Antler games blasted onto my radar with their debut game from last year the post apocalyptic set Saltlands. Aside from the stunning art and design the game of wasteland survival captured all the great stuff from the Mad Max films and managed to really embrace what made those flick’s so much fun.
So imagine my elation when those Antler chaps gave me a nudge that their new game Critters Below is due to hit Kickstarter in April. And even more thrilling they generously supplied me with a review copy.
The setting for this game lands us just before the Apocalypse as a bunch of critters scramble for safety in doomsday bunkers and then attempt to see the who can survive. So essentially its a a post apocalyptic Beatrix Potter with the clean stunning design that we’ve come to expect from Antler. I can’t wait to dig into this one.
Here’s the pitch.
A great war has broken out and is threatening to eradicate all of Critterkind. A few of you have made it to a shelter deep underground. However the lights have gone out, leaving you in the dark with limited resources. You do not know how long you have to stay down here before it is safe to go outside. How many of you will survive and will you be among them? Will you work together? Critters Below is a light survival card game where 1-8 players play as critters trying to outlast heavy bombings in a dark underground shelter. Themed in the 1930s-’40s, Critters Below is a unique mix of tense and fun gameplay. It’s a partnership game with tons of items and intriguing hidden information mechanics. This language-independent game offers two separate bunker venues (two stand-alone ‘expansions’) supporting different gaming styles, packed in two special Cans, with handmade textile card bags.
One of the game’s highlights is the unique starvation & damage system – players collect six type of Condition Cards into their hands which represent the probability of damage or healing. After their turn, the next player draws a card from their hand, applying any damage that may happen. The game contains hidden information mechanics: all item cards are laying face down all the time, and only those who operate some kind of light source may take a look at these cards. It’s up to them to tell the others about their contents, they may even lure others into believing that for example, a dangerous mine is actually a precious can of food! Critters Below features a unique 1930’s-’40s theme starring anthropomorph Critters, centered around vintage equipment and… food cans. The art has been prepared by the same Bazsó Lossonczy who created the beautiful images of Saltlands. His richly detailed and artfully shaded images help players immerse themselves into the tense bunker survival situation!
I’m already loving the design aesthetic of this and the added touch of the tin cans is genius. We’re going to be delving into this in the coming weeks leading up to launch. If you need to know more go and check out the Critters Below website.
And if you catch me at Airecon in March I shall be packing a copy, so if you fancy a look for yourself come find me.