It’s Follow-Up Friday: Puzzlesaurus Kickstarterus edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And in today’s post, I’m returning to the subject of puzzly crowdfunding campaigns!

I’ve covered various campaigns for board games, card games, and puzzle projects across the Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding platforms over the years, and today I’d like to share a few more that deserve your attention.

These are some of the cards for Scrimish, a card game so simple and elegant that I cannot believe I haven’t seen this game mechanic before.

Essentially, it’s a chess match with cards. You set up your five piles of cards face down in front of you, hiding a crown card in one of your piles. Then, you play cards against your opponent’s piles in the hopes of revealing his crown card. So strategy, rather than luck, is the name of the game here.

There’s only a day or two left in this campaign, and it’s already blown past its initial goal, so if you donate, at the very least, you’re guaranteed a copy or two of the game. (Sometimes, this is one of the advantages of jumping onto a Kickstarter bandwagon at the eleventh hour.)

Did you know that more dinosaur skeletons were discovered by just two scientists — Cope and Marsh — than by anyone else in history? And did you know that they got so competitive with one another that they actually began damaging dig sites and blowing up fossils in order to sabotage each other?

This ridiculous and amazing period in history is the source material for The Great Dinosaur Rush, a game where you attempt to build a complete dinosaur skeleton while stealthily (and sometimes, not-so-stealthily) combating your opponents’ efforts to do the same.

I’ve been waiting months for this Kickstarter to launch, ever since I first heard about the game, and now it’s well on its way to being funded. Why not take history into your own hands and mess with your friends and fellow scientists while you’re at it?

There are so many more I could cover, all with varying degrees of puzzliness. There’s the card game Master Thief (where you compete with fellow players to rob a museum), the magnetic jigsaw-style Enigma Orbs, a Cards Against Humanity-inspired bounty hunting card game called Skiptrace, and Covalence, a board game where you race to figure out molecular structures!

Heck, there’s even a collection of drinking glasses that link together (called, appropriately enough, Cupzzle)!

I highly recommend taking a little time to surf the puzzle and game pages of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, because you never know what terrific and unexpected products you might help bring to life.


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100 Games to Know!

PAX East is one of several conventions under the PAX brand, all of which are dedicated to gaming. Created by the folks behind the popular webcomic Penny Arcade, PAX East has become a premier destination for video games, board game creators, and gaming enthusiasts from all walks of life.

One of the panels this year featured prolific puzzler and game creator Mike Selinker, author of The Maze of Games and creator of numerous popular board games and card games, including Unspeakable Words, Pathfinder, and many others.

He hosted a panel entitled 100 Games You Absolutely, Positively Must Know How to Play, and over the course of the hour-long event he ran down 100 board games, card games, and video games that he considers to be essential knowledge for every game fan and game designer.

He stressed that this was not a list of the 100 best, the 100 most important, or the 100 most fun games, and that virtually every person’s opinion would vary.

And then he laid out a fantastic list of games in many styles and formats:

  • Tabletop RPGs (Dungeons & Dragons, Fiasco)
  • Electronic RPGs (The Legend of Zelda, The Secret of Monkey Island)
  • Deduction Games (Clue, Mafia)
  • Tile Games (Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Settlers of Catan)
  • Tabletop puzzle games (Scrabble, Boggle)
  • Electronic puzzle games (Myst, Bejeweled, Portal, You Don’t Know Jack)
  • Platformers (Super Mario Bros. 3, Katamari Damacy, Limbo, Braid)
  • Simulators (Madden NFL, Starcraft, FarmVille, Minecraft)
  • Traditional card games (Fluxx, Gloom, Uno)
  • Deck-construction games (Magic: The Gathering)
  • Electronic action games (Mario Kart 64, Halo, Plants vs. Zombies)
  • Rhythm games (Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band)
  • Strategy board games (Ticket to Ride, Pandemic)
  • Tabletop war games (Stratego, Axis & Allies)
  • Open world video games (Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft)
  • Creative tabletop games (Cards Against Humanity)

Several favorites of mine made the cut — like Mafia, a brilliantly simple murder mystery card game requiring nothing more than a deck of cards — and he had excellent reasons for including every game and excluding others.

Although plenty of worthy games didn’t get mentioned, I can’t come up with any game styles that Selinker missed, nor can I come up with any particular games that were egregiously excluded. I love Qwirkle, Timeline, and Castellan, for instance, but I feel like each of those gaming styles were well represented.

[He was careful to cover his bases.]

Can you think of any that the keen eye of Selinker missed, my fellow puzzlers? Let me know!

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled post for something wonderful…

I originally had our latest session of 5 Questions scheduled for today, but yesterday I stumbled upon a marvelous, time-sensitive story, and I really wanted to share it with the PuzzleNation audience, because it exemplifies the very best of the puzzly gaming community.

In last week’s Follow-Up Friday post, I briefly discussed Joe Michael MacDonald’s marvelous version of Qwirkle designed for colorblind players. And lo and behold, here is a Kickstarter campaign with even loftier goals.

The folks at 64 Oz. Games are in the final hours of a project called Board Games: Now Blind Accessible, wherein they produce specialty sleeves and other modifications for established board games and card games, allowing visually impaired players to play alongside their sighted pals.

Not only have they developed a touch-based game called Yoink! that is based on tactile gameplay, but a combination of Braille and clever use of QR codes has opened up games like Munchkin, King of Tokyo, and numerous roleplaying games to a previously excluded audience.

This inclusive spirit is brilliantly typical of the puzzle and game communities, since so many members — both designers and players/solvers — want nothing more than to share their love of games with the world.

And numerous board game, card game, and puzzle game companies are supporting the endeavor. Not only the folks at Cheapass Games, but also companies like Rio Grande Games, 9th Level, Living Worlds, and (hilariously, considering their reputation) Cards Against Humanity. (You can check out the full list of companies here.)

It’s an absolutely wonderful idea, and although there are only a few hours left to donate to this very worthy cause, I’m overjoyed to say that they’ve raised more than double their hoped-for campaign total!

This is Kickstarter and the puzzle and game communities at their best, and I’m glad I discovered it in time to share it with my fellow puzzlers.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!