Learn more about Highest Bidder, the Modern Art-inspired card game.
Hi! My name is Johan, and I set myself a challenge: to create an auction-style game that doesn’t suck. I’m a fan of bidding as a mechanism in board and card games, but more often than not such games leave me feeling empty. Sure, there are exceptions, but I often feel the games are shallow, unbalanced, too random or too predictive. Making bidding exciting from start to finish is hard.
But with Highest Bidder I’m confident I’m on to something. The game is simplistic in its design, but there’s depth to the game play. It requires thinking and planning, and thrilling moments are frequent as players fight tooth and nail to win bids.
What makes Highest Bidder different?
- You get to see what “Point Cards” (the ones you bid on to score points) are coming up. Will you save your best cards for later on or go all in on the first bid?
- At the count of three, all players place any number of “Bid Cards” and “Effect Cards” from their hand in a pile face down in front of them. You never know how many cards your opponents will spend on a bid, or in which order they’ll play them.
- One by one, players reveal their top card. The order in which you placed the cards in your bid pile matters as Effect Cards are dependent on what other players are doing.
- You can still win at the end. Towards the end of the game, Point Cards are worth double points. There are also double point Effect Cards (not too many, I want to keep things balanced) which means you could turn a 3-point Point Card into a 12-point’er, or even a 24-pointer.
I’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring the game is balanced. Sure, you could win in the last round, but it still doesn’t feel like the rest of the game is wasted. I’ve carefully selected the number of each type of card that is in the game, and it works great for 2-5 players.
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About the maker:
Johan Dahlberg is a former journalist with board and card game creating as a hobby. At the age of twelve he was already turning his favorite video games into board games. Today he has made two card games: Highest Bidder and the geocaching-themed Let’s Go Geocaching.