On Mars is the latest game from designer, Vital Lacerda, with art by Ian O’Toole (who both worked on Lisboa and Vinhos). Players are chief astronauts for one of a number of enterprises who want to be a pioneer in the development of the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars. The game supports 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in 90-150 mins.
“Following the success of unmanned rover missions, the United Nations established the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration (D.O.M.E.). The first settlers arrived on Mars in the year 2037 and in the decades after establishment Mars Base Camp, private exploration companies began work on the creation of a self-sustaining colony.”[source]
The goal of the game is to contribute the most Opportunity Points (OP) to the development of the first, self-sustaining colony on Mars that is independent of any terrestrial organization. This is achieved by completing missions. After a total of three missions have been completed by a player, the game ends, and points are tallied to determine the overall winner. At first, players will be dependent on supplies from Earth and so will often travel between the Mars Space Station and the planet’s surface. Over time, activities will shift to constructing mines, power generators, water extractors, greenhouses, oxygen factories, and shelters as the colony expands. Managing the supply of water, air, power, and food will be vital to survival.
The On Mars Kickstarter campaign, run by publisher, Eagle-Gryphon Games, has already achieved 6x its funding goal with over 6700 backers, and the campaign will end on Friday, May 3rd, 2019. There is only a single pledge level to obtain the entire game which includes all stretch goals. Estimated delivery is expected in October of 2019.
Eagle-Gryphon Games has launched a new Railways of the World (ROTW) expansion – Railways of Portugal – on Kickstarter. Designed by Vital Lacerda, with cover art by Ian O’Toole, this expansion is for 2-4 players and uses the same rules as other games in the ROTW series with a few important exceptions.
What’s new and different?
Although the base rules and mechanics are the same as previous ROTW titles, a few distinct changes have been made:
• Access productive islands via Maritime Connections
• Black cities can only be added at the start of the Industrial Age and via Urbanization
• Close cities on a tight map that demands careful and tough decisions, leading to significant player interaction
• Major Lines that require intermediate connections
• New Operations cards and concepts are included
• Goal Cards replace Baron Cards
What’s in the box?
• A 375 x 617mm game board
• Goal Cards (10)
• Operations Cards (34)
• Player-aid Sheets (4)
Kickstarter backers will receive a free 3-card promo pack.
Note: The Railways of the World base game or Railways of Nippon standalone base game are required to play the Railways of Portugal expansion.
The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal and will be running until January 21, 2019, 4:00 AM CET.
Pitchcar is a very popular dexterity game and one of Tom Vasel’s favorite, so much so that he has a “World Championship” every year at Dice Tower Con. There have been several expansions for the game already adding in things like long straight aways, ramps, hazards, race track crossings, and more. But they haven’t been able to add one thing to the game yet, and that is a full 360 degree loop, that is, until now. Pitchcar Expansion #7 finally brings in the loop, using a specially made flexible material that allows not only standard loops, but loops that turn 90 degree, loops that come back in the same direction you went in, and even a corkscrew. This will add a whole new dimension to your Pitchcar races so you will want to grab it while you can.
A pledge for a single loop will run you $52 plus shipping, but order two and you get a discount with the pair only costing $99 plus shipping. You also have the option to add on some other items like additional cars, slide powder to reduce track friction, 1 meter of foam rail, and the epsilon pieces. The foam rail is special because it is sticky on one side and is meant to be put anywhere on the track, allowing for you to customize your guardrails for even more variability. And the epsilon pieces add in yet another feature to the track, and that is the ability to split the track into two and then merge it back into one. So if you want even more crazy combos out of your Pitchcar set, check out this Kickstarter today.
Eagle-Gryphon Games invites you to enjoy the nostalgia of the 1950s. No, not the Happy Days of the 1950s, but the fear and anxiety of a nuclear war! In This is Only a Test, players must prepare the family for the coming end, but they do not know how the game will end or when it will end. And how it ends determines how each family must be prepared. Players may decide to invest in their survivability. Or they may decide to invest in the stockpiles. Or they may decide to take advantage of the panic to turn a nice profit and buy some nice stuff. There simply is not enough time or resources for players to prepare for everything. Players may try to gather information to learn more about what fate awaits them or influence the timeline to an outcome that best suits their preparation. When the end does come, the player who is most prepared for the type of ending is the winner. There is a separate victory condition if this turns out to only be a test.
This is Only a Test plays 1-4 players, ages 10+ in 45-60 minutes. Contents include 4 nuclear families (meeples and player board), 3 leader cards, 12 player aids, 8 activation tokens, 1 timeline board, city hall board, 30 panic mini-cards, 24 equipment cards, 15 event cards, and 66 supply cards. To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign, which runs through 21 November with an expected delivery in October 2019.
Eagle-Gryphon Games recently acquired the rights to publish Nut Job, a memory game designed for adults to play with kids but clever enough to challenge board game hobbyists. Nut Job fits neatly into a category of game Eagle-Gryphon Games calls Kids Games for Adults (KGFA). KGFA games are fun, fast to play and encourage creativity. They can be played by kids/kids; adults/kids; adults/adults and they work well for all of these combos. The rules are generally very short, and the games are quick to learn and have lots of replayability.
Eagle-Gryphon Games owners, Joanne and Rick Soued, having been former educators as well, have used games in the classroom, for after-school clubs, and for social, seniors and university groups. The “Kids Games for Adults” Kickstarter is tied directly into their Knowledge in a Box program and series of games, which was developed to help schools and libraries become vibrant learning centers, welcoming the students and patrons who are looking for a place to learn, play and socialize.
Read more about Kids Games for Adults (KGFA) and Knowledge in a Box on Eagle-Gryphon Games Kickstarter Campaign. The Kickstarter runs until July 15th with all games guaranteed to be delivered by October 31st.
Fleet: The Dice Game is a strategic 2-4 player dice rolling game played over ten rounds made up of up to four phases: boat phase, income phase, fishing phase (even rounds only), and town phase while players try to earn assets, wealth, power, and income. Fleet: The Dice Game is available on Kickstarter until Friday, May 4th at 8:00AM EST.
Eagle-Gryphon Games have launched The Scarlet Pimpernel: Signature Edition on Kickstarter. You play as members in the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel in France helping Sir Percy Blakeney rescue the innocent from the guillotine. While there are 7 missions to complete, none are as important as rescuing the young Dauphin, heir to the French throne, and escaping with him to Vienna.
The year is 1973.
France cowers under the Reign of Terror and not even the innocent are safe from the Committee of Public Safety and their precious guillotine.
In the midst of all this turmoil, one man uses courage and cunning to fight the brutality … [source]
The Scarlet Pimpernel supports 2-6 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. In the game players reveal mission cards which show the next location the Scarlet Pimpernel must visit. The mission cards will also show the required number of supporters and resources needed for a successful rescue. As League members, the players must help the Scarlet Pimpernel carry out these missions by placing cubes from their supply in various spots on the game board to score points. Influence over sections of the Mission Planning Area can earn Special Favor Tiles that provide access to elaborate new actions. These aren’t permanent and can be stolen away by other players. Although players work together thematically to accomplish missions, only the player with the highest score will become the Scarlet Pimpernel’s trusted adviser.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is designed by Brian Kelley and illustrated by Ian O’Toole (The Gallerist, Lisboa, Nemo’s War). It’s currently up on Kickstarter and has already raised 224% of its funding goal with 486 backers. A pledge of $55 (excluding shipping) will secure you a copy of the base game and funding ends on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.
Eagle-Gryphon Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Titan Dice: Limited Edition. In this fast paced dice roller, players frantically roll 6 custom dice trying to cage five mythical creatures. Each turn, players need to decide whether to roll all active dice, all spent dice, or all active and spent dice. But once three wounds are rolled, that player is out for the round. Creature dice gain the player special ability creature cards when spent, allowing them to manipulate the rolls. The Limited Edition of the game comes with UV Spot creature cards and player mat, as well as marble texture dice.
