One of the best parts about covering Too Many Games this year was getting the chance to catch up with some of our favorite game makers from last year’s convention. That’s why we were so excited when we saw some familiar faces sitting at a familiar zombie survival/strategy tabletop game. We caught up with Neil Hoffman and Ivan Turner from 9 Kingdoms to discuss their new ApocalypZe expansion pack and their brand new card game, Keep Calm.
For those of you that have played Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples, you’ll be able to jump straight into Keep Calm. The set up is very similar: one person is the judge, who draws a situation card, while the other players submit response cards from which the judge must choose the winner of the round. However, there are some key differences that separate Keep Calm from similar games.
What makes this game unique is the scenario based cause and effect style of the cards. Each scenario card is styled as the question, “What would you do if…?” and each response card features the nominal phrase “Keep Calm…” and some ridiculous action. For example, the judge might draw a card that says, “What would you do if…you see the same person standing behind you in every selfie?” to which a player could respond, “Keep calm…and give them a high five.” In addition, Keep Calm also adds a completely new card type: Panic cards. Players can play these unique twist cards to change the game in interesting ways, such as allowing the player to add an extra response card, or removing another player’s response card.
We had an opportunity to test out the game ourselves by playing a lengthy game with Neil and a random fan (Thanks, random fan!). I say lengthy not because it takes a long time to play, but because we didn’t want to stop playing. Rounds are lightning fast and laugh out loud funny when the raunchier cards come out (of which there are plenty). We only stopped playing because our camera would’ve run out of battery and the random fan had to leave.
We found Keep Calm to have the same key elements that made Cards Against Humanity so popular. Keep Calm is fast, funny, simple, and raunchy, making it the perfect combination for a fun game night with a few drinks. The Panic cards add a semi-strategic element to the game, while the cause and effect, situation based questions add a different flair to the typical format to keep gameplay fresh.
Keep Calm is in limited quantity right now as 9 Kingdoms begins to drum up hype from fans before launching an official Kickstarter campaign at a later date, so if you’re interested, be sure to order a copy as soon as possible.
Speaking of Kickstarter, we’re also happy to reveal that 9 Kingdoms recently reached their funding goal for an ApocalypZe expansion pack. The Crossing Lines expansion pack will introduce 126 new cards, broken down into two 60 card decks plus 6 cards for customization. The basic premise is that unique characters can now be played as different factions. For example, if a character could only be played as a Survivor in the core game, it could now be played as either a Survivor or a Raider. Only one version of a character is allowed, but it adds a new element of strategy when deciding how to play a character. As if the game wasn’t intense and challenging enough. But that’s part of what makes it so compelling.
While the new cards promise to bring new gameplay strategies to the core game, they can also be used as a standalone game. The expected release date on the Kickstarter is September 2015, so you might have long to wait fi you’re interested in picking up a copy. If you want to learn more about the ApocalypZe Crossing Lines expansion pack, check out the Kickstarter page.
If you want to find out more about 9 Kingdoms and ApocalypZe, check out our coverage of the game from last year. If you’re interested in buying a game, or check out 9 Kingdoms and their products, head over to their website.