(Almost) every Saturday we review all Kickstarter campaigns in the "Games" category ending in the next week. We do a quick write up on anything we find notable 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, RPG Games, miniature-heavy games, and games with real-time mechanics as opposed to party games, children's games, or very light strategy games.
Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. These are the campaigns we backed in this batch.
Ah these guys are so cute! I'm hoping the beholder makes it to the end without a copyright claim from Wizards of the Coast.
A 2-Player-only dueling game that pits a cultist versus an investigator (in traditional Cthulhu Horror fashion!) The gameplay mechanics are is a very basic bluffing/bidding mechanic. You place cards face down and put out a number of tokens. Players take turns trading tokens for cards, attempting to ensure they have the cards they need to win the game. We love two-player games, and the stretch goals are neat legacy-like components in sealed envelopes.
This is a new worker placement game from Academy Games who is known for making medium-weight games that look heavy like 878: Vikings (7.7 BGG). Tudor does not look light at all, and looks to be on the heavier side with a Lisboa-like board and player shields that have ringed hands.
Those rings aren't just a decoration though! They actually give you access to player powers that you can use on your turn.
If Crusader Kings sounds familiar, that's because it is a very popular PC strategy game. We've never had a chance to play Crusader Kings I or II on PC, but the games have always gotten phenomenal reviews, and it's fitting to see a popular strategy PC game running as a Kickstarter, the same week that Scythe made it's way to PC.
The board game version comes with a ton of miniatures which have been getting unlocked left and right via stretch goals, but you need to buy the deluxe version to get access to them. Currently people are buying the deluxe ($91 vs $68) at a rate of 8:1.
At the last Strategicon (a Los Angeles gaming convention), I was made aware of both Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau which are anthropomorphic dog and cat RPGs (respectively.) I haven't had a chance to play one, but they have a good reputation, and the Kickstarters have done well. This is the first board-game in the Pugmire universe. The game is a cooperative deck builder, and looks pretty interesting. I'll wait for the Monarchies of Mau version, as I'm more of a cat person.
Tiny Ninjas demonstrates the recent trend of making the game box itself important to gameplay. I think the design on this box is top-notch, and the Kickstarter is doing very well (this was their second attempt to fund.)
The strategy here is a bit too light for our collection, but I look forward to seeing reviews.
This is sort of an action selection game that looks to be a cyberpunk version of Lords of Waterdeep (but without the worker placement.) It also has a lot of "Firefly" feel where you'll be required to execute particular actions to complete "runs" (quests in other RPGs.)
I love Shadowrun, but I'm definitely waiting for the reviews on this one as Lynnvander Studios is still a relatively unproven designer. (Their only previously-published major release is Buffy the Vampire Slayer (7.1 BGG).)
Games with gimmicks have been having a lot of trouble on Kickstarter lately. It makes some sense as generally gimmicks can be used in place of thorough playtesting. In this game you'll be spinning a gyro/coin thing to randomly determine your characters' attack power, definitely never seen that mechanic before.
In this game you are not playing a monkey. No, you are playing a colony of lice! You must spread among monkeys to score a set and win. Yes, really. The art is very cute, and the game has a series of great animated gifs that have helped propel this past its goal. It is available on Tabletopia.
This is a big strategy game, with a really cool circular board. I wish more games used circular boards! It definitely has great table presence (even the $49 standard edition.) The game looks like a war game, but it's not, it's area control through diplomacy and sneakiness. It looks like they are just about to hit their goal, which is great; we can't wait to read the reviews.
This is a really great idea for essentially allowing you to create custom inserts for games with lots and lots of cards (we're still reeling from trying to organize the All-In on Rise of Moloch. However, like Zen Bins of the past these are extremely expensive, and it's hard to justify the almost $2/bin for standard card holders.
I have backed the Willy Miniatures Rat Men team in the past, and the team was superb! Unfortunately, I currently have too many Blood Bowl teams for a game I don't play very much. If you are interested in getting into Blood Bowl, these are some of the best non-official miniatures available, and these vampire sculpts are metal.
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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!