The last week of April has a lot to offer if you're itching to pledge, so let's jump right in.
After a successful launch of the second edition last year, the post-apocalyptic adventure game Waste Knights is going to get an expansion called Beyond the Horizon. This time, the knights are leaving Australia behind and set sail to explore the surrounding islands. Challenges include fighting sea monsters, searching for freshwater sources, and finding out about Project X. The game supports 1-4 players and includes both cooperative and competitive scenarios. It is launching on Kickstarter on April 26.
Personal opinion: If money wasn't an issue I might have bought the base game, as I like the setting. It seems to be a one-and-done affair, however, and not all the content is soloable, so I decided to abstain.
Cranio Creations is launching the 1-4 player 4X eurogame Anunnaki: Dawn of the Gods on April 26. As the category suggests, you are playing as one of four rival alien civs that develop their skills and fight each other with the aim to conquer Atlantis. The key mechanisms are action selection and fulfillment of contracts in order to earn victory points. Solo mode hasn't been revealed yet.
Personal opinion: 4X games are not ideal for solo play, and I suspect this one is not an exception.
After sailing in the North Sea and building the West Kingdom, Shem Phillips and SJ Macdonald transport the action to the South Tigris in medieval Baghdad. In Wayfarers of the South Tigris, each player is an explorer/cartographer who sets out on a journey to map the land, sea and stars, and report their findings to the Caliph.
You will be assigning dice to actions, placing workers and gathering points for your discoveries. The cards you collect over the course of the game, combined with your player board, will form a panoramic tableau. Solo is played against an AI opponent with its own set of scheme cards. It is launching on Kickstarter on April 26.
Personal opinion: Much as I like the theme, I will wait for Shem's upcoming solo-only game, Legacy of Yu.
Steven Aramini, the designer of the solo mega-hit Sprawlopolis, has a new flip 'n' write out called Fliptown. This is a 1-4 player game in which you are exploring a Wild West town by using a poker deck.
On each turn, you will be flipping 3 cards to determine the location you will be exploring (trail, badlands, mine, town), the site within that location, and one card to add to your hand of 5 to be resolved at the end of the round. In solo, you can choose to either play against any one of the four AI opponents, or to beat your own score. It is launching on Kickstarter on April 26.
Personal opinion: I must admit this is a great idea, and the overall design looks lovely. Roll 'n' writes don't tempt me, however, and neither do bots and byos.
I said above that 4X games don't seem well-suited for solo play but what happens when they are cooperative? Uprising: Curse of the Last Emperor launched last year and seems to be fairly well-received so far. You are playing as a faction that rebels against the Empire and also fights the forces of Chaos that threaten to consume the Empire itself. You will be recruiting units, building fortresses, and performing various actions in order to beat both the Empire and the hordes of Chaos.
The game is now coming back to Gamefound on April 26 with a reprint and an expansion called Titans of the First Age. You may check the preview page.
Personal opinion: I'm a fan of the neon colour art style but I remember that the impression the gameplay videos had given me was that there is too much going on for my taste. I'm glad that it enriches the 4X genre, however, and would gladly try it if given the chance.
That's it for now, please stay tuned for Part 2.