Kickstarter Weekly--March 20, 2015

Kickstarter Weekly--March 20, 2015

Holy moly! There's a ton going on over on Kickstarter RIGHT NOW, so let's jump in!

Featured Campaign!

Best Treehouse Ever - Green Couch Games

Green Couch Games, led by Jason Kotarski came storming onto the scene with Fidelitas! Now he's back with Best Treehouse Ever designed by Scott Almes--of Tiny Epic fame. Best Treehouse Ever is a light drafting game that's great for kids, and families. We previewed it and think you're gonna love it!

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Kickstarter Weekly - October 2, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - October 2, 2014

Wait... October? This year is flying by very quickly, but the good news is that means there are a lot of great campaigns that are finally hitting doorsteps everywhere. Now let's talk about some more great campaigns that we're looking forward to seeing on shelves soon!

Featured Campaign-

Dead Drop - Crash Games

This micro game comes from our good friend Jason Kotarski, and is the latest in the Pub Game Series from Crash Games. Dead Drop is a game of deduction and deception. The game features just 13 cards, as players play as spies looking to pick up the "Dead Drop" by deducing and correctly guessing which card is the drop. This is an inexpensive game to get in on, and we'll be reviewing it very soon--it's a LOT of fun! We recommend you back it!

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Theology of Games Went to Origins!--Part 1

Theology of Games Went to Origins!--Part 1

Last week central Ohio saw thousands of gamers descend upon its convention center: Origins Game Fair once again brought the latest and greatest in new games, and gaming experiences! I (Jeremiah) was able to grab the good ol' video camera and head down for a fast and furious trip to Origins last Friday. Here's a look back at what I saw, and who I got a chance to catch up with!

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Kickstarter Weekly--April 4, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly--April 4, 2014

Hey everyone! We have some exciting news for you all! But we can't tell you just yet! Such a let down, right? Anyway, we're going to jump in with this week's Kickstarter Weekly, and there's some cool stuff to check out from some of our favorite publishers and designers, so let's get crackin'!

Featured Campaign!

Storyteller Cards: Fantasy - Jason Tagmire

Our good friend Jason Tagmire is back with another deck of Storyteller cards. Storyteller cards serve as a regular deck of playing cards, a creative tool, and a way to teach creativity to young gamers - think story dice. Along with the cards, your pledge will score you the Storyteller Manual--in PDF form, or as an add-on--that will have games designed by some fantastic designers specifically for the deck of cards you'll be getting. The first game announced is Divvy In The Dungeon by the one and only Jason Kotarski, you may know him as the guy who designed a TOG favorite The Great Heartland Hauling Co. And who has a few more games hitting the market this year with Crash Games! With more to come, this campaign is super inexpensive to get into and packs a lot of potential; we think you should jump on board!

The campaign ends on April 24, and a pledge of $10 will get you a deck of your own! You can find all of the details right here!

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We Interview Crash Games' Patrick Nickell, and Designer Jason Kotarski, About their New Games

cg_logoToday we’re joined by two gentlemen who are, in their own ways, shaping the face of indie gaming as we know it today. Patrick Nickell, founder, el presidente, and Grand Poobah of Crash Games. And Jason Kotarski, designer of last year’s Great Heartland Hauling Co., which made our top 10 games of 2013 list.

Patrick, Jason, thanks for joining us today!

Before we go much further Patrick can you give us a quick recap of 2013 for Crash Games?

Patrick: It was a busy year for Crash Game in 2013. The best way for people to see what we accomplished is to check out our 2014 State of Crash Games at

Some of the highlights include: 1. Shipped out The Lost Dutchman to backers worldwide

2. Kickstarted Paradise Fallen and shipped it out to backers worldwide.

3. Kickstarted Council of Verona and shipped it out to backers worldwide.

4. Kickstarted a true, pay-what-you-want campaign for Where Art Thou, Romeo? and shipped it out to backers worldwide.

5. Attended six conventions including Spiel in Essen Germany.

What was the biggest surprise of the year for you?

