This is the tenth issue of the Kickstarter Blitz, my monthly series where I look at games currently funding on Kickstarter. Eleven projects this time – let’s get started.
Dead Drop (Jason Kotarski, Crash Games) is a new microgame about espionage. It consists of 13 cards numbered 0-5. At the stet, you put one random card face down. This is the drop. One card per player is played face up to form the stash. All other cards are split among the 2-4 players. On your turn, you can choose to share information with another player (give them a card, they give you a card without either of you knowing what the other is giving). You can also choose to share secrets – show two cards to an opponent, who then must tell you if they have a card that equals the sum of the two. You can also trade a card in your hand with a card in the stash. At the end of your turn, you can try to get the drop by playing two cards that add up to the card you think is in the dead drop. If you’re right, you win the round. The first person to win three rounds wins the game.
This looks like a pretty good deduction style microgame. It looks fast, and there’s a lot of logic involved for a small amount of cards. I would imagine that it would be better with more people as you don’t have as many cards and have to think more. The game has had some struggles to fund, but once Crash decided to unlock all stretch goals, the game hit its goal. You only have a few hours left if you want to jump in on it.
- End Date: November 1 @ 12:00 AM CDT
- Goal: $22,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: June 2015
- To Get A Game: $12 game plus one extra deck, $22 with all unlocked decks
This House Is Haunted (Gabriel Gomez, Brain Punch Games) is here just in time for Halloween. Well, the campaign is anyway. This game is an exploration style game where players are moving around a house to find the necessary seals to win. The twist here is that, rather than moving around a board, your house is the playing field. One room is the Home Room, and a deck of 13 cards forms the Home Deck/timer for the game. The lights are turned out. In each round, the current leader sends players to different rooms to draw cards. Some cards could cause you to be trapped in a room. Some cards could turn you into a demon (and thus working against the other players). There are seals, blessings, curses, hexes, haunting cards, and demon marks that can be found. If, after 13 rounds, you have collectively found enough seals, the humans win. Otherwise, the demons win.
Without knowing a whole lot about it, this game really does seem like quite the luckfest. However, it still looks interesting to me, mostly because you are wandering around an actual house. You can probably put on some spooky music to enhance the mood. The price point seems kind of high for what is essentially just 120 cards (plus rules), but I like the concept. It has been funded, so we’ll see how it does.
- End Date: November 1 @ 3:00 AM CDT
- Goal: $750 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: December 2014
- To Get A Game: $15 PNP, $33 full game
Chroma Cubes (Chip Beauvais, 5th Street Games) is described as a strategy dice game with crayons. The way this game works is that you roll six dice. Each die face shows two colors, and you can choose one to use. You can trade dice with other players if you wish. In order to color, you must allocate dice to different areas of the current picture. For example, in a picture of gifts, you can use one green to color in part of the bow, and you could use four blues to color in one side of the box. When someone has completed their picture, or when someone cannot color anywhere on their turn, the game ends. You score points for completed sections of the picture, and the player with the most points wins.
This looks like a fun family style game that kids can get into. I would imagine most adult gamers would scoff at something like this, but I think it’s pretty creative and turns coloring into a family activity. It is a paint-by-numbers game , so you’re not coming up with your own color schemes. Also, the game only comes with 20 pieces of art (there is an option for an add-on of another pad of 20 pieces of art), so replayability is probably kind of limited. However, I think it looks like a unique idea, and that’s what Kickstarter is about for me.
- End Date: November 2 @ 8:00 PM CDT
- Goal: $8,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: June 2015
- To Get A Game: $25
Collapse (Jordan Goddard) is a deck-building game about preparing for the apocalypse. The game starts with a tableau of currency cards, item cards, food cards, and fortification cards. Depending on the scenario you’re playing, some disasters are shuffled into the item deck. Each player starts with a homestead and a deck of currency and food. On your turn, you draw five cards. On your turn, you can play an item, then buy something, then discard everything you played and bought. You can also choose to store one food card in your homestead if there’s room, removing it from your deck since it’s just worth victory points at the end. The game ends when three stacks are empty. Points are represented by months of survival, and the player who can survive the longest is the winner.
Let’s be honest – this is basically Dominion: Armageddon. There are some differences – the items function more like Ascension with an ever-changing market; events come out to mess with people; fortifications can be built for extra points as long as they are completed; and the ability to store useless stuff to get it out of your hand is pretty nice. But it does look a LOT like Dominion. I do like the theme, and I’d be interested to try it for that.
