Friday, May 24, 2019

Eye on Kickstarter #66

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 related reviews or interviews 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 2019 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 fourth Friday of May, 2019:

Live Campaigns from Past Eyes:
Starving Artists

The One Hundred Torii
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview
  • While I enjoy deep, super intense strategy games that really make you think, those rarely hit the table due to time and player constraints. What usually hits my table is middle weight, family friendly games... gateway games or just a bit beyond. These are fast, fun, and easy to teach and learn, but still have a depth (sometimes a hidden depth) that keeps them interesting even for more experienced players. The One Hundred Torii looks to be an instant hit in that category of games. The artwork is gorgeous, the gameplay is simple, yet deep, and you know the quality is going to be awesome because the project is spearheaded by Edo Baraf and his Pencil First Games.

Life's a Journey, Not a Destination - Find your path through a beautiful Japanese garden. Step into tranquility as you pass through the torii gates, traveling from fountains to flowers to shrines while meeting vendors, poets, and even samurai along the way...

Traveling through the Garden - Earn the most journey points by expanding the garden and walking to landmarks through the torii gates. You will interact with people in the garden gaining additional advantages as you play.
  • Lay tiles to create paths in a gorgeous Japanese Garden.
  • Smooth, streamlined rounds - a delightful combination of tile laying, set collection, and unique character abilities.
  • Beautiful components, easy to learn and teach, The One Hundred Torii is a joy to play.

Big Easy Busking
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview
  • This is Big Easy Busking's second shot at Kickstarter and this time it's a success. With an interesting take on area control and resource management, this game about street musicians in New Orleans is as brightly colored as the city in which it is set.

  • I first saw Mammoth at Gen Con last year and have been watching for it ever since. The game has some very interesting tile placement mechanics and comes with awesome mammoth figurines. I hope it's a huge success and those baby mammoth figures can get unlocked.

  • One of my dreams is to come up with a very small, simple, and elegant game that has meaningful decisions and great player interaction. Bites has actually been around for a while (previously a purely abstract game called Big Points. Now the game has been expanded and rethemed to ants at a picnic. And check out those awesome components! Ant meeples, a 3d ant hill, and awesome dual layer tokens!

  • GJJ Games Review
  • In 2016 I reviewed the Game Crafter only game Monkey, by Birdlight Games. Since then the game has been picked up by publisher Gyrating Hamsters and given new artwork. The gameplay is still the same (very casual and highly random but fun for families and casual gamers), but the look and quality have improved drastically.

Space Invaders - The Board Game
  • Space Invaders is a classic video game from my childhood. I used to be able to play it for hours on my Atari 2600. When I pulled out that old system a few years ago, Space Invaders quickly became a favorite of my sons, too. Two years ago Renegade Games released FlipShips, which I describe as a board game version of Space Invaders. Well, now there is an actual Space Invaders board game, so I guess I'll have to stop describing FlipShips that way. Space Invaders isn't a dexterity game though. Instead it combines deck-building with the theme and feel of the original arcade game. Some of the 40th anniversary exclusive elements look awesome, too, if you're into collectors items.

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