Game I Backed:
Valeria: Card Kingdoms Flames and Frost Expansion
Status: Funded

Valeria: Card Kingdoms is a fantasy game inspired by Machi Koro that has been a hit both with my parents and a meetup game group, so it was a no-brainer to back the expansion.


Game I Viewed:
Tiny Epic Quest
Status: Funded

This latest in the Tiny Epic line of games is based on the Legend of Zelda games. Its gimmick is that it uses meeples that can hold items. I was interested in it due to the theme and appearance, but I have my doubts about all the dice rolling that it involves, so I haven't fully decided whether to back it.
Game I Backed:
Sagrada
Status: Funded

In this game, players draft multicolored dice and place them in a grid, sudoku-style, to create the effect of a stained glass window. The objective of the game is similar to Roll Player, which I backed last year (and just received), but I think the pretty appearance and different theme of this one is enough to make it worth owning both.


Honorable Mention:
Boards and Bits Traveler
Status: 27% funded

This is a padded case intended to allow carrying multiple games at once by taking them out of their boxes and separating the boards from the other components. While I like the idea, I am not likely to carry games around without their boxes very much, and I already pledged for the Game Canopy. This is more useful for someone who has a regular game group, like lunch time gaming with co-workers.
Game I Viewed:
Bethel Woods
Status: Funded

This cooperative game from the designer of the North Sea trilogy uses a mancala mechanism for moving workers around the board to repair various gates before monsters can get through. At first I had intended to buy this, but I'm trying to save up for all the new games at Essen, so now I'll probably let it go.
Games I Viewed:
Herbaceous
Status: Funded

In this filler by the designer of Biblios, players are planting herbs in either their own or a communal garden, then using a press-your-luck mechanism to decide when to transplant those herbs into pots for the kitchen. While I love the theme (despite the fact that it's backward...generally herbs start in pots indoors and then get transplanted out into the garden), and the art is fantastic, the game is just too light for my taste.


Underlings of Underwing
Status: 54% funded

In this worker placement game, players use all the colors of the rainbow to hatch baby dragons. While the theme appears to be custom made for my taste (RAINBOWS and BABY DRAGONS!), I just wish the game itself looked more interesting.
Game I Viewed:
Fields of Green
Status: Funded

This card game is a re-themed version of Among the Stars that introduces a bit of resource management as the players each strive to put together a functioning farm. Although I like the theme, I already own Among the Stars, and I don't think it's different enough to justify having both.


Honorable Mention:
Character Meeples 2.0
Status: Funded

This campaign is for custom meeples--some specific sets for games, but mostly generic characters. I think some of them are cute, but I'm trying to cut down on expenses right now in preparation for my Essen trip.
Game I Viewed:
Martians: A Story of Civilization
Status: Funded

This worker placement game about living on Mars can be played either competitively, semi-cooperatively (all players must help each other occasionally to survive, but there is only one winner), cooperatively, or solitaire. While I like the flexibility of play style, and the theme of Mars is hot right now, the actual game seems to lack anything novel. When I want a worker placement game, I already have several on my shelves.


Honorable Mention:
Watch It Played Season 6 (Indiegogo)
Status: 64% funded (note - money is collected on Indiegogo regardless of reaching the funding goal)

This campaign is for more board game video tutorials by Rodney Smith. It's thanks to him that I bought such games as Eminent Domain and Tokaido. He does a good job of showing how games work. Also, there are a few exclusive promo items being offered to backers (though none in particular that interest me).


On a tangential note, print-on-demand board game publisher Victory Point Games is ceasing their print-on-demand service when their current lease expires and will be converting to a more traditional publishing method (i.e. printing a fixed number of games, and when they're sold out, they're gone until the next printing--if it ever comes). I mention this because they're currently (until July 20) having a 10% off sale on all their merchandise, so if you want to grab one of their games before they stop printing, now is a good time. Notably, they are the publisher of Frontier Stations (aka "cooperative Machi Koro in space").
Game I Viewed:
Yokohama Deluxe
Status: Funded

This game by the same designer as Trains and Rolling Japan was just released at the Spring Tokyo Game Market in May, and now Tasty Minstrel Games is running a campaign to bring a version of it to the rest of the world. They are adding lots of custom wooden bits for resources and redoing some of the art for clarity. I'm not backing, since I bought the original version in Japan and I don't need two copies of the same game, but I would recommend it.
Game I Backed:
Hero Realms
Status: Funded

This fantasy re-theme of the Star Realms deckbuilding game will have an expansion for a cooperative (or solo) RPG campaign. I backed it to get the campaign, but I'm not thrilled with the way the project is being run. For one thing, anyone who wants the campaign is forced to back at the highest tier ($72 plus $10 shipping) and get a bunch of extra stuff, like $20 worth of Boss packs that aren't used in the campaign. For another thing, the campaign isn't completely designed yet, so there are no rules or gameplay examples for backers to make an informed decision. I'm considering dropping to a lower tier and picking up the campaign expansion when it's released for retail sale.