P: Council of Verona, and how amazing and fast the project came together. I had a great game designer in Michael Eskue, a phenomenally talented artist in Adam McIver, and my awesome graphic designer, Darrell Louder, was able to wrangle everything together. And my manufacturer Panda Games did a good job of making things happen in a very short amount of time.

Jason, since the release of Heartland Hauling, you haven’t been resting on your laurels--you’ve been working away, designing. How many designs have you completed since then, and how many are you working on currently?

Jason: Since Heartland came out I caught the bug. That was the first game I ever designed, but since then I’ve been working on something like 8-10 more. I published a game called FrogFlip with Sprocket Games, and another game is coming this spring from White Goblin Games, as well as another half dozen that are in varying degrees of development. It’s a fun space to create in. An idea pops up and I know pretty quickly whether or not I have to work on it. Then, I get to it until I get stuck and move on to something else until I get unstuck.

Now, you guys have known each other for some time, but you most recently sat down and talked business at Unpub 4. And there’s some big news that came about from those tell!

P: I have been a big fan of Jason’s ever since hearing his story back when he first met up with Dice Hate Me Games and recorded a “State of Games” episode on Chris’ podcast. I backed Great Heartland Hauling on Kickstarter and have been enjoying playing it to this day. Jason and I always chatted at various conventions and I felt we had a really good vibe going. When we met up the evening before the official kick-off of UnPub4 I had the opportunity to play Dead Drop and I really enjoyed playing it. Later in the weekend I heard all the commotion inside the venue and went over to discover that it was coming from another of Jason’s games, this time it was Sunset Shuffle. After playing the game I knew that it fit a very specific type of game I was looking to add to the Crash Games catalog--not to mention IT WAS A BLAST! I was very happy to walk away from UnPub4 having signed both Dead Drop and Sunset Shuffle, which I am now calling Sunset Showdown.

This is really cool news! First, let’s talk a little bit about Dead Drop. Jason can you tell us a little bit about the game, and how it plays? And Patrick, what drew you to the game and made you decide to publish it?

alias_tv_showJ: I guess Dead Drop started as a way to explore the microgame space a bit. I had a lot of fun making FrogFlip with my daughter, which consists of just 12 cards, and wanted to dig in a little deeper and out of my comfort zone. The idea hit me as I was watching the Alias television series this past year with my wife. In the show, the secret agents were always leaving sensitive information for each other in public locations. It was a way to pass on key information while keeping the agents’ identities a secret. So from there I worked on the idea that various organizations were racing to be the first ones to discover this secret piece of information that had been hidden. At its heart it’s a simple game of deduction and maneuvering, with some elements that make memory really important.

In the game there is a secret card, numbered 0-5, dealt face-down to the middle of the table. This is the “drop.” Then there are a number of cards that are dealt face-up to the “cache” as shared information, and the rest of the cards are dealt evenly among all the players. On a player's turn they can swap a card with another player's, swap a card with the cache, or add two cards together from their hand to demand that another player tells them whether or not they have a card equal to that sum, or to guess the card that’s in the “drop.” It’s a light deduction game but the twist is really in the maneuvering of the cards. You can’t just guess the card that's in the drop and say it out loud. You have to have two cards in your hand that add up to the number on the hidden card. I’m terrible at memory and deduction but it’s still fun for me to play and to watch others have these huge “a-ha” moments.

P: I have always been a big fan of games that have a little footprint. It just isn’t realistic to drag your copy of Railways of the World to play with you at Denny’s. When I decided to publish Council of Verona I started dreaming about an entire series of small games that people could take with them anywhere and play in a very small space. This dream resulted in the Pub Series and Dead Drop is an amazing fit into the Pub Series. Dead Drop at its core is a deduction game, which is one of my favorite mechanisms. I really enjoyed several of the mechanisms in the game and with a small amount of cards and tokens it was difficult to say no to.

Sunset_in_Zadar_2Okay, now let’s do the same thing for Sunset Showdown! Aaaannd go!

