Kickstarter Roundup May 2020

As promised, here is my new article rounding up last month on Kickstarter. I will cover what I backed, what I nearly backed and then look forward to next month with games for which I am still undecided and for upcoming projects. As you can see, May was a great month with some very different games to back. And let’s say that June is not going to be better for my bank account…

Backed

❤️ Ratcatcher

This roundup had to feature a purely solo game. I love these experiences and this time of confinement has been increasing my interest in these kinds of games. I had been following the project Ratcatcher for a few weeks before it launched and was intrigued and rather charmed by its storyline, artworks and atmosphere. When the game was launched on Kickstarter, I watched a few videos of gameplay and was convinced. A simple set of rules serving a complex web of choices and the need for an adapted strategy for each play is exactly what I like with such solid experiences. The fact that it is beautiful and quite compact is also an added bonus.

That’s my Throne

A nifty little project that only cost me one euro. A single coin for something described as “taking the mechanics of Euro games (…) basically like a euro but with a low budget, quick to print and easy to understand.” Well okay … I’m willing to take the risk! The board is reminiscing of Castles of Burgundy and promises at least a few interesting and enjoyable games. I appreciated the constant communication and updates from the designer who also shared another game for free to all backers. Looking forward to trying both these experiences out.

❤️ Canvas

If you have been on Kickstarter this month, you cannot have missed Canvas. This humble project which secured more than $700k. This project combines hand management and set collection. However, what really sets it apart is its gorgeous art style and material. So beautiful that I did not feel like going Deluxe was needed (in fact thought it would get in the way of the gameplay more than anything). Really looking forward to this one and think it will please both gamers and non-gamers alike.

❤️❤️ Hel

Mythic Games certainly went full steam on this campaign (even though the flow of information was not completely to my liking). Hel made me as excited as Return to Dark Tower. But the beautiful thing about this game is that I love its atmosphere even more and oh boy, it looks fun. I have watched three gameplay videos so far and appreciated all of them. Another aspect I am excited about is how streamlined and clear the rules appear. Making it quite easy to grasp and therefore more likely to hit the table with friends less experienced with heavy games.

On the fence

Nemesis Lockdown

Awaken Realms is back with the Nemesis franchise and of course it’s a massive success so far with over $3 million raised at the time of the article and well over 2 weeks left. Quite on the fence about this one because I decided to pass on the base game as it would not hit the table often enough because it relies mainly on high player counts who will engage actively with the storyline and seems fun when exhibiting the betrayal mechanics it has. Definitely seems interesting but I don’t have the gaming group that would be fit for this. Therefore, going to do my homework to see how the expansion plays and if it might be worth it.

Some projects saved but not backed

Final Girl

This one got me intrigued because I pondered for a long time on whether I should get Hostage Negotiator. However, I checked out the page and some videos about gameplay and did not feel excited enough to back it. Pretty similar to the other one or at least I did not spot the differences that would make me pledge and invest more into different scenarios.

Dawnshade

I did not really know what to expect but the overall similarities with Too Many Bones got me curious. This was until they revealed some more elements of gameplay which included mini-games involving dexterity or luck. And for that hefty price tag and very expensive shipping, there was no chance I would go forward with it.

Intriguing/Exciting June projects

Salt & Bones (live, ending 24th June) – duelling game using Card Drafting mechanisms with a dynamic board evolving throughout the turns.

Merchants of the Dark Road (2nd June) – a fair bit yet to discover about this game. Relies on dice placement to activate many different locations, abilities, etc. It looks like there is a LOT going on in terms of mechanics. I am excited about all the possibilities but also quite scared they want to pack too much in one game. Let’s see how balanced this will be!

Mini Rogue (9th June) – based on a nine-card game released via BGG. Set in a dungeon, this solo experience uses dice rolls to push you to make difficult decisions and to rely on some “push your luck” mechanisms. Let’s see the difference between the PNP and this Kickstarter version.

Shelfie Stacker (12th June) – curious about this odd project transcribing the daily struggle for game collectors to find space on the shelves and arrange them as best as possible. Focusing on bag building, dice and hand management.

Monumental (15th June) – Funforge is releasing an extra expansion for Monumental. Personally, this is the occasion to perhaps get the base game and some additional content as I heard/watched/read a lot of good things about this one.

Roll Player Adventures (23rd June) – set in the world of Roll Player, this project is much more ambitious and based on adventures and quests giving a feeling of some legacy games perhaps? Curious to learn more during the campaign

In Too Deep (23rd June) – mysterious project in a technological future where you are fighting cybernetically enhanced criminals. This hand management game has not revealed many of its secrets but its storyline and modular board have definitely wetted my appetite.

Syndicate (late June?) – not super clear whether this game will be for me. I watched a preview of some rounds and I like the dice rolling aspect to lay tiles on the board and also use resources and cards to mitigate luck and increase your influence. Some nice interactions but needs to be on spot in order to work.

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What have you been backing on Kickstarter? What are the projects you have your eyes on or are looking forward to? Don’t hesitate to reach out by message, email or comment!

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