Crowdfunding Highlights

Chaos of CthuluGet into a literal monster mash with Chaos of Cthulhu. Players roll a set of five “Elder” dice to create a monster made out of multiple abominations. Then, set your mixed up monster on your opponent for a dice-based battle of the baddies. The player whose mashed up monster is still standing at the end of the game is the winner. I especially love the art of this game. It reminds me of one of my favorite comic book artists, Mike Mignola.

I love it when fantasy and nature are mashed together. Nothing says “relaxing” like a good solid card game set in a beautiful forest. That is, unless the forest is filled with magical creatures. Especially if those creatures are casting spells. Wizards of the Wild is a fast-paced dice game for two to four players that uses player card combinations to cast spells.

There are a few women in science that rose to the top of our history books to be remembered for their contributions. However, there are thousands more women in science that have never received the recognition they deserve. The Women in Science Card Game is designed encourage girls and women to see science as a viable option for the future. Similar to Rummy, players try to build a “lab” by placing cards with the same color on the table. The first player to reach three labs wins.

Arkam NightsThe biggest problem I have with board game night is that too many people want to join in. Most games accommodate about six to eight players, tops. For nights when you have 10, 20, or even 30 board game fans in your living room, break out Arkham Nights so everyone can play the same game. The Cthulhu inspired card game accommodates between seven and 30 players for one giant showdown.

I’m a big fan of going off the rails when it comes to dice rolling. Just because your parents gave you a set of six-sided die to roll, doesn’t mean you have to stick to polyhedral shapes. With Deck Dice, you can “roll” for initiative using a deck of 60 playing cards. Each card features an illustration of random die roles for d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Shuffle cards and draw to see what you’ve rolled. It is also usable as a traditional 52-card deck with two jokers, two Rooks, and four Wizards.

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Crowdfunding Highlights

Among NoblesIn the lead position this week is a game that despite hitting my pet peeves—chaotic, an “intentionally vague ruleset,” and that annoying exclamation point—still somehow manages to sound interesting. Mr. Game! appears to be the kind of game where the winning player changes rapidly and is pretty much selected at random. There must be something subliminal hidden in the video.

Among Nobles, though, makes a more direct play for my interest. It’s a game of political intrigue and military conquest in feudal Europe. Military conquest is abstracted at a high level. But more interestingly, political intrigue in the game is focused on the arrangement of marriages between noble houses. When cards representing royal husbands and wives are brought together, the number of actions available to the owning player multiply.

Updating to the Fate Core rule set is the Bulldogs roleplaying game. [Oh, wait a minute. It’s got one of those pesky exclamation points too, so…] Bulldogs! is for high-action science fiction adventure in space. But not for some sissy fantasy version of science fiction. Rather for adventure in a rough-and-tumble, save-your-own-hide version of space.

College of WizardryIn Poland, a team is planning to rent out Czocha Castle for a series of 4 day LARPs about a College of Wizardry. Each event can accommodate about 130 people. Though a variety of lower-priced pledge levels are available, tickets start at $375. Or for $75,000, the organizers will run a private LARP just for you and your friends.

Puca Trade is seeking support for extending its service to Magic: The Gathering Online. With $50,000 to finance further development work, Puca Trade also promises that users of its service will even be able to trade physical cards for digital ones.

Best Treehouse Ever has players, of course, competing to build the better treehouse. The game incorporates card drafting and spacial reasoning, in that the rooms to be built an a treehouse are featured on individual cards, and when built must be added in balance (to prevent the house from falling down).

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Fitness Dice

fitnessdiceFitness Dice just hit Indiegogo with a goal of $10,000. Sitting at 9% with 38 days to go, the dice have various exercises and reps to roll up an routine. The 3 dice, A, B, and C, are each keyed to leg an pelvic exercises, stamina exercises, and upper body exercises respectively. The 4th dice has a number of reps. Basically you roll the A die and the rep die, do the exercise, then move to the B die, then the C die. It’s a cool idea, but at a $30 pledge to get a set, it seems a bit … crazy. That’s $30 for 4 dice. I could see $10, but not much more. Of course the price per set drops a bit as the pledge levels increase, but you’ll only get down to $10 a set if you pledge $1000. That’s pretty much the retailer level that gets you 100 sets to sell in your store.

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Interesting projects…

Seas of Iron is a game of fighting battleships. Each player takes charge of a ship, assigns crew to individual sections, and chooses where to fire his guns. While not a particularly deep game, it does use images of real historical battleships.

Yushino is a variant on the idea of mathematical Scrabble. Instead of constructing equations, players lay tiles using a fixed mathematical series: add the previous two numbers and take the final digit to get the next number.

Our friends at The Spiel are producing Scopa, the traditional Italian card game, but with the standard suits replaced by modern gamer symbols: dice, cards, dominoes, and meeples.

From Happyshops in Germany, 21 Mutinies is a pirate-themed board game where each turn one player acts as captain and chooses an action for everyone. Crew who disagree, however, always have the option to mutiny.

Star Bowl figureStar Bowl, on Indiegogo out of Spain, is a fantasy football (American football) miniatures game, where the figures look suspiciously like Star Wars characters.

Need just a little more help…

Eagle Games’ Dawn: Rise of the Occulites is a board game filled with miniatures of strange but cute alien creatures.

With TABLE (the Tabletop and Boardgame Learning Expo), the Roll2Play game store in Coppell, Texas is hoping to launch an event that introduces board games to a wide audience of non-gamers.

Expand Your Lab is an expansion for Mage Company’s abstract board game, Wrong Chemistry. It adds 66 new elements (configurations), 10 new scientists (special abilities), and other features.

Wrong Chemistry Expand Your Lab

Already funded but worth considering…

Ancient Terrible Things is a pulp-style horror game about exploring the jungle. Dice rolls in specific combinations are used to overcome encounters and unlock ancient secrets.

Jolly Roger Games is raising funds for a reprint of the board game, Kremlin.

The Lord of Catan is a dramatic short-film about tension that develops between a husband and wife when they plan Settlers of Catan.

Gaming Paper’s Megadungeon 2—Lost Catacombs project is for disposable paper battle maps, preprinted with geomorphic dungeon sections.

Shaintar: Legends Unleashed takes the high-fantasy campaign setting to the Heroic and Legendary ranks of the Savage Worlds RPG.

I’m skeptical…

Darkling Plain looks like a project built for stretch goals. It’s an augmented reality board game/miniatures game/RPG (depending on what part of the pitch you’re listening to). The technology looks cool enough but it has been done before. Also, I can’t tell what the AR will actually add to game play, or whether it will outweigh the downside of having to watch an electronic device while manipulating cards and pieces on the board. The project owners have promised to post an example-of-play video but have not done so yet. In fact, the pitch is mostly about the setting and the excitement of the developers. Nothing is said about gameplay. With 28 days left, Darkling Plain has raised $14,000 of an announced $120,000 goal.

Antimatter Matters is a beautiful, brightly colored board game about quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, from what I can tell by watching half the 16 minute how-to-play video, it’s basically roll-and-move with terminology based on particle physics and a little card play thrown in. $33,000 is being sought. $19,000 has been raised so far.

Too late…

Dominion Storage Case is probably the best option I’ve seen yet but if you haven’t already backed it, you’re too late. The project owner is trying to keep his initial production run small and has capped orders. I admire his restraint.

The skunk…

Get QRunk, a low-brow trivia drinking game, featuring cards with QR codes and a bleep-filled promotional video.

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