Are you asking yourself... What is a trick-taking card game?
Don't worry, you aren't the only one! While creating Pups I was surprised to learn that a lot of people haven’t heard of them. Trick-taking card games have existed in various forms for hundreds of years. Generally, trick-taking games are pretty simple, but their rules can be abstract and difficult to explain to newbies. My main motivation for making Pups was to create a trick-taking game that is welcoming to the outsider, yet still requires skill and careful play to master. I also wanted a universal theme that people spanning many different age groups could relate to. Pups is a game you can bring to family game night and introduce a new generation to some fast and fun trick-taking antics. Or use Pups to re-introduce grandma & grandpa to a game with mechanics they will recognize and appreciate. Anyone can play!
In Pups you will take the role of an aspiring dog-trainer with dreams of winning big at the dog show. Below is a quick overview of how the game works:
1) Each round you will be dealt a new hand of seven Pup cards. These cards represent your dog pack.
2) You must carefully analyze your hand and then choose a Bid card based on how many tricks you think your Pups can win. You can play it safe and make an "At Least" bid, or live dangerously and make an "Exactly" bid.
3) You will then play your Pup cards in a series of showdowns against your opponents. The first card played establishes a suit, and all other players must match that suit if they can. The highest valued Pup of that suit takes the trick!
4) ...unless someone can play an Alpha suited card. A Pup that matches the Alpha suit will always beat every other suit played! Also, players can add one Mutt card to their play to increase the value of their Pup.
5) The round ends when any player exhausts their hand. If you've collected the number of tricks listed on your Bid card then you will earn the reward treats. But if you fail at your Bid you must take the penalty poos.
6) The player who collects the most tricks earns the Top Dog bonus! If there is a tie, no one gets it and the top card of the stack is burned.
7) When the Top Dog cards or any of the Bid card piles run out the game ends. The player who collected the most treats is the winner!
For more detailed rules, download the Pups PDF rule book.
Why a trick-taking game? As a child I was introduced to the game Trump (no affiliation to the presidential candidate) by my parents. We would play it often as a family and the experience made a lasting impression on me. So I decided to create my own tribute to the game and also sprinkle in a little of my own design flair!
So why dogs? Not long after completing my first Kickstarter for Trekking the National Parks I was chatting with my artist buddy David Jackson about collaborating on a project. While browsing his sketchbooks I stumbled upon some delightful drawings of his dogs Penny and Moose. This instantly launched us into a spirited discussion about the joys of dog-ownership and all the silly antics that go with it.
David's unique art style has a way of instantly conjuring up all the wonderful nostalgia of a life with dogs. It seemed obvious... we needed to make a game that celebrates our canine friends!
Check out more of David Jackson's art at his Instagram page!
Every copy of PUPS comes with the following:
All Alpha backers will receive, the 4 Legendary Pups and the Underdog! You can add these cards to your game for a little added spice. So who are these marvelous beasts? Let's find out...
$1 - Just a Sniff - Every dollar counts! You will have our eternal gratitude and the satisfaction of knowing you helped an indy publisher create a beautiful new game!
$5 - Dog Show - Pick one of the 36 unique dog breeds in the game and receive a signed 5" x 7" Giclée Print on high quality watercolor paper.
$14 - Base PUPS - Get one copy of Pups without the alpha content.
$17 - ALPHA PUPS - Get one Alpha copy of Pups. (All Alpha copies include the 4 Legendary Pups and the Underdog card.)
$30- Top Dog - Get 2 Alpha copies of Pups + a limited edition 17" x 22" Pups poster featuring the 36 unique dog breeds in the game. Each poster will be signed and numbered by the artist David Jackson. Only 30 will be made!
$55- Dog Pile - Get a carton filled with 6 Alpha copies of Pups. Perfect for Retailers and those looking for a fun gift to give out to friends and family!
$65- Outdoor Dog - Get one Alpha copy of Pups + one copy of Bink Ink's award winning family board game Trekking the National Parks.
$150- Pup Portrait - Get one Alpha copy of Pups + have artist David Jackson create a personalized illustration of your dog! It will be delivered as a framed 8" x 10" Giclée Print on high quality watercolor paper. You will also receive high-res digital image files of your dog illustration that you can use however you wish! (X-mas cards, web avatars, custom T-shirts) Only 20 will be available!
We realize that some of you will want additional copies of the goodies available in this campaign. That’s fine! To get these simply increase whatever pledge level you picked to accommodate the added price of each add-on you want. The graphic below will explain:
Additional 5x7 Giclée Print: Add $5 for each.
Additional Base Pups Game: Add $14 for each.
Additional Alpha Pups Game: Add $17 for each.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Kickstarter lingo, "Stretch Goals" are special funding targets that if achieved provide all backers with FREE add-on rewards.
1000 Facebook or Twitter followers: - Help us reach this social media goal and every pledge of $5 or more will receive one FREE additional 5x7" Giclée Print of whatever dog they like! You can check out all the options here.
UNLOCKED!!! $5,000 - Pup Token: Every copy of Pups will include a double-sided Token! You can use this chip to keep track of who the leader is during the game, or flip it like a coin to resolve unrelated disputes!
UNLOCKED!!! $8,000 - Upgraded Box: We will upgrade the box from a lighter 1.5mm grey board to a sturdier 2mm. Thicker box materials make for a more durable game (which Fido will have a harder time ripping to shreds!)
UNLOCKED!!! $12,000 - Upgraded Card Stock: We will upgrade all the cards in the game from the standard 300gsm C2S paper to a SUPER ROBUST 320gsm Black core paper. Only the best!
UNLOCKED!!! $16,000 - Plastic Card Tray: Every copy of Pups will include a Plastic Insert Tray. This will replace the standard cardboard tray. It will snugly hold all the game components and look super classy!
US Backers: All rewards will ship USPS Flat Rate and will range in price between $2-$15 depending on your pledge level. These are the standard and most reasonable prices available!
International: As a tiny US-based business, the biggest challenge we face is making our products (which are generally created in small print runs) available to international backers outside the US. We are currently only able to offer USPS rates to international backers and these can sometimes be exorbitant to certain regions. Please understand we have NO control over these prices! As Bink Ink grows we hope to expand the availability of our products to customers worldwide at more affordable rates.
So when will you get your stuff? If all goes smoothly we hope to deliver Pups before Christmas of this year 2016. Below is a general breakdown of events and how they will unfold:
- July- Kickstarter begins!
- August- KS Ends, order is placed with our manufacturer in China.
- September- Bink Ink works with our manufacturer to finalize project specifications.
- October- Manufacturer builds product run.
- November- Product is shipped and delivered to Bink Ink HQ
- December- Rewards ship out to all backers!
Both David Jackson and I are fortunate to have a super supportive circle of friends and family who believe in our venture. These wonderful people have already contributed to the project and in return have been able to adopt & name many of the dogs in our game. This little corner of our Kickstarter is dedicated solely to these great folks! We thank you!
Risks and challenges
This is the second Kickstarter campaign from Bink Ink LLC. Backers of Trekking the National Parks know that we are diligent with our email responses and work very hard to deliver our product on time. We plan to uphold this same level of professionalism with our new game Pups. That said, there are always risks. Pups will be our first game manufactured in China. Because of this there is always a possibility that the overseas shipping could be delayed. Rest easy knowing that we will keep all our backers up-to-date with the status of the project every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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