The art style of the game comes from the main illustrator Bill Tiller, a veteran of the video game studio LucasArts, where he worked on classic PC games like The Dig, Curse of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones as well as The Infernal Machine.

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It was early March, the last few days before offices and businesses were closed in response to the growing COVID-19 threat. Although I didn't know that at the time, it was one of the last personal product demos I hosted in my New York office. It doesn't look like I'll start again soon.

The game featured was The Shivers, a multiplayer tabletop mystery game headed for Kickstarter with a unique retro gaming hook. The art style of the game comes from the main illustrator Bill Tiller, a veteran of the video game studio LucasArts, where he worked on classic PC games like The Dig, Curse of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones as well as The Infernal Machine.

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The game caught my attention in the same way as some other crowdfunded tabletop games of late – blending retro styling with modern game mechanics or ambitious storytelling. A remake of 80s electronic board game The Dark Tower raised $ 4 million on Kickstarter, Marvel United almost $ 3 million and that expansive fantasy epic Frosthaven hit $ 13 million.

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The game takes place on a series of elaborate pop-up cardboards.

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The Shivers, as I was shown by Andy Logan, plays on a series of elaborate pop-up cardboard tableaus, similar to complicated pop-up greeting cards. In every scene, clues and secrets are hidden behind work doors, under furniture and in puzzles. The popups each represent a room in a creepy villa and can be magnetically snapped together for larger play areas.

Unlike many modern tabletop games where players compete against card-based and dice-based AI systems, The Shivers requires a player to act as a storyteller (also known as a game master or DM) with secret information on story cards drive the narrative.

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Only the game master sees the narrative information on this side of the villa.

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I've only seen some of the game's pop-up rooms and a bit of narrative, but the art seemed to combine this classic LucasArts style with a neo-Victorian haunted house vibe, and I liked the detailed instructions for the storyteller.

But before The Shivers hit Kickstarter in March, much of the world was closed, including a large number of crowdfunding projects. After waiting a few months for the dust to settle, The Shivers is back on the right track and is starting its Kickstarter campaign today. The full game is expected in July 2021 and starts at $ 65.

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