11 July 2017
Players draw and play activity cards showing fantasy monsters working out
A new card game on Kickstarter is hoping to dispel the stereotype that tabletop gaming is a sedentary hobby by combining Magic: The Gathering-style card-battling with personal exercise.
BattleMat swaps creatures and spells for activities, which are drawn by the player to set a routine – whether it’s push-ups, jumping jacks, squats or maintaining the warrior pose.
The cards are very clearly inspired by Magic, but amusingly feature fantasy monsters such as trolls, goblins, orcs and ghouls working out – the Sitting Silverback is a buff gorilla doing squats while lifting human skull dumbbells, for example.
As well as the activity cards, the deck features intention cards to define an overall objective for the workout, whether that’s stamina, agility or foundation. Like Magic’s mana system, the intention card dictates the makeup of the deck in terms of card colours, with fittingly exercise-related definitions – black cards are strength training with zombies and spectres, which allow the player to ‘zombify’ activities to perform them at half speed, while red cards feature goblins, giants and ancient priests improving their cardio.
In-between circuits, ‘rest’ cards are played, while modification cards can be used to alter the time, weight and points for an activity. The $35 (£27) 50-card starter deck apparently provides up to 30,000 different card combinations and enough unique 25-minute workouts to last for over a year.
The solo mode sees the player earning points from completed activity cards, but a separate battle mode introduces a multiplayer play style where competing exercisers can modify their opponents’ workout to reduce their score.
BattleMat’s co-creator Brendan Bradley told Tabletop Gaming that there are plans for further expansions and tutorials if the game reaches its $23,500 (£18,000) target on Kickstarter by August 9th. At the time of writing, it has raised just shy of $3,000.