(Almost) every Saturday we review all Kickstarter campaigns in the "Games" category in the ending next two weeks. Any we think are notable for some reason are curated here. This is written from the perspective of people looking to buy games and game accessories that offer interesting mechanics or ideas. We prefer heavy strategy games, miniature-heavy games, and games with real-time mechanics as opposed to party games, children's games, or light strategy games.
Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. These are the campaigns we backed in this batch.
Wow, there's a lot of game in this little box. We played this on Tabletopia, and once we got our head around the fact that this is not a standard card game duel, we really enjoyed it. The round outcomes can be surprising, and there's amazing variety between the five factions. (They all have a couple of unique tricks up their sleeves.) Great game, and definitely worth backing!
Board Game Campaigns
There are a few interesting things in this Kickstarter that make it stand out. It has a mandatory companion app for quests, it has nice bright artwork, and interesting dungeon crawling and character building design.
The gameplay looks like a speedy dungeon crawl. At $20 for the base game, it's quite a good price, but we think we'll wait for retail The KS appears to be only a 20% discount off MSRP which isn't a great deal when taking a chance on a first-time board game creator.
Dragon Keepers is a simple cooperative game for 1-4 players where you try to help your dragons stop the Dragon Hunters from killing them. You do this by training the dragons and hitting them with their attacks. If you manage to score a successful attack with all six dragons, you win.
The game is well-balanced and has appealing artwork. But, after playing it on Tabletopia, we felt it was a little light for our tastes.
This game is super-ambitious for a first-time creator, which has probably contributed to less excitement than a game like this would normally generate on Kickstarter. Despite some red flags, this relaunch has done very well for itself, earning over 85K with 6 days to go. There are some really cool components here including a neat vertical cardboard store that holds all the shop pieces, and some tiles with some intricate terrain artwork.
Looking closer, the game's card design is a bit sub-standard and hard to read. Additionally, the creator is already adding game modes due to backer requests which is a big flag this is going be a long-delayed delivery. Still, it looks promising, and we look forward to reading the early reviews.
We're not sure why there are so many games about burning libraries, but Fire in the Library looks to be a good contender in this relatively new genre. Your goal is to rescue rare books from an actively burning library.
The game is based around a push-your-luck bag-drawing mechanic reminiscent of Clank! As you rescue books you draw from the cube bag. If you draw a fire cube, you get one step closer to lighting on fire and losing all the books you are holding.
This is a casual adventure game where you control a tribe of dogs in the zombie apocalypse. The concept is very creative, rescuing "hoomans" keeps your tribe sane, and avoids a return to the wilderness.
Notably this game is being printed in the US, which is very unusual. It is being printed at a place called Community Printers which is apparently able to print the game at a MSRP of $35.
This is an ultra-clean looking tile-laying/stock market bidding game. Definitely has a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, we think the price is too high on this game, which is likely contributing to it just about meeting its goal with eight days remaining.
$40 is a bit high for this game, and can't be less than MSRP.
There is also a $60 Premium version which comes with more wooden tokens, but is definitely too much for such a simple, small game. (However, over 300 backers disagree with us!)
It continually amazes us to see how creative and bonkers the new RPG systems Kickstarter has allowed to be created. Dragons Conquer American is a beautiful setting with a system based on FAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG which Burning Games had Kickstarted two years ago.
Speaking of creative settings... Set in Poe's Victorian America, this RPG sees you battling your internal "imp" to avoid being turned into a monster like many of those around you.
Each gameplay sequence takes place in a hunt, where the players will be attempting to destroy a monster controlled by the Editor (Read: Dungeon Master.) If a player fails and becomes a monster themselves, they will become the target of the next campaign, and they can take over as the Editor. Very interesting concept.
The idea of the game being a hunt of one monster is reminiscent of Kingdom Death: Monster.
We backed these dice in the last Kickstarter. They're nice, and high-quality with really nice colors. The highlight of the dice are the nice box that comes with the set. Having raised 200K, there's no doubt that Kickstarter is still a ripe place to hawk dice. Three sets of dice will run you $44... $15 seems to be a magic price for a set of nice polyhedrals.
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*None of the campaigns mentioned here are sponsored or influenced via payment, prize or other means. If we know or have a connection to someone running the campaign, we will mention it in the campaign notes. If there is a campaign you think should be mentioned here, please e-mail us and tell us what makes it special and we'll review!