Kickstarter Blitz #34

Time for yet another Kickstarter Blitz.  I think we’re in a bit of a Kickstarter lull at the moment – not a whole lot of stuff exciting to me, but here are some projects that caught my eye.

image by BGG user chaoticpattern
image by BGG user chaoticpattern

Skyward (Brendan Evans, Rule & Make) is a drafting game about a floating city.  From the BGG description:

In Skyward, the Warden deals cards from the central deck and splits them into piles however they see fit. Each player chooses a pile, providing them with buildings and resources. However, being the Warden is a double edged sword. While you wield the power of the split, everyone else gets to choose first, leaving you with the remaining pile. Skyward is played over several rounds. Each round starts with The Split, followed by individual player turns. The goal of the game is to launch a combination of buildings that yield the most Victory Points. The end game is triggered when any player launches their 6th building or the central deck is emptied. Complete the current round as you would normally, then complete one final split. The player with the most Victory Points wins the game.

The I-split-you-choose mechanism is one I always here people wanting to see more in games, and here it is.  Looks like a fun game.

  • End Date: October 30, 2016 @ 6:00 AM CDT
  • Goal: $9,500 AUD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: January 2017
  • How Much? $25 AUD
image by BGG user xoddsx
image by BGG user xoddsx

The Pioneers Program (Odin Mentlak, GCT Studios) is a post-apocalyptic city building game.  From the Kickstarter description:

You have been chosen by the Arc to lead a new town and rebuild humanity. Plan, build, venture into the wastes or complete research on your harsh new world. Actions are limited and you need to choose wisely how to spend them. Each round players recruit a new survivor to support them, each brings their own strengths and selecting carefully is important. As is gaining turn order to allow you to choose your survivor first and make actions sooner rather than later. Grow too quickly and you may face unwanted attention from the wastes. Balancing the size of your town with food production and defensive capabilities is essential and made all the more difficult by hordes of Viralz, the newly evolved race of Ascendants or even a raid from a fellow Pioneer.

The post-apocalypse is a very popular theme these days, and with the Cubs in the World Series, it may be closer to a reality than we think.  The game looks pretty good, I’m interested to know more.

  • End Date: October 30, 2016 @ 3:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: £15,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2017
  • How Much? £20
image by BGG user TDaver
image by BGG user TDaver

Steal This Game (Dávid Turczi, LudiCreations) is a game that was created due to a misfortune at the Spiel game fair.  I’ll let the creators tell you what happened.

Imagine for a second that you are selling your latest board game at Essen. You recruited volunteers, set up demo tables, and built up your booth. Your games are selling like cardboard hotcakes. All is well until you turn around, and your shiny new cash box is gone…This is Steal This Game, based on a true story. On Saturday, 15 October 2016, around 4 pm, our cashier realized that in the 10 seconds it took to look in our warehouse for a game, our cash box was gone. For a small indie board game publisher, this represents a significant loss. Besides the financial hit, this has also affected us on an emotional level. Games are fun. Gamers are fun. They are also some of the most welcoming, generous, and trusting people around. For this to happen during the greatest celebration of cardboard & wood in all of boardgamedom is a devastating blow. According to what venue security told us when we submitted the police report, this is likely the work of professionals. Fellow friendly publishers have indicated that they noticed similar attempts or approaches by individuals that did not seem to know much about the hobby. We hope and assume that this was not done by any gamer.

I have heard of stuff like this going on at Spiel before.  It’s not even the only time it happened this year – R&R Games got hit too.  LudiCreations went into overdrive, with the designer basically cranking the game out overnight, and now it’s on Kickstarter.  The project is bringing awareness to the issue, so hopefully security at Spiel will be tightened in the future.

  • End Date: October 30, 2016 @ 10:55 PM CDT
  • Goal: $1,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2016
  • How Much? $5 (or more if you want to donate to help LudiCreations recover from the hit)
image from Kickstarter campaign page
image from Kickstarter campaign page

überstax is an interlocking game piece holder.  From the Kickstarter description:

überStax is a new twist on an old idea. For years table-top, card, and token games have posed challenges for some players. We’ve all experienced Dominos with too many tiles. Children can struggle with the manual dexterity required to manipulate a hand of cards. Disabilities due to injury or illness can prevent some people from enjoying a simple game of cards. We’ve heard from experienced card players, board game players, parents, RPG gamers, and combined that feedback with our own tabletop play experience. überStax helps address these challenges and provides other benefits.

This is actually the second time überstax has come to Kickstarter, with the first one funding successfully last year.  It’s a good system – interlocking pieces that can be trays for tiles, cards, whatever.

