THINK LIKE A SUPERHERO

Jay, Ava, Mika, and their friends are kids with big imaginations.

When they learn about Echoes, ghouls who prey on emotion and overwhelm people, they discover they can tap into their Imaginhero powers and free their friends.

Imaginhero is a turn-based battle card game for 1 to 4 players.

When your friends find themselves consumed by negativity, you must team up, power up, and leap to the rescue! Use the Imaginhero powers in your deck to battle the Echoes who have overwhelmed your friends.

Working together, players use their empathy points to diminish the Echoes’ pain. Each Power card is based on an underlying visualization that promotes positive thinking, and each Echo is based on an unhealthy response to an overwhelming emotion.

The Therapy Behind The Game

The gameplay of Imaginhero is built on underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. Each part of the game works to instill patterns of positive thinking, develop empathy, and encourage players to visualize new ways of thinking about challenging situations.

Echoes

What Are Echoes?

Echoes are the monsters you clash with in the game.

They are personifications of different negative behaviors and patterns of thinking. All characters are vulnerable to being overwhelmed by Echoes. When this happens, it is up to the players to power up and rescue them.

Two Echo cards, partially visible. The cards are Distort, an immersive alien-esque computer, and Styker, a leering bully with a Victorian sense of style.

The Psychology Behind Them

Each Echo has one of 5 sources: Entitlement, Insecurity, Rejection, Powerlessness, or Resentment.

These are all potential sources of anger or fear in our lives. An unresolved event rooted in one of these emotions can cause emotional pain, or trauma. If situations like this multiply, they create a pattern that can become an unhealthy default response to triggering situations. Echoes are the embodiment of these unresolved traumas.

Let’s take Distort, for example. Distort represents the way we obsess over how others see us. We can worry so much about appearing to be what everyone wants us to be, that we start to only see the bits we think are wrong. Like a spider in a web, Distort lures you in and surrounds you with screens, overwhelming you with twisted versions of yourself.

How They Work in the Game

Echoes each have a number of PN (Pain Points). These aren’t a measure of the pain they inflict in their attacks, but a measure of the pain they are in. To defeat an Echo and release the character they’re overwhelming, players must use their empathy points to reduce their friend’s pain.

Each Echo draws its strength from a different vulnerability. If the vulnerability of the Hero they’re fighting matches the Echoes source of pain, then their attack strength increases.

Powers

What are Powers?

The Imaginhero powers are used by players to rescue a friend being overwhelmed by Echoes. Each power conveys an underlying technique or CBT principle that can help a person deal with anxiety, aggression, stressful situations, or negative thoughts.

Two Power cards, partially visible. They are Puzzle Cube, a complex 3D puzzle that must be solved, and Sweet Beats, a pair of winged golden headphones emitting music and good vibes.

The Psychology Behind Them

If a player uses the Sweet Beats card, they invoke the power of awesome tunes, pounding an Echo with blissful bass as well as benevolence. Music is an acknowledged method of regulating emotion, lifting mood, and enabling focus. This Imaginhero power reminds players they can access positive thoughts at the click of a play button.

How They Work in the Game

Each power has a level of MP, or Empathy Points. The more empathy a player can channel toward an Echo, the greater their chance of reducing their friend’s pain.

Each power carries a bonus against one of the different sources of the Echo’s pain. These can be used strategically to gain an advantage over an Echo.

Heroes

What Are Heroes?

Hero cards can be dealt as both the playable characters in the game, and as those Friends who are being overwhelmed by Echoes.

Two Hero cards, partially visible. Jay is stood on stage in front of lasers and speakers, performing before an unseen audience. Eva is exploring through a forest, dressed for adventure in a wolf-skin cowl, a staff, and shin pads made of bark.

The Psychology Behind Them

The Hero cards represent a diverse group of kids. They each draw their power from one of the sources of inspiration: Music, Movement, Art, Nature, and Narrative.

Heroes are also susceptible to one of the sources of pain that power the Echoes. If a Hero is overwhelmed by, or battling against, an Echo whose source matches their vulnerability they face an additional challenge.

How They Work in the Game

The Heroes are played in two different ways. As Friend cards, they become overwhelmed by an Echo and lash out at others. When dealt as a Hero, they choose an Imaginhero power and use it to rescue their friend.

