We've just launched our second game, Crunch: The Game for Utter Bankers *insert sounds of champagne corks popping*. The official launch date is April 1st, but we've been caught off guard a little by some early press (http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,615046,00.html), so we thought we may as well send the site live.
You can order the game right away - the first 100 orders get a free, limited edition, signed certificate, similar to what we did with War on Terror. Orders won't be fulfilled until next week, but your money will be in safe hands
Press release below:
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
'Crunch' - The game for utter bankers
Cambridge, UK, 23 March 2009 : A new game is to be released on 1 April that promises to ease the gloom of the recession by inviting players to 'discover the upside of down'.
In the last quarter of 2008, as the markets tumbled and inviolable banks fell like dominoes, people started looking around for the culprit. The sub-prime mortgage market, inept credit rating agencies, credit addicted consumers, rogue traders and even the banking bosses themselves were held to blame. The answer though, for TerrorBull Games, lay in the system itself, rather than its operators. This was capitalism reaching, if not its limit, then a defining peak. Few commentators cared to mention that 30 years of rampant Reaganomics had genetically engineered today's risk-taking, bonus-guzzling banker. And that unwillingness to question how we do things is why Crunch was born.
Crunch is a satirical card game for 2 to 4 players that places you at the head of the boardroom as a CEO of a global bank juggling the conflicting demands of your ailing bank and your future retirement fund.
An average game sees you bribing your way out of government investigations, fending off aggressive takeovers and forcing debt onto the unsuspecting public. Meanwhile, reward your hard work by taking inappropriate bonuses and - when no one's looking - brazenly embezzling your bank's own funds and hiding them about your person. Crunch is unique in that to win, players are coaxed into cheating.
Of course, this doesn't do the health of your bank much good, but not to worry, because you can always call in a government bailout or two. The game ends when all banks are finally bankrupt, capitalism has all but collapsed and it's time to count up that well-earned personal fortune: The richest CEO wins.
While greedy and reckless bank bosses are clearly in the firing line, the game's designers want people, through playing the role of those bankers, to experience how such greed is nurtured and encouraged. Andrew Sheerin, one of the inventors of Crunch, said:
"It's all very well going after the fat cat bankers of the world, but blaming those people for the shortcomings of capitalism is like blaming a dancing bear for the cruelty of the circus."
Co-inventor, Andy Tompkins added:
"Since UK taxpayers now own a good chunk of the banking system, we thought they could do with a comprehensive instruction manual on how to run the economy. Crunch is not that manual."
Crunch is the second release from independent publishers, TerrorBull Games. The first release, War on Terror, the boardgame, gained widespread, critical acclaim. New Internationalist awarded it 5 stars, while Amnesty International called it "Genius Satire". TerrorBull Games make games that get people talking and thinking about subjects that are either not discussed enough, or not honestly enough.
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1.Crunch retails at £8.99 in the UK. See www.crunchthecardgame.com for more details on the game.
2.Hi-res images and presspack available at: www.crunchthecardgame.com/presspack
3.Crunch inventors, Andrew Sheerin and Andy Tompkins and illustrator Tom Morgan-Jones, are available for interview and comment: +44 (0)845 643 1513
Quick update: All the certificates are already gone, I'm afraid.