“Welcome to Kingdom Rush, where you and your allies must work together to fend off the furious onslaught of the mysterious Time Mage! Command Heroes and build Towers to defend the realm by placing damage tiles to attack your enemies and deploying soldiers to hold back the ever-advancing horde. Be careful, though! The Time Mage’s portals are wreaking havoc, causing all of the Towers to warp in and out of existence! Will you play your Towers to defend the Kingdom, or will you pass them to your compatriots so that the Towers can be upgraded? The decision is yours!”[source]
To win each game, players need to close all of the Time Mage’s portals while in combat with waves of their minions. Each player controls a hero who has asymmetric abilities. The heroes have different basic attacks, damage types, and special abilities that are acquired during a scenario. Players can choose between a ranger, a mage, a fire elemental, and a hammer-wielding brute. In the campaign, the Time Mage needs to be stopped before he achieves world domination. Campaign scenarios increase in difficulty as progress is made by adding new types of enemies and bosses. Estimated play time is 45-90 mins.
The Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time Kickstarter project has a Knight Pledge which includes the core game but the King Pledge includes the Deluxe Edition. The campaign has already handily surpassed its funding goal with over 3600 backers and the campaign is set to end on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019. Estimated delivery for this project is in April of 2020.
Tramways is an innovative pickup-and-deliver game mixed with route building and is designed by Alban Viard (known for Card City XL). Art is by Todd Sanders (known for Pulp Detective), and Sampo Sikiö (known for Eclipse). Players lead a team of engineers to build the most efficient rail network in Small City. Games last about 30 minutes per player and caters for 2-5 players.
The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions release moves the setting from Small City to Mars and the Moon. Each planet is its own expansion. The “Moon” expansion adds a wraparound board construction mechanism and adds a night and day cycle which affect the actions that can be performed. In the “Mars” expansion, Martians are a new type of passenger to be transported who are trickier to move around than the average passenger.
Contrary to the name of the expansion, the aim of the game is to finish with the most Happiness points. These are earned by moving passengers, building new railways, and constructing new buildings. The more efficient players become the greater the stress level increases which is tracked in the game and negatively impacts the Happiness points.
The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions Kickstarter project has already raised 3x its required funding with over 400 backers. Project funding is set to end on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, with expected delivery taking place in October of 2019.
“You have traveled the dangerous byways of Kremel, and finally walk past the gates of the town at twilight. Once eager to see so many people bustling in the streets, you have grown jaded and keep an eye out for pickpockets. Beneath the buildings, stone and wood edifices, you notice the layers of dust and grime, and a deepening of the shadows. A shopkeeper waves in recognition as you walk through the town, and looks to you in hopes of news from the outside world. But you have a darker destination in mind, and no time to spare. You nod back, and take to the rooftops, and later descend to the sewers, where you hope to find the missing piece that will take you to the one place that will doom or save this land…the Dark Spire.” [source]
The expansion adds 6 new characters to choose from including the Magi, the Druidess, the Warlord, the Viper Maiden, the Gentleman, and the Huntress. Six new stories have been added which are set in the land of Kremel. The Afflictions, puppet masters of evil befalling the region, are set against the players as they try to take over the land. These include the Master Efreet, Djinn, Naga, and Satyr. Advanced combat, Road Events and Off Road Events, as well as maps of Kremel filled with unearthly monsters are all included in the expansion.
Standees are included in the base Kickstarter pledge but miniatures are added at higher pledge levels. A Create Crate is also available as a Kickstarter Bonus which allows players to store all the miniatures produced for the game thus far. The Folklore: The Affliction – Fall of the Spire campaign has already reached 10x its funding goal with over 2500 backers. Funding will end on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 with project delivery expected in December of 2020.
Players are crime bosses who recruit a mob of agents (responsible for creating demand), racketeers (who extort payment), and others to build up their reputation selling illegal goods. Agents act by taking favors which they expect repaid in the future. To prevent their rivals from getting ahead, players sow chaos so that their rivals’ network of agents are less effective. Winners and losers are determined by a supply/demand mechanism represented by four regions on the board. At the end of the game, the agents expect payment and negatively impact the total score if not paid.
The game features fantastic artwork and comes with wooden, plastic, or clay Meeples depending on the pledge level selected. The Plunderbund Kickstarter project has over 250 backers and is at over 85% of its funding goal. The funding deadline is Saturday, April 20th, 2019, and the project has an estimated delivery date of February (for the wooden Meeple version) and March 2020 (for the plastic or clay Meeple versions).
“Russia: 1787. Empress Catherine the Great is taking a surprise trip down the Dnieper River to survey her new kingdom. This will take her directly past your old, unremarkable village. You don’t have the time or money to make your village impressive, but with a few pieces of timber and some strategically placed facades you could certainly make your village seem impressive.”[source]
In Potemkin Empire, 3-5 players try to impress Empress Catherine the Great by convincing her that their village is the most prosperous in the land. Players draft and assign interior cards to their buildings then decide which to make real or fake. Each building added has a unique ability and will earn points whether their interiors are real or not. However, players need to watch out for spies who can expose the fake buildings. Potemkin Empire is designed by Jonathan Woodard, with art by Constan Lerois, is aimed at players aged 14+, and plays in around 45 mins.
Potemkin Empire, by Indie Boards & Cards, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It’s currently at 25% of the funding goal with over 120 backers. The funding deadline is Thursday, April 11th, 2019 and the estimated project delivery is September of 2019.
Daily Magic Games are running a Kickstarter to expand Valeria: Card Kingdoms, and add a completely standalone dice game. Valeria: Card Kingdoms is designed by Isaias Vallejo, with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (a.k.a. The Mico), and is a tableau-building building game for 1-5 players. Players compete to earn the most Victory Points by recruiting citizens, buying domains to expand the kingdom, and vanquishing monsters who lay siege to the land.
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimsons Seas is a full expansion for the base game and adds maps to far-off lands beyond the borders of Valeria which allow players to import goods to increase victory points. There are also options to purchase Tomes of great power to augment resource production, or rescue captured Nobles, or plunder wealth from a cursed isle. Sea monsters impede travels and sow chaos across Valeria. The expansion adds new icons, tokens, card types, and mechanisms, in addition to adding new cards for all existing card types with a nautical theme.
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Ward Towers is an expansion pack for the base game and lets players contribute towards building a Ward Tower which, when added to a row of monsters, reduces their cost to be slayed.
Corsairs of Valeria is a new, standalone dice game where 2-5 players are Corsairs who have set out to win a challenge to become the new Commodore. Players will sail the Valerian Isles to gather enough treasure to fill six treasure chests in order to meet the challenge. Players roll dice to determine available actions which allow them to earn silver, re-roll their dice, fire cannons to attack opponents or merchant ships, or move their ships forward. Curses can also be rolled which removes silver coins because they’re lost to Skull Island.
Eagle Games are Kickstarting a deluxe edition of Age of Steam, which is artistically recreated by Ian O’Toole. In Age of Steam, 2-6 players are U.S. railroad pioneers who build track to transform the American economy. Players are challenged to finance their rail network and locomotives, while calculating which routes will give the best returns on their costs. All the while, aggressive creditors will push to be paid while your competition tries to grab the best shipments.
The fundamental game rules remain unchanged. The base game includes 3 double-sided game boards of the Rust Belt, Western U.S., Southern U.S., Germany, Barbados, and St. Lucia. New maps of France and Poland have already been unlocked through Kickstarter stretch goals, with Hungary and Finland as additional stretch goals still waiting to be unlocked. Poker chips have replaced the paper money, and track ownership disks replace the original plastic trains (though wooden varieties are available as an upgrade). The box has also been upgraded to effectively store and provide easy access to the components.
The Age of Steam Kickstarter project has already met 4x its funding goal, with over 1700 backers. The funding deadline is Friday, March 22nd, 2019, with project delivery expected in October of 2019.
There are 4 Ages where players complete public and personal objectives, build wonders, do domestic investments, and other smaller tasks to gain accomplishments which translate into Victory Points. There is also an anomaly at Sagittarius A where deadly, moon-sized monsters can emerge which need to be taken down.