P: Well I first heard people playing the game while I was having a discussion with another publisher. Once that talk was over I went over to see Jason teaching the game, and my nephew Spencer and I got in on the next game. I had the most fun that I had the entire show playing it, and I've been looking for a game like Sunset for quite awhile now.

J: The response to Sunset Showdown at Unpub4 was amazing. We made such a ruckus with that game. This one is a real-time dice game where players each have six dice that represent their family members who are spending a week trying to get the best spot on the beach to witness the sunset each night. Everyone rolls their dice trying to get pairs that match the three open beach spots for the round. But there is a Life Guard die that comes into play that slows folks down and gets passed around hot-potato-style. It’s a really simple, fast game that just keeps bringing great experiences out with whatever group I’ve tried it with. Think of the fun, intensity, and ease of entry of Spoons or Dutch Blitz, but with dice and some nice twists.

Will either of these games be an addition to the Pub Series for Crash Games?

P: Dead Drop will be a Pub Series game, but Sunset will not.

We’re assuming these will be crowd-funded through Kickstarter. Do you have a timetable for when we’ll see them hit our favorite Internet crowd-funding site?

P: Right now there isn’t a specific time table for either game but I would really like to try and have Sunset on Kickstarter this summer. Crash Games is publishing 8 games this year and it would be foolish for me to try and pinpoint when each one is going up on Kickstarter since there are so many parameters outside of my control.

So, what was your favorite game of 2013 that neither of you were involved in?

P: Machi Koro, which I tried to license and did not get. I also really enjoyed Keyflower and Trains.

J: That’s tough. I love Daniel Solis’ Belle of the Ball, which isn’t out yet, but I got to play the prototype a bunch at GenCon last year. And I’m pretty into Guildhall and Rampage, too.

The Lightning Round! Answer these questions with one word… or less!??

Favorite game you’ve backed on Kickstarter?

P: This is going to sound horribly biased, but my favorite game that I’ve backed is also the game that I play the most: Great Heartland Hauling Company.

J: Good answer, Patrick! I’ll say CoinAge. It’s just ridiculous.

Favorite Winter Olympic Sport?

P: Speed Skating, Luge and Bobsled. I really like too many.

J: Snowboarding

rogueFavorite X-Man? (Which could be an X-Woman…)

P: Rogue

J: Wolverine

Favorite YouTube video?

P: “Biggest Zit Ever”

J: “Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009”

The movie Groundhog Day… Love it or hate it?

P: Love it and I don’t watch it enough. We better get going if we’re going to stay ahead of the weather.

J: Never made it all the way through. I’m sorry.

2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Stocking Stuffers

coupcoverThis section of of our Holiday Gift Guide is for small games that can fit inside a stocking. Most of them fall into the "filler" category, but some of them have deep gameplay that belies their simple packaging.

HeartlandThe Great Heartland Hauling Company—Breaker, Breaker! Welcome to America’s heartland. It’s time to grab your trucker hat and hit the open road. In The Great Heartland Hauling Co., players will travel the heartland picking up cargo and selling it for profit. Clever design and great thematic gameplay! It's between printings right now, but you can preorder from the Dice Hate Me Games Web site.

MSRP: $20

Ages: Box say 8 and up, but we've both played this with younger kids.


ThrowdownCoverMaximum Throwdown—In Jason Tagmire's card-flinging free-for-all players choose a team (deck of cards). Then they start throwing down... Literally. Each card has special icons that either score points or give special powers to the player who threw them, but if someone covers your cards you lose those powers and points! A fun and unique card game for all!

MSRP: $19.99 (Find it online)

Ages: The box says 12 and up, but that seems way high. Should be fine with 8-year-olds and up.

qwixxdicetowerQwixx—This is a wonderful, fast, easy-to-explain dice game that's completely portable. It's a great filler, and would definitely work with nongamers. We've even played with my 5-year-old. Don't hesitate to pick this up.

