A murder has been committed in the Victorian Steampunk city of St. Sebastian. You have made the short list of Police suspects and the only way to retain your freedom is to prove that one of the others on the list is, in fact, the murderous culprit.
Ruse is more than just a card game; it is a living story of foul play. Ruse was designed with storytelling at its heart, not just for fun but also as a functional game mechanic. The game shifts with every card played. Are you throwing accusations because you’re truly innocent and have the alibis to back it up, or are you trying to make everyone look the other way because you in fact carried out the wretched deed? No one knows until the last card has been played; ‘til then it’s all about defending your possible innocence. The more involved and animated the players the better the game becomes, raising the fun quotient and also getting inside your head. We find people begin to make decisions out of revenge rather than strategy once a table of players really gets going. Not only that, but those who have been pinned immediately want to play again to redeem themselves…or get back at those who sent them to the clink.
Ruse is an interactive game that’s just as good at parties as it is around the dinner table. Since it has been cleverly designed on a standard 52-card deck, we also like to think of it as a “gateway” game. Do you have friends who aren’t gamers? Do they look at you funny when you say words like “Carcassonne” and “Ad Astra”? Bring this deck to poker night or play solitaire in view of friends and family. “What type of cards are those?” they’ll ask. Then you simply say, “Why, let me show you!” They’ll be hooked from the word “motive”. Pretty soon you’ll have all your friends and family playing, and then asking, “What’s next?” (Of course it’s at this point you show them all of the other Bonsai Games on your wish list!)
Murder and mad-capped mayhem in St. Sebastian is afoot…you know it’s going to be a good night!
RUSE is played by three to five persons aged 12 years and up. Play time runs 30 to 45 minutes.
Players take turns making Accusations of Method, Motive, or Opportunity against each other or providing Alibis to counter those Accusations You must remember what has been played and craft your Accusations well to pin the murder on another player.
RUSE uses a specialized deck of 54 cards with themed suits and amazing artwork to tell the story of murder and mayhem in the gas-lit streets of St. Sebastian. As a bonus, the deck may also be used to play all of your favorite traditional card games. In fact, the published game will include the rules for the popular Victorian-era card game Whist.
"It’s like taking a “whodunit”, simplifying it with a deck of cards, and adding a storytelling element with a Victorian Steampunk setting. A little bit of Clue, a touch of Gloom, a dash of Once Upon A Time." -- Vincent Paone, Dads Gaming Addiction
Theology Of Games has posted an interview with RUSE designers, Levi Mote and Sarah Sharp.
"The charm of the game is getting into character and making up stories. I’d recommend this one for fans of steampunk and for players who like to get into character." -- Jonathan Liu, GeekDad
"The second the game was over we grabbed up all the cards to deal them out and play again. And again. And one more time." -- Daniel Zuccarelli, Perpetual Geek Machine
"The meat of the game lies in the fact that instead of just simply trying to play 3 accusations in front of someone, the whole time players are telling a tale of lies and deception while trying to pin the crime on everyone but themselves." -- Firestone and Jeremiah, Theology of Games
"In our game, it was little Katie that was revealed to be the cold-blooded killer. It was really a highlight of the game to hear Katie weave together a great story from the cards she had been given, and she exclaimed after that not only did she love the game, but she thought losing was the best part!" -- Julian, Growing Up Gamers
Most appealing here is the story creation. The game’s enjoyment really rests with the ability of the players to creatively concoct stories about the other players that match the accusations and alibis on the cards. -- Jim, Boardgaming.com
With the right group, this game of deceit, and lies, is wonderful. It is a lot easier to get involved with than other similar story telling games as of course the player has cue cards that aid them in their accusations. New players take very easily to this game (it is easy to see what you should be doing and how to build a story around your gameplay). It is very good at encouraging players to join in the fun. -- Sam Mercer, Purple Pawn
Most of the pledge levels to the right are just for one or more copies of the RUSE game. Here in the Emporium you can find merchandise that that you can add to your pledge. To add an Emporium item to your pledge, just click the blue [Manage Your Pledge] button in the upper right area of this page. Add the appropriate amount for the merchandise you want to your base pledge amount then scroll to the bottom of the pledge page to confirm your change.
