« Butte, Montana. 1973 » is a game where you dig around in a box of dirt.

The gist of the game: Player 2 (P2) digs for pennies previously buried by Player 1 (P1). In doing so, P2 can pay pennies to have P1’s houses moved out of the way so P2 can dig underneath. P1 wins by keeping pennies hidden / houses intact. P2 wins by finding pennies using their limited number of digs.

This gameplay allows for fake-outs and deceptions — did P1 put houses in the middle because there are pennies underneath, or did they want to preserve their houses? Will P2 remove houses out of spite?

The winning player (likely to be P2, the mining company) gets to pour « spring rain » from a pitcher. The rain will form lakes, depending on the holes and pits that P2 dug in their search for pennies. Maybe some houses will fall in, maybe there won’t be a lake at all, maybe all the carefully constructed benches will dissolve into mudslides.

… But this liquid is actually diluted hydrochloric acid that will react with the baking soda mixed-in with the soil, the pennies made of zinc and the chalk tokens that represent chemical residue from mining.

The result is a giant foaming / steaming / frothing mess of acidic mud, seeping through the box and all over the floor. How the hell do you clean that up? 

That’s the question being asked in Butte, Montana.

Created by: Robert Yang

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