ESCAPE FROM HELL is a satirical board game about getting to Manhattan from Williamsburg during the horrific L Train “partial” shutdown in 2019 that effects over 225,000 commuters daily.
Gil Arevalo and I concepted the game, designed it, hired an illustrator to draw it, Kickstarted it, promoted it on social, developed a homepage for it, packaged it, worked with an oversees vendor to produce it, and to date mailed/fulfilled over 250 orders. It was a huge undertaking.
The game follows the structure of Candyland - users roll the dice and follow the path.
But if they land on a "Draw Card" space they'll have to pick up a card that gives them some Hell. Each card gives a comical reason why the person has to move back - whether their ex shows up in their carshare, the ferry accidentally took them to the Rockaways, their bike got stuck in gridlock on the Wberg bridge, and many others.
And as you can guess by now, the board game was successfully funded on Kickstarter - we made 3x our goal.
The game also struck a nerve with NYC commuters in the press.
The New Yorker: Andrew Cuomo and the Unwinnable L-Train Game
The New York Times: More fun than a year without subways
New York Post: This board game helps Brooklynites prepare for looming L-train shutdown
AM New York: L train shutdown board game is coming to help you through your commute
Bushwick Daily: Yes, There's a Board Game to Help You Cope with the L Train Shutdown
Bowery Boogie: ‘Escape from Hell’ with this L-Train Shutdown Board Game
We also made the small screen a few times.
To promote it on Facebook to Williamsburg Hipster Millennials, we used the website Fiverr to create a ton of random “charming” videos all for $5 each. We made a case study about it too:
Here were the videos:
The game was also on sale at local bookstores in Brooklyn. Like McNally Jackson (pictured below)
*Also my house was a warehouse for a month.
The game was Illustrated by Josh J Lewis. He’s great. Hire him.