A downloadable game

You're a Dark Scientist trying to banish an otherworldly horror you mistakenly created.


Definitely fighting for your own life. Probably everyone for 100 miles. Maybe the planet.



A tactical solitaire card game about surviving while clearing out all threats.


  • A single standard poker deck, Jokers removed.
  • Tracker for 10 health points (one of the following examples)
    • 10 Sided die or 2 x 6 Sided dice
    • Tokens
    • Paper/pencil
  • A medium sized table space
  • 15-20 minutes of time

As you conclude your dark experiment on the pallid corpse, a violent 'wrongness' floods your senses. You scramble backwards in a frenzy, and in the next moments your entire laboratory explodes into chaos. The spasming corpse gouts viscera like a burst dam, gigantic pulsing organs roiling forth amidst a storm of whipping spinal columns. The cacophony of snapping bones and slopping meat drowns out your mad backpedalling screams until the wall knocks away your breath. With barely 8 feet between you and it, the tidal wave of growth finally crashes, the behemoth mass halting with a spasmodic shudder.


  • To set up the game, you will deal a card layout following special rules.
    • The card layout represents the monster you are to survive against.
    • The special rules distribute the monster's threats (face cards).
  • Set up a tracker to represent the your maximum 10 Health Points.
  • Once the card layout has been dealt, shuffle any remaining cards. These become the stockpile you will draw from to play.

Layout & Special Rules-

  • The layout is a face-up 'card pyramid' of 6 levels. The first, topmost level, is a single card. Each subsequent level grows by 1, arranged slightly lower to show the previous levels cards.
  • At each new level, alternate the direction you are dealing the cards.
  • Every level must have at least one threat (face card).
    • If there is only one spot left, on a level without threats (face cards), deal cards to the side until you reach the next threat (face card), and proceed.
    • This means the first card must always be a threat.

All Card Locations-

During play there are other piles, make sure to leave room in your setup.

Listed below are all locations and a diagram showing a full example setup.

  • Monster (M)- The massive behemoth at the center of the game.
  • Stockpile (S)- After monster setup, shuffle the stockpile. You draw hands from here.
  • Discard Pile (D)- For all cards spent on actions, and destroyed cards from the layout.
  • Hand (H)- No reason to hide your hand, you can lay it on the table.
  • Recycling Pile (R)- There are opportunities to save cards for the future. This face up pile can be investigated at any time, but is never shuffled.
  • Barriers (B)- Some actions create barriers between you and the monster.

Gripping onto your last shred of sanity, you dispel the animal fear that flooded you moments before. After a minute crawls by silently, it seems the mountain of flesh may be as benign as a pile of giblets. You straighten, eyeing the steaming pile of bone and intestine warily, and begin chuckling at your own panicked surprise. At least, until a set of eyes locks with yours. A gelatinous torso of a man, scythelike ribs protruding from his chest, rises floppily and points his dripping finger bone right at you. No longer chuckling, you observe many such forms rallying amidst the gut froth, burbling murderous intent from their misshapen, translucent throats. This is no laughing matter indeed.


Win by destroying every threat.

Lose when your health reaches 0, or you run out of resource cards.


  • Each turn the player draws a hand, takes an action, and then recycles cards.
  • Then the monster attacks, and you adjust the health tracker for damage taken.

Turn Order-

  • Draw cards until you have 4 non threat cards.
    • For beginners, discard any threat cards and continue.
    • For a tougher fight, refer to Monster Growth Rules.
    • When you run out of cards in the stockpile, flip the recycling pile without shuffling, and use it as the new stockpile.
  • Take action by choosing a pair of cards from your hand that share the same suit.
    • The pair's suit determines what action is performed.
    • If all cards in hand have a different suit, a default action is performed.
    • Each action is detailed in Player Actions.
  • Recycle cards by putting all but one card from your hand into the recycling pile.
    • In most cases, this means keeping 1 card, and recycling 1 card.
    • The card you keep helps your odds of performing a certain action next round.
    • The card you recycle will affect your future turns, once the stockpile is spent.
  • The Monster attacks, doing 1 damage each threat that is exposed, or half exposed.
    • Exposed cards have nothing covering them.
    • Half-Exposed cards have only one card covering them, showing half the card.
    • Each of these threats, unless blocked by an action, does 1 damage.

