?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Amparo Bertram

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
06:51 am: Weekly Kickstarter Game Update
It was requested that I keep people informed of games that I think are worth backing on Kickstarter, since I've been spending a lot of time researching such things lately. I thought it might be interesting to do this as a weekly report, where I can also talk about projects that I looked at but didn't actually back. Those who have no interest in games can scroll right by.

Note: Any game with a Cthulhu, zombie, or other horror-related theme will probably end up completely ignored by me, regardless of how good the game itself might be, because I don't find those themes appealing. I also don't play wargames, so I don't even look at them.

Games are listed in order of project ending date.

Games I'm currently backing:
Freedom: The Underground Railroad
Status: Funded

This is a cooperative Euro-style game in which the players are working together to transport slaves (represented by wooden cubes) from plantations in the south all the way to Canada while avoiding slave catcher tokens (automated with a custom die). Characters and events in the game are based on actual history.


Defenders of the Realm: Minions
Status: Funded

This project is for sets of plastic miniatures to upgrade the ones that came with the base game. (The base game features cooperative play similar to Pandemic, except players roll dice to remove spreading fantasy creatures rather than trying to cure spreading disease cubes.) Backers don't have to order the minion miniatures, however; there are numerous add ons for other game upgrades, such as new heroes and quest cards.


Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis
Status: 71% funded

This is a steampunk-themed game that is a combination of deck building and resource management. It can be played either competitively or cooperatively (including a solo play mode). Players are airship captains using crew cards to accumulate resources that will help defeat encounter cards on the way to the eventual goal of discovering Atlantis. I love the art, and I appreciate that it has different play modes to accomodate different tastes.


Games I considered:
Byzantio/Nekken
Status: Funded

In this area control game, players use a General meeple that has a limited number of abilities available to move around the board and summon soldier meeples on various zones to take over them. A second, fantasy-themed option will be included, making this two games in one. I'm not a huge fan of the area control mechanic to begin with, and I found the pencil and paper aspect of the game too fiddly (players have to use the included sheets of paper to write down their moves).


Chaos and Alchemy
Status: Funded

Players perform alchemical "experiments" by rolling dice to check for success or failure. A success allows a player to draw or play a card, while a failure forces the player to discard. Played cards have points, and the person who gets to 10 points first is the winner. This is a professional reprint of a previously self-published game. It does have beautiful art, but I thought that it relied too heavily on luck for my taste.


Magnum Opus
Status: Funded

This is an alchemy-themed deck building game in which the cards to be purchased are laid out in a grid pattern, and the player acquires them by playing coordinate cards (cards along the top and side rows) that zero in on a particular grid card. The object of the game is to acquire a certain number of specific ingredient cards that combine in a formula. The formula is different for each player, so not everyone is racing for exactly the same cards. While it seems like a unique mechanism, the game itself looked a bit on the dry side for my taste.


Templar: The Secret Treasures
Status: Funded

Players in this game are Templars attempting to hide various treasure tiles inside an abbey. Players accomplish this by using cards to move various playing pieces with special abilities around on the board. I thought the game mechanic was intriguing, but the theme didn't really appeal to me.


King's Forge
Status: Funded

This is a "dice building" game in which each player maintains a pool of multicolored dice and must roll certain combinations to craft weapons. This is a professional reprint of a previously self-published game. I would probably have gotten this if it relied entirely on cards, but I find the notion of rolling huge piles of dice to get specific combinations of numbers to be a bit of a turn off.


Tags:

Comments

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 10th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh dear. Weekly updates might be more dangerous than me just looking myself.

Anyway: I'm sort of intrigued by the "dice building" concept in King's Forge, though I don't find the theme very exciting. I'll have to think about that one.

Also, you left off Fleet. Fish meeples!!

(I am not backing that expansion. Even if I really want the fish meeples.)
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:August 10th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Why no Fleet? That looks great, I just added it to my starred games and will most likely pledge before the campaign ends. At least it'll come out of my September budget? ^_^;;

Thanks (and curses) to s_vamp for the review!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 10th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Why no Fleet?

As a vegetarian, I had a philosophical objection to the theme, so I didn't even bother to look at it. It could very well be a really fun game.
[User Picture]
From:sara_tanaquil
Date:August 10th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ah, that was actually a question for w_10_00 (since she pointed it out but said she wasn't pledging). But I didn't think of the vegetarian aspect, that makes sense.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 10th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That's not my reasoning, though. (It's not like the game contributes to some actual fishing company's profits or something, in which case I would pass.) I'm just not sure if it's a good game for the people I usually play with. I still starred the game, though, so I might change my mind (again).
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:August 10th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Freedom - I keep coming back to this because of the cooperative play and the Kickstarter-exclusive lantern marker, but I can't get past the slaves-as-cubes. I really wish they had chosen a human-shaped token of some sort. Heck, I would pledge if that were a stretch goal. Enslaved people are not soylent orange!

