Here’s something a bit special. Last January friends Yannick Massa and David Chircop sweated away over 48 hours to create their first ever board game, ‘…and then we held hands’, as part of the Global Game Jam contest. A game which sees two players attempt to navigate their way though a failing relationship, attempting to balance emotions by playing the right cards from either their own or their partner’s (half obscured) hand to get them both to the centre of the board within one turn of each other. In silence. Fail to properly read your partner’s intentions, and you break up. Move across too many spaces that make your emotions lurch in one direction, and you lose control and break up. Run out of cards. Can’t make a valid move. You break up. Which has to be one of the most wrenching end-states in a board game – it’s smallness, its inherent sadness, somehow makes it a far more powerful premise than the world exploding or zombies eating your face.
Anyway, the game jam. It won. It won Best Board Game fairly easily, in fact, as it was the only entry in the entire contest. But it also bagged the People’s Choice Award, voted for by other designers taking part in the jam. A print and play version (which you can – and should – click here to download and try out) then picked up BoardGameGeek’s Best Print ‘n’ Play Game 2014 award, and it didn’t take long for publisher LudiCreations to pick up the game for a Kickstarter campaign. With the addition of beautiful art supplied by Dixit illustrator Marie Cardouat, the game ran riot, eventually pulling in more than $66,000 despite only setting a $5,000 target.
Those Kickstarter copies are due to start shipping in the next couple of weeks, and us Europeans should be able to start ordering from the LudiCreations online store when the Kickstarter campaign copies are all delivered – likely to be in the New Year. North American residents now have reason to cheer, however, after Passport Games revealed late last night that they’ll be distributing to to game stores on the continent later this year. We’ll keep you posted when copies start appearing, but in the mean time here’s a sneak peek at some more of Marie Cordouat’s artwork for the game to get you in the mood.