Ahoy! Does anyone remember what the board game world was like before Kickstarter? I do….it was dark. Learning about new games has been one of the biggest highlights to come out of crowdfunding. No longer are decisions left in the hands of big publishing houses. Now, peasants like you and me can toss our hard-earned shekels into the communal pot and get ourselves any game that suits our fancy.
In my most recent pass over of new Kickstarter offerings, I saw a few games that I know will be a blast to play. Cooperative survival game mixed with Scrabble? Check! What about an RPG with a revenge theme inspired by famous stories like The Count of Monte Cristo? It’s all right here folks! Heck, I’ve even seen a neat soccer (futbol) game that looks perfect to play with my son. I’ve got the Kickstarter links at the bottom of the page if you decide to take a closer look. Ok let’s go!
Publisher: Gap Closer Games
Number of Players: 1-5
Time to Play: 40 min
Illiterati from Gap Closer Games is the first game of its kind (that I know of) to feature a cooperative, survival core with the word building, tiled approach of Scrabble. Not only is your team tasked with solving increasingly hard puzzles but you’ll have to do it while your enemies, the dreaded Illiterati, do everything that can to stop you! To win, you must bind a book
Judging from what I’ve seen, your group will need to blend two things if you have any hope of success. First, your group will absolutely want to brush up on their vocabulary…this is a word game after all. And second, the crew will need to be able to strategize and work as a bonafide team.
If you’ve played games like Pandemic, or to a lesser extent the quasi-cooperative games like Betrayal at House on The Hill or Dead of Winter, you’ll know that not being able to come together as a team seriously hurts your chances of winning. This game looks to be no exception to the rule. Oh, and for the recluse in you, Illiterati also offers a solo play option that is more brain teaser than it is a race against time.
What I like about the look of this game is that, not only is it a game forcing us to use our noodles to solve problems as a team, it also offers a variety of difficulties. It looks like the type of game where families can work together and learn as a group. Great for early readers and kids who are picking up new words.
The Slow Knife
Publisher: Mousehole Press
Number of Players: Likely between 3 and 5
Time to Play: Looks like a 2 hr time range
A simple death is too good for you. No no, your demise has been plotted on a course of slow descent. Slow Knife chooses rich storytelling over fast-paced antics. It is a game told over curt whispers and fine wine, jeweled masks. Intrigue and deceit are found in spades…..and all the while, moving in the dark and waiting for the right moment to strike, is a silent blade.
The game’s heart is a 52-card deck of prompts, which ask probing questions about your evil characters and their dishonorable lives. As the years’ pass, you will take turns answering questions from this deck and adding to the story of your character. As you resolve each card, you will take a look at the board in front of you and add cards and connections so that it reflects what you have done.
In The Slow Knife, you play a villain and while it is an RPG, you don’t need to be a method actor to make this game work. This game is designed to make your first RPG experience a great (and comfortable) one, no matter what level you’re at. If you love good stories and ask curious questions, all you need is a good sense of humor. A simple, self-contained, zero prep scenario that’s great for seasoned RPG players, or for those who have a long-running Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Obviously, if you’re already into playing a bunch of unique, often strange story-driven games, you’ll know what’s good!
UND1C1 | The Best Soccer Board Game Ever
Number of Players: 2….duh
Time to Play: 45-60 min
Honestly, I wouldn’t say sports games are my go to boardgame style. I have enjoyed a round or two of Bloodbowl but the more traditional games just aren’t something I naturally explore. That being noted, I do think this game would be a fun way to play a game that’s both strategic and familiar. Everyone knows roughly how the rules to Soccer go, right?
Kick the ball, pass the ball, try to score…flailin around on the ground at the slightest bit of contact.
The game comes with two decks of cards which contain powerful effects to either enhance striking, defending and likely other aspects of the game as well. Additionally, the game allows players to place padlocks on the field which lock down squares or mark opponents pieces.
Lastly, the game utilizes dice to check for successes of failures…much like Bloodbowl! (it always comes back around to Bloodbowl). The harder the challenge (long passes and shots on goal) makes the dice roll success harder to meet. It’s looks like a good blend of strategy and luck. UND1C1 is a game made by passionate soccer fans and it shows in the way the game rules are put together. It’s too much to go into here but if you’re interested, catch the link below
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