Kickstarter Weekly--Feb. 7, 2014

Well, it's been an exciting week for us so far here at TOG, and even with the news about us being a part of the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, we've somehow found time to bring you another installment of games that are pleading their case over on Kickstarter. There's a ton of great stuff happening, so let's dig in with this week's Kickstarter Weekly!

Featured Campaign

This TownThis Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us! - Tasty Minstrel Games

This town may not be big, but neither is the price point for this one! For a paltry three American dollars you can get a copy of this game, plus all the stretch goals! Tasty Minstrel is owning the micro game market on Kickstarter right now, and for $3 there's no reason to wait to pull the trigger on this micro tile-placement western showdown!

The campaign ends Feb. 14, and, like we said you can get a copy for a pledge $3!! Find all the details including all the unlocked stretch goals right here!

Zep AttackZeppelin Attack - Evil Hat Productions

Mooarrrr Zeppelins! Yep, the zeppelin thing is becoming all the rage in gaming this year. This might be the first zeppelin deck-builder in gaming though. A 2-4 player card battle for air supremacy, set in the universe of  the Spirit of the Century RPG from Evil Hat Productions. As with most steam punk-ish themed games, the art will pull you in on this one!

The campaign ends on March 1. You'll have to pledge $30 for the game, and you can find all of the details, right here!

LagoonLagoon - David Chott

Lagoon has you embarking on a simple little objective: FORGING THE DESTINY OF A WORLD! A board game that features a solo variant and supports up to 4 players, Lagoon is a discovery and area-control game with a very mystical/enchanting feel to it. It also sports some really nice-looking components and artwork. And reviewers are claiming it has a relatively quick learning curve.

You can still pledge to get a copy of Lagoon until March 3, and it's only $35 for a copy of the game. Check out all the details right here!

WesterlyWesterly Reboot - Analog Evolution Games

Ok, it's really just Westerly, and they've rebooted the campaign... Westerly is a co-op game where players work together to forge a trail out west using their unique characters and story-telling skills.

This game is finished and ready to roll, and more backers means more funding. They have a very lofty funding goal, but the game looks to have been very well-tested-out and tweaked, and comes with plenty of bits!

The campaign ends March 16. There are a few early bird level pledges left at $40, then it jumps up to $50 for a copy of the game. You can find out all of the details, right here!

bigfootBigfoot - Game Salute

It's time to go squatchin'... I can't believe I just typed that...

Anyway Game Salute has launched a campaign for a 2-player card game called Bigfoot, about, well, finding Bigfoot. This is an asymmetrical game in which one player is a cryptozoologist, and the other Bigfoot himself. The Bigfoot player chooses a path to take, while trying to outwit and confound the cryptozoologist. Meanwhile, his counterpart is attempting to find the ever-elusive Sasquatch and claim glory and fame. This one looks to be a very light strategy card game that plays really quickly.

The campaign ends on Feb. 27 and it's only $15 for a copy of the game. You can find all the details of the game, right here!

Thanks so much for reading! If you like what you see here on TOG, you can subscribe to our blog over on the right. And you can tell your friends about us by liking, sharing, following, and subscribing to us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and iTunes!

Are you backing any of these campaigns? Are there any we missed? Let us know, down below!

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Jeremy Hogan, Designer of Dreaming Spires—An Interview

2ac599ee11cdd627edef44f93c13be47_largeToday we’re joined by designer Jeremy Hogan, whose most recent game, “Dreaming Spires,” is being Kickstarted right now via Game Salute.

Jeremy, thanks for joining us. First of all, would you take a second and introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I’m Jeremy, I’m a game designer living in London, UK. I work as a designer in the video game industry and make board games the rest of the time!

Can you tell us a little bit about The Secret Games Company?

The Secret Games Company is a group of people in London, and further afield, who love to make games around our other, better-paid jobs! We set it up to release our two games,; one is Dreaming Spires, and the other is Rise, which is a board game-inspired video game that will be ready next year.

So, Dreaming Spires, an old school game… And by “old school” we’re, of course, talking about Oxford… Where did you get the idea to theme a game around Oxford?

I studied at Oxford, and while I was there I kept hearing these amazing stories from its history. It’s so old—900 years—that it has seen so much of English history and produced some extraordinary people along the way. When I was sitting down to begin a new game project, I decided I wanted to do something with a really strong theme and a lot of research and writing in it, as I felt this was an area where we could do a good job. Oxford was the obvious choice as I knew a lot about it already, so I looked into it and there has never been a board game about Oxford’s history, so we felt like we’d struck gold!

