Kickstarter Blitz #37

We’re starting year four of the Kickstarter Blitz here on Boards and Bees.  For those of you just joining us, I do a monthly look through Kickstarter that goes live on the last Friday of each month.  I mostly just pull out projects that look interesting to me on first glance, as well projects others have pointed out to me and/or asked me to cover.  I don’t get any compensation for adding games to this – every now and then, someone will send me a game to review for their Kickstarter campaign, but that always is its own post.  This is just stuff that jumps out at me as something a person who likes crowdfunding should take a look at.  And with that, here we go.

image by BGG user hemming
image by BGG user hemming

GoRoGo (Mitsuo Yamamoto, Logy Games) is a much smaller variation on the game Go.  From the Kickstarter description:

GoRoGo (五路碁) is a two player game with a total of 25 pieces (10 black, 10 white, 5 Henge) and is played on a 5×5 grid board. The compact grid board has the possibility of 25 interactions and 40 paths! The goal of this game is to obtain more of your opponent’s pieces rather than trying to claim the most area (like the original GO.) Since the game has 25 pieces any game played will not exceed 24 moves. A player cannot pass or play a Henge Piece as their last move. If you don’t have a legal move, you lose.

Go is one of those games I’ve never played.  It intimidates me a little because, like Chess, there are people out there that know the game so well that they’ll crush you every time.  This looks like it might be a good place to ease in as the board is not as big.  It’s quite a nice looking abstract game, and I tend to like those.

  • End Date: January 29, 2017 @ 9:07 PM MST
  • Goal: $1,500 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: March 2017
  • How Much? $5 for postcard/pieces set, $18 for mini board set, $28 for standard board, $48 for large board
image by BGG user Ianotoole
image by BGG user Ianotoole

Khan of Khans (Reiner Knizia, Chaosium Inc.) is a game set in the world of Greg Stafford’s Glorantha, the fantasy world where many of Chaosium’s games are set.  From the Kickstarter description:

You are a khan of one of the great tribes of Prax. Each Spring, as the grasses become green and the rivers swell, you lead your raiders into the rich lands of Dragon Pass, ripe for your plunder. Yet this year is different. The Sacred Time is quickly approaching. The High Priestess has decreed whichever khan brings back the most cattle from Dragon Pass will be declared “Khan of Khans”, the greatest warlord of the Wastelands! YOU WILL BE THAT KHAN. But watch out! Stampedes, enemy magic and other players lie waiting, ready to steal your cattle and glory!

I’m always interested to see what Reiner Knizia is up to, even though I don’t really like his games.  However, he has quite a catalog, and is still churning stuff out all these years.  This one looks like a cute family game about collecting cows.

  • End Date: January 31, 2017 @ 9:57 AM MST
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $20
image by BGG user ape gamer
image by BGG user ape gamer

Dark is the Night (Zach Abbott/Arwen Boyer/Josh Estill, APE Games) is a two-player deduction style cat-and-mouse game.  From the Kickstarter description:

A Hunter sets up camp in a dark and dangerous forest. She is awakened in the night by a sound in the darkness, just outside the light from her small fire. Again! A guttural growl informs the Hunter that she is not alone. To survive this night, she will need keen wits and sharp aim.  Dark is the Night is a two-player game of hunt-or-be-hunted. One player takes the role of the hunter and can move in the lighted spaces surrounding the campfire while the other player is the monster, secretly moving through the darkness. With only limited tools at their disposal, each player tries to eliminate the other before daybreak.

This game was put together by game design students at Bradley University, and I think it’s pretty cool that it’s about to get published.  There’s hidden movement here, as the Monster uses a dial to maneuver around in the darkness, and the Hunter has several tools to help figure out where it is.  Looks like a cool quick game.

  • End Date: January 31, 2017 @ 6:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $16,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: 2017
  • How Much? $
image by BGG user Michael Shinall
image by BGG user Michael Shinall

The World of SMOG: Rise of Moloch (Christophe Madura/David Rakoto, CMON Liminted) is the latest monstrosity from Kickstarter Kings Cool Mini or Not (who have recently changed their name to CMON Limited).  Here’s the Kickstarter description:

Rise of Moloch is a Victorian, adventure board game for 2 to 5 players. One player will act as the Nemesis and take control of the secret society called The Cult that plans to install a government of the dead. The rest of the players cooperate as the Gentlemen of the Unicorn Club, dedicated to foiling the conspiracies that threaten the Crown.

CMON games are always worth a look, especially if you’re into minis.  I have not played any of their games (other than The Grizzled, and that is certainly not a typical game for them).  Their games are usually well-received, so if this sounds interesting to you and you have money to burn, check it out.

  • End Date: Feburary 2, 2017 @ 5:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $70,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: January 2018
  • How Much? $100
image by BGG user Game Salute
image by BGG user Game Salute

Alien Frontiers (Tory Niemann, Game Salute) originally came out in 2010, and was one of the first games to successfully use Kickstarter to fund.  Now, it’s back with a fifth edition.  Tell us more, BGG description:

Do you have what it takes to be a deep space colonist? An alien frontier awaits the brave and daring! This new planet will be harsh, but if you have the skills to manage your resources, build a fleet, research alien life, and settle colonies, the world can be yours. Alien Frontiers is a game of resource management and planetary development for two to four players. During the game you will utilize orbital facilities and alien technology to build colony domes in strategic locations to control the newly discovered world.

Alien Frontiers was a pioneering game for the use of Kickstarter, and was a pretty interesting game of dice allocation.  I enjoy it and have my own copy, and have talked about it at length on this blog previously.  However, I bring it up now because the definitive Big Box edition just arrived in backer hands within the last month, and now there’s a fifth edition with new cover art.  I don’t like to label things as a money grab, but I feel like this is veering close to that territory.

  • End Date: February 2, 2017 @ 8:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $47,777 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $47, $67 with Factions expansion
image by BGG user Pedrolatro
image by BGG user Pedrolatro

Tao Long (Dox Lucchin/Pedro Latro, ThunderGryph Games) is an abstract-ish game that uses Mancala to help simulate a battle between dragons.  Here’s the Kickstarter description:

Each player controls a dragon striving to diminish the other whilst bound together by the Tao – you will manipulate tokens on a special board in order to activate your dragon, leaving that same board to be manipulated by your opponent on their turn.  Among customizable scenarios and increasingly profound modes, both dragons will move, attack, block each other’s way and seek dominance. At the end, there can be only one… That is, at least until tides of change come once again. 

This game looks really neat, and seems like it has some good tactical gameplay going for it.  As I mentioned earlier, I like good looking abstracts, and this one has that going for it.  Please do check it out.

  • End Date: February 3, 2017 @ 3:59 AM MST
  • Goal: €10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: July 2017
  • How Much? €17
image from Kickstarter project page
image from Kickstarter project page

??? (Jonathan Gilmour, Make/100) is…um…a board game, I guess?  Here’s what the Kickstarter description has to say:

I am really inspired by the Make/100 idea! So I thought it would be cool to make 100 hand made games! What game is it going to be? I don’t know yet! But you will get to help decide! I’ll send out polls about theme, concepts, and things like that! Your feedback will help shape the game. You’ll have access to the playtesting files, and the entire process. I’ll still make decisions that I feel are best for the game, because my design priority is that I want the game to be fun! Just to be clear, no matter how good this game is, I will never sell it to a publisher, or in otherwise reproduce it. You’re copies will be unique and I will make sure they stay that way! 

So what is Make/100?  It’s a concept promoted by Kickstarter for creators to make a limited edition project, and only make 100 of them.  I don’t really understand, except that people love challenges, and I’ve seen several out there this month.  I chose this one as the representative game for the challenge because of the designer (Gilmour did Dead of Winter, among others).  Still, it’s weird to see a project that is being funded purely on speculation.

  • End Date: February 5, 2017 @ 10:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $5,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: December 2018
  • How Much? $60 Hand Made, $80 Print-On-Demand
image by BGG user diane1962
image by BGG user diane1962

Pinball Showdown (Diane Sauer, Shoot Again Games) is a game where you take the role of a pinball.  From the Kickstarter description:

In Pinball Showdown players are the pinball steering into a wide array of playfield devices while trying to score combinations, activate Wizard Mode and become the highest scoring pinball. To do this they must maintain a critical balance between speed and control. Go too slow and it will limit what you can score and put you at risk for draining, but go too fast and you may lose control!

I love Pinball.  Growing up, it was the only arcade game I felt I had any skill at, and it’s still the only one I would consider putting money into (though finding them these days is something of a rarity).  I’m therefore interested in this tabletop representation of the game, and am definitely interested to learn more.

  • End Date: February 9, 2017 @ 8:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $3,333 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $24
image by BGG user W Eric Martin
image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Defense Grid (Forged by Geeks) is based on the Defense Grid video game franchise, which is something I am entirely unfamiliar with.  Help me out, Kickstarter description!

