If you don’t know the name Ryan Laukat, you should. Not only does Ryan design some incredible games (Eight Minute Empire: Legends, The Ancient World, and Above and Below to name but a few), but he’s also the illustrator and does all the artwork for his games. On top of that, he also runs Red Raven Games and publishes all of his own titles. He’s basically the Leonardo da Vinci of the board game world.
Late last year Red Raven ran a Kickstarter for a new title called Islebound. It’s already been delivered to backers (I’m staring at my, sadly, unplayed copy right now), but we have word that it’s hitting the streets this August.
“In Islebound, you take command of a ship and crew. You sail to island towns, collecting resources, hiring crew, and commissioning buildings for your capital city. Each building has a unique ability, and your combination of buildings can greatly enhance your strength as a trader, builder, or invader. You also recruit pirates and sea monsters to conquer towns, which, once conquered, allow you to complete the town action for free, and charge a fee to opponents if they want to use it. Alternatively, you can complete events that give influence, which can be used to befriend towns.
There are many routes to success. Will you be a ruthless conqueror, careful diplomat, or shrewd merchant in your race to the top?”
In other Red Raven news, the sequel to last year’s fantastic storytelling game, Above and Below has just landed on Kickstarter. The sequel is titled Near and Far and puts players in the roles of Indiana Jones-types, traipsing around the world on 11 different maps while searching for treasure. Like its forebear, it will come with a book of stories from which you’ll read, making each game a new adventure.
“Explore a massive world through a book of maps!
- Search for a lost city in a strange and wonderful world of ruins
- Manage and recruit adventurers, each with a unique identity
- Read from a book of stories, building an amazing and memorable tale each time you play!
- Choose your path in connected quest lines
- Includes a gorgeous atlas of 11 maps to play on!
- Buy skills for your character over a ten-map campaign
- 2-4 players, 90 minutes
In Near and Far you and up to 3 friends each choose a character and set out on a journey, recruiting adventurers, managing resources, and completing quests in an effort to become the most storied traveler. “
The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, but if you’re thinking of waiting for Near and Far to come to retail instead of backing the Kickstarter, you should know that the Limited Deluxe Edition is only available through the Kickstarter campaign.
The Kickstarter has 24 days remaining, with an estimated delivery date of May 2017.