How would you summarize the game play and “feel” of Dreaming Spires?

Dreaming Spires is a building game using tile placement like Carcassonne, with two card systems layered on top, which allow the player to accrue reputation in different areas, which is then crunched by our innovative scoring system to determine the winner in the end. The Scholar cards allow the players to use a lot of different special abilities, which are based on the person in question. For example, Adam Smith’s is called ‘Wealth of Nations’ and lets the player spend any money coin (1, 2 or 3) to draw two more randomly. The Scholar cards each also have beautiful illustrations and their own quotes on, so they bring a lot of theme. The Event cards have stories on them recounting a famous event from Oxford’s history and initiate a quick auction or other type of activity that the colleges compete in for a reputation boost in an appropriate area.

dreaming spires people

How did you land with Game Salute, and how has the game changed since they’ve come alongside you to get it ready for market?

Game Salute have been really supportive but they have left us to get the game ready and focused their efforts on helping us to promote it and prepare it for production with Panda GM, who are our manufacturers.

So, why tabletop games? And what got you into game design?

I have always been crazy about games. I played a lot of cards with my Grandmother as a kid—she was a real card shark! I also played chess with my Dad and used to start crying as soon as I could see I was going to lose, so he would switch the board round at that point so I could play with his pieces; that cheered me up! My Grandfather and I played Mah Jong with a beautiful old set of his, so all my family have played their part in my ending up as a game designer!

Which type of gamer are you going after with this game? The casual player? The Family Game Night players? The "in-it-up-to-their-eyeballs" heavy player?

As you can probably tell, the game is really thematic. It’s a medium weight with simple systems, so anyone can play and have a good time, but there’s a lot of variety and interesting decisions so seasoned gamers will still be honing their strategy after loads of plays. We have had good reports back from testers at all points on the gaming spectrum!

What's the timeline for release of the game?

We are doing our final pass on the art files now, so we hope to submit them to Panda in the next couple weeks. Then there are a few steps to the production process before the games are put onto boats and shipped to the US and UK. We hope they will arrive in early May next year, but we have said June in our Kickstarter to give ourselves an extra month in case of any delays.

Dreaming spires coverNow that Dreaming Spires will be brought to market, are you working on your next greatest thing? Will we see expansions for Dreaming Spires?

We also have our video game project Rise, which you can check out on our website: As for Dreaming Spires expansions, we have a lot of ideas. We would only do one, but we’d put everything in there including a 2 player variant. It all depends on how well the game does next year; our fingers are firmly crossed!

Ok, the rapid-fire section! We ask the questions; you answer them with one word (or super-short phrase)! And, GO!

Have you ever not "minded the gap"?

I am the gap.

Every time you call someone in the States, do they answer singing "London's Calling"?

It’s more like: “Awww, say that again, you sound so cute! So do you know the queen?”

Favorite Monty Python member?

Michael Palin because he is in Dreaming Spires!

We heard you crashed the Royal Wedding; is that true?

My lawyers have asked me not to comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

Are you terribly annoyed at the narrow scope of the last four questions?

Not at all, I wish I could answer all interview questions this way!

Jeremy, thanks so much for joining us today, we wish you the best of luck with Dreaming Spires and your further endeavors with The Secret Games Company!

You can find Dreaming Spires on Kickstarter until November 30, 2013.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to subscribe over on the right --->

You can also find us out there on the web on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and our Podcast!

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Kickstarter Weekly, Oct. 21, 2013

Last week was a busy one here at TOG! Essen was in full swing (and we weren't there), but there have been lots of goings-on over on Kickstarter, and we're here to highlight a few campaigns this week, and also hear from you about the games you're backing! So let's get started!

Featured Campaign!

Brew CraftersBrew Crafters: A Board Game About Making Beer - Dice Hate Me Games

There are some games that thematically aren't what you'd call my (Jeremiah's) cup of tea... or beer, wait, how does that work? Anyway, we've been blown away by some great games that didn't necessarily have a theme that we fell in love with. (Heartland Hauling, and Viticulture come to mind) But at the end of the day, superb gameplay won us over. The buzz around Brew Crafters has been solid and positive for months now, and it's finally on Kickstarter. This Euro style board game packs an American theme, and the classic Dice Hate Me Games visual design that we've grown to love.

