To Back or not to Back: Crowdfunding Roundup – May 2024

It’s another wrap-up of the variety of crowdfunding projects we’ve found from around the web recently!

New Projects

Bloomchasers: Delightful 3D Tree Game of Flowers and Wits

This looks super-cute – A 30-minute light strategy game where you literally grow your (plastic? wood?) blossom flowers on your 3D trees, either as a team or competitively. Your goal is to place your “buds” in certain shapes so that when a Bloom card is drawn, your flowers grow (and your opponents don’t).

It looks like a fun, light game which is also an immediate table-draw.

Kickstarter link (ends 11th May 2024)

Earth: Abundance

With an expansion to the popular game from 2023, this kickstarter also includes some deluxe wooden upgrades for the Earth base-game too.

This expansion adds more ways to interact with other players (something I thought was sorely needed in the base game), a new Seed resource which acts like a kind of proto-wild resource (develops into sprouts, soil, growth or compost), a new Germination action that helps sift through the discard pile for scoring cards, and Sprout Nuturing (keeping leftover sprouts for future use).

It also adds a 6th Player – I’m not sure there was a lot of demand for a 6th player, but as actions are simultaneous, it won’t add any downtime, so fair enough if you’re Earth crazy and regularly need a 6-player game!

Kickstarter link (ends 8th May 2024)

Power Vacuum

A trick-taking game where you are trying to win tricks to gain points to build a statue to your greatness, but also lose tricks to allow you to manipulate which kitchen appliances get the most power, and maybe reveal your hidden agenda and score points that way instead.

I love a good trick-taking game, and what caught my attention here was where it says “Do you like: Trick taking games? Feeling clever and sneaky? Building a big ol’ statue to your greatness? Accusing your toaster of high treason? Puns? Then we should hang out. Oh, and you’ll probably like this game.”  They had me at “trick taking game” to be honest, but the rest was icing on the cake. I always thought my toaster might be after the throne…

Kickstarter link (already finished, but open for late pledges)

Corps of Discovery

This game is from small publisher Off The Page Games, and designers Sen-Foong Lim and Jay Cormier, who were behind the games MIND MGMT, Belfort, Junk Art and more, which immediately caught my attention. And also the theme: It’s about the Lewis & Clark expedition across frontier America in the early 19th Century, but where they not only survive the elements whilst explore across the country, but also have to fight demonic monsters at the same time!

I really like one part of the Kickstarter page, where they have a “First time on Kickstarter” help guide, which is a great idea for newcomers who might be slightly overwhelmed with just how much information is on a Kickstarter project.

The game itself is a game of exploring a “map” of tokens to gain resources, completing challenges, using deduction to determine where things are, trying to complete the overarching chapter goal, AND staying alive. It looks pretty cool, so go check it out!

Kickstarter link (ends 14th May 2024)

Fractured Sky: Rift

The IV Studios team are back with a reprint of their 2023 game, Fractured Sky, plus a mini-expansion called Rift, which adds coloured Starfall tokens to allow for a new set-collection mechanism which can gain you extra points.

Production levels are once again off-the-chart (especially with the deluxe version), as is what we have come to expect from IV Studios.

Kickstarter Link (ends 15th May 2024)

Canvas: Big Box

Do you love the game Canvas? Do you own the base game and all the expansions but always wanted to somehow keep them all together in one place? Look no further! This kickstarter features a huge box to keep all your Canvas goodies together!

Included in the KS is a new Trilogy Booster Pack, but also obviously the opportunity to buy the game itself as well, if you don’t already own it.

Kickstarter Link (ends 29th May 2024)

Formosa Tea (2nd Edition)

The game of growing, processing and selling tea, from publisher Tawain Boardgame Design, is back in a 2nd edition! The first edition came out back in 2019, and I was lucky enough to play a preview copy at the time. It’s a charming worker-placement game about running a tea farm, exploring the history of tea production in Taiwan!

This 2nd edition is labelled as a streamlined remastered version, so it sounds like a good chance to get a copy if you missed the 1st edition.

Kickstarter Link (ends 30th May 2024)

House of Fado

A new game from Eagle Games and co-designed by Vital Lacerda and João Quintela Martins, House of Fado has you managing your “Fado” restaurant, promoting musicians, and sending them into the starlight, in this medium-weight worker placement game.

This is one of Lacerda’s “simpler” looking games (those who know Lecerda’s usual fare will understand that his “simpler” is akin to most designers’ “fairly complex”), with a playtime estimate of just 30-60 minutes, with some lovely stylized artwork, beautiful components. The game represents the “Casa de Fado” restaurants of Portugal, where you not only get a 1st class meal, but also a 1st class musical “Saudade” from the musicians. It looks like a lovely little game.

Along with this game, the KS also allows you to back for copies of some of Lacerda’s previous smaller-box / lighter games: Bot Factory and Mercado de Lisboa.

Kickstarter Link (ends 30th May 2024)

Upcoming Projects

Ada’s Dream

Ada's Dream

From Alley Cat Games and designer Toni López, this is a game themed around the real-world person of Ada Lovelace, the woman who is credited with building the first mechanical computer.

In the game, you’ll be taking on the role of an associate of Ada’s, claiming dice from a rondel for actions, giving lectures in Prestigious Institutions, and completing assignments from Ada, as well as of course gaining the resources/equipment needed to build the computing engine. Yes – you are literally building an engine by using an engine-building mechanism!

Kickstarter Pre-Launch Page

Rebirth

Rebirth

A new tile-laying game from Mighty Boards, and legendary game designer Dr Reiner Knizia. This claims to be a “fresh twist” on tile-laying, set in a lush and hopeful future (a welcome change from the seemingly endless post-apocalyptic themes these days!). We don’t know much about this one yet, but I’m intrigued.

Kickstarter Pre-Launch Page

Ironwood

Ironwood

A 1-2 player game from Mindclash Games, this is an asymmetric card-driven tactical game, which promises to have the classic Mindclash production and design quality we’ve come to expect.

Gamefound Pre-Launch Page (goes live on 21st May)

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