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Kickstarter Preview – The Abandons – Labyrinth Escape Card Game

2018 May 21
by Michael Schroeder

I’d like to talk about a project I’ve been working on. A card game project to be exact. It’s called, The Abandons.

The Abandons

I’m extremely excited to be able to share, The Abandons, with you. A campaign to raise funds to be able to produce the game will be coming to Kickstarter in June or July. The Abandons will be our first game project, published by my company, Puzzling Pixel Games and by designer, Michael “Dmitri” Blascoe.

The story behind the game:

Have you ever felt like someone was calling you but nobody was there? A voice deep within the crevices of your mind that you typically give little attention. You felt that voice this morning, but this time, it was clear – it was calling you! The voice became loud enough to gnaw at your sanity yet you need to find out where it’s coming from.

You run to your home and grab your satchel, which contains some odds and ends. As you start moving west towards the setting sun, you turn around to face your home, possibly for the last time. You don’t care. The need to escape is too much. The need to escape the voice is even greater. Yet, the need to follow the voice is consuming! You’re ready for an adventure. You’re ready for the unknown. Little do you realize, you may end up alone. Welcome to…THE ABANDONS!

In the above image, that adventurer is you and that menacing structure? That’s the exterior of The Abandons. The Abandons is a place yet alive – it is a living labyrinth. The Abandons has called you to the challenge. Will you be able to escape or will you be a permanent addition?

What’s inside the box?

Our game is extremely simple! It only consists of…

  • The Box
  • Rulebook
  • 50 cards

How does the game play?

The Abandons is extremely simple to play. A turn consists of…

  • Decide which path you wish to take
  • Look at the number of card icons at the doorway to that path
  • Flip over that number of crds from the draw deck, without looking at them as you draw – any cards you draw before the final number that you need to draw, immediately get discarded.

Here are some examples of passage cards…

  • When you reach the matching number of cards you need to draw, turn that face face-up, look at it, and if it’s a passage card, lay it adjacent to the open passage you just took. If it’s a dead end and your most recent played intersection does not have any openings, game over! Otherwise, keep playing until you draw the last card, the exit card! For example, if you choose to go right, in the 4 way intersection card above, you will draw 2 cards off the draw deck (don’t look at them), and the 3rd card, you flip over.
  • During play, if you happen to flip over an item card…

Item Card

…hold onto it for use later in the game. Depending on how many of the item cards you hold onto, you can use the Map, Bomb or Magical Mirror to help you on your journey. Discard these cards after play.

  • Map (1 Item Card) – while at an intersection, look at the top 3 cards in the draw deck; place them back in the order they were.
  • Bomb (2 Item Cards) – use to blow a hole through a wall, such as a dead end or other wall that may be blocking your way
  • Magical Mirror (3 Item Cards) – discard all cards in play except for the entrance and start the game over again, however, you only play with the existing cards that are left in the draw deck.

Stairs Card

The Stairs card gives you a choice – either continue on as you were, and discarded this Stairs card or decide to take a new path (“level”). This is done by placing the Stairs card over the existing entrance card and discarding all of the other cards in play. It’s essentially deciding to start over. Just keep in mind, you’ll lose a lot of potential points that goes towards your hi-score, if you make it out!

 Collapse Card

The Collapse card forces you to scrap all the cards in play and start over (except for the entrance). This may be a good or bad thing.

Why did I chose to publish this game?

There’s a multitude of resons why I may decide to publish a game…

  • As a first time publisher, I was looking for a game that was light on components. Baby steps. I didn’t want to take on too much.
  • I love mazes and labyrinths! The Abandons is a re-implementation of a game called, Dead Ends. As a publisher, the games you bring out are often a vision you have. The focus of my company, or a large focus, is bridging the gap between what I consider, the golden age of video games (At least to me – the 80’s and early 90’s) and board games. The theme of retro, Legend of Zelda would fit perfectly for this game.


I decided to base the art of, The Abandons, loosely inspired by Retro Legend of Zelda.

  • The game is addictive. While the game is extremely simple in nature, it can be challenging and it’s quite addictive! The game can last as little as 5 minutes, ands because the setup/breakdown and the simplicity and fun of the game, you’ll be playing a multitude of games in one sitting.

Where the game stands now:

As we speak, the PnP files are done and are in final review. As soon as that is finished, I will be releasing it to a limited number of reviewers that would like a copy.

I am also currently in talks with some print on demand companies to have review/prototype copies made. I will also be sending these out to a very select group of reviewers. Because we’re on a limited budget, at this phase, I will only be able to produce a limited number of copies. I ask for everyone’s understanding on this. I would like to get all the copies out in May, so they can be reviewed.

Stretch goals: Yes, the Kickstarter will have stretch goals! This will consist of some extra cards, likely 6. I am currently working on these unique cards.

Campaign: In the midst of all the other work, I’m doing the administrative end of getting the campaign setup – it’s a lot of work! But I love it!

Thank for you taking the time to read up on, The Abandons. Let me give you some links so you can follow up and keep in touch with the game.

We look forward to seeing you at the campaign!

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