Kickstarter Blitz #28 (Plus Contest Winner)

Time for my 28th monthly Kickstarter Blitz.  Let’s see what’s out there this month.

image by BGG user PeterCHayward
image by BGG user PeterCHayward

Scuttle (Peter C. Hayward, Jellybean Games) is a pirate-themed card game based on the classic game Cuttle.  From the Kickstarter description:

Each turn in Scuttle! is simple – you either draw a card or play a card. That’s it! Cards can be played as treasure or as an action, with each item of treasure having a different ability. The first player to reach 21 doubloons is the winner! Play and steal treasure, and add crew to guard your ship or sneak onto another player’s to steal theirs! The game comes with two Jokers – unique cards based on famous historical or fictional pirates. Long John Silver tricks your opponents into swapping hands with you, while Anne Bonny lets you draw more cards than anyone else!

This is a game that could be played with a standard deck of cards, but this project adds special actions and art to make it more worthwhile.  It looks like a very straightforward game – play a card or draw a card, and try to get 21 doubloons.  Should be a good quick game.

  • End Date: April 29, 2016 @ 8:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $3,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2016
  • How Much? $9 base game, $14 with expansion
image by BGG user micheleq
image by BGG user micheleq

The Vampire, The Elf, and The Cthulhu (Luca Ricci, Giochix.it) is a game about competing writers trying to create a fantasy-horror novel.  From the BGG description:

In The Vampire, the Elf and the Cthulhu players must acquire cards through a simple auction system. Cards represent the writer ideas (protagonists, characters, events, places, items, encounters). Cards have special powers and players activate them to interact with other players (move cards, turn cards, refill energy, etc). Aim of the game is move specific cards to a special zone of the table game area, called NOVEL area. Cards must be placed there in the right sequence and type/color: each player has a different objective with a different sequence and colors, so as the result will be identical/similar to player objective, victory points will be scored. Card powers can be combined resulting in a huge number of play combinations creating many possible strategies.

While I’m not a fan of auctions, I do like this theme.  I like the creation of creative things, and I like it when games address that.  The campaign is clearly run by people who do not speak English as their native language, and the title is a little awkward (The Cthlhu?), but I like the concept.

  • End Date: April 30, 2016 @ 9:49 AM CDT
  • Goal: €8,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2016
  • How Much? €17
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Pyramid Arcade (Andrew Looney, Looney Labs) is a collection of 22 games that can be played with the Looney Pyramids, which are translucent colored pyramids of different shapes (formerly called Icehouse or Treehouse Pyramids).  From the Kickstarter description:

Pyramid Arcade is a complete boxed set of 22 of the best games for the Looney Pyramids.  Whether you are new to Looney Pyramids or have been playing with them for years, this game set will bring you endless hours of enjoyment! We have something for everyone! From fast games to long games, luck games to strategy games, simple dexterity games to brain-burning puzzle games, games for two and games for ten. Many of the games in this collection are pure abstracts, but some will take you to other worlds. Get ready to become everything from a microbe fighting for control of a petri dish to a galactic overlord commanding an interstellar space fleet. You’ll build rockets, hack computers, send armies across epic battle fields, and fight as both insects on a flower petal and space marines teleporting between lunar outposts.

I’ve played a couple of the Looney Pyramid games over the years, including Icehouse and Zendo.  It’s an interesting system, and one that allows for a lot of creativity.  If you’re into that kind of thing, this looks like it would be a good way to get into it.

  • End Date: May 4, 2016 @ 10:59 PM CDT
  • Goal: $33,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2016
  • How Much? $62 with no pyramids, $77 with pyramids
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Bit Puzzle Tactics (Brad Elkin, Funk Sandwich Games) is a collectible puzzle tactics game.  From the Kickstarter description:

I have a great love for puzzles, and strategy games too. Games like Chinese Checkers or Chess, and TCGs like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. And video games: like Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea. My idea was to create an analog experience of what I loved about those games, add in the meditative quality of chess or a good puzzle, but make it more random and fun like a trading card game. Thus Bit Puzzle Tactics was born!

Imagine a 10×10 chessboard where all the spaces are shaped like puzzle pieces.  Then add puzzle pieces that are your fighters, and that’s basically what this game is.  It’s a unique idea, but doesn’t look like one that’s catching on for right now.  Still, I think it’s worth a mention.

  • End Date: May 5, 2016 @ 2:23 PM CDT
  • Goal: $10,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2016
  • How Much? $25 for 90 piece starter set, $50 for 200 piece campaign box
image by BGG user David Stennett
image by BGG user David Stennett

ILIOS: The Battles of Troy (Eliot Hochberg, Playford Games) is an abstract game based on Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad.  From the BGG description:

Your destiny lies in your hands, as you stand before the ancient city of Troy, known by the ancient Greeks as Ilios. Lead legendary heroes into conflict, as you are drawn into the world of the first Mediterranean city states. Attack, raid, surround and defend, in the campaigns between the Greeks and the Trojans found in Homer’s epic tale. Chose the role of a Greek warrior or a Trojan chieftain and their allies. Ilios is a delightful mind game with mixture of luck and skill. It is simple to learn but the challenge comes in mastering the strategy.

