What's Kickin' on Kickstarter? - 3/2/18 Edition

Kyle Massa
March 02, 2018

It's back by popular demand. Welcome to another edition of our ongoing series, What's Kickin' on Kickstarter?!

This is a series where we highlight some of the most interesting and innovative projects on Kickstarter. Since we dig board, card, and tabletop games at Flipside Gaming, we'll keep our focus on those. Hope you enjoy this new edition!


A game with a great name, Darwinning! is, as you'd expect, all about evolution. Players play through four eras with the goal of shaping their species into the most adaptable and the longest-lasting. Species which progress up the food chain, increase their populations, adapt best to their environments, and develop the most useful new traits are the winners. Or Darwinners, as it were.

This seems like a super fun game for players of all ages. Parents would likely enjoy playing this one with their kids (the recommended age is nine and up). Darwinning! has gotten strong reviews from a number of international sources as well. To me, the coolest aspect of this game is taking a species and moving it up the food chain. Just imagine a parrot eating a dinosaur. How cool is that?

Darwinning! is currently a little more than halfway to its goal of $3,000, with 15 days left to fund.

Swords & Souls

Swords & Souls is a multiplayer combat card game in which players play for their lives. Literally.

In this game, you take the role of a fabled hero who's died on a quest and now resides in the Underworld. At least you're not alone, though—your adventuring friends also bit the dust. However, Hades, God of the Underworld, decides to host a little contest. Whoever wins gets a free trip back to the world of the living. The catch: there can only be one victor.

Swords & Souls is a fast-paced, interactive game where players vie for obols, the currency of the Underworld. You can choose from six heroes including the Guardian, the Berserker, and the Heir. Each turn, you must either fortify your own position or try to thwart that of your erstwhile friends. Seems like this game would be especially fun to play with a big group.

With about 75% left to earn on its $16,000 goal, Swords & Souls still needs more backers over the final 20 days of its Kickstarter. Check it out!

Building An Elder God

I don't know what it is about the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but the guy deserves major props for inspiring so many fun board games. Building An Elder God is the latest in the long line of Cthulhu-inspired games. The twist? This time, you create your own being.

Like any good game, Building An Elder God offers strategic complexity with relatively simple game mechanics. Each turn, players draw a new card from the deck and choose to either build upon their own God or impede the growth of their opponents'. Other game pieces provide additional decisions, such as the ten shards of the infamous Necronomicon. Lovecraftian references such as these are fun for fans, though not essential to fully enjoy the game.

My favorite part of this game is the element of customization. Just like the name implies, players have the privilege of constructing their very own tentacled elder beings. And the image of these great creatures battling one another is simply awesome.

With 25 days to go on its campaign, Building an Elder God has 118 backers and $3,710 pledged so far. The goal is a total of $16,000. It's also got a number of different pledge levels, so feel free to check them out! (Note: this game is a reprint of an earlier version.)

Ultimate Conspiracy

This game looks sweet. In Ultimate Conspiracy, players take on the roles of investigators in fictional Witsand City during the 1920's. A number of citizens have gone missing, and it's up to you to figure it out. There's a conspiracy afoot!

This game offers a wide array of materials, including a game board, character figurines, dice, and over one thousand cards. The artwork on these items is also very cool. My favorite is the Event Card entitled "Horror Vision," which depicts a six-eyed, winged demon. Not sure what it does or what it means, but it certainly looks cool!

The gameplay appears similar to the classic Clue with added mechanics. For example, non-player characters offer secret documents which help facilitate the investigation. Also, each playable character offers unique traits, stats, and skills which further influence gameplay. Lastly, there appear to be a number of different places to visit and NPCs to meet. Each presents different options, suggesting a high degree of replayability.

Ultimate Conspiracy is certainly a big time production—they've already got $37,365 pledged, and that's only a little more than halfway to their goal! There are 27 days left on this Kickstarter.

1,000-Year Beard: The Card Game

1,000-Year Beard: The Card Game has got to be one of the most unusual games, ever. The object of the game is more or less what you might guess—you're a dwarf who's trying to grow a better beard than everyone else. (Coincidentally, I'm trying to do the same in real life. What are the odds?)

The game includes various custom beard components represented by cards, including stubble, mustaches, scruff, and braid rings. Each card features colorful, whimsical art that should be entertaining for players of any age.

The creator of 1,000-Year Beard, D.D. O'Brien, is also planning on making color-blind friendly versions of his game. O'Brien also states that he'd like to give away any extra copies to anyone nominated by pledgers. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the man himself has a sweet beard. Great stuff, D.D.!

With less than a week to hit its funding goal, 1,000-Year Beard: The Card Game has $1,246 toward its $6,000 target. If you believe in this game, feel free to help out!

Cult: Choose Your God Wisely

Do you love recruiting weirdos and summoning questionable friends from other dimensions? Me too. That's why Cult: Choose Your God Wisely is an awesome game. Just take a look at the description: "...recruit Followers, perform dark rituals, bribe officials, and inspire uprisings of Fanatical Mobs." Sign me up!

In Cult, players send their priests out into the world to spread the good word about the Gods whom they serve. There are numerous ways to win, including constructing ritual altars, rousing mobs of fanatical followers, or summoning your very own dark Gods to your plane of existence (and yes, Cthulhu is one of them). This is a deep game with a lot going on.

Another neat thing about Cult is the ability to play it virtually. Though pledges of $50 or more earn a hard copy of the game, it's also available online. This is a nice option for those who want to try before they buy, or just prefer gaming on their computers.

With 14 days left on its Kickstarter, Cult: Choose Your God Wisely has 275 backers and $13,073 toward its $25,000 goal. Let's hope it gets there!

Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape from Dulce

I've saved my favorite for last. From the wonderfully-named Sentient Cow Games comes Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape from Dulce, a co-op game featuring all sorts of bizarre characters. From a quick look at the roster, we've got an alien-human hybrid super soldier, a 500 year old samurai, a talking two-headed cow, a mutated family of four, and Amelia Earhart. Yes, the Amelia Earhart.

But that's not all the game has to offer. Players work together to progress through a series of zany levels and challenges. The object of the game is to escape from the alien compound which the characters have awoken within. The game board is even set up as a three-tiered platform, which is very cool.

Players are assisted by a variety of bizarre NPCs, including a Sasquatch, a mothman, and a satyr with a boombox who flashes devil horns (clearly a fan of Ronnie James Dio). In addition, players might encounter six different mini bosses, including "the dreaded Man in Black." I have no idea what this guy does, but I want to find out.

Secret Unknown Stuff seems like an outstanding and offbeat game. It's currently sitting at $13,628 with a goal of $35,000. It's also got 30 whole days left to pick up the remainder.

That's all for this edition of What's Kickin' on Kickstarter? We'll be back with more later. In the meantime, which of these projects are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

Kyle Massa is a writer and avid Magic player living in upstate New York with his fiancée and their two cats. When he's not writing, you'll find him down at the East Greenbush Flipside store jamming booster drafts. For more of Kyle's work, visit www.kyleamassa.com or follow him on Twitter @mindofkyleam.