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Choose your apex dinosaur, hunt prey, evolve your genetics, grow stronger, fight bosses, and dominate your friends. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 2, 2014.

Choose your apex dinosaur, hunt prey, evolve your genetics, grow stronger, fight bosses, and dominate your friends.

About this project

"Some card games are gentle diversions, perfect for quiet contemplation on a rainy day. The Apex theropod deck building game is not one of them. Apex wants to kill you, and will attempt to do so in violent, bloody ways –plague, meteor strike, even decapitation by Tyrannosaurus rex." - David M. Ewalt, Forbes Magazine

1. Apex Theropod Deck Building Game
600 Cards (9 playable classes, 12 territories) - Supports 1-8 players - Room for sleeved cards - 20 extra tall divider cards for custom organization

2. 100lb 2.5" x 3.5" Cards
Rounded Corners
Each apex dinosaur will have many different cards, each card having its own artwork

3. Hunting Grounds and Nest GripMats
Used to organize each player's nest and keep cards from sliding. (Scroll down below reward tiers to read more about the GripMats.

4. Strategy Guide (Stretch Goal #5 @ $40K replaces Dinosaur Guide)
14 PT cover, 8.5" x 11", 40 pages (Scroll down below reward tiers to read more about the Dinosaur Guide. Go to stretch goals to read about Strategy Guide).

5. Apex Official Promotional Poster 24x36
Rolled and shipped in protective tube box.

6. Apex is Tyrannosaurus Rex Approved!

Apex on Facebook


Scott Sexton's Apex Prototype Review at BGG
SlimGamer.com Apex Campaign Review
TodayinBoardGames.com Apex Campaign Review

1-8 Players (9 playable Dinosaurs) • Ages 12 & Up • 30-90 Minutes • 600 Cards (60+ Dinosaurs) • Designed by Herschel Hoffmeyer


Apex is a dinosaur deck-building game where you play as one of nine apex predators competing for territory. Each playable apex predator has their own style deck that you must master to succeed with that dinosaur. Apex is a very brutal environment and the game will try and kill you throughout. The goal is not only to survive but to dominate the competition, literally. You must fight off other competing predators to control territories and win. The game will feature 60+ dinosaurs and 12 territories with each territory having it's own territorial boss that you must defeat to dominate the territory. There is also Final Bosses in the game. The game supports 1-8 players which means it is designed to play by yourself or with up to seven friends. The game is huge and requires large play space to play up to eight players. The game is also very complex but easy to pick up on and keep track of everyone's move.

Apex cards are the different playable classes of apex predators. Whatever dinosaur you choose is only available to you. The idea is to build up your species and to kill off the other competing apex predators. Each apex predator starts the game with four hatchlings and a juvenile in your deck (as well as four Carcass Cards and one Large Carcass card). During the game you must purchase hatched Apex Cards from your nest in order to expand your population. These hatched Apex Cards consist of six different types of cards ranging from very common cards to two rare cards that can attack other players when played. Each apex dinosaur's  unique card will have it's own art. A hatchling will look like a hatchling, a juvenile will look like a juvenile, and a scavenger will be eating a carcass and so on. There is 26 total cards per Apex deck.

*Quetzalcoatlus and Sarcosuchus were voted by backers to make it into the game (stretch goals) to add more variety and are not theropod dinosaurs. However, the game still generally focuses on theropods.

Prey Cards are basically your resources of the game that you must hunt in order to use to purchase your Apex cards and your Evolve Cards. There are many different territories loaded with prey for you to hunt. The more players, the more prey on the table. Once you hunt a Prey Card, you take it back to your nest where they stockpiled in your Hoard Pile of your nest until eaten/used. Cards in your Hoard Pile can be played any round you choose which gives you the option to save up and purchase some big cards! There are two different kinds of prey. You have the self-titled Prey cards and then you have Big Game cards. The Big Game cards 'bite' back and help defend their territory a bit longer. When you hunt Big Game, you're likely to receive an injury but the Evolve points gained can be huge because you're taking more meat back to your nest.

