Good Evening Board Gamers and welcome to Lost Loot Games 2018,
A new year, a new adventure, and as you may have seen in our Games-o-Lution post from last week, this year is going to be jam packed with new content as we try and conquer our board gaming to do list. This week, we are kicking things off with our adventure into the world of Kickstarter. Now, I must warn you, that we at Lost Loot Games have never Kickstarted anything before. While we have ventured onto the Kickstarter website many a time, we have yet to commit to anything yet. Today will be the day!
To start, we are going to lay some ground rules for our purchase:
- Board game only - while there are many cool game related items we want to back (Dice Towers, miniatures, terrain, dice, etc.) today we are focused only on picked a new board game.
- No expansions - while there are likely some awesome expansions kicking around, we wanted to find something completely new to us.
- No party games - while party games can be great, they are a bit hard to play as two players. So we have limited ourselves to games that will get the most replay.
- No RPGs - while RPGs can be amazing we have yet to really dip our toes into that world. Mostly because we struggle to find people to play with, but who knows what this year will bring.
Now time to find a shiny new board game that is likely to arrive on our doorstep in the next year or so...
After logging on to Kickstarter we started by completing a search for all Table Top Games, and sorted by magic and then popularity - just to see what was out there. The answer, currently there are 14,293 projects listed and 116 live projects - so a lot to chose from. I personally found that browsing Kickstarter can be similar to walking into your first board game store - overwhelming, there are soo many options and it can be hard to know what you are going to like. So, how do you sort through all the mess and find a game that you want to back?
I would guess that everyone has a different method, and I would recommend if you are just starting out that you check out some of the amazing resources on the various message boards/ forums/ blogs. We, however, are going to take a little bit more risky approach. After searching through all the games currently available, I opened a new tab for any game that looked or sounded interesting and narrowed it down from there, one at a time. It should be noted, that any games that didn't seem like they were going to get the funding required was ignored, games that didn't ship to Canada were also ignored.
The fun part, after opening a million browser tabs we slowly investigated each game, checking out the player requirements, cool videos, sweet stretch goals, game mechanics, and game components. Games were then rated based on personal appeal - so just because we didn't love it doesn't mean that you shouldn't. Using this technique we narrowed that list of 116 live Kickstarters down to ten potential keepers with a couple honorable mentions:
- Dragon Watcher: The Card Game;
- Spirits of the Forest;
- Tokyo Series (Jidohanbaike, Metro, and Jutaku);
- Dwar7s: Winter;
- Heropath - Dragon Roar;
- Elinor: The Deserted Valley;
- Shoudo: The Scorched Earth Game;
- Operation Candy Bomber;
- Top Banana; and
- Zero Signal: Supply Run, a Quick and Easy Zombie Card Game.
**See below for what we thought about each of the different games in our top ten.**
Pony up the big bucks and get us a new board game. After a bit of research and some deliberation, we settled on the Dwar7: Winter the game and here is why:
We thought this game had a solid Kickstarter page, the graphics were helpful, the game explanation was clear, we also liked that there were demos available for the game (Note: this was likely because it was produced by a known game company (Vesuvius Media Ltd.) and it is a sequel to Dwar7: Fall). While we haven't played Dwar7: Fall, the mechanics of this game seem similar to other games that we have played and enjoy, using hand- building, worker placement, and resource management to draft new cards and move to new locations with tower defense element that limits the potential resource extraction but seems similar to Castle: Panic. While we thought the musical instrument placement seemed very random (why instruments), we love that it comes with miniatures. Other aspects we think we may enjoy about the game is that it is both co-op and not. Defeating monsters/ disasters is a group effort so that the town isn't destroyed but at the end of the day your dwarf must win on its own merit.
This game is likely the safe choice of the options out there but it seems like the best board for our buck. Disagree leave us a comment and let us know what you would have chosen out of our top ten.
Without further adieu our top ten and what we though of each:
Dragon Watcher: The Card Game:
Players: 2 - 5
Made by: Jessica Feinberg
- Really enjoyed the art work.
- Thought the stretch goals were great.
- Introduction video provided a nice introduction to the game components but didn't show anything about the game mechanics.
- Not much to the game at first glance, quick card game using set collection to score.
- Wish there was a game play video on the Kickstarter page.
$25 USD: Just the base game.
$64 USD: Game, play mat, stretch goals.
