If you’re looking for something to play during National Games Week, you can’t go wrong with High Stakes Drifter, the latest collectible card game I’ve worked on, published by WizKids. The game should be in stores across America and beyond on November 23, this Wednesday.
High Stakes Drifter is set in the American West. You play characters called “dudes” and equip them with gear cards and other cool things. You pay for these with poker chips—and special chips called “kicker chips”—which you can also use to bet and bluff on the outcomes of each showdown.
I designed three or four versions of this game before I came up with something close to what will be published. The original brief was to create a poker variant with a game that you played after the showdown. I pulled it off, but it was awful. The most climatic moment in a poker game is the showdown, and if you have to play another game after that to come up with the real winner, it destroys the beauty of the game.
Eventually, Jordan Weisman and I sat down and asked ourselves what the best parts of poker were and how we could apply those to a collectible card game. We decided that the betting and bluffing bits in the game, along with the showdown, could make the leap, and that became the basis for High Stakes Drifter.
See for yourself this Wednesday—and beyond!