MSRP: $11.95

Ages: 8 and up, though younger should work fine with just a little coaching.


coupcoverCoup—Coup just came out in a retail release. And you should buy it. There's so much bluffing in this game. So much intrigue. So much awesomeness. The actor Wil Wheaton even encouraged readers of his blog to read MY review of the game.

MSRP: $14.99 (Find it online)

Ages: 10 and up.


HanabiHanabi—This is on my (Firestone) short list for Game of the Year; it would easily fit on the Gamers' Game list, but is here based on size. You have a hand of cards that you only point away from you. The other players are trying to give you clues about your hand, while trying to figure out clues about their own. And the whole point is to lay down cards in the various colors, in numerical order. It's fantastic.

MSRP: $10.95 (Find it online)

Ages: 8 and up


veronaCouncil of Verona—The first title in Crash Games' Pub Series, a series of games that can be played anywhere. Council of Verona packs lots of game play into a tiny box. It features a good deal of bluffing and intrigue. And fits nicely into any gamer's stocking!

MSRP: $14.99 (Find it online)

Ages: 13 and up

duke expansionThe Duke: Robert E. Howard Expansion Pack

If you're gamer doesn't have The Duke, you should seriously go buy them a copy... Like right now. And what would be a better addition to that game, and a perfect stocking stuffer than a sweet four tile expansion pack featuring the legendary characters from the work of Robert E. Howard!? That's right you can bring Kull, Soloman Kane, and even Conan the Barbarian to fight along side your Duke and hack and slash your way to victory!

MSRP: $9.95 (Find it online)

Ages: 13 and up

Review: (of the Duke)

12 days12 Days

A card game that has an obvious holiday theme, so it seems obligatory that we should add it to the list of  games that should be stuck in stockings! 12 Days was also JUST featured on the latest episode TableTop featuring geek hero Wil Wheaton, if you want to see it being played, click here (Just be aware they use a lot of cuss words -that are mostly bleeped out- on the show)

MSRP: $15.95 (Find it online)

Ages: 8 and up

Stay tuned for our final entry: The Gamers' Games! Thanks for reading!

Kickstarter Weekly—July 17, 2013

Here we go with another installment of Kickstarter Weekly, we've got lots to talk about so let's give in!

Currently Running!

frog flipFrog Flip - Sprocket Games

We gave you a sneak peek at this campaign last week, and the mini game designed by Jason and Claire Kotarski funded within the first 12 hours of the campaign—coincidence? Probably. They're looking to knock over some stretch goals, which will only add to the value of your pledge. Check out our review of the game here. The game costs you a pledge of $14; you can check out the campaign right here.

pigpenPigPen - Island Officials

Pigpen is a take-that, family strategy card game for 2-4 players. Players will take turns trying to build their pens, gather pigs within them, and also do what they can to destroy their opponents' pens! Designed by Kevin Kulp, and developed by (friend of the blog) Jason Tagmire, this one looks like another fun family game we are sure to enjoy! Stay tuned for our Double-Take Review of this soon! But in the meantime check out the campaign, and consider placing a $20 pledge to grab a copy of this one.

incredibrawlIncredibrawl - Vision 3 Games

Incredibrawl is subtitled "A chaotic, casual card game," and that is exactly what you'll get with a copy of the game (which is just a pledge of $25!). The game is very well suited for family play or casual play. We just reviewed this game here. They are two-thirds funded with 23 days to go (the campaign ends on Aug. 10, 2013). You can find the campaign here.

casual gamerCasual Gamer Magazine Year 2

Casual Gamer has become a strong voice in the casual gaming industry, and they've launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their second year. You can get a PDF subscription for $15 and a print-and-PDF subscription for $25. Check out the full campaign here.

nanobotNanoBot Battle Arena - Derpy Games

A fast-paced tile-placement/card game set in the epic battle arena of a petri dish. NanoBot Battle Arena claims to have a one-game (10-15 minute) learning curve and is for 2-4 players. You can take a look at the campaign here, and a pledge of $25 gets you a copy of the game!