Defenders of the Realm: Minions - This sounds right up my alley (solo play option!), but without ever having played the base game, I can't invest in the expansions sets. On the other hand, when I get the base and love it, I'll be sad I didn't. And when I see your miniatures, I'll be green. Are the miniatures for the hero/players or are they replacements for the tokens representing the invading creatures?

This campaign also highlights one of my big problems understanding KS campaigns: stretch goals vs add-ons vs Kickstarter exclusives. I realize there can be overlap between the three categories, but what motivates me the most are the exclusives, and it doesn't appear that they're offering anything exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign? (My secondary motivation is stretch goals, but since I feel like my one pledge has so little power to reach a goal thousands of dollars away, it doesn't spur me the same way.)

I'm not a huge fan of the area control mechanic to begin with

Like Small World? I was hoping we could play some day. :-(

Chaos and Alchemy - I thought that it relied too heavily on luck for my taste
Hee. And this is the one new campaign I am considering pledging. I really like my games to be casual and fun, and I think the element of luck preserves that fun. I also like how simple the pledge levels are. I can get weary reading through pledge options. However, it's a multiplayer game and there don't appear to be any KS exclusives, so I'll probably end up passing.

King's Forge - 91 dice!! Holy cow. At least I would never have to remember to say "die" for the singular.

Thanks for the list! I hope you'll keep them coming.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 10th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I can see your point about Freedom. (Though cubes are used to represent people in many games.) I was sort of concerned at first that making a game with that theme trivializes actual enslavement. But I really like a lot of the historical elements in the game (that actual enacted laws come up in the game as setbacks, for instance) and decided to go for it after all.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:August 10th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Though cubes are used to represent people in many games.

Well, sure. The resource cubes in Waterdeep are supposed to represent people performing those actions (purple is magicky persons!). But the historical theme of Freedom leaves me feeling differently about those cubes. I know the cubes are in motion, so flat cardboard tokens with portraits of human beings on them wouldn't be as playable.

As always, I love learning how we (that's the expansive we) respond differently to these things, and games really bring out the opinions.

Edited to remove echo...echo...

Edited at 2013-08-10 08:55 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 10th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, I definitely get how the theme makes the cube thing more uncomfortable. On the other hand, possibly they were trying to emphasize how the slaves were viewed by many, who knows? There's an interview linked in the most recent update where the creator talks about how many viewed slaves from a purely business perspective.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 10th, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
without ever having played the base game, I can't invest in the expansions sets.

The project still has 16 days left. If you want to get together to play my copy before it ends, you would have a frame of reference.

And when I see your miniatures, I'll be green.

I'm not actually buying the minis. The ones that come with the game are generic but adequate, as far as I'm concerned. I'm just planning on getting the extra heroes and quests.

Are the miniatures for the hero/players or are they replacements for the tokens representing the invading creatures?

The minion sets are for the enemy monsters. There are add ons for new heroes.

it doesn't appear that they're offering anything exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign?

You are correct that nothing has been called exclusive, though I wonder about the new sculpts of the generals that are being offered as stretch goals. I don't know that they'll sell them individually later, particularly since they say they are releasing a future expansion with JUST four new generals (different from the stretch goal ones). Maybe they will, though.

Like Small World? I was hoping we could play some day.

I'd play it, I'm just not as likely to buy it.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:August 10th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Since I am now a Kickstarter expert *rolls eyes*, I also wanted to say that I think the Incredible Expeditions campaign made a mistake in ??? the later stretch goals. This woman has pledged 31 campaigns, so she's clearly more familiar with KS than I am, so maybe that fuzziness is a common thing to do, but I find it coy and demotivating.

Can you facebooky people tell how many likes this has? Are we anywhere near the miniatures add-on goal of 2000 likes? (Also, it would be nice to know what the cost of that add-on would be if it were unlocked.)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:August 10th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I find it coy and demotivating.

I could see maybe not wanting to jinx(?) yourself by posting stretch goals before the project is even funded, but...yeah, mostly I agree. I'd rather just know what the numbers are. Also agree that I want to know how much the miniatures will cost if that gets unlocked. Except I wouldn't change my pledge until the end of the campaign because we might all get them free? Conflicting stretch goals!

Their facebook page (which you can totally see without having a Facebook account) currently has 802 likes. I think it had about 720 when I first checked (earlier this week?), so they're going up slowly but steadily.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 10th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Except I wouldn't change my pledge until the end of the campaign because we might all get them free? Conflicting stretch goals!

It does seem like a conflict, but there are a lot of people who would buy more anyway, so that multiple players could use the same ship. (They would just paint the minis different colors.)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 10th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I think the Incredible Expeditions campaign made a mistake in ??? the later stretch goals.

I've seen that done in a few campaigns. It gives the backers something they know they can look forward to, while at the same time the person running the project can see what kind of momentum is building up and what numbers are obtainable before committing. You wouldn't want to space them at $5K intervals when you're only making a couple hundred dollars per day, but at the same time it would be equally bad to space them that way when you're making $30K per day.

Incidentally, I've also seen at least one campaign do the reverse--give a dollar value and then reveal the actual reward later.
Powered by LiveJournal.com