Friday, April 14, 2017

Eye on Kickstarter #18

Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any reviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2017 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.

So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of April, 2017:

  • GJJ Games Review
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Manaforge and thought it was really great. The game uses some very cool dice selection, resource management, and engine building mechanics with some really awesome artwork to create a very fun, and thinky experience. Manaforge is up there with the best games I've previewed for Kickstarter and it needs your help to fund! It launched its campaign, gaining a ton of backers really quickly, but has been sitting at about 50% funded for quite a while now. This is a game that definitely deserves to be made. Plus there are a number of really exciting expansions in the works, but the only way those will see the light is if the base game is successful. So be sure to take a look at Manaforge today!

Ever wonder where magical items come from? You're about to find out!

Manaforge is a dice-rolling, resource management game of crafting magical equipment. Players step into the role of wizards who specialize in creating magic items. Each wizard owns a magic shop in which they display the fruits of their labor for gold-laden adventurers to come in and purchase.

However, the adventurers' funds are finite, so wizards must compete to make their shops stand out from the rest. And what better way to impress adventurers then to have the most impressive selection of useful and powerful magical gear. At the end of the day, the wizard who accumulates the most Prestige (victory points) will attract the customers and make the sales. May the craftiest wizard win!

Bridges to Nowhere
  • GJJ Games Review
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • Bridges to Nowhere is a great little strategy drafting game. I reviewed the two player prototype and loved it. In the Kickstarter they're offering a four player version as well, plus as they knock out stretch goals there are a ton of new cards that they're adding to really change things up and add even more variety to this great little game.

Greedy Claw Crane Game
  • GJJ Games Review
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • Greedy Claw Crane Game is a fun little filler game that I reviewed back in January. It would be great for families or a game night filler. The artwork on the tokens is pretty cool and the game offers some interesting push-your-luck decisions.

Rahdo Runs Through - Year Six
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • OK, so this one isn't a game, but if you've watched any game review or playthrough videos, chances are you've watch Rahdo. He does some of the best runthough videos out there, giving you a great sense of how a game plays and the kinds of decisions you'll need to make while playing. He does this all free for both viewers and publishers/designers, so helping to support him through this Kickstarter is a way to ensure that he can keep on providing this awesome service for everyone.

Bloody Monday
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview
  • Just yesterday I posted my interview with the designer of Bloody Monday. If you're into wargames, this is one to check out. Bloody Monday is about the Battle of Borodino, the single bloodiest battle of the Napoleonic Wars. It features super accurate representations of the battlefield and troops, and looks like another winner from VentoNuovo Games (all his other games are rated super high, 8+, on BGG).

  • I love space. Always have! Science fiction, astronomy, NASA... When I was younger my favorite book was The Universe, a National Geographic book with tons of awesome pictures and information. I still have it, even though it's falling apart, but last year I was thrilled to find a like-new copy at Goodwill, so now I have two copies of the book! Constellations is a gorgeous looking, tile laying game that's all about astronomy. I'd absolutely love to add this game to my collection for it's combination of gameplay, artwork, and theme.

  • This looks like a pretty cool take on the werewolf/mafia style social deduction games. A few months ago I reviewed a game called Alien Entity where an alien was trying to infect other players. It was pretty flawed and unbalanced, but Infected looks like a game that takes that idea and does it well. Plus the artwork is pretty awesome, and who doesn't love a plague doctor!

Wages of War
  • Wages of War came to my attention through both the Everything Board Games review of the game, and from a friend that was involved in the playtesting of the game. This is a reverse-worker placement game that looks pretty interesting. What is reverse-worker placement you ask? Well, you place workers in various areas of the board and they remain there. But each round you decide on the action that all workers (yours and your opponents') in each area get to take. This looks like a very interesting twist on worker placement and action selection, in a fun, castle siege game!

Rise to Nobility
  • Last year I won a copy of the Kickstarter success, Cavern Tavern, in a contest and really enjoyed the game when I played. That team is now back with another game set in the same universe with some similar dice based worker placement mechanics, but a whole lot new. Rise to Nobility looks like another winner and the game is already knocking out a ton of stretch goals.

The 7th Guest
  • Back in the '90s there was a CD-Rom game for the PC called The 7th Guest, and its sequel The 11th Hour. I never owned these, but I remember sitting at a friend's house working through the puzzles, and loving the horror theme and ambiance. Fast forward to 2017 and we're presented with a board game version of the same game. The concept I think is really cool, but the gameplay looks like it's stuck in the '90s. This looks like a roll-and-move game where you do whatever the space you land on tells you to do. But with over 300 puzzles you might have to solve, maybe that's enough to keep the game interesting? I'm not sure, but the original game's fanbase looks like it'll be enough to get this game funded, so maybe someday I'll have the chance to check it out.

No Small Plans: A graphic novel adventure through Chicago
  • OK, here's another project that isn't a game, but caught my interest. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and my wife grew up in Chicago, so we spent a lot of time watching the city grown and change over the years. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But one thing that's always been a part of Chicago is the awesome architecture and artwork throughout the city. No Small Plans is a project that attempts to tell the story of Chicago's past, present, and future through a graphic novel format that will speak directly to teens. Aside from awesome artwork, the stories look interesting, engaging, and thought provoking.