They should hit their funding goal TODAY they're so close!

A $60 pledge get's you a copy of the game sent to your door and the campaign closes on Nov. 24. You can get more details about the game, and upcoming stretch goals, right here!

Snowball battleThe Great Snowball Battle - Game Salute

This fast playing card game for players ages 8 and up, is the age old classic battle of every winter, a snowball battle! The game looks simple but fun, and thematically it's something I (still Jeremiah) love! Winter! I know, I'm weird. The funding level was super low, so they've already pushed past it, and are looking to add some interesting stretch goals!

You can grab a copy of this game with a $15 pledge, and the campaign ends on Nov. 22, get the full details on the campaign page!


Get LuckyGet Lucky - Cheapass Games

To win this game you're going to have to get Lucky, Doctor Lucky that is. This new card game is based on the original board game Kill Doctor Lucky, which won the Origins award for best board game in 1996. Players take on the roles of folks who -for whatever reason- want to kill Doctor Lucky.  The card game boasts, faster, more streamlined play, and better, more character driven mechanics.  Three stretch goals have already been achieved and there's still plenty of time for more to be unlocked!

You can get in on this one for $20 and the campaign ends Nov. 17. You can find the campaign here!


Kings of IsraelKings of Israel - Funhill Games

Players are working cooperatively as prophets in ancient Israel, trying to lead God's people through turbulent times, removing sin and false idols and such. At first look, the game play looks a little Pandemic-ish, but I will say the cards, and artwork look awesome, and everything seems to be historically accurate, there are even companion bible studies available for the game. We're really intrigued by this one!

A pledge of $45 scores you a copy of the game and the campaign ends on Nov. 26. Check out full details right here!


Thanks again for checking in with us here at TOG! We know there are plenty of awesome games being funded on Kickstarter, and we only have room/time to write about 4 of them. Let us know what you're excited about and backing in the comments below!

And we'd love it if you subscribed to the blog via email over on the right!

AND! Don't forget about our contest! We're giving away a copy of Pixel Lincoln: The Deck Building Game, for details tune into our latest podcast episode!


Kickstarter Weekly—Sept. 5, 2013

It's a shortened week with the holiday, but that doesn't mean things aren't happening over on Kickstarter. What should you be checking out? Here's a few suggestions!

WarfieldsWarfields - Menaveth Games

We'll be playing and reviewing this one soon. Looks like a fun 2-player battle, that is easy to learn and quick to play. The funding goal for this one is really high ($22,500!) when compared to other games that are mostly card based.

You can get a copy of the game for a $25 pledge. And you can see the full campaign here!

(And we're going to have an interview with designer Chris Green next week!)

SeptikomSeptikon - Hobby World USA

This game just looks cool! Another 2-player game with a hint toward tower defense. We're hoping to get our hands on this game soon, and we'll let you know when that happens.

Until then you can check out the campaign here. And a $60 pledge gets you your very own copy of the game.


Battle MerchantsBattle Merchants - Minion Games

Pirates! Well. Okay, not really, but the one guy on the cover looks like it. Battle Merchants is actually an economics game in which players are constructing and selling weapons in a warfare ridden land.

You can snag a copy for $48, and find the full campaign here.




SangokuSangoku - Game Salute

What Kickstarter Weekly post would be complete without a title from Game Salute? A Japanese-themed game by Mike Elliot of Thunderstone fame, Sangoku is a card game pitting players against each other to rule the three realms. Interestingly enough, this game is described as a "poker-style game." Hmmm.

A pledge of $35 will get you your own copy, and you can check out the full campaign right here!


Thanks so much for reading, let us know if you're backing any of these, and if we missed anything cool!

We'd love it if you liked us on Facebook, followed us on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribed to our YouTube channel, and to the blog by signing up over on the right!

Have a great weekend!

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Kickstarter Weekly - Aug. 30, 2013

Well, our little experiment last week resulted in a much different outcome than we thought it would. Thanks again everyone for the feedback! We're back to normal for now, until we decide to rock the boat again! Speaking of new things, you may have missed it yesterday, (we had a little hiccup with our email delivery system!) but we have officially launched the Theology of Games podcast! You can find it on iTunes by following this link RIGHT HERE!!! We're very excited about this, and would love any and all feedback!