This looks like a fairly simple game to learn, with simple placement rules and a kind of area enclosure strategy going on.  The pieces look nice, and I like seeing new abstracts on the horizon.  Take a look.

  • End Date: May 5, 2016 @ 4:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $18,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2016
  • How Much? $40
image by BGG user Action Phase
image by BGG user Action Phase

Aeon’s End (Kevin Riley, Action Phase Games) is a fantasy cooperative deckbuiding game.  From the Kickstarter description:

The survivors of a long-ago invasion have taken refuge in the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. There, the desperate remnants of society have learned that the energy of the very breaches the beings use to attack them can be repurposed through various gems. These gems transform the malign energies within into beneficial spells and weapons to aid their last line of defense: the breach mages. Aeon’s End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that invite careful planning of every discarded card. Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using unique abilities, powerful spells, and, most importantly of all, their collective wits.

Action Phase has established a pretty good reputation for bringing games to market, and this one looks like it will continue that streak.  It’s a bigger game that their more recent projects, but does look like a pretty cool product.

  • End Date: May 5, 2016 @ 10:59 PM CDT
  • Goal: $30,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2016
  • How Much? $48
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Cat Box (Aza Chen, Grail Games) is a game about putting cats in boxes, a popular hobby among a certain segment of out population.  From the Kickstarter description:

Grail Games is pleased to announce plans to produce a new, English edition of this game, previously published in Taiwan. Designed and illustrated by Aza Chen (Cat Tower, Kitty Paw) this game is purrfect for a having a good time with friends! We hope you will support us in making this game a reality! Cat Box will be game number 6 in our Mike Line.

It’s a very simple game – play a card each round and try to get the most of your secret cat out by the end of the game.  It’s very cute, and will certainly appeal to a certain demographic.  It also looks accessible enough to draw in families and casual gamers.

  • End Date: May 7, 2016 @ 7:49 PM CDT
  • Goal: $5,000 AUD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: November 2016
  • How Much? $21 AUD
image by BGG user DekanCrypto
image by BGG user DekanCrypto

Ghostbusters: The Board Game II (Mataio Wilson, Cryptozoic Entertainment) is a sequel to last year’s very successful (though critically panned) Ghostbusters: The Board Game.  From the Kickstarter description:

In GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II, one to four players take on the roles of the Ghostbusters. You’ll investigate the mood slime that has flooded the city, causing earthquakes and riots in an attempt to bring Vigo and his minions back. The three brand-new campaigns have you taking on spectral threats like the Scoleri brothers, riding the Statue of Liberty, and battling through Vigo’s ghost army. The game features figures based on original designs by Dan Schoening and an original story by Erik Burnham, both veterans of IDW’s Ghostbusters comic book series. The world is in danger! Are you ready to answer the call again?

Cryptozoic is well known for getting hot licenses, but the general consensus seems to be that most of the games they pair with those licenses are mediocre at best – better than the usual mass market games perhaps, but nothing like what people want them to be.  That certainly seemed to be what I heard about the first game.  I haven’t played it myself, so I can’t speak to it.  All I know is that Ghostbusters is my favorite movie at all time, and I really want to play a good game based on the franchise.  Maybe this one will be it.

  • End Date: May 9, 2016 @ 12:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $250,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2017
  • How Much? $80
image by BGG user Forscience
image by BGG user Forscience

Clash of the Battle Goats (Brent Critchfield, Studio Woe) is a sequel to the 2015 game Gruff.  From the Kickstarter description:

Clash’s combat mechanics create a constant state of counter-play. When an enemy attacks, you have your entire turn to dodge out of the way, mount your defenses, and launch a counterattack before the attack connects! Create a team of three monster-goats that begin the game in play, and stay in play, throughout the game. They are your source of damage, defense, and resources! Carefully choose from their cards to create your ultimate deck! Each turn your goats can mutate. They get Meaner, Weirder, and Fatter; rapidly raising the stakes of the game. Each decision can be the the difference between life and death as the pace of the game builds up to a crisis!

I liked the look of Gruff when it was on Kickstarter, and this game looks to continue the system.  And how could you say know to Battle Goats?

