Kick Picks – Sentinel Comics RPG, Suburbia Collector’s Edition, Shadow Tactics

We’re back with a curated look at some of the games to check on on Kickstarter right now. Today’s picks include a superheroic roleplaying game, a collector’s edition of a modern classic city-building board game, and a tabletop adaptation of a video game (that Mike Cook tells me is great, but I think we’ve established by now that I am pretty oblivious on the video game front these days).

Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game – Best known from Sentinels of the Multiverse card game, the already quite detailed world of Sentinel Comics is coming to the world of tabletop roleplaying. You can check out our written review of the starter set (or the Kickstarter page) for more details, but one of the distinctive things about Sentinels (from the card game and now in the RPG) is how the environment is like another character in the superheroic confrontations. You aren’t just battling Miss Information, you’re battling Miss Information in the nuclear power plant, and that’s going to matter in a real way. You can pick up the Sentinel Comics RPG PDF for $19 or the hardback for $59 (it’s a full-size 8.5″ x 11″ book that should clock in at over 400 pages). The crowdfunding campaign runs through February 22, 2019, and as of the time of writing the project is fully funded.

Suburbia Collector’s Edition – Bezier Games brags that Suburbia is “widely considered the best city-building boardgame of all time.” That’s the sort of claim that normally draws a raised eyebrow of skepticism from me, but in this case I happen to agree that Suburbia is the best city-building board game there is. In Suburbia, each player controls their own burough of the burgeoning metropolis, trying to attract population in a sustainable way by purchasing and laying tiles that represent housing, restaurants, offices, industry, transportation links, and more. The collector’s edition comes with the two existing expansions (Suburbia Inc. and Suburbia 5★), a new expansion (Nightlife), and various promotional cards. Plus the kind of overproduced components you’d expect from a collector’s edition – molded game trays, a new tile-dispensing tower, bigger tiles, metal coins, wooden markers to mark tiles that interact with more distant tiles, and so on (some of this is Kickstarter exclusive). A distinctive option is to choose which five player colors (out of 20) you want in your copy of the game. That’s not just a color though, as each color is associated with a city, has a city-specific borough board, and an associated tile (note: all of the tiles will be included in all copies of the game, regardless of player colors selected). So if I want my precious red pieces, I would get Washington, D.C. My five-year-old who insists on pink where it’s available would get Las Vegas. Perhaps unsurprisingly, you can ‘upsize’ from the $99 ‘normal’ collector’s edition pledge to the $149 ‘super’ collector’s edition pledge and get all 20. The Suburbia Collector’s Edition campaign runs through February 12, 2019, and is way beyond fully funded.

Shadow Tactics: The Board Game – Mike tells me that Shadow Tactics (the PC game) resurrected the action stealth style of real-time strategy games, where the player navigates a handful of highly specialized characters (in this case, ninja) through a map filled with guards – the ninja are very efficient at killing the guards stealthily, but if the guards notice the ninja they will quickly outnumber them and ruin the mission. Now Antler Games is bringing Shadow Tactics to the tabletop, pitting the ninja players against a daimyo. The ninja players use programmed actions, while the daimyo has ways to interrupt by moving or re-orienting guards, which should do a pretty good job of emulating how a half-hour long planning session can go up in smoke because the player didn’t realize that a guard would see the ninja or be out of their reach (note: Strange Assembly does not recommend literally spending half an hour planning your turn in any tabletop game). The guards even have vision cones, which is a main conceit of this style of PC game. The realistic base pledge level is about $86, with an ~$22 add-on to add solo and co-op modes to the usual one-vs-many gameplay. The campaign runs through February 14, 2019, and is currently fully funded – but not by a bunch, so there are still a lot of component upgrade stretch goals you can help achieve.

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