Anyway, there's lots of stuff going down on Kickstarter this week, so let's jump in!

Fantasy FrontierFantasy Frontier - Gamelyn Games

We're really excited for this one! Gamelyn Games, which brought us Dungeon Heroes, is bringing us this worker- and tile-placement game that has players exploring a new frontier in steampunky dirigibles! Check back soon for an interview with Michael about this, and all things Gamelyn Games! The campaign is chugging along and is about 20% funded after just 24 hours.

A pledge of $45 gets you in on a copy of the game, and you can check out the campaign, right here!


Cthulu CardsThe Cards of Cthulhu - Dan Verssen Games

Yep, it's another Cthulhu themed game. This time featuring a solitaire to 4-player system, </begin obligatory Cthulhu game description> players take on the roles of investigators trying to save the world from eternal torment, from the elder gods. </end obligatory Cthulhu game description>. The game system looks interesting on this one, and they've blown past their funding goal within the first 24 hours.

They've unlocked a lot of stretch goals and a $30 pledge gets you in on the fun, and you can check out the campaign, right here!


infamyInfamy - Mercury Games Inc.

This is Mercury Games' sophomore Kickstarter voyage after a successful first go-around. Infamy is a bidding-based game set in a cyberpunk realm,

$45 gets you a copy of the game and they're limiting the amount of pledges to 2,000, although it doesn't seem yet that their going to be turning folks away. You can check out the campaign, right here.


Burning SunsBurning Suns - Sun Tzu Games

It's really hard to tell a whole lot about the game play of this from the main video on the campaign. But check out those sweet die-ships! The game looks to be just the beginning of what will expand into something larger if they get the chance to bring it to market.

For a pledge of 45 pounds (About $69 usd) you get the entire game, plus anything else that is unlocked during the campaign. Speaking of which you can check it out here!


A few campaigns have closed recently...

TemplarTemplar the Secret Treasures - Queen Games

So you're basically hiding treasure in an Abbey and trying to keep it safe. Looks like a fun game, but you're going to have to wait until it hits the shelves! You can take a look at the campaign, right here!


duel thanksA Duel Betwixt Us - Game Salute

The game was 624% funded. Yeah I'd say that was successful! We're pretty excited about this one. You can check out the campaign here, and our interview with co-designer Laurence Honderick too!

Whaaa happened?

PrivateerPrivateer - Ensignia Games

For some reason unbeknownst to us the campaign for Privateer has been canceled by Ensignia Games. This is a shame because the game looks great. We've reached out to Ensignia to see if they have any plans to relaunch the campaign. (The first one was doing great, just about $4,000 short of the goal with over 3 weeks left!) We're really hoping that we see this one re-launch soon!

That's it for now! Is there something cool you're backing that we missed? (I wouldn't doubt it!) Let us know!

Thanks so much for reading, please take a few seconds and subscribe to the blog over on the right. And look us up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube! And don't forget the brand-spanking new podcast! Just click this little ol' link here to find that!!

A Double-Take Review of King's Forge

kingsforgeThere's a new dice-rolling game on Kickstarter! Do you have what it takes to claim the King's Forge and become the greatest blacksmith in all the land? Let's see what this game is all about!

The Overview

You are trying to be the first player to craft four items for the king. If more than one player accomplishes this feat on the same turn, whoever crafted the highest-valued item wins.

The Components

Dice, dice, baby...

91 dice, including:

  • 42 black Metal dice
  • 22 green Wood dice
  • 14 red Gem dice
  • 10 blue Magic dice
  • 2 white Library dice
  • 1 purple Cemetery die

53 cards, including:

  • 26 Craft cards
  • 18 Gather cards
  • 4 Storage cards
  • 4 Black Market cards
  • 1 Player One card

4 tokens: 2 yellow "Automatic 6" tokens and 2 green "+1/+1" tokens

The Setup

Everyone gets a Storage card and five black Metal dice.

Set out the four Black Market cards. Then you'll choose which Craft cards to use in the game—between 9 and 13, depending on the number of players. You sort them according to their worth (a number between 1 and 48), place the three least-valuable ones out on the table, and then put the rest of the cards splayed out above the three low ones, with the dice icons visible to all.

Then take the 18 Gather cards, separate out the two Mine cards and the two Forest cards, and then shuffle the remaining cards and choose seven randomly. Place them facedown in a pile near the Black Market cards.