Defense Grid: The Board Game combines everything you love about board games with a true to form Tower Defense game.  It has a campaign with 10 missions, character leveling, deck building, and 68 miniatures in every box. Everything included in the game’s box, even the miniatures, is designed to improve the game play experience.  The miniatures have an innovative pillar system that is used to track hit points, carry cores, track shots fired on towers, and track status effects.  Every mission and wave of aliens provides an increasing challenge that will force you to rebuild your AI character decks regularly and use everything at your disposal to earn the best medal you can.

It seems that a number of video game designers have lately been trying their hand at game design, and I think that this is Mechs and Minions’ fault.  It does look quite nice.

  • End Date: February 10, 2017 @ 10:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $30,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: October 2017
  • How Much? $80
image by BGG user sydstar
image by BGG user sydstar

Delve (Richard Launius/Pete Shirey, Indie Boards & Cards) is a dungeon crawl from the creator of Arkham Horror.  From the Kickstarter description:

Brave Delvers from across the realm have journeyed to seek their fortune within the dungeons of Skull Cavern. Gold, treasures, and perilous encounters await behind every door! Grab your gear, sharpen your swords and watch out for those kobolds! In Delve, players guide their band of adventurers through the dungeons of Skull Cavern. Each turn, place a dungeon tile and a delver, explore the dangers below and search for loot. When a room or corridor is completed, delvers must fight for their share of the gold and treasure. If a player manages to complete a room alone, they instead must overcome dangerous encounters before collecting their riches. Delve combines tile laying and an immersive narrative experience in a new and exciting way.

This game is interesting because you are building a dungeon as you go.  It’s a little like Carcassonne, except with random encounters, combat for contested rooms, and loot.  Looks pretty cool.

  • End Date: February 15, 2017 @ 7:00 AM MST
  • Goal: $30,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: June 2017
  • How Much? $38
image by BGG user Vinsent
image by BGG user Vinsent

Dwarves: Dig, Delve, Die (G. Kelly Toyama, Imbalanced Games) is another delving game, though this one is about dwarf mining.  That is, mining BY dwarfs, not mining FOR dwarfs.  Here’s what Kickstarter has to say:

Dwarves: Dig, Delve, Die is a fast paced and chaotic dice placement game, that is easy to learn, and takes just 15 minutes to play! Play your worker Dwarves (dice) into the ever expanding mine and see what they dig up! It could be hidden treasure, a relic of power, or an ale-filled tavern, but watch out for the dragon’s lair…

Basically, on your turn, you roll the dice that you have, then place them on location cards (you can stack if you wish).  Then, you resolve cards with the lowest visible dice, taking those dice back.  The first person to five gold wins.  It seems like a pretty quick and fun game.

  • End Date: February 16, 2017 @ 7:30 AM MST
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: May 2017
  • How Much? $25
image by travisto88
image by travisto88

Tortuga 1667 (Travis Hancock, Facade Games) is a piratey social deduction game.  Here’s the description from the Kickstarter campaign:

The year is 1667 and you are a pirate sailing the waters of the Caribbean. A Spanish Galleon floats nearby, and you’ve talked your crewmates into working together to steal all of its treasure. What you haven’t told your fellow pirates is that you have no intentions on sharing the treasure once you have it. Your crewmates have told you that they share your loyalty and that they’ll help you maroon the greedy pirates on your ship to the rocky island of Tortuga. But you’ve seen your friends’ loaded pistols and heard their whisperings of a mutiny. You know that nobody can be trusted.

Pirates are still popular, as are social deduction games.  I’m not entirely sure I’d enjoy this one, but it has some really nice looking components, including a magnetic faux book box to hold everything in.

  • End Date: February 16, 2017 @ 8:00 PM MST
  • Goal: $10,000 (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: August 2017
  • How Much? $23
image by BGG user Flyos Games
image by BGG user Flyos Games

Kiwetin (Thomas Fillippi/Gary Paitre, Flyos Games)is a roll-and-move racing game where you’re trying to get a flower.  Here’s the BGG description:

The goal of Kiwetin is simple: reach the sacred flower first. In order to succeed, you’ll have to avoid hindrances and take advantage of the winds. Each spirit that you play moves at a different speed to offer a wide range of approaches. Action tiles are randomly placed on the board, so every game is unique. Runes cards are distributed at the beginning of each party in order to empower player decision\action.

The game looks extremely pretty, and seems like a good quick light family game.  The roll-and-move doesn’t seem too overbearing here, and the game has a pretty interesting method of distributing action tiles.  Looks cool.

  • End Date: February 17, 2017 @ 7:33 AM MST
  • Goal: $15,000 CAD (funded)
  • Estimated Delivery: April 2017
  • How Much? $35 CAD

That will do it for this month.  Thanks for reading!

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