The board game battle of the century!
Who would win in a fight? It’s a question heard often in nerd circles. The Hulk or Superman? Goldberg or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin?
Bigfoot or Yeti?
Maybe you never wondered about that one before, but I bet you are now! Luckily Diane Sauer of Shoot Again Games is back to talk about her new game of cryptozoological smackdowns, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Bigfoot vs. Yeti is a 2-4 player rummy-style game, in which the “suits” are actually “real” monsters, like the chupacabra and the Jersey Devil, and each has a special power that activates when you lay down a set. It’s similar to Sauer’s previous game, Conspiracy! but with a more confrontational twist.
AiPT! spoke to Sauer to uncover the hidden truth about the monsters in our midst.
AiPT!: What made you want to make a game about this particular subject matter?
Sauer: I was a kid of the 1970s, when cryptozoology, the paranormal and UFOs were popular. The Patterson Film (the famous Bigfoot film) was shot in 1967, Kolchak the Night Stalker was on TV, the Six Million Dollar Man was fighting Bigfoot, etc. The show that most inspired me, though, was In Search of…, which was hosted by Lenard Nimoy and covered it all. Also, the Weekly World News sprung up in the late ’70s and took everything to a new level of kooky (who could forget Batboy?).
To me it just seemed reasonable to think that Bigfoot and Yeti were in some way related. That led me to wonder what kind of relationship they would have. Would they be friends, fall in love or what? I settle on the funniest [possibility], which was that Yeti was sick of Bigfoot getting the better press and was adversarial towards him which. seemed like a fun idea.
AiPT!: It’s fun to think about these things, but I understand you’re a little more skeptical about whether chupacabras and the Mothman actually exist?
Sauer: Had you asked me about any of this stuff as a kid, I would have chewed your ear off talking about all of the “evidence” for them, as it was exciting to think about the possibility of real monsters existing. I guess it still is, but I’m a lot more skeptical today, and in fact the only cryptids I feel still have a slim chance of being real are Bigfoot and Yeti.
AiPT!: What’s the basic gameplay like?
In Bigfoot vs. Yeti, players draw from either the Unknown or from the Tabloids (discard pile). They can mount or join expeditions for the various cryptids (unknown creatures like Mothman, the Jersey Devil, the Loch Ness Monster), each of which has a special power that will aid them in someway.
A single Action card can be played each turn that will manipulate some facet of the game. The Action cards are either Proof to help prove the cryptids are real, or phenomena like crop circles or fish falls, which add interesting twists.
At the end of each round the Tabloids are “read” and any cards in there that match cryptids in play will discredit them. Also, the Extraterrestrials can provide a tricky way to prevent your opponents from scoring.
AiPT!: How does Bigfoot vs. Yeti differ from its spiritual predecessor, Conspiracy?
Sauer: The biggest difference is the Bigfoot vs. Yeti battle. In the game there are cards that are strictly Bigfoot and those that are strictly Yeti, but there are also two-sided cards that can be either. All the cryptids in the game have abilities that trigger when you play them and both Bigfoot and Yeti have the same power, which is to take one of the two-sided cards from the other side, flip it to your side and add it to your expedition ([which are] the cards played out in front of you).
At the end of the round, only one side can will the battle and score. So for example, if Bigfoot had the most points at the end of the round, all Yeti cards would not score, since he lost the fight.
AiPT!: Tell us about the art of Bigfoot vs. Yeti.
As is the case with most of our other games, we used more than one artist. Since a game like Conspiracy! or Bigfoot vs. Yeti has a variety settings, things and creatures, my strategy has always been to find artists that fit each particular card. In the case of Bigfoot vs. Yeti, we had an advantage in that Jennifer Williams, who was the Lead Illustrator on Conspiracy! is a huge cryptid fan. In fact she had done a calendar featuring cryptids, and I was so impressed with it, I grabbed the rights to use the Jersey Devil art … knowing that I wanted to do a cryptid game down the road. Jenn did all of the cryptid art for the game and I’m super impressed with what she has done. For example, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better illustration anywhere of the Loch Ness Monster than the one she did for Bigfoot vs. Yeti.
Justin Spice, who had the tech and realistic type stuff for Conspiracy! I brought back to do some key pieces like the Extraterrestrials, the Alien Autopsy Film and the Crop Circles cards. Rastislav Le, who also worked on Conspiracy! — most notably on the Mayan Apocalypse set — I wanted to include, so I had him do Ancient Prophecy and Fish Falls, which I wanted to have more historical-looking art.
AiPT!: What kind of stretch goals are ahead?
The first stretch goal is revealed, and it is a new creature for the game, Jackalopes! While not technically a cryptid, they are too adorable to not consider. After that there is an especially cool card that features something or someone from Conspiracy! who may take a side in the Bigfoot vs. Yeti battle. There are more planned beyond, that will be revealed as we go.
Bigfoot vs. Yeti is on Kickstarter until Tuesday, November 21. Pledge now to help discover or discredit your favorite cryptids!