Tagged Kickstarter

Call to Adventure Is the Hero’s Journey in Card-Game Form

The games I most enjoy playing are the ones that can inspire players’ imagination with a story that unfolds over the course of a session. Quality and consistent artwork, thematic gameplay, and resonance with the audience’s pop-culture experiences are all elements through which a game can deliver a story experience in which the players feel they are a part of the fictional world where the game takes place. Role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are the most straightforward example of this,...

Saved The Game Is Lighthearted Fun about Escaping Armageddon

I’ve previously mentioned that I keep my eyes peeled for tabletop games themed around real-world religion. But these kinds of games are rare because releasing anything into the glutted tabletop marketplace is a gamble, and most companies try to minimize their risk by avoiding what they see as unnecessary controversy. Then there are those like Minneapolis locals James Kenna and Zach Rapatz, who utilize crowdfunding to publish outlandish games for the people who want them, such as their debut...

Hush Hush Is a Kickstarter-Funded PC Game about Girls with Secrets

As Western appeal toward visual novels, the traditionally Japanese genre of interactive electronic stories, continues to grow, so too do Western developers’ interests in bringing these kinds of games to their fans. Canada-based Sad Panda Studios, creator of the popular visual novel Crush Crush, is currently raising funds via Kickstarter for the production of a “bigger, bolder, bustier!” follow-up game, Hush Hush. Crush Crush is an irreverent, popular-culture-riffing romp through the world of the dating sim, a visual-novel subcategory in which...

In Gamifying the Language of Chemistry, CompoundIt! Is a Minnesota-Born Winner

In CompoundIt!, a board game created by Minneapolis science teacher Andrew Lyman-Buttler, chemistry and Scrabble-like mechanics join hands to create a uniquely geeky experience. The game—which is running a crowdfunding campaign through May 2, 2018—is billed as a “chemistry formula word game in which the ‘letters’ are chemical elements and the ‘words’ are compounds.” It challenges players to build binary compounds and polyatomic ions on the board from tiles representing individual elements. Lyman-Buttler describes his game as a “great new...

Soul of the Empire Is an Asymmetrical Game about Religious Strife in Ancient Rome

As a gamer with a Christian background and a resulting interest in religion, I’m always on the lookout for games with real-world religions as their focus. But this is a challenging enterprise for several reasons. First of all, most games tend to be aimed at a primarily secular audience, with spiritual elements being presented with a fantastical nature (which is reasonably done for the purpose of avoiding controversy). Second, many games dealing with religion come across as somewhat preachy,...

All Walls Must Fall Delivers on Atmosphere but Comes Up Short on Gameplay

Berlin, 2089. In this reality, the Cold War never ended and Germany is still divided. A nuclear strike destroys Berlin, which both East and West deny responsibility for. You, a time-traveling agent working for an organization called STASIS, are sent back in time to find who was responsible for the nuclear attack, stop it before it happens, and hopefully put an end to the Cold War for good. All Walls Must Fall is an action-tactics game from developer inbetweengames,...

Machines Will Inherit the Earth in Planetarium

Occasionally, I browse through Kickstarter looking for new projects to contribute to, because I am more than willing to back any project I think I would thoroughly enjoy. Kicking off 2018, writer and illustrator Chance Wyatt Oberlander, who publishes as Chance Wyatt, reached out to me with details on the new Kickstarter campaign for his illustrated book Planetarium. I have been a fan of this author’s work for a while now due to his book Census, which I reviewed in 2016....

Tower 57 Adds Modern Flair to 16-Bit Shooters

The gaming community has a seemingly insatiable appetite for games that remind players of yesteryear, and Tower 57 is just one of the latest attempting to make its mark. This release is a top-down, twin-stick shooter set in a dieselpunk world, born of a successful Kickstarter project launched in August 2015. It’s the first game from two-man studio Pixwerk, heavily inspired by the 16-bit games of the Amiga personal computer (released in 1985)—so much so that they’re actually making...

Foldscopes Give You the Power of Microscopes without Breaking the Bank

Manu Prakash and his team developed the Foldscope as a cheap way to test for malaria in places where it is challenging to use and maintain a research microscope. In addition, this foldable paper microscope—which reached its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter within 24 hours when the campaign launched around this time last year—is also an affordable citizen-science tool. Foldscopes are to full-blown microscopes like a phone is to a DSLR camera: affordable, portable, and easy to use. I bought a...

A Coffee Geek’s Review of the Crowdfunded Arctic Cold Brewer

Back in January, Facebook had one of those rare moments when its targeted advertising was actually well targeted and let me know about the Kickstarter for the Arctic coffee system. A cold-brew pitcher was one of the few brewing methods I didn’t have at home—I would consider myself a midlevel coffee snob, and my kitchen was already stocked with a stovetop Yama siphon brewer, an AeroPress, an Alessi moka pot, and a French press. All of them are great...
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