We gather here today...

The Cards

These are complex and a key part of the game, so they deserve their own section.

Gather cards are unique cards, each with an upper and lower half. When you claim one of these cards, you'll choose which half you're going to do on that turn and "pay" a number of dice, depending on the card. The Gather cards have squares on them. White squares mean you can choose any die to fulfill that. A green square means you can only use a green die to pay for that square. A red is just like green—only red!! And a square that's half blue and half red means either color will work. So one card might have you paying any one die to get a black die. Or another might have you paying two green dice to get a red die. Or yet another might have you pay two dice (one of which you'll lose forever) in order to change any 1s rolled to 6s.

There are also Black Market cards. Every dice spent here is lost forever, but it will allow you to get that green or red die you desperately need.

Crafting cards have a number of dice on the bottom (between 1 and 6), of differing colors. Each die on the cards has a number on it as well, and that's the minimum number you need on that color in order to craft that item. So the lowest-valued item (the Anvil) takes three black dice and at least 2 on each in order to craft it. The Battle Axe takes a black 4, black 5, black 6, green 4, red 4, and blue 4.

The Gameplay

The game is divided into two phases: the Gather phase and the Crafting phase.

First deal four of the Gather cards face-up to the center of the table, and then each player grabs any dice on his or her Storage card.

Now each player in turn order can either:

  • Claim a Gather card.
  • Take a Black Market Action and ditch a Gather card.
  • Pass

To take the Gather card, you just pay for it with the required dice, and place it in front of you. (And if you get any dice from the action, you grab the dice and put them on your Storage card. You'll get them next turn.) Then you deal out a new Gather card and it's the next player's turn. If you take a Black Market action, you pay for it, grab the dice and put them on your Storage card for next turn, as normal, and then you choose and discard one of the face-up Gather cards. Or you can pass. If you're the first person to pass, you get to choose either a black die and add it to your current pool of dice. Or you can grab a "+1/+1" token, which allows you to add 1 to two different dice during the upcoming Crafting phase.

The dice you start the turn are all you use over both phases, so it could be that you don't want to gather anything and only craft, or vice versa. But those dice are it. That Gather phase if over if everyone passes, or if there are no more faceup Gather cards and at least one person has passed.

In the Crafting phase, each player in turn order rolls the remaining dice he or she has, manipulates them if possible (due to Gather card abilities or tokens you might have), and then tries to craft an item. You have to have the correct dice colors with the correct (minimum) values in order to attempt it.

Five is right out!

Editor's Note: In our video review we were playing a rule wrong. In the rules-set we received, it said in one spot that you could only craft one item, and in another that you can craft as many as you want. We only noticed the "one craft" rule, so we playing that incorrectly, and mentioned that incorrectly in the video. Please forgive us. And play correctly.

One of the key mechanisms in the game is stealing. A player in later turn order can steal an item that you're trying to craft on that turn. In order to do that they only have to meet the dice values you already have, and then at least one of the dice has to have a greater value. So if I try to build the Anvil with a 2, 2, 2, you could steal it with a 2, 2, 3. And then there's weeping and gnashing of teeth...

A player further down in order could also steal the item from the player who stole it from you! After everyone has a chance to craft or steal, you reset things, gather back your dice, and shuffle up the Gather cards and start a new round.

The first person to craft four items (you play through the full Crafting phase) wins. If more than one person accomplishes that on the turn, whichever of those people who crafted the item with the highest value wins.

The Verdict

Firestone—This is a good game! I'm not a big fan of dice-rollers, but the way you can manipulate them here makes this a dice-roller I actually enjoy!

Jeremiah—I enjoy a good dice roller, and this is a good dice roller. I love that there is much more than just dice-rolling going on here too!

Firestone—I used to think the stealing mechanism was too powerful. I might still think it is, but after some thoughtful back-and-forth email discussion with the designer, I'm coming around. I never thought it was enough o a problem to keep someone from playing.

Jeremiah—I never had a problem with it. I felt thematically it was perfect. Maybe stealing isn't the proper term. It's more of an "I made a better object than you did so mine got accepted by the king. Maybe you shouldn't produce such sub-standard wares and you wouldn't have to worry about this sort of thing happening, and no, you don't get a consolation prize for under performing!" mechanic. Or you could just say it's stealing.

