Kickstarter Blitz #23

Happy Black Friday!  For those of you doing your shopping at home, here is this month’s edition of the Kickstarter Blitz!

image by BGG user rickblenn
image by BGG user rickblenn

Dark Mages is a 2-8 player mage battle game.  From the BGG description:

In Dark Mages, each player takes the role of a Wizard and attacks other players by dueling with the help of several types of cards, such as terrifying magic spells, curses, companions and more. The only goal of the game is to survive, defeating all enemies. Last mage alive will be designated the winner of the game! Each player starts with 60 life points. To start, each player draws a random magician card and places it face upward on the table in front of the player. To determine who starts the game, each player rolls one D20 and the one with the highest number starts the game. Then, the player who starts the game shuffles the main deck and distribute 5 cards to each player and the duel begins!

The theme of this game is way overused – seems like everyone has a wizard duel game in their catalog.  This one stands out to me for a couple of reasons – one is that the art is quite stunning, and the other is that you equip items using the corners of your character card.  It seems to be a nice way to keep track of what you have and what you can have.

  • End Date: November 28, 2015 @ 3:53 PM CST
  • Goal: $10,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2016
  • How Much: $25
image by BGG user Sasachaz
image by BGG user Sasachaz

Tavarua (Cody Miller, Far Off Games) is all about surfing.  From the Kickstarter description:

Tavarua is a competitive surfing board game for 1 to 6 players. You are a surfer, ready to ride the waves in a friendly competition to see who’s the best! Choose a surfboard, paddle out and watch for the perfect wave to catch! Once you’re up and riding you’ll need to maintain your balance by performing tricks and watching the shifting water to keep from wiping out! Each successful wave counts towards your score, but in the end, only one surfer will win the grand champion trophy!

I’m a little surprised this isn’t doing better on Kickstarter right now.  It has a unique theme, and an interesting wave mechanism where you have to catch a broken or unbroken wave.  Also, it’s by the same designer as Xia: Legends of a Drift System, which is an incredibly popular game.  We’ll see if this one manages to gain some traction in the next few days.

  • End Date: November 30, 2015 @ 9:30 PM CST
  • Goal: $30,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2016
  • How Much: $39
image by BGG user SteveVenezia
image by BGG user SteveVenezia

Side Quest (Steve Venezia, Tap to Win) is a dungeon crawl game that is small enough to fit in your pocket.  From the Kickstarter Description:

This is a fully co-operative game where working together is key. The game is played horizontally, with a row of location cards placed next to each other. Hero cards go under these to show where the Heroes are, while Monsters and Loot cards go on top. Each turn the dungeon is populated with random Monsters and Loot cards, so you’d better deal with them quickly! Do you grab the Death Sabre that just dropped? Or attack the Zombies that are about to feast on your friend? 

I tend to like pocket games, and I tend to like dungeon crawls.  This one looks interesting – not a lot of new ground, perhaps, but it looks like it might be a fun diversion for a game session.  I would probably primarily play it as a solo game.

  • End Date: December 1, 2015 @ 4:00 PM CST
  • Goal: £4,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2016
  • How Much: £15
image by BGG user anovac
image by BGG user anovac

Simurgh (Pierluca Zizzi, NSKN Games) is a fantasy board game with dragons.  From the BGG description:

Simurgh is a game for 2-5 players who become heads of powerful clans in a fantastical world where humans and dragons live, hunt and go to wars together. As a head of a powerful family, each player will breed mighty dragons, make use of their special abilities, gather resources and try to make their house the most powerful by gathering the most Power Points. The game is played in a sequence of turns, with each turn allowing a player to perform 1 Main Action and any number of Free Actions. As a Main Action, a player will usually place a worker on an Action Space. During the game, players will collectively build the board by drawing and placing Action Tiles, each either providing new Action Spaces (some allowing any Vassals, some exclusively the Dragonriders), or creating an opportunity to score points for combinations of specific dragons in a player’s possession. When all the scoring spaces are filled with tiles, the game ends at the end of the round and Power Points are tallied.

There are a lot of fantasy games out there right now, and Kickstarter always seems full of them.  I haven’t delved much into the mechanisms of this one, but the art looks really nice, and there a lot of cool bits.  Throw in NSKN’s reputation for good games, and this is one to check out.

  • End Date: December 4, 2015 @ 4:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $21,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2016
  • How Much: $36
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Lunarchitects (Dan Cunningham, Iron Kitten Games) is a Eurogame based on the mechanics of Glen More.  From the Kickstarter description:

Lunarchitects is a medium-weight strategy game that has players moving their pawns forward in a refilling circular queue to claim building blueprints. Players use the claimed blueprints to build personal moonbase plans in front of them. But instead of turns proceeding clockwise, the player furthest behind in the queue always takes the next turn. This makes blueprint choices a matter of quality over quantity. Blueprints from four stages are shuffled then stacked, with buildings increasing in both cost and power. Each time all players complete a lap of the blueprint queue, scoring occurs; the game ends after the fourth round of scoring. The player who has collected the most points is the winner, and their plans will guide the creation of the first settlement on the moon!

I like games that use the time track mechanism, where the person in back has the next turn (as in Thebes, Tokaido, Patchwork, and Glen More).  I can see the inspiration in the design, and I don’t know how well it separates itself from Glen More, but for fans of the original who may want a bit more theme, this is probably a good thing to take a look at.

  • End Date: December 8, 2015 @ 4:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $30,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: October 2016
  • How Much: $35
image by BGG user cwlin0131
image by BGG user cwlin0131

Adventurer’s Kit (Chi Wei Lin, Shepherd Kit) is conceived as an adventure and exploration game specifically for kids.  From the Kickstarter description:

The story starts with two young adventurers, Jack and Julia, along with their beloved pals, the shepherd dog Bean and the leopard cat Fluffy. Together, they set out on a journey to explore the ancient worlds of the four continents: Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe. Kids will play these characters and go through 28,000 years of human civilization. To become a true adventurer, they will have to beat the odds as they face legendary creatures (such as Bigfoot, Kappa, Mummies, and the Loch Ness Monster) and natural disasters (tornadoes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, to name a few) on their journey to discover the legendary artifacts.

The game comes with a lot of cool pieces, including a box of sand, miniature artifacts, an adventure map, wooden figures, tiles, cards, dice…I know this is a kid’s game, but it looks really cool.  Honestly, it looks like a roll-and-move luckfest with very little strategy, but it’s got a great theme and a great look, and is more involved than your standard mass market fare.

  • End Date: December 8, 2015 @ 10:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $25,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2016
  • How Much: $75
image by BGG user kmatejka
image by BGG user kmatejka

Roll Player (Keith Matejka, Thunderworks Games) is “a dice game about building character.”  From the Kickstarter description:

In Roll Player, players compete to create the greatest fantasy adventurer. Roll and draft dice to assemble character attribute scores. Purchase weapons and armor to outfit your hero. Train to gain skills and discover your hero’s traits to prepare them for their journey. Earn Reputation by constructing the perfect character. The player with the highest Reputation wins the game and will surely triumph over whatever nefarious plot lies ahead!

This game has some dice drafting aspects, as well as character customization.  It looks like a very unique game overall.  There are a lot of dice (73), and a lot of ways to build your character.  Plus, it has a great title – I love puns.  I think I’m going to make this one my PICK OF THE MONTH.

  • End Date: December 11, 2015 @ 9:32 AM CST
  • Goal: $35,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: October 2016
  • How Much: $45
MaTar9000
MaTar9000

BrilliAnts (Maxime Tardiff, Sphere Games) is a game about controlling an ant colony.  From the Kickstarter preview:

BrilliAnts is a flexible game for gamers and families where you take control of an ant colony to help it prepare for the coming winter! But beware, not every colony has the same needs! You must gather the resources you need to survive the winter by fulfilling headquarters’ objectives while expanding your territory and influence over the forest. Be wary of the weather and the dreaded predators as you plan your next move to lead your colony to victory.

