Next week of April is going to be filled with well known names and gallons of hype on Kickstarter. Some of the most beloved board games, including ones that were never funded on KS until now, are getting new editions and expansions launched there. And what’s the funniest… all of them on the same day.
Giant Takenoko – April 16th
Takenoko – one of the best simple strategy games, and a great gateway title for anyone looking to delve into more complicated board games. Loved by gamers and families alike, the creation of Antoine Bauza is about to come to Kickstarter for the first time. The product offered on the campaign might not be completely new, but it’s still in high demand and costs a fortune on ebay.
Giant Takenoko, because that’s how it’s called, is an extra sized version of the classic game, where all elements including bamboo shoots, hexes and the mr. panda himself are much much bigger than in the original version. The game is going to include the “Chibis” expansion as well, with an extra sized ms. panda.
Giant Takenoko was initially released a few years ago in limited quantities and quickly became a rarity of sorts. Now, thanks to Kickstarter, people will be able to get it again… as long as they live in the US, as it’s sadly the only place where this edition is going to ship.
Terraforming Mars: Turmoil – April 16th
Each time I visit a board game club or cafe, there’s at least one table with a group attempting to terraform the fourth planet from the sun. The game, merging card engine building with a board shared by all players, became a worldwide phenomenon quickly after its debut in 2016.
So far, four expansions for Terraforming Mars have been released. Venus Next introduced flying cities, few dozens of new project cards, corporations, resources and fresh ways to win. Hellas & Elysium included 2 completely new maps with their own awards granting scores. Prelude gave players new cards and mechanics that speed up, and spice up the beginning of the game. Colonies allowed traveling to distant planets and establishing bases.
What is Turmoil, the newest expansion, bringing to the table? A lot. Apart from another set of corporations and projects, the main focus will be on the complicated martian politics involving parties with conflicting goals. We will be able to support or even influence them. Ruling parties will change each turn and provide various bonuses and penalties.
New cards called “global events” will heavily affect the flow of the game and again make it more complex. Creators also promise to add new player boards, to replace the thin cardboard ones known from the original version.
Anachrony: Fractures of Time – April 16th
Anachrony came out 2 years ago thanks to euro loving, Hungarian publisher called Mindclash Games (Trickerion, Cerebria). The game has surprisingly deep storyline, considering its euro genre. Anachrony takes place in a dark, post apocalyptic world, where time traveling allows people to visit the past and foresee preventable cataclysms of the future. Gameplay involves worker placement elements, looking for goods, using specialists and using equipment.
Since the release, Anachrony has managed to get quite a devoted fanbase and plenty of favorable reviews. Original campaign got to $440,461. The newest expansion is supposed to take place in a slightly altered timeline, with new locations to visit and is centered on a newly discovered technology of Fluxes. These allow for instant moving of exosuits and workers and save time usually spent on creating new ones. A fresh attempt at the solo mode is also planned, along with a deluxe edition. Anachrony: Fractures of Time will also expand the number of buildings, worker types and projects while adding a fifth path to the game.
On Mars – April 18th
And last but definitely not least: one of the most hyped games of the month – On Mars. It was created by Vital Lacerda, the designer of Escape Plan, Lisboa, The Gallerist and plenty of others. Ian O’Toole is again responsible for art in the game, and again is one of the key reasons to get it.
On Mars takes us to the red planet in the middle of 21st century. You and your team will be tasked with building a self sustainable colony. You will have to mine resources, create buildings, expand territory, conduct research, construct vehicles and finally: make your company a fully independent organism. Clever use of resources like electricity and food will be vital to surviving and achieving victory.
The key mechanic involves traveling between the orbit and the titular Mars itself. Depending on your location you get a completely different set of available actions, and have to use a special travel action to change where you are, and perform different tasks next turn. Dividing the actions into 2 groups creates an interesting approach to turn order, different than what most games on the market have.