Firestone—I can't really comment on components since what we played was a prototype version, but I LOVE the artwork I've seen so far on this. It's cool, colorful and evocative. I hope it reaches some stretch goals that allow them to produce some slick dice, too.

Jeremiah—Yeah, I'm pulling for the cool dice. I like dice. I own a lot of them, and the dice in the prototype were sort of boring and smaller than standard dice. The artwork we're seeing on the Kickstarter page really puts the game over the top. Having pretty pictures on a card doesn't make it play any better, but lets face it: We're a visual culture, and those sort of ascetics make a difference.

Jeremiah—I've played a handful of 2-player games now, and the game seems to benefit from multiple player interactions. It's still fun with only 2 , but it gets really fun with 3-4 players!

Firestone—Yeah, I think more is better on this one. Some guys in the group played 2-player, but they thought it wasn't as good as multiplayer—which they'd also both played.

Firestone Final Thoughts—My gaming group played this two times in a row the other night, and that almost never happens—even with published games, let alone a prototype. I play a lot of prototype and prerelease games, and this is one of the best I've played in a long time. I can say without hesitation: Put this on the table! Gamers! Nongamers! Youth groups! I think this would fit them all.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts —There's a lot to like about King's Forge! From solid well thought out mechanics, down to the little details with some cool geeky references. It's those little touches that make a big difference when you're sitting at the table. I've had a lot of fun with this one! The theme is cool, and completely friendly to any group of folks you'd want to play with! Without a doubt I recommend you put this on the table!

You can check out our video review below. And head over to the Kickstarter page to jump in on this one! Thanks for reading!


A Video Double-Take Review of King's Forge

kingsforgeWe get a lot of prototypes to review. Some of them are awesome. And some of them are the Nickelback of games. Today we turn our sights to the Kickstarter game King's Forge by Clever Mojo Games and Game Salute. How's that game? I'm glad you asked...


Thanks for watching! We hope this video gave you a good overview of the game. As you can tell, we liked it.

Kickstarter Weekly—August 1, 2013

Well it's Thursday and you know what that means... It's not yet Friday. But never fear because we're here with another installment of Kickstarter Weekly, the place where we make our recommendations and let you know what's a poppin' over on Kickstarter. Let's jump in, shall we?

BigArtKing's Forge - Clever Mojo Games

Go back this project! We have both played the prototype (and will be posting our written AND video Double-Take on it soon!). This dice-builder offers up lots of great decision making moments, a bit of a take that element, and lots of ways to tweak your dice rolls. It's super easy to learn, play and teach. A pledge of $39 gets you a copy of this game and it's money well spent! Check out the full campaign here!

betwixtA Duel Betwixt Us - Game Salute

This nifty little 2-player dueling card game takes card dueling into the realm of an old-timey gentlemen's duel. Loaded with lots of humor and jest, the one looks like a lot of fun! In just about 24 hours the campaign is over 60% funded, so you can bet there's going to be all kinds of stretch goaly goodness coming for this one! A $35 pledge gets you the game shipped to your door in the US and UK! We'll be interviewing the game's co-designer Laurence Honderick next week so stay tuned for that! You can check out the campaign here, and be sure to watch the entertaining and informative video on this one!

giant meeplesGiant Meeples - Gamelyn Game

Gamelyn Games founder Michael Coe has found a great niche with these awesome, sturdy, and just super-cool-to-look-at meeples. They were introduced to the gaming world through Dungeon Heroes, and since then Gamelyn has been releasing different sets of meeples for gamers to use, give to kids to play with, use in story telling, or display proudly. The latest installment in this line is a set of GIANT MEEPLES! These things look great, could be used as a set of book ends, or a centerpiece in your medieval dinner party, or... well you can decide. You can pledge $12 and get one, or $40 and get 5, and there are dozens of them to choose from! Check out the campaign right here!

