Crowdfunding Highlights

crowdfunding-highlights-iconBitbox is a game storage system for taking the components for your game — boards, rulebooks, and all those little pieces — and storing them, cutting down on the space required for all those game boxes. A unit fits within an IKEA Kallax cube space, and the video shows fourteen different games (Stone Age, Concept, Reverse Charades, Splendor, Power Grid, Telestrations, Machi Koro, Survive, The Lord of the Rings TCG base set, Ticket to Ride, RoboRally, Codenames, 7 Wonders, and Kingdom Builder were shown) stored in that single Bitbox. $50 gets you a Bitbox and a carry-to-game-night box. If we knew about this thing before it launched, you could have had that for $30.

The Prince Valiant RPG just came on Kickstarter last week. This game, set in the time of King Arthur and designed by Greg Stafford, is a storytelling game designed to be accessible to younger players. If you’ve wanted to tell stories about noble knights, you can get a physical copy of the game book filled with gorgeous full-color artwork from Hal Foster’s comic strip for just $30.

220px-TheWarriors_1979_Movie_PosterWell, after our last look at Crowdfunding Highlights, I think we’ve covered all the modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle games up on Kickstarter and — are you kidding me? There’s The Warriors: Turf War, based on the 1979 movie where a gang is set up for murder and all the gangs in New York City are hunting them down. Included in the base game are several miniatures, including the comical Baseball Furies (just called “Furies” here). Let’s do the rundown from last time: “early bird stretch goals not completely sold out (hurry!), more than three dozen miniatures (46!), second-ever KS from the company, $105 normal price tag. Come out to play.

Jackson Robinson does cards. You’ve got less than 19 hours to get some awesome currency-inspired playing cards. The cards are based on American and Chinese currency. (I’ve got one of his Wasteland decks and they’re really fantastic.) $14 gets you one of these decks, $28 gets you two. Stop reading and go now! There’s just *gasp* 18 hours left now! Go! Go! Go!

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not cahHonestly, I can’t wait for the US Presidential election to be over. There are soooo many Kickstarters that are trying to capitalize on Trump or Hillary that we just know aren’t going to fund or, god forbid they actually do fund, won’t be fulfilled any time before the election. Case in point: What the Drumpf, which is Apples to Apples with questions and Trump-like quotes “and the debate leader picks the funniest, most racist or most insane answer”. They want 3500 GBP for this thing.

Last week: People Vs. Politics, the “CAH with uncomfortable political discussion” game — how did it do? Unsuccessful, with just under half of the $4800 goal made.

Crowdfunding Highlights

I wonder how many modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle games do we really need? If you said, “Just one more, as long as it’s got Bruce Campbell in it,” you’ll be happy to hear about the Evil Dead 2 miniature boardgame that was recently launched. Does it hit all the notes? Early Bird Special that’s already gone: check. Three dozen plus miniatures: check. First ever KS by a company you’ve never heard of before (Space Goat): check. $100+ price tag: che– what? The “deluxe” edition is only $80? Huh. Come get some.

Cryptozoic Entertainment is releasing The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary which is a modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle game. Early Bird Special gone: check. Three dozen plus miniatures (68): check. First ever game: nope, it’s Cryptozoic, who has done lots of stuff. $100+ price tag: check — $125. Anyway, this one looks like it has better graphic design than Evil Dead 2. Get your argument battle simulator here.

darknesssabotageMeanwhile in space, Dethrone Games has Darkness Sabotage, a modular-board scenario-based standalone miniature battle game where you’re space pirates fighting demons instead of zombies (not that anyone would call them “zombies”). Early Bird gone: what? Five slots left? Scads of minis: check (46). First ever: kinda — they had another modular-board scenario based standalone miniature battle game that was cancelled. $100+ price tag: It’s right there at $127 CAD. Get your Event Horizon/DOOM/Space Hulk hybrid.

Back in World War 2, Draco Ideas presents 2GM Tactics, a modular-board scenario-based standalone card and token battle game. Set in the European Theater of Operations, this game uses cards and tokens instead of fifteen pounds of plastic to represent the units. Run ’em! Early Bird Pricing All Gone: check. Tons of minis: well, cards and tokens. First Ever Game: nope! $100+ price tag: only $83! Bust some Nazis.

