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Crowdfunding Round-up: Pyramid-Wielding Dictators Raid the Chthonic Rails, Bound for the South Pole

W. Eric Martin
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• At NY Toy Fair 2016 in February, I ran into designer Andrew Looney, who was practically glowing while talking about Pyramid Arcade, a collection of 22 pyramid-based games created over the past two decades. Looney views this collection as the culmination of his design career, the thing he wants to be known for a century down the road when we're all collecting dust and our progeny can't stop fiddling with their neckjacks when playing tabletop games.

I caught up with Looney again at GAMA Trade Show 2016, and we caught his enthusiasm on video ahead of the Looney Labs launch of the Pyramid Arcade Kickstarter, the first second in the company's history and something they've undertaken because this project is bigger than anything it's released in the past. (KS link).




 
Action Phase Games has been riding Kickstarter like a Wild West superstar, jumping from one project to the next with nary a break in between. Its latest project is a monster compared to the string of small box releases before it, with Aeon's End being a co-op deck-builder from Kevin Riley in which players must defend the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. (KS link)

• The Thunder Alley: Crew Chief Expansion from Richard Launius adds many new options (crew chief cards, star drivers, season play) to Jeff and Carla Horger's Thunder Alley, and it's being released by the Horger's Nothing Now Games, with permission from original publisher GMT Games. (KS link)

• Just as the obscure Japanese release TimeBomb transformed to Don't Mess with Cthulhu, the equally obscure Japanese release Terrible Monster from Shun and Studio GG has transformed to, um, Terrible Monster. Okay, the name hasn't changed in this tiny two-player battle game from Sweet Lemon Publishing, but the art has, with the cute line drawings being replaced with an indie U.S. comic style. (KS link)

Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division are working together on Rail Raiders Infinite, a sci-fi western board game from David Freeman in which players try to loot a train that unsurprisingly for a SPM release features chibi-style art and miniatures. I'm not sure where infinity enters the picture except perhaps in the optimism expressed over the possible number of backers. (KS link)

The Vampire, the Elf and the Cthulhu from Luca Ricci and Giochix.it fulfills the Cthulhu portion of this c.f. post, but in this game players deal with the Great Old One and other fantasy elements in an abstract way as they represent writers who through card play are trying to complete a novel. (KS link, Giochistarter link)

• Lovecraft's creations also pop up in NecronomiCards, Andy Hunt's self-published card game that has players putting runes into sets in order to cast summon spells and unleash special effects upon an entirely suspecting tableful of opponents. (KS link)

Pleasant Company Games has adopted an understandably harsh look for Snowblind, a dice-based press-your-luck and risk management game from Simon McGregor, Simmy Peerutin, and Rob van Zyl that has players competing to get their expedition to the South Pole first. (KS link)

• A race of a different sort takes place in Revenge of the Dictators from Black Box Adventures and designers Damoiseaux, Latten, and Manzhelevska, with the player-dictators racing across the U.S. to reach Washington DC first. They need to cooperate along the way to disarm the country's nuclear facilities (and thereby protect their homelands), but dictators don't have the best reputation for working well with others. (KS link)

Zephyr: Winds of Change from designers Aaron Kluck and Jon Mietling and publisher Portal Dragon features transparent crew cards that combine with role cards to create different combinations of powers that players then use to create and upgrade airships. (KS link)

• Designer Kris Gould of Wattsalpoag Games has a new set of five expansions — hotel cards, guest markers, jumbo jets, and more — for his 2008 title Jet Set in Jet Set: Jumbo Jets – Expansion Set 2. (KS link)

• Corné van Moorsel's Fit the Word! from his own company Cwali is a different take on the "fill in the blank" gameplay seen in Cards Against Humanity and its many spinoffs. In this game, each player receives their own sentence, secretly chooses a word/phrase card to fill the blank, then mixes up those cards with everyone else's before trying to guess who has created which combinations. (KS link)

• In Robin David's Sub Rosa: Spies for Hire from Uncanny Cardboard, players bid for control of the spies in question or use their bid tokens to activate the powers of those spies, which might mix up those aforementioned bids. (KS link)

Thrashing Dice: Assassin Edition from Tailor Games is a revised version of Biela and Matusik's Thrash'n Roll from 2015, with this version now supporting both solitaire play and band battles with up to five players. (Spieleschmiede link)

• I'm not sure what to make of Rodger Deering's Dungeon Crusade - Book I: Genesis of Evil other than to say it looks like the work of someone who has been focused on nothing else for the past decade. (KS link)

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
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