Published on April 15th, 2015 | by Nicole Jekich0
April 2015 Kickstarter Updates part 2
Spring allergies have me and many others staying indoors with a box of tissues and Benadryl on standby. Thus, I’ve had plenty of time to think about board games and see all the new hotness coming out on Kickstarter. There are a ton of campaigns in progress right now and the games are as varied as flowers in bloom outside. We’re pushing the limits of our list to include a small swath of the Kickstarters going on right now that are worth checking out:
Luke and I have patiently waited for 2 years for Phoenix to come to Kickstarter. Even in Phoenix’s infant phase, using a prototype 52 card poker deck, we wanted to buy and play this RPG. We participated in a demo of the game with the creator, Kieth Baker, at Geek Girl Con 2013 and were hooked on the collaborative storytelling and the innovative leveling mechanic. It is a card-driven RPG where death is the central to the narrative. Characters evolve or level through dying and come back with more abilities based on their manner of death and what they learned from dying.
Find My Monsters is the first Kickstarter game by Nostalgic Big Kid Games. This memory-driven card game is a great game for kids and offers two ways to play. I don’t particularly see the appeal for adults however I do enjoy cute and quirky illustrations of monsters. The art style reminds me of the more cuddly monster varieties from Pixar’s Monsters Inc.
This second edition of The Evolution Game System brings about a more refined rules and the first expansion, Flight. In this competitive game of survival, players control different species looking to adapt and evolve. These species are fighting over scarce food resources and working to deter predators with defensive upgrades. The Evolution Game System is an educational game filled with colorful watercolor illustrations and dynamic gameplay.
Sure to be a hit, Skulldug! brings a competitive pulp action story. Up to 5 players are racing through an unexplored cave to be the first to find and escape with three treasures. Players will have to navigate a cleaver thematic twist: each treasure holds a secret curse that slows down the adventurer and makes it even more difficult to avoid traps and monsters. Did I mention that opponents can attempt to knock treasures out of your hand or push you into unexplored areas? The variety of actions and modular board will always lead to a fun and new narrative adventure. Read Luke’s full review of Skulldug! here: Obtainer of Rare Antiquities.
Ion dips into the shallow end of chemistry in this draft card game by Genius Games. Genius Games’ products represent the perfect harmony of educational resource and an engaging game. If you are a science nerd or want to start your kids early learning about the basics of chemistry, the periodic table of elements, ionic bonding and compounding, Ion is worth it. I have a playtest copy in hand so look for a full review of Ion later this month on Across the Board Games.
Nature is reclaiming the world and humans are struggling to survive. Each player is a stranded human making its way to a rumored fortress. Along the way, each player will encounter other humans and fight off the mutants. Instead of randomly assigning traitor or faction cards, Posthuman gives players the option to succumb to mutation if the situation is dire. Players can decide to accept the mutation and change sides to actively work against the remaining human players. Gameplay sounds like a dynamic roleplaying-driven tabletop board game.
Orcs Must Die, the board game, is a cooperative tower defense game that happens to also be a very popular video game. Two companies got together to make a tabletop version that is true to the original and features a Kickstarter campaign with exclusive content for the analog and digital copies of the game. The Orcs Must Die franchise features campy Gaston-smirking heroes, ridiculously big boobed female characters and senseless battle of generic good versus the “obviously” evil green orcs. The setting is a bit too cookie-cutter fantasy for my tastes and I don’t really care for my only option for female heroes to be bikini-clad babes.
Mining Maniac is a dynamic market game that looks like a challenging Euro game experience with a lackluster theme about mining.The gameplay aspect sounds sold: a constantly shifting price of minerals forces players to plan their sales and character abilities carefully to maximize profit for their company. The theme and art could use a little more inspiration. The first thing I notice about the game components is the large amounts of blank space on the card-There are some great illustrations in Mining Maniac that deserved to be showcased largely on the card.
Vikings. Meat. Beards. What more could I ask for? This kingmaker card game pits Viking leaders against each other in an all-out brawl. Equip your Viking leader, react with traps and formidable defenses and take on chance and roll the die to alter the outcome of a future engagement. I now have no reason to play Munchkin again: Ruddy Vikings offers quick combat and a humorous art style. I can hope that Ruddy Vikings will include female vikings too–I haven’t seen any revealed females yet.
This is a game that is now on the top of my wish list. I love genre-bending worlds and art and Champions of Hara delivers a unique product and world that instantly grabbed my attention. At its heart, the game features area control and character leveling and specialization. If you’re a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and mystical settings, Champions of Hara is a worthy investment.
Food is a very relateable topic and one that many people have a passion for. Cuisine a la Card is a two player card game designed to bring the cooking competition show to a condensed deck building and casual game format. Best of all, Cuisine a la Card inspires creative cooking in the kitchen as many of the ingredient combinations in game could be the start of creating the actual recipe. As a fan of food-themed games, I’m excited to see Cuisine a la Card funded.
Once again, I’m having a difficult time choosing how to divide my monthly Kickstarter budget. There are so many great games and designers out there that are worth supporting. I hope you can support and share around these great ideas and help these indie games reach more gamers.