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News Round Up: Kickstarter Surprises, Award Season and Raccoons

Kickstarter Kick Ass News

This week; CMON keeps Kick Ass off Kickstarter, Monolith announces a surprising new approach while Origins crown Gloomhaven Game of the Year.

CMON’s Kick Ass Game is Skipping Kickstarter

CMON are releasing a board game based on the Kick Ass comics, but the bigger news is that it’s not coming to Kickstarter: CMON are doing an old school release. So on the one hand, it’s a co-op game using area control where teams of heroes have to defeat villains while making sure their social media profile is good.

On the other, CMON said their Kickstarter schedule is too packed for them to do justice to a Kick Ass campaign so it’s straight to retail for that one. This is like the Easter Bunny announcing they don’t want chocolate this year. Release date is autumn 2018.

Monolith announce controversial Kickstarter plans

Monolith used Kickstarter to fund their Batman and Conan games, and that wasn’t without controversy. Now the company have jumped head first into more controversy by announcing a new approach to Kickstarter… So, the old model was a crowd funding system which would allow people to produce games, and that got turned into a glorified PR and pre-order system. Now Monolith is dumping all pretence and turning Kickstarter into a shop.

How? Monolith are printing 10,000 copies of their next game, Claustrophobia 1643, which will be shipped to depots in America and Europe. Then they will run a stretch goal free Kickstarter to take orders, and when that shuts the pre-made games will be sent straight away. The goal is games in people’s hands in weeks rather than months / years, with Monolith using the ready made Kickstarter audience rather than any actual crowdfunding necessity.

They claim this is possible because their previous campaigns have given them enough capital to switch to this long desired (by them) model, and hope to repeat it if successful. However, it will take a while to create the resources for big games.

Monolith say they have Kickstarter’s permission, and hope this introduces a whole new model.

Diana Jones Award announces nominees

The Diana Jones award for excellence in gaming always produces some interesting nominees, and this year is no different. So there’s the traditional game element with Charterstone (which your scribe thoroughly recommends), to the experimental: the 200 Word RPG Challenge. There’s the once experimental but now huge Actual Play movement of broadcasting gaming sessions which has helped fuel the RPG renaissance. There’s also the Harlem Unbound RPG, a socially aware riposte to the unpleasant side of Lovecraftian lore (the racism, not the aliens ending the world bit). We’ll bring you the winner when announced.

Speaking of awards, here’s the Origin Awards

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Awards, aka the Origin Awards, have declared their winners and no surprises for guessing that hit game and mega time sink Gloomhaven took game of the year (just as it’s been restocked, so get on that.) Best Miniatures of the Year went to Warhammer 40k for its eighth edition, while best RPG was Adventures in Middle-earth.

The excellent Ex Libris won Best Card Game and a review is on Zatu if you’re interested, while Azul won best Family Game. Finally, Broken Token won best accessory and Star Wars: Destiny’s Awakenings best collectable game.

Magic: The Gathering’s commentators are better than the World Cup’s

I don’t know how many of you are watching the UK’s coverage of the football World Cup, but the quality of the commentators and pundits can be summed up with a single toilet emoji. Except for Slaven BIlic who heroically once went “I don’t care.” This is all a long introduction to the state of Magic The Gathering commentary, where the Las Vegas Grand Prix was subjected to some top grade trolling by Rich Hagon.

He pretended to be opening boosters looking for a Black Lotus card, aka the definitive ultra-expensive Magic item, and then started cheering when he pulled out a Black Lotus… toy car. Your scribe didn’t see this live, but you can bet your life he’s been laughing at the video of it.

Jasco is bringing us… Canada

Jasco have brought us some combat heavy games in the form of Street Fighter and Universal Fighting System, but things might be about to change. They’re opening a Jasco North studio in Canada and are going to use their new base as inspiration for a few games. Or as partner put it “It makes sense that Jasco North’s first games should have a real string of Canada in them.”

No one has any idea what this actually means, although the partner is Lynnvander Studios and they’ve produced Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops. You can imagine the jokes going on about this.

One Night Ultimate introduces Super Villains

Love social deduction games but don’t like werewolves? Well it might happen, and we have good news when it does: One Night Ultimate Super Villains contains all the skulduggery we’ve come to know and love but with the theme of Marvel like baddies and an art style drawing on the cartoon network classics, if that’s an acceptable word combination in just 2018. It’s going to be Kickstarted, on July 30.

Rolled and Told mixes comics with RPGs

Anyone remember the gaming magazine Proteus? Okay, nostalgia over, onto Lion Forge and their new comic Rolled and Told, which includes both a story each month, and the RPG scenario it’s taken from for you to play at home. Yes, each month you’ll follow the adventures of a party, while getting the material to run your own and probably come to a different result.

"For me, Rolled & Told is the best thing I never knew I was missing until I saw it put together in all its magnificent glory," said Lion Forge designer E.L. Thomas. "It feels both familiar and groundbreaking at the same time.”

Raccoon Tycoon is a real thing

Buying and selling resources in a changing marketplace, trading railway stocks and building towns: all staples of the board game world but too dry for some. What better then, than to create a game with all that and Raccoons instead of people (and Fat Cats and Top Dogs.) Yes, Raccoon Tycoon is the railway trading game non-traders might have a good time with. It’s currently on Kickstarter and has an undeniable style, even if a few people are put off by the fluff.

Gorus Maximus: blood and sand

A game of gladiatorial combat was never going to be kiddie friendly, but Gorus Maximus has majored in the blood soaked cartoon art. Illustrator Kwanchai Moriya previously worked on the divisive Dinosaur Island visuals, and here has produced a trick taking card game that’s rated PG-13. $15 on Kickstarter is reasonable, and it will mostly be spent on red ink.

Renegade bring kittens and explosions

If you don’t like Exploding Kittens but want more kittens and explosions in your life, check out the forthcoming offering from Renegade Games and Aza Chen. It has both. Given how much pets dislike fireworks it’s a little odd to find a game where cats are competing to create the best display of them, but it’s a dexterity game of dice tossing that’ll fill 20 minutes and is child friendly.

Getaway is Baby Driver on the Table

Jeff Beck co-designed Hardback, but if you find word games boring just wait till you see his new game: Getaway Driver. This does exactly that it says on the tin, with one player as the ‘Driver’ trying to outrun the Cops across a city built tile by tile across your table as you play. The Driver can pull off outrageous driving moves, the cops can set up roadblocks, and if you don’t want to move your coffee cup / pint glass that’s okay because the city goes round it and it’s all part of the game.

Okay, let’s be honest, we don’t mean drinks we mean cat. Anyway, it’s a two-player game with a print and play available for just $3, or $24 for the properly printed one. Also, the art we’ve seen has Mini Coopers…