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Tessen is an exciting 15 minute card game. Gather mystical animals and use your warriors to defend or steal animals from your opponent.
Tessen is an exciting 15 minute card game. Gather mystical animals and use your warriors to defend or steal animals from your opponent.
Tessen is an exciting 15 minute card game. Gather mystical animals and use your warriors to defend or steal animals from your opponent.
539 backers pledged $13,704 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Tessen - A quick-playing card game set in feudal Japan

$13,704

539

Miss out on the campaign?

Don't worry, you can head on over to VanRyderGames.com to pre-order Tessen now!

Tessen Summary of Play

Tessen is a card game featuring simultaneous real time play. Two players take animal cards from their decks and play them to 5 spaces in front of them. Players may save sets of 3 or more, but beware! The opponent may use a warrior card to "attack" a space forcing the player to give up the attacked animal cards. The attacking player may then take the cards for his own. Also, warriors may be used to "defend" and nullify an opponent's warrior. Whomever has the most saved animal cards at the end of a round wins!

Tessen features:

  • Fast fun, but also with a good mix of strategy and tactics
  • A thematic setting - feudal Japan
  • Extensively playtested and developed - including at conventions such as Origins, UnPub, Dexcon, Tennessee Game Days, and more.
  • Language agnostic gameplay! No words to read other than the rules.
  • Quick playtime - most matches can be played in 15 minutes or less. Single rounds sometimes take under 2 minutes!
  • Incredible art by illustrator Wayne O'Connor
  • Colorblind friendly graphic design!
  • A great price - Only $12 gets the game shipped to you!
  • TWO mini-expansions included from day 1
  • A Money back guarantee exclusive to Kickstarter backers!

Game Components

Read the rules! 

Gameplay Videos

Grey Elephant Gaming LIVE PLAY - "This game is exactly why I enjoy doing board game videos." Watch this excellent quick rules explanation and live play: 

"Tessen is a joy to play. It’s been said many times already, but it’s worth repeating: this is a fast and engaging game... Not once did I ever feel let down or disinterested." ~Cyrus Kirby, FatherGeek.com - click here for full review!

"We’ve been blessed lately with small, cheap enjoyable card games like Hanabi and Love Letter. Tessen can stand right along with those excellent titles." - Dan Zuccarelli, Perpetual Geek Machine Podcast - click here for full review!

"When I got to play the prototype at Origins, I wanted to take it home." - Ken Grazier, Game Reviewer at Geek-Craft.com  - click here for full review!

"I came across Tessen... at Unpub 3. I declared it my favorite game of the convention and now, nearly eight months later, it’s ranked as one of my all time favorite games." - Scott King, Game Photographer and Reviewer - click here for full review!

When the designers of Tessen, Suzanne and Chris, built their prototype they found some fantastic traditional Japanese artwork that really captures the theme of the game quite well. It really has an authentic feel. We wanted to offer this to you as part of this campaign. We are calling this version of the game Tessen Classic. There are no plans to make Tessen Classic available through retail channels, so if the traditional art appeals to you, make sure you pick up a copy of Tessen Classic during this campaign!

Since the goal of this campaign is to fund Tessen, we are not offering Tessen Classic as a lone purchase, but along with the main version. Additionally, since the production costs to produce Tessen Classic in limited quantities are higher, the cards will come in shrink wrap but with no box. UPDATE 8/29: Boxes WILL be provided for Tessen Classic Thanks to a very generous backer!

For those inclined, we have in our possession LIMITED copies of Tessen Classic, which features this art. If you choose the $40 level that includes this, we'll ship you a copy of Tessen Classic RIGHT NOW during the campaign. We're that confident in the game and believe that we can trust the great Kickstarter community that supports us. Oh and don't forget you will still be getting your copy of TESSEN when the official version ships!

All you have to do is select the proper $40 reward level and be on the lookout for a message from us requesting your address. DON'T DELAY! There is a VERY LIMITED number of these quick ship rewards available.

Or if you can wait just a little longer until the campaign ends, go for the $30 level and we'll ship your copy of Tessen Classic soon after the campaign ends.

