PAX Unplugged is in the rear view mirror now and that pretty much marks the end of the major convention season, so lets see what we can get this week on Kickstarter to boost our spirits. First up is the next game from Piecekeeper Games and that is Gearworks, a card based puzzle game for up to four players. In the game you will be laying out cards onto a grid in order to gain parts and build contraptions which are worth points at the end of the game. The grid you are placing cards in have some rules though, you can only have one color per column, and the numbers have to be in ascending order going down the row. There are also some rules on gaining sparks based on the card you place, and these sparks give you special abilities like placing over cards or playing a second card. After you play you will rotate gears to indicate where you placed cards, and then acquire parts based on gear orientation across the board. And it’s these parts that build the contraptions, which at the end of the game are worth points and will win you the game. While this sounds complicated, if you have played Sudoku before you will find the rules similar and easy to pick up. So if you are looking for a puzzly card game requiring a bit of mental umph, check out the Kickstarter page.
Next is the latest in the long line of storage solutions for board games, and that is the Boxthrone. What sets this system apart from others it two fold, first is it’s all metal construction, making it tough and durable. The second is that the system is meant to house a single game on each shelf by making shelf height highly adjustable so you can fit one game in each slot, helping reduce box damage from too many other games being stacked on top. It also includes a fair bit of customization in that you can mix and match how you set up the shelves to be able to fit however many, and however oddly shaped, games you want. They even have the option of adding clear acrylic shelves if you want to display miniatures or other items along with your game. Thus if you are looking for something more than just another Kallax, check out this Kickstarter today.
From the makers who brought you Dragoon we have another game from the folks at Lay Waste Games, a social deduction game based on time travel called Human Era. In the game humans have finally discovered time travel, and like usual someone uses time travel to screw everything up, now it’s up to you and your friends to fix it. There are three teams you might play as, the humans who are trying to fix history, the robots who want the chaos so they come to power, or the cyborgs who play for both teams essentially. After everyone is dealt their identity cards the captain will then roll the die to see what era you will be traveling to. Once there they will pick a team of players for everyone to vote on as the ones who try to repair time. If the vote succeeds then the players will pass cards to the captain, if the vote fails then a random card is placed. Based on what cards are showing on the board at the end of the round will determine the score. You will do this rolling, voting, card placing process for ten rounds, and at the end of the 10th round the final score determines who wins. For the humans to win the score has to be 4-6, for the cyborgs to win the score has to be 3-5 (which means they can win WITH the humans), and for the robots to win the score has to be 2 or lower. There are other rules that go along with the game, but suffice to say, if you are intrigued by social deduction games, check out this Kickstarter project.
And finally we have a new engine building card game similar to Chain Reaction called Space Race – Interkosmos. This game is all about the space race, and so each player is playing a different country trying to make their way into the cosmos and explore it. How you will do this is through blind bidding and engine building with your cards, and cards you acquire from the main row. In each round there will be a display of cards up for auction, you will bid on these cards using control cards, each with a type and value associated with them. Win or lose that is the only time you get to use the cards to choose wisely. Once winner are determined then the cards are added to their tableau in front of them, and this is where the engine building happens. On each cards are four different lines, that as you put cards next to each other will form a string of actions that happen whenever you activate that line. This is the second part of the control cards you use because after bidding, you then use the card to activate a line on your cards to take those actions and hopefully explore space and get more cards. In the end, whoever has the best space agency and has explored the most impressive stellar objects will be the winner. There is much more to the game including a campaign mode, so if the games sounds interesting, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page.
If you’re interested in history, set-collection, captivating artwork, and a unique hand-management experience, you may want to check out Museum – now seeking funding on Kickstarter. Designed by Olivier Melison and Eric Dubus, Museum approaches a simple, elegant design with high production value and layers of player conflict and depth to keep choices fresh and interesting. The exceptional Vincent Dutrait has outdone himself, having illustrated over 180 beautiful artifacts from history that players will be pondering over as they curate their own museums of antiquity. Players will be gathering artifacts from the corners of the world and being careful to choose which to display, as opponents nip at each other heels for the items in storage and public opinion can change the value of the more precious stash. As described on the campaign page:
“Museum’s rules are easy to learn, making it an ideal game for families and younger players. However, it also contains some subtle nuances that more veteran gamers will be able to challenge themselves with.”
The set-collection and end game scoring of Museum are impressively simple, but it doesn’t take long to find that the real draw of the game comes from the player interaction rather than the goal. From the start, players are drafting cards, denying options from one another, while having to be careful not to open up new opportunities inadvertently. The only cards that are safe are in a players display or in their hand, as all cards in the discard are available for purchase as well. This adds a twist to the colloquially known “rest action”, making it not just a means of pacing and collecting yourself, but it also allows you to block other players from accessing previously discarded cards. This, along with the shifting market and public information, creates a deeply tense social experience.