Titan Dice will continue on Kickstarter through October 9, and the game is expected to ship September 2018.
Kickstarter just launched a new way to find projects they like with the ‘Kickstarter Gold’ label, so lets get to some projects that may not be gold, but are at least silver.
First up is a board game based in the popular 7th Sea RPG setting and that is War of the Cross. War of the Cross is a “dudes on a map” type game similar to Risk, but plays very differently in that negotiation and alliances are key parts of the game. Each round has five steps to it beginning with negotiation, then orders, alliances, movement and battle, and finally spoils. Negotiation is where everyone at the tables negotiates and discusses the moves they will make on the board, this includes forming alliances verbally for that turn. From that phase you then place your orders secretly under your units and pick who you will ally with that round. If you both pick each other then you ally, fighting together as well as making it impossible to attack each other for that round. The fighting is deterministic with the army committing the most supplies being the winner. Winning the fights get you territories, points, and more supplies to use in later fights or to bid on story cards that give you special powers. First player to 25 points is the winner. So if this style of game sounds interesting, head on over to the Kickstarter page.
Next we have a cooperative miniatures game called Human Interface – Be a Better Human. This is both a stand alone game and an expansion to a previously Kickstarted game called Human Interface – Nakamura Tower. This new game maintains the cyberpunk setting and has you trying to escape form a black site prison that you were all thrown into. You will have to work together and fight both on the physical and the virtual fronts as you try to overcome the defenses and modified cyber soldiers blocking your way. Through the use of adrenaline cards to perform spectacular feats, and ‘Can Do’ cards to resolve battles, Be a Better Human is shaping up to be an interesting game. If you like this kind of cooperative style dungeon crawl game, check out the Kickstarter campaign today. And you can even back for an additional expansion module called Blood on the Floor for more characters, monsters, and tiles.
Looking for a light-hearted 4x game that is all about rabbits, well then Rabbit Island might be what you are looking for. The game plays out in three phases which have you exploring and laying out new tiles, building to convert camps into towns and cities, and finally scoring for what you conquered. The exploring part of the game is typical tile laying, but the tiles are uniquely shaped which allow for easy recognition of where you can place them, as the sides of the tile have to fit together path to path. Building has you playing cards to move and spending carrot tokens to build towns and cities. Did you run out of carrot tokens? Then stop by event spaces or carrot patches to refill on those all important tokens. In the conquer phase you will earn points for the towns you built and at the end you earn bonus points for the most carrots and the biggest harvest field. So if you are in the mood for this kind of 4x experience, head on over to the Kickstarter page.
Up next is not a game, but a book about gaming called GameTek: The Book. Listeners of The Dice Tower will no doubt recognize that the book is named after the segment put out by friend of the Dice Tower, Geoff Engelstein. This book compiles ten years of the GameTek segments into one single place, updating and illustrating them, creating a bit of a board game reference book on the math and science of gaming. The book will be broken up into seven sections; Game Theory, Math, Psychology, Science, Game Mechanics, Psychology Games, and History, with essays and examples of each. So if you want to support an exceptional member of the board gaming community, or if you can’t get enough of the math and science of board games, check out the Kickstarter today!
Last for have a project that has been certified as Kickstarter Gold, and that is Rival Realms, a two player variation on the deck building game Fantastiqa. The art of the game carries over with very whimsical and magical depictions of things, but the game itself is now very different. Gone is the focus on deck building and now the focus is squarely on the exploration aspect the bigger game offered. On your turn you can use cards to either discover new areas, or to explore an area on the board already. But exploring comes with a drawback because you have to discard cards into your opponents discard in order to do so, giving them access to cards they may not have had before. There are also quests that you are working towards and the first person to achieve the quest gets to take the card, the second person to achieve it gets nothing. Play keeps going until all the quests have been claimed, and then whoever has the most points is the winner. Check out the Kickstarter page if this sounds like a good two-player game for you.