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not cahPeople Vs. Politics is Cards Against Humanity, but with forcing uncomfortable political discussions into your circle of friends. “Some people feel our game is offensive and racist. While some of the topics touch on these issues the overall goal is to create dialogue…” with such discussion-starters as “a bigger, blacker Washington Monument”, “going to college for free because you’re 1/18th Indian”, and “anchor babies”. It’s like finding out how racist your uncle is on facebook, but in person.

Last week: Did Pick Your Poison make it? We were looking forward to this Would You Rather… game making it, but nope — it passed 20% of the funding goal before ending.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Outdoor games! Kubb is a lawn game that dates back to the age of Vikings, where you toss batons and blocks to knock over other blocks. Wait, no! Don’t leave! It’s actually a cool game that Downtime Manufacturing Co. is making: Beautiful, solid, hand-crafted wood, with several different designs. Check out the video at the campaign page. They’re just under two thousand dollars away from funding and have a few days left!

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Daniel Solis makes small games, and Pod-X is his latest game to hit Kickstarter. The seventeen-card game features a doomed spaceship and a frantic search for the last escape pod. The dealer knows the location, but can she misdirect the other players into giving her the win? A deductive game, this is one of the Button Shy Games’ Wallet Games. Already funded, you can get a copy for a $3 pledge.

Interested in a five-minute cooperative real time fantasy adventure game? Sure, how about Dungeon Time by Ares Games? Gear up, go on a quest, and when the timer runs out, go through the deck to see if you’ve actually completed the goal. This card game seems like a fantasy version of Space Alert (without the soundtrack) or Ticket to Ride: The Card Game (but fun). A $25 pledge gets you a copy.

Maybe something bigger. Far East 1592 is a strategic war game depicting the Seven Year War, where Japan invaded the Korean peninsula. Your troops are modified by thirty different generals. Far East 1592 looks beautiful and, with just four days to go, needs a push to get to the funding mark! The game is available to those that pledge at least $60.

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not cahThis week in the “we can make a Cards Against Humanity knockoff” category is Pick Your Poison, which just looks like CAH, but isn’t as awful or mean-spirited. It’s more of a Would You Rather… game where you choose one thing that’s cool, but are saddled with something that sucks. You’ll get combinations like “Win the lottery, twice, but never be trusted again” or “Go anywhere in the world for 3 weeks, all expenses paid, but never eat another slice of bacon again.” The judge chooses the one he or she would rather. It’s surprisingly refreshing in a field of CAH-“inspired” games. We’re actually looking forward to this one succeeding! If you want a potty-mouth version, there’s also a Toxic NSFW expansion.

Previously, on… Did Drawing Without Dignity, the potty-mouth Pictionary, make it? Nope, they cancelled the project with 37% funded. They’re going to relaunch the campaign with a slightly more sane funding goal ($5k instead of $10k) and trying to market the game.

Mutant Crawl ClassicsGoodman Games is doing for the post-apocalyptic genre what it did for fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Mutant Crawl Classics, inspired by Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha, is stand-alone but still fully compatible with DCC. Characters can be human, mutant, manimal, or plantient and in a typical adventure venture the wastelands to collect lost super-science.

For a system that’ll allow gamers to make their own mutants, Weapons Grade Funk is working toward a line of customizable anthropomorphic miniatures. The current round of fundraising will support sculpting of all the various body parts. These will then be incorporated in to an online application with which users can mix-and-match for 3D printing.

Game of Blame combines be-the-first-to-dump-your-cards game-play with a kind-of hot-potato mechanic for a light card game of courtly intrigue. As the queen’s advisers, the players know that personal success isn’t really about fixing the kingdom’s problems but instead about making sure someone else takes the blame for the things that go wrong.

Planetarium CardBeautiful and with a unique theme, Planetarium from Game Salute has players forming the planets of a new solar system by colliding matter on board orbits, and then further evolving those planets through the play of various cards.

Back on earth, players operate ice cream trucks in Rocky Road a la Mode, Green Couch Games’ tribute to the summer season. Cards in the game serve either as music to attract customers or as frozen treats to relieve the heat. With the right customers, players can also lay claim to summer hot spots, such as the pool, park, or ball field.

For the more sinister players, there’s Mr. B’s Madness at Midnight, a cultists-side Cthulhu game. This one combines worker placement and action-dice mechanics as players fulfill sinister plots and work to control key locations in Arkham. The first to 13 victory points is the winner, that is as long as they manage to keep the investigators at bay.

