And we are back! Here is another installment in the “WNK” series (and yes, I can see what the initials sound like…). In this series I browse Kickstarter on a monthly basis and pull out a couple of games (mainly board games) that really catch my eye.
We had a small break at the end of last year, for which I can only apologise. However we have a fresh start for 2016, so let us see what the new year brings game-wise.
Let’s see what we have for January!
Karmaka – A tactical card game for 2-4 souls
Game by Eddy Boxerman
$36,656 pledged of $20,000 goal
28 Days to go (18/02/2016)
This game really caught my eye. The premise for this is that everyone begins as a Dung Beetle, and you play out each “life” to work your way up the Karmic Ladder to reach Transcendence. Each Life is played using a hand of cards, and players play those cards to reach 3 objectives:
- Score enough points to climb the Ladder and keep up with your rivals.
- Stash a good selection of cards to your “Future Life”. This will become your opening hand next life.
- Play cards for their abilities to help yourself or to hinder others. But what goes around comes around. A key tension in Karmaka is that after playing a card for its ability, a rival may take the card into their Future Life. Your actions may come back to haunt you in the next life…
Note the last point – I *love* this idea. Other games have tried to incorporate a consequences element to a player’s actions, but this one manages to not only add a brilliant tactical element to a fairly simple card game, but it also does it in a way that fits with the context of the whole game.
The artwork looks to be beautiful, with the karmic ladder painted as a twisting vine with a variety of creatures on it all on the path to enlightenment. The cards are wonderfully detailed as well, with even the images of dung beetles rolling dung artfully drawn.
The site has included positive reviews from places like PAX South, and awards from the Boston Festival of Indie Games, so already the game seems like a safe investment.
In fact, for the first time since starting this Kickstarter series – I am so in love with this game I have personally backed it with my own money! So when it comes in expect an excited review in a future post.
Control: A Strategic Card Game
Game by Keymaster Games
$6,479 pledged of $7,500 goal
29 Days to go (19/02/2016)
This game is a quick card game, inspired by titles such as Love Letter (brilliant quick card game), Magic the Gathering and Cuttle. The aim of this combat card game is for players to use Fuel Cells (the cards) to refuel their time machines and to escape the rupture that has trapped them all outside of time.
Games generally run 5-15 minutes so gameplay is extremely quick and easy to learn. On their turn, a player chooses ONE of the following:
- Draw a card. A player may not draw if they have seven cards in hand.
- Install a Silver or Bronze Fuel Cell in their area of play. The Fuel Cell Charge on installed cards goes toward a player’s goal of 21 or more to win. Abilities on Silver Fuel Cells are activated when installed.
- Burn a Bronze Fuel Cell to the discard pile to activate its ability.
- Defuse an opponent’s fuel cells with a Fuel Cell of your own of equal or higher value.
I generally like quick card games as a rule, and combined with the sci-fi/steampunk-esque artwork I think this game is definitely a winner. The designs on the box make me think of Dr Who and Gallifrey (not a bad thing at all), whilst the artwork on the cards makes me think of the old Sci-fi novels and comics.
The campaign page itself is well done, with clear rules, affordable contributions that will give backers a copy of the game. And they even have a PDF print & play copy of the game available to download. Once again – to be so confident and proud of your idea that you’re willing to let people print it out themselves to play it says wonders.
Definitely one to keep an eye out for!
Dirigible Disaster-A frantic real-time co-op for 2-5 players
Game by Dan Letzring
$9,194 pledged of $8,400 goal
22 Days to go (12/02/2016)
As the title already tells us, Dirigible Disaster is a co-operative boardgame set on an airship. Players must work together to keep the airship afloat during it’s maiden voyage.
Now this is the part that is really interesting; the “flight” consists of 10 1-minute rounds all played in real time. When you watch the example round they have filmed it just goes to show you how quickly the time goes, and just how in-sync the players all need to be in order to get through it and survive. The added difficulty is that players must all take turns one at a time rather than all together, so actions must be swift and a good mixture of proactive and reactive in order to make it through the round.
Now I will admit that the artwork is not the greatest, but in this game that isn’t necessary. The board is a little ugly, but with such innovative gameplay I’m willing to give it a pass.
I think this would be a great game to burn through with a group of friends as a breather between two larger games. Shouting out instructions and actions for each minute round would be the gaming equivalent to a pallet cleansing sorbet after a real meal.
Go look at these games that I’ve suggested. In fact – if you do, make sure to comment below letting me know whether they managed to convince you to go post them some money.
If you spot anything you want me to look into, be sure to let us know in the comments!
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