King’s Cup

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King’s Cup. It’s ubiquitous among college parties, but why stop there? Seamus James and Brett Wagner have elevated the game to a whole new level.

Everyone’s favorite party game

King’s Cup — you see it at college parties the world over. Many variations exist, but the basic premise is simple: Each card has a rule assigned to it. The cards are spread in a circle around a cup — the King’s Cup — in which an adult beverage is poured and players pick cards from the circle, acting on the rule assigned to the card they choose. Whomever draws the fourth king “loses” in that the game ends and they have to drink the cup in the center.


The problems with the classic game
  • Because each rule is assigned to a card value (like ‘Jack’), you’re limited to 13 rules. Every time you want to add a rule, you have to take another out. There’s just no room to try new things.
  • The learning curve is pretty high. A lot of people don’t like the game because they can never remember the rules. Moreover, if you’ve never played, someone telling you that Queen is for Questions won’t mean much to you. The play of the game isn’t obvious.
  • Lastly, the rules are inconsistent. Some people play Fives as Guys (all the fellas drink), others play fives as Hand Jive. Every time you sit down, not only does everyone have to remember the rule for each card, but at least of a few of the people have to learn a new version of a rule. Again, the play of the game just isn’t obvious.



How Seamus James and Brett Wagner are solving these problems

First, they’ve produced a carefully thought out, thoroughly tested deck of hand picked rules. These aren’t just playing cards with rules stuck on them, they’re truly a new game. That means they can have far more than the thirteen rules of old. They’re still working on a final number, but it’ll definitely be more than twenty rules, some of which appear only once, others which will appear two or four times.

 Next, each card explains the rule explicitly, includes indicators of how long the rule lasts, how much one should consume, and to whom the card applies. Any confusion about the gameplay is completely eliminated. It’s their goal that someone who’s never played the game before could sit down and play immediately with no explanation.

They also added a couple features that makes the game even more fun. For example, when drawing a king, you now get to be the king of something, giving you certain powers to make others drink.

All with all a nice idea, with interesting graphics. If you like this as well, you can help them with this project, simply by going to Kickstarter and support their project!

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About the author

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Houke de Kwant is a 31 year old frontend developer from the Netherlands and the creator of TheArtHunters (former Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study). He is currently working as a front-end developer at Ivaldi, an internet agency in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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