Everything You Need to Know About Shutterbug

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Everything You Need to Know About Shutterbug!

Week 3 of the Calliope Games Summer Travels series has us moving all across the United States in Shutterbug!

Box and components of Shutterbug

This 2-6 player set collection game debuted in 2017 as part of the Titans of Gaming series, and is designed by legendary gaming titan Mike Elliot (Marvel Dice Masters, Thunderstone). You play as freelance newspaper photographers in 1932, looking to capture the winning shots of some mysterious creatures all across the country. Travel around the board collecting “tip cards” that you’ll match to creature sightings in various locations. If you can get the photos the newspaper is asking for, and maybe do a little freelance work on the side, you’ll emerge as the victorious Shutterbug!

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How to Play

Quick Start Guide

Shutterbug Tip Cards, Assignment Cards, and Pawn token

At the beginning of the game you’ll be given a color pawn, three tip cards, and your Secret Assignment. Two newspapers have hired you, and your goal is collect that number (or more) of each creature’s photos. You can only choose one newspaper to turn your photos into at the end of the game, so it’s okay switch your strategy partway through. The player with the most photos on their phone gets to go first, and gets the first player camera tile. Their turn denotes the start of the next round; the game plays over 8 rounds.

Shutterbug Game Board

At the start of your turn, make sure there are at least 7 creature tiles on the board, and add some if there isn’t. On your turn, you can move up to three spaces. If you pass through a city space, you can pick up an extra tip card, and if you end your turn on a city space you can pick up two tip cards. If you pass through or end your turn on a space with a photo tile, you can capture the photo!

A 3 point photo card and 3 tips cards: 2 matching the creature and one matching the terrain

To get the shot, you’ll need to turn in a number of tip cards equal to the number on the photo tile. All tip cards must match either the creature or the location, and the first card you turn in must match the creature type. The number on the photo tile now counts towards your secret assignment!

Shutterbug card trading between two players

If you ever pass through, or end your turn, in the same location as another player, you can trade tip cards! You’ll choose a card in your hand to give them and place it facedown on the table, then select a tip card randomly from their hand. Then they can take your card from the table.

Shutterbug side job scoring

On the top of the board are Side Jobs; because gig economy was a thing in 1932, too! The moment you complete one, place one of your colored icon tokens on it, and at the end of the game you’ll score that many points. Any number of players can complete the same Side Job.

Scoring for Shutterbug

At the end of the 8th round you’ll choose one newspaper to score, and you must have at least as many points shown to score a creature, but you can have more! For example, if the card says 5 and you have 7 shots of a creature, you’ll get 7 points. But if the card says 4 and you only have 3 shots, you won’t score any. Remember that the number on the tile is the value, so you don’t actually need 4 tiles, you just need at least 4 cumulative points. Combine those points and any side missions points, plus any player that ends the game in a city gets an extra 2 points (something about meeting deadlines). Add up your scores, and you’ll have your winner!

Shutterbug game board with a camera sitting on top and a duck in the corner

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy the game?
Right here on our website! You can also find it at your friendly local game store, Amazon, or any convention Calliope Games attends.

Does this game play well at 2 players?
Yes! There’s a 2-player variant written in the rulebook where each player gets two photographer pawns to move around the board, while still only getting 3 moves and one set of tip cards. This allows you more chances to trade tips, get photos all across the board, and complete side jobs.

Do the mythical creatures have names?
Sure, that’s Jerry, and over there is Phil—just kidding! No, none of the mythical creatures have official names, and that’s part of the fun. If you have certain names you call them, make sure to let us know on social media!

Reviews and Playthroughs

Geeks Under Grace– written review
Dwarven Tavern– video review
Dad’s Gaming Addiction– Playthrough

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