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Crowdfunding Round-up: Rush, Rise and Tumble Through a Radiant Kitchen Dawn

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• Let's start this week's c.f. round-up with what's simultaneously the quietest-looking and the most graphically striking game on the line-up: Todd Sanders' IUNU. Sanders first released this game as a print-and-play in 2013 through his own Air and Nothingness Press, and now LudiCreations is releasing the game to distribution following their 2016 release of Sanders' They Who Were 8.

In IUNU, 2-4 players attempt to build a society in ancient Egypt, getting a (mostly) new hand of cards each round, playing one or more cards of the same type from that hand to either collect taxes, gain influence, create art, feed your population, and control access to the afterlife. (KS link)

We shot an overview of the game on a mock-up during SPIEL 2016, which shows more of the game than that short description above:

• Kickstarter used to be a U.S.-only phenomenon, but with publishers from around the world now having access to it, it's common to see preorders for games that will debut at the SPIEL convention in October, as with Dávid Turczi's Kitchen Rush from Artipia Games. In a manner similar to Tobias Stapelfeldt's Space Dealer, Kitchen Rush has you using sand timers as workers in your kitchen, with you assigning these workers to tasks like food preparation, order taking, and cooking and them needing to stay in place until those tasks are finished. The sand timers make a lot more sense in this setting, perhaps only because I can imagine the needs of a kitchen far more than I can a dealer of goods in space. (KS link)

• Tim Heerema's Archmage from Game Salute is described by the publisher as "a hybrid of euro-style and thematic board games, featuring exploration, resource gathering and management, area/map control, and a spell system where players shape a tableau of player powers over the course of the game." Lots going on in the familiar setting of players aiming to become the new archmage to replace the still revereded, but now-retired Joe Merlin. (KS link)

Vesuvius Media's description of Luís Brüeh's Covil: The Dark Overlords mentions that the game is "a tribute to awesome 80s cartoons, filled with references to our favorite and unforgettable characters", but I don't recognize anyone depicted, despite spending far too many hours in the 1980s watching cartoons. In any case, in the game you're a dark overlord who is commanding minions and using special powers to dominate the lands — all for the benefit of those who live there, of course. (KS link)

• Coincidentally, Savage Planet: The Fate of Fantos from Darth Rimmer, Travis Watkins, and Imp House bills itself as a "beautifully illustrated, dark fantasy card game inspired by comics and cartoons from the 80s". Are they talking about Heavy Metal here? I could see that influence, but that's hardly the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the phrase "comics and cartoons from the 80s". As for gameplay, 3-6 players use Shards build up Personal Tableaus to shield themselves from the Whims of Zodraz and its Excessive Capitalization. (KS link)

• Is there room on the game market for more than one cooperative game about finding a cure to prevent a pandemic? Jay Little and Split Second Games think so, with Zero Hour telling a three-act story of the heroes searching for clues about the mastermind in various cities (pressing their luck to find out more info at the risk of being chased out of town by Afflicted), then hunting down that shady character to stop him and prevent more mutations. (KS link)

• Another cooperative challenge comes courtesy of Stephen Avery, Christopher Batarlis, and Everything Epic Games, with Metal Dawn presenting players with a Skynet-style revolution that threatens the extinction of humanity unless they can corner the rogue electronic intelligence and keep it from mutating to freedom. (KS link)

Pocket Ops from Brandon Beran and Grand Gamers Guild plays like tic-tac-toe with bluffing as rival spymasters try to claim a row of squares for themselves, while using specialist agents that bring unique powers to the game. (KS link)

Hisashi Hayashi first released his city-building game Minerva through his own OKAZU Brand label in 2015, after which it appeared via Japon Brand at SPIEL 2015. As happens with many such titles from JB, Minerva has now been licensed for distribution on a wider scale, with Pandasaurus Games overhauling the artwork and graphic design courtesy of Franz Vohwinkel. In the game, players build their own city tile by tile, activating all the tiles in the same row and column as the tile just placed, allowing you to build fresh combos each game — assuming an opponent doesn't snatch a tile away from you first. (KS link)

Rise of Tribes from Brad Brooks is Breaking Games' first go on Kickstarter, and the campaign seems to be a breakout success, with the game having a simple gameplay hook: Roll two dice, slide them into the leftmost space of two of the four actions (bumping out the rightmost die in each case), then take those two actions at a strength determined by the three dice now visible there. What are you trying to do with these actions? Get your tribes to rise, natch. (KS link)

Radiant from Randal Marsh and Tin Shoe Games is only the second trick-taking area-control game with which I am familiar (with 2015's Joraku being the other). In each of the three ages, players start with some cards in hand, draft additional cards, then move around the game board, competing to control areas with the location of a battle determining which suit will carry the day. (KS link)

• The final title this week isn't a game, but rather a logic-puzzle-style code-teaching device called Turing Tumble (KS link) that is easier to see in action that describe, so here's an overview video from the creator:

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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