Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – July 2015

Tabletop Kickstarter Spotlight – July 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.

San, Ni, Ichi

by Ironmark Games

As San, Ni, Ichi‘s project page so accurately professes: “It’s a fact – we all wish we could be ninjas.” San, Ni, Ichi strives to fulfil this universal craving by putting you in the shoes of a martial artist who has mastered combat using the three elements – fire, water, and wood. These elements function in a paper-scissors-rock style, where each element is weak against one, and strong against another. The game consists of seven rounds and only takes about twenty minutes to play – promoting itself as a great ‘filler’ game between deeper strategy experiences (read: classic Euro games). This is a project that has clearly been made with love – the B-grade ninja special effects in the promotional video are testament to that! The mechanics seem sleek and easy to learn, and the art is memorably gorgeous.

Dale of Merchants: The Guild of Extraordinary Traders

by Snowdale Design

Compete against fellow players to win the annual trading competition of the town of Dale, and gain entrance to their prestigious Guild of Extraordinary Traders. Dale of Merchants is a deck-building card game for 2 to 4 players. The game contains six different teams (decks) of adorable, anthropomorphic animals – but the players do not play using only one of these decks. Instead, the amount of players plus one (so a minimum of three) groups are selected to be included in your game, and each player uses cards from each animal team in order to obtain exotic sets of merchandise before the other players. Dale of Merchants looks fun and strategically rich. Games last around half an hour, and the variety of different animal teams makes re-playability seem high.

Hocus: A magical card game

by Hyperbole Games

What happens when you combine Poker with magic? You get Hocus! Hocus is a card game for 2 to 5 players, and it seems about as complex as you would expect magical Poker to be. The designers claim that Hocus maintains the feel of Poker, but adds the excitement of spells, making the game more complex and engaging. Much of the deck looks similar to a normal deck of cards – 4 suits and numerical values. However the Hocus cards are graced with beautiful fantasy art, and feature a few extra details required to play Hocus. The project looks very well thought-out – the large numbers of different spells in the game makes re-playability seem very high. The deck is altered according to the amount of players, and each player receives a handy reference card to help them through their first few games. Hocus looks great for players who enjoy the social element of Poker, but yearn for something more strategically dense. Games last around thirty minutes, and the full game is only 15 USD.

EFFWORDS: A Game of Effed Up Words

by Justin Berman

Effwords is one of those friendly, competitive, yelling card games that Cards Against Humanity is responsible for formalising as a genre. Appearing to be a kind of awesome mash up of Balderdash, Scrabble and Cards Against Humanity, the concept behind Effwords is simple. The player whose turn it is uses scrabble tiles to create a word – as silly as they like. The other players must then submit definitions for the made up word, and whichever the word’s creator feels is most accurate/hilarious wins the round. This game looks like simple, silly fun that could be had with any number of players. Although the idea obviously rides off the mechanics of a host of other successful games, it looks like great fun, and the passionately made promotional video leaves me with no doubts that this game will deliver.

Quest: Awakening of Melior

Andrew Wilson

Journey through the land of Melior, where strange crystals have recently started falling from the sky, reshaping the land, and forming dangerous magical regions that are in dire need of adventuring! Quest looks to be a kind of one-player role-playing game experience, which operates through a card and dice encounter system. This game is unique in that it has primarily been designed as a single player experience, with options for competitive and multi-player cooperative play. This design focus on single player should make Quest a good option for board game fiends who cannot wait until their next social tabletop gathering to play. The base game includes an impressive spread of character, encounter, and quest cards, and a full version of the game rule book is available for free before you back.

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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.
  • Sami Laakso

    Thanks a bunch for featuring Dale of Merchants! Greatly appreciated. Just a tiny nitpick: the game will come with 6 animal decks. 🙂

    • Amelia Laughlan

      Hi Sami, happy to feature your game – it looks like awesome fun! I’m so sorry about that oversight! I think I must have forgotten about the raccoons for some reason! I’ll get that fixed up 🙂

    • Dave C Haldane

      Thanks Sami. This has now been updated in the article 🙂

  • Ironmark Games

    Thanks for the mention! This is our first Kickstarter campaign and we are super excited to be a part of this extraordinary time for tabletop games. The culture is so responsive and engaging. -domo arigato!

    • Amelia Laughlan

      Doitashimashite! No problem! Can’t wait to get my hands on your game! Ninjas are the best! I’ve noticed not only do tabletop games seem to be making a resurgence, but Japanese themed tabletop games are really ‘in’ right now! Tokaido, Sushi Go, Hanabi, Tokaido, Takenoko, Machi Koro – it’s so awesome 🙂

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