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Kickstarter is a great place to find interesting ideas. It is full of brilliant creators looking for a market for their projects. The team at Move38 is among them now. They launched their campaign for the Blinks Game system today and I think it is definitely worth checking out!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/move38/blinks-game-system-20-new-smart-tabletop-games?ref=discovery&term=blinks
Blinks Game System: 20 New Games
Games with living pieces that think for themselves.

I have to admit. When Move38 reached out to me a few weeks ago. I was perplexed. I hadn’t seen anything like Blinks before. But, as I dug into their YouTube channel, and their posts on Instagram is all became clear. Blinks is a gadget that bridges the gap between video games and board games (and a pretty cool one at that).

“Blinks are intelligent game pieces that respond to touch, communicate with each other, and think for themselves. … Blinks were designed with the hand in mind and with modular board arrangements for endless possibilities.”

Move38

In a nutshell, each Blinks hex-piece is both a game piece, a portion of a potential game board, AND a virtual “cartridge” with a game on it. Connecting multiple Blinks hex-pieces together will allow them to “learn” to play games on the different hexes. This is a fascinating concept that have a lot of cool options. As of right now there are 20 different games available on the system.

The Blinks pieces are also programs using the Arduino platform. This is a simple coding language that is used in some of the most popular STEM kits. This means that budding game designers can pick these things up and use them to build their own games! In fact, four of the twelve games launching with the system were made during short term game jams.

The price to back the campaign and receive a 6-pack of the blinks pieces (and six games) is $79 US. That includes a super cool “Sushi-Roll” carrying case. That is relatively expensive compared to most video games or board games, but this is an innovative product that is definitely worth a look for tech enthusiasts.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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CMON and Spin Master Games are currently are currently using Kickstarter to fund and generate hype for an adorable cooperative card game set in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel United is a 2-4 player fully cooperative game designed by Eric M. Lang and Andrea Chiarvesio where players each choose a marvel superhero and work together to thwart a villains master plan. The base game was set to include five heroes (Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow), but the stretch goals that have been met through crowdfunding have added thirty one additional heroes and seven new villains to the base game.

The stretch goals have also unlocked six additional expansions that can be purchases add-ons. Each of them includes thematically appropriate heroes and villains as well as new gameplay scenarios. They are:

  • Tales of Asgard
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Remix
  • Rise of the Black Panther
  • Enter the Spider-Verse
  • The Infinity Gauntlet

How Do You Play?

This is a great how to play video that explains provides an overview of gameplay.

Our Thoughts

We haven’t seen this game in action yet outside of some videos and previews around the web, but Eric Lang and Andrea Chiarvesio are talented game designers. Eric in particular has never let us down before.

It is also hard to argue with the aesthetic for families. The Chibi art style looks great when applied to Marvel heroes and villains.

The giant stack of heroes that have been added to the original five is also a great boon. A base purchase of $60 plus shipping gives you more than 30 heroes to choose from. If you elect to go “all in” at $190, then the number almost doubles.

Another advantage to backing this campaign is that there is, quit literally, no risk. CMON has a great track record of delivering Kickstarter projects on time and with gusto. You can back this without hesitation if it sounds interesting to you!

What do you think? Are you backing this one? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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On the floor of New York Toy Fair I had the pleasure to meet the Ok2 Win team. They showed off their newest game, DOOM ON YOU that is currently live on Kickstarter, and shared the creative process.

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

DOOM ON YOU is a friendly game of strategy, bribery, and destruction. It is a light to medium-weighted game that can be played by kids 8+, while still being fun for gamers of all ages and interests. It takes about 30-40 minutes to play, though the first round may take a little longer as everyone learns the rhythm.

What is the elevator pitch?

The world is ending and there are some surprisingly powerful animals that are battling for each other’s food. Natural disasters, food fights, and destruction await you at every turn. In order to survive and win, you will need some strategy, luck, and maybe even a little bit of bribery.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

The DOOM ON YOU is currently live and runs until March 12th. You can link too the Kickstarter page here.

