(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.
Starcadia Quest - FOMO of the Week!
I have a complete Arcadia Quest collection, and I swore off adding anymore to it. Starcadia Quest adds practically nothing to the base game (there is a crossover PVP expansion), but I just love the character designs here and the gameplay appears to be better-balanced and streamlined. Ugh, what am I going to do with all this old Arcadia Quest stuff!?
This is a Singaporean game with great art and design. The campaign seems a bit unfocused with tons of expansions, add-ons, and t-shirts. The campaign page leads with a music video. I'm just not sure what to make of the game itself. This company's first game, Megacorp has an 8.4 on BGG, but only 16 votes. I'm intrigued by the art and unique gameplay concept, but not enough to back. I would like to try it on Tabletop Simulator sometime.
In this game, you'll be building a mad scientist deck to defeat your mad scientist opponents. The gameplay looks like a standard deckbuilder - which I think is starting to fall a bit out of favor with new games - but it looks very well-tested and their are several strategies that you can work towards victory.
In Adrift, you and your friends are lost at sea on a life raft. You must work together to find fish, keep the boat balanced, and repair damage. Overall this looks like a much lighter version of Robinson Crusoe, and may be a good light introductory strategy game.
One of the games that managed to ride the successful coattails of Exploding Kittens was Unstable Unicorns (6.5 BGG). UU taked the volatile-cute-things-quick-card-game formula and ran with it, executing a phenomenal first Kickstarter that raised almost 2 million dollars. Pretty crazy. This expansion Kickstarter has already raised 1.2 million, and has 6 days to go!
Queen Games - Essen Releases
Queen Games once again takes to Kickstarter to offer Essen pre-orders. No need to head to Essen for this, they'll get shipped to you in November. $157 gets you all three games, which is about comparable to what it would cost for the games at retail. We have 3 games to look at here:
Skylands was originally a Japanese game called King of Frontier (6.9 BGG). This version has been completely reworked. In it, you'll be building your Skylands and filling it with workers for resources and VP (similar to the way Puerto Rico works.) The game has the unfortunate name for its workers: "Skylanders" I hope Activation doesn't find out!
Franchise has a 1960s diner theme (which I haven't really seen used outside of Food Chain Magnate.) You are in charge of expanding your Franchise across the United States. This is another remaster of an older game, Medieval Merchant (6.7 BGG).
The last entry is the most straight-forward Euro game of this release. Players take turns bidding for influence to recruit local revolutionaries to their cause. The players with the strongest force (VP) at the end of the game wins.
Eagle Games has run Kickstarters for some very well-respected games in the past including Through the Ages, Francis Drake, and most recently Escape Plan. Infamous doesn't really fit with those heavy-euros, it's a light strategy game where nefarious villians compete to become the most infamous by the end of the game. You do this by executing contracts, but to execute the contracts you need henchman, you get henchman by building a sweet secret lair. This is a pretty solid game loop, and definitely looks like it might be some good fun. The problem is the game is $59 and that's a high ask for a game with these components and complexity. The game is designed by Hassan Lopez who previously designed Clockwork Wars (7.7 BGG). Also there is some brand confusion... At some point in this campaign, the game's name was changed from Infamous to Maniacal.
This is a great Miniature storage solution. The campaign offers STLs that you can 3D Print and interlock together to make a cross-section of a castle to adorn your miniatures. Great idea!
This is another STL set, this one offers the components you need to build an awesome 1980s mall. Perfect for zombie miniatures games!
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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!