Museum has a carefully crafted touch to it which shows through in more ways than one – the rules (which can be found on the Kickstarter page) are very clean and concise, the graphic design is top-notch, and the amount of extra content on offer is also praise-worthy. Judging squarely on what’s presented, the hand-management reminds me of games like San Juan, having to be careful how to buy cards and with what, mixed with a simple structure and tension like the more recent Century: Spice Road. All of this makes a game that I’m certainly going to keep my eye on after this article is published. If you are also interested in Museum, be sure to check out their campaign page for all the information and announcements.
Word Forge Games is looking to make a big splash with their reprint and update of a award winning dice game, D-Day Dice 2nd Edition. This takes the original game and updates it, streamlining setup, updating the rules, and also giving the game a graphics overhaul. In the game you are soldiers storming one of several different battle fields, and on your turn you will be rolling dice to get resources in the form of gear, courage, troops, elite troops and more. You will also have the option to advance along the battlefield, but to do so you have to have enough “resources” to be able to make the trip and not be completely eliminated. But you also can’t just sit back and collect what you need in a leisurely amount of time, you can only spend a small number of turns in each zone so you need to get what you need and get moving forward. Make it to the objective and survive a full turn there and you win.
Also of interest is that in addition to the base game, they are also funding an expansion called War Stories. This expansion gives you more of what you expect from the game along with the addition of legendary units, servicemen, war stories, and components for a 5th player. The war stories aspect of the expansion essentially gives you random starting conditions and on-going effects that will change how you have to play each scenario. Servicemen are special troops that join your squad and have die faces on their card, allowing you to discard that card in order to get the shown die faces. Legendary units are special units that were actually at the battles in real life that you are simulating, each coming with their own set of cards giving you a fresh new challenge for each map. So if you are looking for an award winning dice chucking solo (or cooperative) game then give this Kickstarter a look.
A note for the 1st edition owners, they also are offering an upgrade pack to update your first edition game to a full fledged second edition.
Another week, another round of Kickstarters as things start to ramp up for PAX Unplugged this weekend. First on the list is the second game from Mathew Sisson and company, makers of the card game Spaceteam, this time all about surviving on an uncharted island instead of a falling apart spaceship. The game is called Ravine, and in the game you will crash land on an island, with each person starting out at different levels of being hurt, and from there it’s up to you to survive. You will risk your health to forage for food and supplies, then use those supplies to build helpful items like spears, shelter, baskets, or fires in order to survive. Come night time you will flip over a card that will try to hurt you in some way, but comes with a way to avoid it if you have the right cards. If you and all your companions are able to survive through all the night cards, you will be rescued and win the game! If you like this kind of cooperative survival game, and found the Spaceteam card game enjoyable, check out the Kickstarter today.
Next is the latest in the line of Wallet Games from Button Shy Games, and that is HeroTec, In Vino Morte, and Kintsugi. To start this trio we have the drafting game HeroTec, where you want to outfit your hero with the best gear possible to impress everyone. You will do this by drafting cards into your stockpile, and then from your stockpile you will use them as resources in order to build the gadgets for you hero. Once you have fully outfitted your hero you will compare with everyone else and the most stars will be the winner. Kintsugi is a tile laying game where you will be taking cards and overlaying them, keeping in mind placement rules, in order to score the lowest score. You and your opponent will be alternating placing cards on the board, trying to make your secret color dominant, but without letting your opponent know which one it is. If you get figured out the your opponent gets to reduce their score, if you are able to keep it hidden, then their score will go up, lowest score is the winner. And finally, In Vino Morte is a very light social deduction game where you are trying to be the last one standing at the party. Each round a new bartender will be chosen and they will pass out the drinks, with at least one of them being poisoned. On your turn you can either drink what is in front of you or trade, after everyone has a turn and it gets back to the bartender then everyone else drinks. People who are poisoned are out and the rest stay in for another round. So if any of these games sound interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page to back for one, some, or all of these games.
Next up is a game called Mountaineers, which takes the 3D aspect to a whole other level. In this game your goal is to complete climbing routes in a ticket to ride type fashion by hiking around the ground and climbing the massive mountain in front of you. And when I say mountain, I mean a three sided spire of a mountain that you will be placing your pawn on as you climb up it. Each round different events will be happening that give you supplies, the main currency of the game, and alter the game conditions in either good or bad ways. Then each player will get the chance to use the supplies they have to buy upgrades, move around the board, or mess with their fellow players in a bid to gain the most climbing points. Rounds will continue and players will keep climbing until they have run out the event deck, at that point routes are scored and whoever has the most points is the winner. Thus if you like mountain games, or are just a fan of 3D games with an impressive table presence, check out the Kickstarter page.
