Kickstarter Weekly--October 9, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly--October 9, 2014

Well it's full-on Fall! Football, leaves, apples, pumpkins--the whole nine yards. That also means a lot of the campaigns we've been looking forward to after seeing previews at the summer conventions are starting to hit Kickstarter! Including this week's featured campaign... 

Featured Campaign!

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival - Foxtrot Games

In Lanterns you'll play the part of an artisan charged with decorating the lake for the Harvest Festival in Imperial China. Lanterns is a really great-looking tile-placement game, with a very cool double-edged feature, in that each tile you place benefits you, and every other player in the game! We're going to be posting our preview of the game here very soon. Spoiler alert: It's good!

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Kickstarter Weekly - August 1, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - August 1, 2014

It's hard to believe that July has already come and gone. And the arrival of August means the imminent approach of the flagship event in gaming: GenCon! But before we turn our sights towards this gigantic gathering of gamers, there are a TON of great campaigns on Kickstarter looking to make a place into your game collection! Let's do this!

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We Didn't Playtest This at All - Fluxx's Schizophrenic Cousin

By Jeremiah I just recently stumbled upon this plain white boxed card game—the name of which is more of an excuse for what's about to take place than an actual name. It was $8 and I had some credit to burn at my local game shop so I took a shot in the dark.

WDPTAA is probably the fastest playing filler game you'll come across. Each player is dealt 2 cards and someone decides that they are going to go first. The game is practically over at this point. Players can lose one at a time or in large fell swoops; the cards are random, deceptive, and at times downright goofy.

Your turn consists of drawing one card and playing one card, and hoping you didn't just play something that caused you to lose. You can play cards that will direct players to play Rock, Paper, Scissors only to find out after they "shoot" that everyone who chose Rock has lost the game. Or you can put into play a card that allows for "No Pointing"; any player caught pointing at another player or a card or anything at all, loses. (Try to not point at the player who just pointed while telling them they lost!)

The game has whiffs of Fluxx without all the housekeeping and pretentiousness of having categorized cards for "New Rules" or "Goals" etc. Just read the cards and try to get as many other players to lose on your turn as you can. And if someone else wins you might be lucky enough to be holding the "Spite" card which causes you both to lose! Hey if you can't win, no one can, right?

The new 2012 version has a "chaos pack" included with the base set. We immediately set those cards aside because it seemed way overboard for what was already taking place. But they add more conditions to game play for the whole table. They also include a good amount of blank cards so you can feel free to add your own flavor of insanity to the mix as well.

Honestly, this game didn't come off as annoying as I thought it would; we all had some pretty big laughs while playing it and it will come out again to fill up the time in between the longer games. If you don't take it too seriously, it won't disappoint.

Infiltration: Take the Money and Run

Donald X. Vaccarino is the creator a little game called Dominion. It’s ridiculously popular—it’s like he invented a way to just legally print money.

His latest design is Infiltration—a fast filler for 2-6 players that has you in the position of breaking into a corporation to steal as much as you can before the guards catch you.

You lay out the cards for the “first level” in a stairstep up to the right, and then a “second level” to the building back up the left. On each turn, players choose a card from their hands, and then simultaneously reveal them. It might allow a player to move to the next room. Or take some of the loot in a room. And some rooms have locks or scientists in them, and you can play cards to interact with them. There are also some special cards that give you something extra and cool and unique to do.

Here we run into the first problem: turn order can be hard to overcome. Turn order changes every turn, but if you’re at the end of the pack, you’ll find yourself scrambling to get to good rooms and get some of the loot.

In the game I played, one player played a card that let her move into a room and interact with it—normally you can only do one or the other. Unfortunately, interacting with the room forced her to end her run, so she was out of the game.

There’s a built-in timer to the game. A threat number increases as the game goes on, and when it reaches a certain level, the guards catch anyone still in the building. So you have to figure out how much loot to grab before you high-tail it out. The weird thing is, there’s no trap door on the second-level set of cards. So while there’s cool stuff the further in you go, it’s almost impossible to get that stuff and still get out.

This also led to another problem with the game. One player was in the kingmaker role: he ends it early and hands Player X a victory, or lets it go one more round and it's between Player X and me. He can't do ANYTHING to better his position. He ended it—still not sure why

So only two people in our game escaped—one who used a special card to escape, and the other was the woman from way earlier in the game. If the player who used the special card hadn’t been able to get out, the woman would have won…with zero points. That’s ridiculous to me.

The theme of the game is stealing. I think the game justifies it because you’re stealing from a corporation, and CORPORATIONS ARE ALWAYS EVIL, AND ENJOY BOILING PUPPIES ALIVE IN THE TEARS OF KITTENS. I’m no apologist for corporations, but come on… So be aware you’re stealing. I’m not against playing the game because you’re stealing; I’m against playing it because it’s a bad game.

I think ultimately this game suffers from Stephen King Syndrome: Donald X has had enough wild success that people aren’t willing to push back against some of the bad ideas here. If you don’t mind some swinginess, you might enjoy this. And the theme is pretty cool. And it’s certainly a fast game.

Me, I think I’ll wait for the upcoming Netrunner game to release my inner hacker.

