About this project
Heifer Heist is a family friendly board game that puts a spin on the classic alien-cownapping tale. Aliens crash land on Earth and find themselves in need of organic material to power their ships, and fortunately they've landed in a field of cows! Of course, the farmer isn't pleased about the aliens "borrowing" his cattle. The aliens must dodge the farmer while racing to be the first to gather ten cows and escape!
In Heifer Heist, you play as an alien, avoiding the farmer as you scramble to be the first to stuff ten cows in your mothership and return to space! You will encounter silos, rising to block your path, crop circles, helping or hindering you in your quest, and (most importantly) cows!
Players explore the farm by flipping over randomly placed tiles, revealing a different layout every time.
Player's Turn: During your turn, you can move your alien around the board, play cards, or even engage in cow-mbat!
Movement: You can move your alien as far as their movement allows. The amount of movement depends on the number of cows in your mothership! All players begin with a movement of 3, but with every 3 cows in your mothership, your movement increases by 1!
If you choose to move to an unrevealed tile, you pick a square to land on, then flip the tile. If the square you choose is a silo, you must return to the square you were on previously (but you do not use up your movement).
- Crop Circles: If you pass over a crop circle, you may draw a card, which either must be played immediately or can be held. A player can only hold two cards at a time, but held cards can be played at any time.
- Cow-mbat: If a player moves adjacent to another player during their turn, they may choose to engage in cow-mbat! The players each roll one die. If the attacking alien rolls higher than the defending alien, the defender must give one cow to the attacker!
Farmer's Turn: As the players move, they catch the Farmer's attention! After all of the players' turns, the farmer moves to a random tile to protect his farm. Intrepid aliens can also use cards to move the farmer to their rivals!
Help us bring Heifer Heist to you! The gameplay is set, the art is finished, and all we need to drive the cattle is you! We've even churned out rewards for this Kickstarter campaign!
- Shipping to the US and Canada is included in your pledge
- Shipping everywhere else is an $15, just add that amount to your pledge
"Heifer Heist is a great family game with well thought out rules. There's never a lull in the action."
- Dave Taylor, To The Table Reviews
"Heifer Heist is a fast-playing, family-friendly game about Aliens abducting Cows in order to get home! The game looks fantastic, plays well, and can be enjoyed by folks age 4 to 400. The random board pieces add to the replay value, and the game has a competition factor that never gets TOO vindictive, thus preserving friendships. Highly recommended for those casual game players looking for something that has a bit more heft than Monopoly, Sorry, or Life."
- Dave Hoover, owner of Armored Gopher Games
"Katie and Jessica continue to amaze me with their talent, hard work, and sharp design sense. They've turned a first-rate class project into a fun (and funny!) family game that players around the world can now enjoy. But be warned: If cow puns are dangerous, 'Heifer Heist' would be a weapon of mass destruction."
- Jason Scott, Studio Design Director, Volition
"The rules are easy to read. It was easy to pick it up and go, and you can play it a lot. --- It'd be a great camping kind of game. The cowmbat was a good part of the game... you roll some dice and you steal a cow."
- Scott Wennerdahl
"I think it's a really good game for the family, for kids and adults."
- Carrie Wennerdahl
"They would look really good on t-shirts."
- Katie Wennerdahl
"I liked the puns."
- Hayden Wennerdahl
Heifer Heist started as a simple project in a game design course, but developed into a game with loftier goals. We wanted to create interesting interactions between the players, and to provide an immersive experience. Above all, we wanted to make a fun, playful, accessible, and adorable game!
We entered Heifer Heist into Champaign Urbana Design Organization’s board game competition, CUDO Plays. We made the prototypes on our own, and have been testing Heifer Heist since its public debut in the CUDO Plays Playtesting Convention. After months of refinement, Heifer Heist won the awards for Visual Design and Marketability, and has been reviewed by a team of designers from Volition, the studio behind the Saints Row series.
cow&duck studios consists of Katie Khau and Jessica Chu, friends since 2007 and roommates since 2011. Katie is the main designer and Jessica is the main writer. We took a game design course together in the fall of 2013, which changed our definitely-not-alien lives forever. Heifer Heist was most assuredly not an autobiographical tale of how we were stranded on this foreign planet on our way to a Martian agricultural convention.
Risks and challenges
This is our first rodeo! As with most first time things, it will be a learning experience for all of us. We have manufacturing and shipping partners lined up, but this is the first time we will be working with them, so there may be a few bumps along the way. We will be doing our best to smooth out these bumps and deliver an excellent product in a reasonable timeframe.
We will be working with Panda Game Manufacturing, located in China. We will be shipping the games to Amazon, who will fulfill the orders. We know the approximate costs for both manufacturing and shipping. However, we can't always predict if we'll run into roadblocks along the way, but we'll smooth out the ride as much as we can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are working with Panda Game Manufacturing (pandagm.com) to create the final version of the game. They’ve manufactured quality games such as Terra Mystica and Euphoria, so they’re a great partner to work with. The production version of the game won’t be exactly the same as the seen in the photographs, but the print quality will be just as vibrant and more polished than the prototype. We’ll work with the manufacturer to choose the best materials to make sure the pieces look and feel right, and we’ll share updates with our backers for feedback along the way.
We’re planning to use Amazon Fulfillment for shipments to the US, Europe, and Canada. Our research has shown them to be both affordable and very capable of sending out the rewards to our backers. European shipments will be sent from amazon.co.uk for EU-friendly delivery. Backers elsewhere will be handled separately.
Manufacturing will begin as soon as the Kickstarter is funded! After speaking with Panda, we found that the production timeline breaks down as such:
Pre-production: 30-40 days (mid-August to end of September)
During this phase, we will send over the artwork and files to be approved for printing to make sure everything will be produced at the highest quality possible.
Mass-production: 50-60 days (October through end of November)
This is the actual production of the game, and accounts for the time the manufacturer needs to print, build and pack the game.
Shipping: 30-50 days (between December and February)
Shipping times will vary by location. The games should arrive to backers by February.
This is an estimate, but we will do our best to stay on top of everything and keep everyone updated!
- (45 days)