- End Date: November 3 @ 10:35 PM CDT
- Goal: $2,500 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: May 2015
- To Get A Game: $29
Daedalus’ Quick Setup (Daedalus Productions) is a system for storing games so that it can be brought out quickly as you’re setting up. The idea is that many inserts are afterthoughts in production and really don’t serve the purposes of the game. So this project is all about producing customized inserts that assist in both quickly setting up and quickly cleaning up. So far, they have completed nine designs – Dead of Winter, Marvel Dice Masters, Robinson Crusoe, Merchant of Venus, Eldritch Horror, Eclipse, Caverna, Le Havre, and Small World. Additionally, they have a dice tower, a magnetic tuck box, and table coasters, all available through the campaign. You can get them assembled or non-assembled (the cheaper option). However, they are only offering limited quantities of each with several options gone, so if you’re interested, jump over there now.
- End Date: November 4 @ 7:00 PM CDT
- Goal: $5,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: November 2014 OR January 2015 (depending on what you get)
- To Get Everything: $255 (individual items $20-$65)
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (Christopher Chung, Foxtrot Games) is a tile placement game where players are strategically filling the lake with lanterns in order to score points. You begin each turn with three tiles in hand. On your turn, you may first turn in two favor tokens to trade one lantern card for another from the supply. You may then make a dedication – turn in four of a kind, or three pairs, or seven unique lantern cards to receive a dedication token. These are worth decreasing amounts of points, so the first person to get each will have more points than future people. Finally, you place a tile in the lake adjacent to another tile. Sides do not have to match, but if they do, you gain a bonus lantern card of the matched color. You then get a lantern card that matches the side of the tile that faces you, and give a lantern card to each other player that matches the side facing them. If you run out of lantern cards, you’re out of luck. If the tile you place has a platform, or creates a match with a tile that has a platform, you gain a favor token. Once all tiles have been placed, the game ends, and the player with the most points is the winner.
This looks like a fairly abstract game, but has a very striking look to it. There also appear to be some really tough decisions to be made in the game, especially since everyone gets something as you play. You don’t want to get anyone too close to a dedication, but you also want to put yourself in the best position. It looks like a really unique and strategic game, so I’m naming Lanterns my PICK OF THE MONTH. Go check it out!
- End Date: November 5 @ 3:00 PM CDT
- Goal: $10,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: June 2015
- To Get A Game: $24
Era (Steven Lykowski) is a civilization game that lasts around 30 minutes. Each player gets a deck for their chosen era – ancient Egypt, the Crusades, the space race, and the Revolutionary war are all included in the base set with more to be unlocked with stretch goals (cavemen have already been unlocked). Each deck has conflict cards with red borders that are given to your opponent and shuffled into their deck. At the beginning of your turn, you earn points and resources according to symbols you have in play. Next, you deal eight cards to yourself, then blindly separate them into three piles – a build pile, a conflict pile, and a play pile. Cards in your play pile may be played as long as you can pay the build cost by discarding cards from your build pile. Resource cards don’t have to be paid for. In the conflict phase, you can use the red-bordered cards to attack your opponent’s cards, possibly dealing devastation. If a player reaches 15 points or deals out 3 devastation, they win.
There’s a lot of clever things going on in this system. I like that you’re hitting another player’s era with their own conflict cards – it wouldn’t make sense to hit the Apollo space mission with the bubonic plague. Also, the game uses eight different symbols and no text, which helps focus in what every card does. The committing of cards to your build and conflict piles is another interesting aspect as you try to prepare for things you don’t know are coming. As you learn the decks, it makes sense that you’d want to be ready for what may be there. This has become a game that I’m very interested in hearing more about.
- End Date: November 6 @ 9:00 AM CDT
- Goal: $15,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: October 2015
- To Get A Game: $24
Monster Mansion (Payton Lee) is another haunted house game, though this one is a real-time escape game. Everyone is one of 8 different characters and could be a civilian, a VIP, or an assassin. A timer will be set for 10 minutes per player (so since it’s a 2-8 player game, 20-80 minutes). On your turn, you take the turn die and draw an encounter card. You may then move to a new room (rolling the die if the room is booby=trapped), attack a monster or player in your room, or heal yourself and all characters in your room. At the end of your turn, any monsters engaged with you attack. If the civilians and VIP make it out before the timer runs out, they win. If the VIP dies, the assassin wins. If the VIP remains alive but everyone doesn’t make it out, everyone loses.
