The “cyberpunk” genre originated from the science fiction movement of the 1960s and ‘70s which sought to portray societies grappling with the challenges of new technology, often with dystopian results.
Cyberpunk stories frequently take place in cities — whether that’s Blade Runner’s Los Angeles or Ghost in the Shell’s fictional Niihama Prefecture. Now, a tabletop card game sets to put Metro Manila through the lens of this fascinating genre.
Created by game designer Fred Tay, Manila 2076 is set in a scene where two to four players are hackers, hired to steal data from a corrupt megacorporation. The game follows a “hidden bid” or push-your-luck format where some or all information about players’ moves is concealed, forcing them to pit against one another.
Launched in March 2020, Manila 2076 was in development for three years — its art designed by comic artist and illustrator Borg Sinaban who contributed to a crowd-funded anthology, The SEA Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia. The game was inspired by locations like Divisoria, Greenhills, and Virra Mall which, according to Tay, emanate a frantic energy. "Imagine walking down the crowded alleys of Neo-Divisoria as you look for your black market fence, or browsing bootleg wares in the tiangge of Neo Virra Mall,” reads Manila 2076’s press release.
Metro 2076 is available to purchase via Board Game Express on Facebook and Shopee at PHP 1,000. All the proceeds go to AHA! Learning Center, a local non-profit helping Filipino public school kids in need.