Downeast Dealer is a fast-paced card game of strategy for 3 to 5 players based on the old Yankee obsession with finding a bargain. Players run auctions, make bids on collectable items, and challenge other players to deals. The game is simple enough to be played by kids, but engaging enough for the most sophisticated gamer.
Everyone begins with cash and a few bad checks. Play begins with the auction of an item you might find in a classified section of the newspaper, on Craigslist, or in the uniquely Maine publication, “Uncle Henry’s.” Players take turns auctioning these Classified Items to each other and bidding on items to add to their own collection.
Each Classified Item has a point value. The most sought after Classified Item, the Moose Trophy, is worth 100 points. Lesser items, like the Blueberry Rake, are worth as little as 5 points.
A player only earns the points indicated on a Classified Item when they collect the complete set of four cards. When two players each hold the same Classified Item card, one player may “Downeast Deal” to try to capture the set.
Downeast Deals are when bluffing becomes a major element of the game. Players might offer large sums of cash in a Downeast Deal, or they might just throw down a bunch of bad checks. There’s no telling until the deal is done – and the savviest dealer takes the collection (or perhaps a large pile of cash!).
Play continues with auctions and deals until all of the sets are complete. The final scoring depends on the point value of the cards a player has – and the number of sets the player has. Having a moose trophy to hang on the wall is cool – but having a fly-fishing rod in your hall AND a lobster trap in your living room AND an anchor in your cellar is even cooler. Right?
Of course, collectors always run the risk of crossing paths with the village ne’er-do-well, and Downeast Dealer is no different. Keep your collection safe from the Thief. If you don’t, he may run off with your prized heirloom chest!
We’re Jesse and Rob, cousins who grew up spending our best days on the bold coast of “Downeast” Maine. Without TV or a reliable radio, much less a functioning internet connection, we spent our daylight hours with extended family getting muddy, building forts, playing in tide pools, chasing seagulls, or jumping off the nearest bridge. In the evening – or when the fog was thick (often) - we’d play games. We still do all that stuff way Downeast, but now we admit to glancing at our phone from time to time.
We designed this game to help you create just the sorts of moments we enjoy most with our family and friends. The game is inspired by all of the quirky, random games we’ve played with our family over the years. Many of the characters in the game are modeled after folks from around town.
We’ve chosen to keep production right here in Maine by working with a local printer in Sanford. It costs a little more to keep things local, but the quality is top-notch and it just wouldn’t feel right for the game to be made anywhere else.
Risks and challenges
This is our first shot at producing a game – but we’re feeling pretty good about it. Jesse is a graphic designer, and this is his first foray into card game design. Rob, an economics teacher, is a lifelong student of game theory and spends more time than he’d care to admit obsessing over family game strategy. We’ve worked with a local printer and we’re all set for production. We’ve spent months play-testing the game with a variety of crowds – young kiddos, gaming grownups, and non-gamers who just like to get together for a beverage or two and have a good time. We’ve tweaked the game based on everyone’s feedback, and we can’t wait to share it with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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