Once you hunt all the prey in a territory, you take on the boss of that territory and a boss battle begins. Boss Cards are huge in this game. They can change the outcome of a game in a flash. When a boss comes out, it attacks everyone if you're not ready for it.  The boss battles are based on a separate round system of it's own. Each player will play their hand and must have a hunt value high enough to attack the boss. If they can attack then they deal a wound to the boss. If the player has four hunt value more than needed then they deal Severe Trauma to the boss causing it to bleed out quickly. Each wound weakens him by lowering the amount of hunt value required to attack him further. If the player fails to have enough hunt value, the boss attacks them instead! Based on the boss and what boss round it is, depends on what attack they suffer. After every player has had their turn to attack or get attacked, it moves onto the next round. The boss can be eliminated by dealing a certain amount of wounds to it. If all players fail to defeat the boss the territory cannot be dominated and the player who activated the boss is eliminated.

Evolve Cards help you grow stronger, protect you from things that are designed to kill you, and allow you to attack other players as well. You purchase these with hunted Prey Cards or Carcass Cards played in your hand. You must eat to grow stronger. All evolution cards have their strengths and weaknesses. The evolution card titled 'Accelerated Growth' will double the hunt value of your Hatchling cards. This card is great for boosting your early game but will quickly slow you down as soon as you hit mid game. The reason for this is that your deck will grow and playing hatchlings will soon be far and few between if you don't lose them first. So every time you play Accelerated Growth and you don't play a hatchling, it's the same as playing a wound because it takes up one of your slots.

The Apex environment is brutal and will kill your dinosaur population off quickly if your not prepared. There are different types of wound cards including Severe Trauma and Viral Infections. All Wound Cards weaken you and some will continue to weaken you until you heal from them or die. Most wounds can be avoided by making good decisions and playing Evolve Cards. Only the strong will survive.


EE Cards (Environment Effect) are in their own special deck and act as a game timer. After every round, a new EE Card is played that effects all players. They can be both positive or negative and there is a wide range of cards and effects they have. There is also a final game ending card that also varies in effects. This can be a final ultimate boss or an extinction event like shown in the card above. At the end of a round when you draw an new EE Card, the last one played is placed on the bottom of the deck so players don't know when the game ending card is coming. The game plays with a standard of 15 EE cards but can be extended by adding more EE cards that are included in the game.


Cards have a cost and value associated with them. There is two different types and they are Hunt (orange) and Evolve (blue). The cost of the card is always the top number. Apex and Evolve cards always cost Evolve Points. While Prey, Big Game, and Bosses cost Hunt Points. The bottom number is always the value of the card. Like seen on the 'Harbinger' card above, he cost 8 Evolve Points to purchase. Once played in your hand, he equals to 7 Hunt Points.

You start off the game hunting prey and trying to build your population up. You have to hunt Prey or Big Game cards or play your Carcass cards (that come in your starting deck) to earn evolve points. Once a Prey or Big Game card is hunted, they are moved back to your Hoard where you can stockpile them until you choose to use them. They can be used right after hunting them or you can save them and use them during a future hand. Once they are used however, they are stored under your nest where they will be later used for domination points to earn a territory after defeating a boss.

The evolve deck always has four cards revealed for purchase. When a card is purchased, all revealed cards slide over and a new card is revealed instantly. After the round is over, no matter how many cards were purchased or not purchased, the last card in the line up is moved to the elimination pile and a new card is drawn.

At the bottom of each territory deck is the boss placed face up. That way a player can check to see if the next prey is or is not the Boss. Once the last prey has been hunted and the boss is revealed, the boss battle begins. During the boss battle the EE deck is paused, no prey can be hunted, and no evolve cards can be purchased. The person to reveal the boss, draws a new hand and takes the first swing at the boss. The player must be able to attack the boss with their hand or else they get attacked by the boss. Then it moves on to the next player. After it cycles through all players the first round is complete and it moves onto the next round. If players fail to kill the Boss by set number of rounds (determined on boss card) then the player who revealed the boss is eliminated.

If you fail to defeat a boss, then the territory goes non-dominated. If you defeat a boss of a certain territory, players then add up there total domination points from their nest. Every character has a 'home turf' so if it is your 'home turf' territory, you can also add any Apex cards played that hand into your domination points. The player with the most domination points wins the territory.

