This past weekend was a big one for tabletop games: not only was it the first digital version of Essen Spiel, but there were also at least a few other smaller gaming conventions happening as well. Flying Frog Productions hosted its annual DiceFest online, and the Taiwan Original Boardgame Expo actually had a physical convention, because they’ve got enough of a handle on COVID-19 that they can do things like that. (Wear masks, y’all.) And here on GeekDad, we’ve been trying to wrap up some game reviews in preparation for our Game of the Year award, because we’ll be selecting our top 10 finalists soon.
In the meantime, there are still a lot of great-looking games launching on Kickstarter… and that’s what we’re looking at today! These are in order of end date, with the campaigns closing soonest at the top.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.
I came across this campaign and was immediately intrigued by the image of the polyominoes fitting onto little cards. It’s an engine-building game, where you complete simple puzzles to score points and get more pieces, allowing you to complete bigger puzzles. This campaign is actually for the Finesse expansion, but you can also get in on the base game if (like me) you missed it the first time around.
Two of my Twitter buddies, Daniel Newman and Tony Miller, have launched New Mill Industries together with this 2-player asymmetric game. Each player takes on the role of one faction, science or séance, and tries to accomplish their goal while blocking their opponent. Each of the players is using a completely different set of rules, play style, and components—I’m really curious to see how it feels! It also looks like a great game for future Halloween game nights, though of course it won’t be ready for this year.
I backed Moonrakers from IV Studios kind of on a whim—it looked like a neat sci-fi deck-building game, and of course I didn’t realize at the time that when it arrived (this month), I wouldn’t have anyone to play it with. Ah, well. IV Studios is back on Kickstarter with a totally different game: Veiled Fate is a social deduction game where you all play as deities trying to find glory for your own demigod offspring. Hopefully by the time this one delivers, we’ll be able to play games in person again, because it seems like it would work best with a large group!
Rob Huddleston reviewed Campaign Trail last year and gave it our GeekDad Approved seal—it’s a game about running for President of the United States, and takes into account things like the electoral college, with a very cool track to show you who’s ahead. Grey Fox is back with a reprint, as well as an expansion that adds the Green Party. If you’re looking for an excellent strategy game that also demonstrates how U.S. elections work, this is worth checking out.
I don’t actually play RPGs much, but I think this is a cool idea: always have your character piece with you on your keychain! These keychains include a laser-engraved metal tab and a plastic base that hook onto the keychain. Of course, right now we’re not going anywhere at all for games… but that will change someday, and you’ll be ready.
Omar Akil launched Rap Godz on Kickstarter two years ago, and the first print run is now sold out. This new campaign gives you a chance to order a reprint of his hip hop game, but also introduces Hoop Godz, a game about street basketball. Each character has different strengths, and you have to manage your “juice” to pull off your moves, plus there are real-time dice battles.
Blinks are little hexes that connect to each other, lighting up and responding to touch to play a variety of games. Each hex comes programmed with a game, which it then “teaches” to the other hexes it touches. This campaign includes the 9 existing games, and also introduces 6 new games. I haven’t gotten to try these out myself, but they definitely look cool!
Seven years ago, I interviewed John Wrot! of Gate Keeper Gaming about The King’s Armory, a tower defense board game that didn’t fund on its first attempt. He took some unconventional steps to build up a fan base, and his next attempt was successful, raising about $90k. His Halfsies dice were invented for the game, and sent him in a totally different direction when he discovered that the two-colored dice he wanted didn’t exist. Well, the King’s Armory is back today, with upgraded components, lots of miniatures, and some expansions!