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The base game is complete and nearly ready for production . We just have to make a few modifications to the box design and create a pre-production sample with our printer. There is still some work to do to finish the design for the expansion packs, but we are confident that the game and expansions will be delivered as promised for June 2020.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

It has a mix of Unstable Unicorns with the battles, a mix of Exploding Unicorns with the destructive DOOM cards, as well as some unique mechanics that we think really make it fun.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

We’ve had the idea to build a game around this name for years. We met a great game designer who had a concept that we loved, and it all just came together.

What was your design process like?

This was a team effort. Ray Nelson, our game designer, presented us with the concept and we quickly fell in love with it. Our artist, Carrie Pine, helped shape the vision of which animals to use and how they should look; she also added some great elements to the game play. I have done my best to guide the process and help all of the great ideas of others come together.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

If you want a light-hearted way to battle each other and really get the competitive juices flowing, DOOM ON YOU is it. Kids can quickly pick up on the strategy and they learn that they can work together to win a battle, though sometimes they can do it on their own.

How long has this game been in development?

Ray has been working on his idea for years, so it’s definitely been tested.

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

For every game I create, I do my best to make a high-quality and quick demo video. I still need to create the demo video for this game; and, with some of the nuanced rules and strategies, I want to make sure that I include everything that should be included in that official video. That’s the biggest project that remains, and I’ll be sure it’s completed by the time the rewards ship.

What did your first prototype look like?

Cut out pieces of paper with ink sloppily written all over the place.

Why did you get into making games?

I had worked for years in public accounting; however, I decided that I wanted to do something that brought a smile to people’s faces. Creating games is a great way to do that.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Company name is Ok2Win. Check out the website here.

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Weird Giraffe Games has another unique game coming to Kickstarter. Tumble Town takes several gaming elements and mixes it with an old west theme. What you get looks like tons of fun!

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game?The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Tumble Town is a town and engine building spatial puzzle game for 1-4 players that plays in about 45 minutes for ages 8+. Construct the best town in the West before all the building resources run out!

What is the elevator pitch?

Everyone knows Tumble Town deserves to be the best town in the West – so it needs a mayor to match! The Tumble Townspeople are hosting a competition to turn the town tootin’ and boomin’! It’s up to you to impress them with your construction and planning skills! Tumble Town has engine building, dice manipulation, set collection and a spatial puzzle, so there’s something for everyone all rolled up into 45 minutes of gameplay.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

February 25th

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

Pretty close! We are in the final planning stages for the Kickstarter.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game? ]

Fantastic Factories has dice, engine building, and dice manipulation.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

Tumble Town shows that there’s beauty and color in the Old West, where you might not expect that. It’s also a really interesting decision on what kind of town you’re going to construct, whether you’ll choose a building for the power it grants, because it’s made of materials you have, or because you get extra points for constructed buildings with icons or special features that that building has. There’s a lot of choice, but it’s also really accessible to lots of player types. Maybe most of all, you get to build your own town, which is always a great thing and it’s super photogenic.

What was your design process like?

There was a lot to it! There was a lot of trial and error to get a game that was as intuitive as I wanted it to be. We definitely had to streamline and simplify a number of aspects, but I think it’s for the best as it means that players can simply look at the cards, know what they do, and how to build the buildings shown.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

There’s no other games that combine such a variety of mechanics and choices into such a great package where you feel this satisfied by the creation you made at the end. Every time I play it with new players, they almost always take pictures of their town, that’s how proud of it that they are.

How long has this game been in development?

Almost two years

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

The end game was a particularly large obstacle that took several iterations to get correct.

What did your first prototype look like?

It was a lot more brown than the current game, but it wasn’t as far off as a lot of games I’ve worked on. The game has always been called some version of Tumble Town, with players constructing buildings out of dice.

Why did you get into making games?

To satisfy my creativity while making people happy!

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Weird Giraffe Games is dedicated to creating engaging games focused on player choices & layered with strategy. We make games that are different and just a little bit weird, but that’s okay, as we’re all a little bit weird sometimes.

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Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Camp Pinetop is a hand management, card drafting game for 1-5 players. It’s appropriate for players 8 and up, with play time around 60-75 minutes (although prior experience and smaller player counts will cut that down).

What is the elevator pitch?

You are the leader of a group of campers who are exploring the wilderness. Along the way, you will need to collect achievement patches, which will give your scouts special abilities and allow them to level up to the highest rank (Badger), which is how you ultimately win.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

Camp Pinetop went live Tuesday, September 24, 2019 and runs to October 18, 2019. Check out the Kickstarter here!