Played Apex cards in that territory = 1 point each
Prey cards = 1 point each
Big Game cards = 2 points each
Boss card = 3 points

Once a territory has been dominated, the territory-winning player takes the Prey and Big Game cards they have acquired from that territory and place them in their discard pile. This gives them 'free hunts' when they are played in your hand and also helps counter the "run away" effect. Other players simply place acquired prey from that territory in the elimination pile. Boss cards are only used for domination points and they're placed in the elimination pile as well because that territorial predator has been eliminated. Along with the acquired prey being yours, you also gain an additional Nest card for each territory. Having two Nest cards now allows you to hatch two Apex cards into your hatchery per turn giving you the option to choose between two and even buying two in one turn! Following a boss battle, the game continues where it left off. The first player to dominate three territories wins. If the game ends due to the EE deck (timer) then the player with the most territory dominated and territory points wins.

This is how a typical hand is played:

Step 1 - Hatch Apex Card
At the beginning of your turn, you draw/hatch one card (one nest) from your Egg Deck and place it face up in your hatchery. This is your Hatched Apex card. You must purchase this card during your turn or else it is moved back to the bottom of your Egg Deck.

Step 2 - Play Abilities
Play any abilities attached to cards that you played. Some abilities such as increasing values of cards will have to wait until the associated step.

Step 3 - Hunt
Add up your total Hunt Value of your playing hand and hunt whatever Prey you can in the Territories. Place all Hunted Prey in your Hoard.

Step 4 - Grow and Evolve
Add up your total Evolve Value of your playing hand and you may include any cards in your Hoard. You may purchase your Hacthed Apex card if possible or any Evolve Cards and place them in your Discard Pile. Put any Hunted Prey/Big Game that you used and place them under your Nest Card (for domination points later). If you did not purchase your Hatched Apex card, place it on the bottom of the Egg Deck (face down).

Step 5 - Draw a new hand

Place all cards from your playing hand in your Discard Pile. Draw 5 new cards from your Draw Pile. If you do not have enough cards in your Draw Pile, draw what you do have and shuffle your Discard Pile face down. Then turn your Discard Pile into your Draw Pile (face down) and draw remaining cards needed.

Then it moves onto the next player. If all players had a turn, a new round begins.

Basic Game Mechanics Tutorial Video

 Abilities and Wounds Tutorial Video

 Card Types and Boss Battles

HTMLgiant.com interviews me here

The game was designed and all the dinosaurs are digitally drawn, colored, and textured by Herschel Hoffmeyer. I have a long history of Photoshop, gaming, and dinosaurs so I decided to throw them all together. This is my first large project but I have been working with clients in graphic design and video game concept art for some time now. I recently just got out of the military and starting down the path towards my dreams.  I am currently a student at the Arts Institute International in Kansas City and have a very supportive wife. Being married with kids and having a very limited source of income makes my dream very hard to obtain and that's why I'm here. I do however have a long established relationship with Mercury Press, Inc. and they are manufacturing the game. All dinosaurs are drawn accurately as possible and cards are designed around scientific facts about that dinosaur. I wouldn't have it any other way. I have been in love with dinosaurs since I was a child and I think I'm bringing back a lot of good memories with this game as well as bringing new game mechanics and an original game. I hope you find interest in Apex and pledge your support to make this game a reality.

This is a complete list off all the territories, dinosaurs, and templates of those territories for easy identification.

Yes we are already funded but there are multiple benefits to being a backer and we still need help to reach our stretch goals and make the game better. The first major one is that the amount you pay here (including shipping) is cheaper than it will be sold for MSRP before shipping so you're definitely saving money buying it now. Backers will get the game a month before it ships to any retailer or sold anywhere. The third is the unique backs (optional). The standard card backs will just be a texture and the logo but the backer's edition will have special backs. The fourth boost about contributing, if you can afford it, is being a beta tester which gives backers the option to contribute input and recommended changes to the final game.

There is also one more thing in store for Kickstarter backers... an exclusive third 'rare' card for each Apex backer that will receive extra attention when designing. So here's the list:

- Cheaper to buy now
- Get the game a month before anyone else
- Unique Backer Voted card backs (optional)
 
- Beta Tester and Card Designer (Reward Tier)

Standard Edition Backs (may change)
Standard Edition Backs (may change)

Every dollar counts and it all goes towards manufacturing. If stretch goals are met I will have the money needed to manufacture extra parts of the game like additional playable classes, place mats and linen cards. All prices below include shipping and handling within the United States. For international shipping be sure to review the detailed information below and on the right about each package's shipping charge. Review the packages below and pick the one that best suits you.