See below for details on how to add additional copies of the game. Or if you've pledged for the 4 or 10 pack, you can convert up to half of your copies to Tessen Classic. Please note that all copies added this way will be shipped with the final shipment and that additional shipping charges may apply for international shipments (see below the graphic).

International shipping is based on the total number of games. Use the following schedule and adjust your pledge level accordingly.

  • 2 to 4 Games ----$20 International shipping
  • 5 to 10 Games ------- $30 International shipping
  • 11+ Games ----------------  $40 International shipping

Mini-Expansion 1 - The Ryuu (Dragon)

Attack your opponent? or defend against the Dragon? This expansion adds an additional choice that has impacts throughout the entire match!

Mini-Expansion 2 - The Sacred Beast

One animal became prized over all others. It was agreed by all that this animal was the most valuable. Play animals on the Sacred Beast card. At the end of the round, double the value of all saved animals matching the type that is the top card on the Sacred Beast card. But careful! Your opponent will try to have it his way and be the one to determine which animal is the Sacred Beast!

Loyalty Reward

Backers may OPT-IN when we send post campaign surveys to receive a promo card for our first game "If I'm Going Down..."  Due to the graphic nature of the game (Zombies) being a shift from the more family friendly nature of Tessen, all information on this promo card will be shared on our website for those who are interested. Visit http://www.vanrydergames.com/games/if-im-going-down/ for the details.

At the $60 reward level you can choose your own color and clan name for one copy of Tessen in shrink wrap to be shipped after the campaign along with a copy of Tessen Classic. Also receive a fully produced standard copy of the game when it ships to backers!

Add additional copies of your custom color and clan version for $25 each. The personalized Clan names will make a fantastic gift!

Everyone that pledges at the $12 level or above will receive all stretch rewards that are achieved for each copy of the game you pledge for including Tessen Classic and Custom Clans!

We really believe in Tessen. So much so, we are going to back it up with a Money Back guarantee for our Kickstarter backers. If you pledge to support Tessen and you decide the game isn't for you within 15 days of receiving it, you may return it for a refund.

We've decided to use Kickstarter for Tessen as we have invested what we can to get the game ready for manufacturing, but do not have the funds to go to print. That is where you come in! By pledging for Tessen you are helping bring the game to life!

Our goal for Van Ryder Games is to one day have a stable of successful games such that we will not need Kickstarter to fund our projects, but while we are in growth mode we still need your help. Thank you for considering Tessen and we'd appreciate your pledge!


Pieces of Flair!

"Now, you know it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or... well, like Brian, for example, has thirty seven pieces of flair, okay. And a terrific smile" Stan, Chotchkie's Manager - Office Space

Click the image below to download your own flair and sport it all around Kickstarter, Twitter, Facebook, or wherever!

Risks and challenges

Van Ryder Games has successfully funded and fulfilled one previous project - our zombie game "If I'm Going Down..." and we learned a lot from that experience. We expect to improve with Tessen. All art is complete and files will be provided to the printer directly following the end of a successful campaign. Our goal is to get the games to you, our supporters, as quickly as possible.

There are the usual risks of printing, shipping, customs, and other unintended delays, but you can be sure we WILL deliver the games to you as promised.

A few remarks we want to share with you regarding our approach for this project.

1. Communication is of the utmost importance to us. Please ask any and all questions and we will answer as quickly as possible.
2. We have planned out some stretch goals for this project, but feel strongly about not overextending ourselves for the sake of more $. If we are so fortunate to run through our planned stretch reward offerings prior to the end of the project we will not add more on the fly. This will help us stay within our capabilities, our budget, and the timeline for delivery.
3. Your comments and feedback are REALLY important to us. If you have an idea, concern, or compliment, please share it with us! We can't promise to implement every idea that comes our way, but we will certainly consider each one!
4. We pledge to keep a positive attitude regardless of the success or failure of this project.
5. To have fun! Kickstarter projects can be stressful, but Tessen is a game and the most important thing is to have FUN!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Just the art. All the rules and the gameplay are the same. One comment we heard over and over during development was that the cards in Tessen Classic are hard to distinguish. This has been addressed in Tessen with the new art and graphic design and has resulted in a smoother game experience.

