The Emerald Flame is a puzzle game where you and your compatriots can work together as historical experts trying to uncover a recipe for a transformative elixir. Played out over 3 chapters, the game uses beautifully illustrated letters, alchemical diagrams, maps of Prague, mysterious artifacts, and more to immerse you in the story that The Emerald Flame is narrating.
I love these kinds of games as you can play them on your own, pitting your puzzle-solving prowess against it, or with friends, giving you the advantage of other perspectives and talents. The Emerald Flame looks like it has a wide variety puzzle-styles so no matter what your expertise is, you can still find elements of the game challenging and rewarding. Discover more about the mystery of The Emerald Flame here on Kickstarter.
Food Chain Island is the next solo game in the Button Shy Wallet Collection. In it, you need to manage the animals on an island, having them eat one another, until only 1 animal is left. To play you’ll have your cards laid out in a 4×4 grid and must move 1 animal 1 space so it covers another animal that 1-3 numbers lower in value thus consuming it. This means your apex predator of a 13 cannot eat a lowly 4 so you’ll need to consider carefully when moving your animals, lest you get yourself stuck in a situation where you run out of tasty animals to eat. When you have a card eat another, the predator’s action will activate; either helping you or making things tougher. There are 2 sea creatures that can be discarded to help you in case you get stuck. If you manage to get your island down to 3 or less animals, you win!
I like the simplicity of Food Chain Island. The lightness of the rules means it can be easily engaged by a wide range of players, but the strategy of the game seems challenging enough to keep you engaged. It sounds a bit like a solo game of chess; constantly trying to calculate your next move based on which card can take another and trying to stay four steps ahead to keep yourself in the game. Also the illustrations are kind of hilarious. Prowl your way over to the Food Chain Island Kickstarter to learn more.
Games about tea are my jam and one extremely popular tea game is back with an all new expansion, Chai: High Tea! Chai is a game about blending tea ingredients to create recipes that will satisfy your customers. The game is gorgeous and quick to play. The High Tea expansion adds new player powers, tea types, double-sided merchant boards, and more.
This Kickstarter not only offers you the expansion, which looks like it adds a lot more fun to the game, but also gives backers the opportunity to pick up the base game in case they missed the original printing. The base game is a Kickstarter exclusive deluxe version which comes with upgraded components like metal coins, a gametrayz insert, translucent tiles, spot UV on the box, and more. I think this is a fantastic way to pick up the game if you haven’t already and the expansion seems like it will be the perfect addition for anyone that already owns the base game. Visit the Chai: High Tea Kickstarter campaign for more info.
Based on the original Railroad Ink games, Railroad Ink Challenge looks to give players the same gameplay feel with more interaction. You’ll be rolling dice and drawing routes to connect the exits on your board, but now there are in-game goals. Each goal can only be awarded to the first player to achieve it, so now the game becomes a bit of a race. There are also new dice to give you more variety in routes and new structures that will trigger effects.
Railroad Ink is a fun set of roll and write games and I’m looking forward to seeing how the new Challenge sets play. There are two versions available through the Kickstarter and backers get an exclusive solo board and teleport expansion. Learn more on the Railroad Ink Challenge Kickstarter page here.
Bristol 1350 is a social deduction and light strategy game where players are trying to escape the town while avoiding players infected with the plague. At the start of the game, all players will begin in one of the three carts that are leaving town. Each round the dice will be rolled and then players must decide to either re-roll some of the dice, which control how far the carts move, move their pawn or push another pawn off their cart, or draw a remedy card. If the dice for a cart show 2 or more rats, the players in that cart must shuffle their symptom cards plus a new card from the deck together and then get two random cards back. If your symptom cards ever equal 6 or greater, you get the plague. If a cart reaches the finish line with a plagued character, the game is lost.
Back-stabby and full of paranoia over who might be sick, Bristol 1350 is an interesting semi-cooperative game and I love the box design. Like other titles from Facade Games, Bristol 1350 comes in a box shaped like a book with magnetic closures and room for the cards, minis, and dice as well as the playmat. The mini-carts are nicely sculpted and on a whole I like the aesthetic of the game. It might be a little tough to sell people on a game about the plague right now, but if you like social deduction games, make sure to check out Bristol 1350 on Kickstarter here.
What Kickstarters are you backing this week? Let me know in the comments below and check back next week for more fun projects!