The year is 1890 and on the Trobriand Islands, the Paramount Chief grows old. In Yams, you take the role of one of the rival claimants to his position. A contest of glory and power in the South Pacific Yams is a card game for two to four players. In the Trobriands a leader's power is equal to that leader's prestige and prestige is gained through one tool: Yams! Your goal is to bargain, steal and charm your way to the top through numerous yam harvests. Be careful, though, because the Trobriands are a land of magic and treachery and the greatest of leaders are also the mightiest of sorcerers.
Yams features innovative play set in an unusual historic setting, as well as original art by Audrey Ryan which invokes not only beauty of the islands but also the cut-throat social world of the Trobriand chiefs.
The game is won by gathering prestige points, which can be acquired through several ways. The first is through the gathering of followers and land for growing yams, the large starchy roots that are the currency and primary food of the islands.
Another is by hosting the most extravagant of feasts during a particular harvest season. In any given harvest, players compete attempting to out-do one another on expensive feasts
Finally, the most expensive, risky, but potentially rewarding way is to pursue one of the Kula objects. These are legendary pieces of jewelry that have been passed from hand to hand for generations on the islands. If a Kula object reappears, rumors will spread quickly and all of the would-be chiefs will order their lackeys to begin constructing special, hand-carved canoes and then send out expeditions to search the seas for the Kula.
Background to the project
Yams was designed by, Jesse Harasta, a professional anthropologist and is based upon the writings of late-19th century anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski working in modern day Papua New Guinea. In the game, we have attempted wherever possible to accurately capture the spirit of these writings, both their appreciation of the richness of Trobriand Culture and the canniness of Trobriand leaders. While Yams can be fully appreciated as simply a game, Kickstarter donors at any level are given access to our companion electronic document “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands” which explains the historic context in more depth and gives advice for teachers seeking to integrate the game into the classroom.
Yams is a true labor of love and has been playtested for over a year. We want to finally bring the game to a larger audience, but as this is our first published game, we need your help in doing so. The majority of this award simply goes to the cost of printing the first run of the game. This simply wouldn't be possible without your assistance and we have a number of rewards planned in thank you for giving us a hand up.
At the $5 level, we will be sending you a thank you card and our eternal gratitude. You will also receive access to our digital document “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands,” a guide to life in the 19th century Trobriands which includes lesson plans for teaching Yams! and the Trobriands at both the College and High School levels.
At the $25 level, we will ship you a copy of our game anywhere in the United States as well as providing access to “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands.” For international donors, please contact us for more details.
At the $50 level we provide a copy of Yams, a printed and bound copy “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands”and a limited-edition Yams t-shirt produced by Audrey Ryan, our project artist.
At the $65 level we provide our “Teacher's Package” including three sets of Yams! And a printed and bound copy of “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands.”
At the $100 level we provide three sets of Yams (perfect for Christmas!), a printed and bound copy of “Yams, Canoes and the Trobriands,” a Yams t-shirt, and a in-person online tutorial via Skype with Jesse Harasta, the game's producer.
So, how does this work?
First you look to the right, where there is a green button that says “Back this Project.” This will take you to a second page where they ask for your “pledge amount.” Write in the amount you wish to pledge and then scroll down to find the reward that you desire—you can choose to donate more than the minimum listed for a particular reward level if you wish. Then scroll to the bottom of the page where a green button says “Continue to Next Step.” This will take you to a page where you either log in or register; if you're an Amazon customer, you should be able to log-in using that information. From here on out, the process is like purchasing an item in a store online—they'll need contact information and details about your credit card. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
We are thrilled to be able to finally bring Yams to the public and are thankful for any support that you can give us. We also hope that you can find as much enjoyment in playing yams as we have had in designing it.
- (21 days)