Kickstarter Showcase: 8 Projects to Check Out

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My kids play Baldrick's Tomb in a yurt. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu
My kids play Baldrick’s Tomb in a yurt. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

One of the hardest things about running my own Kickstarter campaign this past month was that I didn’t have nearly as much time as I wanted to tell you about other cool Kickstarter projects. I mentioned a few within my own campaign updates, but now that mine has wrapped up I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of several projects I’ve had my eye on. Some I’ve already backed; some I’m still on the fence; but all of them are ones that have piqued my interest and are worth checking out. Since I’ve got a long list, I’ll keep each entry brief.

Baldrick’s Tomb (pictured above) is a quick “rogue-like” dungeon crawl from 5th Street Games, which is also publishing Jungle Ascent and has a few others in its catalog like Farmageddon and Castle Dash. I got a prototype set and took it with me when we went camping during spring break. So far I’ve only played it once, but it’s a fairly light, family-friendly game with randomized dungeon layouts and an IMPENDING DOOM tracker. The game is already funded and working toward stretch goals, with just over a week to go.

FlashPointFigures
Custom figurines for each firefighter type!

Flash Point: Fire Rescue has been a big hit in the cooperative game genre, and both it and the first expansion funded quickly. The new expansion set, Extreme Danger, funded within a few hours, I think, and has broken through several stretch goals. It’s a little pricier than previous expansions, but includes a box big enough to hold all the previous expansions, plus these really cool firefighter figurines. And wounded victims (including a redshirt), and an optional Dangerous Waters expansion (firefighting at sea!) and piles of other things. About 2 weeks left to get in on this one.

Krosmaster Arena miniatures
Krosmaster Arena miniatures, seen at PAX East. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Speaking of cool figurines, I saw these at PAX East and couldn’t resist. Krosmaster Arena is an anime miniatures game, where you run around battling your opponents. Japanime Games is importing the game from France and publishing an English version. It’s pricey—$75 for the base set—but it comes with eight sizable preassembled and prepainted miniatures. And there are tons of add-ons. Just look at the $500 “I WANT ALL THE THINGS NOW” level and tell me you’re not tempted. You know, for your kids. There’s almost a month left on this one, but they’ve already raised over $200k.

Relic Expedition

A new company called Foxtrot Games is launching their first board game, Relic Expedition. It has tile placement to simulate exploring a jungle. You’ll collect supplies in your backpack and relics, but you have limited space so you have to make some tough decisions about what to keep. Oh, and there are critters in the jungle: snakes, boars, monkeys, and panthers. I haven’t played it yet, but based on the gameplay video it looks intriguing. About three weeks left to make your decision!

Fox & Chicken
A few role cards from Fox & Chicken

Michael Fox of The Little Metal Dog Show (who also did the voiceover for my Emperor’s New Clothes gameplay video) has an interesting spin on the classic Werewolf game of bluffing and deduction. The problem with Werewolf and Mafia is that not everyone likes the themes—particularly if you want to play with kids. So Fox & Chicken is a family-friendly take on the game, with a bunch of fun roles and cute illustrations. The project just launched this week and has about a month to go. (Note that this project is a UK project, so check your currency conversions.)

Eminent Domain: Escalation

Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games launched another Kickstarter campaign right on the heels of the tremendously successful Dungeon Roll campaign. This one is for Eminent Domain: Escalation, the first expansion to this sci-fi “deck-learning” game. I’ve only played the original a few times so far so I’m still on the fence myself, but the game has a lot of fans and the gameplay is a mix of role selection phases like Puerto Rico or Race for the Galaxy, but with deck-building as well. There’s only about a week left to go—this one was a short campaign.

The Doom That Came to Fiddle Creek
The Doom That Came to Fiddle Creek

It’s not all fun and (board) games, though! There’s also fun and Lovecraftian horror to be had! The Portland-based CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe is raising funds for their Appalachian folktale/Lovecraft mash-up play, The Doom That Came to Fiddle Creek. We’re talking about actual string-controlled marionettes here. Reward levels include tickets to the show (if you’re local) or DVDs of the performance. Although I’m not a huge Lovecraft mythos fan, I do like puppets. (Note: these are puppet shows for adults, not kids.) There’s just a week left to go on this one.

My Name Is Not Cody
This is not Cody.

Finally, one last campaign that’s just here because it makes me laugh. Ridiculo.us, the folks behind the Run Free Race and the campaign to end infant beardlessness, have another interesting campaign: My Name Is Not Cody. They’re raising awareness for a kid named Brodey whom lots of people call “Cody.” I know what this is like. In college I had a classmate who called me “Jay” for months. And now there’s a guy at church who calls me “Peter” for some reason, and I can’t seem to correct him. So I feel Brodey’s pain. You can get wristbands, stickers, or even appear on a billboard next to Cody. If your name is not Cody (the campaign explains that at least 62% of people are not named Cody) then this campaign should matter to you. There’s just over a day left on this one and they need a few hundred dollars to go.

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