and desire to be apart of our project in a bigger way. We offer you The King of the Rails Package, which includes x5 copies of the game and 1 signed copy in our original business card sized format, which was used during play testing. This deck will be in a personalized case/frame for easy display. You could even open it and play the game from the cards within it, if you want to know how it was during play testing.

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Funding period

- (30 days)