Kickstarter Blitz #15

Time for another monthly roundup of projects currently funding on Kickstarter.  On with the show!


image by BGG user Floodgate
image by BGG user Floodgate

Vault Wars (Jonathan Gilmour/Ben Harkins, Floodgate Games) is a game about bidding on the treasures left behind by adventurers that never return (think Storage Wars for D&D).  Each player has a contract with two heroes, one of which will give you bonus victory points at the end of the game.  You’ll also draft a hand of vault cards (3-5, depending on the number of players).  Each player chooses a vault card and reveals simultaneously.  You can then hire a worker to help you.  After this is an auction, and each vault card will be on the block in turn.  Each vault card will tell you a number of vault cards to draw (hidden), how many must be revealed by the auction master, and how many may be peeked at by the other players.  You then bid on the lot, and the winner gets the contents of the the lot, paying the auction master or the bank (if the auction master wins).  After everyone has auctioned their vault, you can sell items or keep them.  Once all players have auctioned off all vaults in their hand, the game is over and the player with the most points wins.

I’ve said many times that I just don’t like auction games.  However, this one has an interesting theme, and that counts for a lot.  You can see the upcoming auctions, and you know part of what’s in the lot.  It seems like a fun one.

  • End Date: March 27, 2015 @ 8:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $20
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user JoystickJunkies
image by BGG user JoystickJunkies

Thunderbirds (Matt Leacock, Modiphius Entertainment) is a game based on the 1965-1966 British television show that use marionettes as the main characters.  The object of the game is to avert all disasters in The Hood’s scheme before time runs out.  The Hood is the main adversary of the series, and also the game.  In the game, players take turns to do three actions and draw a mission card.  Your actions could be to move, to attempt a rescue by rolling dice, to plan by taking a FAB card and advancing The Hood, or scan to move a mission card back one slot.  When you draw a mission card, you’ll either end up advancing The Hood or the mission cards.  You lose by running out of time to complete a mission, or The Hood triggers a disaster that the players can’t avert, or the mission card pile runs out.

Matt Leacock is the designer of Pandemic, and you can see that system all over this game.  It looks like a very different game, but it uses the action point system, the multiple ways to lose, and constant attack from the game as in Pandemic.  I’m not familiar with Thunderbirds lore, having never watched the show, but it does have a cult following and this game is funding very well.  So check it out.

  • End Date: March 29, 2015 @ 2:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: £20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: £40
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user Justinschaffer
image by BGG user Justinschaffer

Far Space Foundry (Dan Manfredini, Terra Nova Games) is a game about mining crystals and transporting them between space stations (foundries) to earn points.  In the first half of the game, players use the Alpha side of the foundry board.  On your turn, you play a pilot card from your hand.  This card will allow you to either land a shuttle at a particular dock on the foundry or transport ore from your warehouse to your freighter.  If the dock you want to land in is full, you move around the rondel to the next available dock and collect more ore for the inconvenience.  If there’s no shuttle in the dock you want to use to transport ore to your freighter, you move around the rondel to the next occupied dock and move more goods for the inconvenience.  In the second half, you flip the foundry board to its Beta side.  Here, you will be transporting ore to the foundry, then using it to make robots, med kits, and deflector dishes.  The player who has earned the most points when the game ends is the winner.

This game looks like an interesting take on the rondel mechanism.  I like that it’s played in two halves – I tend to like games like that (though there are exceptions).  It has a nice look, seems fairly unique, and looks like a good mental exercise game.  Take a look.