Click-Clack Lumberjack - Mayday Games

ClickclackAlso known as Toc Toc Woodman 2.0. Click-Clack Lumberjack is a dexterity game that puts a dangerous weapon in your children's hands. Ok, it's a plastic axe, but to my children I'm sure it would be a ninja ax, or a bat-ax or something to wield in a quest to eradicate evil... Anyway, there's this plastic tree and you're trying to knock the bark off of it without knocking the wood off of it. Bark scores points, wood scores negative points. An interesting pledge level of $17 gets you the game shipped in a flat rate box and the game box is collapsed to make everything fit. If you want it uncollapsed you can pay an extra $5 and get it shipped that way. Check out the full campaign here!

dungeon attackDungeon Attack! - Attack Dice Games

Attack Dice, creators of the dice roller When Zombies Attack! are back at it with a dungeon themed dice-apalooza! Dungeon Attack! Looks like a game that takes a straight-forward dice roller and adds some depth and tweaks the scoring mechanism a little. I (Jeremiah) loved When Zombies Attack—it's a filler that comes out quite frequently with my group and is way better than Steve Jackson's Zombie Dice (which is basically a zombie-themed Farkle). This campaign is already funded and there are some sweet stretch goals in the future for backers! $20 gets you in on a copy of the game for this one and it looks well worth it if you're into rolling dice! Check out the full campaign here!

Thanks so much for reading! If you like what you see here we ask that you consider subscribing over on the right.  You can also find and interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

Kickstarter Weekly: Game Salute Special!

Well, like we said: Game Salute is busy powering a bunch of Kickstarter Campaigns, and bringing a bunch of games to market! So we thought we would dedicate an entire post to campaigns that wear the Game Salute brand, so here we go!

magnumopusMagnum Opus - Clever Mojo Games

We'll be reviewing this title here on TOG very soon. Magnum Opus is a deck-builder with a cool matrix of cards to research and select from! You can jump on board with this one for $35, which is a great value! But! If you go in for $200 you can also receive one of the 8 prototype copies that are being sent out to the reviewers. (Including the one sitting on Scott's shelf and the one sitting next to me (Jeremiah) right now!) How cool is that!? You can find the full details and lots of videos and such right here!

Chaos-alchemyChaos & Alchemy - Clay Crucible Games

There seems to be a lot of games delving into the realm of alchemy lately and we see another example of that here! The game is listed as a quick-playing card and dice game for 2-5 players, and seems to feature a fair amount of decisions on each players turn. You use dice to give the players actions (play cards, etc.). You can get in on this one for $25, and with plenty of time left they've already funded, so there should be some sweet stretch goals in the future for backers! You can check out the full campaign, right here!


Zoo FuZoo Fu - Closet Nerd Games

After a long day in the zoo, animals go full out in a samurai battle royal. This card battle game pits players against each other in an attempt to be zoo champion! When the deck runs out the player holding the most chi tokens is crowned Zoo Fu champion! A super inexpensive game to jump into at $15, and looks like a fun, light family game! They need a good boost to get to their funding goal on this one! You can check out the full campaign here!


kerflipKerFlip! 2nd Edition - Creative Foundry Games

KerFlip is a fun fast paced word game that we reviewed a few months ago. (Read that review here!) But wait...there's more, because with the help of Game Salute, Creative Foundry Games is upgrading KerFlip for a second edition! It's really quite simple: If you have the original version, for a $10 bill you can get a conversion pack, or if you back it for $25 you'll get the 2nd edition of the full game! The campaign is right here!

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Epic Death—A Preview

By Jeremiah “You only live twice: Once when you're born And once when you look death in the face.”  ― Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice

And thrice when you get brought back to life by a resurrect card...

epic death boxToday we're looking at a prototype of the card game Epic Death, from Waits in Graves; the game was successfully Kickstarted by Springboard—Game Salute's Kickstarter juggernaut.

Let's talk about how the game plays...

The Components

Cards... Lots of them.

20x Adventurer Cards—These are flavorful, but un-unique, otherwise—no one adventurer has any special abilities or stats.

57x Loot Cards—This is one of two ways you score points. Again there are no abilities or bonuses given through collecting these cards.

38x Fate Cards—These cards make up your player hand, and basically allow you to increase your chances of completing a quest, or decrease the chances of your opponents completing quests on their turns. Speaking of Quests...

40x Quest Cards—These are split into two types: Quests (ordinary run of the mill quests) and Epic Quests!

16 Six-Sided Dice—I had to use my own for the preview version but they say these are going to be epic in the final version!

