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SUMMIT The Board Game- Mountaineering Mayhem & Killer Karma – Kickstarter

The first offering from Inside Up Games is, of this posting, just over halfway through its campaign on Kickstarter and has gained the coveted “Project We Love” endorsement.  With nearly 2 weeks remaining, its sitting comfortably at 60% funded – so what has got the nearly 400 backers so excited?

SUMMIT the Board Game is described as a tile laying, card playing, dice rolling survival race for 2 to 6 players.  The full Kickstarter campaign goes into amazing detail and depth into the full mechanics of the game and how they all blend together.  Players are racing to reach the summit of a mountain through a combination of tile manipulation and route building with players using Karma cards to either help or hinder each other.

The Karma Track allows players to compete for better position, share food, sabotage oxygen tanks, slow players down or protect someone from a fall.  Caution must be exercised as there could be consequences to expending too much negative Karma on your fellow climbers.

Temporary alliances and truces will come and go as climbers in the lead will try to slow any other players hot on their heels, while the stragglers will attempt to sabotage the leader and even the playing field.

The Characters

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You won’t just be a brightly colored meeple on the game board, each climber will choose from a pool of characters – each with different strengths and weaknesses.  Each Character has five stats that climbers track on their player mat; Food, Oxygen, Weight, Health and Speed which are constantly changing as they race up the mountain.  Carrying to much stuff? It’ll slow you down.  Don’t carry enough supplies? Well, the other players will pay tribute to your frozen corpse as they go by.

It appears another fun dynamic of SUMMIT, is on top jostling for position its also a resource management game.

The Cards

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There are three different decks to draw from, including the aforementioned Karma cards that will either attack or protect each other.  The Event Deck changes the dynamic during the game by adding weather conditions and other potential mishaps for the mountaineers.  The Item Deck is as it sounds, its there to equip climbers with all the kit required to best your opponents.

The Expansion

I think the most impressive thing about this first offering from Conor McGoey is the fact that he has already designed a co-op/solo expansion that, depending on your pledge level, will be shipped with the main game.  So instead of trying to hinder each other’s progress you can now all work together to defeat the mountain.

And with this the mechanics change to players having 24 game hours to try and not only complete the ascent, but the decent as well.  At least one player must make this journey for the win condition to be met, as a result some climbers may decide to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

How to Play Summit

Below is a in depth explanation of the games mechanics from the creator himself.

Supporting the Game

The pledge levels on the SUMMIT Kickstarter are very straight forward, the different amounts simply dictate how many copies of the game you’ll receive at the Kickstarter discount ($49 CAD vs the MSRP of $69).

The creator stresses that this is not a pre-order and that he is using Kickstarter as it was intended, to use the requested funds to complete the game and get it to production.  As a result, backers will be waiting nearly a full year before the planned ship date, and that’s if the creator doesn’t run into any issues.

Our overall impression is this game shows great promise, great value and great potential for replay-ability.  Give SUMMIT a look here and maybe throw a few dollars at Conor’s direction.




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