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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Escape Our Dying Sun, Use Cubes to Climb, and Re;Act to Attacks with Sculpting Magic

by W. Eric Martin

Another week, another round-up of designers and publishers looking for a helping hand in bringing their creations to life:

• The 2017 game Sol: Last Days of a Star was the first release from Ryan and Sean Spangler of Elephant Laboratories, and to date it’s still their only release…although ORGANISM is in the works from Ryan Spangler.

For now, though, the Spanglers are crowdfunding a second edition of Sol: Last Days of a Star, a game in which you attempt to drain as much energy from the dying sun as possible — thus, furthering its destruction — so that you can flee the solar system. (Kickstarter link) For more details on the gameplay, head to the BGG game page or listen to an overview from BGG’s Candice Harris on episode #3 of the BGG podcast. As a bonus — or penalty? — you can also hear me on that episode.

Re;Act is a two-player dueling game from Chris Lin, Eric Zeringue, and Brother Ming Games in which each player controls an artist — sculptor, dancer, tagger, calligrapher, etc. — who uses their special talents in magical ways. Each role has a unique pre-built deck of intentions and reactions, and players respond to intentions with reactions until both of them pass on playing more cards, then the stack of spells resolves in reverse order: last in, first out. (KS link)

Benny Sperling of Roll and Write Revolution continues to release print-and-play games, with four designs in his current Kickstarter campaign:

Anastasia, in which a solo player attempts to bring Princess Anastasia to safety or two players duel to capture the Princess or keep her free.

Carnivorous, in which 1-4 players stack dominoes to create a personal greenhouse, use them to build a communal shop, spend them to eat customers in opponents’ greenhouses, and more.

Train in Vain, in which all players use the same dice roll to place track, hire workers, and buy and sell goods, among other actions.

Wild, Wild West, in which you manage a Western town that encounters prosperity or disaster with each dice roll.

Cube Monster is the first design from Dor Sakal, with Crazzybox Inc planning to release this 1-4 player pattern-building game in late 2023. (KS link)

In this game, you draft chunky wooden cubes and feed them to the aforementioned monster, which will demand an offering from all players when a line is completed on the monster grid, punishing those who can’t comply. You also use cubes to ascend Mount Kubia, build factories and statues for bonuses, and acquire “Super Cubes”.

• I wrote about Yu Miyazaki‘s Gin Crafters from JUGAME STUDIO in November 2022, and that game’s crowdfunding project is wrapping up on Kickstarter on Dec. 21, 2022.

• I’m not sure what kind of game Jeeyon Shim is releasing with Much That Is Good and All That Is Evil, which will be available to members of Shim’s Patreon in 2023, but I feel compelled to share this not-yet-final cover.


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