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Matthew Inman, author of The Oatmeal, and game maker Elan Lee are launching a new card game called Bears versus Babies — where you build monsters who eat babies.  Whoever eats the most babies wins.  According to the creators, this card game is easy to learn, is kid friendly, and takes about 20 minutes to play.  The cards are illustrated by The Oatmeal (Inman).

Bears Versus Babies Card Game

How is Bears versus Babies Card Game Played?

The card game is played by setting the deck of cards face down on the table and each player draws a card.  There are two types of cards that can be drawn from the deck – Bears and other creatures and Babies.  Bears are built from cards in the deck that include heads, torsos, arms and legs.  You connect the different cards to create a creature, like a bear with a lobster claw for one arm and a chainsaw for the other arm.  Or you might create a bald eagle with chainsaw torso.  Or a Pomeranian dog wearing incredible underpants.

The second type of card that can be drawn from the deck are babies.  Baby cards are immediately placed in the center of the table.  As the baby cards accumulate they begin to form a baby army that must be stopped by the players in the game.  There are different types of baby cards, like torpedo babies, bearded babies, scary hair babies and diaper babies.  The goal of the game is to build a creature army that is stronger than the baby army.

The strength of the creatures is determined by the number of cards it contains.  For example, if your creature is made of three cards, then it is worth three points.  Then if there were only two baby cards on the table, your creature could eat the baby and those baby cards would go into your tummy and accumulate.   Whoever accumulates the most baby cards by the end of the game is the winner.

The strategy is to provoke the babies before your opponents are ready.  To provoke a baby, you play a provoke card and interrupt nap time.  If your opponents’ creatures are not strong enough when the baby is provoked, the baby eats their creatures and they are removed from the table.  You can also attack your opponents with a powerup card that might give you the ability to chop off their arms or gain another turn.

Similarities with Exploding Kittens Card Game

Elan Lee and The Oatmeal teamed together previously to launch one of the most successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns ever for the Exploding Kittens game.  The project was launched on January 20, 2015 and by the time it ended on February 19, 2015 it had raised an astonishing $8.7 million from more than 200,000 backers.

To play the game, participants set a card deck face down and each player draws cards until they get an Exploding Kitten card.  If they do get an Exploding Kitten then they are dead and out of the game unless they already have Defuse card.  The Defuse card defuses the kittens using things like laser pointers, kitty therapy, and catnip therapy.  There are also action cards that can be used to skip your turn by wearing a portable cheetah butt, attacking other players by deploying thousand year back hair, peaking at cards in the draw pile, or getting advice from a goat wizard.   Additionally there are taco cat, abracrab lincoln, magical meat bikini and catterwocky cards that activate special powers.

The strategy involved in the Exploding Kittens card game is deciding which cards to play, when to play them and which of your opponents to target.  Depending on your strategy, you can play for fun or be downright cruel to your opponents.  The longer you play the better chance you have of getting an Exploding Kitten and being knocked out of the game.

Other Popular Non-Traditional Card Games

Through their innovative strategy, Inman and Lee have successfully tapped into the market for non-traditional card games, i.e., games that don’t use the standard deck of 52 cards like poker, solitaire and gin rummy.  Instead they are competing with games like Uno, Munchkin and Cards against Humanity, Watch Ya Mouth, and Speak Out.

Uno Card Game

  • Uno – a card game for at least two players, and up to ten players altogether, who are seven years or older. The object of the game is to get rid of the cards you draw at the beginning of the game before anyone else does.  To keep the card game lively, there are specialty cards like wild cards, reverse cards, and skip cards.
  • Munchkin – a series of over twenty different card games, where participants compete to kill monsters and secure magical lamps. In addition to cards, The World of Munchkin offers apps, clothing, and accessories.
  • Cards against Humanity (CAH) – a party game created by alumni of the Highland Park school in Illinois. Based on the Apples to Apples card game, CAH has players fill in the blanks with adult and often offensive words.  The game can also be downloaded online and then printed out.
  • Watch Ya Mouth – a card game also launched on Kickstarter that involves players wearing a mouth guard and others trying to guess what they are saying. Think of it as a game of verbal charades.
  • Speak Out – similar to Watch Ya Mouth, this card game features contestants wearing a mouthpiece and reading difficult to pronounce sentences from a card. As a clock winds down, partners must try to guess what their team mate is saying.

Funding with Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

To date, Bears vs Babies has raised $1,447,078 through a Kickstarter fundraising initiative.  It started crowd funding on October 18, 2016 and reached its fundraising goal of $10,000 on the same day.  Since their crowdfunding campaign is not ending until November 17, 2016, expect that significantly more money will be raised for the card game.

The company created two reward levels for their backers as follows:

  • One Bears vs Babies core card deck for $25
  • One core deck of Babies vs Bears and one Not Safe for Work (NSFW) booster pack for $35

Bears versus Babies has nearly 40,000 backer so far and can expect thousands more before the crowdfunding campaign ends.  On average, this card game is raising an average of $37 per backer.