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

The base game is all done, and we are working some add-ons and a few extra fun things for the Kickstarter.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

There are some parallels to other games, but I cannot say there’s a great, singular comparison to it.

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game? 

I had to! The idea of collecting patches was too exciting of an idea for me to pass up. The theme is just something I’m personally invested in as well. I’ve been an avid hiker my whole life, love the outdoors, went to summer camps as a kid and worked at them as an adult.

What was your design process like?

I would try a few different things, move onto another design for a while, then come back to it. Since the theme came first, the mechanics tested out had to relate to some aspect of outdoor adventuring and stay interesting. For instance, I experimented with the idea that the more equipment you had while hiking adversely impacted the speed at which you could travel. That early idea did not made it into the final but was something I explored early on.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

Camp Pinetop hits the sweet spot of being easily learned and understood, but contains lot of depth and options in what strategies can be pursue. You can play it as an opportunist, just earning the patches that are easiest for you to get based on your position and the cards you have – or you can pursue a strategy of getting all of your campers on the map fast and getting them in advantageous spots. Or you can stick with a single camper, focus on the patch abilities that let you be nimble and mobile.

Honestly, when I set out to design Camp Pinetop, making a game for kids was not the focus. I prioritized making a game that I wanted to play. I also noticed it appealed to a wide age range. So I made sure to make it accessible to the people who kept coming by my table, whether they were in elementary school or retired.

How long has this game been in development?

The game in its current form has been in development for 3 years. But I have been playing around with the theme for probably 5 years now.

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

What is clever and interesting mechanically vs. what is actually fun. I mentioned earlier the idea of travelling faster with less equipment vs travelling slower with more equipment. There was a pick-up-and-deliver aspect of the game very early on that I really liked. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fun when I tested it out, and so it had to be cut. I think a lot of designers struggle with this on a regular basis. But that’s a game that could be fun in another context, with that struggle at the center of it, just not in this one.

What did your first prototype look like?

I have a tupperware container of scraps of paper and wooden tokens of those early attempts, and I try very hard to not invest too much time in the final look in the early stages. Rather, just focusing on clear graphic design and maybe a fun table display for events. I do not always succeed in that restraint. At the midway point I started exploring different styles in the prototypes before settling on the final look.

Why did you get into making games?

I loved board games as a kid. My sister introduced me to a couple of more modern board games as an adult, and it sparked something in my brain. I started working up ideas for my own games immediately. The thought never really occurred to me before that, even though I’ve done a lot creatively up the that point. I’m very engaged by the balance of right-brain and left-brain tasks that are needed.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

You can find more about me on my website stephenbdavies.com and get in touch with me through Twitter: @stephenbdavies

Talon Strikes Studios is the publisher that is helping me develop it and bring it to Kickstarter: TalonStrikes.com

You can find them on Twitter: @TalonStrikes

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Empty Space is a set collection card game about exploring the vastness of space and, ultimately, landing a rocket on an exoplanet.

It is currently live on Kickstarter. The campaign is asking for less than $2,000 US. That is a very modest goal, and one that they should meet. This is a very cool game.

Empty Space doesn’t have a board. Instead, you deal out an array of cards from the deck in whatever shape you want. It is best to start with a 4 x 6 grid with 4 exoplanet cards on one side, but you (or your kids!) can get wild with it and create all kinds of cool shapes.

On their turn, each player has a choice to either research or explore.

  • Researching consists of drawing cards from a deck blindly or choosing from a pair of revealed cards (similarly to Ticket to Ride).
  • Exploring consists of attempting to move your probe or rocket onto and across the various cards that on the array you created at the beginning of the game.

You’re trying to do a number of things by choosing between those steps and you need to balance them carefully.

  • All of the cards in the array start face down, with the exception of a few that are chosen at the beginning of the game. Players discard non-matched pairs of cards to peek at the cards or flip them over.
  • Building a probe for exploration and a rocket to eventually fly to the exoplanet you discovered requires discarding sets of four matching colored cards.
  • You can “shape the universe” and block your opponent or help yourself by discarding three matched cards. This is, in my opinion, one of the hardest decisions you’ll make as a player. You really have to be careful messing with your opponents because it can bit you in the end by making your own path more complicated.

