Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Robots, Aliens, Wizards, and More!

Today I’ve got a roundup of several cool tabletop games (and a few accessories) that are currently on Kickstarter, plus one bonus title at the end that I think is worth checking out. These are arranged roughly in order of those ending soonest. Have a look!

Crack the Code from Indie Boards and Cards

Crack the Code reminds me a little of the old pattern-finding game Mastermind, except it’s cooperative: each player has a tray with colored marbles, and a goal card that shows a color pattern. You can see everyone’s goal cards, but you can’t see your own marbles. Players need to use the command cards to move marbles around among the trays, trying to get all of the patterns to match.

New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer!

Burncycle from Chip Theory Games

Chip Theory Games is known for its chip-based games, which often feature high-quality poker-type chips in place of standees or miniatures. Burncycle is a cooperative game about robots battling their evil human overlords, and it’s a programming game with some interesting aspects. You can do any action regardless of the programmed action, but you get a bonus if you do a matching type of action. You can count on this one to have some very cool components, and some brain-burning strategy to work out.

The Mariana Trench from Tristam Rossin

This is a small-box game for solo play or 2 players about exploring the ocean. You discover deep-sea creatures, and you can either capture them for study or upgrade your submarine to travel faster, store bigger creatures, or protect yourself from damage. You also score points for getting to the ocean bottom to do research. The sea creatures on the cards look great, and I like the two submarines, too!

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Xenolanguage: A Game About First Contact from Thorny Games

Thorny Games creates games about language: they’re also the minds behind Dialect, which is a role-playing game in which players experience the rise and decline of a dialect. This one calls to mind the movie Arrival, and is about scientists learning an alien language through the lens of their shared memories. I’ve gotten to try Dialect and have really enjoyed it (though admittedly I’m not as experienced with the role-playing aspects of it), and I really love the idea of interpreting an alien language.

Wizards & Relics by Eternal Realms

Wizards & Relics is a card game from a first-time Kickstarter creator about dueling wizards. You create combinations of, uh, wizards and relics from your hand of cards, trying to have the highest total power—but many of the cards have their own powers that let you draw more cards, affect your opponent’s relics, and so on. It looks like it’ll be fun to discover cool card combos, and I like the artwork on the cards, too.

KAPOW! from White Wizard Games

White Wizard Games, the folks behind Star Realms, bring you this dice battle game between superheroes and supervillains, with dice that you build as you play: you get new faces to add onto your dice, powering them up. It looks like it was originally published by 2 Ton Porcupine through Kickstarter, and is now under the White Wizard umbrella for the second edition, which includes two standalone volumes to choose from. 

Upzone Pop-Up Terrain System from Everything Epic

If you want some 3D terrain for your RPGs or wargames, Upzone has a lot of different maps that open up like pop-up books, with dungeons, a ruined cathedral, and an ancient pyramid. The dungeon zone even has modular rooms that you can assemble in various configurations.

Four Humours from Adam’s Apple Games

I don’t know a whole lot about this game, but I’ve liked what Adam’s Apple Games has published so far, so it caught my eye. it involves placing tokens representing the four humours onto the board, but they’re secret, so there’s a bit of social deduction, too. I really love the artwork, too. It’s on Tabletop Simulator so I may give that a shot soon to try it out for myself.

Village War: The Calamity from Nibcard

Village War: The Calamity isn’t on Kickstarter, but it’s currently on preorder until November 15 30. While it doesn’t immediately look like the type of game I usually write about, the reason it caught my attention is that it’s a game based on history and folklore of the Igbo tribe in Nigeria (mixed with the designer’s fantasy world), designed and published by Nigerians. I’ve been following Nibcard on Twitter because I’m always interested in what sorts of games are being created in places other than Europe and North America. The game is a battling card game where you have to decide whether to use your warriors to attack or defend, with some special card power to pay attention to. The link above is for US/Canada pre-orders, but there are also options for Europe or the rest of the world.

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This post was last modified on November 12, 2020 3:53 pm

Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit. I can be reached at jonathan at geekdad dot com.

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