Well, I’ve got several full Kickstarter reviews coming your way in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime I wanted to turn your attention to a few of the campaigns that have caught my eye: fancy dice, a restored classic, and lots and lots of cards.
Gate Keeper Gaming created the Halfsies dice as part of its campaign for The King’s Armory, a massive tower-defense game, and gamers loved these dice. They have that pearlescent swirl, and each die is a half-and-half combo of two different colors. For this campaign, John Wrot sent the dice on a world tour, with 50 sets of dice taken to locations around the world for a photo shoot. Backers get to vote on which dice are unlocked next (and a couple of them have already been unlocked).
Since GeekDad Anthony Karcz and I both had sets of Halfsies dice from the previous campaign, we decided to have a mini cross-country tour. My dice are experiencing some typical Portland rain, and Anthony’s dice are enjoying the Florida sunshine. So far, there are three colors to choose from for this campaign: Phoenix Dice, Gamma Dice, and the Queen’s Dice, but there are plenty more in store.
And speaking of fancy dice, here’s another set, from Q-workshop and Chaosium. This set of solid metal dice has a Cthulhu theme to it, with twisting tentacles on the dice edges and toothy maws on the corners. The highest face of each die (except the d4) has an Elder Sign on it for that extra dash of madness. I was sent an early production set to check out—pictured above. Q-workshop made a set of metal Pathfinder dice last year, and I can attest that they’re pretty amazing. They don’t come cheap, of course, but they might make a fantastic gift for a Lovecraft fan. Entropy: Worlds Collide
I backed the original version of Entropy a couple years ago sort of on a whim, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Each player is trying to piece together the shards of their world. Players choose actions simultaneously, but you clash if you choose the same action as somebody else. The first edition is sold out, and this is a reimagining of the game that overhauls a lot of different aspects of it. It’s a short campaign, so don’t wait too long to check it out. Solstice
Grant Rodiek, the designer of games both small (Hocus) and large (Cry Havoc), has this small drafting-and-deception game inspired by Dune. Now, I have to admit that I don’t really know Dune myself, but the gameplay intrigues me so I decided to back it. Plus, you gotta admire Rodiek for posting an update explaining that his game isn’t for everyone and that he really wants to make sure it’s one you like before you pay money for it. Do note, though, that this one will not be in stores after the campaign.
This quick-playing card game is simple to teach: get at least one of each type of card into your court to win, but each one you play has a special effect, and other players have a chance to block your moves. I’ve got a prototype of this one recently, so expect a more detailed review soon!
Grimslingers is set in the weird west—a mash-up of science fiction, fantasy, and westerns—and the game can be played either as head-to-head duels or in a cooperative campaign mode. The game has superb artwork, though the first edition’s rulebook was sometimes a bit hard to decipher. This expansion to the game adds a bit more, including solo play, as well as a revised rulebook that takes into account a lot of player feedback. Stop Thief!
Restoration Games is creating an updated edition of Stop Thief!, a 1979 Parker Brothers title that used an electronic sound “crime scanner” to play noises that acted as clues. The new version will use an app (of course), which allows for more flexibility and modes of play. The restoration is led by Rob Daviau, designer of Risk Legacy, and looks like it could be a real steal. The Last Garden
The Queen is the last human alive after the apocalypse, and what she really longs for are the gardens of her youth. So she’s programmed some robots to recreate those gardens with metal and gems. The Last Garden is a worker placement game with some beautiful artwork and, let’s face it, a fantastic new word: robotanist. Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game
I haven’t played this one, though I know Genius Games has published a couple of science-based card games already like Covalence and Ion. This one’s a worker placement game that takes place within a human cell, where you take actions that are designed to reflect what actually happens inside a cell’s organelles. The artwork looks fantastic and the gameplay sounds intriguing. The Island of Doctor Necreaux
This is a new edition of a cooperative adventure game by Jonathan Leistiko. I reviewed the original version years ago, and I’ve been sent a prototype of this edition to try out. Expect a full review coming up later. Travel to Doctor Necreaux’s volcanic lair, rescue the scientists, and escape in the shuttle before the volcano blows!