Now that Gen Con is over, we will start to see the quality of Kickstarter projects increase. The crunch between now and Essen will be filled with new projects, so let’s take a look at a few:
First up we’ve got prolific designer Scott Almes’ latest collaboration with Eagle-Gryphon Games, Island Hopper:
Many said that you would never be able to deliver goods to all the islands in this remote archipelago, but you and your partners are dead-set to prove them wrong! Yes, you all had to pool your money into buying one plane; and, yes, the plane is held together by duct-tape and some hope. To make matters worse the navigational instruments are completely broken, so in essence, you are flying blind. But if you cross your eyes just enough it looks like this airplane is perfectly fine! I mean what could possibly go wrong?…
Island Hopper is a game where you and other players fulfill contracts for the various companies scattered throughout the archipelago, while bidding amongst yourselves for who is going to pilot the battered plane. Bribing the pilot is essential since everyone has different contracts for different islands, and not enough fuel to get to them all! With none of you being actual pilots, and the navigation system being shot, this forces the pilot to rely on the other players for directions to successfully deliver cargo. Since everyone wants to fulfill contracts on different islands, the question really is, who should you trust?
Scott Almes designed Island Hopper, along with other titles such as Loop, Inc. and the Tiny Epic Series of games. It supports 2 to 6 players, ages 10+, and takes only an hour to play.Island Hopper is a fantastic addition to the gaming hobby, and Scott’s contribution is a game that you will keep coming back to time and again.
This one is aloft until September 6th, so don’t get stuck on the ground! [link]
Next up, Daily Magic Games adds to their stable of wonderful games with their latest offering, Merchants of Araby:
Become the wealthiest merchant prince or princess in all of Araby by establishing an entourage of merchants and allies, teaching virtues, summoning djinni, making shrewd caravan investments, and negotiating frequently.
During your turn, you’ll start a caravan and then perform as many actions as you like or can afford. You’ll add merchants and allies to your entourage, you’ll teach virtues to your opponents, and you’ll summon djinn for powerful effects.
You’ll also be doing a lot of negotiating. Simply stated, everything in Merchants of Araby is negotiable for everything. You can trade gold for camel placement, cards for products, actions for promised actions, camel placement for ally tasking, cards from entourage to entourage, cards from hand to hand, something for nothing. The list is nearly endless. If you can strike a deal, then feel free to do so.
Caravans are the primary source of income and the main reason for negotiations. Each space on the caravan will hold one camel carrying a particular product and each caravan represents a journey to a distant Araby city to sell those valuable products. Player participation, bandits, and market fluctuations will affect each caravan’s payout and you do not want to miss out on getting your share of the profits.
Add camels to caravans by tasking merchants, playing a djinn card, or negotiating with other players to generate the products you need or to add their camels to your caravan. An opponent may not add a camel to your caravan without negotiating for your permission, but unless you complete at least one full row or column on the caravan card, you’re not going to earn anything! When your turn ends, your caravan becomes locked to you and you may not add more of your camels to it unless the active player grants you permission to do so through some negotiation.
Your caravans depart at the start of your next turn, but be wary of bandits out to steal your goods as bandits tend to target the camels in the most lucrative caravan positions.
This one will be around until September 13th, so check it out today! [link]
Finally, we have Good Games Publishing with their carnival themed Unfair:
Unfair is a theme park tableau building game like nothing out there. Mix your favourite themes from Pirates, Robots, Jungle, Vampires and now Ninja. Build attractions and upgrade them to match blueprints, stack up towering rides, or simply make the most cash.
Watch out though – your competitors may pay off the safety inspectors to close your rides or hire hooligans to vandalise your park! How will you get revenge?
Play events, build cards to your theme park tableau from the market or your hand, and draw cards in quick single-action turns.
Every player has a rival, every strategy has a counter, and every action matters in this accessible yet deep and replayable game.
The lines for this one will close on September 15th, so queue up today! [link]