Anyone who has watched a presentation from a big tech company might come away with the sense that they're a little... cult-ish. But what if they actually were a cult? What if their next product unveiling spelled doom for the world and it was up to a bunch of intrepid reporters to uncover the truth? Techlandia is exactly that—and it was created by a guy who knows a little something about this industry.
Techlandia is the brainchild of Dan Ackerman, a man who designs games and has worked for the better part of 15 years at CNET as a tech journalist. This upcoming game marries his two passions into something that seems like an awful lot of fun.
Curious about how to play? Take a look at this handy-dandy gameplay setup video from the man himself to get an idea of what Techlandia is all about:
All About TechlandiaTechlandia is about a team of investigators trying to crash the unveiling of the Techlandia Corporation's TX-1 smartphone. You'll begin this dungeon crawler by investigating the building for clues. These will hopefully lead you to fragments of a QR code which can be pieced together into a valid invitation for the event.
It sounds easy enough, but you'll have to combat occult public relations specialists and unravel a deep, dark storyline that makes the worst modern tech corporations look like the Geek Squad help desk. You and your friends should be able to play your way through the game in 60–90 minutes.
Want to play it for yourself? Ackerman has helpfully provided a print-and-play version, along with a digital solo version on Tabletopia.
I spoke with Ackerman in person at Play NYC 2019 where he was showing off his game, and I learned a few key facts about this upcoming tabletop game. Tech experience aside, this is his first crack at raising funds for a game he made on Kickstarter. There isn't going to be a retail release, but there may be a handful of leftover copies depending on how the Kickstarter campaign goes. Additional scenarios may also be uploaded online to extend the life of the game by adding a little variety.
Now that we've got the basics down, let's get into the nitty-gritty of the Techlandia Kickstarter campaign!
Techlandia Kickstarter Pledges and Stretch Goals
Grabbing a copy of Ackerman's tabletop game is surprisingly affordable considering the costs of some tabletop Kickstarters out there. Customers in the United States can get it simply by pledging $39 with free shipping; international customers will be charged "subsidized global shipping" after the campaign depending on your location on our pale blue dot.
Techlandia Pledge Levels
Basic Tech Support - Pledge $1 or More
- Pledge manager access after the campaign.
- Standard print-and-play version of the game.
- Online Tabletopia version of the game.
Deluxe Edition Print-and-Play - Pledge $8 or More
- Deluxe print-and-play edition (including expansions).
- Pledge manager access after the campaign.
- Custom .stl model files so you can print your own physical game pieces.
Techlandia: The Core Game - Pledge $39 or More
- A copy of the game, of course!
- Free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.
- Subsidized shipping to anywhere else in the world.
- All unlocked stretch goals.
- Everything in the Basic Tech Support and Deluxe Edition Print-and-Play tiers.
Techlandia: Core Game plus Prototype - Pledge $99 or More
- A one-of-a-kind prototype version of the game including 3D-printed models.
- Everything in the Techlandia: The Core Game tier.
Techlandia Stretch Goals
The Prequel Scenario - $15,000A new scenario for players to enjoy! Brave Techlandia employees must escape the company to leak dangerous insider secrets.
Future Stretch Goals - $??,???Other stretch goals have yet to be revealed.
The Kickstarter campaign currently sits at a little over $3,500 of a $10,000 goal, with 22 days to go at the time of writing. While this is Ackerman's first campaign he's running, it seems like he's keeping a steady pace towards his goal. The demo version of the game I saw at Play NYC 2019 seemed to be of pretty decent quality; if he can manage to keep the finished product to the same standard, Techlandia should end up being a game that you can happily bust out to play for years to come.
If you're keen on taking down an evil tech company, you should head on over to the Techlandia Kickstarter campaign and make your pledge before it's gone for good! You have until Sept. 5 at 8:01 a.m. EDT before the campaign ends. You can also follow Ackerman on Twitter and read more about the game at his official website.
What do you think of Techlandia? Do you like the idea of battling against an evil tech corporation? Let us know in the comments below!
Check out what else we saw at Play NYC by going to our Play NYC 2019 Coverage Hub.