Game Buzz: Islebound Mayhem

Taking a look at a couple of Kickstarter campaigns today that will wrapping up funding before I post my next Kickstarter Blitz.  We’ll start with

image by BGG user Clockpunk
image by BGG user Clockpunk

Islebound is a game designed and illustrated by Ryan Laukat, and is being published by Red Raven Games.  It’s a 2-4 player game that takes 1-2 hours to play.  This is a nautical game where you’re sailing your ship around to different islands, collecting resources, hiring crew, and commissioning buildings.

image by BGG user WarcraftZIVI
image by BGG user WarcraftZIVI

The game comes with a Victory Board, 4 ships, 4 port boards, 4 sea boards, 28 coin tokens, 8 silver coin tokens, 4 player ship boards, 16 renown tokens, 15 pirate mini cards, 15 serpent mini cards, 28 fish tokens, 12 book tokens, 24 lumber tokens, 35 building cards, 10 dice, 80 wooden cubes, 3 building books, 20 crew tokens, 8 reputation cards, 15 event cards, and 4 player aid cards.  After setting up the map, each player gets a ship, seven coins, 20 cubes in their color, and three starting crew (two administrators and one worker).  Each player begins in a home port in the corner of the board.

On your turn, you MUST move your ship, then you MAY take an action.  To move, you check your speed (it begins at two) and move up to that number of regions (you must move at least one).  Then you take one of four actions:

  • Visit: Go to the island in your ship’s region.  You’ll have to pay the entry cost, then you can take the action of the town there.
  • Attack: You can attack a red town instead of visiting it.  For this, choose a number of pirates and sea serpents you have collected and set those to the side.  Each one allows you to roll a die.  Dice are assigned to each attacker, and give damage according to the results.  If you get enough to defeat the town, you now own it, collect the spoils (cash), visit the town for free.  If you don’t win, you can choose to injure crew to increase your attack strength.  If you can’t or won’t win, you can choose to retreat.  This loses you a pirate or sea serpent and ends your turn.
  • Diplomacy: Pay influence to control a blue town, collecting spoils and visiting it for free.
  • Hunt for Treasure: Every time a player pays a coin as an entry fee, it goes into a treasure map.  Take this action, and all money that has accumulated is yours.

There are also free actions you can take at any time during your turn.  If there are one or more active events in your region, you may complete them.  You can also buy buildings, paying the cost in cash (and books if necessary).  The game is almost over when someone has 7 building cards (8 with 2 or 3 players).  You finish the current round (all the way back to the start player), then everyone else gets one more turn.  The player who has collected the most renown wins.

Ryan Laukat has had some good success, not only as a designer but also as an artist.  This game appears to continue the great tradition of his games looking great.  I’m not entirely sold on it yet.  There’s a lot to do, a lot of paths, and it looks fairly simple to understand.  I don’t know, I think this is one that I’d rather play first before deciding if I wanted to back it.  Fortunately, they have a module on Tabletopia for just that purpose (I haven’t gotten to try it yet).  The Kickstarter campaign is well overfunded at this point, and closes on November 23.

And now for something completely different.

image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Monster Truck Mayhem is a game from designers Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback that is being Kickstarted by Dice Hate Me Games.  This is a 2-4 player real-time racing game that plays in ten minutes.  You’re driving monster trucks around a big track, trying to win it all.

image by BGG user ckirkman
image by BGG user ckirkman

The game comes with 4 double sided track boards, 4 punchboard monster trucks with stands, 4 player boards, 12 racing dice, 8 Sunday Sunday Sunday cards, and some other special things for special powers.  And there will be more stuff (including components for a fifth player and extra track tiles) if the game hits stretch goals.  At the start of the game, set up your track using the boards, then each player puts their truck standee on the starting line.

There are no turns.  Someone counts down (3-2-1-GO!) and everyone rolls their three racing dice.  Roll and reroll until you get what you want, then take the action.  There are five different actions:

  • Move.  If you roll two of a number (1, 2, or 3), you may move your Monster Truck that many spaces.  You must move the full amount – some spaces are not great and could cause you to spin out or stop.
  • Boost.  If you roll three lightning bolts, you may activate a boost.  Immediately reroll your dice, then multiply the highest number you rolled by two and move that many spaces.
  • Spin Out.  If you roll three tires, you can spin out another player.  That player must regain traction.
  • Regain Traction.  If you have been spun out, you must roll three tires before you can take another action.
  • Clear an Obstacle.  Roll the specified combination in order to clear an obstacle.

Go until someone crosses the finish line.  They win.

This game looks like some dumb fun.  Obviously, it’s not going to be the most strategic of games, but it’s not trying to be.  It’s trying to take some of the frantic energy of Escape and pack it into a competitive racing game.  I feel like there should be more ways to mess with your opponents – you can spin them out, but rolling three tires might take time.  I think that would give it more of a Monster Truck feel.  But, anyway, I think it looks like a good fun way to fill 10 minutes, so take a look if you’re interested.  The project is having a lot of trouble funding at the moment, so back if you can.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading!

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