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Crowdfunding Round-up: A License to Print Money and Rob Banks

Dustin Schwartz
United States
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Get your slimy, webbed phalanges off ma boots!
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Board Game: Perfect Crime
• In crime fiction, heists tend to either be executed perfectly or end disastrously. In Perfect Crime, a Henry Jasper design by way of Grublin Games Publishing, the players are fighting for one of those two outcomes. Some players will be Charlie Croker types with a penchant for theft while others represent the bank’s security team. If you don’t like asymmetrical play or just don’t have any lawful good types in your group, you can all team up together as the robbers. Whoever said crime doesn’t pay? (KS link)

8th Summit is continuing a recent history of collaboration with board gaming’s Great Old One himself, Richard Launius. This two-fer project is Launius as you’ve seldom seen him before: no tentacles in sight, and only one of the two games contains dice. The common thread is that, like most of 8th Summit’s catalog, these are games where “adventure” is paramount. Saving Time (co-designed with Mark Zoghby) is a co-op title in which repairing rips in the timestream are your fetch quests; Gods of Adventure sets meta-cooperative action in a dungeon crawl. (KS link)

Board Game: Massive Darkness
• Any time the conversation turns to making money hand over fist, Cool Mini Or Not is on the tip of everyone’s tongues. They continue to blow the doors off with funding, and their newest title, Massive Darkness, is well on its way to setting a record as their most funded new property ever. This new design from the Guillotine team of Guilton, Lullien, and Raoult hews close to the tried-and-true fantasy RPG formula, but I doubt anyone begrudges their launching a product into that lucrative market. (KS link)

• While your kids might be playing out in the sandbox this summer, you could do the same thing indoors — that is, provided you’re a fan of Cody Miller’s Xia: Legends of a Drift System, which tops many lists of sandbox space epics. Now Cody is back in the Far Off Games design chair, and with Ira Fay in the co-pilot’s seat this time, for the Embers of a Forsaken Star expansion. (What’s with all the stars around here being either forbidden or forsaken?) Of note, the expansion contains 3 new ships, orbiting ice comets, and a solo variant. (KS link)

Board Game: Trick of the Rails
• Hisashi Hayashi is one of the most well-known designers to emerge from the Japanese design scene, with several crossover hits being picked up for U.S. publication. And so it is again, though Trick of the Rails may be his zaniest game yet. The title gives away the origins of this Frankengame: trick-taking mashed up with 18XX-like portfolio management. It’s been five years since he first showed it off at Tokyo Game Market, and now Terra Nova Games has licensed it and given it a graphic reskin. [Disclosure: I was hired to edit the rulebook.] (KS link)

• The E•G•G series of small-box titles from Eagle-Gryphon Games was frontloaded with releases, but all’s been quiet on the nestin’ front for over a year — that is, until the launch of the new campaign for SiXeS, a Scattergories-like listing game from Steven Poelzing and (former CEO of EGG) Rick Soued, and Elevenses for One, a solo game by David Harding. EGG also announced more titles coming to the series, including one from Stefan Dorra, whose seminal For Sale was partial inspiration for Eggs and Empires, the first game in the E•G•G series! Circle of life. (KS link)

Board Game: Catacombs & Castles
• In 2014, a jazzed-up third edition of Aron West’s Catacombs emerged dexterously into the light of the Kickstarter day, not from beneath Rome but from the bowels of the Elzra Corp. headquarters near Toronto, Canada. With that success under their belts, Elzra will push forward with what appears to be a good thing, now making an entry-level version (because $119 MSRP can be a tough sell) called Catacombs & Castles. For third-edition owners, this can serve simply as expansion material, so everybody wins. Well, no, I guess not, since Catacombs is a one-vs-all experience (or team-based, in the case of Castles), but you get my point. (KS link)

Movie Plotz was the very first “wallet game” from Button Shy, a line of microgames that is now a dozen titles big and has brought in more than $85k in KS pledges to date. Movie Plotz is a pitching game that has players one-upping each other as they gradually storyboard outrageous movie scripts, one detail at a time. The campaign is for a reprint of the sold-out base game (evidently it was a hit at the box office), and a standalone sequel that trots out even more movie tropes to riff on. (KS link)

• For all the cultural limelight that board games seem to be enjoying, the rate of success for cardboard-to-digital implementations is not great. But that’s not deterred Karl Fenner of Common Man Games, who is finally ready to roll out Police Precinct, the co-op game by Ole Steiness that’s been the backbone of the publisher’s identity for the past three years, to app users (with full support for iOS and Android phones and tablets). Just make sure you sweep the premises for bugs before you head out on patrol. (KS link)

• One sure sign that you are a dyed-in-the-wool board gamer is if owning a bespoke gaming table is on your bucket list. (Raises hand.) But that sort of expense is tough to swallow, and perhaps tougher to justify to finger-wagging relatives — you know, the kind who drive luxury vehicles? Ahem. But I digress. The good news is that Chad DeShon, the man behind, has an affordable solution in “the Duchess”, a gaming table with an inset, neoprene-padded playing surface. And with an entry-level price tag of $500, even stern Uncle Judgy McJudgerson might approve. (KS link)

From gallery of FreedomGunfire

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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