Monday, February 6, 2012

Kickstart The Week: Kickstarter Board Game Night!

Saturday night we played 3 games that originated on Kickstarter, 2 of which are still going strong.

We started out with what we thought would be a light game of a print-and-play version of For The Win, then jumped right into a game of last year's hugely successful Dice Hate Me game Carnival, and then closed the night by destroying each others crops in our pre-release version of Farmageddon.

Click through the jump for the full recap:

With about 40 hours left of it's Kickstarter campaign, For The Win has definitely accomplished one major thing… it has people talking about it. Whether it's an online review of the print-and-play version (nice touch!) or it's people praising/complaining about Tasty Minstrel's Kickstarter strategy of basically giving the game away for free, but not giving away twice as much for free, this game has been a huge topic of discussion over the past two weeks. It's just under $25,000 and at this rate, should hit that mark before the campaign ends.

I've played this game twice before, <a href="">but both times it was over a webcam</a>… so it wasn't the exact same experience as you would get playing in person. Over the internet you not only had to focus on taking your turns, but there was also the challenge of taking your opponents turns and paying enough attention to everything just to make sure the process works.

In person, I was able to forget about all of that. Did it make it less of a brain burner? Just a little. But this game is a serious thinker. You can take up to two actions (sometimes 3 if you're slick) during your turn, and there are 5 options for each of those turns. Multiply that times the pieces you have on the board, and one of those actions has 5 different choices, etc..

So there are a LOT of options, and determine which is best can be quite a challenge. It's definitely a good thing if you like that kind of game (which I do), but it's going to take lots and lots of sessions for me to really get a hang on my play style and strategy, and with every opponent this will vary so much. Here's hoping for an eventual iOS version so I can get lots of games in without the need for a human opponent.

For The Win on Kickstarter (ends February 8 at 12AM)

I sadly missed Dice Hate Me's Carnival when it was on Kickstarter (I had no money for most of 2011), but thanks to The Compleat Strategist's awesome game selection, I was able to pick up a copy at retail. Just as I opened the box, I was able to see the quality of the work involved. The graphic design is superb. A tiny but wonderfully executed detail example: The flags with white tips are removed in 2-3 player games. No need for long rules on which cards to remove, and no need for additional iconography. The rest of the package is really nice too.

The game is quick, and fun. You can push your luck with the die rolls, and use tickets to modify the dice in your favor. Lots of stealing from opponents too. I lost pretty badly, but it was a good time, so it didn't even matter.

I really regret not picking this one up on Kickstarter. The extras were real nice (sweet dice, cool wild cards, and even a mini dice game), and I can see this game coming to the table a lot in my house. Looking forward to what a 3 or 4 player game is like.

Carnival is now available at Game Salute.

January 15th was my luckiest day in years. I won two big things that day, and one was a pre-release copy of Farmageddon. It's a little different than the final game, but the form is all there. 5th Street Games and designer Grant Rodiek's Kickstarter campaign is just about a week in, and well on it's way to a success.

We played with two players, so my first impression may vary (as the rules vary just slightly), but it was a quick fun planting / screwing with your neighbor's plants game. At some points you even have to help your neighbor, but it's only because you are forced to. You draw quite a bit of cards each turn, and use a lot of them as well, but it still happens very quickly. The game was over before we knew it, and I destroyed my opponent. :)

Even though I destroyed him, this game still has a very family friendly feel to it. The card art is really nice and enjoyable, and the game is quick to learn. I'm really looking forward to the additional cards that were revealed as an overfunding goal on Kickstarter. I can see them changing the game up quite a bit. This game has so much room for growth beyond the solid initial system.

Farmageddon on Kickstarter (ends March 4 at 10:01AM)

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