It’s impressive how a deck of cards can make you sense the rawness of being a dinosaur, of surviving in nature, amongst the beasts. How can 500+ laminated cards bring across that world?

Perhaps because this deck-building game, Apex, has some really interesting twists. All made up and executed by one man, army veteran Herschel Hoffmeyer: ‘I recently got out of the military and started going down the path towards my dreams. I currently am astudent at the Arts Institute International in Kansas City and have a very supportive wife. Being married with kids and having a very limited source of income makes my dream very hard to obtain and that’s why I’m here [on Kickstarter].’

Hoffmeyer wants to be self-published. And he will – his Kickstarter will soon hit 500% funding. It’s not surprising really. Looking at the artwork and gameplay, it’s obvious he is a detail orientated man. He has been drawing and loving dinosaurs from an early age. And Mercury Press, Inc. helped him print his prototype. All these facts add up to a very well-presented deck of cards, down to the anatomy of the dino’s. Have a look at the campaign video below.

So how does a deck of cards almost seem to make you feel part of the dinosaur age? Perhaps because Hoffmeyer designed the gameplay mechanisms around the dinosaur theme. Some mechanics are even unique to this game. You get to hunt prey and stockpile the carcasses in your nest, to feed your hatched young. Yes, you can hatch your own species. And there’s the ‘environment change’ that happens each round, which greatly effects how that round is played out. To Hoffmeyer the most interesting mechanic is the ‘boss battle system’. ‘This creates a lot of fun interaction between players.’

But, you can also play this game alone! Have a look at one of the campaign’s explainers below – also a tip of the veil on the unique game-mechanics.

What else is unique about the game? According to Hoffmeyer ‘it’s a respectable dinosaur game for adults to enjoy and that is hard to come by’.

At the time of writing the Apex Kickstarter campaign has 373 backers pledging for $19,584, with a $4,000 goal. Deadline: April 2, 2014.