Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Cards, Dice, Heists. And Pandas.

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There are a lot of cool tabletop games on Kickstarter–too many for us to cover all of them in-depth (or back), as much as we’d love to. Here are a few that have caught my attention recently, in order of campaigns ending soonest. Note that I haven’t backed or played all of these, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt!

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Seven7s

Seven7s (ends 3/15) is a quick card game by Jason Tagmire, designer of Pixel Lincoln and Maximum Throwdown. I did get a demo copy sent to me but it just arrived, so I wanted to list it here in case I don’t get a chance to do a proper review before the campaign ends. Each card you play triggers a certain ability, but you score based on the cards left in your hand at the end of the game. It’s all about setting things up so that the cards in your hand will be worth the most points. Looks intriguing, has beautiful artwork, and is only $9 for a copy!

Entropy

Entropy (ends 3/16) is another beautiful-looking game–you’re trying to piece together your world, which has crashed together with other parallel worlds in the Nexus. I like that each character’s world forms a panorama when fully assembled, and it uses simultaneous action selection, something I tend to like in games.

Family Arcana

The Family Arcana (ends 3/19) is sort of an oddity, a cross between a deck of cards and a novella. Each card has a snippet of story about this weird family. There is a game there (unlocked as a $26k stretch goal) but I’m mostly interested in it as a book you can rearrange at whim. I used to collect poker decks until every other project on Kickstarter was for a fancy poker deck, but this one gets my $12.

Halfsies Dice
Early prototype samples of Halfsies dice. Hey, they almost match our GeekDad logo colors! Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

Halfsies Dice (ends 3/21) have a funny background story. John Wrot promised two-color d20s for his game The King’s Armory, one for each of the characters, matching their colors. But then he couldn’t find them anywhere, and eventually embarked on a quest, contacting dice manufacturers to get exactly the look he wanted. Panda Games was eventually able to create the dice, but went ahead and made prototypes of the full sets, not just d20s. So now Wrot is making the dice sets available in its own Kickstarter campaign, with many different color combinations available (and more to be unlocked as stretch goal or decided on by backers)

Wrot loaned me two sets of the early prototypes so I could see them in person–they’ve got those pearlescent swirls you’re familiar with, but each one is two colors blended together. (The Dwarf Dice shown above are a dark grey and a dark brown–the brown shows through more if there’s a light behind it but otherwise it’s harder to tell.) If you’re looking for some fun sets of dice, check out the campaign for more. Each set (d4, d6, d8, two percentile d10s, d12, and d20) will run you about $12–as low as $7 a set if you order multiple sets.

Above and Below

Above and Below (ends 3/25) is a game by Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games. All of his games feature his own artwork, and this one caught my eye. You’re building a new village aboveground, while also exploring the caves below. The game comes with a book of little stories that seem like a choose-your-own adventure: you make decisions that lead to other story bits, but also have an effect on the game.

Deep Sea, Blood, Ice Dragons

Deep Sea, Blood, and Ice Dragons (ends 3/26) are three new dragons for the game Draco Magi (which I reviewed during its Kickstarter last year). Since then, artist Kerem Beyit has created several more dragons that have been used as promo cards, posters, and now extra cards that you can purchase to add to your game. I particularly like the Deep Sea dragon, inspired by the anglerfish.

Grimslingers

Grimslingers (ends 3/26) is yet another amazing-looking game. I have to be honest–I clicked through an ad on BoardGameGeek because of the llama, but the game itself looks like it could be a lot of fun–a sci-fi western duel with simultaneous actions and a press-your-luck minigame. And llamas.

Ninja Dice expansion

Ninja Dice: Kage Masters (ends 3/26) is an expansion to Ninja Dice, a press-your-luck game in which the position and location of your dice also affect the results. When you press your luck and roll again, other players can throw their threat dice into the mix, lending a bit more player interaction than many press-your-luck games. The Kage Masters expansion adds special threat dice that give you different abilities to use on your turn and on other players’ turns. I haven’t played it yet, but it looks like a cool variation on the original.

Bottom of the 9th

Bottom of the 9th (ends 3/26) is the latest title from Dice Hate Me Games, which recently merged with Greater Than Games. The Dice Hate Me imprint will still focus on the retro-Americana theme, and since they’ve already covered trucking and beer and pie, it’s time for some baseball! The game’s cards are designed to look and feel like vintage baseball cards, and the gameplay is set in the bottom of the 9th inning–which means it’s quick and you don’t have to sit through all the boring parts of the game.

Far Space Foundry

Far Space Foundry (ends 4/2) is about working at two space foundries–first to transport and process ore, and then to turn that ore into useful products and transport them to the front lines. Mostly what caught my attention was that the game uses a rondel and a double-sided board–and the excellent art and design by Adam McIver.

Burgle Bros

Burgle Bros (ends 4/4) is a cooperative heist game: each player has a special ability, together you break into a building, race to find and crack the safes, and get out before the guards catch you. There are lots of different types of alarms (and ways to outsmart them), plus some fun tools to aid you. I did get a demo prototype of Burgle Bros, so expect a full review of this one soon.

Adorable Pandaring

Adorable Pandaring (ends 4/6) is not above a bit of cute pandering, but it hasn’t really exploded like a certain recent kittens game. It’s not just about being cute, though; it looks like a pretty solid, quick game, reminiscent of Red7, another title from Asmadi Games that I’ve had the opportunity to play. For just $12, seems like it’s worth giving it a shot.

Pandante

Pandante: Light and Dark (ends 4/12) is an update on the tricky panda-poker game by David Sirlin. I wrote up the original version back when it was on Kickstarter, and now the game has been revamped and streamlined to make it easier to learn and faster to play. Here’s a summary of what’s changed. If you have the original already, you can get an update kit; otherwise, check out the standard or deluxe edition.

On top of that, the Pandante Kickstarter campaign will also let you put in a preorder of the second printing of Flash Duel, an excellent card game that has several different modes of play. (You can see my review of the original here). The revised edition has re-balanced the abilities, clarified how abilities interact, and made it a little less “mathy” and more about bluffing and figuring out your opponent. Flash Duel is available as a $40 add-on to your Pandante pledge.

Any Kickstarter games you’ve got your eyes on lately?

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