dr. finn’s games

Herbaceous was a Kickstarted game from last year that featured lots of beautiful art, and a theme all about storing and growing the most valuable variety of herbs.  Dr. Finn Games and Pencil First Games are back again with a new version of the game, Herbaceous Sprouts, which takes the original card game and morphs it into a dice game.  In the game each round will have a set number of tool cards, and on those tool cards will be dice that you will get to draft along with the cards.  On your turn you will pick a tool card, get all the dice on that tool card, as well as the tool card with gives extra abilities that is associated with that tool.  Some of the tools include trowels that allow you to plant flowers, market packages that all you to change dice, seed bags which give extra dice, and more.  What you are trying to do is get sets of dice in order to plant your seedlings in the garden, sets like all the same, all different, pairs, or a flower and trowel together to plant in the flower garden.  Space is limited in each area so the first person there will get higher points, and if all the spots are taken then you are just out of luck.  If you are playing with less than 4 players then there is also a rival who will be planting their seeds according to the leftover card from the initial draft, making card choice at the start even more critical.  In the end, whoever has the most points will be the winner.

Like the card game this is based on, Herbaceous Sprouts is beautiful to look at, and with rules that are streamlined and easy to learn, a quick game to play in 30 minutes.  A pledge for the base game comes in at $35 plus shipping, and there are additional pledge levels to get other games like Herbaceous or Sunset Over Water along with mini expansions.  So head on over to the Kickstarter page to give this one a look, the game also comes packaged with a solo mode for those looking to garden alone.

Pretty sure my own wallet takes a kick whenever I do these posts, but then again, that just shows that there are lots of interesting projects out there to back.  So here are some more for you to look at.

Fist up is a new game from Ludicreations that tries to tell the forgotten story of what happened during the destruction of the libraries at Alexandria.  Alexandria is a euro game where you most precious resource is time, as the library is burning down around you and you need to get the most valuable treasures before they are lost forever.  Each setup of the game is different with a randomly generated layout, and as you move from one room to the other you will be interacting and reacting to things that are there.  You will have to plan your moves wisely, budget your time well, and make use of various items and books you obtain to secure what you seek.  In the end you will score based on the sets of items you were able to rescue and the person with the most points is the winner.  You can find out more about this game on it’s Kickstarter page, and also look at the wonderful illustrations done for it by the talented Vincent Dutrait.

Next is the latest game from Tim Fowers called Now Boarding.  For those of us who have played game apps like Airport Mania, this game will feel very similar as it’s a race against time for you and your fellow pilots to fly people to their destinations.  On a turn there will be new passengers who have places they need to be, and in order to get them there you will have to work together since each player owns certain air travel lanes on the board.  Once the round starts you have 30 seconds to pick up passengers and drop their off as quickly as you can, any that don’t make it gain anger tokens.  Once a passenger gets three anger tokens they are removed from the game and file a complaint, three complaints and everyone loses.  Manage to avoid getting that third complaint and you all win!  With a fast play time and great art, this filler game could hit the table multiple times.  To find out more about the game and to pledge, you can visit their Kickstarter page.

After that we have the latest in the long line of werewolf themed social deduction games from Bezier Games called Werebeasts.  So what makes this game different than the 50 other Werewolf style games?  Well for one this one is a social deduction collection game, this means you are trying to figure out what people are collecting over identifying any specific individual.  Each round you will be bidding for cards with one player being the auctioneer, and the rest bidding with whatever cards they have.  The auctioneer gets to determine what they consider a higher bid and the highest bidder gets the card.  You can accuse someone at any time on what they are collecting, but if you are wrong then you are eliminated instead.  But why are you collecting cards?  Each person has two goals on werebeasts they want to collect, and each one they collect is worth a point.  At the end, the last one standing or most points at the end is the winner.  So if you are in the mood for another social deduction game, check out the Kickstarter.

Next is a beautiful drafting card game from Dr. Finn Games called Little Flower Shop.  In this game you are the owner of a flower shop trying to arrange that most beautiful flowers in your store window.  To do this you will be drafting cards, with cards having vases, flowers, hanging baskets, or orders that you can fill.  Each vase has a specific flower that needs to be placed in it, and if you manage to but them together then you can score that set at the end of the game.  You can also earn points by buying the hanging baskets you draft with money you earn by fulfilling orders with different flowers.  At the end whoever has the most points will be the winner of the game.  Art for the game has a nice watercolor style to it and the gameplay is simple but fun.  If this game sounds interesting then check out it’s Kickstarter page.

Up next is or token dice project of the week, and that is Deluxe Constellation Dice.  These dice are a little pricey, but they are high quality and feature sides with different astrological symbols like Cassiopeia or Corona Borealis.  The dice also feature some impressive coloring and even some glow in the dark features.  Over all if you like dice with a star theme then you want to check out this Kickstarter.  You can pledge for D10s, D6s, fudge dice, and even full poly sets at the higher tiers.

Next is an expansion for a game that hasn’t gotten a lot of buzz, but has excellent reviews, and that is The Networks: Executives.  The Networks is a previous game that was Kickstarted by Formal Ferret Games and has you playing the programming manager for a fictional TV station.  You populate your prime time lineup with shows, stars, and commercials in order to bring in the most viewers.  Executives expands on that game by adding three new features to the game.  First are Executives, those are essentially characters you choose to play as that have different special abilities and weaknesses.  Next are more season 0 shows, giving you an asymmetrical start with different benefits as opposed to the generic same start that the base game had.  And last it adds in Mogul cards which give you big bonuses when you achieve a programming milestone, giving something to work towards in that respect.  These additions help to expand the game more and smooth out some rough spots in the game.  If you want to get a copy of the expansion or the base game, check out the Kickstarter today.

