Kickstarter Kitchen – November 2020

Let’s get my confession out of the way, right out of the gate: I am a Kickstarter addict. I comb through campaigns every single day, looking for something special, something cute, something unique! While I may not back every campaign that catches my eye, I am definitely leaving my eyes undefended for a good catching. It’s certainly not cheap to be such a willing fish on the line, but I find it to be a delicious and delightful meta hobby within this wonderful tabletop gaming sphere.

Given this obsession, it only seems appropriate to start putting together a crowdfunding roundup for Little Thumbs, Big Thumbs. Let’s call it … Kickstarter Kitchen!

To keep such an article lined up with the overall mission of Little Thumbs – to find games that appeal to both children and adults – we’re exclusively looking for games that encourage play with the entire family. No violence. No frightening themes. No hypersexualized imagery. For the right audience, there is absolutely nothing wrong with those games – I just don’t want to show them to my two young daughters!

So … welcome to the first-ever Little Thumbs, Big Thumbs Kickstarter Kitchen! Wash your hands, put on an apron, and step into our kitchen!

HIBACHI

Did somebody say kitchen?

For those who have followed Little Thumbs, Big Thumbs for a while, my love for dexterity games will be no surprise. Any game that encourages stacking, tossing, flicking, or any number of other actions is going to grab my attention! Hibachi fits firmly into that category, with an adorable theme of animal chefs preparing meals for customers.

Hibachi is actually a reworking of a previous title, Safranito (published by Zoch Verlag), which I found to be fun but (for my tastes) a bit bland thematically. Grail Games has accomplished the rare task of improving the overall quality of a Zoch game, and cooking up a new “hot and spicy” expansion along with it. The game involves tossing poker chip quality tokens at the board, aiming to land on specific ingredients needed for specific recipes, and perhaps knock another player’s chip out of the way in the process!

In terms of exclusives, backers will receive a Fried Egg Poker Chip, which adds a chaotic element of potentially blocking ingredient and action spaces on the board. Sounds like an interesting addition to a brightly coloured dexterity romp!

Hibachi plays in about 45 minutes with 2 to 4 players (up to 5 with the hot and spicy expansion), and is recommended for ages 10 and older. The game is on Kickstarter until December 1st, with only one week remaining at the time of this article being published!

CREATURE COMFORTS

Board games don’t get much more family friendly than the ones that come from Kids Table Board Gaming, and Creature Comforts is perfectly in line with their previous releases. As a previous winner of the Canadian Game Design Award, designer Roberta Taylor has crafted a worker placement experience that is interactive without encouraging negative player choices.

In addition to its wholesome gameplay, Creature Comforts also looks unbelievably adorable. The artwork of children’s book author/illustrator Shawna J.C. Tenney is super playful! The Kickstarter exclusive content includes wooden critter meeples, cottages, and resource tokens, as well as a Game Trayz insert. Quite the package!

By the time this game arrives, my Big Bean should be able to grasp most of the concepts, and I suspect her younger sister is going to be motivated to catch up very quickly! Creature Comforts is suggested for ages 8 and up, with 1 to 5 players being able to enjoy the game in approximately 45 minutes.

Creature Comforts is funding on Kickstarter until December 10th, 2020.

CALLIOPE GAME NIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA

Although I generally don’t follow small card games on Kickstarter, I almost always peek at bundles of games to hunt for a hidden gem. In this case, the publisher of the smash hit Tsuro is back in the crowdfunding game, offering a trio of titles that all play in less than 60 minutes, and welcome players aged 8 or older. Of the three games being offered here, Enchanted Plumes is the one that I suspect my Beans might be most interested in exploring. It’s a card game about building a reverse pyramid of feather cards to look like the blooming plumage of a peacock. The game looks to be quite pretty, and I know my girls would be keen to build their own feathery beast!

As an occasional solo gamer, Mass Transit has also caught my eye. It’s a cooperative game that plays in about 30 minutes, and is good for 1 to 6 players. Here, players are building rows of cards from a central hub, trying to build roads, rail tracks, or rivers to help six passengers get home. Puzzling out how to get players home before the deck runs out is right up my alley, especially with the short playtime.

Finally, Allegory is a storytelling game with an auction mechanic, for 2 to 6 players, and plays in 30 to 50 minutes. This looks to be the most interactive of the three games, but the artwork is a bit darker than the other two, and I might not be keen to introduce this one to my little ladies.

Backers can pledge for one or two of the games, but Calliope is offering a significant discount for those wanting all three games. The campaign isn’t offering any in-game exclusives, but a pledge for the full package will also include a set of meeple stickers to fancify the Mass Transit passengers. The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza is on Kickstarter until December 12th!

AQUA GARDEN

Who needs detailed miniature games when there are so many others offering cute wooden creature meeples? In Aqua Garden, players are building their own personal aquariums. Using an interesting rondel system, players are attempting to collect sets of fish and set them up with their preferred surroundings. While I haven’t played with this one on Tabletop Simulator yet, the overall look of the game has me positively smitten!

Project image for Aqua garden - Become an owner of an aquarium 1-4 players

My one reservation is that with a recommended age bracket of 15 and up, it might be beyond the grasp of even my super bright Big Bean. Still, I’m hopeful that we can stumble our way to a modified game for her so that we can play with these delightful sea critters!

I have my doubts that this is a game that will be widely available in the North American market, which is part of the reason I’m backing the game. In addition, the publisher is also including their previously released title, The Arctic, for all backers at the standard pledge or higher. Two games that will be hard to find in Canada, for the price of one, means that I’m all in for this game!

Aqua Garden can accommodate 1 to 4 players, is recommended for ages 15 and older, and should last between 40 to 60 minutes. The game will be funding on Kickstarter until December 14th, 2020.

CONCLUSION

For tabletop gaming fans, Kickstarter is a messy forest of options, and it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately, many of the games mentioned above are available to check out on Tabletop Simulator, either freely accessible via the workshop, or through open plays with the publisher.

Thanks for stopping by our Kitckstarter Kitchen! Hopefully our discussion is a tiny bit helpful when thinking about the next project you might want to support!

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