The creator of video game The Binding of Isaac and its card game spin-off Four Souls, Edmund McMillen, has announced his second tabletop game: Tapeworm.
McMillen apparently first came up with the idea for Tapeworm almost a decade ago, while completing development on squelchy video game platformer Super Meat Boy and beginning work on what would become macabre dungeon-crawler The Binding of Isaac.
Tapeworm sees two to four players trying to discard their entire hand of cards by adding segments to three differently-coloured worms on the table.
Each turn, a player draws a card to add to their starting hand of five cards, before playing at least one card to extend one of the worms. Players can play multiple cards of the same colour to stretch out the same worm, aiming to discard their entire hand in the same turn.
Some of the cards also have abilities, allowing players to cut segments of a worm off, peek at upcoming cards, force other players to draw cards, and swap cards with other players or the deck. As with McMillen’s past work, the art style of the game is cutesy but gross, with Tapeworm being deliberately more family-friendly versus the darker imagery of McMillen’s previous games.
While the aim to discard all of your cards, possibility for matching combos and card abilities is reminiscent of family card game Uno - something that McMillen cites as an influence on Tapeworm - there’s also a spatial element similar to classic mobile game Snake as the cards extend the worms on the table and block cards from being played. Players able to form a ‘ringworm’ by completing a circle of worm segments are able to discard an extra two cards.
Publishing Tapeworm is Studio71, which previously worked with McMillen on The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls, a Munchkin-like party card game based on the video game. McMillen’s first published tabletop project, the game made $2.6 million on Kickstarter in mid-2018.
Tapeworm is currently live on Kickstarter, where it has already tripled its £20,000 funding goal. The base game costs $15 (£13) and is due to arrive with backers in October. A deluxe ‘Pink Box’ edition of Tapeworm and The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls are also available as part of the crowdfunding campaign.