Kickstarter Blitz #35

Looking for some sweet Black Friday deals, but don’t really want to venture out to the stores?  It’s time for the Kickstarter Blitz!

image by BGG user mgcoe
image by BGG user mgcoe

Tiny Epic Quest (Scott Almes, Gamelyn Games) is the fifth game in the Tiny Epic series (following Kingdoms, Defenders, Galaxies, and Western).  From the BGG description:

In Tiny Epic Quest, players embark on a sandbox adventure reminiscent of classic video games. Each player controls a band of three elf heroes questing to save the world and the sacred mushroom folk from the intruding goblins. Each round is broken into two phases: day and night. During the day, players travel far and wide, visiting villages to acquire quests, monuments to learn powerful spells, mushroom groves to seek guidance, and treacherous locations in search of artifacts! Acquiring artifacts empower the heroes with unique abilities; this may improve a heroes’ movement or combat, or their ability to learn spells or mitigate harmful dice rolls. Heroes must travel by foot, by horse, by raft, by boat and by gryphon to get to everywhere they need to go to satisfy their quests — or to position themselves for what night brings. As each type of movement is different, and limited, players need to take careful consideration when traveling, and how they travel, if they wish to accomplish all of their goals. During the night, players must face the challenge of their quests, and decisions, by rolling dice, hoping for fortune, and knowing when to quit. Will you press on? Or is it time to save your progress and rest? Tomorrow is another day. The game ends once the portal is closed or all the goblins have been eradicated. The player who has acquired the most victory points by slaying goblins, learning spells, and completing quests is crowned the winner!

The big selling point that Gamelyn is leaning on for this game is the inclusion of ITEMeeples – meeples with holes in their hands so you can add objects like swords or shields.  It looks like they’re going for a pretty epic experience, though the tiny may be more and more of a misnomer as time goes on.

  • End Date: November 27, 2016 @ 12:59 AM CST
  • Goal: $15,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $20
image by BGG user 2HandsomeGames
image by BGG user 2HandsomeGames

Stay Out of My Dungeon! (2 Handsome Games) is a worker placement game about defending your dungeon.  From the BGG description:

Stay Out of My Dungeon! is a semi-cooperative 4-6 player race-against-the-clock, deduction, dungeon defending board game with a twist. Rather than playing as the dungeon delvers, each player takes on the role of 1 of 6 unique and zany goblins determined to defend their dungeon from would-be invaders. Players will test their defenses against an array of invading forces including lawful knights, angry old wizards, pitchfork armed townsfolk, flaming pigs, insurance adjusters, ninja cats, and more! To win the game, players must construct a dungeon so impenetrable that not even the King’s Royal Guard would dare delve it. Each turn players will work to construct one of three major defenses: the Sharkodile Moat (that’s right, a moat filled with mutant Shark Crocodile hybrids); the Parasitic Poison Traps (what’s worse than dumping boiling poison on your enemy, you ask? Lacing it with flesh eating brain infesting parasites, of course); or the Mother-Of-All-Flamethrowers herself, the HBFT3000 (aka Hell Bringer Flame Thruster 3000). If all three defenses are constructed, the goblin players win the game. But if the Royal Guard reaches the dungeon before that happens, the goblin players lose. Players will achieve global and, more importantly, individual rewards for completing construction phases of a particular defensive structure. But be wary! There is a chance that one goblin player is a spy working for the King. Transformed to match the hideousness of the rest of you, this spy-goblin is set to undermine your traps, steal your blue prints, and lead the King’s Guard into your dungeon.

I like reverse themes, where the bad guys become the protagonists of the game.  This one seems humorous, and looks pretty interesting.  I can always do without the traitor mechanism, but there it is, so we’ll see how that goes.  This is the second Kickstarter attempt for this game – a campaign was cancelled back in May.

  • End Date: November 28, 2016 @ 10:02 AM CST
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2017
  • How Much? $35
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

The Bird Told Me to Do It (Carl Chudyk, Czacha Games) is a new game from the designer of Glory to Rome and Innovation.  From the Kickstarter description:

In the game there are 48 unique twigs from which you create a branch. Every card is also unique! Each card has some Birds on it. And they tell you what you must do. Each card tells you to do something else. So considering we have 48 different actions and taking into account we can (or even must) combine some of them together the number of possibilities is too big to be written here. With each new card added to the play area the situation on the table changes. Of course, as in many Carl Chudyk’s games, players can boost actions to achieve even more devastating/point-gathering combos. 

I’m always interested in Carl Chudyk games, and this one looks like a pretty fun concept.  You’re building a branch that will give extra actions, knowing that other people will be able to add to those branches and use the same actions as you go.  Definitely one I want to play sometime.

