From Thieves to Seas to Apocalypses: On Kickstarter Right Now

Some weeks, you just have to say to yourself, “wow, there’s a lot of good games out there.” Nowhere has that hit me so strongly by seeing all the games being funded on Kickstarter this week. And so I bring you a list of game Kickstarters (first tabletop games, then RPGs) that I believe are worthy of your attention.

b521d7acb2121cef5ddf42145dfd1a9e_originalThief’s Market

Of course, my main pull to write this post is to promote my own stuff. Thief’s Market is designed by me, and is only $17, with included worldwide shipping (unless you live in Brazil.) It’s already hit 10 of its stretch goals and is quickly coming up on another, and will likely hit some more before the campaign ends.

Thief’s Market casts the players as a group of thieves in a fantasy world (shared by other games like Harbour), splitting up the loot following a successful job. Using a unique dice drafting system, the players can take their share, or steal from someone else’s share, but if they steal, they’ll have to return something and make their share less valuable. Once everyone has their share, they use it to purchase cards from the market that either give infamy points towards victory or grant special abilities that affect later rounds and control of the dice.

The rules are pretty simple, and in my biased opinion, gives you plenty to think about from those special rules.

The Kickstarter is stolen out from under you in less than 3 days.

5c70128bf55707d538326d79ee1bc253_originalDon’t Get Eated / Club Zen

Don’t Get Eated is a great group game that features one of my favorite mechanisms, simultaneous card selection and then reveal. While in Get Bit!, you are either trying to match a specific person or avoid them to stay out of the jaws of a hungry shark, Don’t Get Eated’s twist is that sometimes you are banding together with your fellow hunted animal creatures, while other times you are only letting them think you are on their side. The “squad bonus” part of Don’t Get Eated is one of my favorite twists I’ve seen in a while, and causes all kinds of delicious doublethink. Plus, the game has a Spinner that is absolutely integral to gameplay and honestly wouldn’t work as well as a die or other randomizer.

Don’t Get Eated is part of the TC Petty Experience, which includes his worker placement (or is that worker relaxing?) game Club Zen.

The Kickstarter gets eated in 3 days.

c3bfeb8a45f036a4269c30d9fe4c7e36_originalSentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon

The final expansion to the superheroic card game has just hit Kickstarter today and already blown through its first share of stretch goals. In addition to heroes, villains, and environments, the expansion also features new challenges and options. The Kickstarter isn’t just for the game either, it suitably draws the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game to a close by offering a storage solution to hold the entire game, and a chance to get every variant hero ever released, with new art.

While we are working with Greater Than Games on the Sentinel Comics RPG, even we don’t know what all is in store as part of OblivAeon. All I know is that the RPG will kick off following the end of the card game… for whatever shape the multiverse is in after that.

The End Comes for the Kickstarter in 31 days.

Ultimate Scheme

Sasquatch Game Studio consists of a number of experienced game designers, many of whom known for their work while at Wizards of the Coast. Their first project was Primeval Thule, a fantasy game setting book that we previously covered. Now, they’re branching out into board games with Ultimate Scheme, a game for 2 to 5 players where everyone takes the role of a sinister conspiracy and influences the board using a variety of schemes.

The scheme comes to fruition on Kickstarter in 16 days.

85459ee1557d366ae32d5d0b9f46eeca_originalHeartcatchers

2 player game of bluffing and secrets? Check. Published by Brooklyn Indie Games? Check. Adorable art by Brian Patterson of d20 Monkey fame? Check. That all is good enough for me.

Don’t be heartbroken by missing the Kickstarter, which ends in 17 days.

Escape Room in a Box

Escape the Room events are getting more and more popular and mainstream. My first similar experience was in True Dungeon at Gen Con, and since then, I’ve been to a few of the local rooms (including one this Friday) and had a great time every time, despite not being THAT good at puzzles. However, not everyone lives near somewhere that is doing these escape room events regularly, or doesn’t want to leave their home to do it.

Enter Escape Room in a Box. According to the Kickstarter, this contains nearly everything you need to run your own escape room with your friends from start to finish, and is structured in a way that you get to play too, instead of needing to setup everything in advance. Plus there will even be chances to replay with different puzzle sets, and if this box is a success, I’m sure they’ll release others. It reminds me of the murder mystery in a box sets I used to play as a kid. But with a werewolf.

This Kickstarter escapes the room in 23 days.

60234ebe3091182d5bdd1efc2b79b84e_originalFate More

Hopefully you already know all about Fate, the flexible, fast-playing RPG of defining aspects and funny dice. The original Kickstarter for Fate Core was one of the first major successes and kicked off a major game line that continues to do well in stores. Fate More takes that an adds… more! More including the Venture City superhero setting, a supplement for the action science Atomic Robo RPG, the kid-friendly Avatar: The Last Airbender-inspired Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, and more.

Full disclosure: the $80k stretch goal includes a print version of my fantasy-meets-politics setting House of Bards, and I would love to hit that goal. Even if not, I’ll be supporting it for multiple books.

More becomes Less when the Kickstarter closes in less than 2 days.

Apocalypse World (2nd Edition)

Playing Apocalypse World for the first time was a truly transformative experience, and one of the best gaming sessions I’ve ever had. Since then, I’ve never played in an Apocalypse World session that I haven’t enjoyed. It’s also spun off many versions using some of the core bits of the system (which I’ve also done with Strange New Worlds.) You can read Chatty DM’s write-ups of the system for more.

Now Apocalypse World is coming back for a 2nd edition. I haven’t looked much into what is changing, because I have that much faith.

The countdown clock on the Kickstarter is filled in 21 days.

World Wide Wrestling: International Incident

And speaking of the Powered by the Apocalypse engine, Vanir covered the original World Wide Wrestling RPG, declaring it to be “packed so full of wrestleicious flavor that it’s ridiculous.” Now the first supplement promises to bring your favorite professional(?) wrestlers to the international stage, and add a whole bunch more options for your game.

The Kickstarter is piledrivered into submission in 27 days.

7th Sea

Our last Dungeon World campaign was explicitly inspired by the swashbuckling milieu of 7th Sea, the long dormant game of swashbuckling and sailing the high seas. And now, taken back by its creator John Wick, a new version of the game launches, alongside a very capable crew of designers, developers, and editors.

The Kickstarter sets sail in 33 days.

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It’s like dogs playing poker, but instead, it’s dogs going on high fantasy adventures in a game system designed by White Wolf-veteran Eddy Webb and backed up with the Onyx Path Publishing staff. Also, DOGS!

The Kickstarter sits and stays in 27 days.

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.