Hello, American citizen! Do you have what it takes to achieve the American Dream during America's Golden Age?
A newfound national identity of consumerism during the 1950s and '60s may have made it look easy, but this was a time of war, nuclear weapons, discrimination and violence, and even illegal CIA mind control experiments.
Never fear! Americana: The Card Game makes it easy to try your hand at the American Dream with a historical take on issues such as race, gender, socioeconomics, and more. But of course, even in the land of the free, some of us have advantages over others...
Simple Game, Complex Ideas
Americana: The Card Game tackles complicated issues such as intersectionality, discrimination, and more with gameplay that is straightforward and easy to pick up. Like our gender, race, social status, and so on, much of Americana: The Card Game comes down to chance, and player skill is not a necessity. Games can include 2-6 players and typically take around 15 minutes to play. However, due to the randomized nature of the game and the large deck, Americana: The Card Game can be played many times over and still be just as fun and interesting.
Each of the 108 cards centers on a historical event, popular culture, or some other aspect of mid-20th century life. In addition to a brief description for each card, most cards also include a hand-drawn illustration and a metaphorical in-game action, representing its real-world historical impact. Educating players on the realities of this time — both the good and the bad — is an important focus of our design. As such, we've spent a lot of time researching the subject matter of the cards in an effort to accurately represent this period of American history while still demonstrating how circumstance and identity made the American Dream more or less achievable.
The first player to achieve the American Dream (play a sequence of cards with a net value of 10+) is the winner of the game. Almost every card in Americana: The Card Game has a positive or negative effect toward your American Dream, due to the card's numeric value, the action outlined on the card, or both.
Different card categories include various positive- and negative-value cards with different sets of card actions. These categories include: Race, Gender, Socioeconomics, Environment, Government, Queerness, and Consumer. By presenting American history through a variety of lenses, players are encouraged to reflect upon what is and is not fair within a society.
The Race, Gender, Socioeconomics, and Queerness categories offer an additional sub-category of cards known as Demographic cards. These cards are played immediately and provide an advantage over other players for the duration of the game by granting you bonus cards. For example, after drawing the "You Are White" card, you then get to draw bonus cards when you draw Race cards. By giving players who are lucky enough to draw Demographic cards an unfair advantage over the other players, this mechanic illustrates how some members of American society during the 1950s and '60s (and today) benefited from social privilege.
Players start Americana: The Card Game with empty hands. On your turn, draw a card from the deck and add it to your hand, then play a card face-up toward your American Dream. Oftentimes, players are forced to play negative-value cards due to a sparse hand. Once the card has been played, commit any action indicated on the card. These actions typically involve drawing a card, discarding a card, forcing another player to discard a card, and so on.
Luck of the Draw
There is only one deck in Americana: The Card Game. Discarded cards are placed on the bottom of the deck and players with poor hands may have to draw from the bottom of a (literally) stacked deck. Additionally, players lucky enough to draw positive-value or even Demographic cards will find themselves adding more and more cards to their hands, while players drawing mostly negative-value cards will struggle to maintain a hand. Of course, luck can change.
Winning the American Dream
Once the net value of the cards played toward a player's American Dream reaches 10+, that player has won the game.
Risks and challenges
This will be AvianRampage Production's first completed project since forming as a studio. However, both developers working on the game have shipped titles with other studios in the past.
While Americana: The Card Game is currently fully playable, there is still a significant amount of artwork that needs to be completed. As of this writing, 25 of the planned 100 illustrated cards have artwork. The remaining production time for this project will mostly be spent creating artwork, finalizing the visual design, and making any necessary tweaks to the gameplay.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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