24 October 2017
Carnival of Monsters mixes drafting and set collection
Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield is getting back together with some of the original artists for his iconic CCG to create a brand new card game.
It’s not just its creators that Carnival of Monsters shares with Magic. The game also features the use of lands and monsters, recalling the land cards and creatures played in every Magic match. But despite the similarities, the upcoming Kickstarter project is shaping up to be a very different kind of game indeed.
First of all, Carnival of Monsters hinges on card drafting and set collecting, rather than Magic’s head-to-head battles. Up to five people can play, aiming to build up their carnival by capturing monsters to show off to their visitors.
In classic drafting style, players choose a card to keep each turn, passing the remainder to their neighbours. The card can either be played immediately, or kept for a later round – at a cost.
By placing lands, players can work towards catching monsters, which are worth points at the end of the game and can earn bonuses from the correct season, of which there are four during a single 45-minute match.
Staff can be hired to provide permanent abilities and benefits, while one-off events are single-use boosts.
At the end of each season, monsters risk escaping, but hunters or nets can be used to keep them under control – otherwise, players have to pay the king as compensation for the chaos caused.
As well as cashing in points from their menagerie of monsters, players have hidden goals that are revealed at the end of a match, potentially swinging the victory in their favour.
Carnival of Monsters includes 104 unique card illustrations across its 240 cards, drawn by eight artists who have contributed more than 1,000 cards to Magic: The Gathering, with the majority working on the game when it first launched in 1993.
Each artist is putting their style into a single type of land and monster, while Dungeons & Dragons and Dragonlance illustrator Larry Elmore is drawing the 13 different staff members.
Carnival of Monsters is due out next August if it makes its €222,000 (£198,000) goal on Kickstarter, of which it has raised €38,975 (£35,000) at the time of writing.