Dystopia: A Card Game

The discussion of luck vs. strategy in class really ‘kickstarted’ how I thought about game play, and how I was to design my own game.

King of Tokyo-https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/70323/king-tokyo

I liked the score counters, which were simple cardboard pieces, with small windows cutouts so that you could see the score, with a little disc underneath that you spin to show the score.


I found myself really liking Abyss, because of its strategy based play.  I liked the idea of  gain influence over the game by collecting ‘Lords’. I did find the keeping track of  influence points difficult though, what with the many different ways in which you could gain points.


For my own game, I decided that cards were the way to go, offering more strategic possibilities than games like King of Tokyo.

The concept is gaining influence over other players to control the world in the dystopian future of radiation, war, lack of resources and general discomfort. This idea came from Abyss, Smash Up and Fallout.

The game is battle based, with each different character card having a ‘battle score’, with players maintaining a hand of 7 character cards; as soon as there are more than 7, they have to either discard some or play the cards on the battlefield.

Character cards from Smash Up, each with a different amount of points (much like my game). Action cards are included here too (these are similar in function to my proposed ‘ration’ cards


Players who play their character cards on the battlefield can choose to attack other player’s characters if their ‘battlescore’ is high enough. Victories on the battlefield give players points based on how much more powerful they were than their opponent.

Sometimes the seemingly obvious winner becomes defeated, with the advent of ‘ration’ cards. These cards have to be used by the player who is being attacked, to power-up (or not) their own character. Attacking can be a gamble!

A Fallout Pip-Boy screen, showing the game mechanic in where players eat food to regain health. Much like in my game, ‘rations’ can be a gamble, because in Fallout, the food is irradiated


For characters, I was thinking of having several different ‘races’, much like Abyss or Smash Up, each with different levels of power. I was thinking of warriors, dragons, androids/robots, radioactive leopards and pegasi as the different races. You can command any amount of any faction to create the most powerful, but unlikely army.

For score keeping, I found myself liking King of Tokyo’s score keeping card wheel contraptions, so I thought it would be a neat, simple solution for score keeping in my own game.

Score keeping cards in King of Tokyo. Little discs are spun underneath to change the score. Simple but effective!


The game ends when someone reaches the required amount of points (which varies depending on how many are playing). 3-6 people can play.


I would like to try and develop the ‘ration’ cards and the characters to draw some more influence from Fallout, if I can, as a response to Fallout.





  1. I haven’t seen or heard of a new battle game in ages, so that simple facts already spikes an interest in your game. I love the ideas that you’ve brought up and the characters fit well into a sci-fi/fantasy genre. Just as a possibility, alongside your ration cards, you could potentially incorporate trap cards which adds another layer of danger to attacking – whether the trap works can be determined by a roll of dice (similar to Risk) to add an element of chance to it as well. Also, you could potentially have power moves which can help players defeat stronger opponents; to use the power move you would need three characters from the same faction and each faction could have their own power move. Keen to see how this game turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This idea is fascinating in its way to incorporate such a variety of influences such as Abyss, King of Tokyo, Smash up and Fallout. Having only played fallout I can relate to the idea of war, radiation and lack of resources. The comments already on this game offer a huge opportunity for expansion and even potential hacks/mods. The fallout community and linked with Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/falloutmods) offer some impressive mods for the digital game cultures, however with your board game perhaps the idea of 3D printing could interest you to cover things like landmarks, artefacts or personnel. Just a suggestion for mods for board games (http://www.thingiverse.com/Ceika/collections/board-game-mods) this example from thingiverse is a broad example of the ideas you could include in your game. Lastly, this monopoly expansion pack (http://store.bethsoft.com/monopoly-fallout-collectors-edition.html) could serve as an inspiration, if not for conceptual artworks or even just layout of various objects that are fallout inspired on a different platform! Goodluck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really do like the idea of the ration cards in your game, it gives your game a little more dimension. This kind of mechanic reminds me of the game “Munckin”. Munchkin has these cards that allow you to power up your character, and the cards are basically armour or weapons or mighty steeds. However, munchkin restricts the player as to what apparel and weaponry you’re allowed to use based on race (I know a little racist), whether its a two handed or one handed weapon you may only equip 2 one handed weapons or one two handed. I feel this added to the games ability to keep me playing, because now the players are trading cards between themselves to get better cards for their character. Perhaps this kind of dynamic can be added into yours? Just a thought, love your game idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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