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The History of Speed Card Games and Why Escape Master Could Change the Landscape...

Speed card games have been around for a long time, and are widely popular. Dutch Blitz was invented in 1937 by Werner Ernst George Muller, a German immigrant to the United States (1). Unsurprisingly, the official Dutch Blitz website touts that the game can be found in every corner of the world and is sold in over 200 different locations in 11 countries (2).


According to the National Nertz Association, Nertz, a very similar game to Dutch Blitz, has "Remained an underground cult-like classic since, at least, the early 1940's." They even claim versions of the game probably existed much earlier in the UK (3).


Contemporary versions of these games have also sprung up such as the game Perpetual Commotion released in 2004, which essentially replicates the Dutch Blitz and Nertz mechanics but adds a new look and changes a few names (4).


Another favorite contemporary speed game called Spot it!, released in 2009, has dominated the game industry with over 12 million copies sold and over 500,000 copies sold each year in the United States alone. Like Dutch Blitz, Spot it! also had an early beginning. The math behind the matching pairs in Spot it! was developed by the Reverend Thomas Kirkman in the late 1800's as he sought the solution to how many different triplets could be in a group before pairs start to repeat (5).


"I get it," you might say. "Speed card games have been around for a while, but how is Escape Master different?" Well, I will tell you, and there are more ways than one!


Tabletop role playing games (TTRPGs) are on the rise. Global market size for TTRPGs is projected to rise above 3000 million USD by 2028 (6). In case you are unfamiliar with TTRPGs, these are social games where players act out the decisions of fictional characters within a fictional storyline. Dungeon's and Dragons is probably the most popular and well known example. People love stories, themes, and beautiful fantasy worlds with heroes and villains. This has been true for a long time and is evident in many tabletop games that are not even considered role playing games.


To my knowledge, Escape Master will be the first game ever to attempt to combine classic speed game mechanics with a fantasy theme, character abilities, and storyline. Our hope is to take the best of both worlds, the exhilarating competition and desperation built into speed games and the beauty and intrigue offered in story-based games, to make an all-new classic family game that engages the mind, reflexes, and imagination.


Not only that, but the speed mechanics used in Escape Master are original and do not exactly replicate any of the mechanics of the speed games previously listed. The mechanic incorporates backstory and special cards to add layers of complexity to the game not possible with numbered cards alone as in the case of classic speed card games.


Escape Master also provides innovative solutions to the age-old dilemma with speed card games. Slow people hate them. I don't mean slow in a derogatory way, I just mean that people who don't have a propensity for quick thinking tend to be intimidated by fast games. That was me when I first learned to play Dutch Blitz. Lily creamed me every time we played. While Lily usually still beats me at Escape Master, I can win more often. Chance is uniquely woven into Escape Master in a way that helps keep any player from feeling like a lost cause.


Lastly, unlike many role playing games and contemporary card games and board games of our day, Escape Master was created with a positive moral agenda that celebrates the difference between good and evil, friendship, endurance, bravery, and the pursuit of higher beauty than what our world tangibly offers. I am truly looking forward to when I can hold Escape Master in print, and I hope you are too! Please help us change the landscape of speed card games by sharing this incredible opportunity with you friends and family. We can't wait!




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