Ahoy, gang! Spring has sprung, as they say, and I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors – in Michigan, we get approximately 15 days of actual nice weather per year, so I’m taking advantage of it! But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been playing tabletop games. By the by, how was everyone’s International Tabletop Day? I had the pleasure of spending it with some friends of mine, and we got a LOT of great games in – special shout-out goes to the darkly fun storytelling game Gloom by Atlas Games!
Anyway, here’s my roundup of the Kickstarter games I’ve got my eye on this month. Let me know how you’re feeling about these – or any other games on Kickstarter this May!
Alhambra Designer’s Edition
Y’all. Alhambra is a classic, and if you haven’t played the original, I urge you to try it out. I had no idea there was a new edition planned for this Spiel de Jahres winner, but here we are. This massive re-release features all the fun of Alhambra, PLUS brand new expansions from the game’s original designers, brand new artwork for the base game and said expansions, larger tiles, and a tile tower for dispensing them during gameplay. There’s a ton of different pledge levels depending on how much or how little content you want, but I’m seriously considering going all in on this one. If you want to get the majority of the game with new content, there’s still about 240 of the “Mega Box” earlybird pledges left! For those of you curious about the gameplay, there’s a pretty fabulous episode of Wil Wheaton’s TableTop featuring Alhambra that you can watch over on Geek & Sundry’s Youtube channel. Check out the Kickstarter page here if you wanna get up in this gig.
Black Rose Wars
Holy mother. This game boasts some impressive components, including amazingly sculpted minis. And in terms of gameplay, this game ticks off all the boxes for me: tactical fighting? Check. Variable play area and gamestate? Check. Resource management? Check. Character progression? Check. Deckbuilding? Check. I seriously cannot explain to you guys how excited I am for this game. Everything just clicks for me, and I don’t think I need to prattle on more about how gorgeous it is – just see some of the minis for yourself:
There’s a ton of great info on the page, so be sure to swing by the Kickstarter page if you’re interested in miniatures games. Super stoked for this one
Exo – Mankind Reborn
I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic games as a general rule of thumb, but as with any theme that is “hot” at any given point in the zeitgeist, they can be a bit overdone. Well, I was SO pleased to see Exo – Mankind Reborn, because this is a game that gets post-apocalypse RIGHT. Not only is the theme fantastic (Earth reclaiming itself, mystical technology, nomadic humanity…) but the game looks great as well. Exo features two completely fully-fleshed out cooperative campaigns – one for 1-2 players, and the other for 3-4 players. Yes, that means there’s a full campaign that you can play totally solo! Fellow extroverted introverts, rejoice! This game also features some gorgeously crafted miniatures (seems to be almost a prerequisite at this point for Kickstarter games… which as a designer, I have somewhat mixed feelings about, but as a gamer I absolutely love). The visual and product design of Exo will not disappoint. Be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign and bask in the glory of mankind’s rebirth.
Law of the Forest
Full disclaimer: while I have a tremendous respect and deep-down love of education, I generally don’t enjoy educational board games. I don’t know why – perhaps I prefer to keep my learning and my playing separate. Whatever the reason, it’s a hindrance to my gaming, because there’s a ton of great educational tabletop games out there (Shout out to the wildly fun Potato Pirates, which I backed last year). So I was definitely pleased to see Law of the Forest – not only does this game boast some serious educational value, but it’s a super fun game to boot. Law of the Forest features elements of hand management, area control, and a healthy dose of take-that – all while being light enough for younger players or new gamers to enjoy. Plus, it features the added bonus of being bilingual, so gamers looking to learn or improve skills reading Chinese get a double-dose of education – in ecology AND Chinese. Swing over to the Kickstarter page and check out Law of the Forest.
Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden
Victorian artwork? UM, YES. Please do take a look at Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden on the Kickstarter, dear. It would delight me to no end. Ahem. Anyway, I can’t express how stoked I am for this little game by LudiCreations. Mr. Cabbagehead’s Garden features some fantastic Victorian style artwork of vegetables. (Hey, I never said I wasn’t a nerd.) It also features some pretty amazing and challenging abstract gameplay – players need to build a 3×6 grid of vegetable cards in the best possible configuration, all the while working around the meddlesome garden visitors who muck up your garden. Please do be a dear and peruse the turnips on Kickstarter, darling.
The City of Kings: Ancient Allies and Vadoran Gardens
I promise there isn’t an ecology theme to my roundup this month. The fact that there are so many eco-themed games is pure coincidence, and I might just burn some tires to prove it (not really though). In any case, The City of Kings is another cooperative offering, this time in the form of a fantasy adventure. Up to four players can work together to achieve victory in seven unique campaigns, featuring combat, puzzles, and a plethora of optional side quests to explore. In The CIty of Kings, customization is the name of the game, and I’m so pumped – Players create their own characters by choosing from over 100 different options, battle a possible thousands of different creatures that are uniquely generated, and explore a procedurally generated map. In short, not only is The City of Kings super customizable, it’s also highly replayable. As if this game couldn’t get any better, there’s plenty of opportunity for roleplaying during gameplay – so all you actors and storytellers, be sure to check this one out on Kickstarter. Oh – and did I mention you can pledge to score some beautiful miniatures as well? Boom.
Until next time, gang. Keep it plucky!