Our whole family enjoyed Empty Space for different reasons. My oldest enjoyed the map variety and has suggested a whole bunch of differently shaped arrays. My youngest likes the ease of exploration (and messing with her brothers by putting black holes in their path). I just like a simple game that all of us can play together without any real difficulty.

Our friends at the Stay at Home Gamersgot their hands on Empty Space as well! I was able to watch their family of four play the game on a live stream. Their experience confirmed my thoughts. Their kids loved the experience and were chattering the whole time.

I love how easy it is to modify the difficulty of Empty Space. We can make it a little easier when playing with the kids and increase the difficulty when playing with only adults.

Darcy – Stay at Home Gamers

I agree with Darcy on this one. One of Empty Space’s strengths is that is plays well among different age groups. Younger kids can play it together and enjoy it without much intervention from parents or older siblings. Families with mixed skill levels can enjoy it as well.

The campaign will be live on Kickstarter for a little while longer and is definitely worth a look. Head on over!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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I’m known as one of the family gaming guys. So, naturally, I’m sent and shown a lot of games that purport to be family friendly and accessible to younger gamers.

A lot of the games we see attempt to take complex game types like dungeon crawlers, RPGs, dexterity games, etc and eschew some of the mechanics or components to simplify the experience. This approach works wonders because most kids love to play games and just need a few obstacles cleared out of their way in order to really enjoy themselves.

The Game!

Dungeon Drop achieves this simplicity in an elegant and clever way: it skips the entire concept of a game board.Look. I know what you’re saying. How, exactly, do they do that?

Honestly, the answer is so simple you are going to be embarrassed that you didn’t think of it on your own. (I know I am!) – They skip the board part entirely.

This is an animated gif illustrating the rules of the game.
This is literally the entire game.

The titular “Dungeon” in Dungeon Drop is created by dropping an assortment of colored cubes onto the play surface. Each colored cube represents a different object ranging from grey pillars (which help form the rooms) to orange keys, and green Boblins. (No. I didn’t spell that wrong.)

On their turn, each player sprinkles a few more cubes into the playing field to mix the dungeon up a bit, uses a player power based on their race or class, and “loots a room” by choosing three grey pillars in the play area and collecting all of the cubes inside the triangle that creates.

This simple gameplay loop can be taught in a few minutes and gameplay is fast. My first demo with a member of the Phase Shift Games staff took place between ordering our sandwiches at a restaurant and those sandwiches arriving. Experienced players will cruise through a game in ten minutes.

Don’t let that simplicity concern you though. The race/class combinations are enough to add variety to a game with a fixed board. The fact that the “board” changes every game based on how the cubes bounce is a bonus!

The Downside

Dungeon Drop was a fun game to play, but there is one unavoidable pitfall that you encounter when playing it with kids. Building the dungeon required dropping a bunch of tiny pieces onto the playing surface. One miscalculation when a younger player does the initial drop can lead to a HUGE dungeon, a big mess (as cubes go flying everywhere), and a challenging play experience without a yardstick.

The rules give you guidance on how to avoid it, but the risk is there regardless. I highly recommend that families add the additional house rule that oldest player at the table do the initial drop. (Trust me.)

The Bottom Line

Dungeon Drop’s asking price on Kickstarter is $16 (with a $22 deluxe edition). That’s a very good price when you take into account the amount of game in this tiny package. It’s definitely worth a look.

FCC Disclosure: A prototype copy of Dungeon Drop was provided for the purposes of this review.

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/weirdgiraffegames/big-easy-busking-0?ref=discovery&term=big%20easy%20busking

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc. 

Big Easy Busking is an area control game for 1-5 players that plays in about 45 minutes for ages 8+

What is the elevator pitch? 

Big Easy Busking is an area control game for 1-5 players about being the best street musician in New Orleans. The game is played over three days, where players choose which locations to play their set of songs. It takes time to play a song, so players decide on their next turn whether they’re going to use all of their energy at the location or to only use some of it to save the rest for later songs. If a player matches the mood of the people with the song that they’re playing, they can get bonus tips!