Like a frog spitting its tongue out, a corpse jelly is launched towards you, colliding with the wall in a bone crunching splatter. As it is retracts just as quickly, you stare numbly at your left wrist, now missing a hand. Your bloody rage creates a boiling focus, just what you need for Dark Science. With insane clarity your realize the explosive growth of the mountain created extraneous piles of viscera. Rib bones and shreds of brain matter, slimy tubes and fatty globes, are splattered into the corners of the room, unmotivated and unmoving. You dive into a pile of these giblets as another corpse 'tongue' coils back. Springing up with a mouthful of shredded heartmeat, you hurl a fistful of teeth and skull scraps at the ground. The jellied corpse launches forward, and a massive bear trap of bone is sprung, crushing the threat to oblivion. Your left hand has only partially regenerated, but you spare no time digging with both hands and pulling out more 'ammo'. Now you are charging the monster, gray matter becoming white lightning, bursting intestines becoming wide sprays of acid. As more coiled threats rise from newly exposed depths, you are only certain of one thing.


PLAYER ACTIONS- After drawing a hand of 4 cards, you spend a pair sharing the same suit to perform that suits action. If your hand has all different suits, perform the NO PAIR action.

  • CLUBS perform Organ Shotgun: Remove any 3 neighboring exposed cards.
    • If the first card removed exposes new cards, they are available for the second card removal.
    • Same goes for the 3rd card. This means you can remove both cards blocking a card from being exposed, and that card as well.
  • DIAMONDS perform Brain Lightning: Remove all exposed cards of a single suit OR single rank.
    • After removing all exposed cards, if there are more exposed cards of that suit/rank, remove them as well. Repeat until no more exposed cards match.
  • SPADES perform Skeletal Barrier: Place the pair sideways, between you and the monster. Each card is 1 barrier.
    • When an exposed threat attacks, you can discard a barrier card to block the damage AND destroy the threat.
      • When multiple threats attack, you can choose which to block.
    • When a half exposed threat attacks, you can discard a barrier card ONLY to block the damage.
    • If playing with Monster Growth rules, you can discard a barrier to discard a threat as soon as it's drawn.
    • It is possible to stack up more than 2 barriers, there is no limit, and the option to spend them stays open all game.
  • HEARTS perform Blood Replenishment: You can do a combination of the following choices, up to two times.
    • Heal Option- Gain a single health point back, up to the maximum of 10 points.
    • Absorb Option- Take an exposed non threat card from the monster, and put it into the recycling pile.
    • This means you can either gain 2 health, absorb 2 cards, or do 1 of each.
  • NO PAIR perform Tooth and Nail: You take an exposed non threat card from the monster, and put it into your hand to keep as a bonus card for next turn.
    • Normally 1 card is kept in hand, and 1 is put in recycling. Without spending a pair however, you will now put 3 cards into recycling.
    • Your hand after this action is 1 kept card, and the bonus card.


  • The game is primarily about survival, but on a loss, tally up the remaining threat cards.
    • Try to beat that next time!
  • On a win, tally up your remaining health.
    • Try to beat that next time!
  • Most games will take almost all the cards in the stockpile AND recycling, with few health points remaining.


Enjoy your first game, and good luck! Once you feel comfortable with the main mechanics, you can confront the true challenge of flesh mountain, by adding in the monster growth rule appendix.


When you draw one or more threat cards, they are added to the monster as new threats, following growth priority, before you recommence your turn.

These rules cause new growths to spread from the closest point, reaching towards you!

These rules make the monster to regenerate during play, and it's recommended for your first game to play without them.

Growth Priority-

  • A stable spawn point sits on top of any 2 neighboring exposed OR half exposed cards on the same level.
  • Of all stable spawn points, prioritize those with the closest level to the player.
    • This would be the largest level of the pyramid (Level increases downward from the monsters top).
  • If there are multiple stable points on the closest level, use the following priority:
    • Center, Closest left of center, Closest right of center
  • After finding the resulting stable spawn point, place the new threat on top of the 2 base cards, and shifted down, as in the regular monster layout.
  • In rare occasions, near the end of the game, there may be no stable spawn points.
    • No avoiding the threat.. Choose the most dangerous position!


  • This is the first alpha version of the rules, and I would really appreciate any feedback you might have. Reach out by emailing josh@joshuajumbles.com.
  • The recycling deck will ALWAYS be used as the last part of your fight. If you keep alternating the recycle card suit you may be left without pairs when you really need them later.
    • You can always check through the recycling pile (without shuffling), to see what cards you are storing.
    • Any time you ever place cards in the recycling, you can decide the placement order. When you absorb cards, or recycle multiple cards with Tooth & Nail, consider the order for the best future pair chances.
  • Sometimes it is better to take damage from an easy to kill threat instead of spending a barrier.
  • Sometimes it is better to skip healing, even when hurt, to have better future ammo.
    • Absorbing can also snipe out pesky cards blocking threats.
  • Try to take out 2-3+ cards with Brain Lightning, too many weak attacks might cause you to run out of cards before the monster is destroyed.
  • Be careful of half exposing deep threats that will be really hard to remove.

Flesh Mountain is a game by Joshua J. Jumbles. 2/3/17

Rules v0.11 Alpha


FleshMountainRulesv0_11.pdf (309 kB)