Kickstarter Blitz #25

It’s 2016, and that means there’s a whole new crop of Kickstarter projects to look at.  Let’s see what’s coming later this year.

image by BGG user Ludus Magnus Studio
image by BGG user Ludus Magnus Studio

Nova Aetas (Luca Bernardini/Daniele Colletti/Andrea Colletti, Ludus Magnus Studio) is a cooperative game inspired by tactical RPGs.  From the Kickstarter description:

Nova Aetas is a tabletop miniatures wargame set in an alternative Renaissance world. Inspired by classic Japanese tactical RPGs such as ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ and ‘Tactics Ogre’, in Nova Aetas you will battle enemies controlled by a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence. With every challenge you will be presented with meaningful choices that will change the course of game events. Nova Aetas will captivate you with its high detailed miniatures and its high quality components. Our primary goal is to produce Nova Aetas as a boxed game that will include everything you need to play the first series of adventures. However the world of Nova Aetas does not end there! With your support, we have prepared many stretch goals that will unlock a unique series of special characters to include in your campaigns, that we think you will find surprising! On top of that, we have plans for a number of different expansions that will add new challenges, new hero classes and new enemies to face… and this is just the beginning.
This game comes with a bunch of minis, and features an action selection method that is reminiscent of a rondel system.  Looks like an interesting, if expensive, game.
  • End Date: January 30, 2016 @ 6:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $40,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2016
  • How Much: $90
image by GG user Michael Shinall
image by GG user Michael Shinall

Xenoshyft: Dreadmire (Michael Shinall, Cool Mini or Not) is a sequel/standalone expansion to last year’s popular Xenoshyft: Onslaught.  From the Kickstarter description:

XenoShyft: Dreadmire brings players back into the NorTec Corporation as they strip mine another planet for the highly sought-after Xenosathem! Players will have to make strategic decisions and work together as they face off against the Brood, a monstrous horde of all new alien foes! But it isn’t just the Brood that players will have to worry about this time. Weather effects will drastically change the game each round! XenoShyft: Dreadmire is a fully cooperative card game designed for 1-4 players. Working as both a standalone game and an expansion, XenoShyft: Dreadmire can either be played by itself or shuffled into XenoShyft: Onslaught, adding new foes, items and troops. With over 400 cards, and the same immersive art direction as the previous game, XenoShyft: Dreadmire brings the same quantity and quality players have come to expect from the XenoShyft franchise!

I’ve heard good things about the original Xenoshyft.  As a deckbuilder, this fits into the “Or Not” part of Cool Mini or Not’s catalog.  And, of course, anything that CMON does is Kickstarter gold, so they’ve already made their goal and more.

  • End Date: January 31, 2016 @ 2:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $30,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2016
  • How Much: $55
image by BGG user LombardiCJ
image by BGG user LombardiCJ

Alienation (Chris Lombardi/Coryn Lombardi) is a drafting game set in outer space.  From the BGG description:

Welcome to the highly lucrative world of intergalactic real-estate! In Alienation, you will assume the role of a real-estate agent attempting to satisfy various alien creature clientele. But watch out for your rival competitors, because they will surely be trying to corner the market. Finish with the most points after 3 rounds to win the game! Players will draft a hand of 9 alien creature cards. Creature cards may have 1, 2, or 3 creatures displayed in one of 6 races: Friendlies, Meanies, Rowdies, Sleepies, Matchies, and Sunnies. Each race has very distinct personalities and interacts differently with their neighbors.

This game is right now being called Sushi Go! in space, and Sushi Go! was called 7 Wonders with sushi, so take that as you will.  The aliens are pretty cute, and it looks like a fun light game.  Check it out.

  • End Date: February 1, 2016 @ 8:48 AM CST
  • Goal: $2,800 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2016
  • How Much: $18
image by BGG user Nono
image by BGG user Nono

Dragon Keeper (Etienne Daniault, Ilopeli) is a dungeon exploration game where you are trying to help the dragon dispose of adventurers.  From the BGG description:

In those primitive times when men and dragons were enemies, former adventurers left their original guilds to serve a dragon. They protect him from the repeated assaults of adventurers attracted by his fabulous treasure, buried in the basement of the castle. What if there were more than gold to protect? You embody these keepers and must capture the adventurers who invade the rooms of the dungeon. Yet, you must remain faithful to your guild by avoiding capturing its members. Once you have repelled the assaults, you will give to the dragon, as a tribute, a part of the adventurers you caught…

This game looks like a fairly simple abstract game where you’re collecting tiles for points, but trying not to get tiles of a certain color.  At the same time, you want to try to figure out what your opponents are avoiding and give them that color.  The game makes use of a three-tiered board using the box lid and supports.  It looks interesting enough.

