Welcome to Kickstart Monday! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.
There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.
Our first game this week is Undergrove from Alderc Entertainment Group on Kickstarter.
Undergrove is a game for 1 to 4 players from designers Elizabeth Hargrave and Mark Wooton and is based on the real life symbiotic relationships between trees and fungi. In the game the players will take on the role of a tree that’s right a tree – to be specific a Douglas Fir tree in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Players compete to establish seedlings throughout the forest and develop the best symbiotic relationships with the mushrooms in the forest.
Players will spread their seedlings through the forest looking to be adjacent to mushrooms and fungi with beneficial abilities and to potentially gain points for relationships for those mushrooms. To use a mushroom’s ability with the Activate action you will first need to grow roots from your seedlings on to the adjacent mushroom with the Reproduce or Partner action. In the same way you must have grown a root token on a mushroom to gain points for it at the end of the game. Mushroom activation abilities can provide needed resources to take your main actions or refresh your ability to activate mushrooms or provide other benefits. You also have the option to add new mushrooms to the forest expanding the different ability options and scoring opportunities. The Absorb action will importantly allow you to absorb carbon from nearby mushrooms into your seedlings which lets you score mushrooms you have roots on and potentially grow into trees which score even more.
Through the game players will have to carefully select where to spread their seedlings to maximize their scoring potential and strategically choose which seedlings to grow into trees. Undergrove features beautiful illustrations by artist Beth Sobel of a variety of real life mushroom and fungi species. The game will be available as a standard edition for a very reasonable $39 USD. The deluxe mycologist edition features upgraded wooden components and the whispering woods micro expansion all for $69 USD. The campaign for Undergrove ends in just a few short days on December 8, 2023, so be quick to get your pledge in!
Next up this week is Nocturne from Flatout Games on Kickstarter.
Nocturne is a light strategy game for 1 to 4 players from the makers of Calico and Cascadia and also features art by the excellent Beth Sobel. Nocturne takes place in a magical moonlit forest where the players as powerful fox mystics will cast spells to gather magical items and ingredients for brewing potions. The forest takes the shape of a grid of tiles that represent the items and potion components that players will be competing for.
Players capture tiles with a spatial bidding mechanism; they must cast one of their spell tokens numbered 1 through 7 and cast a more powerful spell than the previous player on an adjacent tile. Players continue to bid with their spells until all players have passed, the winner then claims the item tile for their collection. Items tiles like Firebird Feathers, Creature Skulls and Mysterious eggs each have their own scoring rule when collected in sets but can also be combined in a recipe to craft a concoction as an alternative way of earning points. Winning a tile also grants the player a chance to draft special item tiles that have their own unique scoring methods.
Players will use the unique power of their individual fox mystic to compete over the two Twilight and Moonlight rounds to collect the greatest set of magical items and concoctions as well as attempt to achieve the Twilight and Moonlight public goals to ultimately become the winner.
Nocturne looks beautiful and seems easy to teach while also providing an interesting puzzle to the player. As a bonus for those with kids the game also features a family variant which simplifies and streamlines some of the rules to make it suitable for younger players.
The Nocturne Kickstarter edition is available for just $29 USD which includes all unlocked stretch goals as well as an exclusive Kickstarter promo pack with new character cards, concoctions and goal cards. There are just a few days until the campaign ends on December 8, 2023, so find your way through the forest quickly to the Nocturne Kickstarter page quickly if you are looking to pledge.
Did we miss your favorite project?
Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.
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