(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.
Trickerion(7.8 BGG) is one of our all-time favorites. It's a heavy strategy game of Victorian stage magic. The expansions and extra content so far have only made the game better. This expansion adds an Academy component that allows makes the pace a bit less frantic as you are given time to acquire skills and cash for the main game before it begins.
One other huge thing is all of the magicians are getting new artwork because of stretch goals. The original magician illustrations had always bugged me (they're a bit low-quality) so this was a fantastic stretch goal. We're all in on the new deluxe edition.
Boomerang is a Card Drafting game that is mixed with a Roll and Write. Each card you draft gives you several possible things you can check off on your Australia map. The game is ultra-minimalist with only a deck of 28 cards and a big pad. The game is designed by Scott Almes who is famous for designing the Tiny Epic series.
I got turned onto Wallet Games by their sponsorship of the Gencant design contest. The interesting thing about their games are that they are all $12, they all have 18 cards (and an instruction booklet), and they release a new game every month. The concepts in the games are really interesting. In the latest, Supertall you have to build the tower that will score the most victory points.
Escape the Dark Castle (Expansions)
We backed and reviewed the original base version of Escape the Dark Castle. While we loved the art, and theme, we found the gameplay too simplistic to really warrant keeping it in our library. Luckily, a lot of people disagree with me, and this expansion and relaunch is bound to be a big hit for new designer Themeborne.
This is an interesting looking card dueling game where one player plays "The Crew" and one player plays "The Powers That Be" in order to stop/complete a heist. The game looks to be medium weight, but in the gameplay seems quite fiddly, and I imagine you'd have to be referring to the rules quite a bit while playing. This is unlikely to hit a goal, but with some better gameplay videos and reviews I might be more interested.
This is an interesting co-op strategy game where the players control members of a tribe who must turn fire into a chance at survival in prehistoric wilderness. The game has a really interesting skill tree that evolves as you play. Unfortunately, the game hasn't gotten much love and is only 25% of the way towards the goal.
This looks like a very fun action programming game where you are competing Plague Doctors attempting to become the most popular in a village. The components and artwork look great, and the game is very reasonably priced at 30 Euros. A ton of stretch goals have been unlocked, but many of them are only available in the deluxe version (which is 40 Euros.) This is by a "first created" designer, so we decided to hold off on backing this one, but we are looking forward to reviews.
This is a co-operative (solo-able) deck builder by another "first created" designer. The art is a bit mediocre, but the board and card design is top notch. This is essential a Tower Defense style game. In the past we've really disliked these types of games when they make their way to the board game arena (Castle Panic(6.7 BGG), being the most popular). However, something about this game piques my interest. Luckily, it's funded and I'll throw it on my BGG wishlist so I can catch the reviews when it releases.
The original Vast is sitting in my stack of shame (my big stack of unplayed board games), but just because I've ignored it, doesn't mean others have! It's raised almost 400K on this sequel which moves from the Crystal Caverns to a haunted mansion. In this game you can play as The Paladin, The Spiders, the Skeletons, the Manor, or the Enchanter. Another hero, the Knight has also been unlocked.
The game is pricey ($75) as they've added miniatures to the mix to replace the wooden pieces. It also comes with a "free" expansion.
We reviewed Fantastic Factories a couple of weeks back. It's a great light strategy tableau-building game with action selection and dice as workers. We liked it a lot, but not quite enough to back.
Vertium's components really caught my eye. Instead of a space board, there are planet pieces that you use to form your playfield. Players are mining for Vertium by selecting cards and using sets to establish colonies on the planets. The battle looks interesting with a lot of dice manipulation.
Heroes of Land, Air & Sea: Pestilance - FOMO of the Week
If we didn't already have trouble getting other great massive medium-weight strategy games to the table, we'd be all-in on this one. (And that all-in would cost you $170.) Considering the amount of content you get with that, it's actually a fairly reasonable price.
This Kickstarter is for an expansion that adds a new floating continent to the board, making the game area even bigger (at least vertically.) What we really like about this game is how different each faction looks and acts on the board.
This is a worker placement game that actually looks a lot like Stone Age. Releasing a game that feels like Stone Age is smart because it's been out of print and in high-demand for so long. This looks to add a lot of modern strategy mechanics to the older formula, and the Inuit theme is beautiful and intriguing.
Farmer Olaf is a very light card game with a really neat box. In fact, the campaign page seems to focus mostly on the neat box. While I think designing a game that requires no table is a noble effort, the game itself hasn't captured Kickstarter backers' interests.
Monikers: More Monikers
Monikers is a very popular party game that basically consists of progressively-more difficult charades. The cards feature an extended set of people, places, and things. One cool thing is the game has thorough descriptions of everything on the card, so even if you don't know what the thing is, you can read the description to find out.
The game also has one of the craziest Kickstarter videos I've ever seen. Check it out below:
Richard Borg designed this space strategy game. He is best known for Memoir '44 (7.5 BGG) and Battlelore(7.4 BGG) two medium-weight war games that have a cult following. The game is pricey at 90GBP, but you get a giant box full of spaceship miniatures. The game itself is an adaptation of Borg's Command & Colors series of strategy games. The second of which, Napoleonics, has a fantastic 8.0 BGG rating and is ranked #14 all-time in the War category.
Food games always catch my eye. This one is the third in the series of Korean kids-game imports from Mayday Games. The game isn't doing that well, despite it's realistic pan component! I think this is pretty solid evidence that Kickstarter is just not a great place to pitch age 6+ games.
This is the latest supplement from Nord games. I've backed several of their Kickstarters and had some mixed results. I find their source material to be somewhat boring (like Ultimate Bestiary and Skullduggery), but their Critical Hit cards are phenomenal, and I use them every week in my 5th edition games. This Campaign gives us easy ways to generate interesting settlements.
The details on this game is very light, and we'd like to have seen some more preview PDFs or other content before backing.
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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!