Escalating Rounds: The game starts with three locations players can play at, but by the final round, there’s five locations so players have to choose where to play wisely! Engaging Gameplay: Players determine how much energy to allocate to each location after seeing how other players play, so players pay attention to what happens between their turns. Thematic Actions: Songs require differing amounts of energy from musicians and players are rewarded greatly for playing the songs that the crowd wants to hear.

When is your Kickstarter running until?

June 6th.

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete? 

It is live on Kickstarter! Click here to check it out!

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game? 

World’s Fair 1893

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game? 

I’m the publisher, but I signed this game because it’s a really unique take on area control. In the game, you start playing your song at a crowd of your choice, but song playing takes time. So you don’t make a decision on how much energy you’re putting into the song until your next turn. This means that you have an idea of what your opponents are doing, but there’s always someone that surprises you. This makes the game so entertaining and replayable.

What was your design process like? 

I designed the solo portion of the game. My process for this always starts with trying to figure out the player interaction in the game and the different player types. Once I get an idea of the player types in the game, I try to create a different Robot that represents each player type.

I try to make the solo mode really easy to play, but still surprising. So I made the songs that Robot plays a deck of all the other player cards in the game. This created a lot of variety and it wouldn’t be known what the Robot would do, even though the Robot’s actions are easy to make happen. I then play the game over and over, to get the different difficulties right. Then I make sure that each Robot is different enough, easy to follow. Players can master each robot if you play enough and try enough different strategies.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

Big Easy Busking is a truly unique and player friendly experience. With the wide player count and quick and intuitive gameplay, it should be a great fit for most families. Adding in the unique theme, friendly take on area control, and large amount of player interaction, it gets everyone engaged in what is happening, but not in the negative or attacking way, like a lot of games that have player interaction. 

How long has this game been in development?

Around 3 years.

What obstacles did you encounter making this game? 

I think the biggest obstacle I encountered while making this game was trying to find an artist. I really wanted to find an artist from New Orleans and I asked around and did a lot of searching, and ended up finding an artist living in New Orleans that I really liked! She agreed to do the artwork, but then had some sickness in the family that came up and wasn’t able to work on the project. I finally found an artist that I liked. Unfortunately, it was after months of searching and required going outside the New Orleans region. The final artwork seems to be really representative of the area, though, which I’m very happy about.

What did your first prototype look like? 

Cardstock and numbers! I tend to print out my prototypes, as my hand writing is terrible and even I can’t read it sometimes.

Why did you get into making games? 

I first got into games as a creative outlet, but I was hooked once I made my first prototype and saw how much fun the people that played the game had. I love being able to be part of the reason that people have more fun and I like to think I’m improving people’s lives this way.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

Follow Weird Giraffe Games on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Board Game Geek or visit our website

We also have a Facebook Group called the Weird Giraffe Games Insiders where you can learn all the new things about Weird Giraffe Games, participate in contests, and earn prizes! 

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I got a first look at Crumbs at the Boston Festival of Independent Games where it won Best In Show. There was always a crowd at the table to play and near the end of the day I was able to squeeze in and see it. It was worth the wait to see this cute park themed game. Crumbs is live on Kickstarter and will run until April 21st. Check out the Kickstarter here.

Can you give us a “Tale of the Tape” for your game? The title, genre, playtime, age ranges, etc.

Crumbs is an area control/take-that game that takes 30-60 minutes to play. It is recommended for ages 10 and up.

What is the elevator pitch?

Those looking to crush their friends in a winner-takes-all battle for superiority and control will be delighted to find themselves duking it out in a fresh new setting: your ordinary city park. Players take on the role of either the ducks, pigeons, squirrels, or chipmunks. Each group of animals provides its own special abilities while players scuffle over the spaces in the park. Players try to gain the best position before the big crumb drop in which 20 crumbs are dropped onto the board, spreading out at random and turning the tides of power for better, or for worse.

When is your Kickstarter going live?

Tuesday March 26th

Where are you in production/development? How close are you to complete?

Complete! Of course, there’s the never ending stream of minor tweaks here and there when striving for perfection. But the game is in a really great place and is ready for production.

Are there any other games that you think are comparable to your game?

I want to say Crumbs is one-of-a-kind (and I truly believe it is!)

You’re a game designer. You could have made any game you wanted. Why did you make THIS game?

