Time for another roundup of some great games currently on Kickstarter!
One of my favorite Kickstarter-funded games from last year is Valeria: Card Kingdoms, a tableau-building game that I often refer to as Machi Koro Plus, because it has a similar game structure but with a little more depth both thematically and in the gameplay. Flames & Frost is a stand-alone expansion: you can use it as a new base set, or mix it into your original set for more variety, and it looks great. With a week left to go, the game is already well-funded and has been knocking down stretch goals. Whether you’re new to Valeria or a longtime resident, this one is definitely worth your while.
This game is a mash-up from two different publishers, Stonemaier Games and Overworld Games. Euphoria is a dice-based worker-placement game in which your workers will revolt if they learn too much about their utopian society, and Good Cop Bad Cop is a hidden-role game about a kingpin trying to take over a police district. Leaders of Euphoria takes the gameplay of Good Cop Bad Cop and tweaks it: you’re still trying to figure out who’s the opposing leader and eliminate them, but there are some twists: if you shoot the wrong person, they join a third faction instead of being eliminated.
Oh, and the deluxe version comes with these ridiculously awesome oversized ray guns.
100 Swords is a micro-deckbuilder dungeon crawl from Laboratory: make your way through a dungeon, slaying monsters and collecting swords and other equipment, making your way to the dungeon boss. Each dungeon comes in a small tuckbox, and there are small-pack “dungeon builder” expansions that can change the feel of a dungeon. The original (reviewed here) is for 2 players only, but this Kickstarter introduces a multi-player option, plus two new dungeon decks, with stretch goals for more dungeon builder sets and solo mode.
I’ll admit: I’m not much for role-playing games so I don’t know if this is something I would really play that much, but I do have some interest in linguistics and this sounds really fascinating. You and a few others play as an isolated community—maybe you’re a kid in a remote boarding school, maybe you’re part of a Martian colony—but you develop a language, a dialect, and then the isolation changes and you see how that language changes and grows and, eventually, dies.
No, it’s not a game about Alexander Hamilton. It’s game about people power, about creating a movement. Rise Up is a cooperative game about beating the system so your movement—real or fictional—can succeed, and it also serves as a primer for real-world social action. I’m curious to see how well it functions as both a game and a lesson.
I backed one of Rule and Make’s previous games, Entropy, mostly based on a “hey, that looks cool” while glossing over the rules—and it ended up being a game I really like. So, I’m giving this one a chance, too—plus, now that they’ve figured out how to make metal coins, this one (I hope!) won’t take nearly as long to deliver. The primary mechanic in this one is a divide-and-pick mechanic, where one person divides up the round’s offerings into different stacks, and then everyone else gets to choose first. I’ve seen it used before in other games, and I’m excited to see how it works here. Be quick about this one—it ends this weekend!
One last one for today: Scott Almes and Gamelyn Games are back (already!) with the next entry in their Tiny Epic series. This one is all about epic adventures: travel around on a map to complete quests, fight goblins, learn spells, and search temples for powerful items. Like the other games in this series, it packs a big game in a small package. And a new feature in this game are the ITEMmeeples—plastic meeples that can hold little items, like swords, wands, shields, and more. Okay, it’s kind of gimmicky, but it’s a delightfully fun gimmick.
I’ve gotten a prototype of this one and will have a full review coming soon.