The Decemberists have teamed up with award-winning game designer Keith Baker and the band’s longtime illustrator, Carson Ellis, to develop the tabletop game Illimat, a game that feels of its time, yet weirdly out of time altogether.
The story goes like this: In 2009, The Decemberists took part in a photoshoot for their album The Hazards of Love. For that shoot, Carson Ellis and photographer Autumn de Wilde designed a board game prop called Illimat. Fast forward to 2015 and the band dug up the Illimat prop and asked Keith Baker to develop it into a game. He succeeded.
Illimat is a game designed for 2-4 players with one hand taking around 15 minutes to complete. The objective is to be the player with the most cards in your hand at the end of the round as each card equates to one point. How you get there involves some risk, some gambling, and blocking other players from picking up cards.
Each game includes a 60cm x 60cm cloth board, A 65 high-quality card deck, 8 tarot-sized luminary cards, 4 metal okus tokens, 4 point counters and a full-colour rule book. Illimat uses a regular deck of cards with one key difference: It introduces a 5th suit – stars. All the cards feature art by Carson Ellis.
Illimat launched on Kickstarter last week where it’s already 400% over its funding goal. A $45 pledge will secure you a copy, and by adding additional funds, you can guarantee access to pins, prints and more. The campaign wraps up November 3rd. You can find it and videos of how Illimat is played right here.
Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane