Board Game Mosaic Calendar 2023

Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup

Gaming Kickstarter Tabletop Games

Hey, folks! It’s been a while since I’ve done a roundup post. Part of that is because we’re all still waiting for Kickstarter to make their next move: after a lot of backlash from project creators in response to their announcement about moving to a blockchain-based protocol, Kickstarter did back off a little (never releasing that promised whitepaper) and instead decided to form a Community Advisory Council that will be exploring various new features (including, I presume, the aforementioned blockchain). There have been some other changes in the meantime, including the unionization of the staff, and the announcement that the CEO is stepping down, so it’s hard to know if anything is set in stone at this point. So, in the meantime, I’ve continued to support project creators who have chosen to launch projects on Kickstarter, and continue to watch for more news.

In the meantime, some have found success on Gamefound, a crowdfunding platform specifically focused on tabletop games. One advantage is that because the platform is built for games, the tools are built in a way that is specific to the needs of publishers. I’ve heard of some hesitation because Gamefound was started by the people behind game publisher Awaken Realms, so there are publishers who are a little leery of having information about their businesses and customer base handled by a competitor, but my guess is that as more customers become aware of the site and start backing games there, more publishers may take the plunge. It will still take quite a bit before Gamefound has the market reach of Kickstarter, but I’m glad there are more options, both for publishers and backers. Gamefound started with some projects that they’d vetted, but the platform is now open to everyone so I expect the number of projects launching there will grow in the coming months. For now, this roundup is still Kickstarter projects, but I’m going to start watching for projects on Gamefound, too.

Here are a few current projects that I haven’t been able to review myself that I think are worth checking out.

Glitch Squad from Resonym Games

Resonym Games has published a few clue-giving games like Visitor in Blackwood Grove and Phantom Ink–they’re fun party games for people who like word games and puzzling out clues. Her latest is Glitch Squad, in which you’re trying to remember your passcode to your locker, but Glitch the lab cat keeps walking across the keyboard and scrambling the clues. The way it works is that your teammate will give you three words as a clue, but before you get to see them, an opponent gets to remove one of the words and replace it with something else. I’ve gotten to play once–not enough to write up a full review, but enough to be intrigued by the possibilities. Be quick, though: there’s only a couple days left to go for this one!

Dumpster Fire Party from 100% Soft

Okay, this one is more of a party game than my usual tastes, so I have to admit that mostly I’m just drawn to the little dumpster fire figure itself. I have a friend who had gotten one of these little dumpster fire figures a while back and I just found it a pretty apt symbol of our current times. Well, now there’s a card game, played in a larger version of the dumpster, with little magnetic trash bits that stick to the fire. Honestly, I haven’t decided fully whether to back this or just buy a figurine (or, yeah, if I should just avoid plastic and vinyl altogether), but … I’ve got a few days to decide.

Board Game Mosaic Calendar 2023

Board Game Mosaic Calendar by Katia Howatson

Katia Howatson makes amazing mosaics using board game components, and you can get a bunch of them in this calendar, which features mosaics of a game and its publisher each month, as well as a page for the 10×10 challenge. I have the 2022 calendar hanging next to my desk where I can admire the artwork, and I like the column on the side of each month where I can list the games I’ve played. If you like board game art and you want a calendar for next year, this one’s a beauty.

Painted Bird Meeples from Meeple Source

Meeple Source sells custom meeples and other upgraded components for many different games (for instance, here’s my post about their Scythe upgrade components). This campaign is for painted bird meeples for use in Wingspan (or, you know, if you just love birds!). They replace your action cubes, so instead of little cubes you’ll get a set of 8 birds to use!

Battlecrest from Button Shy Games

Button Shy is known for its wallet games—small, 18-card games that come in a little vinyl wallet, sometimes with additional cards as expansions. The latest in the line is Battlecrest, a skirmish game where the cards you use get flipped over to the other side, giving you different moves and tools. There are different characters to choose from, each with its own set of moves, and some cards that form the terrain where you’re moving around. I really love the artwork on this one, too, which looks like something from a sci-fi comic book.

Thunderstone Quest Deepwood Defenders from AEG

I have a soft spot in my heart for Thunderstone because it was the first deck-building game I played (yeah, I missed Dominion at first somehow) and it’s what made me fall in love with that genre. It’s a dungeon crawl that has you building a team of heroes and equipping them to battle various monsters. It had a series of expansions (most of which I reviewed) before getting a big overhaul in Thunderstone Quest a few years ago, making it easier to learn and providing some new ways to play, organized as a series of quests to play through. This campaign includes a starter set for those new to the game, as well as some new quests for those who already have it.

 

Micro Cosmos from Thistroy Games

You know me: I’m a sucker for big games in small packages, so this one stood out to me. It’s a space exploration game: terraform planets to make them habitable, rescue stranded survivors and help them find new homes, and upgrade your mothership. I’m not familiar with this publisher, which is based in Poland, but some of the team was behind Pocket Mars, another small-box game that I thought was pretty cool.

A Bunch of Games from BoardGameTables.com

BoardGameTables.com doesn’t just make board game tables—they started publishing games a few years ago, too. (Though I’ll admit I haven’t gotten to play any of them myself yet.) This project brings back four favorite titles that you might have missed over the years, along with new expansions for those who already love them. On Tour is a roll-and-write about taking your band across the USA or Europe. QE (which stands for “quantitative easing”) is a bizarre auction game where you can bid any amount—but the person who spends the most money is automatically disqualified at the end. Bites follows a line of ants as they collect food and bring it to the anthill. And Kabuto Sumo is a coin-pusher-inspired game where you shove pieces onto a platform, hoping to knock your opponent out of the ring.

New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer. Disclosure: I received a prototype of Glitch Squad from the publisher.

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