I know, I know, I just told you about two Kickstarter board games earlier this week, plus I ran a roundup post last week, but it does look like game publishers are getting back up to speed with projects, and everything is hitting all at once. Aside from the games I’ve already written up, there are a few more that launched recently that I’ve gotten to try out a little bit (but not enough for a full review), plus some that just look cool. One trend I’ve noticed is that some of these projects are running for a shorter length of time—many of them are closer to 2 weeks instead of a full month. I wonder if publishers are finding that cutting a project’s run time helps with the usual mid-campaign stagnation? I guess we’ll find out.
Hang onto your wallets, folks, and let’s take a look…
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
Update: Alas, this morning shortly after this piece was published, Burnt Island Games decided to cancel the campaign. They have additional content they’d like to include but felt the pace of the funding would not hit those stretch goals, so they’re planning to relaunch in September. Perhaps by then I’ll be able to provide a full review! In the meantime, consider this an early peek:
The premise of In Too Deep is that you work for a secret agency that has found a way to hack into the minds of cybernetically enhanced criminals, so that you can infiltrate their ranks, observe their actions, and even influence their behavior. You can gather intel by participating in crimes, but each one presents you with dilemmas that affect how corrupt you’ve become.
I got a chance to try this on Tabletop Simulator (it’s the featured image at the top of this post), and the gameplay is all manipulating the board to set up various crimes. You’ll need to get characters into position, maybe remove a blockade, and have a particular item on hand, which then gains you some intel but also corruption. There are a few different puzzles going on here: collecting and filing intel will also affect your score at the end of the game, as well as determining whether or not you as a group foiled the overall plot. So far I’ve only played a 2-player game, but I’m eager to try it with more players, too. It’s another game that puzzle-lovers will enjoy, as you try to figure out how to get everything into position for the perfect crime.
Casual Game Insider is back for its ninth year! This is a quarterly magazine that focuses specifically on casual games, which have a quick setup time, easy-to-learn rules, and usually play in under an hour. If that’s your jam, CGI is a great way to hear about a lot of games to check out, with a mix of articles and interviews.
You like fancy dice? How about surprises? John Wrot! of Gate Keeper Games has been making Halfsies dice for some time now, and his latest project is for mystery dice—all new designs that won’t be revealed until they arrive on your doorstep. The pledge tiers include a 7-dice set and an 11-dice set, with options to add on “weird stuff” that, as the page says, “technically count as ‘dice'” but “anything goes!”
Renegade Games has turned several of their board games into jigsaw puzzles (and posters)! This first project includes puzzles for Raiders of the North Sea, Arboretum, Overlight, and Kids on Bikes. You’ll also get a few promo cards for Raiders and Arboretum for your pledge. If you—like me—have been doing a lot more jigsaw puzzles during the quarantine, this is a chance to put together some tabletop games artwork for a change.
Roll Player is a tongue-in-cheek dice game about building an RPG character, and the entire game was about the creation of the character, not actually using it in an adventure. But, of course, many players became attached to these characters they’d put together. Well, now there’s Roll Player Adventures, a narrative board game (kind of RPG-ish?) that uses the same cast of characters and artifacts from Roll Player, but you actually get to do something with them. You can “import” characters from Roll Player, but the original game is not required to play, either—this new game contains everything you need to generate new characters as well.
Here’s a quick, silly, cooperative word game: in French Toast, the first guess is always “French Toast.” Each subsequent clue is based on a comparison between the previous two guesses, repeating the clue that is closer to the actual answer (or saying “equal” if they’re equally close). How do you get to a word like “comb” starting from “French toast”? Well, you’ll have to play this game to find out!
I think we’re all about ready for 2020 to be over, right? You can look forward to 2021 with this calendar, featuring game-inspired mosaics made of board game components! Katia Howatson meticulously arranges meeples, chips, and various other tokens into eye-popping images—be sure to watch the time-lapse video of her Onitama photo.