I seem to really like the idea of ant games, I don’t know what it is.  Maybe its that their structure really lends itself well to game mechanisms.  This one has a great look to it, and looks pretty fun.

  • End Date: December 12, 2015 @ 5:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $10,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2016
  • How Much: $49 CAD
image by BGG user domcrap
image by BGG user domcrap

Wits & Wagers: Epic Geek Edition (Dominic Crapuchettes, North Star Games) is an all new version of Wits & Wagers.  From the BGG description:

The Epic Geek edition was intended to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Wits & Wagers, but it needed another year to get “that extra kick over the cliff” (yes, this version goes to 11). There are 3 things which make the Epic Geek edition different (and better) than every other edition of Wits & Wagers.  [First] It has all new questions about the epic stories we love such as Star Wars, The Avengers, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Matrix, Monty Python, Batman, etc. If there is a brand you love, chances are you’ll find a question or two about it in this game. [Second] It has stunning artwork on the back of each HUGE 5″ x 8″ player board. These illustrations were commissioned by some of the best artists in the industry such as  Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell,  Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Connor , and  Jon Kovalic. [Third] Every player board comes with an unique in-game power that adds a layer of fun interaction to the game. Anytime the zombie player goes all-in and loses, he comes back to life with 5 free chips. The Wizard of Odds can switch any two payout odds before the answers are revealed. The Superhero helps the downtrodden by moving another player’s bet to the correct answer (for which he receives a small token of gratitude from the mayor). You get the idea! It’s the interaction of these thematic in-game powers that make this edition epically fun to play.

I include this here because I think it’s an interesting case study.  Wits & Wagers is an established property that has been around for over a decade, so I think backers were surprised at the $100,000 goal for a game they already own.  Dominic Crapuchettes has also said publicly that he doesn’t feel like they did a good enough job letting people know just how different the Epic Geek Edition is from every other edition of the game.  As such, this game will not get funded, and may even be cancelled by the time this post goes up.  I’m confident it will be back – once North Star revamps the campaign and really gets the publicity out there for the changes, I think the game will ultimately be successful.  Just not this time.

  • End Date: December 12, 2015 @ 12:00 AM CST
  • Goal: $100,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2016
  • How Much: $42 (no stretch goals), $51 (all stretch goals)
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Leonardo is not the kind of thing I would usually include in this post, but I’m following this one with kind of a morbid fascination.  From the Kickstarter description:

Choose your figure, and with money in hand, enter the game at Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo. As you travel through 15th century Renaissance Italy, you are faced with strategic decisions: Do you buy the Mona Lisa or invest in one of Leonardo’s brilliant inventions? Do you acquire a Palazzo in Firenze, or aspire to be the Pope in Roma? Suddenly, the tension mounts as Death appears! It’s the Black Plague, a fact of life in these dangerous times.  Continue your journey, collecting Art and Property, amassing a fortune to ruin your opponents! You must have both luck and skill to succeed, for your position in the game can switch in an instant! Will you prove the worthy winner? Enjoy your fascinating journey through the world of Leonardo | The Game of Art and Death | Plague Edition!

From what I can tell, the game works like this: everyone has a token and begins at Vinci.  On your turn, you roll the die and move.  When you land on a field, you may buy the property.  If you don’t buy it, you can auction it off.  You can buy art to increase the value of your properties, and increase the fees your opponents must pay in order to land there.  Does this sound familiar?  Apparently, this game is really fancy and souped up Monopoly.  It’s quite beautiful, but I don’t think I’m ready to pay $150 for it.

  • End Date: December 24, 2015 @ 8:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $48,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2016
  • How Much: $149

Also, a reminder that You’re Fired still has just over a week in its campaign – I reviewed this one recently and enjoyed it, so consider backing it before December 5.

I’m heading out on a December hiatus now…time to recharge the blog batteries.  You’ll hear from me again on December 22 for the next Kickstarter Blitz.  Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s