Turns Out ‘Moby Dick’ Makes A Stunningly Beautiful Card Game

This card game is absolutely, 100%, not PETA-approved.
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This just in: very few things make me happier than the harmonious marriage of literature and games. King Post, “a NYC based Games and Media company, started by five friends with a passion for Moby Dick,” is currently seeking funding on Kickstater for their first official project: a card game based on Herman Melville’s beloved high-seas adventure. 

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Hidden in the Sea Deck are various key Chapter Cards from the book which modify gameplay until the next Chapter is drawn. These Chapters also serve as a measure of progress through each game; players can decide the length of a game they want to play based upon how many Chapters they want to explore.

The game is played using three decks–the sea deck, the sailor deck, and the whale deck. 

The Sea Deck contains adventures, creatures and chapters adapted directly from the book. These cards are drawn at the beginning of every turn and represent what the players encounter on their dangerous voyage – everything from whales and giant squid to foreign ports-of-call and pirates attacks.

The Sailor Deck contains the various sailors from Moby Dick, including Ishmael, Starbuck, Queequeg, and the infamous, monomaniacal Captain Ahab. Three cards from the Sailor Deck are dealt out to each player at the beginning of the game, representing their individual crews. As gameplay progresses, crews grow and shrink through the cunning of the player and the fickleness of the open ocean. Each Sailor has a physical strength and a unique ability that will help players successfully hunt whales and gather oil. Finding sailors with sympathetic abilities is key to crafting the ultimate whaling crew.


The Whale Deck contains the actions, defenses and attacks of the hunted Whales. When a hunt is initiated, players will draw cards from the Whale deck and must react to the raging leviathan. Only after dodging, negating, or surviving the actions of the Whale can a player attempt to strike the beast.

Moby Dick’s gameplay is a combination of strategy, luck, and social exchange. I’m not entirely clear on how the gameplay works, but from the video preview, it looks like a combination of turn-based strategy games like Magic: the Gathering and chance-based combat.

The art alone, courtesy of Havarah Zawoluk, is enough to make this project worth backing, but the system itself looks appealing and exceptionally engaging. 

Kickstarter funding for Moby Dick ends May 30th. 

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HC Billings
HC Billings is an excellent gamer, acceptable writer, and laughable parkourist.