A downloadable game

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Note: this is an entry for Ludum Dare 46, meaning that it was created from scratch within 72 hours! It includes a digital version (playable in a spreadsheet!) and a print and play card game version.

Players: 1+

About the Game

Have you ever watched MacGyver and wondered if you'd be clever enough to solve any of life's problems with seemingly random items? Now's your chance! 

MacGyval: Use What You've Got, Survive or Not! puts you into a wild location with only the items currently at your disposal in real life (plus a few extras) and forces you to overcome life-threatening obstacles. If you can clear them all, you'll total up your score and see who the most creative survivalist is!

MacGyval: Use What You've Got, Survive or Not! is actually a tabletop card game, but I've also created a spreadsheet that allows you to play the game without printing or cutting anything. It's much more fun with another player or a group of people, but there's also a great challenge for solo players as well, whether you're just trying to survive or you're trying to get as high of a score as possible.

How to Play - Simplified

The game is simple: you gather items (from your own home in real life!) and then use them (along with some extra items from the cards) to overcome crazy MacGyver-esque challenges. The more items you use to overcome each challenge, the more points you'll get. Be careful, though, as your items may break, get lost, or become altered as you play.

The README-FIRST file explains everything you'll need to know, and once it's downloaded you won't need to come back to this page unless you want to; all of the information, rules, etc. are within the zip file. I've also included links to this page in the README-FIRST and the Spreadsheet Game files.

How the Game Was Made

My goal this jam was to make a tabletop game that's still super accessible: minimal printing, maybe even none; minimal tabletop lingo knowledge; playable solo or with as large of a group as possible. I feel like, as far as this goal is concerned, I did pretty darn well! I also learned a LOT about tabletop game creating from this Ludum Dare, and it's been a great weekend!

As for specifics, I created the prototype on blank index cards that were cut in half, and my gal and I playtested using notepad files on our phones. From there I expanded on it a bit, cut out a lot of the weaker Item and Obstacle cards, and created all of the files! I used OpenOffice Calc for the spreadsheets (although I also tested the spreadsheet game in Excel and LibreOffice), and nanDECK to create the print and play files. 

Have a great day and I hope you enjoy the game!

More Card Games

Check out all of our Card games in this list, and my other Ludum Dare entry games below

Updated 28 days ago
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
AuthorsBeth and Angel Make Games, Beth
GenreCard Game
Tagscompetitive, Creative, Ludum Dare 46, macgyver, party-game, pnp, Print & Play
LinksLudum Dare


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

MacGyval - Use What You've Got, Survive or Not.zip 2 MB


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I love how you look at the world! Your imagination for pervasive games is brilliant!

Thank you so much for saying so! It's one of my favorite things about games: shining a light on different things and just having fun with it :D