International Shipping

• International packages are going to be shipped from the US via USPS.

• We will not be shipping from within EU to EU backers (EU friendly shipping). The additional costs that I would incur from this was not calculated into the pledge levels. So this cost is not covered.

• International shipping to Mexico and Canada have their own packages

8" x 8", 20 pages, Soft Cover
8" x 8", 20 pages, Soft Cover

 
The Dinosaur Guide will feature all the dinosaurs featured in Apex along with the most up-to-date facts about the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were not just drawn and thrown into the game. There was a lot of research and care taken in designing these giants that once ruled this Earth. Each and every dinosaur deserves the reputation it earned when it once lived and I'm making sure their message is delivered. Our knowledge on dinosaurs has changed a lot since we were kids and many dinosaurs are not what we once knew. "The facts have evolved."

What's exactly in the guide? Forbes.com will possibly be showcasing the guide during the last week of the campaign so you will have to wait into the Apex article goes live at Forbes.

Apex Official Promotional Poster (24x36 Glossy)
Apex Official Promotional Poster (24x36 Glossy)

We are going through Break From Reality Games to add Grip Mats to be used in Apex. The game is to big for a game board and the mats are a great alternative and actually work better. They will help keep all the cards from sliding around, keep them organized, and act as a guide where to place the different card decks. Each player can also have their own grip mat for their nest. The mats will be custom designed for Apex and I will be designing the art for them. I really wanted to incorporate them not only because they're awesome and work, but it's also about helping another Kickstarter out. It's up to you how many you want and which ones you want. It also doesn't matter which reward tier you choose because these are being treated as an 'Add-On.' Below are your options:

'Hunting Grounds' Grip Mat - Add $10
'Player Nest' Grip Mat - Add $4 (for each one/player)

*The game supports up to 8 players

The Hunting Grounds mat will house all the territory prey, bosses, EE cards, elimination pile, and Evolve cards for up to an 8 player game. The Player Nest mats will house your Egg deck, hatched card, hunted prey/big game, nest cards, devoured prey, draw pile, and discard pile for only 1 player. This will make a game much more enjoyable and organized because I can't stress the size of the game and how many cards are in play at any given moment. The game is huge, dinosaur huge. It's up to you how many Nest mats you want to add but you only need one Hunting Ground mat per game. Just make sure to add up your total then add that to your package. No extra shipping cost. When the campaign ends you will be asked how many grip mats you ordered and of what type but I will be able to tell this anyways by the amount of money added to your pledge.

Hunting Grounds GripMat, 26" x 13"
Hunting Grounds GripMat, 26" x 13"
Player Nest GripMat 14" x 6" (good for one player)
Player Nest GripMat 14" x 6" (good for one player)

In order to expand the game to it's fullest potential we need to raise money past our original goal. The game is already at 400 cards but that is just the tip of the iceberg with support like you. I want to increase the player count to eight by adding more playable classes, more prey, more bosses! Please help reach out to people and tell them about Apex to help us reach our stretch goals and make Apex and even better game. Every single backer counts!

 8.5" x 11"

"Complete, in-depth coverage of the game, including every single card. The guide will be written by the designer and will reveal the strongest tactics used by the beta testers. The book will be divided up into each territory covering the Apex, Prey, and Bosses. Become a master of Apex by knowing the best deck-building orders and which evolve cards to buy and when to buy them. The strategy guide will feature loads of artwork and facts."

The Strategy Guide is replacing the Dinosaur Guide if the Stretch Goal is met. It won't be a hard-back cover but it's still a pretty thick cover. Picture a video game strategy guide and this one is no different in quality. We're talking about a really nice book with more talk about actual strategies than any strategy guide you ever got before. I will go over build types and give them nick names and have at least three strong build methods for each deck. Plus how to exploit the boss and evolve cards to gain the best advantage. Of course the book will have even more art in it as well. I'm very excited about this and hope it can get added.

