Oh yes, it’s that time again. For several years now, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been hotbeds of innovative puzzle and game design, and I’m always happy to spread the word about worthy projects that I think will delight and amaze my fellow PuzzleNationers.
So let’s take a look at some projects that are currently seeking funding and see if any pique your interest!
Verwald’s Treasures is a puzzle hunt designed by Nathan Curtis that can be solved either from home or in a live puzzle hunt event held in the Boston area.
Curtis promises that the puzzle hunt will involve over thirty different puzzles, including three-dimensional challenges to really test your puzzly mettle.
For a smaller donation, you’ll receive a number of variety pencil puzzles (unconnected to the puzzle hunt itself), but in order to participate in the hunt itself, pledges start at $60. The campaign is about halfway funded with 22 days to go, and should provide a puzzly challenge outside the norm for solvers accustomed to pencil-and-paper puzzles.
Another puzzle-filled project is The Conjurer’s Almanaq, touted as an escape room in a book. It is a self-contained puzzling experience that will test all sorts of puzzly skills, masquerading as a book of magic. Clearly a great deal of storytelling and homework has gone into this one, including cryptic tales of the great Qdini, who created the book.
Plus this Kickstarter edition of the book will be different from the mass market version to come. Not only will more of the pages be in color, but backers will receive their copy of the book at least a month before the mass market version goes on sale.
This seems like a really intriguing campaign, and it’s already over 200% funded with two weeks to go, so your chances of seeing the campaign come to fruition are already pretty good.
Let’s switch gears from puzzles to games and check out The Mansky Caper, a heist game from Ray Wehrs at Calliope Games.
There are safes to crack, explosives to acquire, loot to hide, and other members of an ambitious mob family to contend with. You can forge alliances with other players too, but be careful… if you press your luck too far, you might just fall victim to an explosive booby trap.
This looks like great fun, and it’s three-quarters of the way funded with over three weeks to go in the campaign.
For a game with more of a social element — heavy on negotiation — there’s Black Hole Council. Every player is a member of council that allocates resources to different planets — and consigns some to destruction in a black hole.
Each player has their own agenda they’d like to advance, and as the role of “leader” passes from player to player, deals are negotiated, bribes are offered, arguments are made, and votes are held to see just how the various planets are arranged. Can you convince your fellow players to make moves that are to your advantage, or will these planets slip from your fingertips?
The game is already funded and chasing stretch goals at this point (with over two weeks to go), and it looks like a nice step up in complexity from other deceit and negotiation games like Coup or The Resistance.
We’ll conclude today’s Kickstarter roundup with a music-minded strategy game, Re-Chord.
In this game, you’re a guitarist pursuing the top of the charts, and you do so by playing actual chords to complete songs and build your level of fame. You can learn music while you play!
The game is 200% funded with over 20 days to go — which means they’re well on their way to funding expansions to the game, additional chord cards, and more — and it seems like a clever mix of music and tactics, the perfect bridge to bring non-gamers to the table.
Have any of these games hooked you? Let us know which ones you’re supporting in the comments section below! And if there are any campaigns you’re supporting that we missed, let us know!
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