Last is kind of a wild card game which came out of no where, and that is The Island of El Dorado.  This game looks like a mix of Catan and an exploration game.  On your turn you will roll two dice, you will pick one die to determine how many spaces you can move, and the other die will determine how many resources you gather.  Moving is how you explore and reveal the tiles of the board, and when you gather resources you will gather them from areas you have built up or are present.  With those resources you can then purchase more villagers, build forts to strengthen your villagers, build farms to gather more resources, or make offerings at temples to gain control of them.  The strength of your villagers comes into play when you are moving across the board and another player is in your way.  You can battle them, rolling dice and adding your strength to it to see who wins.  This is also the way you can steal the final temple piece that is needed to win the game.  In the end, whoever has made offerings at the three temples, and has control of temple piece wins the game.  So if you like these kinds of mashup type games with lots of different mechanics, while still working well as a whole, check out the Kickstarter today.

herbaceous

Herbaceous is the latest game from Pencil First Games up on Kickstarter from the mind of Steve Finn, of Dr. Finn’s Games, and the brush of Beth Sobel.  Herbaceous is a very beautiful looking card game that plays as a distillation of the push your luck mechanic.

On any given turn you will first be given the option to plant herbs in pots, with each pot having different requirements for what you can put in them for points.  One gives points based on how many of one type you put, another for how many unique types, another for how many pairs you put, but the last one is special.  In the glass jar you can put as many herbs as you want, but this is also the only pot that can take the special herbs that give bonus points.  After choosing to pot plants or not, you must draw an herb card and choose if it will go in your garden, where only you can use it, or the community garden where anyone can use it.  After making that choice you draw a second card and are forced to plant it in the opposite garden.  The push your luck aspect of the game is when you choose to pot the herbs, do you do it now for some points, or hope it’s there for another round and get more points?  Will you pot early to grab special herbs in that hopes of getting the bonus biscuit card, or try to maximize points to offset those lost bonus points?  Push your luck far enough without going bust and you may score enough points to emerge the winner.

herbaceous comp

As I mentioned already the art is stunning and that alone is worth a look at the game.  As a bonus for being a backer you get some flavor cards which act as events when they are drawn, affecting the game in different ways.  If this game sounds interesting to you then head on over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy.

foragers

Dr. Steve Finn – recently dubbed ‘King of the Filler’ by popular reviewer Richard Ham – is hoping to bring you something a little more involved with his newest kickstarter campaign. Foragers is a strategy game of prehistoric influence in which players have to explore the board looking for the best food and then bring it back and share it with the village before it goes bad. Players have to keep moving to find new sources of food, seek out better tools to improve their foraging efficiency and be careful not to get into fights with the other players (unless they know they can win!).

foragers comp

Designed for 2-4 players with a play time of around 60 minutes, Foragers uses a card driven action selection system designed to provide a highly varied gameplay experience. Each player simultaneously chooses an action card at the beginning of each round, and players then alternate taking actions from their card or from the communal action card which all players can use (if they get there first). With 10 possible action cards (plus the communal action card) in the game and 5 different actions on each card, the possible combinations are endless!

For those interested in Dr. Finn’s Games, the campaign is also a great opportunity to get your hands on his previous titles – which can sometimes be difficult to find in stores – with combo pledge levels available for games such as Capo Dei Capi, Let them Eat Shrimp and the classic Biblios.

Be sure to check out the full campaign here!

On Kickstarter now From Dr. Finn’s Games, creator of Biblios, comes a fast paced dice game called Cosmic Run.  In the year 2123, Earth has become inhospitable to life and the last human colonies are attempting to resettle onto new planets.  You will recruit aliens to help you and roll lots of dice hoping to get settled and erect planetary defenses before meteor strikes potentially destroy the planet.  Get far enough on the various planetary tracks and you will also reap precious victory points in order to be the ultimate victor.

The game plays 1-4 people in about 30 minutes.  There are lots of funding options on the kickstarter from getting the PDF files for print and play all the way up to getting yourself illustrated on the box.  For more info and to back the project please check out the kickstarter HERE before it ends on April 13th.

biblios dice

Lately, it seems as though many games are getting the “dice makeover” – Nations Dice, Roll for the Galaxy, Pandemic: The Cure, all recently reborn as a dice version of their former selves.  Hoping to be next on that list is Biblios Dice, now on Kickstarter.  From the campaign page:

Biblios Dice is a dice adaptation of the popular game Biblios. As in Biblios, players assume the role of medieval abbots seeking to establish the most prestigious scriptorium by reproducing and illustrating valuable manuscripts. The artwork contains a wide variety of brilliant colors and the dice will be etched, providing an aesthetically pleasing effect to a fun and thoughtful gaming experience. It is for 2-5 players and it lasts about 40 minutes.

biblios dice components

Pledge levels include Biblios Dice and the ability to pledge for combos that include other games from Dr. Finn’s Games.  I’ve definitely got my eye on this one – Biblios features a very interesting drafting mechanic and morphs into an intriguing auction game in the second phase.  If Steve Finn can capture this same feeling in a dice game, this is going to be one to watch.  You can check out the Kickstarter page here with information on pledge levels, stretch goals, and video reviews.