  • End Date: February 3, 2016 @ 1:00 PM CST
  • Goal: €10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2016
  • How Much: €25 ($27 US)
image by BGG user RPGShop
image by BGG user RPGShop

The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction (James Mathe, Minion Games) is a card game based on the popular 2012 worker placement game, The Manhattan Project.  From the Kickstarter description:

The world is again threatened with war! As the War Minister of your small nation, you have been tasked with confronting aggression by developing atomic bombs for your country. Your spies have stolen the needed technology, but you need to acquire the materials and personnel to get the job done before your rival nations do. Once someone has built 10 kilotons of bombs, the final round will finish, and the player with the most bomb points will win, their nation’s survival assured! To do this, you will be playing cards representing the training and use of teams of laborers, scientists, and engineers to complete various plans, until you have assembled enough bombs to win!

I have not played the original Manhattan Project game, though I know a bunch of people are fans.  This looks like a simpler game than its predecessor, but still its own thing.  So if you like the property, take a look.

  • End Date: February 4, 2016 @ 10:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $4,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2016
  • How Much: $15
image by BGG user BenTheRat
image by BGG user BenTheRat

Ultimate Dinosaur Fighting (Ben Burns, Dark Cult Games) doesn’t need much more description than the title.  It’s dinosaurs.  Fighting.  From the Kickstarter description:

In the near future, cloning dinosaurs becomes commonplace. Private corporations began building special zoo’s across the world, but the cost for security spiraled out of control and the zoos began to keep their dinosaurs tranquilized. Demand waned and underground fight clubs quickly became popular and began producing huge dividends. Larger and larger dinosaurs were pitted against each other until today we have Ultimate Dinosaur FightingStep into a world where you control these ancient beasts where every movement and action could be their last. The game is easy to learn, fast paced, quick to setup, has a high replay value and is just great fun. You can play as a one off battle or run a stable of dinosaurs using the campaign rules. In the campaign game, you add in Mutations, Tech Upgrades and Training to ready  your prized prehistoric gladiator to take on any beast in the pit.

You probably know from the title whether this is a game for you.  There are dinosaurs battling it out in an arena, and I’m all for there being more dinosaur games on the market.  The game comes with metal dino minis.

  • End Date: February 6, 2016 @ 10:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $8,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2016
  • How Much: $50
image by BGG user xodroolis
image by BGG user xodroolis

The Pursuit of Happiness (Adrian Abela/David Chircop, Artipia Games) falls into the genre of life games.  From the Kickstarter description:

We all have a common desire – the desire for happiness. As we build our life, taking steps towards the pursuit of happiness, we come closer to the realization that happiness lies in the pursuit.  The successful game released by Artipia Games during Essen Spiel 2015 is finally getting a large 2nd-Print!  The Pursuit of Happiness is a game designed by David Chircop and Adrian Abela, featuring artwork by Panayiotis Lyris, in which you take a character from birth and you live the life you always wanted. Using a worker-placement mechanism with time as your workers, you take on projects, you get jobs, you buy items, you establish relationships, you raise families. The possibilities are endless. How much will you be able to achieve in just one lifetime?

Artipia is well known for producing some very high quality and unique games.  This one is very different for their lineup, but then, it seems like all of their games are a departure.  So maybe that’s their thing.  Anyway, I think it has a great look to it, and I love that there are so many games coming out lately about shaping a life.

  • End Date: February 11, 2016 @ 3:30 PM CST
  • Goal: $15,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2016
  • How Much: $49
image by BGG user Letimangames
image by BGG user Letimangames

Dirigible Disaster (Daniel Grek, Letiman Games) is a real-time cooperative game about trying to prevent a dirigible disaster.  From the Kickstarter description:

Dirigible Disaster is a cooperative board game in which players work together to keep an airship, The Dirigible, in the air for its entire 10 minute maiden voyage. This is accomplished by repairing or dealing with various issues that occur on the ship as the game progresses, such as steam leaks, fires, and broken cogs. The game consists of 10 rounds that each last for one real-time minute. Before each minute begins, a set of problems arise on the board and it is up to the players to work together to handle as many of the problems as possible during each one-minute round. At the end of the ten rounds, the players win the game only if they were able to avoid meeting any of the failure criteria and keep the Dirigible afloat for its entire voyage.

I like games that use real-time aspects, and I think it’s interesting that this is a turn-based real-time game.  Rather than something like Escape, which has everyone working simultaneously, you are here passing the die after each turn so the next person can take their action.  It looks like a cool game , and probably pretty difficult due to the random nature.

  • End Date: February 11, 2016 @ 9:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $8,400 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2016
  • How Much: $29
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Club Zen/Don’t Get Eated (T.C. Petty III, Dice Hate Me Games) is a double campaign for two games by the same designer.  From the Kickstarter description:

Don’t Get Eated is a social game of survival of the fittest. Players take on the roles of totally cute animals that are tired of the boring life on the farm and want to escape into the world. The only problem is, the world is a dangerous place! In the game, players will work together and against each other to survive in the wilds. Failure to meet the challenge presented each round results in a vicious attack, until only one animal remains standing.