After that we have a new cooperative deck building game called Direwild, a first design by Vas Obeyesekere. In this game you Animists, mages who summon animals to aid them, and are trying to stop the evil Karn, a member of your own order that turned evil. During the game, which is a mix of dungeon crawl and deck building, the minions of Karn will move around the board, trying to take you out and keep you from stopping him. On your turn you will do typical deck building actions of drawing cards, playing cards, and buying upgraded cards. After that then you use the cards you just played to summon an animal to move around the board and fight the evil monsters. Cards will often have a basic animal on them for you to choose from, but they also have text that is upside down, and so if you rotate the card, it then becomes an add-on to an already summoned animal. This way you can turn a smaller animal into something formidable to fight along side you. If you and your friends are able to defeat the minions, find and defeat Karn, you will be the winner of Direwild. To find out more about this game check out the Kickstarter page.
Finally we have the freshest Kickstarter on the list, and that is the second Kickstarter for Ogre miniatures from Steve Jackson Games. This campaign offers a whole new set of miniatures for the latest edition of Ogre, and all the models being offered are not the same as the ones in the first set. Backing this set means you will be able to upgrade a good variety of units in the game from cardboard chits, to full blown minis. Included in this set are: 1 Paneuropean Fencer with extra Fencer-B turret, 6 Superheavy Tanks, 4 Mobile Howitzers, 6 GEV-PCs with 3 infantry each (infantry are compatible with those from Set 1), 12 Light Tanks, and 12 Light GEVs. So if you want more minis for this classic game, check out the Kickstarter now.
The classic game of paper football has left the field, and earth, and been reimplemented as mini-golf on Mars.
Just launched on Kickstarter, Mars Open: Tabletop Golf by Dennis Hoyle takes the familiar small folded piece of paper and treats it as a ball you’ll need to flick over and around obstacles towards the crater/hole/box. A variety of terrain obstacles allow you to create a constantly changing 9 holes.
The Kickstarter is live until December 4th, 2017 at 7:01 PM MST. The game has already reached %110 of the $5,000 goal with 171 backers and 26 days to go. While there are a variety of pledge option $24 USD plus shipping gets you a copy of the base game. The project has an estimated delivery date of July 2018.
For a pledge of $94 USD plus shipping up to 18 supporters will receive two copies of the game and have the option to design a hole in collaboration with the greater that will be included in the “Community Holes” section of the rulebook. It’s safe to assume this is the level Matt Damon and Gardner Elliot are pledging at.
The rules, via Kickstarter, are extremely accessible:
1. Assemble the first hole on your table using the obstacles provided in the game.
2. FLICK your special “golf ball” card toward the crater hole box.
3. Count the number of flicks you used to land your ball in the hole.
4. After all players have finished the hole, mark your scores on the score pad and assemble the next hole.
5. Play through 9 for a full game!
Copies of the game at launch include:
- 5 Specially folded Mars Open Golf Ball Cards
- 5 Punchboard Standees: 2 Plateau Obstacles, 1 Golf Cart Obstacle, 1 Golfer Obstacle,1 Flag Pole
- 1 Punchboard Golf “Tee”
- 1 Crater Hole Box
- 2 Game Box Plateaus
- 1 Putting “Green” Box Insert
- 1 Paper Score Pad
- 1 Rulebook (Featuring 27+ Holes!) + Infinite*
Backers will also receive all unlocked “Stretch Goals.”
Mars Golf adapts the Paper Football mechanic made popular in lunchrooms everywhere. Paper football is a simple table-top game based on American football. A small sheet of paper is folded into a small triangle and is flicked back and forth across a table top by two opponents.
Have you ever wanted to go on a real adventure? To see new places, solve riddles, uncover mysteries, and discover something new about the world (and yourself) along the way? That’s what The Enigma Box is all about. At first glance The Enigma Box looks like a bigger version of the escape room games which have become popular recently, except filled with strange tools, hidden documents, and advanced technology, all to help with an even bigger goal – for you and your companions to find the location of the “Arcanum Arcanorum”, the Secret of Secrets, a discovery which will change our understanding of the world and the destiny of humankind.