  • End Date: November 30, 2016 @ 3:54 PM CST
  • Goal: £4,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2017
  • How Much? £10
image by BGG user IngredientX
image by BGG user IngredientX

Wordsy (Gil Hova, Formal Ferret Games) is a reimplementation of Hova’s first game, Prolix.  From the Kickstarter description:

Wordsy is a tabletop word game for 1-6 players. It takes only 20 minutes to play, but when you finish, you’ll want to play it again. That’s because Wordsy is unlike most other word games. In Wordsy, you get 8 letters dealt out on the table. All players simultaneously try to come up with the best word on the board. Here’s the thing: you don’t need all the letters in your word to be on the board. You can add as many letters as you want! So you’re never just one letter away, like in most word games. This means Wordsy rewards longer words. Those 2- and 3-letter words you have to memorize for other word games won’t help you here!

The game seems very freeform as you are basically using any word you want and only scoring for the present letters.  It’s not one I’m terribly interested in – word games don’t often do anything for me – but I present it here because I’m interested in seeing where Gil Hova’s career goes after The Networks.

  • End Date: November 30, 2016 @ 10:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $12,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2017
  • How Much? $19
image by BGG user SpeedD
image by BGG user SpeedD

5-Minute Dungeon (Connor Reid, Wiggles 3D) is exactly what it promises to be – a dungeon crawler in five minutes.  From the Kickstarter description:

You’re all in it together—either your party defeats the dungeon and moves onto the next one, or you all perish! This makes 5-Minute Dungeon an easy game for new players to join, even if they are not hardcore gamers. There are no turns. Everybody races against the clock to slap down symbols that match the current card. With only 5 Minutes to defeat each dungeon, there’s no time to waste! Your team can be anywhere from 2 to 5 players, and it’s easy to change the number of players between dungeons if you have new players arriving at your game night. And since each dungeon takes only 5 minutes, you can play a few rounds and then pick it up again when you have time to continue the quest.

For a five minute game, it does look like there’s quite a bit going on.  I like real-time games, and this one looks nice and frantic.

  • End Date: December 1, 2016 @ 7:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $40,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2017
  • How Much? $35 CAD
image by BGG user Richard Breese
image by BGG user Richard Breese

Keyper (Richard Breese, R&D Games) is the latest game in the Key series, and first since 2012’s Keyflower.  From the Kickstarter description:

In Keyper the keyples feature prominently in the game. Each player starts with a team of 8 different coloured keyples (9 in the two player) game, plus a keyper (a waving keyple) in their own player colour. Each keyple has a special ability. We thought it would be great to have Keyper populated with character keyples – all 36 of them! The character keyples will be sourced through Meeple Source. Production will be to Meeple Source’s usual high standard, but character keyples do not come cheaply. Of course you do not need character keyples to play Keyper. But I know that once I have played with the character keyples I would not want to be without them! However I have no idea how many gamers will share my passion. Hence the Kick Starter promotion for a special Character Edition of Keyper. The Character Edition of Keyper will also feature (at least) six additional ‘village’ tiles, some keyed to the characters. The rules and graphics to the Character Edition will in addition, where appropriate, feature the character keyples. Also in Keyper you will find four specially sourced folding game boards. These are an integral part of the game, but have also needed to be sourced from a specialised manufacturer which has added to the manufacturing cost of the game, as have the 220 additional wooden components (including 96 animeeples including eight different types) and 64 gem tokens.

Keyflower is the only Key game that I’ve played, and I really enjoyed it, so that makes me more interested in this one.  They’re really leaning heavily on the keyples, but you can play without getting the extra character edition.

  • End Date: December 5, 2016 @ 2:55 AM CST
  • Goal: £10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: September 2017
  • How Much? £45 standard, £75 character edition
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

Man vs. Meeple is a new board game review show that launched this past summer.  From the Kickstarter description:

We are Jeremy Salinas and David Waybright, and we love talking about board games almost as much as we love playing them. I started out producing board game videos more than 6 years ago with Drakkenstrike’s Components Breakdown, and set a high bar for production and presentation. Along with David, we developed a new format in early 2016 that is polished and professional, but also casual and accessible. And Man vs Meeple was born. Our goal with Man vs Meeple is to give the hobby the respect that it deserves, and produce board game videos in a way that legitimizes our favorite hobby. We truly love being part of this community, and want anyone and everyone to be a part of what we’re trying to build.

Man vs. Meeple is probably the most highly produced show in the hobby already.  It makes me think of SportsCenter in the way the set is constructed and the presentation of the material.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

  • End Date: December 9, 2016 @ 6:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $20,000 (funded)
  • How Much? Pledges start at $5
image by BGG user PunchIt
image by BGG user PunchIt

Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius (Jason Little/Dylan Shepherd/Lucas Zerby, Punch-It Entertainment) is an area control game set around one of the most infamous tragedies in human history.  From the Kickstarter description:

Powerful families vie for control over key districts throughout the city. Once the districts are complete, however, the mighty volcano known as Vesuvius erupts, sending its destructive lava to burn away what these families worked so hard to build. Only a few remnants of the once proud city still stand. The family clever and fortunate enough to secure its influence during both the development and destruction of Pompeii shall claim victory!

