Update: Moonshell: A Mermaid Game has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 18 days. You may pledge for a copy of the game or also get an acrylic mermaid pin, or a deluxe wooden insert.
Our preview post below was published on February 27.
Moonshell: A Mermaid Game is a 1-4 player pattern building game in which players are mermaids trying to get the most stunning collection of moonshells. It will launch on Kickstarter on March 2.
The moonshell tiles come in four different shapes and four different colors. They are displayed on a central 5x5 grid, representing the ocean. The goal is to collect moonshells from this board to place onto your own board, creating patterns to fulfill both public/shared and secret/personal objectives.
To start, players first choose a Mermaid of their choice, each of them tied to a unique power that can be used once every turn. The game provides the corresponding Mermeeples.
On your turn, you have three actions that you can spend to rotate the board, pull the closest two moonshells of a chosen column towards the shore you're currently facing (shores are simply the edges of the grid), if empty, or collect one of the moonshells on that shore. When you collect a moonshell, it gets added to your personal collection, a chest featuring a 4x3 grid, sinking to the bottom of it in a Tetris-like fashion. The board is replenished as soon as moonshells are pulled out of it.
The end game is triggered when one player entirely fills their treasure chest. Players earn points according to the objectives they managed to fulfill, and the player with the most points wins.
In the solo mode, you are facing an automated opponent that takes actions according to a simple flowchart (they rotate the board, then collect whenever there are moonshells to collect, pulling new moonshells on the shore otherwise). The opponent does not score at the end though, and the aim is simply to get the best possible score, achieving the corresponding ranking tier.