Friday, October 25, 2019

Eye on Kickstarter #76

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 October, 2019:

Live Campaigns from Past Eyes:
The Search for Planet X by Foxtrot Games
Scary Stories: A Tribute to Terror by Curt Tuckfield and Shane Hunt
POWERUP 4.0 - Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane by POWERUP
Gameboard-1 by The Last Gameboard

Beyond Humanity: Colonies
by Three Headed Monster
    This game looks absolutely incredible. Not just because of interesting gameplay and cool components, but because of the innovative blend of board games and technology. The price is pretty high, high enough that this is way outside my budget, but for that sizable chunk of change you'll get yourself a game that is truly on the cutting edge. Unlike other app assisted games, Beyond Humanity: Colonies uses an app to do all the heavy lifting for tracking stats, doing math, etc. Each piece in the game can communicate with the app to send and receive location and status information, allowing for what looks like an incredibly immersive experience. LEDs in the pieces can change color and flash to indicate different states, even the playing cards use RFID to integrate directly with the game. It really looks like Beyond Humanity: Colonies is a revolution in merging technology with analog gaming that keeps the feel of board games without trying to turn them into tabletop video games. I can't wait to see where this technology goes in the future.

In Beyond Humanity: Colonies, players take on the roles of managers of a new settlement built on a distant exoplanet by refugees from a future Earth that is polluted and overpopulated. As a manager, you will propose and vote on new modules to be built, introduce decrees to define the culture and functionality of the colony, carry out planetary exploration and research to obtain valuable artifacts, gather resources, and gain public support from the colonists.

This is a semi-cooperative game, which means you will have to cooperate to keep the colony operational and self-sufficient, while at the same time competing to gain influence and make decisions on the direction of the colony's development based on your individual victory goals. If the colony fails, you all lose, but if it succeeds, there will only be one true winner.

Beyond Humanity: Colonies is a hybrid board game like you've never seen before: it is an unprecedented combination of a traditional board game combined with electronic miniatures that are supported by a linked app.

As board game enthusiasts, our team believes that an app should never take the player's attention away from the board. As engineers and designers, we fought to change the way software is used and can be a part of an exciting tabletop experience.

During the game, the app serves as a self-operating data slate that enhances the classic and traditional board game experience. It displays the status of the colony and its citizens and does not require any interaction asides from clicking “next” at the end of turn. Instead, the game gathers information about your actions on its own! Thanks to the CPU built into the central piece of the game, the app recognizes when the new buildings are connected to it and it can recognize smart cards with the RFID technology built into modules. The miniature buildings will communicate their status with you by flashing lights of different colors. The application on your smartphone or tablet is connected wirelessly to the colony itself and will display all the important information like the current resource statuses and the status of the residents.

On top of it all, hidden behind the scenes, there is a neural network implemented that simulates moods, opinions, and the current feelings of thousands of virtual citizens.

by Dogtown Games and The Game Crafter
  • GJJ Games Review
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview, Quick Interview
  • I've played Telepathic a few times at various Protospiels that I've been to. It's a game that Carl Klutzke has been working on for quite a while. It's been pretty much the same game for a long time with minor tweaks and updates to art and components, but the reaction is the same from everyone I've seen play the game. "Carl, when are you going to publish this?" Well, now is your chance to finally pick up this outstanding 2-player game of mind reading, and the more people that jump in on this campaign, the cheaper it'll be! It also made my list of Top Prototype Games of 2016! Once again, this isn't a Kickstarter campaign, but a Crowd Sale on The Game Crafter, just like Iron Help a few months ago. Crowd Sales utilize The Game Crafter's new crowdfunding platform where the games get cheaper the more that are purchased. It's already reached a hefty discount of over $7, so it's already a very reasonable price. If you like silent, brain burner games in the likes of Hanabi or The Mind, but want something that feels even more intimate and intense, be sure to check out Telepathic!

Cards of Olympus, A Wizard's Shelf, and This IS Rocket Science
by Concrete Canoe Games
  • This collection of three 18-card games comes from three great designers that are very well known in the game design and Protospiel communities. Some of my first game designs were 18 card games, so I really like seeing what other people can do with just a smattering of cards.

Tiny Epic Dinosaurs
by Gamelyn Games
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview
  • Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is the first game in the Tiny Epic line that repeats that last letter. Both Tiny Epic Dinosaurs and Tiny Epic Defenders are abbreviated TED. That's not stopping me from adding it to my collection though. Over 70 dinosaur meeples!

by Kids Table Board Games
  • Yes, I have two games on this list about dinosaurs. But where Tiny Epic Dinosaurs is about having a dinosaur ranch, Fossilis is about paleontology. Through a pretty innovative 3-d playing area you'll get to actually dig for dinosaur bones! This looks like a tn of fun!

by Dreamcraft Games
  • This game looks gorgeous, and has a pretty cool tagline: "a kingdom building miniature game with strong civ aspects". Unfortunately the campaign seems to be very poorly run right now. Apparently the launch was delayed because Kickstarter was busy and didn't get around to approving the campaign until late. The team wanted to get the campaign live before heading to Essen, so they launched it and then headed straight to Essen, meaning they're not available to answer questions or make updates to the page in a timely manner. So there's no details on the gameplay, no examples of the family friendly art options that don't include scantily clad women. It's a shame because the game looks like it's worth looking into, but how the campaign is being run so far calls into question how the rest of the game's production will be managed.

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