Tasked with the upkeep of the court’s mechanical devices, players attempt to catch the eye of the Queen and other high-ranking courtiers by displaying their mechanical prowess. Using their dealt hand of gear cards, players try to take tricks with the ultimate goal of being the first to play all their cards. The Queen rewards such displays of skill by snatching up the most successful engineer as her own.
Can you maneuver your way into the Queen’s good graces and come out on top of the social ladder by the end of the fourth Quarter? Or will you be stuck assisting the Tea Boy and suffering his incessant whining?
Players are granted special abilities by each character. From top to bottom, here are the 10 Steam Court characters. (artwork is not yet final).
Super quick overview: Players randomly select a character token and seat themselves in order from the highest character to the lowest. Once the gears are dealt and characters exercise their special privileges, the highest player at the table (Queen) starts the first trick. She can lay any quantity of cards of the same value (e.g. three 3s). The next player needs to lay the same quantity of matching cards, but of a higher value.
A player who can't play (or chooses not to) passes and sits out for the rest of the trick. Play continues around and around the table with players laying cards until everyone has passed. Whoever plays the highest card(s) wins the trick and starts off the next trick. The order in which the players get rid of all their cards determines which character they become in the next Quarter and how many victory points they receive.
The player who goes out first becomes the Queen and receives the most victory points. The second player to go out becomes the second highest character and receives fewer victory points, and so on for the rest of the players. At the end of the 4th Quarter, players total their victory points, and whoever has the most points wins. For players who prefer a more casual game, a party game variant is also provided (see instructions).
For a walk-though of the game check out our steampunk themed how-to video:
Social Stretch goals:
Here's what some notables have had to say about Steam Court.
"This game adds Character abilities and I really like the different strategies that those give you. You get to adapt to those each round and it makes the game really fresh and really exciting... I'm also a really big fan of the theme! I love the artwork, I love the characters, the cards and cogs. Really cool and tied together." - Levi Bushue (www.livingthenerdlife.com)
"It's fun, it's fast, it's easy to learn, to explain. I think the powers and the bits all add to it and the steampunk theme I dig!" - Eduardo Baraf (www.baraf.com)
"This is the type of game that wins Spiel des Jahres. Simple, elegant strategy & fun personalities all packaged in an easy-to-grok format."
- Stephanie Straw
"From the twists and refinements on that old party game, Scum, to the beautiful art and more strategic scoring system, Steam Court is a big winner. A great re-imagining of a classic game." - Isaac Shalev
"We're biased, but of course we think it's the best game ever!" - Will Meadows (www.tantrumhouse.com)
All of these people made incredible contributions to Steam Court.
We couldn't have made it this far without them. And we can't take the next step without you! Please consider backing our project. We have high hopes for what's in store for the future.
Risks and challenges
This is our first tabletop game project but not our first crowdfunding project. We understand the challenges associated with fulfilling orders. We are committed to provide a quality game in a timely matter.
Our artwork is about 90% done at the start of launching our campaign. We will provide updates as we finish the final character illustrations. If we achieve our stretch goals, we'll have to extend our pre-production time to allow our illustrator to complete the extra characters.
International backer fulfillment will be done through Amazon and Ideaspatcher, from multiple fulfillment centers (EU and Canada) to save on customs charges for our backers.
We will be open and honest in our communication to you as we endeavor to publish and deliver this game by December, 2015.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)