Click here to download a shopping list so you can keep track of your add-ons.
If we are lucky enough to inspire hundreds of backers to support RUSE, we may be able to surpass our original goal. Here is a list of stretch rewards that all backers at $25 or more will receive if we make the listed goals.
The more backers we attract, the more goodies we can hand out, so please, share the Kickstarter link for RUSE with all of your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and any other blog or social network you're on.
Bonsai Games is a small indie design house with big dreams. Very small, there are only two of us. Since we have such big dreams, and very little pocket money, we know that crowd funding is the way to go. We’ve been thrilled with the support that we’ve received from the awesome folks at Game Salute and Springboard, but now we need support from you. With as much help as Game Salute can provide us, we still need to cover production costs to get this game into your hands where it belongs. The beauty of KickStarter is not only that it can provide the means to go into production, but if we do really well it also gives us a way to provide you with lots of swag and some ridiculously awesome stretch goals. KickStarter is the platform for us to give you exactly what you want; as designers, that’s all we ever strive for anyway.
There is another bonus in using KickStarter as an indie design house, feedback. Eventually we may have been able to go the traditional route and sell our games through distributors, but that doesn’t keep us in direct contact with the people who matter most…you, the gamers. Through this vehicle we can get an accurate idea of where we stand with Joe and Jane Q. Public. Do you love this game? Are you telling your friends? Do you want to see more titles from us? We get a clear idea of what you like, what you hate, and most importantly what you want more of. We are KickStarter supporters as well for fellow game designers and we know how excited we get for new games. We hope to see that same excitement from you through your support.
The Springboard Seal of Quality is your assurance that a new game project is worth your time and attention. All titles approved for Springboard campaigns are vetted by the game professionals at Game Salute. During this comprehensive evaluation process, Game Salute play tests the game to make certain it is solid and fun, and examines all aspects of production plans to verify that you are getting the highest quality for your pledge dollars.
Thanks to partnerships we have arranged in key locations around the globe, we are able to offer RUSE with FREE Worldwide Shipping at all pledge levels.
RUSE will be available locally all around the world through friendly local game stores that participate in the Game Salute Select Stores system. RUSE will also be available online through Shop.GameSalute.com for delivery worldwide.
You can use GameStoreLocator.com to find a Game Salute Select Store near you. If your favorite store is not on our Select Stores list, be sure to ask them to sign up today at GameSalute.com/SelectStoreSignUp .
We have special Preview Nights bundles available for local stores. These bundles provide retailer pricing, free shipping with minimum order, complimentary demo copies, and more. Contact James Takenaka at Sales@GameSalute.com or 1-800-459-5516 to pre-order your RUSE products now.
A Fully-playable RUSE prototype is available to board and card game reviewers and bloggers.
We are pleased to offer access to our game designers and creative team for podcast, blog, newspaper, or television interviews.
Team members can also be present for conventions and event appearances with a timely invitation and appropriate travel and lodging expense allowances.
Please contact David MacKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of these media support opportunities.
Game Design and Development: Levi Mote & Sarah Sharp
Artist: Kelly McClellan
Graphic Design: Kelly McClellan and Cody Jones
Executive Producer: W. David MacKenzie
Design Studio: Bonsai Games
Publisher: Game Salute
Special Thanks to: All of Our Dedicated Play Testers
We will update the project FAQ below as you send in your questions.
Risks and challenges
Publishing a board or card game is a cash intensive endeavor. Long before a game project appears on Kickstarter, the designers and developers will have spent hundred of hours on play testing the game and thousands of dollars on art and design to get the project to state where you will take it seriously. In the case of small design studios like Bonsai Games and small publishers like Game Salute, this money is all paid up front from a VERY limited budget. RUSE is a small project as games go, but even so, it can't be made without your help.
RUSE is virtually "Print Ready" so we plan to send the final files to the printer within a week or two of the project's close. That means we hope to have it available for release in early 2013. Every game project is subject to potential production delays, but we believe this date is achievable.
The final challenge is getting the game and rewards out to the backers. Game Salute is well versed in Kickstarter reward fulfillment and we are prepared to meet this challenge for RUSE.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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