As a Tabletop Geek, the best place to source unique and often high-quality games is Kickstarter. The crowdfunding platform has become the web market of choice for many, as it provides creators with the chance to improve the quality of their game production through exceeding their targets, and also gives might-have-never-otherwise-been-produced games a chance to shine. This week, we’re highlighting 7 we think are worthy of attention, that also happen to all have solo gameplay.
Escape The Dark Castle has an easy to read Kickstarter page, a nice £25 base pledge and 8 stretch goals already unlocked. It is a cooperative adventure where you and your fellow prisoners attempt to escape a castle filled with nasty surprises, created by fledling company Themeborne. The fact that one death means the whole group loses really encourages prisoners to support one another. Each game is played over 15 chapters ending with a boss encounter. With 53 chapter cards (45 + 8 from stretch goals) and 5 boss cards (3 + 2), Escape The Dark Castle promises to be replayable, accessible and quick. Bonus, the art style is filled with nostalgia, though a tad monochrome. Great playthrough video available to view here put together by the folks over at Beasts Of War.
Often choose to go rogue? If so, you have to check out Triplock – it’s gorgeous. If you like solo games, have been looking for something to play with your partner, or simply lust after high quality components, get this before it ends in 18 days. Triplock is a memory game of rotating, flipping and swapping stacks of locks around, all to be the one that breaks through that final master lock. There are currently 11 stretch goals unlocked and 1 expansion pack to add on. My only very weak complaint is the free print-and-play downloads of all future expansion packs that Chip Theory Games is offering. Why? Free is nice, but who would ever print these cards on a home printer, after being spoilt by PVC card quality? Creators Josh and Adam filmed a 20-minute playthrough for anyone interested here.
Just… the raft. If for nothing else, back it for the raft. And the dog. Solo play includes adding Scruffs the dog! But you shouldn’t have to make your decision to spend €32 just on a dog and a raft, because there is a lot more about 21 Days to like. The dice placement mechanic seems to be well balanced against the tension of surviving on an ever-shrinking raft, and designer Erik Winkelman has also given us all the tropes you look for in these situations, such as sharks and floating bottles. While the kickstarter page looks a bit rough around the edges, the actual gameplay looks solid – as you can see from this video here.
[kickstarter url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/foxtale/lucidity-six-sided-nightmares width=500]
Lucidity: Six-sided Nightmares is the second project to come out of Fox Tale Games. Based on the theory of lucid dreaming, this game asks players to choose to either embrace or escape their nightmares. Play it safe, or become the nightmare. Consume someone else’s points, or push someone closer to becoming a nightmare themselves. The fact that you can gain skills and choose dice in this press your luck game, gives it a nice edge of strategy. The 11 stretch goals unlocked thus far, have been mainly component-quality focused. However an expansion pack is possible if they reach $45,000. Unfortunately there isn’t a playthrough video, but there are at least 6 reviews on youtube.
[kickstarter url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1680723118/helionox-deluxe-edition width=600]
Helionox: Deluxe Edition is a sharp deck builder that can be played in either competitive, cooperative or solo modes. Zeroic Games is an example of a company that learns from its backers; what works, what doesn’t work. They got rid of confusing marketing strategies for this campaign, repackaging Helionox: The Last Sunsetwhich funded on July 4th, 2015 as a Deluxe Edition that includes the new expansion Mercury Protocol. No expensive add-ons, just 11 generously amazing stretch goals (so much wood!). And just to put it out there, the art in Helionox by Luke Green is everything you wished was in Terraforming Mars – cohesive, futuristic, beautiful. Full gameplay video here.
[kickstarter url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antler-games/critters-below-survival-has-never-been-so-much-fun width=500]
This is the second go round for Critters Below, an interesting take on animal survivors of the apocalypse. A party game where you can either join up or backstab your friends to survive the apocalypse is pretty cool, but one where you can also play on your own? That’s almost its own category. Antler Games has managed to produce a game where you get to hoard items that keep you from death, is language independent, allows more than 1 winner, includes hidden information, has events every round and can result in player death. All this with compelling art in a tin, with really tempting stretch goals to come – I mean the printing on that card case… Full gameplay video here.
[kickstarter url=https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/undine/oaxaca-a-dice-rolling-engine-building-card-game width=300]
Exquisite handicrafts from the Oaxacan culture are what draws the eye to this game. On the other hand, the siege and tableu building are what truly peaked our interest. There are a lot of combo possibilities in this game that reward the long-game gamer. Additionally, having customers in the solo variant is a great way to spice up solo play. Only 5 stretch goals unlocked so far, but one of those is a whole mini expansion. 2-player run through by Rahdo can be viewed here.
Very few games that aren’t story-focused provide immersive and engaging solitaire modes for players. These 7 may just change that narrative.