Sounds a bit much, right? Too good to be true? But…what if it’s not? That’s the hook, and what a well-crafted hook it is. We see A LOT of Kickstarter campaigns here on Dice Tower News, but I personally have never seen one so intriguing and tempting as this one. The charm of it is in your face from the first description and even the name – “The Enigma Box” – sounds like something cinematic in origin, doesn’t it? Like a plot device or a cool prop from a popular film, except it’s not a prop – it’s a real proposition. See how it’s described on it’s campaign page:
“With all the research, enigmas, and new revelations, the team from “The Rhomb” have designed an international challenge and a new form of entertainment which will change the way games are made, revolutionizing and creating a definitive experience never seen before and giving you a chance to discover the “Arcanum Arcanorum”, the Secret of Secrets”
While before I had said that it looks like an escape room box, that’s not entirely inaccurate although it does fail to describe the scope of the product regardless of it’s loftiness. The Enigma Box not only features 6000 minutes of gameplay but also has “legs” in the form of continued content after it reaches it’s initial conclusion . Furthermore, this additional content will still use many of the tools originally available in the box, so the experience isn’t as consumable and disposable and it’s certainly not as short lived. However, the value of this is far more complicated than I can analyze or describe here, so if you’re interested in The Enigma Box, please check out their Kickstarter campaign page to learn more.
Things got super busy in my neck of the woods and so last week got lost in the shuffle, but luckily for us most KS campaigns last a month, so I can pick up right where I left off and show you all some quality Kickstarters to check out. First up is is a new game in a previously established universe, and that is Chronicles of Frost from NSKN Games, a deck building game set in the Mistfall universe. In this adventure each hero player will have an exploration quest and a search quest that they will have to accomplish in order to win the game. Playing the game is similar to other deck builders with some differences, mainly the exertion system that NSKN has come up with. What this does is that every card available has a normal ability and an exertion add on, meaning that if you perform the action and then spend the skills or health to exert yourself, you increase the effectiveness of that card quite a bit. But there is a limit to how much you can exert yourself, so you have to use it carefully as you go along. When you use cards they will give you better equipment, movement/exploration points to explore the board, attack power, and resolve, the currency in the game. Build up your hero and take on the monsters roaming the land to complete your quests and win. For more info you can check out the Kickstarter campaign to be able to back for your own copy.
Up next is a campaign aimed mostly at the ladies in the gaming world, and that is board game jewelry called Tabletop Talismans. This campaign is offering people the opportunity to get necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and even earrings featuring the quintessential board game piece, the meeple. This meeple is a shiny aluminum version so that it is durable, light weight, and shines nicely in the light, and is being offered in several different colors. So if you want to get some meeple themed jewelry, check out their Kickstarter page.
Next on the list is a sequel/expansion to the game Best Treehouse Ever, and that is Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun. This expansion takes the original games and brings it into the forest, and with it some new mechanisms to help spice up the gameplay. At it’s heart this is a drafting game where you are drafting different rooms to place in your treehouse to score the most points each round. With the game being moved to the forest you now have additional bits like unique player powers based on where you are in the forest, animal cards that score based on room placement, and brand new room cards for a fresh game. Of course this can be mixed with the original game, and there are even included rules to play the game with 8 people, so if you enjoyed the first game, this will just give you more of what you love. To get this game you will have to hurry, the campaign ends on the 9th so check it out!
After that we have the digital game of the article, and that is One Deck Dungeon Digital from Handelabra Games. This campaign was originally a stretch goal from the One Deck Dungeon Forest of Shadows Kickstarter, but they didn’t make it during that campaign so the digital adaptation was put on hold. However, with Asmadi partnering with Handelabra Games, the possibility of a digital version of the game has been revived and launched on Kickstarter. So in this campaign you will be getting the game One Deck Dungeon in digital format through steam. This means that now where ever you have a computer with steam on it, you can pull out this highly rated solo game and delve through the dungeon. The game includes everything from the base game, an excellent layout with all needed information easily accessible, a campaign mode, and animations and graphics to elevate the game from it’s physical counterpart. So if you are looking for a nice digital version of the game, check out this Kickstarter today.
Next up is a game from Ankama Games, makers of the highly regarded Krosmaster Arena, where you are trying to scare students out of their wits. Monster Slaughter is a game where you take command of different groups of monsters like vampires, werewolves, zombies, or golem to scare some students. On your turn you will take actions by rolling dice, and based on the number of successes you get will determine if the action succeeds, how much damage you do, or how many cards you can draw. This is a competitive game where each player has a specific order in which they want to eliminate the students in, and so you will be playing cards to help yourself, but also help the students if they are getting picked on too soon for you. Everything about the game is quick and light and in the end, whoever matched the elimination order the best will be the winner. So if this monster movie type game is your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.