Honorable Mention:
The Duchess
Status: Funded

This is a gaming table that is being manufactured at a standardized size so that it can be offered at a lower price than a custom table. For a solid piece of furniture, it's an impressively low cost, even including shipping.
Games I Viewed:
The Pirate Republic
Status: 35% funded

This pirate game can apparently be played either competitively or cooperatively. I think the art is fantastic, but it seems pretty focused on combat. Also, unless it has a serious surge in the last 48 hours, it doesn't appear likely to fund.


Massive Darkness
Status: Funded

This is a gateway-level cooperative dungeon crawl. I was interested in it because the company producing it (Cool Mini or Not) has had many successful projects in the past. However, the gameplay looks exceptionally bland and simplistic (kill monsters with dice, pick up loot, level up, repeat), which is disappointing.


Hope
Status: Funded

Cooperative science fiction board game that prides itself on using hexagonal tiles patterned to give a 3-D illusion (like Q-bert cubes). The art is interesting, but I'm not thrilled by so-called cooperative games where players "have to coordinate their movements to defeat" the enemy but "only one player will be granted all the honors" in the end. That defeats the purpose of being cooperative.
Game I Backed:
Darkest Night: Second Edition
Status: Funded

This is a cooperative fantasy game in which players are heroes in a realm nearly submerged in darkness by an evil Necromancer, and they must travel the map to find items to defeat him. I was interested in it before, but I never bought it because the rules required the use of 4 heroes, regardless of player number. The new version not only includes a lot of expansion content, it has updated rules that allows for different numbers of heroes.


Game I Viewed:
This War of Mine
Status: Funded

This cooperative game is about the non-combatants during a war, and how they must struggle to survive amid many hardships. Apparently it is based on a popular video game. I think the idea of the game is fascinating, but I doubt anyone in my game groups would be willing to play it due to the dark theme.
Game I Backed:
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
Status: Funded

In this game, players get individual decks based on the Dresden Files fantasy novel series and attempt to take out foes and solve mysteries before a final showdown. I backed it instantly based on the cooperative play and my enjoyment of the series, but I'm considering dropping out because backers essentially pay full retail price PLUS shipping and don't get much in the way of special bonuses in return. I may as well wait until retail and buy it then.


Games I Viewed:
Vivarium
Status: 49% funded

Players are different species of animals struggling for survival. I love the art, but I need to look more closely at the gameplay.


Cavern Tavern
Status: Funded

This fantasy game uses dice as workers for a "dice placement" mechanism. The theme and the custom dice look interesting, but I'll have to examine it more closely to see if it's any better than Kingsburg, which I already own.


Honorable Mentions:
Chalice Champion
Status: Funded

These metal coasters have a protective railing that prevents glasses from tipping over accidentally, so people don't have to worry about drinks spilling on their games. The concept is intriguing, but they are rather expensive.


The Game Canopy
Status: Funded

This custom bag is designed specifically for carrying and protecting board games. However, it is extremely expensive, accessories like the shoulder strap are extra, and shipping is a hefty additional charge.
Game I Viewed:
Aeon's End
Status: Funded

This is a cooperative fantasy deckbuilder that introduces a new deck mechanic: Players don't shuffle their discard piles, they simply flip the discard pile over to make a new draw deck. Instead, player turn order is randomized with a deck of turn cards. I'm strongly tempted by this one, which reminds me of Shadowrift, except with less fiddlyness. I still have nearly four weeks to decide.


Honorable Mention:
Rahdo Runs Through... Year Five
Status: Funded

Game reviewer Richard Ham is once again funding his video series, with lots of different rewards for backers.
Games I Viewed:
Watchmen of Destiny
Status: Funded

This is a card game about assembling and equipping your own personal army of heroes. The key feature is that the characters are all adorable animals. I would be really tempted by this one, except I'm trying to save up my game budget for GenCon.


