Nice guys finish last? New startup game ‘Control Alt Deceit’ finds out

Montreal seems to be the place where building startup-themed board games is a popular thing to do.

Just a few months ago we featured a brilliant couple and their beautifully-designed card game, called Unicorn, which takes players through the cutthroat world of building a successful startup, in a hilariously fun way.

Now another Montreal inventor is coming out with a similar game that forces players to take the journey of a startup entrepreneur. It’s Étienne Garbugli’s Control Alt Deceit.

Control Alt Deceit

Control Alt Deceit is currently on Indiegogo looking for US $6,500. It’s already raised about one-third of that. The three-to-five player game is about starting and growing a business and ultimately taking it public. According to Garbugli, it can all be packed into 40 minutes of playing time.

“I want players to experience the highs and lows of starting a business in a highly competitive market. The game takes people through starting up, scaling and going public,” Garbugli told MTLinTECH.

In the game players are transported back to 1983, when their own friends decide to enter their market and compete with them. Once every player is assigned an Unfair Advantage card, market domination begins.

“A great business needs a product, clients and marketing; yours is no different. Build your business’ value, raise capital, pile up competitive advantages and keep some cash for defense.”

But the game can get pretty hilarious too. Once a player develops a bit of cash they can flex their muscles and buy things like helicopters, water slides for the office and a caviar bar. Moreover, players can steal their friends’ employees, trash them in the news and blackmail them into giving desired cards.

Garbugli said there’s a lot of things in the business world similar to gaming, including the competitive nature.

“There’s some interesting dynamics in how you can outplay your competitors, so we wanted to put that into a game.”

The inventor said he got interested in startup-themed games when he saw a game on Kickstarter called Tesla vs. Edison. Garbugli co-designed his game with a partner in Hong Kong, Aidan Price. Three local graphic designers in Montreal also helped design the game.

“You attempt to take your tiny business into the world. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one… and only one player can dominate the market. Your friends will try to sabotage your progress, bankrupt your business and build a better business faster. Get ready.”

Included in the box is 52 Build cards, 6 Event cards, 16 Sabotage cards and more.

Control Alt Deceit should ship to backers between May and July this summer.

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