Fairway gets a lot of games and he’s played a lot more. This very special list of games are the three Kickstartered games of 2016 that have left more than just a fleeting impression.
#3 Vast: The Crystal Caverns ^
I, along with 2,897 other people, backed Vast from Leder Games on Kickstarter. I was pretty excited for it at the time: asymmetric game, family-friendly art, a knight who was a girl, an opportunity to play a cave, and on and on. At one point, I was even so excited that I tried to print and assemble the print and play (so much work). The game did not disappoint.
The game does have its stumbling blocks: sometimes hard to follow rules and steep learning curve. In fairness, though, the game is essentially four or five different games played at the same time. I went on to give Vast a Birdie.
Vast: The Crystal Caverns is a terrific asymmetric game which puts players in unusual roles in an intricately, interwoven game. It does a fantastic job aligning the multiple roles’s objectives and game play in a way that meshes so well together. While there’s a steep learning curve, it’s totally worth it!
#2 Roll Player ^
Thunderworks Games’ Roll Player was arguably the biggest surprise of the year. I also backed this game on Kickstarter last year. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy a game where the premise was to make a game out of the character creation step of most video game, role playing games. Oh man, am I glad I backed it and not because you can’t get a copy.
The game is filled to the brim with interesting player choices, great art, amazing dice and really clever game design. Roll Player went on to earn only the second Eagle from me ever:
Roll Player is a must have game for anyone who enjoys dice games. It’s especially so for those that enjoy setting up their characters in role playing games (that’s everyone right?). Roll Player captures the fun and allure of all that in a streamlined, balanced and beautiful game. Roll Player will probably be on my short list of games to recommend to people looking for something a bit different.
#1 World’s Fair 1893 ^
I’ll admit it, a game about the 1893 World’s Fair that doesn’t include any murders (like in Devil in the White City) seems like a missed opportunity. But, you’d be wrong. World’s Fair 1893 is an absolutely fantastic new game. I backed this one on Kickstarter based mostly on the fact that Beth Sobel did the art.
The game itself is a masterpiece. In my review, I called it the standard bearer for any new area of control game. Not only does the game implement an often overplayed mechanic in a new way, the whole game is intuitive and easy to learn. No one has trouble grasping the consequences of their choices.
Like Roll Player, World’s Fair 1893 earned an Eagle and earned The Inquisitive Meeple’s Seal of Excellence:
The Inquisitive Meeple gave World’s Fair 1893 his Seal of Excellence for good reason. The game is beautiful, fun, strategic, easy-to-learn, and immersive. World’s Fair is my new go to game for new and long-time players alike.