The strategic card game Gone Bunkers is currently running as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. After a solid start, funding stagnates. It can't be because of the idea, after all, it's about soldiers, zombies, aliens and robots. Fans can view and support Gone Bunker until September 30th. We asked author Austin Burke what was behind the crazy idea.

Gone Bunkers is war with cards, but not in the classic sense. Instead of simply colliding armies of earthly inhabitants, author Austin Burke has considered that a war game gains added value if you also embed aliens and zombies in the concept. This works wonderfully with B-Movies, so why not also in a parlor game?

Gone Bunkers: War on two levels

You might dismiss the setting as silly, but the idea behind the Gone Bunkers card game isn't bad at all. The war takes place on two levels: players fight against each other and try to attack each other with the cards they have collected in order to minimize their cards in hand. In addition, however, there are “War Cards” in which players have to defeat powerful bosses - if they fail to do that, they are thrown out of the game. So the overriding goal is: survive!

Gone Bunkers is aimed at two to six players, ages ten and up. The individual games have a playing time of around 20 minutes; the card game is therefore also suitable for casual gamers or as a game for in between.

Why did it have to be soldiers and mega-robots and zombies and aliens? The idea for this came to the author Austin Burke overnight when he could not sleep. Originally, a more classic concept was planned, the basis of which was the fight against the boss cards - which have always consisted of robots and aliens. “I want to make it more strategic,” says Burke, and brought zombies into play as “weapons” alongside mines, spies and atomic bombs. It is not absolutely necessary to compete against other players, but it makes it easier for you to survive as the only troop commander - and thus to win in the end.

Players primarily fight against war cards - but mess with attacks on their opponents. Copyright: Austin Burke

Players primarily fight against war cards - but mess with attacks on their opponents. Copyright: Austin Burke

With Gone Bunkers, Austin Burke is primarily aimed at players who want to experience something new. Burke himself likes strategic war games, including the classics Stratego and Risk. So for Gone Bunkers it had to be a similar basic theme for him, just spiced up a bit. “The best part about gone bunkers are the atomic bombs,” says the author. “Knowing that you can blow half your hand away from your opponent is exciting”.

For Austin Burke, Gone Bunkers is his second game, but at the same time the first that runs solidly on Kickstarter. With a pure drinking game, Burke failed to get funding. You can't draw a comparison between the two titles anyway. The new creation Gone Bunkers promises a significantly higher entertainment factor and is more playful than “Tipsy Toes” before. Burke says he has always been an entrepreneur, he likes to be creative - that's possible with board games: "There are an infinite number of games that you can think up and make," says Austin Burke with great ambition. He's hoping that the Kickstarter Gone Bunkers campaign will end well and that the game will eventually get through the funding phase. He doesn't want to disappoint his supporters and colleagues: "They helped me in many ways to coordinate the game," says Burke.

What if Gone Bunkers doesn't work? "I won't give up if we can't get the funding!" Austin Burke would then instead focus on optimizing his marketing strategy and create a “hype” for the game, but also continue to work on the gameplay. In an extreme emergency, the author would finance his project himself, but then to a much smaller extent, i.e. with a drastic reduction in the number of pieces. The greatest success for Burke? If the game makes it onto the market ”.

The Crowdfunding campaign for Gone Bunkers runs until September 30th. The financing target is the equivalent of around 3.000 euros, almost half of the amount has been achieved. The standard pledge is $ 20, more expensive editions are also available, then with some additional content. The card game is to be delivered as early as February 2021 after successful swarm financing.