  • End Date: April 2, 2015 @ 3:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $25,250 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2015
  • To Get a Game: $39
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user dknemeyer
image by BGG user dknemeyer

Tesla vs. Edison (Dirk Knemeyer, Artana) is a game about the battle to bring electric lighting to the masses in the late 19th century.  Players can be Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Elihu Thomson, Charles F. Brush, or Sir Hiram Maxim.  At the beginning of the first, fourth, and seventh rounds round, there’s a luminary auction where you can get some help from someone.  You then reveal propaganda for the round, and then players can start taking actions – send one or more luminaries to claim a project, advance in technology, engage in propaganda, participate in the stock market, or collect outstanding invoices (aka pass).  After everyone has used all of their luminaries, you collect money and evaluate inventor popularity, number of projects, and popularity of the different systems.  After nine rounds, the game ends and the player who has the highest valued stock at the end of the game wins.

Historical games interest me, particularly when they’re not about some obscure battle.  There’s a lot of history out there, and it’s good to see a company tackling something that can be just as tense without involving bloodshed.  I like the theme here, and the game seems pretty good – it’s kind of like worker placement, but more about speculation and money management.

  • End Date: April 2, 2015 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2015
  • To Get a Game: $49
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user heya
image by BGG user heya

Addictive Alchemy (David Lupo, New World Alchemy) is a game about drinking potions for their power, but possibly getting some weird side effects.  Six side effect cards are placed in the center, and ech player gets a 15-card deck of potions.  You begin the game with five potions in your hand, one of which goes to your discard pile and one to your scrap pile.  On your turn, you will drink (play) two potions.  These have effects which occur immediately.  When it gets back to your turn, the potion combination you played will produce a side effect, which you follow.  These could be good or bad for you.  If you cannot draw a potion when asked to because your deck and discard pile are empty, or if you cannot play a potion when asked to, you are addicted and out of the game.  If you are the last person standing, you win.

This seems like a fun, quick game.  They’re calling it a deck deconstruction game because cards will be going out of your deck to the scrap pile, rather than adding new cards to your deck.  There’s player elimination, sure, but there’s also a mechanism in play to speed up the game once someone is out (other players take damage at the start of their turn automatically).  So I think it will work.  Looks good to me.

image by BGG user Debate
image by BGG user Debate

Lord of the Fries (James Ernest, Cheapass Games) originally came out in 1998, but Cheapass has been Kickstarting new editions of a lot of their old catalog, so here comes this zombie fast food game.  In the game, you are building combos out of random ingredients.  Each round, someone will choose an order from the menu, calling it out or rolling for it.  In turn order, each player sees if they can fill the order from the cards in their hand.  If they can, they play the cards, then choose a new item.  If not, the next player tries.  If no one can, it goes around again and players have the ability to leave stuff out.  Once someone has played all of their cards, the round ends.  You get positive points for cards you played and negative points for cards still in your hand.

This looks like a silly hand management game where you’re just trying to get rid of all of your ingredients.  I’ve played Give Me The Brain, which is set in the same zombie fast food restaurant (Friedays), and enjoyed it, though it is completely different from this one.  It’s not a brain burner of a game, just a chance to be silly and make random food with random ingredients.

image by BGG user muka
image by BGG user muka

Tumblin Dice (Carey Grayson/Randy Nash/Rick Soued, Eagle-Gryphon Games) was originally published in 2004.  This is a dexterity game where players are rolling dice down a staircase to try to score points.  Each player slides four dice down the stairs, and then points are scored based on where they land.  There are 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x areas on the board, and you use that multiplier with the side the die ended up on.  After four rounds, the player with the most points wins.

I’ve heard about this game for a while, but have never gotten to play it.  It seems like a pretty fun dexterity game in the tradition of curling.  You can shoot to knock other dice out, improve your position, and of course try to get a high score.  I’ve always wanted to try it, so I’m glad it’s coming back into print.

  • End Date: April 4, 2015 @ 12:35 AM CDT
  • Goal: $25,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $60
  • Video: Dice Tower Review
image by BGG user angelkurisu
image by BGG user angelkurisu

Adorable Pandaring (Chris Cieslik, Asmadi Games) is a game about adorable pandas trying to get bamboo.  On your turn, if there are four or more adorable pandas in play, you score the red panda, which awards bamboo to players with adorable pandas.  If this scoring happens, you’ll get to choose a new panda law, which determines which pandas are currently adorable.  After this, you hide a panda from your hand, then play one, performing its effect.  You end your turn by drawing up to four cards.  If you are the first to five bamboo, you win.

