Restraint-wise, this second quarter of the year has been a real disaster. But I pledged a few games I’m pretty happy with. And I passed on games I never expected I would give up on.
Things started badly with Iconoclash . To begin with, it’s not soloable and I can’t think of anyone to play the game with. It’s basically Super Smash Bros Melee: The Board Game. It looked so fun that I wanted to at least grab the Bullet Heart-themed core box, but I messed up with the campaign end date and forgot to downgrade the All-In pledge to the smaller contents I was actually interested in. Hem hem. Anyway. It looks like a confidential title, so I’m glad I’ll be one of the rare few weird owners of it.
Then came Blade Rondo, a small pocket game from Japan (designer Pawn, whose experience with solo games is proven). Except they made a giant, over-expensive box out of it. Hmm. At least I appreciate the localization effort, I want more games by this designer localized to the English market, so I gave my token of support by pledging for their insane All-In large coffin.
Now, I was starting to grow overly tired of anime art, so I was pleased to see the nice little birdies in Birds of a Feather . The shipping being more expensive than the game repelled me at first, but I then found out one of the joys of living in Belgium: valuable group pledges to massively save on shipping fees. I did the same for Blade Rondo, by the way.
The next one was an ‘easy’ pledge. It was cheap, cute, and soloable. I absolutely don’t need it and it seems like yet another dungeon crawler, but I always like simple games, the atmosphere looked enticing, and really, for once, I’m just happy that I can afford a game without sweating too much about the big mistake I’m doing. So, kudos to Explorers of the Woodlands for making things easy and accessible.
Weirdly enough, one of the pledges I may be the happiest with is certainly the one for Zerywia Quest. There are many reasons for me to be grumpy about this one. They launched the campaign even though the delivery of the core game hadn’t ended yet (actually I got mine a few days into the new campaign). They added “surprise” add-ons to milk more out of you once you’re already hooked. There is just way too much content already in the first campaign, so there was absolutely no need for a second one, especially so early. I have barely played one game of it, and I suffered terribly with the messy crappy rulebook.
So, what about it? Well, let’s face it: it’s just super pretty, at least in my book. I absolutely love the raw aesthetics of this game. It makes me want to get it instantly. Besides, the core loop looked pretty good and punchy, and the rules are simple if you get through the mud that covers them. Moreover, they did a pretty good campaign: they didn’t add too much, and they provided a nice ‘all-in’ pledge for returning backers which felt as if it were worth it. In the end, I also enjoy the “minimalism” of it all, as there are few tokens, very few minis, and most of the game is driven through cards, of which there are tons.
It really didn't
Speaking of adding content to the point of repulsion, I dropped off two campaigns after the one too many add-on: This Didn’t Happen, and Pocket Landship. Both games look fine (the latter definitely is, as I own the core game and am perfectly happy with it). I just didn’t want to spend so much on these, once you include everything. I also passed on Paradox Initiative, which was one of my most expected games of 2022 on KS. Why so? The art, so evocative in the original, was unbearably bland. The whole thing felt far too expensive. They made a few weird choices regarding setting aside most of the solo/co-op aspect for a hypothetical future release. Well, they made my life easier, I can’t complain!
Grabbed by the nuts
Then I add a few extra pledges which are not even relevant for this website, as always. I got Fujiyama and Ajisai because they looked gorgeous and I like getting games from Japan. I got Maul Peak because I already have Skulk Hollow, and the likelihood that it turns out to be any good if I ever try it is not zero. As always, I also backed a trick-taking game, Violet and the Grumpy Nisse, which was a super fun campaign for me as I got involved more than I usually do (I even suggested rewriting parts of their draft page, and they did it). I also grabbed a comic book, Snail Knight, because for once it comes from the EU so the shipping was affordable, and a video game, Afterimage, as well as sleeves from Giochix, which are the ones I use on a regular basis.
And just when I thought it was over… On the 30th of June, I backed a game I was not actually following, on the last day of its campaign: Nut Hunt. I guess I wanted to reward myself for passing on Arcs, something I had never expected to be capable of. After reading the rules, Nut Hunt looked genuinely fun, with a good solo mode, and, and… I won’t pretend any longer, I just got hooked with the hundred of woodland critters meeples.