"The bottom line is Panic! is a lot of fun!"
-- Lance Myxter, The Undead Viking
"...it may not have exploding pets, but this is what a million dollar game looks like. Instant classic!"
-- Matthew Studer, friend of the creators
Panic! is a card game of commodity trading, where each player is a wealthy and powerful billionaire. You will attempt to corner the market and keep the scarcest commodities for yourself, while trading the least valuable to the other players. If you are clever and cunning, you may be able to sink a commodity's value yet convince your fellow billionaires it's the one to keep. Game play is fast and entertaining as the market is constantly shifting and your opponents are continually changing the dynamics of the trading floor.
There are three different ways to play Panic!
- Bull Market - Designed by James Ernest, Greg Parsons & Mick Sullivan; Bull Market combines the bluffing and one-upmanship of a bidding game with a strategic draft mechanic designed to manipulate the commodities market before the Panic! sets in.
- Bear Market - Designed by James Ernest, Bear Market centers on drafting cards and choosing which commodities will be in demand at the end of the game. Limited knowledge makes the game challenging and when the Panic! strikes you need to be sure about your choices.
- Inside Trader - Inside Trader is a trick-taking game designed by Jeff Horger. Players vie to win the best sets without putting themselves in a bad situation. But there is always the possibility of making that sweet inside deal before the Panic! arrives.
- 90 Commodity Cards (cards numbered 1-10 for nine suits)
- 9 Demand Tracking Cards
- 9 Wooden Commodity Tokens
- First Player Marker
- Scoring Pad
The Commodities (suits):
"Did you bring that game with the wheat and the corn? That one was lots of fun!"
-- Laura Rhodes at a local church game night while surrounded by dominoes and euchre.
Panic! is a truly accessible game for gamers and non-gamers alike! To highlight this, we'll go over how to play the Bull Market rules for a four-player game.
Pick five commodities to play with. Place the Demand Tracking Board cards (-2 through +2) in the center. Place all the tokens for your chosen commodities at +2. Shuffle the cards and deal everyone nine cards face-down. Deal three piles of three cards face-down. Discard the remaining five cards.
It should look like this...
Each round, players bid to look at one of the three face-down piles. This let's the player with the winning bid know what's going to hit the supply, and thus lower demand for those commodities. Below, the player on the left won the bid with a 9. That player chose a stack to peek at, then paid for his bid with a 9 of Orange Juice. Everyone sees that OJ. Then everyone passes three cards to the left, the stack is revealed, and the tokens are moved on the board according to the numbers on the cards in that stack. The higher the numbers, the lower the demand.
The process is repeated for the remaining two stacks. Bid, peek, pay, pass, reveal. The only difference is you pass two cards on the second turn, and one card on the final turn. After that is the "panic". Each player tosses four cards into the supply, they are shuffled and revealed, and the tokens are moved to their final positions for the round.
Here's a close-up of the final supply for the round. You simply add up the numbers for each commodity. There are 32 Pork Bellies in the supply, so it's value is the lowest. Only 12 Coffee though so it has the highest demand being in such low supply.
You multiply each number on the cards in your hand by the number on the corresponding Demand Tracking Board cards. In this case, Pork Bellies are lowest at -2. Crude Oil is -1. Orange Juice is zero. Gold Bullion is +1, and Coffee is the best at +2. Let's see how you did:
Not bad! Not great, but it beats a negative score which can easily happen.
You write those scores down and repeat the process two more times. Total up the scores to find out who's got the commodities market beat!
For the complete rules, see the Files Section for the game on Board Game Geek!
"I've liked this game for years. Never have I encountered a game with a more honorable method of back-stabbing than the Panic! phase."
-- Jeff Horger, Game Designer, Panic! Developer
Start this video from the beginning or visit the Undead Viking's YouTube channel for the complete walk-through and review!
"Putting a commodities market theme on it seems to go really well, and if you like economics-based games, Panic! offers three games that are fairly easy to learn and quick to play."
-- Jonathan Liu, GeekDad
See Jonathan's full review here!
Everything we thought of adding either seemed utterly superfluous, or such a good idea that we simply included it. We could have gone with cardboard tokens and made the wooden ones a stretch goal, but we decided we wouldn't want to play the game with cardboard so we just made the wood tokens standard. We could have started with a lower-weight card stock, but we felt the cost wasn't that much more for the 300gsm stock and made it standard. We thought about a game mat briefly, but it won't fit in the box and you'd just have to store it separately.
That said, we want to make sure our backers are happy! The lack of add-ons or stretch goals isn't chiseled in stone. If you you'd like to see an add-on or stretch goal, let us know in the Comments Section. We have a great relationship with our manufacturer and will do everything we can to meet your needs.
James Ernest is a seasoned game designer best known as the president of Cheapass Games. He has been writing and publishing tabletop games since 1993, and has created more than 170 original games, including Kill Doctor Lucky, Button Men, Lords of Vegas, Pirates of the Spanish Main, Unexploded Cow, and Tak: a Beautiful Game.
Designing "Panic" was a hoot. I met up with Mick and Greg at the Buckeye Game Fest in October 2011, and we each had a half-baked game that needed work. We took our favorite parts of all three games and stitched them together (in one evening) into a stock trading game called "Insiders," which eventually became Panic!.
Game designers Jeff and Carla Horger (Thunder Alley, Manoeuvre) had dinner with Richard Launius and Steve Avery during the Buckeye Game Fest about 5 years ago. Richard and Steve inspired them to take the next step from designers to publishers. In the years to follow, project manager, Sean Gardner and graphic artist, Jonathan Anglin joined the Horgers to bring Nothing Now Games, LLC to life.
We value our retail backers!
We have a US retailer level which includes the cost for five copies at one-half the Kickstarter price, plus one free demo copy for the store for $50 including shipping. Only retailers with a brick and mortar store are eligible for the retailer pledge level (subject to verification).
If you have any questions about additional copies or non-U.S. retail please feel free to ask!
All shipping is per game and will be charged post campaign.
USA Shipping is $7.
CAN Shipping is $10.
AUS / NZ Shipping is $10.
EU Shipping is $10.
How are we offering $7 / $10 Shipping? We will be shipping from the printer to a distributor in each zone (US / CAN / AUS&NZ / EU) and will be paying for the shipping to that distributor and the import tax. You will only be paying shipping from the distributor to your location.
Rest of the World - Shipping will be at cost.
If you want a shipping quote or have any questions please feel free to ask!
Risks and challenges
We have diligently worked through the entire project budget end to end including design, art and graphic artists, as well as rules editing. We have learned lessons from our first successful Kickstarter, which we were able to deliver on budget and within 2 months of our projected goal. Also, we have a new team member - a local graphic artist / art director who is now an integral part of the company. We have also added an additional month to our estimates for delivery, including an additional pre-print review, time from printing, shipping to distribution, import, and shipping from distribution to our supporters and worked out a timeline with each respective area. There can be unforeseen issues that arise with printing and shipping products, however we have worked out an average range schedule with our printer and distributor for the post Kickstarter run, and will communicate any changes in schedule for delivery. We are confident that we can deliver the product on time and within our budget. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)