There are campaigns a plenty all over Kickstarter, so how do you find out which ones are worth exploring? I have a few suggestions! Come with me and find out which five Kickstarters caught my interest this week!
I had the pleasure to preview Ravine and the review will be coming out soon, but for a quick overview: Ravine is a minimalist survival card game where your plane has just crashed and you and your friends must find a way to find shelter and gather enough food to last you until help arrives.
Ravine has some gorgeous art design paired with challenging play. During the day phase players can gather resource cards, but you must sacrifice a heart from your small pool health for ever card you pull. You only have 6 hearts and during the night phase there are dangers that threaten to hurt you further. You might face a raging storm or ravenous raccoons and if they take enough of your health you’ll start going a little mad. Madness cards cause you do things that will make the game harder such as destroying resources or having to copy the person sitting next to you until you recover a heart.
Ravine If you want to test your mettle against the Ravine, check it out here on Kickstarter.is a lot harder than I first thought it would be and my group loved the challenge!
2. Kids on Bikes RPG – Strange Adventures in Small Towns
I grew up in the 80’s on a healthy diet of horror movies, so when I read about Jon Gilmour’s Kids on Bikes I knew I was in for a nostalgic treat. Jon has a lot of design experience being one of the masterminds behind Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, Vault Wars, Heroes and Tricks, Pocket Dungeon, and Wasteland Express Delivery Service. With Kids on Bikes he is venturing into writing a light roleplaying game set in the 80’s and rife with small-town horrors.
The campaign notes that the system is similar in spirit to games like DREAD, Perseverant, and MONSTERHEARTS, all of which spend more time on the story and less on the nitty-gritty of the rules. It uses a full set of dice from a D4 all the way up to a D20 to represent your skills. The bigger the die, the better you are at that skill.
I’m really thrilled with the theme and the system looks fun, but where the game gets super exciting is that Jon has lined up a long list of writers, like Scott Woodard, Elisa Teague, and Amanda Hamon Kunz, to contribute modules as stretch goals. Go check out the Kids on Bikes RPG on Kickstarter here.
3. Side Effects
Andrew drew my attention to this campaign when he couldn’t decide if it was in poor taste or not. Side Effects is a take that game about mental illness. Player will start with 4 diseases which make up their psyche. The goal is to be the first to cure yourself of your issues using drugs and therapy. Unfortunately these treatments have side effects which make you susceptible to other diseases. When this happens, other players can play those diseases into your psyche.
Looking at the game I’m of two minds on it (no pun intended). I think if you are playing with anyone who is sensitive to these subjects, this game could easily upset them and maybe isn’t the right pick for your group, but if your friends can keep a sense of humor about these dark topics then the game could be fun. One of the creators, Jade Shames, wrote a short essay about his own struggles with depression and why he created Side Effects.
Side Effects is beautiful, dark, and potentially upsetting, but I think it has a place at the table depending on your players. Take a look at Side Effects here on Kickstarter and form your own opinion on it.
4. Mountaineers – A 3D Board Game
I have to say, 2017 has been the year of mountain themed games. I’ve seen a bunch already so at this point any mountain game needs to establish what makes it different to make me take notice. Mountaineers does this by being a 3D game.
Another difference from other games I’ve played, is that the object of the game is not to reach the summit of the mountain, but to collect the most climbing points. That means you can create some interesting routes around the mountain and win without ever reaching the top. There are event cards which can affect everyone on the mountain to make things harder and upgrade-able gear to make things easier.
Mountaineers looks like it could be a nice addition to the rest of my mountain games, but it is probably one of those games that won’t hit the table a lot. If you want to climb up Kickstarter and view the vista of Mountaineers looks like it could be a nice addition to the rest of my mountain games, but it is probably one of those games that won’t hit the table a lot. You can climb on up to Kickstarter and find the Mountaneers here.
5. Champions of Midgard official wooden insert
Champions of Midgard, by Grey Fox games, is a fantastic game about Vikings fighting monsters and earning your legacy and the game has ALOT of components. Czacha Games has created a new insert which looks like it organizes the game pretty well.
I’ve put together many an insert for various games and thankfully it looks like this one doesn’t have any of the fiddly looking sections that some inserts come with that make me want to take a hammer to it Old Boy style (meaning: not in a nice way). There are some nice stretch goals that add spaces for the expansions, burned in symbols to make putting everything away easier, and a wooden axe for the first player marker. Wooden organizers have really made it easier to break out some of the bigger games in my collection so I’m excited to see one for Champions of Midgard as this means we’ll probably get to play it more often then.
These are just a few of the campaigns that stood out to me. Which ones have you been checking out? Let me know in the comments below!