Why are cooperative tabletop games so successful? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that everyone is on the same team…those of you with kids know how THAT goes, especially with games that encourage backstabbing and the like to win. Feelings get hurt and egos get bruised, which is so not the point of having “family fun night” in the first place. “5-Minute Dungeon”, a game that’ll be launching its campaign on Kickstarter on November 1st, 2016, fits nicely into my collection for all the above mentioned reasons in that it’s quick, easy to play, and cooperative in nature. Before we get started, I’d like to thank Sarah Gumina on behalf of Wiggles 3D for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see and read about here (including the rules) subject to change.
Kids, it turns out, have quite the active imagination. Whether it be excuses as to why the chores didn’t get done or blaming an ill-mannered smelly/noisy bodily function on some sort of imaginary animal, kids certainly know how to make your brain spin. That’s why I have a feeling “STORY CRAZE” is going to be a success, because it encourages kids to be creative and tell stories…after all, you can bet they’re going to do it anyway in some other setting. Why not direct their energy into creating something fun that the whole family can laugh about? Before we talk more about this upcoming Kickstarter project, I’d like to thank Maestro & COO Ellen Stebbins from StoryClub Games, LLC for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see here subject to change.
Ready for some fast-paced robot combat mayhem? Of course you are. If you’re like me, you grew up with games like “Mech Warrior” that allowed you to sit inside the cockpit of a beast filled to the brim with weaponry. “AEGIS” is a hex-based tabletop tactics game that’s seeking your help on Kickstarter that, you guessed it, involves lots of combat utilizing teams of robots. There’s only a few days left to support the game, so time is of the essence.
“Cosmic Pioneers” is a rather interesting area control game that unfortunately falls short in a few areas. What impressed me the most, in all honesty, was how the game was set up. That sounds strange, I know. Most game set ups involve some sort of repetitive ritual that most people detest. Here, the system of planets is different almost every time and is made up of the alien and scenario cards drawn for the game. Once you get past setup, you’ll find the game to be a mix of strategy and luck with a lean more towards the latter. I didn’t like the required “going on an adventure” roll, for example, as there was no way to avoid bad rolls. Part of me wanted to play the game without that phase altogether to assist in keeping things somewhat less random. Landing on another player also involves a die roll with the loser crash landing and unloading all cargo onto an adjacent viable planet. Sure, you can offset the combat roll by upgrading your ship’s weapons, but you’re still at the mercy of the die gods.
I wasn’t a big fan of wrestling as a kid, but I always enjoyed a good “Royal Rumble”…that is, more than six wrestlers in the ring at once trying to eliminate each other. Now imagine the same kind of setting, except the wrestlers are super heroes with some really wicked powers. Interested? Thought so. “Super Powered Smash Masters” will be coming to Kickstarter in September of 2016, so you won’t have long to wait. Special thanks to Adam Cogan from Dark Unicorn Games for sending me a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you read about here (including the rules) subject to change.
If you’ve ever dreamt of being a mage who has the ability to summon lands and creatures at his/her fingertips? “Luminous Ages”, a card game that’s seeking funding through the Kickstarter process starting October 12th, 2016, aims to do just that. While your ultimate goal is to bring your “dream god” into play and keep them there for three consecutive turns, you can also win by draining your opponent’s dream life to negative ten points. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Game Creator Anthony Christou for sending me a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see and read about here subject to change.
Rarely do I come across an educational game that makes me wish I was back in Science class way back when I was a wee lad…”Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration” did that to me and then some. Almost half of the rulebook is a workbook containing interactive activities like crossword puzzles while other parts teach you about the very science you’re “playing” with throughout the game. It’s easily a thumbs up from me and can be found (as of the date of this posting) on Miniature Market for about $25…Amazon lists a $35 price (use the sidebar search tool to send a little change my way), so I’d grab it from the former unless you have Amazon Prime (free two-day shipping). The components are top notch so I decided to do a video tutorial / review, so go check it out below before you leave this page. My only real complaint was that the game didn’t come with a couple of baggies or rubber bands to hold the cards while the box was closed for non-use. Special thanks to Game Designer Dante Lauretta for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Think YOU have what it takes to gain control of 17th century Europe? Then you’ve come to the right place. Don’t worry, you won’t need to manage armies or build an economy…rather, you’ll be gaining points based on how far your influence takes you. Players will be playing country cards to place their cubes onto various people who occupy influential positions and score victory points. You can gain victory points a number of different ways…being the first to put a cube on a particular city, occupying all of the cities of a country…the list goes on. I opted for a video review as the game is very visual and easy to play, so be sure to check it out below. Spoiler: “Royals” reminds me of “Ticket to Ride” in some ways, which is a VERY good thing. Special thanks to Tony Gullotti from Arcane Wonders for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I’m not a fan of paper and pencil RPGs, but I do play a lot of RPGs on the PC. “Skyrim”, “The Witcher III”, “Dragon Age”…you know, games that allow you to level up your attributes in one way or another and gather loot. “Roll Player” is a board game about making a character in the most efficient way possible based on their class, back story, and alignment. As the name of the game implies, you’ll be using dice to do so. I decided to do a video review as I had a lot to cover, but in short I really enjoyed this one…so much in fact that I intend to play the game again tonight just after launching this review. It just oozes theme and gives players a LOT of options to modify dice on their character sheet so that they can meet their individual requirements. As a fan of PC RPGs, I love “Roll Player” and what it does. If you’ve done any sort of role-playing in the past, then you should too. Go check out the below video for the specifics. Special thanks to game creator Keith Matejka for providing me a press copy for review purposes.
