Pulp Detective is a game designed by Todd Sanders for 1–2 players that lasts 30 minutes. You take the role of a detective who is in charge of solving a case. But you only have 24 hours to do it.
You need your ingenuity and flair to find 4 clues so you can confront the criminal. Grab your gun and solve the case!
(Pour les souscripteurs français, choix de la langue lors du survey final.)
You are italian: back the project on Giochistarter to get the italian edition
Pulp Detective is a card/dice/narrative game with a strong theme, that takes place in the middle of the 1930s, the golden age of pulp magazines and hardboiled movies, between the two world wars. The illustrations come from real pulp magazines covers (Black Mask, Detective Tales, Detective Fiction, Dime Detective, All Story Detective).
We managed to obtain the rights to use an amazing array of 58 pulp novel covers, so that we can dress this game in the period apparel that it deserves to have.
Each turn of the game consists of two phases: The Storyline and the Investigation.
- Phase 1: Storyline
Draw 3 Investigation cards from the deck; keep one, discard one, and return the last one to the deck. You can use these Cliffhanger, Follow A Lead, and Informant cards to get new items, gain stamina, or unearth a new clue!
- Phase 2 Investigation
Use your stamina and the items you have to roll dice which can help you complete the task on the card you kept during the Storyline phase. Choose your dice and decide which order to roll them in, using your detective instincts to match icons.
Find all 4 clues, and if you still have time and stamina, confront the criminal in the final showdown!
Because Todd Sanders, the designer is an unstoppable fountain when he starts designing, we decided to release the Pulp Detective Double cross & Masterminds expansion at the same time: More cases to solve, funny sidekicks to use, and double cross cards.
Todd Sanders has revealed a little bit more about the Campaign mode which is now included in the Expansion box. This is a light legacy variant that links all the 7 cases of the base game and the expansion box.
Have a look at the not final version HERE
You might want to read an extensive review of the game from Jambalayaplaysgame, CLICK HERE
Please download these files, as PDFs viewed in-browser may not display properly. These files are the low-resolution version of the rules documents.
You, as a resourceful Detective, have a special ability that you can use whenever you need it:
At the beginning of each round, you lose an hour and mark it on the case card. You must spend your time wisely because when the day is over, you have lost the game!
When drawing your three Storyline cards, choosing to keep is important in advancing the investigation. If you want to get a new item, choose a Follow a Lead card. Items are great because they improve your chances to find clues.
For example, hiring the Paperboy will allow you to get more Newspaper icons, and flirting with the Underground will allow you to get more weapons. Drinking a bottle of whiskey may improve your stamina when you have low stamina and you feel frustrated.
To get more Stamina, choose a Cliffhanger card. Stamina is crucial to your success in the game. The higher your Stamina is, the more dice you will roll during the Investigation phase.
If you ever run out of stamina, you immediately lose the game.
The game allows for 3 levels of difficulty, and determines how much Stamina you start with.
To find more clues, choose an Informant card. Finding clues is the goal of the game.
Roll the dice and try to find matching icons: If you fail, you will lose one hour and you will be closer and closer to the end of the game, faster than expected.
Choosing which cards to play adjacent to others will help you with the plot twists that can occur.
You can choose from 4 Detectives and 4 Police Inspectors in the base game, each with a different special action that affects game play.
While there is only one Case in the base game it does not have a solution per se but you will come up against 1 of 4 different Criminals once you find the clues you need.
The Storyline cards you use in the game never come out the same way twice and this affects game play and the finding of clues.
If we add on the Expansion, now you would receive 3 more cases, each with some tweaks, 4 more Detective to choose from and 4 new Mastermind Criminals.
- The illustrations are stunning. They are real covers of pulp magazines from the 1930s, 40s and 50's. The immersive ambience of the game will make you feel like you are part of a hardboiled movie from the 1940s. You are the detective, trying to unravel the complex case, feeling blue when your stamina is low, while trying to contact your last informant to finally get the one clue that will break this case.
- The game contains 6 custom embossed dice - 4 Investigation dice, 1 Paperboy die and 1 Underground die. All the dice are unique and sized at a hefty 16 mm.
- The Storyline phase flows like a movie script. Maybe you will Follow A Lead during your first round, then experience a Cliffhanger on the way to meet your Informant. Then you use one of your Items and call a taxi to hurry to your destination, saving crucial time. And, just like that, at the end of the game you will see a complete film noir story laid out before you.
- The variants for 2 players allow for both a competitive game and a cooperative game. In the cooperative mode two players work together solve the case, as the Detective and Police Inspector.
- Pulp Detective has been in development since 2015. It was a long and captivating process, and is documented by Todd Sanders for his fans. You can read about this HERE .
We'd love for you to try Pulp Detective before you back the campaign! The game has been implemented on Tabletopia, and you can play for free here:
If you are a retailer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The game is perfectly balanced as it is. Adding more stretch goals is dangerous and increases the production time, making it unpredictable at the end.
The box already has all the components required to play the game, and they are the best quality possible. Moreover, more SG multiplies the number of mistakes during the fulfillment process, and they prevent us from perfectly planning the shipping costs of the game. Nobody likes mistakes.
But a few more cards, particularly more case cards, would be great to have, and I will ask Todd if we could design more of them to include in the deck!
Linen options would also be great to add.
AVStudioGames PLUS represents the games I like, with a strong theme and gorgeous graphics.
Pulp Detective would be the first in the series: They are more accessible than the games I tend to design and usually release under the label AVSG. But we are a single-man company and my games are not distributed by major distributors. I don't use Kickstarter as a pre-order platform; I use Kickstarter to fund my games.
If you pledge now, you help me to fund the game, which won't exist without your help.
Todd Sanders lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he works as a graphic designer, publisher and furniture maker. He has a great renown as a solo board game designer.
Other games should come later this year, as well… several prototypes graced the tables in Essen in October 2017.
Being an unconditional fan of Pulp Magazines, I was immediately hooked by Todd's game. The graphics remind me of my collection of books and magazines from this golden age.
I enjoyed working on this game with Todd, and together we developed the ability to play with 2 players, balanced the gameplay and built on Todd's months of development work to make this great Print & Play game ready for the board game market.
Like our past campaigns for games such as Tramways, the Tramways expansions, and Card City XL, we have respected the delivery time, and in some case, boxes were even delivered earlier than expected (depending on how complex production of the game has been).
For example, for the Card City XL campaign, thanks to very rigorous management of the files, and great contacts at the manufacturers, we managed to deliver the game 2 months early!
We expect the game to be ready for December, the embossed dice are the most complex part of the components to produce, and samples of them are mostly ready.
Thanks to Ludicreations for their help during the campaign.
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How can I choose the french version ?
Back the campaign, you will choose the french version when we send the pledge manager later in the campaign
Risks and challenges
AVStudioGames Plus has already put a substantial amount of money into the initial illustration and graphic design.
We now need your help to traverse the final route: Producing the game. We have established many contacts in the game manufacturing industry since 2012, which ensures good quality for all the components.
The final files are not yet ready, but all we need is your support to finalize the project.
- (27 days)