Zephyr: Winds of Change
Status: 46% funded

The key feature of this card game is that it has transparent character cards that can be placed over different background cards for a modular experience. Also, it can be played solitaire.
Games I Viewed:
In the Name of Odin
Status: Funded

This is a Viking-themed hand management/resource management game from a publisher with a decent track record. If I hadn't already pledged for all the North Sea Trilogy games, I might have been more tempted. (Vikings are the new "in" theme, apparently...at least they're more interesting than zombies!) As it is, I think the game play is just a bit on the simplistic side for my taste. It doesn't add anything particularly novel compared to what I already own.


Heldentaufe
Status: Funded

This is a family adventure game with cutesy art. I find the art quite compelling, in a Legend of Zelda way. However, I suspect the game itself is too competitive to go over well in my circles (particularly since Rahdo has dubbed it too conflicty to do a runthrough video).


The Butterfly Garden
Status: 72% funded

This is a filler card game about collecting butterflies, from the designer of Biblios. I'm tempted, but I already have plenty of filler games. Without solitaire rules, it's unlikely to get played.


Mi Tierra
Status: Funded

This gateway worker placement game from Chile has cute art and custom meeple pieces. Of all the games this week, I find this one the most tempting. However, I already have two gateway worker placement games (Lords of Waterdeep and Pillars of the Earth), so I'm not sure I really need a third.
Game I viewed:
Evolution: Climate
Status: Funded

This latest addition to Evolution is a standalone game in its own right. (Owners of the original game can apparently pledge for a "conversion kit" to turn the base copy into the new game.) I considered this one, but since I can never get the original game played (it has too much attacking), I'll probably just dump the whole thing in the next math trade anyway.
Games I Backed:
Explorers of the North Sea
Status: Funded

This tile-laying game is the third in the "North Sea Trilogy." The project also includes Runesaga, an expansion intended to turn the three games in the trilogy into an extended campaign when played sequentially. Since I already own the first two games, this one is a no-brainer.


Villages of Valeria
Status: Funded

This "prequel" to Valeria: Card Kingdoms comes at an extremely reasonable price. I was not sure what to expect from V:CK, since I mainly backed it because of the art and the custom box insert (which is fantastic, by the way), but when I played it recently, it was the one game that both of my parents considered to be in their top 5 favorites (out of over 30 games played in January). With that kind of approval, it seems worthwhile to take a chance on this new game.
Game I Viewed:
Vinhos Deluxe Edition
Status: Funded

Vinhos is a heavy Euro game about the business of producing and selling wine. This project is for an updated version with new art and streamlined rules. There has, however, been a bit of an uproar over pricing (stretch goals are an additional $20, and the cost for shipping is high). The original game was too heavy for my taste, but this one drew my eye because of the reported simplification of some rules and the addition of an official variant for solitaire play.


I have been resisting most of the projects so far, but early February is going to have a flood of exciting games.
Game I Viewed:
Liguria
Status: Funded

This game is touted as the "prequel" to Fresco. While I like Fresco a lot, I'm not going to be backing any Queen Games projects unless I can be sure it's worth it. The last one I backed ended up being far cheaper to acquire retail than it was on Kickstarter.
Honorable Mention:
Meeple Source Game Upgrade Kits
Status: 64% funded

This offers more custom meeples to upgrade your favorite games. I'm tempted by the Glass Road set, because it's not too expensive, and it's a nice improvement over the plain discs. The Orleans set is way too much, and I already have the deluxe version with custom wooden bits anyway. I don't know what they're thinking, with the set for Finca; the best part about Finca is the pieces that already come with the game.
Games I Viewed:
Roll Player
Status: 44% funded

In this game, players are drafting various colors of dice in order to use them as stats in creating the "ideal" role-playing game character. Each character has a set of stat goals to meet for points, as well as special abilities and bonuses for certain colors of dice, and players can purchase skills and equipment that help manipulate the dice. I have to say that this one is extremely tempting.


Nina and Pinta
(Yes, it is actually "Nina" and not "Niña" even on the BGG page.)
Status: 64% funded

In this game, players are reenacting Columbus' voyage to the New World, with a twist: the ships travel to alternate universes. The game designers have a good track record, and as a bonus, this game includes rules for solo play. I'm leaning toward backing, but I want to see either the full rules or a gameplay video first.
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