5 Kickstarters to watch from UK Games Expo 2017

If you haven’t read or heard already, we were at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham recently. One of the things that really took us by surprise were the sheer number of games on display that are either about to, or already are, on Kickstarter. Here’s our pick of five board games you should be watching and thinking of backing.

Untold: Adventures Await

The Kickstarter for Untold: Adventures Await has actually now completed, having doubled their target by the time the campaign ended just a few days after the UK Games Expo. We caught up with Michael at the Creativity Hub on the first day of the Expo.
“‘Untold’ provides the framework for players to collaboratively build their own story in the style of a classic serialised TV show.
Players set out what kind of show they’d like to make, create characters for that show and then use dice to define what happens at the different beats of the story. They collaborate to develop and embellish the story using the story structure, dice rolls and pass/fail results as inspiration.”
Regardless of the result the story continues, taking you through five stages of the story plot, the Danger Scene, the Intrigue Scene, a plot twist, the Dramatic Revelation and the Final Showdown. The story doesn’t stop there however, as you can take the outcomes and characters from this story onto the next episode.

Prototype Artwork

It’s certainly an interesting concept that definitely seemed to work when the game was demoed to us at the show. However, it was the artwork that drew my attention to it in the first place at the show. A menagerie of TV tropes act as a background to the game, allowing you to draw inspiration when you had perhaps run out of ideas. The cards and dice that were used to tell the story had simple but well crafted graphics to them also. The final stretch goal that was unlocked in the Kickstarter was a line art version of the board that would allow you to colour it in as you please.

We’re hoping to hear more from Untold: Adventures Await in the future. If you missed their Kickstarter campaign, make sure to head over to their website for updates on the games release.

Making Time

Time is running out for Emryol: The City of Brass. In Making Time you play as a guild of Clocksmiths who work together in an arcane ritual that must be performed every year. Players need to construct a certain number of Timepieces before the master clock hits midnight to successfully concluded the ritual.

The Timepieces have Aura effects while they remain incomplete. These change the rules in some way and may make it beneficial to keep a Timepiece in play, rather than completing it. However, the Timepieces also have an Activation effect that take effect only when the Timepiece is completed. These are one-off effects that may be positive or negative.

Making Time is very much still at its prototype stage, but we were fortunate enough to get our hands on one of their prototypes and will be following up with a more detailed look at the game. The Kickstarter campaign hasn’t launched yet, but should be coming up soon!

Escape The Dark Castle

Escape the Dark Castle is a co-operative game for 1-4 players in which the party all must escape from the depths of the Dark Castle. Each character type has their own unique set of dice with which to tackle the challenges presented by each door of the castle.

What’s great about Escape the Dark Castle is that there are a large number of doors in the deck, but you only use 15 in a game. The characters are already defined with their own set of dice, so despite this being a dungeon crawler style game, it takes only 2 minutes to set up. Once more, the artwork also appealed. The plain black and white creepy drawings fit the theme perfectly.

Escape the Dark Castle only has a few days left on its Kickstarter at the time of writing and has already far surpassed its original goal. In fact, they had met their funding goal in just 2 days. We’re looking forward to seeing the final product.

Lander

Lander was making its first public appearance during the UK Games Expo. Lander is a resource management strategy game in which you are racing to complete the most missions to win the game. A modular game board will mean that each play through will be different. Added on top of that is a character development mechanic that will allow you to train and upgrade your engineers, operators and scientists.

Charles Gershom and Dan Alexander have big plans for the future of Lander. They have self funded their first production run of the game, but are planning for a Kickstarter campaign in 2018. Lander is already designed to work as 1v1, 2v2 or Free for All styles of play. When we spoke to them at the UK Games Expo they alluded to 5-6 player expansion, a card game variant, and also aspirations to a Jackbox Party style version of the game where everyone manages their resources via a phone app, with the main board appearing on a TV monitor.

Again it was the artwork, from Elias Stern, that really caught our attention at the show. The prototype version of the game on the floor was pre-artwork, but the samples we were shown were pretty impressive.

We’ll be looking out for the Lander Kickstarter when it comes in 2018

BAKA

BAKA is the second Kickstarter from Harrison Clifford Hochkins, after his success with Buck: Legacy, the Pony themed, card based dungeon crawler. BAKA is a little more straight forward as a forfeit based card game, similar to Chase the Ace or Bastard.

If you like Anime or JRPGs then you will love the artwork on the BAKA cards. We spoke the them during the second day of the expo. While Buck has had great success in the US they are still really waiting for their games to take off in the UK. BAKA has secured its funding on Kickstarter and we reckon it could be a hit anywhere you can get your hands on it.

As always, the usual warnings go along with backing anything on Kickstarter. Learn about Accountability.

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