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Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island is a fast-paced, family-friendly game for 1-4 players, ages 14 and up. Offering a new game play experience every time, with vibrant art on 160 cards, push-your-luck mechanics, and the age-old theme of survival and escape, it will leave you wondering if you have what it takes to make it home alive.
In 1651 a young man leaves home for an adventure at sea, shipwrecked on an island 40 miles out, he spends the next 28 years gathering food, resources, tools, and battling against insurmountable odds to stay alive. He hunts, raises animals, reads the bible, and begins to turn his focus and attention inward. His faith grows and he becomes a man of God, learning to accept his fate, growing spiritually, and realizing that he has everything he needs to survive and live in peace.
Combining themes of hope, strength, and resiliency, this strategic, multi-layered game will test your skills in more ways than one, as you navigate through cannibal attacks, deadly storms, and your own inner turmoil.
The deck is shuffled, and every player is dealt five cards face down. These cards represent the players’ food supply, with one card being equal to one day's worth of food.
The game proceeds in a clockwise direction and includes two phases of play during each player’s turn - the exploration phase, and the market phase.
During the exploration phase the active player draws cards from the deck in order to take either food cards or camp cards. The market phase opens for other players once the active player has chosen what card to take.
At the beginning of every turn, a player must discard one food card into the discard pile. This is the cost of playing the game and represents one day's food supply being used up.
Players take turns flipping cards to find the resources they need. You can think of each flipped card as a new resource or ability your character has uncovered.
During the exploration phase a player can flip up to 10 cards. The aim of the exploration phase is to find food and resources and to build the camp and character. Ultimately the goal is to escape from the island.
After a maximum of ten cards have been flipped, the active player chooses which card(s) they are going to keep, leaving the remaining cards on the table for the other players to buy.
There are two ways to take cards from the drawn cards
1) Harvest food cards i.e cards with a green palm tree symbol on the top left and a food icon on the bottom right. When harvesting, take the indicated amount of food from the draw deck and place the food card on the discard pile.
2) Take camp cards such as
- construction cards with a brown upper left corner symbol,
- character cards with a blue upper left corner symbol, or
- resource cards with upper left corner green palm tree symbol, other than food cards (if you meet the requirements).
The camp can consist of items like a hut, palisade, box or boat, as well as resources such as a rifle, an axe or gunpowder. Character growth and actual character cards are also placed in the camp. When a player builds an item in their camp, the card is placed image side up on the table in front of the player.
A player can continue flipping cards until either:
- they have flipped a total of ten cards, in which case the player is forced to decide what card to take, or
- they decide to stop and take some of the flipped cards to their camp, or alternatively harvest food when the food card is discarded and food cards are taken from the draw deck, or
- they flip a total of two threat cards and cannot defeat the more difficult one
If a second threat card is flipped, the player must then defeat the greater of the two threats (denoted by 1, 2, or 3 skulls in the top right corner of the card) if they want to take some flipped card(s) from the table to their camp.
The threat is defeated by having the cards listed on the card’s "requirement row". Each card has its own symbol. In the above example, the player does not have any cards in their camp, so the exploration turn is over for that player and they do not get to keep any of the cards they have flipped.
If the player is able to defeat the threat, the card is placed on the discard pile, and they can either continue the exploration phase and drawing cards, or
- take the indicated amount of food cards and add them to their pile. The options available after defeating the threat are visible on the bottom of the card where there is either a card deck icon OR a food icon with a number.
In this example food can be harvested as it has no requirements.
When building a construction unit like a boat using an axe and wood, the wood is discarded (it has the finite symbol '1') while the axe is not discarded (it has the infinite symbol ∞).
With every draw you risk encountering threats and losing food, but the one thing you need the most could be waiting under the next card. How far will you go to survive?
After each player has done his exploration turn, the market phase starts. Moving in a clockwise direction, all other players are now given the opportunity to buy any cards that are left from the exploration phase.
The cost of each card is denoted by a number in the top right corner, which represents the number of food cards the buying player must then discard to acquire the card. On top of this number, the buying player must also give one food card to the selling player.
If there is no number in the top right corner (as with the goat card) then the buying player does not need to discard any food cards, but they do still need to give the selling player one food card as payment.
The market phase continues until all the cards have been bought or the players do not want to buy any more. Any cards left on the table at the end of the market phase are then placed in the discard pile.
