Gruff: Whispers of Madness (Kickstarter)

So, last week we brought you a CrowdFUNding PREVIEW of Gruff: Whispers of Madness. Between that, and the four previous reviews we’ve done, there are plenty of opportunities to read more about what Gruff is and how you play. So I’m going to keep all that pretty short here. I should also note, that some of the details in our PREVIEW have already changed from what is included at the start of this campaign.

Gruff is a non-collectable tactical card game. Each player will select a Shepard who has their own unique stats and abilities. Then they select three mutated, weaponized, goats (called Gruffs) to be their herd. Like Shepherds, each Gruff has a unique Special Ability. They also each have a set of 15 Ability Cards, from which the player will select 24 cards (8 from each Gruff) to create their deck for the game. From there the players will go head-to-head, horn-to-horn, and (in the case of Whispers of Madness) occasionally tentacle-to-tentacle.

This campaign marks the fifth and final entry in this chapter of the Gruff saga, and with that, there’s at least one thing that I’m unreasonably excited about. The Master Storage Box. It’s nothing “special” it’s just a box. But I have four, and this will make five, boxes of Gruff cards. I’ve had them stored in baskets, and recently found a shoebox that holds everything really well. But a shoebox is ugly and I’m not crafty enough to make it less ugly. Studio Woe has done a great job with their Gruff boxes, not just visually, but with appropriate cardboard and/foam spacers in them. I’ve seen this sort of accessory done really well, and I’ve seen them done really poorly, but I have faith this will fall into the “really well” category.

Pledge levels legitimately start at $1 (USD). I say “legitimately” because most campaigns have no-rewards-tier for $1. But Studio Woe is offering a demo deck with a single Shepard and three Gruffs with 24 preselected Ability Cards so you can play right away. Stretch goals, any sort of box, or exclusives are not included, and there is only a link to the rules online. Kickstarter has a $1 minimum, so when you order that $1 is applied to your shipping charge making the demo deck FREE!

Regular pledge levels start at $30 for the Whispers core set alone, or $75 to add the Master Storage Box, a playmat, and a pack of glow-in-the-dark stat-sliders. There’s a $150 pledge level that also comes with the previous four releases, but it’s limited to 100 backers since some of those games are nearly sold-out and are not being planned for a reprint. Any remaining games after those 100 will be offered as an add-on while supplies last.

Gruff is a great game, and I’m excited to see where the story goes after this set. The Master Storage Box only has enough room for the Gruff sets up to Whispers of Madness, and all Studio Woe has been willing to reveal is that this is intentional and the reasons will become apparent when the next project is revealed. I won’t lie, that answer makes me nervous. But this has been a labour of love for Studio Woe, and I have to trust in that.

You can back Gruff: Whispers of Madness on Kickstarter until March 17, 2020.

Experience the Madness for yourself, and check out Studio Woe online at www.studiowoe.com or on their Facebook Page, facebook.com/studiowoe.

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