And finally we have the reprint of the list, and that’s the Folklore: The Affliction second printing. Folklore: The Affliction is the horror themed RPG board game which aimed to turn a typical pencil and paper RPG into a self contained game. In this game you are fighting the evil that has come upon the land, wolves, ghosts, vampires, and the undead. Like an RPG you will be traveling around the world using a map of the land, and as you reach places in the world you will be able to zoom down onto adventure maps which are a couple tiles in size to explore that area. You will play over a series of chapters to make up an entire campaign, and each of those chapters are playable within about an hour, allowing you to still play and progress the story even if you don’t have a lot of time. So if you missed out on the first campaign, or if you heard great things and want to get into it now, check out the Kickstarter page today.
Snowdale Design is slowly making a name for itself, and it’s first two games were well received, Dale of Merchants and Dale of Merchants 2, so a third game from the same company already will have some good buzz attached to it. Although this time they are stepping away from the competitive deck building genre, and moving into the cooperative adventure type game with Dawn of the Peacemakers. The theme for this game I think is fairly unique in that you are on an adventure, not to win a war, or to find something to defeat a great evil, or to fight that great evil, no you are working together to stop a war. In the game the Scarlet Macaws and the Ocelots are at war with each other, and if things continue as they do then everyone will be affected, so you and your companions are setting out to try and end the conflict. As the independent actors in this war you will be fighting and helping both sides in an effort to whittle away at their motivations to continue the war and bring them to the negotiating table. But you have to be careful, if you reduce the morale and motivation of one side too far, they will surrender and then all is lost as the one side takes over. Each round will have the players acting to affect moth sides and reduce their motivation, then when the players are done the behavior cards for the Macaws and Ocelots will dictate how they will continue their war. Manage to get both armies to come to the negotiating table and you win!
The art for this game is good and is similar to that of their other two games, especially since this game seems to take place in the same universe. Also included in the box is a campaign mode, where the story changes and evolves over several games, and a skirmish mode, where you get to take control of the Macaws and Ocelots to fight a battle. So if this game sounds interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter project today.
We previously reported on the formation of Room 17 Games, and their inaugural game is now on Kickstarter, Museum Rush. In Museum Rush you are some haphazard thieves trying to get the biggest score from the museum. You will have to avoid guards and cameras, as well as do a bit of code breaking in order to steal the most valuable artifacts. If you get caught then you get your loot confiscated and you are tossed out on your ear, but manage to hold on to your stash until the last time card comes out and you will be the winner. On your turn you will draw two cards, and then move up to three spaces with your thief. You have to avoid cameras and guards along the way and so those cards will become useful as they will distract guards, put them on the trail of the other thieves, or just get you out of a tight spot. You also secretly have a buyer who wants something specific, and if you can get that something and hold onto it, then you get extra points at the end. So work hard to sneak around, collect loot from the museum and your other thieves in order to pull the greatest museum heist and win the game.
The game sounds like silly fun, and the art of the game matches that feel with goofy looking thieves and their code names. There are two levels you can pledge for, one where you get the base game, exclusive extra thief and any stretch goals, and the second where you get the same in addition to a limited edition Egyptian expansion. This expansion ups the crazy with new mummy guards, new loot, new rooms, and even trinkets to collect for more money. So if this games sounds like something you would like, check out the Kickstarter today.
Do you like party games, ninjas, and bluffing? A unique new competitive game from Pure Fun Games has all this and more and is now on Kickstarter. Shadow Strike Melee brings the same unique mechanic from Hanabi and turns it into an interesting game of brawling and intrigue. Up to 9 players will hold their hands away from them while trying to pick the highest cards each round in order to wound their opponents while avoiding being wounded themselves. Being wounded isn’t the end of the world, however, as each wound taken allows you to flip a card towards you giving you both insight and a tool to fight back, but take three wounds and you’re out. As described on the campaign page:
“Take the role of a ninja student during his final trial: An all-out battle with his classmates! Facing other young students, you are cocky and less aware of your own abilities. Players simulate this by facing their cards outward, so only their opponents can see them. This forces players to strategize and bluff in unique and entertaining ways.”
As a big fan of Hanabi, this mechanic of holding your hand away from you has always been a pleasure and something that instantly hooks players the moment they learn it. If that kind of fun can be had from a game about preparing fireworks, an all-out Ninja brawl is sure to work just as well if not in a more easily palatable way. What further distinguishes Shadow Strike Melee from the award winning cooperative game is it’s item cards, which allow you to steal advantages at opportune times. If you’re interested in Shadow Strike Melee, please visit their Kickstarter campaign page where you can find more information, including fully available rulebook and more.
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