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Pick one of Shakespeare’s greatest heroes and battle his villains in this semi-cooperative board game. The game play’s the thing!
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IDW Games

660 backers pledged $38,585 to help bring this project to life.

Uncertain Life & Sure Death. An update from Conor McCreery


As the Ides of March approaches I’m kind of pondering that whole: “my thoughts be bloody or nothing worth” dilemma that Hamlet wrestles with. I mean, on one hand, murder is awful, bad, and often really messy – even if you’ve already covered the bathroom floor with a tarp and have the hack-saw and bag of quicklime on the go.

On the OTHER hand – when Shakespeare does it, murder is pretty awesome. I mean, heads get chopped off, poison is consumed, there is not one, but TWO mass stabbings, people, Shakespeare once offed two kids by BAKING THEM IN A PIE and then SERVING THAT PIE TO THEIR MOM (“Mmm, this is good! Is this veal?” “No, it’s your kids, BOOM!”).

So that got me to thinking about OTHER people who love Shakespeare like we do, and especially love the peculiar joy that comes with snuffing out some punk’s all too brief candle.

This led us to David Malki ! and Ryan North – two of the creative engines behind the most excellent Machine of Death series of books and games. (PLUG ALERT: You may also know Ryan from his Blockbuster To Be or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure Kickstarter campaign.)

Since Machine was such a HUGE success we thought it likely that it’s blend of wit, wordplay and cold-bloodedly hilarious focus on mass murder might be popular with you guys too, so David ! kindly let us design a BONUS SET OF CARDS for Machine of Death that has an all-Shakespeare flavour. You can download the card set here – these print and play beauties are ready to seamlessly fit into any Machine of Death game.

"Uncertain life, and sure death." - All's Well That Ends Well
"Uncertain life, and sure death." - All's Well That Ends Well


Bonus points (and prizes!) go to the first five people to correctly post in the comment section what play each card represents (or tweet us @IDWGAMES or @KillShakespeare). And if you know anyone who plays Machine, send’em over here – the more crossover between fans of Bardicide and fans of murder in general, the better. 

(plus, it means more credible suspects to throw the cops off your trail).

Murderously yours,


Fr. Ryan M. Lozano, Haily, and 1 more person like this update.


    1. Creator Vernon Dickson on March 16, 2014

      Thanks, Haily. As to the contest, perhaps they don't have 5 winners yet?

    2. Creator Haily on March 15, 2014

      @vernon those were both good!

      Was this a contest and if so who won?

    3. Creator Vernon Dickson on March 15, 2014

      You should also do:


      exit, pursued by


      Cloten, thou double villain

      So many great deaths in Shakespeare ;)

    4. Creator GermanCityGirl on March 14, 2014

      Pillow Talk - Othello
      C-Section - Macbeth
      Wine Barrel - Richard III
      Too Much Sand / Meat Pie - Titus
      Poison - Hamlet
      Breast Asp - Cleopatra
      Roman Politics - Julius Caesar

    5. Creator Craig Jones on March 13, 2014

      Pillow talk- Othello (death of Desdemona)
      Caesarean section- Macbeth (birth of Macduff)
      Wine Barrel- The Tragedy of King Richard the Third (death of Clarence)
      Too much sand - Titus Andronicus (death of Aaron)
      Poison Poison Everyone - Hamlet (death of so many--Gertrude, Claudius, Hamlet)
      Meat Pie - Titus Andronicus (so delicious when filled with Tamora's sons)
      Breast asp- Antony and Cleopatra (to sully such a beautiful breast of Cleopatra...)
      Roman Politics - Julius Caesar (stabbed by so many)

    6. Creator Haily on March 13, 2014

      Pillow talk- Othello
      Caesarean section- Macbeth
      Wine Barrel- King Richard III
      Too much sand - Titus Andronicus
      Poison Poison- Hamlet
      Meat Pie - Titus Andronicus
      Breast asp- Antony and Cleopatra
      Roman Politics - Julius Caesar

    7. Creator Krista Hoxie on March 13, 2014

      Pillow Talk - Othello
      Poison card - Hamlet
      Caesarean - Macbeth
      Meat Pie - Titus Andronicus (as Ryan pointed out)
      Wine Barrel - Henry IV
      Breast Asp - Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra
      Sand - Titus Andronicus
      Roman - Julius Caesar

    8. Creator Vernon Dickson on March 13, 2014

      Oops, just realized you likely meant Julius Caesar for the last one.

      Pillow (Othello), Poison (Hamlet), C-section (Macbeth), Meat Pie (Titus), Wine (Richard III), Asp (Ant & Cleo), Sand (I'll still with Titus, again), and then Politics (Julius Caesar).

      Just reread Coriolanus recently, so it was on my mind and I read it into the clue. Hopefully I didn't read into any of the others...

    9. Creator Vernon Dickson on March 13, 2014

      I'll give it a whirl: Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Antony & Cleopatra, Titus (again? Aaron's buried at the end), Coriolanus.

    10. Creator IDW Games on March 13, 2014

      3.14 points for you Ryan!

    11. Creator Fr. Ryan M. Lozano on March 13, 2014

      And points for knowing that the pie reference above was to Shakespeare's first play, Titus Andronicus? :)