    Last updated:
  • The backers at the early bird level will have their games shipped first. Since we’ll be doing our own fulfillment this could get the game to you several days sooner depending on the volume of shipments.

    Last updated:
  • A double tuckbox that is nice and portable. This allows us to keep the price as low as possible!

    Last updated:
  • We’ll be dissappointed, but Tessen Classic will be yours to keep.

    Last updated:
  • International shipping is challenging, for individual game shipments especially. We encourage international backers to seek others in their area to go in for the larger packs. For 10 copies, the per unit cost is the same great $12 price that U.S. backers are getting.

    Last updated:
  • We will post an update to share the meaning of the symbols (if we haven’t already) so check the project updates. They have no impact on gameplay and are for theme and flavor purposes only.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! We will be running a tournament each day of the con and encourage you to sign up for the event at gencon.com!

    Last updated:
  • Funny story... Wayne, the Tessen artist did some math and so kindly advised me that if everyone took the $12 pledge $8,000/12 = 666 repeating. I know what you are thinking... Artists can divide?!?!?
    All kidding aside, basically the answer really is "to avoid any bad omens".

    Last updated:
  • YES! see update #12

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    The Great Dollar Race! You will be an honorary clan member of the Nambu or Akita clan - your choice. We will thank you with your name appearing in an upcoming Van Ryder Games Newsletter!

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    3 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A HUGE thank you and access to the PnP version of Tessen. Plus get all updates throughout the campaign. This level does not receive any Stretch rewards.

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    14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    For those who want a deal! One copy of Tessen plus all stretch rewards shipped anywhere in the USA! Additional charge for international shipments.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    136 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Early Bird Special! As a thank you to our earliest backers, we promise to ship your games FIRST! One copy of Tessen plus all stretch rewards shipped anywhere in the USA! Additional charge for international shipments.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 150 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    For those Cardboard Edison and Van Ryder Games supporters who want to chip in a little extra. Even at the suggested retail price of $15 Tessen is an incredible value! One copy of Tessen plus all stretch rewards shipped in the USA! Additional charge for international shipments.

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    30 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Modern and Traditional! One copy of TESSEN plus all stretch rewards shipped! PLUS for U.S.A. backers we will ship you a copy of TESSEN CLASSIC right after the campaign ends! International backers will receive Classic along with the Main version in one shipment. Additional charge for international shipments.

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    Limited 133 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    One copy of TESSEN plus all stretch rewards shipped anywhere in the U.S.A! PLUS we will ship you a copy of TESSEN CLASSIC within a few days of your pledge so that you can start enjoying the game NOW! Please see the project page for complete details. Sorry but this one is U.S.A. only since we are paying for shipping twice.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 23 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The Tournament pack! Only $10 per copy. FOUR copies of TESSEN plus all stretch rewards shipped anywhere. Good for hosting 8 player tournaments or gifting! Additional charge for international shipments.

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    26 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    One copy of Tessen you can customize the colors and clan names for each of the decks! Also a copy of Tessen Classic OR a 2nd copy of your custom color version (your choice). The above copies will be shipped just after the campaign. Finally, you will get a copy of the main version of Tessen once it is produced.

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    Limited 8 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    The 10 Pack! 10 copies of Tessen plus all stretch rewards shipped anywhere in the USA. Additional charge for international shipments.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    FOUR copies of TESSEN plus all stretch rewards shipped each with a copy of one over-sized custom designed Shogun Card chosen by YOU! Additional charge for international shipments.

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    Limited 3 backers
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  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Box sponsor for Tessen Classic! If a special backer backs at this level, boxes will be provided for every copy of Tessen Classic regardless if the $30 level sells out or not. Your name will go on every box for Tessen Classic as the sponsor. "This box made possible by

    " We'll send you 5 copies of Tessen Classic after the campaign and 5 copies of Tessen main once they are produced. Free international shipping.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (35 days)