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Climate change charity’s deckbuilding game Carbon City Zero wants to set an eco example for the real world

Work together - or separately - to bring your carbon levels to zero.

Image credit: Laurence King

A new deckbuilding game created in collaboration with a climate change charity will task players with working together to reduce carbon emissions to zero - hopefully setting an example for our real world.

Carbon City Zero was originally released in 2019 after being Kickstarted by co-designers Sam Illingworth and Paul Wake - lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with charity Possible (known as 10:10 at the time). (Disclaimer: Illingworth and Wake wrote for Tabletop Gaming magazine while I was editor.)

The original deckbuilder put players in the role of competing mayors looking to create carbon-neutral cities, using their cards to construct buildings such as factories while enacting real-world policies - from green mortgages to retrofit buildings - in order to minimise their carbon output.

Revised follow-up Carbon City Zero: World Edition introduced a cooperative mode where the players instead worked together to reduce their carbon levels to zero, balancing the needs of their citizens, industries and world leaders.

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Now, World Edition will see another revised re-release this summer under the original title of Carbon City Zero, in a new package that includes game pieces, a new board and revamped artwork from Finnish illustrator Rami Niemi, replacing the original isometric art of Matt Bonner and Tony Pickering.

The new release’s gameplay remains unchanged from World Edition, as players use their individual decks - which are identical at first - to build factories, enact policies, acquire new cards and drop their carbon level as quickly as possible, with eight rounds to reach zero in the co-op variant. Solo play will also be supported.

Publisher Laurence King offered assurance that the new edition had been “responsibly repackaged”, with fully recyclable and 100% net-zero materials including FSC stock cardboard - and no plastic.

Carbon City Zero will be released on July 6th for £25.

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