Climb your way up the Karmic Ladder and be the first to achieve Transcendence?but be careful, bad karma can come back to haunt you in the next life. KARMAKA is a competitive card game for 2–4 players in which everyone starts out as a lowly dung beetle in a karmic universe; but if you play your cards right with good deeds and careful planning, you can ascend the rungs of the Karmic Ladder and be the first to achieve Transcendence!
Each life (hand of cards) consists of doing deeds'some positive, some clever, and some antagonistic?with the aim of gathering karmic points to try and ascend to the next level on the Karmic Ladder. You can also stash cards for your future lives to strategically draft your next opening hand, or use cards to harm a rival's chances of ascending instead. But if you choose to do harm, beware?the wronged party can take that card and stash it for the next life. What goes around comes around!
Box contents: 64 deed cards 4 reference cards 12 metal karmic rings 4 wooden player tokens 1 Karmic Ladder board Instructions Shrink-wrapped box
HOW TO PLAY: A strategic and clever card game for fans of games like 7 WONDERS or FAIRY TALE, or for anyone who enjoys a competitive 'take-that' element to their games.
Objective: Be the first to reach the top of the Karmic Ladder and achieve Transcendence!
All players begin their first lives as dung beetles at the bottom of the Karmic Ladder. Players must accrue a certain number of points during each life to reincarnate and ascend the Karmic Ladder (4 points to reincarnate from dung beetle to snake; 5 points from snake to wolf; 6 points to ape; and then 7 points to Transcendence).
Each player is given a hand of cards to represent their first life. During each life, cards can be played to accrue points (value in the top left) or to take an action (bottom), or cards can be saved for a future life. Red cards tend to have antagonistic abilities; green cards are positive and bountiful; blue cards are cunning; and mosaic cards are wild.
During their turns, players simply draw a card and play a card?for points, action, or to their future life? until they run out of cards in their hand. Cards collected for points to move up the Karmic Ladder must have matching colors (wilds matching any color), and cannot be played for their ability. Cards played for their ability cannot be played for points?however, if a card is played for its ability, that player must then offer that card to their rival players. The rival may choose to take that card and place it on their own future life to use against them later?what goes around, comes around!
When a player's hand runs out, if they have collected enough points to move up the next run of the Karmic Ladder, they ascend, draw a new set of cards, and begin their new life! If they do not successfully ascend the ladder, they collect a karmic ring along with their new hand and try that life over again.
The first to the top of the ladder and Transcendence wins, but the road is full of trials?just remember to watch your back!
Game Design by Hemisphere Games, now led by Eddy Boxerman: Eddy Boxerman was lead designer and developer on the multiple award-winning indie video game OSMOS. He is doing physics programming on SCALE. He also worked at Ubisoft Montreal on the SPLINTER CELL franchise.
Art by Marco Bucci: Marco Bucci is a freelance illustrator with a wide range of experience, including work on the MONKEY ISLAND, FROZEN and STAR WARS franchises, and such clients as Walt Disney, LEGO, LucasArts, and Mattel.