If you're a beta tester (only 7 left!) you will be able to contribute to the guide as well. If you think you've developed an awesome build/strategy for an Apex Class then you name the method and send me the mini walk-through and it may very well make it into the guide if it proves superior than most. Your strategy will be quoted and tagged with your name in the book. I will also cover every single card for each Apex and discuss different ways it should be used. Apex is easy to learn but hard to master and that's what makes it so fun. People who receive the guide will have a definite edge and it's no tutorial.

If you want the Strategy Guide, choose a reward level that includes the dinosaur guide. If SG#5 is hit, you get it instead of the Dino Guide for no extra charge.


What is everyone saying about Apex? (Click on quotes to read more about what they said)

"Some card games are gentle diversions, perfect for quiet contemplation on a rainy day. The Apex therapod deck building game is not one of them. Apex wants to kill you, and will attempt to do so in violent, bloody ways –plague, meteor strike, even decapitation by Tyrannosaurus rex." - David M. Ewalt, Forbes Magazine

"It’s impressive how a deck of cards can make you sense the rawness of being a dinosaur, of surviving in nature, amongst the beasts." - SlimGamer .com

"Apex is a new deck-building game over on Kickstarter where you’re trying to create the greatest dinosaur predator ever. Yes, I find that ridiculously awesome." - TabltopGamingNews .com

"A wildly inventive dinosaur deck-building game." -  TodayinBoardGames .com

"Apex Theropod looks like a dinosaur-lover’s nocturnal emission." - HTMLGiant .com

"The art looks lovely and the theme is a welcome break from the many Dungeons & Dragons clones populating the market when it comes to these types of games." - PrehistoricPulp.Blogspot .com



I leave you with some shots of play testing and production of the prototype.

Risks and challenges

The game is in late development and the game mechanics and design are already complete. The only thing left to do is finish the art and conduct further play testing to make sure the game is as balanced as it can be when it's ready to ship. I am planing for a July release date to the Kickstarter backers only and to the public in the fall. Depending on if stretch goals are met, the deadline may get pushed back a few weeks because more art and testing will be required.

The only real challenge I face is being someone new and people unsure if I can follow through with the product. I can assure you even if the project does not get funded that progress will not slow down on finishing the game. That's why I set the goal very small so I can at least get a couple hundred copies of the game printed off to have it ready to sell the moment it's complete. I am getting the game manufactured right here in the U.S. and have an established relationship with the printing company. All pricing, formatting, product design, and prototype prints are already complete to make sure everything runs smoothly and looks and feels the way it should. If the project gets funded well over the expectations it will also create no problems for me as Mercury Press, Inc. is ready to print whatever amount of copies I pay for.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    21 backers

    Every dollar counts and thank you very much for your support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $18 or more

    1 backer

    Hatchling Reward includes:
    Apex Dinosaur Guide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $38 or more

    323 backers

    Hunter Reward includes:
    Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $43 or more

    24 backers

    Canada and Mexico Only!!!

    Hunter Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    25 backers All gone!

    Early-bird Reward includes:
    Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide, Official Apex Poster 24x36, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $48 or more

    333 backers

    Elite Hunter Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    42 backers

    Veteran Reward includes:
    Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide, Official Apex Poster 24x36, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $58 or more

    23 backers

    Canada and Mexico Only!!!

    Elite Hunter Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $90 or more

    27 backers Limited (3 left of 30)

    Beta Tester Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game Prototype (ships late April), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide, Official Apex Poster 24x36, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $97 or more

    11 backers

    Binary Hunter Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game X2, Apex Dinosaur Guide X2, Official Apex Poster 24x36 X2, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints X2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $135 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    Binary Beta Tester Reward includes: Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game Prototype X1 (ships late April), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game X2, Apex Dinosaur Guide X2, Official Apex Poster 24x36 X2, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints X2

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers All gone!

    Designer & Beta Tester Reward includes: Design your own Card Ability (early April), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game Prototype (ships late April), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game, Apex Dinosaur Guide, Official Apex Poster 24x36, 5 Digital Line Drawing Prints

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Titan Reward includes: 2 original pencil line drawings (18x24), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game Prototype (ships late April), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game Signed with exclusive backs), Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game (standard backs), Apex Dinosaur Guide, Official Apex Poster 24x36, 5 Digital Color Prints (8.5" x 11"), 8 Nest GripMats, and 1 Hunting Grounds GripMat

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)