Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – August 2015

Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – August 2015

Crowdfunding is great – a way for creatives to avoid the hassle of publishing companies and other bureaucratic obstacles, instead simply making what they want and delivering it to fans. And I am not the only one who thinks so. Over the last few years, the crowdfunding phenomenon has exploded, with sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Pozible becoming flooded with projects. To help you wade through this flood, I will share with you my pickings from the Tabletop section of Kickstarter, in the hope of providing an interesting and varied sample of projects you may find exciting.

CatTube Famous: The card game about releasing cat videos!

by CatTube Famous

Everyone knows that, for some reason, cats and Youtube go together like fish and chips. CatTube creators Liam and Josh have embraced this strange pairing and created a card game where your goal is to release cat videos that satisfy current trends in order to become famous! In this quick and easy 2-6 player card game, players compete to get the most subscribers and become the next “CatTube celebrity”. Players are dealt a hand of video cards and must try to use them to match whichever ‘trends’ are in play. Your total ‘subscribers’ (points) for each round are calculated based on how well your video cards match up with the current trends. After a handful of rounds, total ‘subscribers’ are calculated, and whoever has the most, wins! I have never heard the words “I hate cat videos” come out of someone’s mouth. On the contrary, cat videos seem to bring people together. The most unexpected people will squeal with delight recounting the antics of their favourite Youtube cats. This game features a lovable theme and what looks like solid, fast, fun gameplay.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Earth 667 Spaceship Building Board Game

by Sagan Medvec

It is the year 2087, and scientists have made the terrifying discovery that the Sun will go supernova, once the next 20 solar cycles are complete, wiping out Earth and everyone on it. But there is hope! You have the opportunity to build a space ship, load it with survivors, and journey to a newly discovered inhabitable planet. This 2-6 player card game takes place over 3 phases, with the winner being the player with the fastest ship, also able to house the most survivors. During the Ship Building Phase players take it in turns to buy components and construct their ship. In the Launch Phase players must roll die to determine whether or not their ship has been build well enough to take off. The final phase, The Journey, is the most competitive with players rolling dice to determine how quickly they travel, while dealing with the various obstacles they are bound to face during their journey. I love space themed tabletop games (my favourite is probably the Firefly board game, although Star Trek Catan is right up there too!) and this clean, polished and fun title absolutely fits the bill. Earth 667C’s visuals are of a high polish and the well-designed gameplay is complimented by useful, instructive playing pieces. A great looking title.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Five Minute Delivery

by Chapter Three Games

You can clearly tell when there’s passion behind a project, and Five Minute Delivery oozes of it. You play as goblin couriers who must dash around town trying to drop off all their assigned packages before the other goblins in the tiny goblin town of Goobliopolis. The hard part? You literally have only five minutes to complete your deliveries. The village is randomly generated using tiles, and at the start of the game each player receives address cards, which detail where they have to deliver packages for today. Then, someone hits ‘play’ on one of the handful of MP3 audio files that are provided with the game, and the chaos begins, because in Five Minute Delivery everybody plays AT THE SAME TIME. The audio’s narrator will tell you how many spaces to move, and everybody is allowed to move that amount of spaces, your goal being to deliver as many packages as possible by the end of the five minutes. Although many card games are playable in 10-15 minutes, I have never experienced a *board* game that only goes for five. Five Minute Delivery is the realization of an ambitious concept – kudos for Chapter Three Games for being bold enough to do something so different – and seeming to pull it off!

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Monster Allegiance Card Game

by 3direction

This card game takes obvious inspiration from battle-monster classics such as Pokemon and Digimon, but seems like a fun and well executed game in its own right, as mechanically it works nothing like Pokemon or other battle-monster card games. Players are competing monster commanders, fighting to gain control of the most monsters. Unlike Pikachu and Squirtle however, these monsters are not loyal to their commanders – they are proud and dangerous, and may change allegiance many times throughout the game. The game starts with one card being placed as the centre of a 7×7 grid. Players then take turns to add monster cards to the grid, attempting to place them strategically so as to gain control of the most monsters. Instead of having an attack and defence score, monsters have different scores for each of the four edges of the square cards. When you place a card, these numbers, along with the element of the monster (monsters do double damage against their strength and deal half damage to their weakness), will determine who wins the battle, thus gaining the monster’s allegiance. Each monster card features the name of the monster, written under its adorable pixel image. The orientation of the monster’s name is how you determine which monsters are aligned to which commanders. The pixel art of this game is of an impressively high polish, and the unusual gameplay makes it an enticing project.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Vurt: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game

by Ravendesk Games

Jeff Noon’s Vurt is a well-loved science fiction cult classic that the team at Ravendesk Games is determined to bring to life in the form of a roleplaying game. In this universe, there is the Real World and there is the Vurt World – an alternate plane of dreamscapes where near anything is possible. The story of the Real World takes places in cyberpunk Manchester. Vurt: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game will employ the rules of Monte Cook’s Cypher System – which is versatile and streamlined, with proven popularity through its use in Numenera and The Strange. Vurt creator Jeff Noon has given his blessing to Vurt: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game, and is even providing some new stories for use with the game. I knew nothing of the Vurt Universe before stumbling upon this Kickstarter project, but the art and lore of the universe instantly drew me in, and I am now keenly awaiting my new copy of the sci-fi classic.

Read more or back this project on Kickstarter 

Since first travelling to Japan at the age of fifteen, most of my life has revolved around trying to learn Japanese, and unravel the mysteries of the country’s culture. Gaming ranks just behind this obsession. I enjoy video games – particularly RPGs and Strategy – but my main interest is in tabletop role playing games and board games. Writing ranks third – luckily I get plenty of opportunities to write about Japan and games, so it all works out.

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