For people who like real-time games, this is probably pretty good. The tiles do different stuff, and of course, you have to take care of monsters. It’s interesting that it’s real-time and turn-based at the same time. I would be worried about downtime in an eight-player game – if it’s ten minutes per player, that’s 70 minutes where someone else is playing – but overall, I think it looks fun. This is the game’s third attempt at Kickstarting, but the third time seems to be the charm.
- End Date: November 12 @ 1:59 AM CDT
- Goal: $18,000 (funded)
- Estimated Delivery: April 2015
- To Get A Game: $29
Cartography (Jon Adams) is an abstract game that is kind of a mix between Carcassonne and Go. There are a number of triangular tiles that are used to build the map as you play. On your turn, you place a tile so that edges match up. Next, you may place one unit (disc) on a dot that has an adjacent space. If there is no adjacent space, you cannot place there unless it would result in a capture. To capture units, they must be completely surrounded so that they cannot place any more (no adjacent spaces – walls block adjacency). When you run out of tiles, you can continue placing and capturing units until the players have all decided to pass, which you can do if there’s no strategic advantage to placement. Add up all units you have left on the board to get your final score – the player with the highest score wins (the player who went first has a half point bonus to break ties).
Full disclosure here – Jon is the brother of the person who introduced me to The Settlers of Catan, and I gave him some suggestions about the rules from afar before the campaign began. But it’s a game that has a really nice look and sounds fun. I have never played Go, so I can’t really compare the two, but I think this is a game that’s worth a try. So check it out.
- End Date: November 14 @ 1:59 AM CDT
- Goal: $15,000 (not funded)
- Estimated Delivery: May 2015
- To Get A Game: $35
Space Movers (Kevin and April Cox, KnA Games) is set at the dawn of the 23rd century as players are delivering goods from planet to planet. The game comes with a soundtrack and a comic that sets the mood for the experience. Space Movers is cooperative and players are trying to complete five objectives. On your turn, you draw a card, then may move your character to a new spot in the ship, as well as move the ship to an adjacent planet. You then get to take an action – activate a room, rescue someone, complete a skill check, make a delivery, and so on. Skill checks are completed by rolling dice in the box. You roll your dice one at a time. If you don’t like what a die result is, the next roll can be thrown at the first die to try and change it. If you complete all five objectives, you win. If you run out of resources, or if you catch the eye of the UO too many times, or if you meet a condition outlined by a card, you lose.
This game looks fun. I think the skill check mechanism sounds brilliant. It adds a dexterity element and a way to try to manipulate die rolls that is still pretty lucky, but at least fun. The game graphics look good, and it’s a pick-up-and-deliver game, which I like. It looks like it will fund, so go check it out.
- End Date: November 16 @ 8:00 PM CDT
- Goal: $20,000 (not funded)
- Estimated Delivery: July 2015
- To Get A Game: $45
Steampunk Rally (Orin Bishop, Roxley Games) is a racing game with a steampunk theme. The race occurs on a track created from six tiles. Each player is an inventor – Tesla, Marie Curie, Edison, the Wright Brothers, George Washington Carver, or Marconi. As you play, you’ll be building an invention to help you cross the finish line first. At the start of each round, you are dealt four cards. You choose one, and everyone reveals simultaneously. This card can be used to construct your invention, gail fuel (dice), or gain cogs. The remaining cards are passed and you do it again. You’ll end up playing four cards. You can then vent by spending cogs to remove pips from the dice. After this is the racing phase, where you play dice to activate cards in your invention. This continues until someone crosses the finish line. At this point, there is one more round, and the player who is farthest ahead is the winner.
This game looks really nice. I mean, the stuff you see on Kickstarter is among the best I’ve seen art and design wise. They’re advertising the game as a true steampunk game, not just one with the theme slapped on because it’s en vogue right now. It has the look, it has the theme, and it seems to have some pretty solid mechanics. I’m very interested to see how it ends up doing.
- End Date: November 28 @ 1:00 AM CDT
- Goal: $42,000 (not funded)
- Estimated Delivery: August 2015
- To Get A Game: $55 CAD ($49 USD)
Another month, another Blitz in the can. Hope you found some good games in here. Thanks for reading!