Steven Tu
Based in Johannesburg

Release date:

Card game


Regular Price:


In Cartel: Piston City Racketeers, players take the role of crimelords in an organised cartel, setting up "legitimate" business fronts around Piston City to acquire Automatas. (Piston City legislation heavily regulates the acquisition of Automatas) With your gang of Automatas, you will hold and battle for territory, and vie for resources to expand your syndicate. Your goal is to control the most lucrative businesses at the end of the game, remembering that the worth of businesses change as players build and change the cityscape. Corrupt officials switch allegiances on a whim, and should corruption get out of hand, someone could turn Snitch and out the whole Cartel for the ultimate sell-out!


Cartel was born out of a single idea - building isometric, faux-3D buildings out of cards offset on top of each other. From there the idea grew from SimCity the Card Game to something a lot more intriguing and darker, just the way I like my card games. Cartel continually received positive reviews whenever I could get people to sit down with me for longer than five minutes. Cartel is also the game that sparked the idea for Piston City - Steam Punk Noir world, a theme which I will be applying to the game, though it hasn't been fleshed out yet. Cartel is being shown at the 2014 A MAZE Festival, Johannesburg, and is one of twenty-five finalist in the 2014 Korean Board Game Design Contest.


  • Build isometric faux-3D skyscrapers with uniquely designed cards.
  • A simplified resource system filled with choice - Cards are resource, discard cards to play other cards.
  • Multi-layered gameplay - multiple paths to victory.
  • Designed to play with very little downtime.


How to play Cartel - alpha YouTube


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Awards & Recognition

  • "Finalist, Korean Board Game Contest 2014" Board Game Geek, August 18, 2021
  • "Showing at A MAZE Johannesburg 2014, 3rd International Games / Playful Media Festival" September 10-13, 2014

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Cartel Print and Play Files - latest
Download the latest version of the Print and Play files for free! Give it a try now! dl.dropboxusercontent.com.

Updates on Cartel on my blog tuism.com.

MakeGamesSA thread

About Steven Tu

Steven Tu, alias Tuism, is a game designer, designer, artist, illustrator, creative, and founder of Twoplus Games, which is currently focussing on pushing the interactive boundaries of intense mobile games with games like Dead Run (soon to be released) and Beat Attack (currently in alpha). Steven also makes boardgames, with Cartel being his latest prototype.

Previously, Steven co-created Otaku, the South African anime magazine, designed T-shirts for the likes of Teefury and Springleap, and got D&AD and Loeries for excellence in digital advertising. He loves MakeGamesSA, and to prove it, he designed its logo.

More information
More information on Steven Tu, our logo & relevant media are available here.

Cartel: Piston City Racketeers Credits

Steven Tu
Game Designer & Artist, Twoplus Games

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks