Everybody reading this knows that getting a board game going has it’s pain points – setting it up, teaching it, or learning it. Those are not attractive parts to tabletop gaming for sure, especially in comparison to the immediacy of other forms of entertainment. The team behind Dized recognized this, and sought to leverage modern smart-device app design to make learning games less troublesome. While the app is available for download right now on iOS and Android, and it has a lot of support from users and publishers alike already, the developers are on Kickstarter right now seeking further funding in order to build the app into the best it can imaginably be, and they are offering in-app rewards and promos to boot!
“Dized’s fully-voiced, interactive Tutorials are able to react to what’s happening in your game, so you can learn as you go, turn by turn. Dized acts like the friend that already knows what to do, introducing a game’s rules on a need-to-know basis while adapting to the actions of the people at the table. If the need arises to refresh your memory, Dized’s Rules have you covered. Dized Rules are like fast, searchable FAQs able to respond to all the questions you might have.”
So some of you may be thinking, “wasn’t Dized on Indiegogo before?” You’d be right, it was successfully funded on Indiegogo last year. It’s back on Kickstarter now because the platform has a bigger community, which means more outreach and support, and also because the developers have bigger plans and features in mind. Besides expanding the list of available games, on the docket of additions are “adaptive profiles” which customize the teaching experience based on what the app learns of it’s user, the games they’ve played and the concepts they’re already familiar with. It’s ambitious stuff and it takes a bigger team to make it, and with this push they can really push Dized into the next level. If you’d like to learn more or support Dized, check out the app’s campaign page for videos, reviews, community feedback, updates, and more.
Chartered: The Golden Age is a historic and economic building game known for its easy game system.
Back on Kickstarter with some new revisions. This is a Euro style game that sees you as a merchant, looking to profit from the budding trade in Amsterdam in the 1600s. You’ll be investing in enterprises like Tea, Gold and even Opium. Constructing larger and lager warehouses to stock these wonderful wares. And all this is done with two simple choices that you have on your turn. Buy some land or build a warehouse.
Your goal? Profit and wealth. You’ll be changing the face of Amsterdam in a 3-Dimensional aspect, with plastic warehouse pieces that can be stacked as well as be placed side by side. All this is done with card collecting, much like in Ticket To Ride. But you are going to have to time your action well. Building in the right space at the right time could make you a lager profit that you could then spend to invest into one of the nine different stocks. Then remembering who has invested in what, becomes another element of strategy, as players can become the owners of those warehouses. This will net them a very large profit at the end of the game.
New addition to the game are scaling, so a two player game feels as tight as a six player game. Also there are now events that will happen. These will shake up the market a little, just like in real life. A ship of rich silks could sink in a storm, rising the demand and value for them.
A very laid back, smooth euro that feels familiar as well as having a great challenge. You can find it now, on Kickstarter
Spirit Island (2017) by designer R. Eric Reuss has been one of the more interesting cooperative games in recent years, going so far as being a 2017 nominee for multiple Dice Tower Awards, and Golden Geek Awards. Greater Than Games has just started a Kickstarter Campaign for the second expansion to this great game, Jagged Earth. In Spirit Island, 1-4 players control Nature Spirits on a small island, influencing the native Dahan population to rise up and overthrow incoming invaders. And there are invaders aplenty – every round explorers show up on the coast of the island. These remaining explorers will build towns and cities if left alone, eventually creating a blight on the island, eading to the players’ demise. Each spirit type (and there are many) works in a very different way, having their own innate powers and abilities, income of energy, and power cards to instill fear in the unwanted explorers.
The new expansion, Jagged Earth, adds a number of extra features to the already challenging and thinky coop. Jagged Earth adds 8 new spirits to the mix, including Volcano Looming High and Grinning Trickster Stir Up Trouble. 2 of the new spirits come with new play mechanisms, including Badlands and Isolation. The original Spirits are given new life through “Aspects”, a way to swap in new innate powers for old ones. 5-6 players are now supported, using 2 new included island boards for a 6 piece giant board. Tokens are included for increased player count, 2 new scenarios, 2 new adversaries, 50+ new major and minor powers, 30 new events, 6 new fear cards and 6 new blight cards. For fans of Spirit Island, Jagged Earth adds more of what players love with enough new pieces to keep it interesting.
The Kickstarter Campaign for Spirit Island: Jagged Earth continues through November 16, and the expansion is expected to deliver in May 2020.
Level 7 [Omega Protocol] has been out of print since 2016 and its constant appearances on the Dice Tower’s Top 10 lists can only have contributed to this game vanishing from shelves since then. Privateer Press have chosen to seek funding on Kickstarter to gauge demand for the game instead of releasing it through traditional channels. Considering the project has already achieved over 75% of its funding goal on its first day it should meet its funding goal.
“LEVEL 7 is a sinister science fiction setting where nefarious conspiracies conceal the government’s collaboration deep within an underground research facility with an unspeakable alien menace. Officially, the top-secret military base doesn’t exist. There is no record of it: no blueprints, no photographs, no credible accounts. Rumors persist, but no one has ever found it. And those who have dared to look have disappeared… Now overrun with swarms of monstrous genetic creations led by their nefarious alien overseers, the underground facility of Subterra Bravo is the epicenter of an unfathomable government conspiracy—one that must be kept secret at all costs. To cover up the truth, the shadowy agency in charge of the operation has initiated the Omega Protocol, dispatching an elite team of commandos to retake Subterra Bravo and eradicate all evidence of the sinister creatures within. But the threat these creatures and their alien overlords pose may be far greater than anyone can possibly imagine.” [source]
Level 7 [Omega Protocol] was designed by Will Schoonover (who also designed the other Level 7 series of games), supports 2-6 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. Its a semi-cooperative, tactical miniatures game where players take on the role of a fire team of highly trained commandos who go up against a player, called the overseer, who controls a swarm of inhuman creatures which have token over Subterra Bravo, a U.S. government facility. Both the commandos and the overseer control a resource called adrenaline. Commandos use adrenaline to perform heroic actions, while the overseer uses it fortify their forces. Players can play the game as a campaign of nine missions or the individual missions themselves. The Extreme Prejudice expansion and the Kickstarter specific bonus content adds new creatures, characters, missions, and game cards.
If Kickstarter backers have the original game they can opt to get only the updated content of the 2nd edition, or backers can get the fully update core game, or all content released which includes the expansion.
The Level 7 [Omega Protocol] Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 1st 2018, with estimated delivery taking place in June of 2019.
Dreams of Tomorrow is a competitive, set collection game about weaving dreams, manipulating action spaces, and carefully using abilities. The game is published by Weird Giraffe Games, designed by Phillip Falcon Perry with art by James Masino, plays in about 45 mins, and supports 1-6 players aged 8+.
The future has fallen. After a mysterious decline brought humanity to the brink, the people of the future got to work on fixing the past – by sending sequences of dreams back to our time in order to give us the inspiration we need to change the future.
As a Dream Engineer working in the distant future, you must intertwine memorable and powerful dreams in order to change your present. Catch dream fragments from the Dreamscape and either use their abilities to help you – or weave them together into a completed dream sequence that can be sent back to the past to secure victory! [source]
There are two main modes of play: Pleasant Night, and Troubled Night.
During Pleasant Night, players turns consist of moving around the Collective Consciousness, which is a set of 8 action spaces, and taking the action of the space they land on. The 4 Resource action spaces give players a large amount of resources when used, but also give all other players a small amount of resources. The 4 Dream action spaces let players catch dreams from the Dreamscape, or weave those dreams into a Dream Sequence, or activate those dreams’ abilities. Dreams in the Dream Sequence add dream points, which are necessary to win the game. For an increased challenge, the game can be played in the Troubled Night mode, where the Night Mare can upset action spaces and take actions out of players reach. Solo players can compete against a robot player, which is added to the game. The robot player has quick turns and races the player for points. The robot player can also be added to the multiplayer game to increase the challenge.
