"After some shut-eye I was back at it again, this time writing effects on coloring paper and cutting them out. My son was willing to try it. I had him play it over and over again, removing some features, changing others but still the concept was the same: to be The Phantom and trying to save and train Devil."
If that theme sounds familiar - it should! Mikael has based his game on Team Fantomen's 1979 publication The Story of Devil, written by Donne Avenell and drawn by Georges Bess. The two expansion packs he has developed since this initial game design are inspired by other story-lines: Diana in the Jungle Patrol (1973) by Magnus Knutsson and Jaime Vallvé; and The 21st Phantom: Year One storyline (2004) by Claes Reimerthi and artists (Paul Ryan, Alex Saviuk, Hans Lindahl, Kari Leppänen and Bob McLeod).
This is a game that has been over 18 months in the making, and Mikael has now test-played it with many more people than just his eager son. "In test games, most are really enjoying it. What people seem to like is that it is full of choices that matter. The challenge is knowing which card to play, when to risk, when to take care of a problem and when to be able to advance your game.
"I have taught non-gamers how to play in under 10 minutes. I am also planning on doing a video guide that should teach a player everything needed to be able to start playing."
As with all things Phantom, not all buyers will be phans keen on playing the game: some may well just be collectors keen to add a new item to their Major Treasure Room. If this sounds like someone you know, they will be delighted too. As we mentioned above, there are literally hundreds of cards planned and with two expansion packs already being considered this could become a significant addition to the Phantom shelf.
The starting box with a deck for playing solo as the Phantom in The Story of Devil and includes reward cards and 15 tokens. The second "companion" box is needed to play two players. It includes a deck for playing as Diana in Diana in the Jungle Patrol and also features reward cards and another 15 tokens.
The third set is an add-on, an "adventure" box based on The 21st Phantom, which of course is the start of Team Fantomen' s The Phantom Year One saga. This expansion pack includes an adventure and rewards that can be played together with one or both of the other boxes.
"In future I hope to continue bringing out packs that will expand the players' decks and give them new challenges. But I am giving a lot of consideration to continuing on the Year One track with stories like Molok, look at some other phan phavorite stories, or maybe go right from the start with The Singh Brotherhood or phans might even prefer to play newly published stories?"In terms of when and how this game might be available to purchase? There is a bit of water to go under the bridge. Mikael is currently working with potential producers and Bulls (King Features) to make his dream a reality. In all likelihood, he will look to launch The Phantom Card Game on Kickstarter, with thoughts of add-ons including special sleeves, playmats and collector boxes.
Mikael is keen for any and all feedback on the game as it develops, and is actively consulting phans on his Facebook page, even putting up polls so you can have your say on card design and the like. We strongly encourage you to like and follow The Phantom Card Game on Facebook where you can help contribute to the final look of the game.
The ChronicleChamber team is certainly keeping a close eye on these pages, and will let you know as significant progress unfolds, and certainly when it is available for sale. In the future as development and the kickstarter campaign starts, we will be having Mikael on for a podcast chat to help promote the campaign.