Finally, a game about “yellow cake” that doesn’t include a three-second rule. You see, this kind of yellow cake is a tad…well, nuclear. In “The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction”, you’ll be using yellow cake, uranium, and labor in order to build bombs and score victory points. Doing this will involve the chaining of cards so that inputs produce outputs, although cards can be used for their indicated labor too (not both). We chose to share our first playthrough and first impressions in the video below so that you can see how gameplay flows, but our resolve that the game is awesome still holds strong after the fact. Special thanks to James Mathe from Minion Games for providing us with a press copy for review purposes.
As both an adult and a parent, I recognize how important a solid education is in the grand scheme of things. Sure, I haven’t used the Quadratic Formula since High School, but I have had to use basic math on a regular basis…especially with some of the Euro-tabletop games I play. I’m also an accountant, so there’s that too. That’s why I enjoy playing educational games that test these skills, especially with those who still have their whole life ahead of them (like my kids). “HoliMaths X”, a 1-6 player game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter in September of 2016, is one such item that focuses heavily on multiplication. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Matt Roman from HoliPlay Games for sending me a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not reflective of the final product, making everything you read about here (including the rules) subject to change.
Let’s say that you and a squadron (or even fleet) of ships were flying through space minding your own business when suddenly, your sensors collectively warn you of impending doom. We’re not talking space pirates or meteor showers…rather, a wormhole that is sucking you all in that leads to who knows where. Heck, it could even crush your ship like an egg. All you know is that you want to be the LAST one to enter that thing and you guessed it, that’s the primary goal of “Wormhole!”. Before we get into the details, I’d like to thank Andrew Needles from Epic Penguin Studios for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
It’s quite a feat when I can claim that a game mechanic crosses my path that I haven’t seen very often. Weighing your booty (treasure, not the backside) via the game’s container itself is one of them. “7 Seize”, a pirate-themed family friendly game that’s on Kickstarter right now (as of 8/27/2016), is looking for your support to reach a goal of $28,103 within 26 days. Current pledges have almost already reached the $5,000 mark with a total of 70+ backers.
Word games like “Scrabble” are all well and good, but they often reward the players with the most vocabulary floating around their heads. This makes playing with children somewhat difficult, unless you limit yourself to three or four letter words that don’t earn yourself a whole lot of points. “Word Domination”, a game that’s coming to Kickstarter late August of 2016, doesn’t have that problem. Before I go into why that is, I’d like to thank Jeff Beck from Uproarious Games for providing me with a prototype copy for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see here (including the rules) subject to change.
Adult themed card games seem to be making a comeback as of late. Take “Cards Against Humanity”, for example…almost every casual gamer I know (even teenagers who really aren’t supposed to be playing it) seem to know what it is and how to play it. “Farce”, a game that’s coming to Kickstarter in August of 2016, is similar to “Cards Against Humanity” but has quite a unique twist to it. Before I get started, I’d like to thank Game Creator Guy Walker for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you read about here (including the rules) subject to change. Like “Cards Against Humanity”, this game is not meant to be played by the easily offended, so you kids out there reading this should go do your homework or something.
Having played this on the PC a bunch of times (“Dead Man’s Draw” was originally a video game first), I was curious to see what all came in the boxed version. To my surprise, I discovered variants, traits, and other goodies that allowed me to customize the game any way I wanted to. You can check out my review of the board game and/or check out my game sessions on the PC in the videos below.