The latest crowdfunding project on the German website Spieleschmiede is Ostia Spiele’s Blind Hen, an auction card game with a lot of potential for bluff and misdirection. Of the three card up for auction every round, only one or two are visible to all players, the rest is only known to the auctioneer. He also makes the first bid, giving him the chance to mislead everyone else about the hidden cards’ real value with hid bid. Bids are paid with cards already in play, so you risk the points that are safely yours without knowing if what you get is worth more. And then there’s the titular blind hens which are worth negative points, unless you also have grain, because a German proverb says that a blind hen will find a grain eventually.
Among Nobles is the first Kickstarter project by Danish publisher Among Meeples – a name I can’t help but love. You’ll truly be among nobles in this game, with great names like Catherine the Great or Henry VIII on your side. With a starting couple of great rulers, you will build a dynasty for the history book. Players gain victory points through wars, court politics and strategic marriages for their children. Marrying off the kids is especially important since you can’t have a dynasty of just one generation, and because couples are activated together, giving you convenient extra actions when you find a good wife for your sons. Among Nobles is a strategic game that will keep you busy for about two hours, but the rulebook is pleasantly short, that’s a mix I always welcome.
While other game settings come and go, classic fantasy is always in fashion. Mistfall is a new cooperative fantasy adventure game on Kickstarter, for up to four heroes who travel the lands to collect stronger weapons and tougher armor to take on harder quests. Other games with a similar idea often send you into dungeons to complete your quests, like Descent. Mistfall is played at a higher level, players travel between different word locations, each represented by only one tile, to find and defeat their enemies. But like those other games, Mistfall comes with a box full of component and a long rulebook, because adventuring is never easy.
Terraforming Mars keeps getting better with every card I see. It obviously has to simplify things a lot to fit into a card game, but the cards show ways that might one day realistically be used to actually terraform Mars, like these bacteria that produce green house gas to raise the temperature. I do love some science in my boardgames.
There are always more ways to kill monsters and defend your kingdom. In Valeria: Card Kingdoms you do it with dice and cards.Your objective in Daily Magic’s first Kickstarter project is to build a tableau of citizen cards for your kingdom, from Peasants and Butchers to Paladins and Wizards, they are all needed to hunt monsters. On your turn, you activate citizens with two dice. But all of them have a second ability that your opponents get to activate from your roll, so everyone is always busy and the other players may profit more from your roll then you do.
Lets just let the undead operate a fast food joint, I’m sure nothing can go wrong about that. That’s the idea of Lord of the Fries, a card game about a zombie-run burger place, the fourth edition of which Cheapass Games put on Kickstarter this week. Playing Lord of the Fries is easy, all you have to do is play the right cards to fill the current order, like a Bun and Cow Meat for a Cowabunga. Of course, it’s not quite that straightforward, but almost. Stretch goals will unlock a ton of different restaurants with different menus and art, but getting them will cost you a bit extra, as far as I can tell.
It’s hard to do Australia’s Great Barrier Reef justice in a photo, but this week’s featured photo by Sarah Ackerman gives you some idea of its size and beauty. To give you an even better idea of the size, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has 345,000 km², more than the entire area of the UK and Ireland combined (source). (Photo license: CC-BY)