It will take more than just food and shelter to keep you alive. Players will need to teach, pray, and read to build up character, and better the odds of escaping alive. By collecting character growth cards, a player can get characters, which give effects and open up paths to victory.
Characters are needed to enable the following paths to victory
- Beacon Campfire victory path, either with the Man of God character card or with a camp of 18 victory points
- Escape the Island victory path, either with the Teacher character card or with a camp of 18 victory points
- Victory point strategy, by having the Wise Man character plus 25/20/17 VPs (4/3/2 players)
You could draw the attention of a rescue ship, but you will need to become a Man of God OR build a camp with at least 18 VPs and find wood and gunpowder to build a fire.
You can set your sights on building a boat, but you will need to find Friday and teach him how to help you.
Finally, you can pray and read to become a wise man and build up your victory points to beat the other players.
The game ends in either of the following situations:
- When the draw deck has been played through twice, in which case the player with the most victory points (VPs) wins.
- When any player achieves one of the three winning strategies: Beacon Campfire, Escape the Island or Victory points.
The benefits of backing this campaign include much faster access to the game and roughly 25% savings compared to the retail cost. With high quality art and a compact and sturdy box! Take it with you wherever you go and enjoy it for many years to come.
Pledge today and help us bring this game to life so everyone can enjoy it!
“If you’re looking for something that re-creates the high drama of its subject matter…it does a really great job.”
“The design and the art... I absolutely am in love with. The way the cards are laid out, it makes a lot of sense to me. The art is great, especially for a company that’s just developing.”
– Board Game Mechanics
“The packaging is so solid and lovely. Really substantial box. Definitely a game you will be taking around with you.”
– In the Den
“The game that stays true to its name. If you are in the market for quick deck building with simple easy-to-learn mechanics, and multiple paths to victory, look no further than Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island.”
– Board Game Revolution
So should our minimum funding goal be reached, every Robinson Crusoe fan will be able to enjoy the definitive highest quality version of the game, made from high-quality materials, and revised to include all the new content we have created since it was first developed.
This 330gsm card stock is made by sandwiching a black opaque adhesive core between 2 layers of paper. Black core is an extra black layer sandwiched right in the middle of the cards, this layer blocks light rays from shining through your cards.
Should our campaign reach the $22k goal, we will hire extra help to fine tune the rule book and polish the game so that the product is ready for production in November 2019 and is delivered in December 2019.
All pledge levels will be determined by the actual pledge amounts, i.e. it will not include the shipping costs.
Offering your support for our campaign is easy! We have three levels that can you pledge at. At each level you will receive the full and complete copy of the game. At the higher level you will receive two or more copies of the game at a discounted price!
Follow the steps below to become a backer:
- Decide which level you would like to pledge at. You can also choose to pledge at any other level (i.e. any amount of money) without receiving a reward.
- Click the big, green "BACK THIS PROJECT" button at the top of this page.
- Enter your pledge amount and complete the steps for filling in your information. You will receive a confirmation email from us shortly after.
Once you've backed this project, we encourage you to share this page on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, and share with your friends and family. You can find social sharing buttons below before the Terms section.
The more support we get from the community, the more value we can offer to all backers.
We employ a professional fulfillment partner that will take care of the reward deliveries. All shipping costs will be calculated and added to your pledge automatically after selecting the country of residence. Our fulfillment service provides a tracking number for each parcel shipped from our premises to anywhere in the world.
We currently have agreements with our fulfillment partners to ensure that no custom taxes will be charged for shipments in the USA, EU, and AU. There will be no import tax and custom duty for shipments to US addresses. There will also be no import tax and custom duty for shipments to Australia (on orders of up to $850.00 excluding shipping costs), and to UK and EU countries (on orders of up to $300.00 excluding shipping costs).
Note that there might be slight chance of custom and taxation policies to be changed during the campaign in which case we are not responsible for the added costs.
If you live outside of the USA, EU, and AU customs taxes may be added to the pledge amount. Please check your country's rules and regulations regarding any custom duty or taxes which may be imposed upon delivery.
