Big Micro: The "Living Microgame" Model

Hayato Kisaragi and Seiji Kanai released an interesting experiment in card game publishing last year called Lost Legacy. The game itself is what you might expect from Kanai, the designer of the hit microgame Love Letter. Lost Legacy is a 2-4 player deduction game designed around a deck of sixteen cards, with some slight twists in the endgame that set it apart from Love Letter.

Where Love Letter is a standalone game, Lost Legacy is designed with expansions in mind. Each expansion has its own set of sixteen cards which means they can be played as their own game. You can also combine the base game with expansions under certain rules, ultimately making your own custom sixteen card deck to play.

In essence, Kisaragi and Kanai have combined the wildly successful "microgame" format with the commercial appeal of Fantasy Flight's "Living Card Game" format. Each set remains a fun and affordable standalone game for casual players, while die hard fans and completists can chase each new expansion.

I was mulling with this idea in Suspense last February. The idea was to release a set of "thirteenth cards," each could replace the thirteenth card in the deck. It's a model that really lends itself to the print-on-demand distribution model. (Similarly, Coup has an Interrogator who replaces the Ambassador.)

So what do you think? Do microgames, LCGs, and POD form the ultimate Voltron for card games?



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