Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience an actual “gabi ng lagim” in real life? We personally don’t think we’ll survive such an encounter, especially if we end up facing creatures like the tiktik and sigbin, a goat- or dog-like nocturnal creature said to suck the blood of its victims. But thrill-seekers and folklore enthusiasts who think otherwise may want to try this unique card game called Lagim, where they can pit their skills against some of our country’s scariest and most gruesome mythological creatures.
“Lagim is a collectible card game based on Filipino folklore and myths. Players take turns defending their Baryos while they master the creatures of the dark forest to unleash attacks. Humanity will be in your hands, the time has come to save your Baryo,” its website states.
Developed by an all-Filipino team at Fictionminds, Lagim is a game of strategy and luck. The intricacy of the illustrations also makes the cards a good art collector’s treasure, especially if you like highly gothic and detailed illustrations with elements of dark art.
“For us, Lagim is so much more than a card game. We want it to be a functional art piece, in the sense that even outside of playing the game, you can still see the artistic value in its meticulous design and craftsmanship; that it can be a personal collection, creative gift or a family heirloom, and that it is a one-of-a-kind vessel and keeper of the Filipino artistic expression,” said Fictionminds’ founder, art director and lead concept and character artist Augusto Ayo.
We’re not gonna lie, the game’s mechanics gave us the creeps especially as we read how dark it sounds. Need an example? Here’s the description for “sacrifice a soul coin,” a move that you can make while playing.
“If the Active Player, for any reason wishes to get a fresh set of cards, as a sacrifice to the dark forces they must offer one Soul Coin to the forest in exchange for a new set of Baryo cards. The Soul Coin serves as the player’s life points in the game. A player is eliminated once they run out of Soul Coins,” its mechanics read. We repeat, it says “sacrifice to the dark forces.”
The selection of creatures from local folklore is also enough to send chills down our spine. There’s the sigbin, tiktik, manananggal, duwendeng pula, tikbalang, a six-headed giant and even an espiritista drawn from a fusion of medieval and folk art. Its team says that “the art of Lagim is characterized by strong emotions depicting horror, terror, and the feeling of awe.”
Ready to start your battle against mythological creatures? A basic game set is available on Lagim’s website for P3,850, and avid players may purchase card sleeves, Baryo and Soul coins and a coin pouch as add-ons. You can also get a special edition Lagim sigbin card made with premium matte coated paper and gold printing for P650. Aside from being available locally, this enigmatic card game ships to Canada and the United States.