It’s been a busy month in the world of tabletop Kickstarters (I mean, I feel like I’m saying that all the time, but … it’s always true?) and despite the fact that I’ve already posted full reviews of four games this month (with another one coming next week), there’s still a slew of others that look really fascinating to me. Fair warning: today’s list is long and you probably can’t back everything, but it could be fun to do some window shopping, anyway.
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Button Shy publishes wallet games—pocket-sized games that are usually only 18 cards in a vinyl wallet—and it’s a fantastic series with a lot of variety in it. The latest is Death Valley, a press-your-luck game about taking a journey through dangerous terrain. The artwork is stunning, and each card includes factoids about Death Valley, while also challenging you to figure out how far you want to push yourself in your journey.
This one’s from a first-time Kickstarter creator so I don’t know a lot about the publisher, but they caught my eye with the fun artwork, odd theme, and goofy video. You’re all competing cultists, hoping to win enough converts to carry out your nefarious schemes. It looks to have some puzzle-placement and pattern matching, some “take that,” and some silly puns.
Scott Almes is a prolific designer (you may know him from the Tiny Epic series) and I love the strange ideas that he comes up with: in this case, a game that’s for “0 to 2 players.” The story is about space miners harvesting crystals from the insides of giant space beasts, and you can play as the miner or the beast, with the other option controlled by either another player or an automated deck. Or, just because, you could pit the two automated sides against each other for a “0-player” game. The artwork by Kwanchai Moriya looks fantastic, too.
Petersen Games has launched a campaign on Gamefound for four completely different games they’ve called their “Monster Invasion.” Invasion of the Brood is a is a 2-player game with humans battling the Broodmaster for control of Earth. Marry the Monster is about building up structures, while tricking the giant monster into stomping on all your opponents. Potions & Profits is a bidding/bluffing game of buying potions and managing your reputation. Finally, Evacuate is social deduction game with deck-building about escaping from, well, a monster invasion. All four titles are available to try on Tabletop Simulator.
It’s an airborne heist gone wrong—the pilot escaped with a parachute, leaving your crew short, and you still have to secure the cash you were after in the first place. You could bail, but that casino owner isn’t going to forgive your debts. Can you make it out alive with enough cash? Or manage to land the plane? This sounds like a tense game of negotiation and backstabbing, and I’m curious to see how it plays out.
Catacombs is a fantastic disc-flicking dungeon crawl game, and Catacombs & Castles is a team-based skirmish version of the game. This campaign includes two things: a 2nd edition of Catacombs & Castles with neoprene playmats and a bigger storage box, and a Black Box expansion for Catacombs with a new playmat and alternate monster cards, plus a set of new monsters and goodies. There’s a handy chart on the campaign page showing the differences between the two games.
Coyote & Crow is a roleplaying game created by a team of Native Americans, and set in an alternate future where Europeans didn’t show up to colonize America. Instead, there was a climate crisis 700 years ago, accompanied by a strange purple marking that gave some people powerful abilities. I always give the disclaimer that I’m not much of an RPG player myself, but I love seeing projects like this that showcase and celebrate the diversity in gaming.
This game is set in a night market in Taipei, where you’ll run food stalls selling delectable dishes. I haven’t played the game myself, but as someone who has really loved going to the night markets when visiting Taiwan, I was drawn in by the theme. The game has you collecting ingredients by day and then cooking by night—boba tea and stinky tofu, anyone?
Here’s another one for fans of flicking games, this time set in space: FlickFleet is a space battle with a bunch of different ships that shoot at each other using dice. I’m hilariously bad at it, but it’s a lot of fun, and this expansion adds a bunch of stuff like scenery that you have to shoot through or around, a space Kraken, wreckage placed on the table when a ship is destroyed (and a salvage vessel that can collect wreckage to make stuff!), and more.
Brew some fancy teas sourced from the finest ingredients in this card game! You’ll be fulfilling orders by collecting just the right blend of ingredients, and one of the parts that looks interesting to me is the way that you trade favors with the other players to get the ingredients you need. Also of note: the game will have no plastic components whatsoever, substituting a paper band for shrink wrap. The metal coins—if that stretch goal is reached—will be made of aluminum, so they could potentially be recycled in the future.
Okay, here’s a curious concept: a free card game on Kickstarter (though with a $2 shipping charge). It started off last year as a single-sheet product where you would cut out the cards yourself, and is now getting an upgrade to real cards in a tuckbox. The company is hoping enough people get hooked on this free starter set that they’ll be able to make more expansions. I’m curious to see how this plays out, and for only $2, I figure it’s worth a shot! The publisher tried a campaign for a big box set back in February—Michael Knight reviewed it for GeekDad—but they canceled the campaign and decided to try this new strategy.
BoardGameTables.com doesn’t just make gaming tables—they also publish games. This campaign is for three different titles. Factory Funner is a tile-laying game about connecting a bunch of factory components together. Bear Raid is a stock-market game that also includes shorting stocks (GameStop, anyone?). Ghosts of Christmas is a trick-taking game that lets you play to tricks out of order: past, present, and future.