Players are placing warehouses around the city of Pompeii to gain influence, then placing lava tokens all around the city to remove warehouses and hopefully score for theirs.  I like Jay Little’s designs, but I wonder how similar this is to The Downfall of Pompeii.  It’s having trouble getting funding as of now, so we’ll see.

  • End Date: December 15, 2016 @ 10:00 AM CST
  • Goal: $15,955 (not funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2017
  • How Much? $35
image by BGG user newrev
image by BGG user newrev

Lisboa (Vital Lacerda, Eagle-Gryphon Games) is the latest game from the designer of Vinhos, Kan Ban and The Gallerist.  From the Kickstarter description:

Lisboa is a game about the reconstruction of the great Portuguese capital city after a series of terrible catastrophes. On November 1, 1755, Lisboa suffered an earthquake of an estimated magnitude of 8.5–9.0, followed by a devastating tsunami and 3 days of raging fires. The city was almost totally destroyed. The Marquis of Pombal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, was then the minister of foreign affairs. The King put him in charge of the reconstruction of Lisboa. The Marquis gathered a team of engineers and architects to aid him in this reconstruction. Lisboa is thus played, in part, on a representational map of the city. During the planning of the downtown re-building project, the type of businesses permitted in each street was pre-determined. The clockmakers and goldsmiths had their street; as did the bookstores and libraries; the tailors and silk vendors; and the toolmakers as well. This all comes into play on the Lisboa gameboard. Players represent the nobility of Lisboa who will use their influence in the reconstruction and business development of the new city. In rebuilding the city, players will make use of the Royal Builder, who works with the architects to build Lisboa anew, while the Marquis will provide aid in the development of commerce. The King will provide players with political help in re-opening the beautiful new city. But the true reason you are rebuilding the city is not for greatness, or even fame or fortune. As a nobleman or noblewoman of Lisboa, your primary motivation is the acquisition of Wigs–a most important trading commodity of the Era, and the means of scoring points in the game. 

Lacerda has a reputation for building a lot of theme into his games, which are generally quite heavy and with a lot of moving parts.  I’ve never played one, but I’ll be interested to hear how this one works – it seems like one of his most personal projects as he is a Portuguese designer.

  • End Date: December 15, 2016 @ 10:04 PM CST
  • Goal: $50,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2017
  • How Much? $79
image by BGG user markswanson
image by BGG user markswanson

Feudum (Mark K. Swanson, Odd Bird Games) is an economic game set in a medieval fantasy world.  From the Kickstarter description:

Blimey! You and your blokes have been banished and stripped of everything but a few shillings and table scraps. Undaunted, you journey to a strange land to reinvent yourself and reclaim your honor! Will you farm the earth, fight as knights or finagle your own feudums? Your fate is in your hands. (And for better or worse, the hands of a steely-eyed monarch named Queen Anne). Hailed as “articulate and inventive,” Feudum is a deeply nuanced game for 2-5 players that rewards resource management and skillful planning. Six uniquely powered characters and multiple paths to victory make for an ever-changing, open-world experience each time you play!

The game has action programming, which is always something that grabs my interest.  It’s got a good look to it, and really seems like a cool game.

  • End Date: December 15, 2016 @ 11:59 PM CST
  • Goal: $49,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: October 2017
  • How Much? $59
image by BGG user GreenM
image by BGG user GreenM

Vast: The Crystal Caverns (David Somerville/Patrick Leder, Leder Games) actually came out earlier this year, but they’re Kickstarting a second edition with miniatures.  From the Kickstarter description:

Play as the daring Knight, the chaotic Goblin horde, the greedy Dragon, the cunning Thief, or even the Cave itself — powerful, brooding, and intent on crushing the living things that dare to disturb its gloomy depths. Each role has its own powers, pieces, and paths to victory … and there can only be one winner.

Vast is a truly asymmetric game, where every player controls a different character that is playing their own game.  I demoed it at Gen Con, and have played one full game since.  It is brilliant.  If you haven’t checked it out, do so.

  • End Date: December 18, 2016 @ 8:00 PM CST
  • Goal: $12,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2017
  • How Much? $60 ($25 if you just want the minis)

And that will do it for this month’s edition of the Kickstarter Blitz.  Every year, I take some time off from the blog in December, and we’ll go ahead and start that break today.  There is a review, the fourth annual post-holiday gift guide, and KSB #36 to look forward to in December, but don’t expect to hear from me regularly again until January.  Thanks for reading!

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