I’m apologizing in advance, because I know I just shared several cool Kickstarter projects last week, but it’s clear that tabletop game publishers are getting caught back up from the lockdowns and have put all that time cooped up into coming up with a lot of ideas. So, here’s a list of some current projects that caught my eye (that, alas, I won’t have the opportunity to review myself).
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Pandasaurus Games is doubling down and really putting the “saurus” in “Pandasaurus” with this two-in-one campaign. (Hmmm, do they even have pandas in any of their games?) Dinosaur World is a stand-alone game, sort of a sequel to Dinosaur Island, in which you’re now building out an entire archipelago of islands by placing tiles—because, as we know from the movies, people will never learn that bringing dinosaurs back to life for fun and profit is a terrible idea. Dinosaur Island: Rawr ‘N Write is, as you may have guessed, a roll-and-write game, with dice-drafting, worker placement, and polyomino packing. It looks pretty hefty for a roll-and-write, too. If you love dinosaur-themed games, you’ll want to check out these two titles!
Automated Alice is a novel by Jeff Noon from 1996, a third adventure for Alice to a futuristic Manchester. I read the book many years ago, so I confess I don’t remember much about it anymore, but that’s why Automated Alice—the tabletop game—caught my eye when it showed up on Kickstarter. It’s a cooperative dice game where you help Alice clear her name, while Mrs. Minus and her Civil Serpents investigate her. The game itself involves matching the right dice to the right spots to claim the clue cards, while using abilities from the clues and characters to manipulate the dice and avoid Mrs. Minus.
I backed The 7th Continent back in 2015 after reading Will James’ review, and have played through many hours of it with my daughter and a friend. We enjoyed it enough that I backed the expansion as well (which I haven’t actually played yet, because we were still exploring the base game when it arrived). The 7th Citadel is the same type of game, but with a a few new twists: for one, it’s a different setting, which they’re calling “post-apocalyptic medieval fantasy,” Collapsing Lands where giant burrowing worms have ravaged the earth. Each player has their own action deck this time around, and it allows you to customize your character a bit. There’s also a dialogue system that lets you talk to NPCs using a sort of choose-your-own-adventure book. I’m impressed with what Serious Poulp did with the 7th Continent series, so I’m definitely intrigued by this evolution of the system.
If you want to add a bit of sparkle to your game nights (uhhh, once we can host game nights again), take a look at these ice trays, which make a full set of polyhedral (d)ice. They might not improve your odds of a critical hit, but at least your drinks will look great.
And here’s one more monstrous dice game! Monsters on Board is about monsters scaring humans so they can distill Spook Juice. I love the little Fearmobiles that you use to pass the dice between players for drafting. Final Frontier Games is no stranger to dice games: they’ve also published Cavern Tavern and Rise to Nobility, which I’ve reviewed, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve come up with this time. If all goes well, it may be a good selection to play next year for Halloween!
Itten Games is a Japanese publisher with some delightfully quirky games (Here Comes the Dog, for instance), but this is their first Kickstarter campaign. Crash Octopus is a dexterity game about sailing around and collecting treasures by flicking them toward your boat … and, of course, a giant pink octopus. This is one of those games that will draw crowds at conventions. I love the half-submerged octopus, and the little crab timer, and as a fan of flicking games, this one really floats my boat.