The Dreams of Tomorrow Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 8th 2018, with estimated delivery happening in September of 2019. The project is currently more than 50% funded. There are multiple pledge levels with varying add-on items ranging from gifts to a bundle of games produced by Weird Giraffe Games thus far (including Stellar Leap and Fire in the Library).
Atlas Games is set to release Cogs and Commissars from designer Matt Haga to your FLGS this November. Originally a Kickstarter Project from January 2018, Cogs and Commissars is a casual take-that style card drafting game, with the varied feel of a deck builder. 2-6 players each take on the role of one of the Glorious Communist Robot Leaders before the Robot Revolution, each with a unique ability, then either draft a deck of cards, or use a preset deck designed for that leader. The goal is to increase the size of your citizen army by gaining or stealing Proletariat (1 point each), Bourgeois (2 points) or Commissars (3 points) – thank you spell checker. Once a player has reached 15 points they can play their revolution card, winning the game. But be careful, powerful blitz cards can be played by anyone out of turn to interrupt actions, or send precious units to the Gulag. Each leader’s deck plays slightly different, and with 6 leaders to choose from, there is a high degree of replayability. The game comes with 192 cards, 84 cardboard tokens for citizens, and a deluxe version is available. For more details about Cogs and Commissars, and instructions on how to get promo cards at release, check out Atlas Games’ website here.
Santa Maria by designers Eilif Svensson and Kristian Amundsen Østby is a well regarded dice drafting and tile laying game from 2017, and now the designers along with publisher Aporta Games have started a Kickstarter Campaign for the first expansion, American Kingdoms. Briefly, in Santa Maria, 1-4 players draft dice, and slide them down or across the associated row or column on their personal board, activating every building the die moves over. However, the last building activated in this manner holds the die, effectively shutting that building down for the round. Players can also buy new tiles for their board, adding buildings, and individual buildings can be activated using money instead of dice. The game emphasizes the timing of when to draft dice, what order to activate rows, and the puzzle solving nature of designing the perfect engine. Santa Maria combines resource collection, racing down tracks for points and bonuses, end game goals with scholars and bishops, and set collection via shipping tiles.
American Kingdoms adds a couple new features, and 4 new modules that modify play. Cacao is a new resource in the game, used for new expensive shipping tiles, but mostly for modifying the dice. New scholars and bishops provide abilities and end game scoring. New 3×1 building tiles can be purchased for player boards, but come with a prohibitive 4 coin cost.
The Governor Module adds a… governor to each player’s board. The governor starts in the upper left corner of the player board, and moves one space whenever a die is used. Governors activate buildings, gaining resources when they land on buildings, but can move back off later, opening the building up again. Players lose points at game end if the governor has not moved far enough, and gain points if he makes it to the lower right of the board.
The Specialists module adds specialist tiles, which are randomly associated with dice. When the dice are drafted, the player can buy the specialist, gaining resources or buildings, but at a cost. Upgraded buildings are expensive, but players get a discount if they replace another building.
The Ambassador Module changes the dice mechanic of the game slightly. Players start with less dice, but there are 2 ambassador dice available each round, one white and one blue. These special dice can be drafted, but all players will be able to use the number when one player drafts. The drafting player is the only one able to modify the die number.
The Mayan Module is by far the most involved. With this addition, the game can play up to 5 players, with one player taking on the role of the native Mayans. The Mayan City has curving roads for each drafted die, rather than the regimented grid of the standard player boards. Mayans have several changes to their game play, and their main goal is to use resources to build multi-level pyramids. The higher the pyramid (up to 3 levels) the more points they earn. Additionally, the Mayan player has a hand of cards for trading with players, changing resources, and generally getting their monuments built. The game even changes the conquistador track, adding a back and forth of Mayans gaining gold and conquistadors stealing the gold from the Mayan player.
Finally, the Kickstarter Campaign also contains a mini-expansion for the original game, the Exploration deck. This deck provides 5 nationalities with varied starting resources for each player, and 21 achievement cards with secret player goals.
The Kickstarter Campaign for Santa Maria: American Kingdoms is set to continue through November 11, and the game should deliver in March 2019.
If you like take-that style games, tile laying, wild treasure hunting adventure, and/or mazes, Centershaft: Fallen Elements could be a game for you, and it’s seeking funding right now on Kickstarter. Designed by George and Hattie Anthony, with art by Tyler Johnson, this game pits 2 to 4 players against one another in a rat race to find four elemental gems and leave via the hub tile. Yet this maze is dangerous, as it’s filled with dangerous natives, guardians, and is constantly being twisted and trapped by everyone involved. Featuring excellent hand-crafted illustrations, premium components, and miniatures,
“The four opportunists must venture, not fully aware of the dangers, into a subterranean labyrinth. Seeking what they believe are rare gems, they soon discover the stones contain elemental powers. Threatened, they find themselves maneuvering quickly through warp portals, battling natives, and avoiding traps in an ever-changing maze. […] Be mindful. Opponents enamored with obtaining the power of the gemstones will stop at nothing to take what you’ve got. Remember to journal each elemental landmark and track your steps wisely… the path back to the Centershaft may not be as easy to return!”
There’s a lot of familiar elements within this game that remind me of another fan-favorite, maze-crawling, take-that game – Fantasy Flight’s Wiz War. I have a lot of fond memories playing it many years ago, laying traps to stifle people, threatening the game state by picking up a treasure nobody expected, and rotating tiles to alter the maze in zany ways. Centershaft echos a lot of those things, but with a much more dynamic tile-driven grid filled with suspense and external threats that can shift and evolve in many more organic ways than Wiz War could have imagined. If you are interested in learning more about Centershaft, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for plenty of video previews, complete rules, FAQs, and updates!
The Men of Hawkshold is the 1st reprint of the Battleground Fantasy Warfare system, which was designed by Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle (both co-designers of Hero Realms and Star Realms), and Chad Ellis.
“Hawkshold is a disciplined, combined arms faction. It has the flexibility to field a variety of armies. Your Spearmen can be a redoubt for a strike wing of Lancers. Or they can be the rampart protecting the Longbowmen who rain destruction upon your enemy. Or your Lancers can form the core a rapid attack force alongside Knights and Scout Cavalry.” [source]
Battleground Fantasy Warfare is a two-player (or two-side, if multiple players want to ally) tactical game without miniatures. Before the game, you build an army from the units in your faction which portray your warriors and their characteristics as cards. Units have points costs and the total cost of all units can’t exceed the maximum points for each side. Players build their armies, deploy their units, and assign them battle orders. Each player has a limited ability to command their army once the battle begins and the player with the better plan can use their commands to inspire or enchant their units in combat.
The Men of Hawkshold Kickstarter project has multiple pledge levels ranging from backing only the faction itself, or multiple factions for more players to join in. Funding will end on Tuesday, November 6th 2018 and the estimated delivery is December of 2019. The project is currently at a little over 25% of its funding goal.
Push your luck games are all about risk and reward, and Daredevil from Jeff Siadek aims to distill that down into a quick playing card game. In this game you are a hot shot daredevil trying to make their mark without dying, and so you will be taking on various stunts in order to increase your renown. At the start of the game you will be given a character card that gives you a special ability, like re-rolling a die on certain stunts, or allowing you to succeed on doubles regardless of the total. After getting a character card then several stunt cards will be put out for players to attempt. Each stunt will have a point value in the form of stars, a number you have to meet or beat on a dice roll, and consequences should you fail. You will pick a stunt and then make a single roll of the dice, with a re-roll if you have the applicable special ability, meet or beat the number to claim the stunt, else suffer the consequences. Consequences can come in the form of lowering die values, forcing you to re-roll dice, barring you from trying certain stunts or even death. But don’t worry the first time death comes out, that was only a brush with death, but the second one will fully take you out of the game. Once everyone is dead or retires then you total up your stars and the person with the most is the winner.
This is a game with not a lot of strategy or nuance to it, but those games can be fun too, like Roll For It or Tumblin’ Dice. Plus the art is cute and the theme fits right in with the push your luck mechanic. So if you enjoy a quick push your luck style game all about being a daredevil, check out the Kickstarter page.
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