“Just the right amount of randomness, and the right amount of press-your-luck tension, which I liked the most.” ― Undead Viking
“Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island is a fun, unique blend of mechanics. At the end of this short game, you feel a sense of accomplishment that you built something great. Overall I really enjoyed this game.” ― Joel, Boardgame Mechanics
"The artwork, icons, and mechanics are thematic... it's fun and feels realistic trying to push your luck to get food and items to survive."― Meeple University
“A game full of far more depth than you would suspect.”― Nick, Board Game Brawl
"This is its own beast." ― Rahdo
“The packaging is so solid and lovely. Really substantial box. Definitely a game you will be taking around with you.”– Gavin In the Den
“The artwork is just fantastic.. absolutely amazing” ― Undead Viking
"A lot of gaming in just a deck of cards, nice artwork and fun to push your luck!" ― Boardgames With Niramas
Niko Huttu - Game Design
Founder of Old Novel Games and the designer of Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island, Niko loves games (both PC and tabletop) and he is passionate about old novels. But since the birth of his two children, Niko’s relationship with games has changed. His ideas often come to him when he is reading to his children, and that is where the things he is the most passionate about in life come together. He believes every good book deserves to be transformed into a game, and that every avid reader deserves the opportunity to relive their favourite stories.
Adrian Liza Clares- Art & Illustrations
Adrian is an astonishing 2D artist who can turn any idea into a stunning piece of 2D art, very quickly. And talk about an honest and humble person!
"I’m Adrian Liza, a Spanish concept artist based in Gothenburg, Sweden. During these years I’ve been developing visual ideas for video games and recently I had the chance to be part of the board game “Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island”, where I was in charge of creating the total visual aspect of the game. This project was fun and really challenging, because it was nothing like I’ve ever done before. Even so, it was easy to keep up the motivation thanks to Niko Huttu, who made this production a marvelous experience that I’ll never forget."
Pablo - Iconography & Layout Design
Pablo knows what it takes to be a great card game layout and icon designer. His professionalism is top notch.
Simon Mora - Video Production & Kickstarter Support
Simon helped this project take off with his unique ability to envision the end result and bring it to life. His Venezuelan video editing team made the animation film possible. It has been a such a great honor to work with these guys!
While we are doing everything we can to manage any logistical issues, there is a potential for problems to arise during the manufacturing process. Such issues could impact our ability to meet our backer commitments. These may include (but are not limited to):
* Production delays
* Shipping and customs related delays
However, we employ a professional manufacturing and fulfillment partner who has done similar campaigns before, so every aspect related to manufacturing and fulfillment will be handled in the best possible way.
All announced delivery dates are estimates. While we are doing everything we can to mitigate these risks, backers may receive their rewards at different times depending on their location and the exact reward items selected.
Subject to changes
Final product will be subject to changes and improvements from what is presented here.
All parcels that we ship out are boxed, insulated and packaged in a way that should withstand normal bumps during transit. In very uncommon cases where there are damages to the product itself, we will assist in the investigation as to where and how the product was damaged.
Every package leaving our manufacturer's facility is carefully inspected and they guarantee the goods to be free of defects and manufacturing errors.
The pledge can be canceled and fully refunded before the end of the campaign by clicking on the correct button on Kickstarter.
We will give you a full refund, no questions asked within 14 days of the campaign end and upon request.
If you find any quality issues with your order, please contact us within 3 days from the arrival date.
If your game arrives with missing or damaged parts, provide us with appropriate proof and we will substitute them once we have verified the damage.
We will not accept complaints related to the game box contents of this campaign (missing components, damaged components, etc.) that are coming after 30 days from the delivery date to your door.
Mistakes in deliveries
If the game fails to arrive because of the mistake made by the backer (wrong address, recipient absent, failure to pick up at courier/postal warehouse, etc.), any additional shipping/warehousing cost for us to re-send/re-deliver your game will be at backer's expense. This also includes the costs associated with returning the game. If after investigation it becomes clear that the error was on our part, we will resend your package at our expense.
The Robinson Crusoe: Escape from Despair Island is made in China.
In some prototype images there may be an age label with an 8+ mark. Officially this is game for people of ages 14+, however younger people can learn to play this game as well.
Risks and challenges
We reserve the right to refund your pledge and eject you from the campaign at any time, for any reason.
This project is funded in Swedish Kronas (SEK). We are not liable for currency risks.
You are liable for customs duties and taxes that may be levied on your order by your local tax authorities.
If you do not accept any of these terms, please don’t back this campaign.
- (36 days)