Pledge levels are available for the core game by itself, or the core game and the expansion which increases the player count to 5 and adds 2 new races and upgraded components. The Kickstarter project is currently at around 50% of its funding goal, will end on Friday, April 5th, 2019, with project fulfillment expected in January of 2020. You can see a preview and live-play-through recently done by the Dice Tower team for more information.
“Terror Below is a game of government experiments gone wild in the Nevada desert. The faster you move, the more vibrations you make, attracting the attention of the vicious worms underground. Navigate the difficult terrain to collect valuable worm eggs and deliver them to locations around town to claim bounties. If you’re feeling lucky, collect items and weapons to go hunt ’em.”[source]
In Terror Below, the 1st player to score 20 victory points by collecting worm eggs and delivering them to locations around town, or by hunting down and killing the worms, is the winner. At the start of the game, players are dealt 3 heroes, who they pick 1 to start the game with. If a hero is defeated by a worm, players continue to play with their remaining heroes and are able to revive their downed hero at the hospital. During the course of the game, the heroes visit locations around town to find bounties, scavenge for weapons, and survive distracting the worms. Should the worms attack, the heroes would fight back.
The Terror Below Kickstarter project has already reached 5x its funding goal with over 1,200 backers, will continue seeking funding until February 27th, 2019, and is expected to deliver in August of 2019. There is only a single pledge level with exclusive, Kickstarter content, and multiple stretch goals that improve the tactile nature of the already good looking game.
Kickstarter has heated up again with multiple, big projects competing for that hard-earned money in your wallet. Here are some of the projects to have a look at.
The Tokyo Series
The Tokyo Series is 12 unique games, from designer Jordan Draper, about life in Tokyo, that can be played stand-alone or mixed together. This Kickstarter project is funding the printing of 3 games out of the 12. Tokyo Coin Laundry is themed after a laundromat and uses miniature, hand sewn fabric clothes, operable washers and dryers, and more. It includes over a dozen, unique games ranging from 5 to 45 minutes in length from guest designers around the world. Tokyo Tsukiji Market is a heavy, economic fishing game. Players are Japanese fisherman who set custom prices for their catch to sell to other players. There’s a randomized mix of 8+ fish markets which drives a completely-open, player-driven economy, with 7+ support stalls which can improve ships and fishing abilities. Tokyo Game Show has players participate in 5 rounds of a Japanese game show. Players put on colorful wrist bands and compete in tricky, mini games. There are over 50 games included in the box with 10 diverse categories. There’s also the option to use any of the other Tokyo Series titles as featured games.
There are multiple pledge levels which includes the options of prior Tokyo Series releases. Praise, Colorful, and Cactus, from other Japanese designers, have also been added as pledge options. The Tokyo Series Kickstarter project has already hit double its funding goal, with pledges ending on February 12th, 2019. Estimated delivery is October 2019.
War of the Worlds: The New Wave
From designer Denis Plastinin and publisher Grey Fox Games, War of the Worlds: The New Wave is a two-player, asymmetric game set in the years after H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds where humans defend against invading aliens. The aliens have returned in a giant spaceship and landed in Scotland. One player controls the UK defence units and the other the aliens. The game utilizes 3D models and cards, and takes place on a large game board. There is also the “Irish Sea” expansion, which includes more maps and tactical options, though this is on a separate pledge level.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – The Board Game
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – The Board Game, is a tactical, stealth game for 2-6 players. Its designed by Gergely Kruppa, published by Antler Games, is based on the video game of the same name, and includes over 40 miniatures. 1-4 players are ninja, trying to outsmart the guards, who is controlled by another player called the Daimyo, an evil mastermind. The ninja players can talk around the table, but the Daimyo can hear them, so they have to be careful when crafting plans. Players can choose from 5 unique ninja who have their own skill sets, while the Daimyo controls soldiers and samurai. The game includes story-driven missions in an ever-changing, non-linear campaign structure. The game includes Winter and Night modes which alter the game play. In Winter mode, snow shows the footprints of the ninja which can be tactically utilized to manipulate guards, while Night mode only shows the ninja and guards when they’re in a lit area.