A quick note, we’re launching our first Kickstarter: Kenku Press RPG Stamps in the coming week. Depending on how much of our time that takes, we may be putting this newsletter on pause for the duration.
Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. These are the campaigns we backed in this batch.
Everdell just successfully delivered the base game, and Starling Games is all ready releasing an expansion. The game went a bit viral in my odd board-gaming social network due to its excellent table presence. Pearlbrook adds a side-board to the main area that allows players to enter a lake and interact with new Wonders. If you missed the first Kickstarter, the game and expansion will set you back a bit over $100.
Nexus Infernum puts you in the role of an evil dead-manipulating Necromancer, vying for power against your equally-evil rivals. The gameplay is summoning skeletons to do your bidding; moving them through areas called the “Nexus”, gathering power, invoking demons, and attacking other players. I really like the art in this KS, but there’s not a lot of it.
This is a rare successful card-game Kickstarter, having tripled their modest goal with plenty of time left. I’m not completely sure of the appeal here, but there’s some interesting math ideas going into this. In the game you will be trying to make matches by playing math modifiers from your hand on revealed cards to make them match (divide, subtract, add.)
Baa’Beel is a duel game where 2 (or now 4) players compete to build the best village. You do this by buying buildings and constructing them in the town. After placing a building, your opponent moves various characters in to the village. The building portion of the game looks very familiar with a standard euro purchasing mechanism. The catch here is the villager placement part. Each race will evict another race, making this a sort of modified Othello as you attempt to keep the most villagers on the board for the final scoring.
This a light programming game where you’ll be trying to get your pirates to find the most treasure by bumbling around the island. It seems to have a small, but enthusiastic following and the game will likely just barely pass its goal before wrapping up.
Machina Arcana is a steampunk-themed co-op dungeon crawl; amazingly it doesn’t have miniatures! That’s OK, because the art and design here is top-notch. This is a “first-created” which obviously is a concern for these big ambitious games, however there aren’t a lot of steampunk dungeon crawler games (the excellent Rise of Moloch is the only one that comes to mind), so perhaps this one will fill a niche. According to the reviews, the game is extremely hard and fighting is often not the best option when encountering monsters. That’s an interesting twist on the genre.
Horizon Zero Dawn - FOMO of the Week!
Steamforged Games ran one of the most successful board games Kickstarters in history with Dark Souls the board game. While the base game of that has shipped, there are still two more waves pending. Meanwhile, the developers have ported another popular video game in Horizon Zero Dawn. This game has some pretty amazing-looking miniatures which I’m sure will appeal to fans of the video game.
For those of us already cursed with stacks of unplayed miniatures games, this looks a bit less appealing since Dark Souls has received mediocre reviews, and Steamforged does seem to be having some fulfillment issues.
War Titans is a fully-cooperative Mech vs. Monster game (you’ll be playing the mechs.) The game has a cool 90s anime theme, but mediocre standees to represent the monsters (the mechs do have miniatures.) There’s very little about the actual gameplay in this campaign, but they’ve met their goal.
This thoroughly-researched demonic tarot deck is really one of the better-looking tarot decks I’ve seen. I think this would be a fantastic prop to bring out when running a RPG game. The deck will run you $60 which is pricey, but a lot of people have jumped on this.
It makes sense to have a book about board games. Other formerly-niche hobbies like video gaming and comic books have tons of books written about them. This one, like most of the others that have come before, focuses on the designers. It features the creators of games like Scythe and Pandemic.
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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!