Puzzle game

Practice with The Shivers, the new tabletop puzzle game with a classic LucasArts vibe

Sarah Tew / CNET

It was early March, the last days before offices and businesses began to shut down in response to the growing threat of COVID-19. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this would be one of the last in-person product demos I’ve hosted in my New York office, a practice that doesn’t look like I’ll be resuming anytime soon. .

The game on display was The Shivers, a tabletop multiplayer mystery game that made its way to Kickstarter, with a unique retro gaming hook. The game’s art style comes from lead illustrator Bill Tiller, a veteran of video game studio LucasArts, where he worked on classic PC games such as The Dig, Curse of Monkey Island, and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine.

The game caught my eye in the same way as several other recent crowdfunding-funded tabletop games – mixing retro flair with modern gameplay mechanics or ambitious storytelling. A remake of The Dark Tower 80s Electronic Board Game raised $ 4 million on Kickstarter, Marvel united nearly $ 3 million and the vast fantasy epic Frosthaven reached $ 13 million.

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The game takes place through a series of elaborate pop-up cardboard boards.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The Shivers, as presented to me by creator Andy Logan, unfolds through a series of elaborate pop-up cardboard boards, similar to intricate pop-up greeting cards. In each scene, clues and secrets are hidden behind working doors, under furniture, and in puzzles. The pop-ups each represent a room in a spooky mansion, and they can magnetically snap together for larger play areas.

Unlike many modern tabletop games that pit players against card-and-dice-based AI systems, The Shivers requires a player to take on the role of the storyteller (aka, a gamemaster, or DM), in using secret information printed on story cards. to drive the story.

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Only the game master sees the narrative information on this side of the mansion.

Sarah Tew / CNET

I only got to see a few of the pop-up rooms in the game and a small portion of the narrative, but the art felt like it mixed that classic LucasArts style with a neo-Victorian haunted house vibe. , and I liked the step-by-step instructions for the storyteller.

But before The Shivers could hit Kickstarter in March, much of the world shut down, including a slew of crowdfunding projects. After a few months of waiting for the dust to settle, The Shivers are back on track and starting their Kickstarter campaign today. The full game is expected in July 2021 and starts at $ 65.

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