The folks behind the famous Cyanide & Happiness comic are currently Kickstarting a party boardgame called Trial By Trolley, which is based on the trolley problem.
If you’ve not heard of it before the trolley problem is a thought experiment based on a tracked vehicle approaching a junction. This is usually represented by a simple diagram where a person has the choice to leave the trolley as is, allowing it to kill five people (while being absolved of accountability) or to act, flipping a switch and being directly responsible for the death of just one person instead.
You can see how this is abstracted into a game in the trailer below, but it works in a relatively simple way: one player is the conductor who gets to choose which track the trolley will go on, and the other players fill each side of the track with types of people to dissuade the conductor from choosing it.
There are also other modifiers but, regardless, the conductor chooses a losing track and all the “people” on that track are done for.
The full rules can be found as a PDF on Dropbox so you can read up on how it plays before you decide whether you will support this project.
It states that it can support between 3 and 13 players with a game taking a minimum of 15 minutes to play. The rules cover less than two A4 pages, so this is a game you’ll be able to jump into quickly without spending your gaming night going over complex guidelines.
The Kickstarter campaign has been up for less than a day and is already wildly successful beating its funding goal many times over.
At the time of writing the pledges amount to around $650 000. If you’re wondering the provided goal was $69 420. Yes really.
The cheapest way to get a regular retail version of the game is to cough up $25, with an estimated shipping date of December 2019. Shipping is not offered worldwide although many countries are officially listed. Countries such as South Africa will have to pay an additional $34 just for delivery. For those hoping to buy it in countries like ours, just remember that you’ll need to deal with import duties and fees as well.
A “Derailed” version of the game offering a miniature of the trolley as well as more content and an expansion is also offered with an early bird price of $55 for these first 48 hours. After that this version’s price increases to $65.
At this point it’s worth mentioning to be weary of all crowd funding. Don’t spend anything you’re not willing to completely lose as these campaigns sometimes fail to deliver or what is provided does not match what is advertised.
Cyanide & Happiness has proven that it can follow through on a campaign, however, as it has successfully delivered its previous party game Joking Hazard.