GameStorm 14: Weekend in Review

Kickstarter Places Tabletop Games


Trying out Zpocalypse prototype, a Kickstarter project. Photo: Jonathan Liu

Zpocalypse is a zombie-slaying board game that’s currently doing quite well on Kickstarter, and they’d sent me a hand-made prototype in time for GameStorm, so I broke it out and tried it out. In Zpocalypse, you actually control a squad of survivors, which gives you a few different abilities to draw from. Each day, you go out and scavenge for food, items, weapons, and other survivors; then after you feed the survivors you build up fortifications and set traps; and of course at night all the zombies come out in full force and you have to fight them off. The board, cards, and squad boards (which has little rotating dials) all look really great, even in prototype form, and the game is meant to feel more story-like, with lots of flavor text. However, we had a rough time of it. I played it twice and ran into different issues — the rulebook still isn’t finalized yet and it’s possible that they can still make tweaks to resolve them, but I’m in “wait and see” mode for now.

Shadow DaysShadow Days

Playing the Shadow Days prototype. Photo: Jonathan Liu

Another Kickstarter prototype I tried out was Shadow Days, which is described as a card game of fantasy, deck-building, combat, and survival. It’s another one that has great artwork (even in prototype form) but I feel like I must be missing something somewhere. For one thing, I couldn’t really figure out why it’s called a “deck-building” game because you don’t really build a deck. At least, I don’t consider five to eight cards to be a “deck,” and it’s funny to call it “building” when most of the time you’re drawing from a random pile. You get several monster cards which can be used to attack other players’ cards (using a d20 and comparing attack points, hit points, and additional powers); defeating cards gives you gold points and reduces the other player’s life points. Gold points can then be spent to buy specific items, heroes, or strongholds. (This is the “deck-building” part, I presume.) I pulled it out a couple times at GameStorm but just wasn’t able to get into it; I’m going to reserve final judgment until after I’ve had another go to see if it hooks me.

One last Kickstarter prototype, and I’ll move on to other games: Velociraptor! Cannibalism! is a ridiculous game about velociraptors, shoddy evolutionary tactics, and having (and sometimes eating) offspring. I don’t have photos here because I just had a cheap print-and-play version that I hastily assembled before the weekend. You collect various body parts (wasp wings, elephant legs, Yeti fur) and attach them to your velociraptor, which affects your armor, speed, and attack abilities. Then you go through the jungle to collect prey (bunnies! baby seals! cupcakes!) and fight off predators (zombies and lions and scorpions, oh, my!). You have to eat enough calories to support your new body parts or else consume them and/or your young. The goal is to have the most offspring, but it takes a while to build up enough calories to have them — and then chances are you’ll eat them up anyway. The game is very silly, heavily luck-dependent, and has some very appealing artwork. I’m not sure the game is really balanced, but I may have also lost a sheet or two of prey when I was cutting them out because my printer jammed.

Next, some games that are already on shelves!

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