Holiday break is over, new year has only began, and suddenly new Kickstarter board game campaigns are being announced left and right. That includes tons of projects planned for the first two quarters of 2020. Let’s introduce some of these!
Arena the Contest: Tanares Adventures – February 4th
If you stay up to date with Kickstarter board game campaigns, you must have heard about Arena the Contest. The game is one of few examples of actually successful team based skirmish games from Kickstarter. The campaign managed to collect over $700.000 and ended up as one of the highest funded tabletop games of 2018. AtC told a story of a world where, instead of waging wars, nations resolve their problems on a certain combat arena. PvP was the main mode in the original game, it offered tons of characters and combos, but there also was a PvE campaign.
The new project will likely launch on February 4th and put a huge focus on expanding the Co-Op mode. We’re going to get a whole new campaign called “Tanares Adventures” set after the events known from the original. Players will always have access to different locations and the map will be explored in a nonlinear, “open world” fashion.
Tanares Adventures will allow playing with 2 separate teams. Both will be able to complete their adventures at the same time, equally affecting the shared world. An 1.5 update to the original game is going to get introduced as well.
Excavation Earth – March/April 2020
There are some board games about archeology on the market, but most of them doesn’t allow us to play as aliens. In Excavation Earth a group of visitors from another star system visits Earth long after human civilization has fallen. And why would they be so interested in the old, blue planet? Science? Wrong, it’s all about the money!
Excavation Earth was designed by Wai Yee and Dávid Turczi – whom you may know from Anachrony, Dice Settlers and Kitchen Rush. It can be played by up to 4 players (there’s a solo mode available as well). The goal is always identical – end up as the richest alien at the table.
Actions (like movement or getting new artifacts) are selected during player turns and paid with cards. Apart from getting your hands on ancient relics of humanity, it’s also important to manipulate the black market to maximize your earnings. From what we’ve seen so far Excavation Earth feels like a pretty complex economic game that should satisfy the fans of that genre.
So, You’ve Been Eaten – Early 2020
The title couldn’t be more accurate. The game tells a story about space miners, who delve deep into colossal living beings to look for valuable minerals. Players need to choose between two opposing roles. One picks a beast and the other – a person who will be digging for crystals.
Each role can be played by an automated AI player which allows two different solo experiences. Additionally, according to the author, So You’ve Been Eaten can also be played by 2 AIs which explains the crazy sounding “0-2” player count. Miner has to collect minerals, while traveling through the digestive tract of the beast. Meanwhile the beast will try to get rid of the miner by attacking him with bacteria. If the game doesn’t end with any side winning, miner gets out of the monster and players have to count their scores to determine who ended up victorious.
The Shivers – Early 2020
And last but not least: something quite unique. The Shivers is a detective mystery game where players become the members of the titular family. The group is tasked with searching for clues, solving puzzles and putting the pieces together to solve a case.
While we always welcome good mystery games with open arms, The Shivers has much more to offer. The core of the game’s mechanics is based around pop-up 3D scenes made out of paper. Everything is beautifully illustrated and looks stunning. Detailed furniture, walls and floors hide secrets and clues to figuring out what actually happened. According to the authors: the game has a structure similar to escape rooms, where you can approach the task from different angles.
The Shivers will consist of 8 scenarios utilizing different rooms. Players can pick between 8 characters, each with an unique set of fears which become important later on when you have to face certain types of monsters. The game requires one person to play as the storyteller, similar to pen & paper RPGs.