Who knew that gaming tables was going to be such a competitive market? The folks at BoardGameTables.com have been making high-end, custom-built wordwork gaming tables for the past year and a half, but they’ve recently launched a massive campaign for a low-cost gaming table. How low? $500 for a 3×5 table. They’re getting the price down to that point in two major ways: the tables are all standardized, so there’s no customization, and they’ll be mass-producing the tables, letting the economies of scale bring the overall price down. The Duchess is $499, $739 with topper to convert it to a normal table.

mistborn board game

A boardgame based on Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn novels is up on Kickstarter! A $50 pledge (plus shipping) gets you a copy of the semi-cooperative game. The game is designed by Kevin Wilson (one of my favorite game designers). Check out Mistborn: House War from Crafty Games.

fortressMiniature wargamer? Laser Dream Works is presenting 3D printer-ready models for historical (17th and 18th Century) terrain. The main item (at $45) is a fortress based on Fort Ticonderoga in New York state. The Vauban Fortress is scales from 28mm to 10mm sizes. Already unlocked: battle-damaged walls, outer fortifications, and Spanish-style turrets. They’re so very close to unlocking a five-pointed fort and a shore battery made of curved walls, but they’re in the final week of the campaign, so act soon!

Summit has an interesting theme: mountain climbing. In the game, you’re racing up (and back down) a mountain, laying down tiles to create trails and hazards. But you don’t want to sprint up the mountain: you’ll have to keep track of your food, oxygen, and health while making sure you’re not overburdened or too slow to ascend and descend. You’ll have to watch the weather, balance your load, and survive the perilous trek. The base game is yours for a pledge of $37 (US, approximate: $49 CAD). Summit also comes with a cooperative/solo expansion, which is available at the $49 level ($64 CAD).

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If Cards Against Humanity is dirty words Apples to Apples, Drawing Without Dignity is potty-mouth Pictionary. This week’s Marketplace Confusion/Parody/Coattail Riding spotlight product is for 17 and up (really? 17?) and it’s pretty much Pictionary where you’re drawing things like “sperm donor”, “yellow snow”, and “carpet muncher”. A $25 pledge gets you a box with 100 cards (5 clues per card), a one-minute timer, a six-sided die, a pad of paper, and four miniature golf pencils. Drawing Without Dignity has a week and a half to go and is nearly a third of the way funded: take a look at the campaign.

Hey, remember last time when we featured an 18-card CAH “expansion” called Bad Apples? You’re probably wondering if they funded. Nope, but it’s because the creator cancelled the funding with just two dollars to go! Well, they went ahead and relaunched the campaign again (the third time), and it still didn’t fund, only getting $500 of the C$750 requested.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Oh, I love the illustrations in Space Race: The Card Game. Journey into the Cold War and the dawn of space exploration. A bit of role selection and card combinations await in a really interesting game engine for 2-4 players with a playtime of 30-60 minutes. There’s less than a week left and it’s already funded. A pledge of approximately $33 will get you a copy of Space Race.

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Cyberpunk RPG + Powered by the Apocalypse? That’s my song. The Veil, already funded, is another Apocalypse World-based roleplaying game set in the near future. And oh, does it look so pretty. About $10 gets you the PDF, about $28 gets you a physical copy of the book, too.

Dice boxes: You can get the cheap-looking laser-cut ones that look like puzzle pieces on the edges, or you can plunk down a bit more to get something that looks well-crafted, like Steven Parker’s through his Elegant Dice Boxes campaign. $40 on up gets you a sweet box for storing your dice. (Look at those joins!) Stephen is running this to acquire additional equipment for his wood shop to expand the business.

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ohnoHave you ever wanted to carry your board games around but oh no you’re a clumsy oaf? Well, now there are two — yes, two! — competing Kickstarter campaigns about game bags going on right now! The Gamefolio System lets you either pack games into a big bag ($99) or toss those pesky game boxes away and shove all your components into smaller bags that fit into the bigger bag ($155). The Game Canopy has a smaller bag for $87 or a bigger bag for $117. They all are interesting but a huge upgrade from ol’ reliable Frakta from IKEA ($3 and about $114 to $151 of games). The Game Canopy design looks really slick. (Psst: Guys, let me know if you want a product review.)

not cahThis week’s Marketplace Confusion/Parody/Coattail Riding spotlight is called Bad Apples, which shows that at least the people behind this 18-card “expansion” know where Cards Against Humanity originally came from. Yep, eighteen cards with a C$227 goal, which makes me think that even if they do get printed and sent, they won’t be the same quality as the original CAH cards. Fun: This is the second time they’re running this campaign after the printer increased their print quote (?); this second campaign has nearly the same funding goal and the same reward tier.

