Kickstarter has become a huge platform for supporting board game projects, and this month has seen quite a few campaigns from independent designers to big names. The following five games in particular have drawn our attention. Some of their campaigns are ending soon, but the first three on our list should be available on retail shelves at a later date.
Campaign ending on April 27, 2018, 12:00 AM CDT.
“Filler” games that can be taken anywhere, taught quickly, and played within 30 minutes often bring just as much joy as any big-box experience. In fact, sometimes they’re our groups wants to play in an evening. The first two games on the list are exciting for those very reasons.
Grifters: Nexus is the standalone expansion to 2015’s Grifters, a unique, dystopian-themed handbuilding game. Players lead their own criminal organizations, represented by a growing deck of cards, and utilize specialists from their deck to steal ISK – either from the government or each other – and complete jobs. The wealthiest player by the end of the game wins. The theme and art are excellent, but the game is all the more enticing for its ease of play and the interesting “cool down” mechanic that prevents activated specialists from being used again until later turns.
The original Grifters presented exciting puzzles to solve, challenging players to consider when to use a card, complete a specific job, and the state of an opponent’s refresh pile. Its sequel is promising tougher decisions to make by expanding the formula with new and revamped systems.
Campaign ending on May 1, 2018, 11:59 PM CDT.
Crypt is a colorful, push-your-luck card and dice game. Players raid crypts in search of valuables, gambling their servants – dice – on treasure. Obtaining a number of specific treasure types allows the activation of Collector cards and their abilities.
Crypt’s betting mechanic is what really piques our interest. In turn order, players choose the quantity and value of dice to assign to treasure cards. After everyone has had their turn, the dice are rolled. And if a rolled value is lower than what was assigned, that dice is lost. The only way to get dice back is to pass instead of playing a turn or activate certain Collector abilities. Crypt holds the promise of a lot of nail-biting tension, swingy plays, and blocking strategies.
Campaign ending on May 3, 2018, 7:00 PM CDT.
CMON’s franchise of co-operative Zombicide games seems to get better with each release, and Invader has the potential to be the best iteration yet. Zombicide: Invader takes the series to the stars as players fight to protect their mining outpost from hordes of aliens. As a survivor, you’ll scavenge for gear and resources, put down defenses, and earn experience through combat. Better still, the designers are promising refined rules and set up process to get everyone into action quicker. This is great news as previous games could take a while to get going.
Zombicide: Invader, as with its brethren, is a game loaded with miniatures. Zombicide’s figures look great, too, from the survivors, machines, to the aliens. The retail box will no doubt come with a lot of plastic, but the Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goals include a whole slew of additional survivors and aliens if you want more.
Campaign ending on May 4, 2018, 11:59 PM CDT.
Street Fighters: The Miniatures Game is a joint venture between YouTube personality Joe Vargas, otherwise known as Angry Joe, and Jasco Games. And it looks like absolutely brilliant fun. Not only does it come with detailed, pre-painted miniatures of popular Street Fighter characters, but its fast card-play and dice mechanics seem to do a wonderful job at capturing the spirit of Capcom’s fighting game franchise. Players draw from character-specific battle decks, move, and then play cards representing various types of attacks face down. Opponents can counter by playing a card representing the attack they think is coming or roll dice to block. It’s a quick, tactical game of positioning, bluffing, knocking each other into 3D terrain, building combos and special meters, and nervous rolls of dice.
Campaign ending on May 17, 2018, 12:00 PM CDT.
Few words describe The City of Kings better than “grand.” The game combines worker placement, questing, character building, combat, and exploration all into one massive, beautiful package. Featuring seven campaigns for up to four friends to co-operatively conquer and thousands of combinations of creatures and map layouts, The City of Kings is offering a huge, replayable adventure. It seems to tick every box in our heads for a great, time-consuming fantasy game to fill our tables.
The Kickstarter campaign is the second printing of the game, and it brings with it additional content. Backers can secure new heroes, stories, and/or stunning miniatures to replace the cut-out character pieces.
Full Disclosure: We are not in any way affiliated with the aforementioned campaigns.