This is just cool!

D PlainDarkling Plain: An Augmented Reality Miniatures Board Game - Nocturnal Media

Okay, Just watch the video. For $55 you get the full game board, AR app, and some army cards. They have a very high goal to get the game to market, but the game looks pretty well thought out and the AR just looks cool! You can check it out here.

Thanks so much for reading, please don't forget to take our reader polls, and don't forget to subscribe this week for your chance to win a free copy of Boss Monster! And as always look for us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

Kickstarter Weekly—July 11, 2013

Hey! Kickstarter Weekly is back! And boy is there a ton of stuff going on in Kickstarter Land, so let's get started! vivajavaVivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game - Dice Hate Me Games

The follow up to Dice Hate Me's coffee game, the dice game appears to be more than just a dice version of the original VivaJava, but introduces new game play themes and concepts. The campaign funded super fast and they've already knocked down a couple stretch goals, with plenty of time left! $30 gets you the game and any stretch goals as well! You can check it out here! You can also check out our interview with designer TC Petty III right here!

the agentsThe Agents - by Saar Shai

The Agents is a card game based around a series of characters who are all decommissioned secret agents who have been reactivated. The game play invovles playing agent cards and choosing to either score points, or use their ability—the catch is that whichever you choose, the other effect works in favor of your opponent. We'll be getting the latest prototype of this game and let you know our full thoughts very, very soon! Check out the campaign here; it just launched and you can get in on the early bird deal, which scores you the game for $15!

ancient thingsAncient Terrible Things - Pleasant Company Games

Game Salute is powering another Kickstarter Campaign, and they're doing it very well (as usual)! Ancient Terrible Things is a dice roller with some meat on its bones. A good level of resource management adds some nifty decision making elements to the game. Check out Jeremiah's video preview of the game here. You can check out the campaign here, it's been funded and they've also hit several stretch goals. A pledge of $45 will score you a copy of this fun dice-roller!

Coming Soon!

frog flipFrog Flip - Sprocket Games

Jason Kotarski has designed a mini game, along with his daughter Claire, that plays in just a few minutes. We've reviewed the game, and it's a great kids game! The campaign doesn't begin until tomorrow (Friday, July 12) but you can get a sneak peek ahead of time, right here!


photo (11)Princes of the Dragon Thrones - Clever Mojo Games

We're super excited for Clever Mojo, who just brought this one in under the wire! This is yet another successful campaign by Game Salute. This game has been a long time in the works, and we're glad to see that it will make it to the marketplace soon! Jeremiah was fortunate enough to play one of the prototypes, you can read his full review here. Want more Dragon Throne goodness? Check out our interview with Fred and David Mackenzie here!

Council of Verona - Crash Games

The first in Crash Games' Pub Series of games, that feature small games with big game play! The campaign funded at 303% hitting over $27k! That unlocked what Patrick says is the most exciting stretch goal - a 5th-player expansion! We haven't played this yet (unreal!) but we LOVE the idea of the game, and see a smash hit coming to market with this game's arrival! Congrats Crash!


Thanks so much for reading, as we continue our 1-year Blogiversary! Don't forget to subscribe to the blog over on the right, and you can win a copy of Clever Mojo's game Sunrise City! And look for us wherever social media is happening, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

We Have a Winner—Blogiversary Giveaway #1

HeartlandDid we say 7 ET? We meant 8... The response to our contest has been great so far! We appreciate you joining the crew. Our first giveaway was graciously donated by Jason Kotarski, designer of The Great Heartland Hauling Company, and all-around super-nice guy! So who won? Read on...

First, I went to, entered the number parameters for our followers, and it chose random #14. I went from oldest followers to newest, and #14 is Eric Nisly! Feel free to offer him congrats and grumbles... But worry not! We've got more giveaways planned for the month. All you have to do is subscribe via email over on the right. Thanks again, and have a great weekend!

Don’t forget you can find us all sorts of places: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!!