This is a cute quick little game that is apparently going after the Exploding Kittens market, even though there are no explosions or kittens.  It still has a looooong way to go to catch up.  But it does look really cute, and I think it will be a good filler to bring out with the family.

  • End Date: April 9, 2015 @ 3:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2015
  • To Get a Game: $12
image by BGG user MrGlubGlub
image by BGG user MrGlubGlub

Train Heist (Sean McDonald, Tower Guard Games) is a cooperative game set in the Old West.  Players are working together to stop a corrupt sheriff and the rich people of Notting County from stealing the town folks’ money (see where this is heading?).  On your turn, you draw up to five poker cards, then can take four heist actions.  These include moving, moving a horse, looting the train, dropping off loot at a town, flipping a railroad switch, trading cards with another player in your space, taking a bullet (which effectively saves an action for later), or escaping from jail.  There are also some free actions – using card abilities based on your poker hand, or mounting/dismounting a horse.  At the end of the turn, you move the train.  If you reach the predetermined goal of loot deliveries, you win the game.  If the event deck runs out and the train reaches a switch junction, or if the hangman’s noose reaches the bottom, you lose.

Old West games seem to be making a resurgence lately, and honestly, they have been hit or miss for me.  I haven’t played Colt Express yet, but I liked Spurs and really disliked High Noon Saloon and A Fistful of Dinero.  This one looks different from all of those, and combines pick-up-and-deliver with the cooperative genre.  This is one I’d like to try sometime.

  • End Date: April 14, 2015 @ 10:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $17,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2015
  • To Get a Game: $46 CAD
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough
image by BGG user Mad Scientist
image by BGG user Mad Scientist

Wizard’s Academy (Gregory Carslaw, 3DTotal Games) is scenario-based cooperative game where a group of bad magic students have to work together in order to succeed.  Each player has a character, each with its own special ability.  The academy is randomly generated each game (both position and orientation of the tiles).  There’s a board of spells, which may or may not be visible (known).  On your turn, you first play the disaster card that you’re holding, and then you draw another for the next turn.  This means you can prepare.  You can then take up to three actions – move, use the power of a room you’re in, or cast a spell.  After this, you endure any threats in the room your in (possibly resulting in injury or death), then can share one of your glyphs with the other players.  If you complete the given scenario, you win.  If you fail, you lose.

This looks like a pretty deep game.  A lot of strategy in how to use spells and how to complete scenarios.  The bits look great, and it seems to be getting a lot of good buzz.  So give it a look.

  • End Date: April 17, 2015 @ 2:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: £30,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2016
  • To Get a Game: £50
  • Video: Box of Delights Runthrough
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Best Treehouse Ever (Scott Almes, Green Couch Games) is a card drafting game about building and outfitting the best treehouse.  At the beginning of a round, each player is dealt six cards.  You’ll choose one card, reveal simultaneously, then pass the rest.  The card you chose will be built on your tree.  You have to keep your tree in balance, not making it too heavy on one side.  You’ll end up playing five cards in the round.  You score after each round – each color is worth a point, but there are modifiers players can play to double or nullify a color’s score.  The player with the highest score after three rounds wins.

This is a light game, much simpler than something like 7 Wonders.  And I have to say, the treehouses you are building look REALLY COOL.  This looks like exactly the kind of quirky game that would make good bait, and maybe even as a good gateway to deeper drafting games.  I’m calling this one my PICK OF THE MONTH.

  • End Date: April 18, 2015 @ 8:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $15,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2015
  • To Get a Game: $16
  • Video: Rahdo’s Runthrough

Thanks for reading!

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