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AGENT: Infiltrate the lair, evade capture, find the control room, stop the doomsday device. VILLAIN: capture the agent, rule the world.
You are a SHADOW AGENT. Your job: infiltrate the secret lair, evade capture, find the control room, and stop the doomsday device! You are a MASTER VILLAIN. Your job: capture the meddling agent, rule the world!
You are a SHADOW AGENT. Your job: infiltrate the secret lair, evade capture, find the control room, and stop the doomsday device! You are a MASTER VILLAIN. Your job: capture the meddling agent, rule the world!
1,262 backers pledged $7,938 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

SHADOW AGENTS - diceless game of super spy v evil mastermind

$7,938

1,262

Shadow Agent is a small, fast, diceless microgame wherein one player controls a secret agent, and the other controls a master villain.

Secret Agent: One player controls one of four secret agents, who uses a mixture of spy gear, experience from prior missions, and specialized military training to infiltrate the villainous mastermind's secret lair at Skullcrusher Mountain. He must bypass or neutralize the villain's security and locate the hidden control room.

Villain Mastermind: One player controls the villain, who has just activated the countdown on his apocalyptic doomsday device. He has hidden the control room in one of the areas of his secret lair, and he must place a mixture of traps, sentry guns, guard dogs, and cameras in various areas to trap the agent.

Win Conditions: If the agent enters the control room, the agent disables the doomsday device and wins. If the villain traps the agent, the villain wins.

Solo Play: The game is designed as a two-player experience. You will be most satisfied with it while playing against a human component ... if only because both the secret agent and villain are given to boasting, which loses its panache when done in the mirror.

  • Full color map with 14 locations from which the villain may choose his control room (light cardstock)
  • Four advanced agents: the Supercommando, the Space Pirate, the Spy Master, and the Ninja Assassin, each with his own unique special ability (light cardstock)
  • Agent Rules, including 5 experimental spy gadgets, 4 experiences from prior missions, and 4 types of specialized military training, each giving an agent a single-use trick to help him out of a tricky situation (gloss paper)
  • Villain Rules modify how the agent can neutralize the security, including traps, guard dogs, motion-targeting sentry guns, and the most villainous trick of all: the evil monologue (gloss paper)
  • 60 counters (uncut 18pt cardstock)
  • all in a super cool zip-lock bag (not custom printed, just purchased in bulk from ULINE)


A Note on the Layout: I designed this game back in Septemberish of 2015, with an eye towards creating a game that could fold down into the space of a business card. The re-design will not do that, it'll be more like the size of two playing cards stacked sideways.

There are 14 locations on the map. The villain player secretly marks one of these as the control room. The agent player's mission is to enter the control room. If he enters it, he shuts down the doomsday device and wins. The villain player's mission is to capture the agent. He does this by placing cameras to watch the agent, traps to prevent the agent's movement, guard dogs to track the agent, and sentry guns to protect critical locations against the agent's investigation.  

And when all else fails, the villain has an ace up his sleeve: the villainous monologue! But beware, the more you monologue, the more likely the agent is to find your control room while you're gloating.


Agent - On his turn, the agent may either 1) move from one area to any adjacent area connected by a path, or 2) rotate a camera in an adjacent area. Cameras capture an agent by covering all possible exits from the agent's area, with all cameras facing him. An agent may neutralize a camera, dog, or gun and remove it from play by moving into the camera's area while it is facing directly away from the agent. Agents also have a number of optional upgrades, such as Code Monkey, which allows an agent to hack into the security two areas away and rotate it. Each of the four agents also has a unique third action, such as 3) secret passage: move from an area on one board edge to the area on the opposite board edge, or 3) jetpack flight: bypass one room and move into the next adjacent room.  

Villain - On his turn, the villain may secure an area by placing a camera counter in any unsecured (i.e. empty) area. The camera must be placed facing a specific direction, and once placed it cannot be rotated to face a different direction by the villain. Guard dogs may be rotated, but cost more to purchase. Traps prevent an agent from entering the area until the trap is disarmed. Sentry guns prevent an agent from using special abilities and upgrades to enter an area. And the villainous monologue cancels an agent's action at the cost of giving him a free guess as to the location of the control room. 

  • Design - done
  • Playtesting - done
  • Prototyping - done
  • Artwork - done
  • Production Proofing - done
  • International Test Mailing - done
  • Kickstarter Crowdfunding - Friday, January 29 - Monday, February 29
  • Backer Survey - Monday, February 29 - Tuesday, March 15
  • Funds Deposited - Tuesday, March 15
  • Envelopes Printed - Tuesday, March 15 (Note: I do this here at home, because it's faster and more accurate than hiring a printer. But it's also a long and zombifying process, so this may take a few days.)
  • Print Run Commissioned - Tuesday, March 15
  • Print Run Shipped - Tuesday, March 22 (Note: These are estimates from here on out based on prior experience. Occasionally there are hiccups.)
  • Print Run Arrives - Monday, March 28
  • Incentives Mailed - Monday, March 28 - Wednesday, March 30
  • Domestic Incentives Delivered - Tuesday, March 29 - Wednesday, April 7
  • Foreign Incentives Delivered - Monday, April 5 - Wednesday, May 1
  •   

Risks and challenges

Been here, done that, got the t-shirt. Well ... I never actually got a t-shirt. But I have been here before. As long as I'm alive, sane, and the printers and postal services stay in business, we're good to go.

I've created five games, four have shipped and one was delayed for several months, but is back on track. My greatest success is Carrier Commander, which I hand-packing and shipped 5400 copies of, and was one week late (Yay!). My greatest failure is Star Patrol, which I am hand-packing and shipping 2200 copies of, and am four months late (Boo!).

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