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BattleMat Card Game Is Bringing Personal Fitness To Tabletop

New workout program taps collector card game mechanics and audience.

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Look, no one likes working out. But according to a recent study published by the Mayo Clinic it’s worse than we thought! While half of American adults play games, only 3% have a healthy lifestyle. However, there is hope. The recent introduction of physical-activity-based gaming equipment and games have disrupted the stereotype of the obese gamer, revealing a passionate community actively “leveling up” outside of their fantasy worlds.

Enter BattleMat, the latest contender in Exergaming. BattleMat is a new fitness-based CCG (collector card game) developed by best friends Brendan Bradley and Michael Eisenstein inviting sedentary gamers to stand up and stretch without interrupting their gameplay.

“In under 25 minutes, BattleMat allows players of any level and physical ability to draw a hand of fantasy creatures and enhancements to build a workout that helps safely set and track their personal fitness goals,” Eisenstein tells us. “The essence of the BattleMat workout is circuit training with constant change and modifications. The variability of activities, weight, time and order keep your body from adapting and plateauing while also keeping the game fresh and fun.”

Bradley came up with the idea when he wanted to get in shape and train with Eisenstein, “I joked we would probably just end up playing games the whole time and sent Michael an old Magic card mocked up with a gorilla doing squats.” The two spent the past year designing and developing BattleMat using familiar mechanics from other popular games.

BattleMat swaps creatures and spells for activities, which are drawn by the player to set a routine,” reports Matt Jarvis for TableTop Gaming “The deck features intention cards to define an overall objective for the workout, whether that’s stamina, agility or foundation. In-between circuits, ‘rest’ cards are played, while modification cards can be used to alter the time, weight and points for an activity. Solo mode sees the player earning points from completed activity cards, but a separate battle mode introduces a multiplayer style where competing exercisers can modify their opponents’ workout to reduce their score.”

The duo’s 50-card starter deck claims to offer over 30,000 different card combinations, creating enough unique workouts to last for over a year.

But will players trade in their dice for dumbbells? Research would suggest they already have. According to a Now Loading article from last year, Pokémon Go players surpassed 100 billion steps within three months of the game’s release while Wii Sports remains the third most popular video game of all time!

“We’ve shown that exercise games can be just as effective as physical education classes and can be part of our approach to capturing the attention of students who are not drawn to athletics and physical education,” Zan Gao posts regarding a recent study funded by the National Institute of Health. “I believe exercise gaming has the potential to drive better health outcomes for people of all ages.

The Kickstarter for the BattleMat game launched on Monday and has already sold out of its “Early Adopter” $10 decks (Retail value is listed at $35). The pair hope to raise $23,500 for the game’s production through The United States Playing Card Company featuring stunning original fantasy artwork and plenty of opportunity for future expansions.

Looking at similar card games like Blizzard’s Hearthstone, recently reporting revenues of least $25 million a month from a player base of over 20 million, BattleMat has the potential to tap into a very large market for gamers who want to flex their real-world abilities.

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