Stuff on Kickstarter #2 – Science!

Poor Magnus Pyke. He’s an actual scientist, and had to spend the last ten years of his life with Americans walking up to him and going “SCIENCE!”

Just thought I’d take a little stroll through the tabletop gaming projects on Kickstarter at the moment (go talk to Jay or Mike if you want someone to write about things like Warmachine: Tactics or the now-concluded Hex). Today’s theme: science. And Chinese food (which is really science, because you need that takeout to fuel your lab sessions, right?).

Science: Physics! – At least two science-themed games on Kickstarter at this particular second. The first, Antimatter Matters, is now funded and will annihilate itself in about a day and a half, so get over their quick if you like particle physics. On the one hand, they want $60 for the game, which is a “real game” sort of price, and they have a board game publisher to do production. On the other hand, they don’t have anything on BoardGameGeek and don’t have any of the usual gamer video previews, so you’re kind of blind on whether this is too educational.

Science: Chemistry! – Wrong Chemistry, to be precise. Although not actually science, this abstract is (comedic) science-themed pits the players against each other in manipulating hex tiles (and tokens on those tiles) to form into the shape of the different “elements” they have in hand (more strategic for two players, more random for up to four). This Kickstarter is for the Expand the Lab expansion (which you can have for $22), but you can also pledge to get the base game and all the promos so far (which you can have for $56). Expand the Lab adds more elements, two more special action elements (Transmutium and The Element of Surprise), lets you flip the hex tiles over, and scientist cards that give each player a special ability. It’s funded with 17 days left, so I’m guessing that it will hit most, if not all, of the stretch goals for more cards and better art.

Science: Ecology! – We’re back in the more educational camp with Fire and Flora, a euro-game based on actual California locations and plants, where players develop resources and build a tableau that, if they’re lucky, will consist of lots of native plants and not so many invasive species (having sent all the nasty plants over into other players tableau). Different plants respond differently to different resources, so there’s a puzzle element to figuring out what will maximize your points (hint: fire destroys most plants). The theme/educational aspect of this one may make it work better with kids than more serious gamers. Fire and Flora just launched and has 27 days to go; $33 gets you the game.

General Tsao’s Chicken – At least, I’m hoping I can make my favorite American-ized Chinese food in Wok Star (I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be eating it in real life anymore), which has springboarded from a very small, but very well-received self-funded printing into a big boy Kickstarter version. Wok Star is a real-time cooperative game where the players need to assemble enough completed recipes over four rounds to generate enough cash to pay back the loan the family took out to start the restaurant. This one wraps up in three days, and is already funded, so you’re basically paying $39 to have the fancy, fancy version of the game shipped to your door.

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