The Setup

Each player selects five adventures—unless you're playing a 5-player game then you select four, because you know...math. Separate the Epic, and Regular Quest cards, placing the stack of Regular Quests on top of the Epic Quest cards; this makes the Quest deck. Then deal a line of 5 Quest cards out from the Quest deck.  Shuffle up the Loot cards and Fate cards separately to make the Loot and Fate decks, and then deal out 5 Fate cards to each player.

photo (26)The Gameplay

On a player's turn he or she selects a Quest from the lineup, and then players can play Fate cards on the active player's company, starting with Death/Resurrection cards and proceeding to "before dice are rolled" cards—before the active player rolls the dice—and then "after dice are rolled" cards—after the dice are...well I think you get it. Let's break those down a little bit:

Death/Resurrection cards—These cards are assigned to a specific adventurer; a Death card results in that adventurer being killed if the quest is failed. A Resurrection card will result in bringing a deceased adventurer back into the game if the Quest is successfully defeated.

Other Fate cards—The majority of Fate cards that are played before or after the dice are rolled either add or subtract the amount of dice rolled for the quest. Or force a player to re-roll after they've been rolled.

After the Fate cards have been played, the active player rolls the dice (starting with 10, and then +/- by the modifiers of the Fate cards). If they are victorious, they collect the reward, which typically consists of Loot cards and Fate cards. If they fail, then the Quest card is placed under one of the adventurers, exposing the bottom of the Quest card and the "Fail" points attributed to the card. If there is a Death card on an adventurer, that adventurer gains the "Fail" points and is killed (turned face down).

How do you defeat a Quest? Each Quest has a type and number of victories required to defeat it. A trivial victory is any die showing 4 and up, a mighty victory is 5 and up, and an exalted victory is a die showing 6. So a Quest requiring 4 mighty victories requires 4 of the 10 dice you're rolling to show a 5 or 6. Rewards and Fail points are scaled appropriately for the type of Quest and victories needed to defeat it.

Loot cards gained by defeating Quests are assigned to your adventurers by playing them under the adventurer cards showing the "Epic" score on the top of the Loot cards.

The Epic Quest Phase—Once you've gone through the regular quests the Epic Quests will populate the line up and will shake things up! Defeating an Epic Quest will still reward you with some Loot and Fate cards. But if a player fails an epic quest, they kill off a hero and gain the Epic score on the Quest card (placing it the same way you do a Loot card). Once an adventurer is killed off you can no longer place loot (points!) or quest cards (fail or points) on them.

End Game

Once one player's adventurers are all dead, the game is over, and the score is tallied. Players only count the scores of those adventurers who have met glorious, "epic," or maybe not-so-epic death in battle. Whoever has the most points wins.

My Thoughts

Components—While the copy I reviewed is only in the prototype stages, the artwork is mostly complete. From what I saw it's very well done in the cartoony fantasy style, and looks great. The flavor text is humorous and packed full of  great genre-crossing references!

Gameplay—I enjoyed the change-up halfway through the game—just when the turns seemed a little redundant, the Epic Quests come out and you find yourself actually trying to take dice away from your roll so you can kill off an adventurer and score a bunch of Epic points for your Epic Death! The potential (and I suppose the expectancy) for gang-up situations is huge in this game. Those seem to move the game along well though, so be prepared and bring your thick skin!

photo (25)Final Thoughts and Recommendations—Munchkin and Gloom had a baby and named it Epic Death. If you know those titles, and you enjoy those titles, then get on the Epic Death bandwagon. The theme is set in a Munchkin-ish comedic fantasy realm where everyone gangs up on everyone else, and the scoring mechanism (i.e. placing points on a character and killing them off to score them) is very reminiscent of Gloom. That being said there is some fun to be had with the randomness of the dice rolls and a good touch of strategy when it comes to deciding if you want to play a fate card on an opponent or keep it to help your chances.

Put It on the Table—If you enjoy a slap-sticky dice-roller with lots of ganging up and a big take-that factor. Just know that this is that kind of game, and if you're into that, you'll love Epic Death—it does that very well! Casual players will be able to grasp the game concepts pretty easily as well, and the flavor and geeky references in the game will hit folks on many levels.

Leave It on the Shelf —You might want to leave this one on the shelf for family game nights, or with a church or youth group. While all of the artwork is stylized and non-threatening, there are a lot of Necromancer, demon-ish type cards in there—what you would expect for a game called Epic Death—so you might want to have a good look at the cards to determine what settings are appropriate for the game. Younger players might have a tough time tracking the change of strategies midway through the game as well.

Overall: Put It on the Table!

We'd like to thank Game Salute for loaning Jeremiah a prototype of Epic Death, which in no way influenced the review of this game.

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