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W. Eric Martin
• New games fly on and off the shelves with barely a pause these days, with any game older than a few months seemingly past its sell-by date, but that's simply because we BGGers are in our own bubble of game releases apart from the rest of the world. (I plan to post an overview video of a 2014 release soon, and I almost feel like I have to apologize for doing so.) Most people don't know anything about most of the games covered in this blog and elsewhere on the site, and they're still discovering fresh "new" games like Ticket to Ride and Dominion that are indeed fresh and new when you haven't played anything like them previously.
Another old-timer that's still making the rounds on retail shelves is Kill Doctor Lucky from James Ernest, which is returning in a 19.5th anniversary edition from Cheapass Games with new art, updated rules, and extra bits and variant rules dropped into the game via stretch goals. Hard to believe that old guy is still kicking along some days, but he has a lot of supporters who don't want to see him die. (KS link)
• Speaking of gamey old-timers that still get played, Australian publisher Grail Games is releasing a new edition of Reiner Knizia's Circus Flohcati with fantastic new art and design by Heiko Günther. I recently brought Circus Flohcati off the shelf to introduce to new gamers from a Meetup group and rediscovered what a great press-your-luck set collection card game it is. (KS link)
Sample cards from Grail Games' Circus Flohcati
• Dropfleet Commander is an orbital space combat game from Andy Chambers, David J. Lewis, and Hawk Wargames that has already funded multiple times over on Kickstarter (KS link), while Fleet Commander from Elwin Charpentier, Henri Redici, and Capsicum Games is an orbital space combat game from 2014 that plans to launch a funding campaign on KS for Fleet Commander: Genesis and two new expansions in November 2015. Yikes, not a situation that I would want to be in as a publisher!
• To add to the confusion, Constantine Kevorque and Vesuvius Media are trying to fund Centauri Saga, a science-fiction 4X game that includes space combat! Thankfully I have zero interest in such games and don't need to puzzle out which one (or more) might best suit my tastes. I'll be in trouble, though, if trick-taking games ever start including miniatures... (KS link)
• John Wrot!'s previous release, The King's Armory, was an involved co-op defense board game that could take a couple of hours to play. His next title — A.D.A.P.T. from his Gate Keeper Games — is the mirror image of that earlier one, a family-friendly card game in which players use experience points to upgrade their guppy and become the sole Master Fish in the ocean (thereby dying off and eliminating the species afterward due to the lack of mating partners). (KS link)
• David Lindgren's The Society of Eccentric Inventors from Mono Opti Games has you doing what you'd expect to be doing with that title: Building awesome inventions. (KS link)
• Wolf & Hound from Ninja Star Games is a new version of Tamamooool: Defend the Eggs from Japanese designer Fukutarou, a game in which two pairs of players compete to protect their flock of sheep from wolf attacks. Fukutarou's Familiar's Trouble, a co-op semi-trick-taking game, is also available through this campaign. (KS link)
• Hunters: Enter the Darkness is a manga-style battle-on-the-board game from Chris Peach and the awkward to say Kid Loves Tiger Games, with players earning money in game to upgrade characters with new equipment and skills. (KS link)
• Following the release of Raid & Trade at Spiel 2015, MAGE Company is aiming to release Raid & Trade: War on the Streets in 2016, with this expansion consisting of new characters, tiles, scenarios, and play modes. (KS link)
• Brass Empire from Mike Gnade is a steampunk-themed deck-building game with two- and four-player versions of the game being available, along with solitaire rules. (KS link)
• Sharon Katz's self-published Elementos is an RPS-style 2p game with double-sided element pieces in which you want to advance your wand to the opponent's edge of the game board. (KS link)
• Peter Höfer's KONTER is a two-player dice-based handball game from Juhu-Spiele that's in the feedback stage on Startnext prior to launching in mid-November 2015. (Startnext link)
• Comrades and Patriots combines two separate games from Eugene Shenderov and This and That Games — Most Glorious Comrade and Most Incorruptible Patriot — and I bow in appreciation of the winky silliness in those names. The games are of the draw-one-play-one variety with players trying to be the first to acquire ten million supporters, and they can be played independently or combined. (KS link)
• Be Legend: Ragnarok is a "programming combat" game based on Norse mythology from Mark Laufer. (KS link)
• The Universe combines disc-, marble- and die-flicking into a competition to claim planets. You might now have know that the universe did such a thing, but now you do. (KS link)
• The most bizarrely specific title on Kickstarter right now is probably Mussel Madness in the Great Lakes from Michael Timm. (KS link) A game summary:
In real life, invasive mussels have dramatically transformed how the Great Lakes function in just a few years. But because most of us on land don't see these changes, they too often remain invisible to the public and the story isn't communicated. As with many environmental/economic problems, it's difficult to understand the impacts, let alone care about the losses, much less band together to take action to make a difference...
Mussel Madness makes those invisible impacts not only visible but also tangible in the form of fuzz-ball Phytos, surrogates for phytoplankton in the lakes.
Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM