Kickstarter Round-Up: Cards, Dice, Tiles and… Salmon?

There is no denying how absurdly popular Kickstarter has become in the gaming industry. But while anyone can toss up their idea, it takes something truly unique to catch my attention and earn my pledge. Here are four projects that Castles and Cooks will be backing.

Salmon Run

Status: Funded!
End date: Sunday October 28, 11:00am EDT
Minimum Pledge to get the game: $36
Expected release date: March 2013

What is it: A fast-paced racing game for everyone! Rapids, waterfalls, bears, & eagles all await the salmon on their quest upriver to spawn.

Why you should pledge: In the few years I’ve been active in the board gaming community, I’ve seen a handful of trends come and go. Orcs and goblins are always popular, and Zombies took everyone by storm. But when was the last time you got a game with a theme that is truly unique? Eric and Scott at Games and Grub (they are either our archnemeses or clones of Tom and myself, I can’t tell) did a fantastic interview with the game’s designer, Jesse Carton, about the game and also got the chance to test out a prototype. I’m interested in it because this looks like a fantastic way to introduce people to board gaming with a theme that isn’t quite as off putting as driving around as a deputized hobo punching shut portals in Arkham.

Castle Dice

Status: Almost funded (under $6,000 left)
End date: Sunday November 4, 9:00pm EST
Minimum Pledge to get the game: $65 (custom dice aren’t cheap!)
Expected release date: June 2013

What is it: Roll tons of custom molded dice and build castles in this massive Euro-style game featuring light worker placement and dice drafting.

Why you should pledge: I’m a sucker for custom dice (I bought Quarriors because DICE!), but Castle Dice is looking to be exactly the kind of game I like the play the most. As a Euro-style game, it’s going to have some nice depth but the dice element will allow for that bit of randomness I usually love when gaming. What makes me the most happy is that the full rules and a print and play PDF have been released so if you’re on the fence about the game, you can read all about it. The game will have 63 custom dice in the final product – that’s a lot of dice!

Boss Monsters

Status: FUNDED! And pushing stretch goals
End date: Sunday Nov 18, 8:00pm EST
Minimum Pledge to get the game: $20
Expected release date: February 2013

What is it: An 8-bit inspired card game that puts you in the villain seat as you build a dungeon to lure in adventurers to destroy them.

Why you should pledge: If the following games mean anything to you: Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man or Castlevania and you like card games similar to Ascension or Magic: the Gathering, then you will probably like this game. Making a game about heroes fighting monsters isn’t anything new, but the 8-bit designs and table turning mechanics gives this a unique feel. This game is fully funded and pushing for multiple stretch goals already too.

Dungeon Heroes

Status: A little over halfway at $8,000 of $15,000
End date: Monday December 3, 12:00am EST
Minimum Pledge to get the game: $25
Expected release date: July 2013

What is it: A dynamic and different take on classic dungeon crawling using tiles and tokens in an epic and dramatic adventure – and under 30 minutes.

Why you should pledge: At my old job, we would regularly play a game or two on our lunch break (something my current job doesn’t do). Carcassone was a popular one, but often took way too long. The idea of a dungeon crawler that could be played in under half an hour appeals to me a lot – it appeals to me even more because it is also a 2-player game. The game is only about half way funded, but there is still plenty of time for it get there. But like Castle Dice, the full rules are already released so you know exactly what you’re getting into – and whether or not you want to grab the two expansions now or not. For a better rundown, check out Games and Grub (again).

Got a Kickstarter game you think we should feature? Let us know!