Q: What about last week’s Diabolical Kittens? Did that fund? A: Nope. Just C$282 of C$8,000 were pledged.

Toy Like Me

Number 1 in this week’s Highlights isn’t a game. I’m not even sure the campaign is thinking about games rather than just toys. But it’s a cause worthy of our support. And that cause is #ToyLikeMe, an effort to have better representation of people with disabilities in children’s toys. The #ToyLikeMe campaign has already brought Playmobil around to the idea of producing figures with disabilities. And just today, Lego revealed a minifigure in a wheelchair. To help keep the campaign growing, though, its organizers are asking for £16,000 to develop a professional website and associated resources. Drop a little in the hat, will you?

Crowdfunding campaign number 2 this week is for a card game version of Manhattan Project, Minion Games’ title about developing and building nuclear weapons. I love the original and Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction looks to be a great translation. Of course all elements of the game—workers, resources, buildings, etc.—are now represented by cards. A more interesting difference, however, lies in the fact that at the end of each turn, a player has to discard every factory, every university, everything that’s not a resource or a bomb. This means that the industrial engines that players chain together will now constantly need to be refreshed.

Thief’s Market from Tasty Minstrel Games is about dividing and spending loot. The loot is represented by dice, which the players take turns either selecting from the center or grabbing from one of their fellow thieves. Then when the dice are all split up, they can be spent on finery, useful items, or henchmen, each of which confers some later benefit. At the end, the thief with the most notoriety wins. That is campaign number 3.

Fabulous BeastsNumber 4 is Fabulous Beasts. This one, at first, looks like a typical stacking game. Three-dimensional animal figures are placed on top of each other until something gives and everything falls. But that’s not actually the whole deal. Fabulous Beasts also integrates a sensor platform, such that as the animals are stacked a unique virtual world and story unfolds in a linked tablet app.

Finally, at number 5 is Olympus Inc, an urban fantasy setting book for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. Olympus Inc is the story of a magical war between Titans and Olympians taking place in, but hidden from, modern society. With Olympians developing their power through corporate intrigue and the magical war hidden from the perception of ordinary people, Olympus Inc has a distinct cyberpunk element as well.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Have you thought your favorite game would be better with wooden components instead of plastic or punchboard tokens? Meeple Source has launched their second kickstarter to produce newer pieces to their growing range of game upgrades. Hearts for Love Letter, animals for Agricola, character pieces for Imperial Settlers, and more, with reward levels starting at $4 with most items available as add-ons to your pledge.

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Gamelyn Games returns with the fourth Tiny Epic game, Tiny Epic Western, which looks incredible. Combining poker, worker placement, and gun fights (not actual guns), this entry into the Tiny Epic series looks incredible: Bullet-shaped dice! A cool small-deck of poker cards (20 cards, ranked 1-5)! Plays down to two players in roughly 30 minutes! Tons of stretch goals that include upgraded components already met! Get it for as little as an $18 pledge (plus shipping).

Build and battle ‘bots with Beep Boop, the robot-buliding and battling card game. Construct your robot and sabotage your opponents in this kid-friendly game from Akimbo Games. (I really like the flat art style of the robot parts.) Beep Boop is for a group of 4 or fewer players looking for a quick game, and is available as part of the $13 pledge reward.

Arcknight has clear plastic “spell effect” template overlays for RPGs that use miniatures. The company has previously kickstarted a clear gridlines map sheets to turn any image into a 1″ gridded map and, most famously, the Flat Plastic Miniatures kickstarter. Groups of spell effects start at $30.

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Biergarten is a card game where you create…a Biergarten. Cards have colored symbols on all four edges — match up the symbols, align different cards, and create the largest and greatest place to hold your Oktoberfest celebration. It’s a tricky puzzle of a game that plays in about twenty minutes. $15 gets you a copy of the game. (Look at that artwork! Nice!)