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Gold Rush in “Deadwood 1876”

Deadwood. A small settlement in South Dakota. A single expedition to nearby mountains turned the site into a sizeable town. It’s easy to guess what did colonel Custer find in the hills: an expensive ore that makes people more high than most drugs. “Aurum”, “oro” or simply… gold.

Streets of Deadwood quickly started crawling with opportunists, swindlers, law officers, gamblers, prostitutes and… the death itself, waiting around each corner.


Who’s Behind Deadwood 1876

The Deadwood Gold Rush worked as a popular setting for many movies, TV shows, video games and board games. This time Facade Games, a small company from Ohio, decided to try their luck with this topic matter.

The company is led by Travis Hancock and his wife Holly who both managed to launch some similar games in their series called “The Dark Cities”. In their past projects we’ve visited a mysterious town Salem and an island named Tortuga. Both titles were successful on Kickstarter. Facade Games puts focus on simple rules, playing in bigger groups and most importantly: visual appeal.


Rules in a Lawless Town

Deadwood 1876, despite taking place in a lawless town, has a set of rules and they are pretty easy to understand. Cards are the core of the game. Each player controls one character (based on a real person!).


The goal is simple: get all the gold for yourself. The way to achieve it is tricky and hard to predict. All the equipment, weapons and the precious metal itself are hidden in XIX century stylized safes that all the players vie for.


Trust No One

Authors encourage everyone to play the game in bigger groups. Thanks to that, the game becomes more team based, and warrants even more emotions in the finale.

Players who conquer the team phase (by gaining the most gold) compete in a life-or-death duel to gain control over all the ore. Even the best allies have to face each other. The winner can be only one.


The psychological part of the game, including bluffing, feels most interesting. Isn’t some player saving to many weapon cards? Shouldn’t you get rid of him before it’s too late? Or maybe gather riches with finale in mind? The game requires cooperation, but trusting others too much will quickly make you regret your decisions.

Judging a Book By Its Cover

It’s hard to describe a game like Deadwood 1876 without mentioning its visual design and the box. All elements fit into a stylish package that looks like an old book. Authors suggest keeping it on a shelf with actual books, similarly to other games in the series. Apart from the book we get few decks of cards, gunshot dice, player badges, beautiful wooden stands and a leather sack for tokens.


Deadwood 1876’s campaign is a great example of how important visual design is for a game crowdfunded on Kickstarter. Sure, the rules are fine here but they aren’t anything super special. The way the game was packaged and illustrated however, makes you want to display it on a shelf and show it off to your friends.

3 Days Until Noon

At the time of writing, there are only 72 hours left until the end of the campaign. The main goal was reached pretty quickly and every single stretch goal was achieved. It’s worth noting that these weren’t very original. The creators have obviously planned a complete-package type of product based heavily on its attractive looks. We have to admit that it’s one of the best ways to sell something on Kickstarter successfully.

Campaign link

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