Some interesting projects to look at this week. Lots of board games and video games, but only one that I’ve decided to back. Here’s what the week of June 12th through June 18th brought to the gaming world via Kickstarter.
Aik is a surreal, side-scrolling video game with a focus on non-linear story telling that shows rather than tells you how to play. You play a mandrake (plant creature?) which is discovering how to interact and grow with the world as you do. The art style is akin to a Monty Python paper-cutout animation that takes you off guard as you travel throughout this world where anything can happen. At around $9 USD, this game could be a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else.
This is a medieval fantasy romance visual novel with incredible art. It follows a studious wizard with no magical ability, whose journey shows that he might be more capable than he realized. Many if not all of the characters in Eldet are LGBT+ and people of color. A focus of this project is representation and diversity while eschewing trite plots that rehash marginalizing issues these individuals deal with on a daily basis. I am interested to see how well this project does, and also interested in seeing how it is received once it is finished. It is fantastic to see that it has already been pledged $11,127 USD out of its $7,000 USD goal with 28 days remaining. A copy of this game is only $12 USD, which is a steal for the beautiful art alone.
Go Eco is a simple card game of building food chains and disrupting your opponents’ attempts to do the same. It aims to bring awareness to the inter connectivity of our world and its inhabitants, while also providing fun, competitive game play. To the latter end, I believe it does its job with easy to understand rules and card layouts featuring gorgeous artwork to boot. The game is $30 USD which runs a little high for a card game, but might be worth it with what looks to be a high production value.
A cooperative board game where the players outfit recruitable heroes to save their town from a monstrous enemy. Each player takes the role of a non-heroic townsperson who uses their craft (blacksmithing, breeding, storytelling) to help their hero defend their town. The premise is unique, as the player is usually the hero, and the game uses an innovative system of clear cards to “equip” the recruited heroes with armor or weapons by overlaying the clear cards. Because it is unlike many card games I see, I have added it to this list. However, I feel the art is lacking and the replayability is small for the nearly $68 USD (after shipping) price point to justify backing at this pledge level.
Lairs is my pick of the week for interesting gameplay. In this game, you create a lair to trick and confound your opponents, and test your skills by exploring theirs as well. Each player uses their starting hand of cards to bid on different rooms and corridors for their lair. The catch is that you have to use the bonuses of your remaining cards to make it through your opponent’s lairs, so you have to balance your lair’s power and your abilities. This game has impressive art and the mechanics offer an interesting twist on competitive strategy. At $35 USD after shipping, this game is affordable and seems well worth the price.
If any of these projects pique your interest, I highly recommend checking them out for yourself. Even backing a project at a $1 level helps to encourage the creators to continue their dream, and gets them that much closer to their goal.
*=Projects that I have backed