Two lousy, cheating, no-good gamblers decide that there is no solution but violence to resolve their dispute, in an old-fashioned duel over cards and of course money. Players will be trading shots across town, hoping to avoid their own 6-foot hole in the ground. But really, there are no winners in a fight to the death...

Rattlesnake is a 2-player duelling game about two gambling, no-good-drunk, card game aficionados in a old western style town. You have accused each other of cheating, proved you were both cheating, started fighting, and are now locked in a duel to the bitter end. Figthing over a card game seems silly, but when there is money on the line, people do silly things. 

The game plays in turns, with the turns alternating until one player has no more Hit cards in front of them. That player has lost. You receive Hits from Shots you fail to dodge, or sometimes from Events that come out later in the game. A Shot is one of the actions you can do on your turn and is done by making Ranks with cards in your hand, putting it facedown on the table, then comparing against your opponents Rank. Ranks will be Sets (a pair of 3’s, or maybe three 4’s) or a Run of cards (1, 2, 3, or 3, 4 for example) with Sets being stronger than Runs. Once all cards are revealed and both players agree on the outcome, if the Shot was successful then the winning player takes one of the Hit cards from their opponent and puts it in in their own discard pile, otherwise nothing happens (most times).

However! Each card also has a one-time ability, printed in the icons at the bottom, it can use if the card is in your hand. After using these abilities though, that card is Exhausted, and is removed from your deck of cards permanently! These abilities though are game-changing, and will allow you to bend the outcomes in your favour…..hopefully. But since you both start with the same deck of cards, your opponent is also thinking the same thing.

The second possible action you can do on your turn is to Equip a new card. You do this by discarding 2 cards from your hand, then taking a new card from the central row into your hand immediately. These cards from the central row are much more powerful, and break the game in different and interesting ways.

Things you might like:

  • Deck & Hand Management
  • Deck-thinning
  • Head-to-head duel
  • Game manipulation and reactionary abilities
  • Quick, snappy, and short games

Things you might not like:

  • Exploration of Violent Themes
  • High level of aggression and confrontation
  • High level of strategy and thinking
  • A very “take that” attitude to gameplay and interaction

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Game Inspiration & Aesthetic Notes

The inspiration for this game came about after reading an article about a man in America who shot dead another person over an argument their high scores in a mobile game. Completely ridiculous right? But, that’s human beings. We’re not the cleverest beings sometimes. So, this game is an exploration of that stupid event, and the lengths we will go to in order to do harm to another because of a disagreement. 

Of course, this is still just a game, and I hope you can all resolve your games of it amicably with a smile on your faces. Keep the violence to the cards, not to real life. We play games to explore concepts, themes, settings, and other strange things that we couldn’t normally do in real life. Try to keep that in mind next you lose your temper at someone over a rule, or an outcome, or even just because they kept staring at you while you made your next move. We’re all in the magic circle together, just enjoy it!

Aesthetic Notes

What is this, no beige? But, how do we know it is an old western setting without beige and brown!!! Weird right? When Roland MacDonald and I started talking about the setting and the art for this game, he was reluctant (that’s the polite version at least) and hesitant to do another western setting. He was bored of beige, and brown, and saloon girls with pictures of drunk cowboys. This is Hollywood western, not reflective of it at all. If you look at paintings and artworks from the period, they are actually full of bright, vibrant colours. The American West is famous for beautiful vistas, gorgeous landscapes, and a myriad of different colours. Yes, there are browns, and beige, but it is not the primary colours of the region.

So, Roland was given the freedom to go hog-wild, so to speak. Rough, pencil-like sketchings are reminiscent of the old western comics and penny magazines, but with bright splashes everywhere to match the style of  the region and give some energy to  what a real shootout might feel like. Spolier, they almost never happened in real-life though. The cards in the base game are designed to tell the story of one individual, with this person being the main focus for every card. You can follow each card and see what this man was doing at this moment on each card. 

Estimate until game is ready

Percent Complete 90%
Outstanding Work to be completed:
  • Manufacturing Agreed
  • Logistics & Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Pre-Orders Open Q3 2024
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