It’s that time again! 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.
I seem to have picked up a theme of family-oriented games this month. Completely by accident I assure you, but I’ve decided to run with it.
So lets see what we have for family-friendly October!
The Great Dinosaur Rush Board Game
Game by APE Gamer
$16,480 pledged of $16,000 goal
41 Days to go (24/11/2015)
This looks to be quite the nifty little game. Playing as 19th Century Palaeontologists, the aim of the game to is dig up and assemble dinosaur skeletons to sell to museums to gain points. I like the interesting twist that the bones are merely sticks that you can assemble however you want, gaining extra points if you follow the design cards. Every player gets a pretty cool looking screen to hide their creations until the reveal at the end of the round. The artwork for this game is really well done, and I think suits the game’s overall look incredibly well.
Building dinosaurs might be the main way to gain points in this game, but players also have the opportunity to gain by collecting “Notoriety tokens” each round. These are a gamble on the player’s part, as the points on the cards go towards your score, but if you have the highest notoriety score they actually detract from your score – so the objective is to play dirty…but not too dirty. I like that this game encourages a little sneaky tactics and gambling to try and gain points – sometimes you have to take risks in order to make discoveries!
The tiers are pretty reasonable, with the bonus of a little discount if you’ve backed their previous campaign which I do like. It’s a way of rewarding loyal fans, whilst at the same time enticing people to look at other campaigns they have running (if any) to try and see if there are any bonuses elsewhere.
I really like how this game can let you get a little creative, and I like how they show that on the Kickstarter page by showing pictures of ‘dinosaurs’ they liked from people playing at Gen Con and play tests. Definitely one to pick up if you have children interested in palaeontology, or even if you just like making up dinosaurs yourself.
Publish or Perish – Science Family Game!
Game by Rombo Games
$4,059 pledged of $20,000 goal
27 Days to go (09/11/2015)
This little science game encourages children to conduct “experiments” by combining quark and lepton particle cards and noting down the results. This can then be compared to the other experiments the team has performed, to deduct the outcome. After that they can publish their discoveries to score points and reach the ultimate goal of winning the Nobel Prize.
There are 2 things I really love about this game :
- This game teaches the scientific method in a way that is both interesting and fun and yet at the same time they are learning about sub atomic particles. The part of me that is still sad at failing miserably at A Level Chemistry loves this, I only wish I had something like this when I was younger
- This board game uses a mobile app to play animations and sounds from the cards, showing the results of the experiments and publications. How has someone not already thought of integrating board games with mobile technology in this way? I think it’s really clever, and helps keep (particularly younger) children engaged. It’s a brilliant move in my opinion.
I think the artwork is cute, cartoony and very fitting for the demographic it’s aiming towards. I haven’t seen an educational game that makes this amount of effort to engage and be fun for a while, and I really hope that it takes off.
Wolf & Hound
Game by Ninja Star Games
$3,073 pledged of $10,000 goal
23 Days to go (06/11/2015)
The first thing that caught my eye with this game was the aesthetic. This is a very cute, quite ‘fluffy’ game. The artwork has a lot of soft edges, and the board layout with the little pens and the track which moves the wolf and hound cards around the players is incredibly charming.
The rules are pretty simple and quick to learn; you play in pairs as shepherds looking after a little pen of sheep each. Wolves scare your sheep into the dark forest, but hounds bring them back to you. The idea is to strategically move the wolf and hound cards around the track in the centre of the board to minimize the amount of sheep you lose, whilst at the same time knocking out the opposing team. The game ends when 1 player loses all of their sheep. There are a number of cards which can effect the game, and you have to play your cards to save both you and your partner. This means that whilst it’s pretty straightforward to learn, the tactics involved will keep players of any age engaged and entertained.
The Kickstarter page includes video playthroughs which I think really help put across the simplicity of the game whilst at the same time demonstrating the complex strategy that can be employed. One thing the Kickstarter page has that I really like is reviews from parents and children alike – playing to their demographic and showing the mixed age range this game can appeal to is a very clever move.
The backing tiers are incredibly reasonable – $24 gets you a copy of the game which they plan to retail at $37. This shows backers that their support and money is appreciated and is actually worth something, which is something I have found lacking in a lot of campaigns recently. Assuming someone is going to drop $50 to get a copy of a game that they haven’t seen physically and doesn’t even fully exist in some cases is incredibly arrogant in my opinion, and always puts me off from donating.
Overall I think this game is very charming – simplistic, encourages team play and cute aesthetics. A definite thumbs up from me.
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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