Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Back in the mists of time a little worker placement game called Alien Frontiers took the world by storm, launching on a then little-known platform called kickstarter. Today companies launch multi-million dollar projects on Kickstarter on a weekly basis and excitable gamers throw cash at their computer screens in a fervour of FOMO induced excitement. But when the dust settles and the campaign burbles along through the manufacturing and shipping process some of that excitement can ebb away.
So today I thought I’d take a moment to gee myself back up and get back on board the hype train for three Kickstarter projects I backed that are delivering this year.
First up we have 7th Continent, What Goes Up Must Come Down:
When the base game delivered I think I had only a few days between it arriving and it hitting the table. I’ve already had WGUMCD for the better part of a month and I’ve yet to set sail and brave the shores of the continent. Now, my logical brain would tell you that I’m not playing it until I’ve finished painting all the minis but I think there could be other reasons too.
Firstly 7th Continent is a long game, sure you can break it up into any sized chunks you want to but at the end of the day, once you start playing a curse you can’t play the game with anyone else until you finish playing the campaign or die. Secondly, the game now takes up two huge boxes which are currently split between my parents house in Manchester and my flat in Chester. The task of actually getting the game to the table is now a organisational challenge which requires forward planning and a really big backpack.
So, what can I do to get myself excited once again to visit the 7th Continent? I can remind myself of all the unforgettable things I’ve done and discovered on the continent. The time I beat an old man to death and stole his possessions, the time I lost my leg while confidently declaring, “No, I’m right, it’ll be fine.” and of course the conversation that went…
Me: “I’m going to put my hand into this nest of blood sucking insects.”
Dave: “Dude, don’t do that, nothing good can come of that.”
Me: “Eh, I think I’m gonna do it…”
With all the expansions added in my time with the continent will become even more varied as I can soar across the skies in a hot air balloon, or surge beneath them on a raft riding on an underground river. Adventure awaits...
Second we have Zombicide Invader:
I backed Invader after having only really dabbled in Modernicide and I was pretty caught up in the excitement of being involved in a big CMON campaign. I bought pretty much everything and now I am dreading not only trying to find somewhere to store this mountain of plastic, but also carving out the time that it is going to take to paint it all!
I’ve played a fair bit more Zombicide since I backed this campaign and while I enjoy it, I do find the gameplay a little shallower (and a lot more random) than maybe I would have liked. Thankfully Invader is seeing largely favourable reviews across the interwebs which has me a but more pumped, but no less intimidated by the sheer amount of content I have ordered!
So to bring up my excitement once more I’m going to concentrate on the things that make Invader different to base zombicide. CMON have introduced small tweaks to improve the gameplay such as concentrated fire and friendly fire, as well as new gameplay elements like the bots and sentry guns. And of course I’m looking forward to painting some of the homage minis like, Rick & Morty, Claptrap and the Portal Sentry Turret.
Finally we have TMNT Adventures Change is Constant and City Fall:
This is one I am really looking forward to. If I love any intellectual property more than any other, it is the Turtles. The TMNT Adventures line is based on an old favourite of mine, TMNT Shadows of the Past, designed by our treasured Kevin Wilson. However, the keyword here is “based on”. The game has been developed by two first time designers/developers, Daniel Lansdown and Pete Walsh. While Dan and Pete are very devoted and passionate, I do worry that the game may come across more as a very well produced fan project.
The campaign featured two full base sets, two smaller expansions and dozens and dozens of new playable heroes making this no small challenge to playtest thoroughly. Pete and Daniel also developed a new AI system which allows for the game to be played fully co-op.
This is my biggest fear! I really want to play the co-op version! Whenever we play board games I always end up playing the villain. In Shadows of the Past I was shredder, in Descent I’m the overlord, in imperial assault I’m the imperials, in Dark World I was Korak… you get the point. The introduction of an AI system meant I could finally pick up my twin katana and kick some foot as everyone's favourite blue bandana’d hero.
During the campaign Dan and Pete put out a video showing Co-op Mode in its full glory and I was still excited until the moment when the “Intelligence” part of the AI broke down. As soon as the heroes went out of line of sight the villains simply “forgot” where the heroes were. Sure you can explain it away as the ninjas vanishing from sight but I’m worried that the system could also lead to scenarios that simply break like a poorly coded video game.
However, I love the Turtles. I adore the IDW universe. I admire just how much passion Dan and Pete have poured into this project and how closely they have stuck to the storyline of the comic arcs. I cannot wait to paint some mousers or break out some of the more esoteric characters like Usagi Yojimbo or Pigeon Pete. October cannot get here soon enough for me to hold this big box of turtle love in my arms even if it turns out to be a fan made love letter to the franchise with holes that need patching, it’ll still be the best collection of TMNT inspired gaming components ever brought to the table.