East meets West in Club Zen, a relaxing worker placement game where the goal is to plan out your seven-day working vacation in the most Zen way possible. Manage your work and emotional stress, make new friends, attend exciting events such as Hang-Gliding or Rock Climbing, collect stones for your personal Zen Garden, or take a nap! How will you spend your time at the 5-star resort, Club Zen? The most relaxed or “zen” player at the end of their one week stay will be the winner.

Dice Hate Me Games has a good reputation for producing quality games, and T.C. Petty III had some good success with his VivaJava titles.  But this project is struggling, and I think part of that is due to there being two very different games at two very different price points. Whenever publishers try to do that, it seems like it doesn’t work.  Nevertheless, I think they look good, so check them out and decide for yourself.

  • End Date: February 12, 2016 @ 5:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $40,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2016
  • How Much: $19 for Don’t Get Eated, $49 for Club Zen, $64 for both
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Thief’s Market (Dave Chalker, Tasty Minstrel Games) is a dice drafting/stealing game.  From the BGG description:

You are all thieves! Each round in Thief’s Market you roll the loot dice and split them up, then use your earnings to buy devious plans, henchmen, and finery in order to become the most notorious thief of all! When the display of available cards to purchase can’t be refilled, the game ends. Players with the most henchmen and gold score bonus points, then the player with the most notoriety in cards, tokens, and bonuses wins!

This looks like a pretty clever game, with players trying to optimize their choices and trying to avoid getting robbed by another player.  It looks a little like a White Elephant exchange, but with dice.  I think this is one I’d like to play sometime.

  • End Date: February 12, 2016 @ 11:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2016
  • How Much: $17
image by BGG user Duikertje1990
image by BGG user Duikertje1990

Scuba (Martin Looy, Keep Exploring Games) is all about exploring the underwater depths.  From the Kickstarter description:

Scuba is a realistic scuba diving board game in which players dive into the ocean looking for cool animals! You try to find as many animals as possible, try to make combinations of them, make dust so other players can’t see the fish, fight currents, and face unexpected events. But everyone has to keep an eye on their air, because you won’t live to tell your tales if you run out of air under water…

This game looks quite lovely, and looks to have some nice exploration aspects.  I think it’s worth a look.

  • End Date: February 18, 2016 @ 7:00 AM CST
  • Goal: €20,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: October 2016
  • How Much: €36
image by BGG user ralfpaul
image by BGG user ralfpaul

Kicket (Ralf Paul) is reminiscent of dexterity soccer/football games like Subbuteo, but on a larger scale.  From the BGG description:

KiCKeT is a football simulation game based on tactical movement of miniatures. The game is played with the feet: miniatures movement, passes and shots on goal, goalkeeper defence are all performed with one foot…The game is playable on many surfaces: grass, carpet, parquet floor (with the “socks” accessory), cement, even sand! The number of miniatures should be adapted to the field size, e.g. 2×3 m with 2 field players and a goalkeeper, 4×6 m with 4 field players and a goalkeeper. As for human players, they can of course play 1-on-1, but playing 2-on-2 works perfectly, and with more players also assuming more miniatures (and space) are available. An atmosphere of table football played with the feet, or of giant, say, 8-players football table.

This is an action game that’s a lot like playing real soccer, but much more tactical and a lot slower.  While technically not a tabletop game, I like that it uses tabletop mechanics in a more active game.

  • End Date: February 21, 2016 @ 9:00 PM CST
  • Goal: €11,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2016
  • How Much: €35
image by BGG user Action Phase
image by BGG user Action Phase

Dreamwell (Nick Little, Action Phase Games) is a game about trying to collect characters in a dream world.  From the Kickstarter description:

Dreamwell is a 2-4 player competitive game featuring the art of Tara McPherson where players are trying to locate their lost friends in the Dreamwell. The Dreamwell is represented by a 4 x 4 grid of tiles. Each tile shows an environment and a creature, in addition to pathways to neighboring tiles. At the beginning of the game, players will be dealt two cards, each of which shows a picture of the friend whom he or she is trying to locate along with the two creatures and one environment that will be required to find that particular friend. On your turn, you will be able to take three actions from the following list: move one of your Mr. Wiggles pawns, rotate a tile, draw a card, replace the card display, or locate one of your missing friends by playing a card. Only by carefully navigating the maze-like Dreamwell can you locate your friends and win the game.

The art in this game is fantastic – very dreamy, and very unique looking.  The game seems pretty abstract, and the game looks like it will be fun.

  • End Date: February 25, 2016 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $30,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2016
  • How Much: $29

Also worth mentioning: The Dice Tower is running a campaign until January 31st to fund another season of their very popular podcast; Meeple Source is funding more game upgrade kits (for things like Arkham Horror, Mice and Mystics, Orléans, and more) in a campaign that runs until February 13; and Tiny Epic Western, previously previewed on the blog, is on Kickstarter until February 6.  And that will do it for this edition of the Kickstarter Blitz.  Thanks for reading!

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