Each player is dealt one Hero card to play and one Friend to rescue. If the Echo is defeated, you free the Friend from their negativity and they can return to being who they really are; a kid waiting for a chance to be a hero. A rescued Friend card joins the players deck as a playable Hero card for the next round.

The gameplay in Imaginhero shows that no one is irredeemable. We all have bad days. We all become overwhelmed. But, with help, we are all able to overcome those negative patterns of thought and become our best selves.

The Dice

The deck includes a card that can be cut and folded into playing dice.

When using an Imaginhero power, players are instructed to “place the dice on your palm. Breathe in, visualize the Imaginhero power, and blow the dice to roll.” Each of the power cards contains an underlying technique or principle that helps deal with stressful situations. Through linking the breath to rolling the dice, it encourages a player to pause, slow their breath, and visualize the Imaginhero power of the card they’re playing.

At each turn of the game, players have the opportunity to slow their breathing and visualize a CBT or mindfulness technique. Controlling your breath is an important component in dealing with stressful situations, and has benefits that include reducing stress, lowering your heart rate, and encouraging relaxation throughout your body.

About Cards for Calm

The story began in 2016 when Stuart Fitzwilliam launched Cards for Calm, a card game that uses techniques from mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to help people rethink their approaches to problems.

A successful Kickstarter led to a growing business, and the ideas he’d wanted to share with others were suddenly being shared with thousands. As well as individual people looking to rethink how they dealt with sources of stress, the game is being used by counselors, therapists, addiction centers, social workers, and educators to help clients, patients, and students.

Now a family-run business, we have sold over 14,000 decks through retailers in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. We have also extended our product line to focus on resources and therapy tools for educators and counselors working with younger clients.

With so much interest in the game from mental health professionals working with children, we set out to create a game that would be accessible to a younger audience. Something relatable where they could reframe challenges they faced and believe they could overcome them. A way they could see themselves as powerful.

THINK LIKE A SUPERHERO

Jay, Ava, Mika, and their friends are kids with big imaginations.

When they learn about Echoes, ghouls who prey on emotion and overwhelm people, they discover they can tap into their Imaginhero powers and free their friends.

Imaginhero is a turn-based battle card game for 1 to 4 players.

When your friends find themselves consumed by negativity, you must team up, power up, and leap to the rescue! Use the Imaginhero powers in your deck to battle the Echoes who have overwhelmed your friends.

Working together, players use their empathy points to diminish the Echoes’ pain. Each Power card is based on an underlying visualization that promotes positive thinking, and each Echo is based on an unhealthy response to an overwhelming emotion.

The Therapy Behind The Game

The gameplay of Imaginhero is built on underlying principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. Each part of the game works to instill patterns of positive thinking, develop empathy, and encourage players to visualize new ways of thinking about challenging situations.

Echoes

What Are Echoes?

Echoes are the monsters you clash with in the game.

They are personifications of different negative behaviors and patterns of thinking. All characters are vulnerable to being overwhelmed by Echoes. When this happens, it is up to the players to power up and rescue them.

Two Echo cards, partially visible. The cards are Distort, an immersive alien-esque computer, and Styker, a leering bully with a Victorian sense of style.

The Psychology Behind Them

Each Echo has one of 5 sources: Entitlement, Insecurity, Rejection, Powerlessness, or Resentment.

These are all potential sources of anger or fear in our lives. An unresolved event rooted in one of these emotions can cause emotional pain, or trauma. If situations like this multiply, they create a pattern that can become an unhealthy default response to triggering situations. Echoes are the embodiment of these unresolved traumas.

Let’s take Distort, for example. Distort represents the way we obsess over how others see us. We can worry so much about appearing to be what everyone wants us to be, that we start to only see the bits we think are wrong. Like a spider in a web, Distort lures you in and surrounds you with screens, overwhelming you with twisted versions of yourself.

How They Work in the Game

Echoes each have a number of PN (Pain Points). These aren’t a measure of the pain they inflict in their attacks, but a measure of the pain they are in. To defeat an Echo and release the character they’re overwhelming, players must use their empathy points to reduce their friend’s pain.

Each Echo draws its strength from a different vulnerability. If the vulnerability of the Hero they’re fighting matches the Echoes source of pain, then their attack strength increases.