Step Right UP! - A Carnival Review

It's the fun of shoddy carnival rides without the danger of death or dismemberment! Carnival is a card game that is controlled by dice—which seems odd given this is published by Dice Hate Me Games... It pits players against each other as Carnies trying to build their carnivals before the other players finish theirs. Each player has 5 different attractions placed in front of them, which require 4 different elements to complete construction: Banners, Lights, Seats, and Materials. By completing 4 of the 5 attractions (Bumper Cars, Ferris Wheel, Roller Coaster, Carousel, and Flying Swings) you win!

Turn Sequence - At the beginning of your turn you roll 3d6 (that's gamer speak for three six-sided dice) and choose to use two of them; these dice are placed on a tableau and they give you a corresponding action that you can use at any time during your turn (steal a card from another player's midway, swap a card with another player, swap a midway card, etc.). Players can play any number of cards from their hand into their midway and complete their dice actions, and that is pretty much the turn.

There is a handy little twist though: Each player is given three Admit One tickets at the beginning of the game; they can play these tickets at any time and cancel a dice action that has just been declared. So you can tell your friend to get his grubby little paws off of your Ferris wheel lights! This also results in your opponent losing that action.

The cards, with the exception of wild cards, are all one of the elements needed to build your attractions. That is to say, there are no special ability cards in the game—that's what the dice are for. It works well. It keeps your hand balanced and not full of special cards that do you no good if you have nothing built—or even started—in your midway.

The Bottom Line - The game has a bit of an identity crisis in that it doesn't feel like it should be more than a filler game, but it took us a little too long to play than a filler (I'm guessing subsequent plays will speed things up, though). It's designed for 2-4 players and there are a few variants, such as playing with 4 players in a team-on-team scenario, instead of every man (or woman) for himself. I found it highly competitive as a 4-player game, and things got pretty cutthroat pretty quickly! (Yes, I'm saying that as a positive!) The game includes an expansion pack called "The Sideshow," which we haven't yet busted out, but when we do I'll post a quick review on it!

Free Stuff - Dice Hate Me Games included another little freebie in the game: a single card with the rules for a game they call "Lucky Dice." It's a completely random, up-to-the-roll-of-the-dice type game. Once you've "solved" it, you will go crazy because you never roll what you need to score the most possible points. They did, however, create a free iOS version that you can download right here! Give it a test drive and let us know what ya think!

All in all, you're not going to invest a ton of cash into the game, and if you're playing with the right folks it can get pretty competitive, so it's definitely worth a spin!

Have you played with the Sideshow expansion? What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

Go Go Godzilla!—A King of Tokyo Review

Richard Garfield is one of the most influential game designers out there—despite the fact that he’s not very prolific. He'd be influential even if he’d only designed the one game he's best known for: Magic The Gathering.

He recently came out with a new design that’s a fast, fun filler that you can play with kids, adults, and everyone in between. Also old people. But probably not babies.


  • Six monster boards , cutouts, and stands. They’re fun creatures, such as a kraken, a giant cyborg gorilla, and a huge mechanical bunny. The differences are cosmetic; there are no special powers for each monster.
  • One square game board that shows Tokyo; it’s not really necessary but it’s nice to have.
  • One deck of cards, that provide cool mutant powers you can add to your monsters.
  • Some counters that show status effects, such as smoke or poison.
  • A bunch of energy cubes used to pay for the special powers on the cards.
  • Some big, beefy dice with various symbols on them; they’re the heart of the game.


The idea for the game is that you’re a giant monster trying to destroy Tokyo, but you’re also trying to destroy your opponents and keep them from destroying Tokyo. Each monster starts with zero victory points (VPs) and 10 health. Your health will (generally) go down, and your VPs will (hopefully) go up. If you get down to zero health you’re out of the game—and if you’re the last monster standing, you win! The other way to win is to be the first monster to get to 20 VPs.

On your turn, you roll the dice, and then decide what to do with them. You can reroll any dice up to two times, and when you’re done rolling them all you’ll “play them out.” Three of the sides have a 1, 2, or a 3 on them. If you roll three of one of those numbers, you score those VPs. One side has a heart on it, and if you use that you find true love, get married, and raise little monsters. That’s not true; you just heal a health point for each heart you roll.

One side has a claw on it, which allows you to attack other people. One of three things can happen then.

  1. If no one is in Tokyo or Tokyo Bay—the two spaces on the game board—you can move in there. The benefit of being in one of those spots is that you earn 1 VP when you move in, and if you’re still in there when your turn rolls around, you earn 2 VPs. The downside is that you can’t heal…
  2. If you are in Tokyo or Tokyo Bay, you attack each monster that’s not in one of those places—one point of attack for each claw rolled.
  3. If you aren’t in Tokyo or Tokyo Bay, you attack each monster that is. A monster inside one of those places can decide to yield the city; the monster that attacked you now moves into the vacated spot.

The last spot has a lightning bolt on it, and you get an energy cube for each one. At the end of your turn you can purchase one of the three face-up power cards. They add various powers to your monster, such as adding 1 to each attack, or keeping you from taking 1 damage.


The only thing I’d change about the game is to add some variety by having each of the different monsters have one unique power. That would add some variety, and make it more fun to play the giant mechanical bunny—besides the fun already inherent in that, of course. Other than that, it’s a ridiculously fun filler—the kind of game you can play at the start or end of the session, or between games. The first edition sold out quickly, but a second edition has just been released. Check it out!