Well one day my friend was just like “I like pigeons. I want to make a game about pigeons.” You see, pigeons are a truly underrated animal, they’re always getting the short end of the stick. Everyone is always dismissing them as dirty sky-rats, which may have some truth to it (perhaps rats are a bit underrated as well, ey?). Well we came up with a basic concept for how the game would work, and Crumbs quickly became all about delivering a ferocious battling game in the cute unassuming guise of everyday park animals. The juxtaposition has really spoken to a lot of people.

What was your design process like?

It started with a simple concept: city park, paved paths separating the territories, crumbs dropping onto the board and animals fighting over the territories to get them. That was it! It just took a lot of trial and error and a lot of iterations and rule changes to get the game juuuuust right.

What is the number one reason why a family MUST purchase this game?

It’s FUN. You can set it up quickly, play in under an hour, and have blast demolishing your friends and family as a cute little chipmunk.

How long has this game been in development?

About 3 whole years!

What obstacles did you encounter making this game?

So many. In game design, every time you change one little thing, the effect ripples through every aspect of it.

What did your first prototype look like?

It looked like the game Dominant Species because most of the pieces (including the box!) were from Dominant Species (fitting name, huh?). We utilized it’s wooden pieces and little wooden cubes, and drew our map directly onto the inside of the game cover with pencil. Back then there was no plastic fence pieces to keep the crumbs inside the game board, rather, we had the game board sitting inside of the bottom lid of a game box. It was so hard to see inside though! One 3D printer and many iterations later and I had a prototype as near to the real thing as could be!

Why did you get into making games?

I love playing games. What better way to spend my time than creating something I love! I want to make a variety of games that appeal to everyone. Ideas are constantly flowing and being bounced around for new and exciting projects.

What other information do you want us to know about you, your company, and/or your game?

To follow the progression of the game you can sign up for their email list at /https://www.tidbitgames.com/

Tidbit Games website: https://www.tidbitgames.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tidbitgamesllc/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tidbit.games/


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Card battling games have been a popular genre for decades (arguably as long as playing cards have existed). We have seen countless variations on similar themes. A handful of those variations succeed and others have fallen short. Alliance The Card Game is one of the few that rise above the rest.




When I first started writing reviews I was taught to frame my review as a comparison of execution vs. expectations. This way I would avoid comparing a game to others in the genre. In essence, I am looking to compare the game to an idealized version of itself. (Please forgive the navel-gazing. I promise I’m getting to the point.) Alliance the Card game succeeds because it does exactly what it promises that it should do. It is a straight forward card game that is easy to set up and tear down. It is also, most importantly, a game that is so simple to learn that young kids can take it out and teach each other to play with no outside intervention.

That last point is super critical for me. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been pulled away from another game, or from another activity to have to walk my younger kids through games or to help them teach their friends how to play. Alliance solves for that problem by being simple enough to be taught by a kindergartener.

This ease of use doesn’t come at the expense of quality either. Players are treated to an interesting battle game with some strategic decisions to be made. The cards feature amazing art in a new, but familiar, sword and sorcery setting.

It is worth mentioning that this Kickstarter is for a Starter Kit that will only feature two armies. The intention is to design and sell more cards and card sets is expansions that will help deepen the strategy of the game.

Alliance The Card Game plays with two players ages 6+. Each player plays with a 35 card deck that includes a Leader, generals, and various warriors. Play begins by placing the leaders in their respective places on the game board. Players then take turns taking cards from the top of their deck and placing them in one of five spaces towards the center of the board.

The real action takes place once the front rows of each side of the board have been filled. Players take turns activating two of their five active creatures to attack creatures on the other side of the board. Activation is straight forward; you choose a character and then roll a metal die. If the number that comes up matches an attack number on the card, then damage is dealt to the target.

When cards are defeated they are moved to the slain pile. Each player can only replace one card per turn so the goal is to put the pressure on and get ahead. Once all five spaces have been cleared you have a chance to attack the enemy leader.

Conclusion

If you back Alliance the Card Game at $39 on Kickstarter, then you will get the base game. There is a $44 pledge level that includes the designer’s autograph.

If you and your family are looking for a straight forward card battling game set in a sword and sorcery setting, then I think this will be a great addition to your collection.


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