June was another strong month for Kickstarter games, making it a challenge to narrow this down to just five games. Coincidentally, there’s a heavily recurring theme of dice in these selections, and while that isn’t necessarily one of the first things either of us look for in games, in all of the following games they’re put to use in interesting ways.
Roll Player Adventures
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1152516291/roll-player-adventures
Campaign ends: July 17
Scheduled to ship: June 2021
This cooperative Choose Your Own Adventure style game is driven by storytelling and your group’s ability to work together. Along the way, you’ll be forced to make decisions that will change the world and all of your future adventures. Using different coloured dice and various character-specific cards, players need to find ways to complete skill checks and defeat enemies within the confines of their individual attributes.
Players can import characters they’ve previously made in the original Roll Player game, or they can use pregenerated characters. Each character offers unique attributes, starting cards, class abilities, and backstories. Thanks to Tim Virnig at Thunderworks, we were able to get an early playthrough of the first adventure, and we had a lot of fun. It seemed like quarterbacking wouldn’t be an issue here because each player has enough on their own plate to manage.
With 10 adventures in the base game and an 11th replayable side quest adventure, even the base game has so much to offer. Imagine the possibilities for extra content, more adventures, and even playing the same adventures over again with different characters, making different choices. You can take completely different paths each time. The system is accessible and easy to pick up right from the first adventure. We’re really looking forward to playing more of this.
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/uproarious/intrepid
Campaign ends: July 9
Scheduled to ship: March 2021
Another cooperative game, but one in which the stakes feel higher than most. In Intrepid, you and your crew are aboard the International Space Station, combining your strengths and doing what you can to try to survive as a group. Expand the ISS, share dice, manage resources, and deal with all kinds of disasters in this scenario-based game.
With simultaneous, asymmetric gameplay, there shouldn’t be any quarterbacking, and getting a NASA engineer involved to ensure more realistic scenarios is a really nice touch. Also, having such a diverse crew to choose from offers players another reason to play again and have a different experience and new puzzle to solve each time. If you back this on Kickstarter, you’ll automatically get the first expansion, Mission Critical, for free.
It’s wonderful to see how much this game celebrates diversity in its range of characters from around the world, including astronauts from Malaysia, Brazil, Japan and more. The cooperative dice mechanics are engaging and the need to truly collaborate in a tension-filled, high stakes environment feels oddly relatable right now. Can’t wait to play this.
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shelfiestacker/shelfie-stacker
Campaign ends: July 11
Scheduled to ship: March 2021
Speaking of diversity, take a look at that beautiful box cover! We love to see that, especially for a game that’s all about collecting and building the best board game collection, because this is truly a hobby for anyone to enjoy. As with most of the games on our list this month, Shelfie Stacker gives you a dice puzzle to work through as you try to curate your collection as optimally as you can. Each player gets a board with dice slots to represent their shelf, and throughout the game they’ll draft dice and place them in accordance with their scoring guide to maximize their value.
Check out the really nice components including 88 custom dice and nicely illustrated character cards. This game has simple rules but an intriguing goals system for placing certain dice in specific spots as you stack your games and build up your collection.
But this isn’t just a simple solo puzzle where you do your own thing. One of the most interesting things about Shelfie Stacker is the way players simultaneously select a character card face down each round to not only determine turn order but also provide a one-time ability to help players stack their shelves. It adds some player interaction and another element to consider when choosing which card to play. The variable turn order and variety of reward cards keeps things exciting game after game as you craft your ideal gaming shelf.
Tales of BarBEARia
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gbg/tales-of-barbearia
Campaign ends: July 1 (tomorrow!)
Scheduled to ship: March 2021
Of all the games on this month’s list, Tales of BarBEARia appears to have the most opportunities for nasty player interaction. If you’re not a fan of conflict between players and you prefer to be able to do your own thing undisturbed, this one’s not for you. If you’re even remotely interested in that sort of thing, you definitely need to check this out.
Building upon the foundations of its predecessor, Tales of BarBEARia takes this cute but cutthroat gameplay and injects it with plenty of strategy as players venture from their villages, buy from the market, and brawl with their enemies. Using your cards and dice for their maximum benefit will be necessary to succeed.
Players plan their moves in secret with dice hidden behind their personal screens and then reveal their strategies to their opponents. You’ll gather spoils as your reward and build your empire in an attempt to gain the most glory and defeat your opponents. Don’t let the cute artwork fool you; this can be mean and unforgiving, but that’s also a big reason why it’s worth of your attention. The campaign ends tomorrow, so go check it out now!
Overlord: A Boss Monster Adventure
Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brotherwise/overlord-a-boss-monster-adventure
Campaign ends: July 9
Scheduled to ship: October 2020
There had to be at least one game on this list with no dice, right? Overlord: A Boss Monster Adventure is a tile-placement game that combines tile drafting, set collection and puzzle tile laying with a retro video game style. Assuming the role of a video game boss, you’ll build your own map with different terrain types, monsters, mini bosses, and portals. As you place tiles, combos will trigger, allowing you to manipulate the layout of your map and gain bonuses.
With a play time of 20-30 minutes and fairly light rules, the bulk of the learning curve will probably be the iconography on the tiles, but it looks pretty straightforward and once you get a hang of that, this looks like it’ll have a good flow and keep everyone engaged even at higher player counts.
Plus, each player has a unique Boss power and special scoring goal, giving players different incentives and new strategies to explore each time. Let’s not forget the multiple ways to score, command cards, double-sided player boards, and even the solo mode. There’s a surprising amount of content here, and if you like tile-placement games, this one might be for you.
Agree with our choices? Any games you expected to see that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thanks, Carlo for giving Roll Player Adventures a look. Thunderworks Games so excited about sharing this labor of love in the Roll Player universe with people. The adventure in this standalone game is EPIC and so much re-playability as each choice takes the story in a different direction. Countless hours of play with 12 interactive story books and easy rules to add to or take out people from your adventuring party along the way. Let the ADVENTURE BEGIN!
Thanks for getting us an early look at the first adventure. Looking forward to playing more next year!