We have a couple of solo heavy hitters dropping on Kickstarter this week, plus a few others, so let's dig right in.
Starting off with Astro Knights, the sci-fi adaptation of almost everyone's deck building darling, Aeon's End. In case you haven't played it, Aeon's End is a fantasy deck builder in which mages try to defend the city of Gravehold from the onslaught of various monsters.
What sets the game apart from the rest of its genre is that you don't shuffle your discard pile. This means that you have to be careful about which card you play when, so that you will be able to use it again in the next round. Each Nemesis AI plays differently, so you have to adapt your strategy every time.
The upcoming reskin will feature faster setup, individual decks for bosses, and a semi-random card market. Launch date: February 8.
Personal opinion: I am one of the few people who didn't fall head over heels for Aeon's End. I never got used to the art style, always thought it looks ugly and has horrible graphic design and bad card stock for the cards. I recognize the merits of the innovative gameplay but it never gave me the exhilaration I feel whenever I play Legendary Alien. Anyhow, here we are, with new artwork and a new setting. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I'll check the Kickstarter and decide.
Second in hotness is the new installment in the "solo hero" line by Renegade Games: Wreckland Run. A car race set in a Mad Maxian universe in which you are trying to get supplies to your destination before other cars destroy your vehicle. The game is split in two phases: the Wreckage phase and the Run phase.
In the Wreckage phase you will draft dice to power car upgrades and add them to your vehicle. Your enemies are activated by red dice which you roll and assign to their cards. In the Run phase, the effects of all the cards take place: the enemies shoot at you, and your car either avoids the damage with shields or shoots back.
Wreckland Run is a campaign game with 7 chapters, with each chapter adding new upgrades, parts and enemies. It's launching on February 8.
Personal opinion: Hmm. I like post-apocalyptic games but this particular theme doesn't excite me. It's all about the cars, and not survival in a toxic environment with mutants. Dice drafting is okay but it doesn't make my engine run, so to speak. I expect it to be a big success on KS, though, I know I'm in the minority here.
Besides Wreckland Run, another game by Scott Almes is launching on the same day, and this time it's a race for profit. Silicon Valley is a 1-4 player economic game in which Valley entrepreneurs are competing for the most money-making startup company. Very little info is available so far: you will be hiring staff, seeking investors, and using polyomino tiles to put out products on the market, but your competitors may copy your ideas, refine them and launch them as their own. The first player to be valued at 1 billion dollars is the winner.
Personal opinion: The game reflects a lifestyle I loathe, so this is not for me at all.
Deep Rock Galactic is the board game adaptation of the pc game by the same name, and features a team of space mining dwarfs fighting insectoid aliens that get in the way of their treasure. This is a 1-4 player cooperative adventure game with minis, dice rolling and resource gathering. The designer said they will also release a version with standees for people who don't like plastic. This is pretty much all we know about it so far. Launch date: February 10.
Personal opinion: lukewarm. It seems like your typical overland crawler which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm not a fan of standees, and the minis version will probably be pricey. I'll think about it if the KS campaign looks fun enough.
Finally, we have one game relaunch and the release of a soloable expansion.
Zerbique also told me that the upcoming expansion to Unfair makes the game soloable. This is the Comicbook, Hacker, Kaiju and Ocean expansion launching on February 7, and it will introduce an AI opponent called Quinn.