Spirits of the Forest:
Players: 1 -4
Made by: Gonzalo Aguirre Bisi
- Introduction video had great graphics but no information about the game, or game components.
- The game components looked great.
- Offered a money back guarantee.
- Game mechanisms include tile drafting and set collection.
- Metal coins for backers.
- Game is a revamp/ re-release.
- Liked there were demo videos to show game play and a downloadable rule book so you know what you are getting.
$12 Euros: basic game, metal tokens, stretch goals.
$ 30 Euros: deluxe game, metal tokens, and stretch goals.
Tokyo Series (Jidohanbaike, Metro, and Jutaku):
Made by: Jordan Draper
- This game is actually 3 different games with a bunch of different games inside each box.
- There are more games coming out in this series later next year, so if you like it there is potential to expand and play.
- Really cool dice tower/ bottle tower vending machine apparatus.
- Enjoyed that there were videos explaining and demoing the games, not sure that we would have understood the games without this.
- Some of the games look really neat.
- Too much going on for us.
$35 USD: Jidohabaike or Jutaku.
$45 USD: Metro
$99 USD: all three games.
Made by: Vesuvius Media Ltd.
- Introduction video was well done, animation was fun and it showed off the overall game.
- Miniatures are definitely a plus.
- Game has mechanisms similar to Castle: Panic/ Star Trek:Panic but also includes hand-building, resource management, etc.
- Musical instrument mechanic seems a little out of place/odd.
- If you like this game you can get the previous game and expansions with it.
$50 USD: Game, plus stretch goals and promo card
$110 USD: Game, plus stretch goals, play mat, and Dwar7: fall with expansions.
Heropath - Dragon Roar:
Players: 2-4 (add-on for 5-6 players)
Made by: BGD Board Game Distribution LLC
- Introduction video was helpful, animation was a little stiff but it showed off the overall game.
- Miniatures are definitely a plus.
- Game has a lot going on, very heavy Eurogame.
- The idea of a mystical land with dragons transporting via hot air balloon seems like a bad idea.
- A lot of board for your buck.
- Seems like a game that would do better with more players.
- Game looks way to big to play on any table we currently own.
- Looks beautiful.
- Potential for a lot of replay.
$80 USD: Game, plus two expansions.
Elinor. The Deserted Valley
Made by: Mikhail Shelkov
- Introduction video was amazing, there is so much detail in the world behind the board game, but no real talk about the board game.
- A lot going on in the universe, there are books, a camp you can go to, and an app.
- Game can be played two ways, one as a strategy game where you use 8 random characters and try and beat the other characters and one as a civilization building game where you play as a single race trying to beat the other races.
- Seems like a game that would be better with more players.
- The game doesn't live up to the story in the video for us.
$20 USD: Game only.
Shoudo: The Scorched Earth Game:
Made by: Houseplant Games
- Introduction video was helpful.
- Abstract strategy game.
- The idea of going back in time to Japan reminds us of TMNT 3.
- Liked that there were game demos.
- Combat mechanisms seem a little confusing.
- The board is cards which makes for more replay.
$40 USD: Game only.
Operation Candy Bomber
Made by: Cedar Fort Publishing and Media
- Interesting concept, liked that it was based on real events and has history built into the game.
- Game has a lot going on, very heavy Eurogame.
- Game was much to similar to other games that we own - Pandemic/ Forbidden Desert & Island. Similar mechanics.
- Didn't have much in the way of stretch goals.
- Game components look neat.
- Appears to be aimed at a younger or more family friendly audience.
$49 USD: Game, plus stretch goals.
Made by: Mike A Pratt
- Introduction video was a bit awkward but in a lovable way. We liked the humour very much, explained the game very well.
- Game seems like it could be strategic until you draw a single card and then the game is over, because of this mechanic you must really rely on luck to win the game. Even if you have a great strategy could pull the wrong card and lose.
- Great price.
$7 USD: Game, only.
Zero Signal: Supply Run, a Quick and Easy Zombie Card Game:
Made by: Erik Carl
- Introduction video was fun, but didn't help to explain the game at all.
- The cards seemed to be very similar to a standard playing card. Would have liked to have seen a little more originality, especially with a zombie theme.
- Thought it was a bit odd that the stretch goals haven't been play tested.
- Wish the game demo was a little less stiff.
$16 USD: the game, laminated peacekeeper ID card, stretch goals, and name and faction on the website.