Announced last year, Restoration Games was created to breathe new life into classic games, updating them to our modern world. One of the first games mentioned was Stop Thief!, a 1979 board game with an electronic element: a handheld device that made sounds of a thief walking, smashing through windows, and opening doors. As detectives, you pieced together where the villain might be and move in for the capture. The new version moves the handheld tracker to an app for phone or tablet and swaps the roll and move mechanic to a point-to-point movement system based on a small handful of cards with abilities. Currently funded, Restoration Games expects the game to be ready in August, this year.

One of my favorite creatures from my Dungeons & Dragons days was the mimic, that master of disguise. And now Forge Prints is kickstarting a whole bunch of mimic miniatures: trap doors, books, wooden barrels, sleeping bags, graves, and even a wizard’s cap. Most of these come with two or three versions: actual props and toothy tongued mimic monsters. The campaign has some confusing reward structures, but you’re really going to want to get in at the $35 level to get the stretch goal minis. Extremely overfunded at this point, just over a week into the campaign, they expect to deliver in July.

I love me some post-apocalyptic gunshooting vehicular-combat madness, and Badass Riders looks like a fun card-based boardgame to scratch that itch. Build a track, choose a driver and vehicle, and during the game start playing cards to rush, race, and attack other vehicles in this Mad Max-like sprint to the finish line. Currently funded, 20$ (plus shipping) nabs you a copy. Expected delivery is December, 2017.

The Adventurer’s Collection Tabletop Soundtrack is a “nearly fifty track collection” of background music tracks for roleplaying game sessions. The designer is planning on using funds for the campaign to create a website that streams music using a simple interface. AU$15 (about $11 USD) gets you early access to the audio tracks in April, slightly less gets you access to them on the official launch date in August.

I was looking forward to this Crowdfunding Highlights article so I could write about what new Cards Against Humanity knockoff was being offered, but… there weren’t any. Maybe it’s a weak week for CAH off-brands.

However, I did come across Bad Words, which is an exteremly NSFW version of Taboo. You get a card that has a phrase or word that other players have to guess, but also on the card are five forbidden words that you cannot use. Can you get your teammates to guess “Eiffel Tower” without you using the words “Paris”, “threesome”, and “high five”? This is the company’s third attempt at launching the game on Kickstarter, originally shooting for a $30,000 goal, then a $12,000 goal, and now with a modest $1,000 goal, they’ve succeeded in funding! For every $100 raised, there’s four more words added to the game — right now, a $15 pledge will get you the base 208-word deck plus the (currently) 92-word expansion.

Oh, and check out the video for drunk people eating snacks and trying to talk about the game.

Edit: Updated the article to reflect the number of words in the Bad Words game per the creator’s note below.

Startup publisher Restoration Games this week shared the specifics for its planned initial products, remakes of three older titles: Stop Thief, Dragonmaster (now to be Indulgence), and Top Race (now Downforce). Redesigns and nostalgic reprints are nothing new in the game business (see for example, Winning Moves’ classic versions of Sorry and Life, or Fantasy Flight Games remake of Dune as Rex) but the mission of Restoration Games is a little different. As Justin Jacobson, company president, explained:

We’ve certainly seen lots of reprints of hobby games. And you can count on Hasbro to release new versions of Monopoly on a regular basis. What we haven’t seen is new versions of these older mass market games. These are games that didn’t become evergreen titles but are still beloved. For a variety of reasons, those games have been largely forgotten. But because they are older, they suffer from being of their time. Roll-and-move for example. We’ve simply gotten better about designing games in the past several decades. So we decided to take these modern design concepts and apply them to these forgotten games. You get the spirit of the game that you love in a well developed package you will enjoy.

Stop Thief is a deduction game put out by Parker Brothers in 1979. What made it special at the time (for 12 year old me, included) was a handheld electronic device that played audio clues as players tried to find the invisible thief on the game board. In the new edition of Stop Thief, Restoration Games promises a mobile app to replace the device with more sophisticated game play and better sound quality.

Dragonmaster, a 1981 title from Milton Bradley, is a trick-taking card game with different contracts set each round by the dealer. Restoration Games’ version, Indulgence, keeps the same general game-play but features 20 possible contracts and makes it about papal intrigue during the Italian Renaissance.

Top Race, one iteration in a series of card-based auto racing games by Wolfgang Kramer, is being brought back by Restoration as Downforce. Besides the name change, the new version is pretty much a reprint with a component upgrade.

We chose the first three games, in part, because they fit three different visions of what a restoration can look like. For Indulgence, it was about smoothing out the game play while keeping the high aesthetic standard of the original. For Downforce, this is a brilliant design by a legendary designer. We just wanted to make sure this new generation of gamers got to experience it. For Stop Thief, it was about showing what technological advance can do bring a game back—in this case, replacing the crime scanner with a smartphone app.

Restoration Games expects all three to be ready in time for Gen Con 2017. But don’t you go expecting to see them in the traditional long, flat board game boxes.

Alas, no. We looked into it. Those largely disappeared with the advent of the quad-fold board. But we are always looking at ways we can reimagine those bits of past design in new ways.

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