(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.
This is a light game where instead of playing an adventurer clearing out a dungeon, you are betting on them to succeed (or fail.) This is a great concept and one that you don't see very often (the only ones I can think of are horse betting games, and perhaps Camel Up.) I'm not a fan of the 2D artwork or the miniatures, but for $45 you get a lot of content, and it looks like this would be a fun game with a lot of players.
Hellenica proves miniature games aren't dead yet on Kickstarter. Maybe due to the lack of big miniatures games currently running on Kickstarter, this game has been doing moderately well on KS, raising over $100,000 despite some surprising features in the campaign. First, there's nothing about how the game actually plays beyond a short paragraph and some previews from paid reviewers. Second, the art here is mediocre (including the miniatures), and clearly created on a budget. I think the key to the success here is that it's done by an established publisher: Mr. B Games, who is probably most notable for publishing the Dungeon Lords (at least on Kickstarter.) There's not much to comment on the gameplay beyond that it looks like a straightforward strategy game with not much to make it standout beyond the miniatures (which have little to do with the gameplay.)
I think a lot of people look negatively towards using Kickstarter as a pre-sale tool, but it's great to see an indy publisher using it in this way. Basically, this small company - Quined Games - is using the funds raised by Kickstarter to do print runs for its entire catalog this year. Backing here, you can get all three of the games they are going to publish at a significant discount.
To get an idea of why I put this on the list, you really need to watch the video below. This is a ultra-low budget Game Crafter printing, but the game actually looks pretty interesting and fun and mildly educational. With Game Crafter, it's impossible to make a reasonably priced game, and $65 is just too much for a small strategy game like this.
While this game has abstract and formless art, the design is top notch making it stand out when you're scrolling through a list of endless board games. This is probably why the game has had a successful campaign, asking for $5K but raising over $70K. This looks like a pretty heavy strategy game, I couldn't quite get my head around the rules as described on the page. But this is a first-time creator, so I'm going to put this on my BGG watch list and keep my eye on it.
Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid - FOMO of the Week!
I believe this is the first miniatures game Renegade Studios has done, and it's their second Kickstarter (the prior being an abstract RPG called Overlight.) Renegade has made a name for itself with several popular releases including Fuse, Flip Ships, Clank, and Explorers of the North Sea. All of their games have good ratings, so seeing them attached to a major IP miniaturapalooza like this is pretty surprising. However, look closer and it's designed by Jonathan Ying, most famous for designing Imperial Assault, but also reponsible for the less-mainstream hit Bargain Quest, which just finished a successful second Kickstarter.
It's these factors that would make this a must-buy for me... if I had any interest in Power Rangers. I think I'll save this for the real fans. Hopefully this goes the way of great Miniatures IP games like Conan and not the way of less successful ones like Mega Man.
Ryan Laukat of Red Raven games is most famous for his recent and very popular games Above and Below and Near and Far. Ancient World is one of his earlier games, the first edition has a 7.1 on BGG, and is a medium-weight worker placement game. You'll be building an empire by recruiting tribes to your cause. This second edition of the game is heavily refined and has a lot of tweaks to gameplay and new content.
This is a really beautiful source book that attempts to connect typical monsters from RPGs to their traditional fairy tale and mythologies. It also includes a bestiary for D&D 5E. Definitely check out the video below, it's fantastic.
This is a RPG that emulates Sailor Moon and other girl-oriented animes. This is definitely a unique concept for a RPG that fills a good niche and demo that is completely underrepresented by roleplaying games. Not for us, but looks like it's great for the right players. Having games specifically designed for woman and girls rather is a great expansion for the hobby.
Main Gauche is a supplement for the popular indie RPG ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous. The RPG is a dark fantasy setting, similar to Game of Thrones or the Witcher. The supplement adds dozens of professions and spells to the game. This seems like a must-purchase for fans of the game, and the Kickstarter campaign is doing very well.
TPK has been consistent releasing 5E-compatible sourcebooks for the past few years, and their library is getting quite large. Their original offering Total Party Kill handbook was a collection of deadly encounters DMs could drop in to challenge their party. This is the second book in that series, and thrusts the players into twenty more deadly encounters. If you are interested in print editions, the Kickstarter is pricey (over $70 for both books in the set.), but you can be fairly confident in the quality you're getting as you get a solid sample encounter Attack of the Mechagoblin.
I've been backing Midlam Miniatures charming miniatures sets for the last couple of years, and the quality, value and speed (usually you only get two of those.) of their delivery never disappoints. This time: a village full of witches!
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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!