June is apparently a prime time to launch tabletop Kickstarter projects—I’ve got a string of them to review this month, but there are several others that I won’t get a chance to play during the campaigns that look really promising. (And several that I’ve already missed—there’s only so much time in the world!) Here are a couple of ongoing projects that caught my attention.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
Travis Nichols is an author and illustrator—I wrote up his Monster Doodle Book several years ago, and my daughter reviewed his comic book Fowl Play more recently. His first Kickstarter project is for the Heckadeck—it’s a deck of cards similar to a poker deck, but with several extras: four additional suits (in blue and green), three new cards in each suit (0, 11, and Beasts), and some special cards—some with two suits, one with all suits, and some with no suits. The cards all feature Nichols’ excellent artwork, which is a lot of fun.
What do you do with the Heckadeck? Well, you can play your favorite existing card games, with some twists, or you can invent your own card games that use more suits. I think this could be a particularly great resource for game designers—there are many card games that begin with poker cards as a stand-in, but you’re limited by the 4-suit, 13-card set. The Heckadeck opens up a whole lot of new possibilities. But don’t wait too long on this one: there’s less than a week left!
In 2011, Catacombs was my pick for Game of the Year: it’s an excellent RPG-based dexterity game. In 2014, Elzra Games Kickstarted a new edition with all-new art by Kwanchai Moriya and revised rules. Now, they’ve got a campaign for Catacombs & Castles, a standalone game that allows for both cooperative play or competitive play. It’s more of a skirmish than a campaign, but can also be used to expand the new Catacombs base set to add more characters and abilities—it’s an easier entry point into the world of Catacombs. Plus, if you missed some of the Kickstarter exclusives from the last campaign, here’s another chance to pick those up.
I mentioned Nova Cry in a roundup post last year. That project funded, and there was enough interest in the game that now World Within is working on a second printing—the game is not currently available in stores or online. I still haven’t gotten to play the game myself (I will have a review copy coming, but it may be too late for this campaign) but it looks like a very cool sci-fi game with a 4x feel but in a shorter timeframe.
This is an officially licensed board game set in the world of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I have to admit that I haven’t read the series myself, but I did get a chance to play an early prototype of this at a game convention about two years ago—so I know that a lot of work and development has been put into it, though I have not yet played the current version. (I should get a chance to try it out soon, though.) Each player is control of one of the Houses, working together to solve the various problems that arise, while also trying to further their own objectives. Of course, some Houses could also be sowing chaos and allowing cataclysmic events to take place—make your alliances carefully, and keep a close watch on everyone.
Exoplanets was originally published by Board & Dice last summer after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now Greater Than Games is publishing the North American edition. If you missed this project the first time around, now’s your second chance at it. Create and manage a system of planets, terraforming them to provide necessary resources and evolving lifeforms into new species.