  • End Date: November 2, 2016 @ 5:00 PM CDT
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: February 2017
  • How Much? $30 (four sets of 6 pieces)
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Chariot Race (Matt Leacock, Eagle-Gryphon Games) is a game that started life as a new game in the Roll Through the Ages series.  From the Kickstarter description:

Take a trip through time as a chariot racer during the age of Rome. The competition is fierce and all contestants will stop at nothing to win the day! Tactical movement and combat is used to great effect in Chariot Race, but be warned there are many ways to wreck, so only the most cunning and tenacious will see the finish line! May Fortuna smile upon you.

I’ve seen pictures of the initial prototype, and it had the same wooden pegboards that Roll Through the Ages had.  However, that has been replaced by cardboard at this point, which is disappointing to me.  But it’s Matt Leacock, and his stuff is always worth a look.

  • End Date: November 5, 2016 @ 10:59 AM CDT
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2016
  • How Much? $24
image by BGG user taelasky
image by BGG user taelasky

Xenofera (Liz Gattra) is a fantasy set collection game.  From the Kickstarter description:

Xenofera is a strategic card game where players compete to build the most valuable collection of xenofera, alien creatures, from across the galaxy. You’ll need to recruit a crew, have your crew to build cages and then use your crew and cages to capture creatures.  Watch out though!  Other huntsmen will try to sabotage your expedition. So you must be prepared to battle, if you are to become the Greatest Huntsman in the Galaxy!

I saw this one being tested at Gen Con in the playtest area, and it looked pretty cool.  The art at least is quite good, and I tend to like set collection games.  One to check out!

  • End Date: November 8, 2016 @ 12:04 AM CST
  • Goal: $15,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $30
image by BGG user drfinn
image by BGG user drfinn

C.O.G. (Steve Finn, Dr. Finn’s Games) is a worker placement word game.  From the Kickstarter description:

London 1875 – The Cabinet of Gadgetry (C.O.G.) appeals for your help in acquiring the items required to construct The Great Apparatus – an automated machine for transporting her majesty’s citizens safely and quickly through the increasingly crowded streets of London. Will you answer the call and perform your service dutifully? C.O.G. incorporates a worker placement mechanic into a crossword game creating a truly unique and captivating gaming experience. In each round, you have 4 cogs (workers) to place. You use your cogs to claim letters (useful for spelling words), cabinet cards (providing various powers), dice (allowing one to move around the board and claim benefits from the space), and turn order (giving an advantage for the next round). Since players take turns placing 1 cog at a time, you are forced to make interesting decisions about which benefits to claim, as others may pick up the benefit you were thinking of getting. After acquiring letters, you use them to spell words on your tableau.  However, you must plan your placement carefully so that you can try to cover many bonus spaces on your tableau, as well as complete sets of words to receive even more bonuses.

Steve Finn usually comes up with some pretty clever games and has a decent following.  This one is a little slow in funding, but we’ll see how it goes.

  • End Date: November 9, 2016 @ 9:04 AM CST
  • Goal: $28,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2017
  • How Much? $45
image by BGG user Bryan Fischer
image by BGG user Bryan Fischer

Spires (TC Petty III, Nevermore Games) is a kind of trick-taking game where players are trying to build towers, but not too big.  From the BGG description:

Every player aims to fill their tableau with spires of each type but must be careful not to add more than three of any one type of card. Once the spire exceeds three cards, all cards of that type become a penalty to their final score. Competing for cards can be tricky as rival builders can force you to take cards that push you over the three-card limit, but not to worry! You can also win cards that allow you to manage your tableau. The builder with the most points, including spires and bonuses (special cards, symbol majorities, etc.), wins!

I’m always on the lookout for good small card games.  This one looks fun, and is getting some good reviews.  We’ll see if it hits the goal.

  • End Date: November 15, 2016 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2017
  • How Much? $15
image by BGG user CardboardEdison
image by BGG user CardboardEdison

Cobras (Chris Zinsli/Suzanne Zinsli, Cardboard Edison) is a trick-taking game about dealing with a village overrunning with cobras.  From the Kickstarter description:

Cobras is a trick-taking game for 1-5 players where knowing when to win a trick is key to winning. Players must lose tricks to collect cobras, then win a trick to exchange them for points. Timing things just right is the game’s core challenge, and if you push your luck too far, you might get bit! Each trick, the losing players divvy up the cobras shown on the cards played that trick and place cobra tokens on their basket. The winning player empties their basket for points, according to a scale that rewards more points for more cobras—then drops off steeply if you’ve pushed your luck too far! Cobras also features a King Cobra card that allows players to either share the win or share the loss for one trick each hand. Use it wisely! Of special note, Cobras is a rarity among trick-taking games in that it comes with a one-player mode for solo gaming.

I enjoy trick-taking games, and am always interested to see the new twists put on the genre. One to try out sometime.

  • End Date: November 17, 2016 @ 9:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $8,000 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2017
  • How Much? $16

Thanks for reading!

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