Alba – an Open World Adventure Book
Gamebooks used to be very popular when I was younger and they seem to be making a comeback in recent times. Alba distinguishes itself from other game books by claiming to be the biggest ever written. With over 1200 pages and 19 different endings, Alba tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where you will go out and adventure; exploring the world and making choices that can have lasting effects. Unlike some gamebooks, Alba also includes character sheets to track your items, specialties, encounters, and more.
I like gamebooks and while they often are advertised as solo experiences, my group will sometimes do readings and discuss our decisions cooperatively; allowing everyone to join in the fun. You can delve into the world of Alba here on Kickstarter to learn more.
CMON Presents: The Animation Collection
The Animation Collection includes 3 different games based on popular animated series. Scooby-Doo: The Board Game is a cooperative game that pits players against a monster that is scaring the towns residents. Move location to location in the Mystery Machine to collect resources, build traps, and capture the monster (We all know it’s Old Man Jenkins in a rubber mask, but we humor him because this is all he has left). In Teen Titans GO! Mayhem, players will square off in a battle to find out who is the most powerful team. Characters will move around a map, fulfilling quests and beating up rival characters. Whoever earns 5 victory points first, wins! Lastly, in Looney Tunes Mayhem, like Teen Titans GO! Mayhem, characters from the Looney Toons universe will fight against each other, utilizing special abilities and ACME branded weapons.
This seems like a fun, family-friendly set of games and I’m very curious to see if I can mix the Looney Tunes with the Teen Titans for a bizarre battle of flying super-powered fists and anvils. Each game comes with CMON quality minis of classic characters. You can check out the The Animation Collection campaign here on Kickstarter for more info.
The Mint series is a quality bunch of games that all fit into Altoid-sized tins. Mint Bid is the series’ take on auction games. Each turn players will bid on locations using their mint tokens. An interesting twist is that you can team up with another player, to your left or right, to bid together; combining your tokens together into one composite bid. If you win the bid as a team you’ll place the location between you and your teammate. If you win it by yourself, you get to choose to place it between yourself and the player to the left or the right. You control all of the locations to your right and left and whoever has the highest valued Locations at the end of the game wins and becomes Mayor of New Mintopia City.
I like that there is a semi-cooperative element to the game. Yes, joining forces with another player makes it more likely for you to win an auction, but you have to be careful who you team up with as you could be giving your opponent the points they need to win. Mint Bid looks clever and perfectly portable for gaming on the go. Visit Mint Bid on Kickstarter here to learn more.
Tinners’ Trail – a game by Martin Wallace
In Tinners’ Trail you take control of a mining operation in Cornwall. You’ll need to earn the most money by buying land, mining valuable minerals, placing developments, selling on the market, and investing in industry. You’ll get better returns, the earlier you invest, so it’s a race between players to see who can grab them up first.
While this edition of Tinners’ Trail is a reprint, it now has expended its player count to 1-5 and has a different set-up for resources on the board. The Kickstarter also includes two expansions: The Arsenic expansion adds a new resource and the Emigration expansion allows miners to travel overseas. You can learn about this exciting new edition of Tinners’ Trail here on Kickstarter.
Pingyao: First Chinese Banks
Pingyao: First Chinese Banks is a dice placement game with an economic twist. During the game you’ll be rolling dice and then taking turns performing actions with the dice starting with the highest vale and moving through to the lowest value. By placing dice on locations you can take those spot’s actions and work towards building up your pile of money and advancing your fame. You can also hire managers which will give you special abilities. Whoever earns the most cash by the end of 8 rounds, wins.
I really enjoy dice placement games and I like that in Pingyao: First Chinese Banks players don’t really block each other. If you want to go to a space occupied by another player you can just pay a fee to move their die to the rest area. The game seems a little thinky as you’ll be working with different values each round, so you have to be able to adapt your strategy quickly. If you enjoy dice placement and/or economic games, make sure to check out Pingyao: First Chinese Banks in 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!