Well, we’re definitely in board game season on Kickstarter again! It seems like every day there are new projects launching that I’d really love to play. I don’t have the opportunity to review everything, so here’s a roundup of a couple of projects I’ve been following!
Okay, I’ll admit: this is a game that caught my attention entirely based on the appearance and components. There are 3-dimensional flower standees, and little butterflies that clip onto them. The game itself is a tile-laying game about building a butterfly garden, and I love the way the components bring that theme to life. Is the game any good? I dunno—I haven’t played. But it’s certainly some lovely eye candy. This one ends later today, so take a look before it flutters away!
I’ve written previously about March of the Ants and its expansion, Minions of the Meadow; it’s a 4X game set in the world of ants. The game is getting another expansion, Empires of the Earth, which lets you start off the game with a mutation that will help direct your strategy, and also lets you build your nest for other abilities. It’s an excellent game—and if you missed out before, they’ve had enough requests that they are reprinting the base game and Minions, so you can get those through this campaign as well!
Cheapass Games has been creating games for over two decades, and it started with the idea of creating games that were, well, cheap: they had little packaging and you provided your own common components like pawns, dice, and money. This book is a retrospective about the company—and the campaign itself has been releasing free print and plays of many of their classic games, too!
GladiGala is a gladiator skirmish game that uses programmed movement. You use magnetic rings on the cards to indicate where your gladiators will move, and then mark locations on the board where your gladiators want to attack, hoping that somebody will wind up in that space after the movement. I’ve just got my hands on a prototype of this one, so hopefully I’ll have time for a full review before the campaign ends!
Kingdom Rush is a very popular digital tower defense game, so it’s no surprise that the tabletop adaptation has attracted a lot of backers already. This cooperative game has an interesting twist on the monsters and towers: the monsters come arranged on a grid card, and the towers (and characters) do damage by placing polyomino tiles onto the cards. Cover up all the monsters, and that card is defeated! It’s a clever way to handle the upkeep on hordes of monsters.
Oh, look! It’s another game that I’ll probably never get my group to play because it involves some real-time simultaneous play. Ah, well. It uses a clever “folding infinity board” that you flip and fold to determine which icons you want to use for the round—and then everyone compares boards and resolves actions and effects. I’m really intrigued by the way the boards work, and would love to see this game in action.
Anachrony is a worker-placement game with a time-travel, apocalyptic theme. One of the clever mechanics is the way that you can essentially borrow from your future self (thanks to time travel!), but the longer it takes to pay yourself back, the riskier it becomes. This expansion for the game adds some new locations and mechanics, including the ability to “blink” your workers so they can essentially be in two places at once. All right, where do I get one of these Flux Cores for myself?
This deck-building game about collecting impressionist art uses a clever market system where the value of the cards in your deck change based on the demand for the paintings (and gold). I love deck-building games as a genre and it’s exciting to see it used in different ways. The idea of having cards whose worth depends on a market is really intriguing to me.