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UNFUNDABLE is a 5-player card game about the competitive yet collaborative world of academic research. It is played in 3 free-form rounds of negotiation. (There's no waiting for other people to finish their turns!)

It was designed as an engagement tool between scientists and college students. But it is also a quick, casual game that anyone can enjoy. It requires no background knowledge in research or tabletop gaming.

  • Age:
    12 & up.

  • Players:
    4 to 5.

  • Time:
    25 minutes.

  • Central Mechanic:

Available Now

First Edition

The first edition of UNFUNDABLE is now available for purchase at the UNFUNDABLE shop page on TheGameCrafter or as a free download on the Print-and-Play page of this site.

Example Game Pieces

Specialy card: Pink.
Goal card: The Competitor.
Grant card: Cancer prevention.
Event card: Budget cuts.
Token: Paper.
Token: Pink resource.
Token: Blue resource.
Token: Gray resource.
Token: Brown resource.
Token: Green resource.


Why did you make UNFUNDABLE?

UNFUNDABLE is meant to be an engagement tool between scientists and students interested in academic research careers. For more background info, see the About section of this site.

However, UNFUNDABLE is meant for a wide audience. It is quick and easy to learn. And it requires no background knowledge of science research or experience with tabletop gaming.

Where can I get UNFUNDABLE?

You can download a free Print & Play version of UNFUNDABLE or buy a professionally printed copy of the game on The Game Crafter.

How do I play UNFUNDABLE?

TL;DR: Each player runs their own research lab, giving them each a supply of tokens of a different color. Players compete for Grants that require a mix of tokens of different colors. Players try to get Grants on their own or collaborate with others. Collaborators negotiate how they split the required tokens and the rewards. Each player has their own unique win-condition. So, technically, it’s possible for multiple people to win.

For more details, see the Print & Play version of the game or the UNFUNDABLE shop page on The Game Crafter.


Early Playtest Photo

The first ever play-test of the game, prototyped using index cards and thumbtacks.

Print & Play Photo

Cutting prototype v1.32, the first Print & Play copy to go public.

Playtest Photo

A play test of the first professionally printed prototype.

Playtest Photo

A close-up of the Paper Tokens from the first edition of UNFUNDABLE.

Playtest Photo

Two winners celebrating after a play-through of the first edition of UNFUNDABLE.