Powers

What are Powers?

The Imaginhero powers are used by players to rescue a friend being overwhelmed by Echoes. Each power conveys an underlying technique or CBT principle that can help a person deal with anxiety, aggression, stressful situations, or negative thoughts.

Two Power cards, partially visible. They are Puzzle Cube, a complex 3D puzzle that must be solved, and Sweet Beats, a pair of winged golden headphones emitting music and good vibes.

The Psychology Behind Them

If a player uses the Sweet Beats card, they invoke the power of awesome tunes, pounding an Echo with blissful bass as well as benevolence. Music is an acknowledged method of regulating emotion, lifting mood, and enabling focus. This Imaginhero power reminds players they can access positive thoughts at the click of a play button.

How They Work in the Game

Each power has a level of MP, or Empathy Points. The more empathy a player can channel toward an Echo, the greater their chance of reducing their friend’s pain.

Each power carries a bonus against one of the different sources of the Echo’s pain. These can be used strategically to gain an advantage over an Echo.

Heroes

What Are Heroes?

Hero cards can be dealt as both the playable characters in the game, and as those Friends who are being overwhelmed by Echoes.

Two Hero cards, partially visible. Jay is stood on stage in front of lasers and speakers, performing before an unseen audience. Eva is exploring through a forest, dressed for adventure in a wolf-skin cowl, a staff, and shin pads made of bark.

The Psychology Behind Them

The Hero cards represent a diverse group of kids. They each draw their power from one of the sources of inspiration: Music, Movement, Art, Nature, and Narrative.

Heroes are also susceptible to one of the sources of pain that power the Echoes. If a Hero is overwhelmed by, or battling against, an Echo whose source matches their vulnerability they face an additional challenge.

How They Work in the Game

The Heroes are played in two different ways. As Friend cards, they become overwhelmed by an Echo and lash out at others. When dealt as a Hero, they choose an Imaginhero power and use it to rescue their friend.

Each player is dealt one Hero card to play and one Friend to rescue. If the Echo is defeated, you free the Friend from their negativity and they can return to being who they really are; a kid waiting for a chance to be a hero. A rescued Friend card joins the players deck as a playable Hero card for the next round.

The gameplay in Imaginhero shows that no one is irredeemable. We all have bad days. We all become overwhelmed. But, with help, we are all able to overcome those negative patterns of thought and become our best selves.

The Dice

The deck includes a card that can be cut and folded into playing dice.

When using an Imaginhero power, players are instructed to “place the dice on your palm. Breathe in, visualize the Imaginhero power, and blow the dice to roll.” Each of the power cards contains an underlying technique or principle that helps deal with stressful situations. Through linking the breath to rolling the dice, it encourages a player to pause, slow their breath, and visualize the Imaginhero power of the card they’re playing.

At each turn of the game, players have the opportunity to slow their breathing and visualize a CBT or mindfulness technique. Controlling your breath is an important component in dealing with stressful situations, and has benefits that include reducing stress, lowering your heart rate, and encouraging relaxation throughout your body.

About Cards for Calm

The story began in 2016 when Stuart Fitzwilliam launched Cards for Calm, a card game that uses techniques from mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to help people rethink their approaches to problems.

A successful Kickstarter led to a growing business, and the ideas he’d wanted to share with others were suddenly being shared with thousands. As well as individual people looking to rethink how they dealt with sources of stress, the game is being used by counselors, therapists, addiction centers, social workers, and educators to help clients, patients, and students.

Now a family-run business, we have sold over 14,000 decks through retailers in the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia. We have also extended our product line to focus on resources and therapy tools for educators and counselors working with younger clients.

With so much interest in the game from mental health professionals working with children, we set out to create a game that would be accessible to a younger audience. Something relatable where they could reframe challenges they faced and believe they could overcome them. A way they could see themselves as powerful.

Important Note

Imaginhero is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be used as an alternative to professional healthcare. If you feel you are struggling with anxiety, depression or another form of mental illness please consult your doctor.

If you’re struggling and need someone to talk to, you can go to crisistextline.org or just text “HOME” to 741741 from anywhere in the US.

If you’re having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on ( 1 (800) 273‐8255) or dial 911 immediately. Help is available.

Know that you are loved and not alone.