  • End Date: May 10, 2016 @ 11:59 PM CDT
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: January 2017
  • How Much? $20
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Larklamp (PD Warne, Lumo Amuzo) is a new gaming system that uses a lamp to create the board.  From the Kickstarter project page:

Like cartridges in a videogame console, different games can be loaded into the patent-pending Larklamp by switching out the lantern’s panels. A variety of new games will be developed and released every year for the Larklamp, and they will be available for purchase online.  These games will all feature unique play mechanics which take advantage of the Larklamp’s distinct ability to “project” game boards made of shadows and light.

The Larklamp comes bundled with one game called Snyxtrap, where players are playing spell cards to try to trap a fairy-like creature called a Snyx.  But to me, the real appeal of this project is the innovation of using a lamp to create the board.  It really makes this into a beautiful product, and looks like it helps build the atmosphere of the games since you’ll need to play in relative darkness.  It’s cool how the game system is completely modular – you just have to change the sides when you want a new game.  Probably not the most necessary invention, but still super cool and enough to make this my PICK OF THE MONTH.

  • End Date: May 15, 2016 @ 8:41 PM CDT
  • Goal: $3,500 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2017
  • How Much? $49 for a lamp and Synxtrap, $10 for 5-year subscription
image by BGG user Cassidy W
image by BGG user Cassidy W

Tak (James Ernest/Patrick Rothfuss, Cheapass Games) is based on the fictional game introduced in Rothfuss’ 2011 novel The Wise Man’s Fear.  From the Kickstarter description:

Tak is a pure abstract game in the same family as chess, go, and mancala. Our goal was to design a new game with a sense of history; a beautiful game with simple rules and deep strategy. And we can’t wait to share it with you! Tak uses a square board, which can be any size from 3×3 up to 8×8, but the most common sizes are 5×5 and 6×6 (the “Tavern” and “Classic” games). Each player has several matching pieces, or “stones,” and one special piece called the “Capstone.” The Capstone can be any shape, and the other pieces should be simple, stackable pieces in a matching style. The board starts empty, and the goal is to build a road (a connected string of your pieces) connecting opposite sides of the board.

I love it when fictional games are brought into the real world.  I especially love when the original creator (Rothfuss in this case) is involved in the development of the game outside of his fictional world.  Definitely one to watch.

  • End Date: May 20, 2016 @ 10:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $50,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: 2016
  • How Much? $25 for 44 pieces, $55 with 62 pieces and a board
image by BGG user SeerMagic
image by BGG user SeerMagic

The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game (Eric B. Vogel, Evil Hat Productions) continues the literary theme with a card game based on Jim Butcher’s popular Dresden Files series.  From the Kickstarter description:

The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game (or DFCO) is a game where the players work together to solve cases from the bestselling Dresden Files novels in the ultimate what-if scenario! Play HarryMurphySusanMichael, and the Alphas in the first five novels, or take on Side Jobs in a random scenario generator based on the short story collection of the same name. Play your hand, clear the board, and beat the odds in the final showdown at the end of the book. Use teamwork, strategy, and a wee bit of luck to win the day. And yes, expansions are a possibility—but we need to get this thing funded before we can talk about those!

I’ve only read the first three DF books, but I loved them.  It’s a great mix of noir tropes with fantasy horror.  They’re a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing how they get translated into game form.

  • End Date: May 19, 2016 @ 4:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $48,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2017
  • How Much? $49

As a reminder, the campaign for Shenanigans: The Musical (as reviewed back in early April) ends on May 11 at 10:00 AM CDT.  Also, the campaign for Aether Captains ends on May 9 at 4:00 PM CDT.  And speaking of Aether Captains…

image by BGG user exa1zar2ius3
image by BGG user exa1zar2ius3

Time to give away a game!  Mage Company has sponsored this giveaway, and we gave you three days to answer five questions.  And so our randomly chosen winner is…

MARK M of Marietta, GA!

Congratulations!  I’ll be in touch soon, Mark.  And now, for everyone, here are the answers for the quiz (because it drives me crazy that BGG never gives us the correct answers once the contests close):

  1. How many fuel tokens are included in Aether Captains?
    • ANSWER: 10/15.  Actually, the rules on the site and my post both say 10.  However, I understand that there will actually be 15 in the final game, so I accepted both answers.
  2. How many War Captains play in the game?
    • ANSWER: 1-4.  The game is for 1-5 players, but one of those is the Naval Commander.
  3. Which of these is one of the Cities of Arkady?
    • ANSWER: Etherton.  This one was a simple case of spelling it right.
  4. How many Cities are included in the base game?
    • ANSWER: 5.  More people got this one right than any other question.
  5. What happens when you are in a City you own?
    • ANSWER: You cannot be attacked AND you freely take one resource per round. This was answered incorrectly more than any other question.  Most people apparently saw that you freely take a resource and stopped there.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to MAGE Company for running this contest!  That’s only my second contest I’ve run – hopefully there will be another in the future.  Thanks for reading!

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